Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Holy Grail Recording #4 - Etcetera (1968)

In this series, In The Life Of...The Beatles presents the top 10 unreleased recordings of the Beatles.

A Beatles song that has never been heard to this day, "Etcetera" was recorded at EMI Studios on August 20, 1968 as a demo by Paul McCartney, who had previously (back in 1965) intended to give the song to Marianne Faithfull. Paul took the tape home after the session, so he retains the only known copy. Revisiting the song in 1968, Paul may have reworked the song, as he was initially dissatisfied with it himself:

McCARTNEY: "I knew Marianne Faithfull so it was natural that I would be asked to write a song at some point. I did write a song but it was not a very good one. It was called 'Etcetera' and it's a bad song. I think it's a good job that it's died a death in some tape bin. Even then I seem to remember thinking it wasn't very good. There was always the temptation to keep your better songs for yourself and then give your next-best songs to other established people, so when it was someone like Marianne, who at that time was a newcomer, those people would tend to end up with fairly dreadful offerings of mine. I suppose, thinking back on it, after 'As Tears Go By' maybe they were looking for more sort of a 'Yesterday', something more poignant, more baroque. I probably thought, well, this is really all I've got at the moment. I'll send it round and hope it's all okay, and maybe they'll put a baroque thing on it and that'll make it okay. She probably did 'Yesterday' because they figured, 'Well at least it's better than "Etcetera"'."

Here's a set of Marianne Faithfull's early performance clips, including "As Tears Go By" and "Yesterday":

Next installment: June 30

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