McCartney demo of World Without Love is unveiled

A previously-unheard demo recording by Paul McCartney of his 1964 song World Without Love has been given its first public airing.

The song was recorded by Peter & Gordon in 1964, and became their first hit and a transatlantic number one. The single was followed later that year by another written by Lennon-McCartney, Nobody I Know.

The 30-second demo features McCartney singing and accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar. Peter Asher, brother of McCartney’s then girlfriend Jane Asher recorded the Beatle performing the song on a reel-to-reel tape machine.

When asked if Peter & Gordon might record the song, according to Peter Asher, “Paul said, ‘Absolutely,’ but I had to nag him to write the bridge. It came several weeks later, just in time for the session.”

Asher discovered the demo in a box of DAT tapes which contained various analogue recordings he had transferred. The tapes included various radio shows he had recorded, plus the McCartney demo. They were being kept in storage in Los Angeles.

Asher played the demo during his show Peter Asher: A Musical Memoir of the ’60s and Beyond, a touring show with dates in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and Clear Lake, Iowa. The World Without Love demo had its first play at the show at the Iridium in New York.

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