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The early 1968 album that never was - any other contenders?
9 February 2019
6.50pm
GlassOnion
The Jacaranda
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In February 1968, the Beatles entered the studio for the first time since the Magical Mystery Tour sessions, and recorded four songs: Lady Madonna , Hey Bulldog , The Inner Light and Across The Universe . They ended up releasing a single, and shelving the other two tracks to be released later.

 

But as I came to discover later, Paul actually wanted the band to keep recording, after tracking those four tunes, and make a new studio album. Of course that didn't come to fruition, as they travelled to India in March and released the Madonna/Light single.

 

So what I was wondering was: what other songs did they have available back then? The only song I know for sure is Cry Baby Cry , which was demoed in December 1967, and maybe Isn't It A Pity , which is from 1966. And what do you think the album would sound like?

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QuarryMan
10 February 2019
1.25pm
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Billy Rhythm
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Not sure if "The early 1968 album that never was" is entirely accurate...  I believe that the February 1968 India trip was planned shortly after Maharishi's summer 1967 Bangor lecture was cut short earlier than expected due to Brian Epstein's untimely death...  the sessions were exactly what materialized, and that was to release a single during their lengthy abscence…  'The Inner Light ' was culled from George's 'Wonderwall' Bombay sessions and wasn't exactly the group effort that 'Hey Bulldog ' was...  'Lady Madonna ' got the nod for John didn't feel that 'Across The Universe ' (a song that he later declared to be "one of my best") wasn't given its proper due...  I don't believe that they had been thinking in terms of an "album" since 'Sgt. Pepper ' at this point in time...:-)

10 February 2019
3.08pm
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meanmistermustard
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I've never read of Paul wanting to record a new album in February 1968, all I've ever read was that they were going to India and wanted a single to fill the void during their absence.

India was planned way back in late-1967. They first went into the studio on the 3rd and left for Rishikesh on the 15th February (not in March); they would never record an album within such a short period at that time in their career. Of the material they did have  'ATU' was not considered good enough in it's recording state to be deemed worthy of release so they had three recorded yet two of those would be taken for the single and not included on an album (as per their approach of singles generally left off albums). Where then are the other 12/13 songs? John always had demo's floating but most were fragmentary and not complete enough to form a full track. George was starting to develop a backlog yet so many of those that appeared on 'ATMP ' never got anywhere near being taped by the Beatles, nor were they considered (possibly even by George, they may not have even have been completed by then) for 'TWA', first appearing, and getting ignored by John and Paul, during the 'Get Back ' sessions 11 months later. Don't remember Paul having much. 

So for all that, I doubt they had enough new material sitting around to fill a complete a full album especially with a lot of 'The White Album ' being written when in India, or after ('Not Guilty ', 'Birthday ' to name two). 

They were already setting tracks aside for the 'Yellow Submarine ' movie as well. Actually, maybe that's where the confusion has come from.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

10 February 2019
5.23pm
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Billy Rhythm
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meanmistermustard said

They were already setting tracks aside for the 'Yellow Submarine ' movie as well. Actually, maybe that's where the confusion has come from.

  

not to add to the confusion, but wasn't the 'Yellow Submarine ' Soundtrack originally slotted to be another E.P., ala 'Magical Mystery Tour '?  isn't this why the album came out so much later than the film premiere?  so they could decide on how to release it?  'Hey Bulldog ' is the only track from these early 1968 sessions which even made it onto the Soundtrack, and even then it was cut from the American prints of the film...  I'm thinking that the original poster's source misidentified the year which should have read "The early 1969 album that never was" which of course was 'Get Back ' and there was no doubt that Paul wanted them to record an album then...  'Isn't It A Pity ?' was also in the fold for 'Get Back '...:-)

10 February 2019
6.49pm
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meanmistermustard
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8Yeah. I was thinking that maybe whoever wrote that Paul was hoping to record an album in February 1968 had gotten confused, forgot 'YL' was originally an EP and made it into an early 1968 album that was delayed until it came out or just rejected. Who knows.

'Isn't It A Pity ' was certainly about in January 1969 but it was only ever run thru twice (25th and 26th - George recorded a proper demo on his own on the 26th after the day's recordings had ended) and was never taken seriously by John or Paul. George ran thru a number of tracks that ended up on 'ATMP ', many better than those John and Paul were plucking out of nowhere.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

10 February 2019
7.42pm
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Elementary Penguin
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They wouldn't of had time to record a full length album in early 1968 anyway. 

And in the end the lunch you take is equal to the lunch you bake.

12 February 2019
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Von Bontee
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Elementary Penguin said
They wouldn't of had time to record a full length album in early 1968 anyway. 

  

"Hey, we'll just go and grab that tape we did for the rave a year ago! That takes care of Side Two, basically."

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

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12 February 2019
6.51pm
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Elementary Penguin
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Von Bontee said

Elementary Penguin said

They wouldn't of had time to record a full length album in early 1968 anyway. 

  

"Hey, we'll just go and grab that tape we did for the rave a year ago! That takes care of Side Two, basically."

  

That sounds like a great idea for an album. It would look something like this:

 

Side A:

1. Lady Madonna  

2. Hey Bulldog

3. The Inner Light  

4. Across The Universe

Side B:

1. Carnival Of Light

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