Sunday, January 07, 2007

Another Beatle Séance?

Word from England has it that Beatle Paul is keen on finishing up a track that "The Threetles" (Paul, George & Ringo) worked on in 1995 for the Beatles' Anthology project. With the help of ELO meister Jeff Lynne, they recorded their parts on to various unfinished acetates that John Lennon had worked up in the 70's between baking bread & taking Central Park strolls. More from Ireland Online:

Paul McCartney is planning to reunite with his late Beatles bandmate John Lennon and finish an unreleased track the pair sang together.

The Fab Four abandoned Now And Then during their prime. McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr tried to resurrect the track when they put together their Beatles Anthology albums 10 years ago, but guitarist Harrison claimed it was not good enough.

Now McCartney wants to go back and finish the job.

A source tells British newspaper the Daily Express: “It has always niggled a bit with Paul that they didn’t finish Now And Then.

“While George wasn’t keen, Paul always thought the song had a lot of potential. He is now hoping to complete it after all, with him singing the harmonies to John’s lead vocal. It would obviously be very moving to hear the pair of them singing together one last time.”

McCartney himself recently said of the song: “It needed a bit of reworking but it had a beautiful verse.”

The Anthology records revealed a lot about the individual Beatles' studio demeanor & modus operandi. The Threetles tracks ended up being "Real Love" & "Free As A Bird". They are weird Franken-songs. Lennon's voice sounds way out there on both of them. (Makes you wonder what his vocals sounded like before being fed through the studio gimmicks!). The "Free As A Bird" video however is gorgeous. It's fun to spot the different Beatle references throughout. See it here before the Apple Records' Blue Meanies make YouTube take it down.

I never understood why the Threetles used Jeff Lynne to produce these lost tracks for them. He's to be credited for helping get the Traveling Wilburys together. One theory I have for how the Wilburys got together is that Jeff Lynne had the stinkiest, sweetest bud of them all. Dylan, Orbison, George & Tom couldn't refuse!

My big beef with Jeff Lynne's production is the slick sheen that pervades all of the drums. It's a shame that they sound the way that they do. I think it's a real flat sound. And the Threetles' tracks suffer specifically because of this sheen. Ringo deserves better.

And perhaps that's what Beatle Paul has in mind for "Now and Then". Let's hope Nigel Godrich lends a hand. "Chaos & Creation in the Backyard" has Paul's drumming all over it. If there's anyone out there that does a better Ringo-impression on drums it's Paul. It's uncanny.