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Should "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" count as canon Beatles Songs?
22 February 2014
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onlyasouthernsong
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This is an issue that sometimes comes up when discussing the Beatles songs, is that "Should those 2 new songs from Anthology count?" 

In my opinion, they should count, simply by the virtue of having Paul, George, and Ringo performing on them, and that they themselves label it as "The Beatles". I mean, if "I Me Mine " counts with having those 3, why can't this?

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22 February 2014
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meanmistermustard
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I'm sure there is a thread for this elsewhere.

Regarding the difference between I Me Mine and the reunion tracks -  whilst John wasn't on the recording it was his decision not to be attend the sessions and he sanctioned/passed/agreed its inclusion on the Let It Be album, whereas for Free As A Bird and Real Love John had no say as he was dead. 

There are tons of examples of Beatles tracks that don't have all four members playing however all four Beatles (not their executives, family members, representatives) had the power and input to say yes or no to what was released and what was left in the can.

And that is one of the reasons why FAAB and RL do not count as part of the core canon.

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

22 February 2014
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Billy Rhythm
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I say yes, because of Lennon's untimely death this is really the only possible way that they could've reunited and legitimately called it 'The Beatles'.  The project also had the blessings (creative input too because it was her choices) from Yoko Ono and pretty much anything John had done since 1968 wasn't done without Yoko's blessings.  The biggest reason that they should be considered bonafide Beatles' tracks is because of the excellent performance's by all, very worthy of their catalogue.  Both songs sound like The Beatles because it is The Beatles, and it's not like they tried to take this band out for a reunion tour or anything, Paul, George & Ringo finished up a couple of John's songs while he was away, simple as that.  Lennon was never one to dictate what the others should/shouldn't play, allowing for them to roam freely across his universe, and I think he would've been genuinely impressed with how they completed his unfinished works had he ever returned from being "away", and the "morbid" aspect of singing from the grave is certainly far out and probably would've excited him as well...:-)

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22 February 2014
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meanmistermustard
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John wasn't away he was dead, there is a massive difference regardless of how the other 3 approached it. Its not like they could call him up and ask him about how things were going. They were both John's songs and neither had any input from John on the finished sound. 

By the way by Canon i mean, and include, all the tracks released (excluding the Christmas Messages) between October 1962 and May 1970, nothing after. Everything after (The Anthology Series, Love, BBC volumes, LIBN) are not part of that and should remain separate. Yes its the Beatles but none of it is required by fans who want to own all the original material the Beatles put out in the 60's (and 1970). Mja will be able to explain it in a better way.

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22 February 2014
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Billy Rhythm
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meanmistermustard said
John wasn't away he was dead, there is a massive difference regardless of how the other 3 approached it. Its not like they could call him up and ask him about how things were going. They were both John's songs and neither had any input from John on the finished sound. 

By the way by Canon i mean, and include, all the tracks released (excluding the Christmas Messages) between October 1962 and May 1970, nothing after. Everything after (The Anthology Series, Love, BBC volumes, LIBN) are not part of that and should remain separate. Yes its the Beatles but none of it is required by fans who want to own all the original material the Beatles put out in the 60's (and 1970). Mja will be able to explain it in a better way.

 

O.K, how about the version of 'The Long And Winding Road ' which was released in 1970, Paul claims that no one consulted him on the production/overdubs, yet that's the "canon" take of the song, Paul may as well have been dead (some say he actually was).  Tracks were added after his performances without his input and it went out as The Beatles...:-)

22 February 2014
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Into the Sky with Diamonds
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You can further split hairs by pointing out that FAAB has a McCartney (and Harrison?) composition within it ("Whatever happened to …") while FAAB is all Lennon. (One reason given for FAAB to have been "the" single on the radio.)

In my mind, a Beatle song is one that was recorded in the 60's (or very early '70).

But putting emotion aside, FAAB and RL are Beatle songs, more so even than some 'real' songs that feature only one or two Beatles. Both of these songs are more of a collective effort than "Yesterday ," "I Will ," "Julia ," "The Ballad of J & Y,"...

After all, the Beatles themselves released these two songs as Beatle songs (with Yoko's consent). If they themselves consider them Beatle songs, who are we to say otherwise?

(By the way, who is listed as the author(s) of these songs from a royalty point of view?)

 

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22 February 2014
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Into the Sky with Diamonds said
You can further split hairs by pointing out that FAAB has a McCartney (and Harrison?) composition within it ("Whatever happened to …") while FAAB is all Lennon. (One reason given for FAAB to have been "the" single on the radio.)

In my mind, a Beatle song is one that was recorded in the 60's (or very early '70).

But putting emotion aside, FAAB and RL are Beatle songs, more so even than some 'real' songs that feature only one or two Beatles. Both of these songs are more of a collective effort than "Yesterday ," "I Will ," "Julia ," "The Ballad of J & Y,"...

After all, the Beatles themselves released these two songs as Beatle songs (with Yoko's consent). If they themselves consider them Beatle songs, who are we to say otherwise?

(By the way, who is listed as the author(s) of these songs from a royalty point of view?)

Free As A Bird is Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starkey, while Real Love is just John Lennon (the only "Beatles" song to be just one of Lennon-McCartney)

For what's it's worth, neither is included in my spreadsheet for the rankings.

 

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22 February 2014
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SatanHimself
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Free As A Bird and Real Love should not be considered canon.  They have never been released in any form other than on the anthologies and on their respective singles, and they weren't included as any part of the 2009 remasters.

They are best left as curiosities.

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22 February 2014
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fabfouremily
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meanmistermustard said
I'm sure there is a thread for this elsewhere.

I haven't been able to find one. If anyone else does then let me or one of the other mods know, and we'll move it.

I don't think they should be included because they were released after their split (and they didn't re-group to do this, either). They're were made by 3 ex-Beatles, with the demo from John, and that is all.

 

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22 February 2014
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meanmistermustard
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fabfouremily said

meanmistermustard said
I'm sure there is a thread for this elsewhere.

I haven't been able to find one. If anyone else does then let me or one of the other mods know, and we'll move it.

I don't think they should be included because they were released after their split (and they didn't re-group to do this, either). They're were made by 3 ex-Beatles, with the demo from John, and that is all.

It could have been a side-topic in a thread therefore. Thanks for looking.
 

 

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23 February 2014
4.38am
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I include it in my personal canon.

They were released officially as Beatles singles, featuring all four Beatles, with the approval of Yoko, by Apple, with a Beatles project.

I personally would have liked to see it in the 09 remasters (on Past Masters ).

If I seem to act unkind, it isn't me, its just my mind that is confusing things

 

23 February 2014
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robert
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Well, to me the answer could be yes and could be no (I take a stand right in the middle - don't i?)

Yes because at it's least it is Beatle product called a Beatles record by what at the time of recording and release was the Beatles. So yes because the Beatles say it is the Beatles.

But no because as best we know, when John wrote it, it was never intended to be a Beatles' song. So on the matter of the writer's intent - I would say no. For example if I remember correctly, John wanted Cold Turkey to be a Beatles song - but the others wouldn't do it. George intro'd a few of his songs from ATMP but they were rejected and came out as solo tunes.

So, the opposite must also be true - songs never intended by the writer to be Beatles' songs can't suddenly become Beatles' songs because the other 3 decided it will be.

Paul may have lost control of the mix of LAWR but he always intended it to be a Beatles' song. As far as we know John did not intend that for either of those songs.

So my real answer is no.

 

 

 

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24 February 2014
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I'm in the "no" camp as well. They were released as songs involving all four Beatles, as The Beatles, but that doesn't make them "canon" necessarily. Really, I consider them John tunes that the others collaborated on. To me they fit in with stuff like Live At The BBC (which I absolutely adore, but don't consider "canon" material either).

In addition to things that have already been said, "Real Love " was first released as a John Lennon song in 1988 on the soundtrack for "Imagine : John Lennon ". If nothing else, that makes RL a cover song anyway, with additional arrangement by the others. "Free As A Bird " is a stronger contender since it contains more input and even lyrics from Paul, but I still can't say it's an essential "canon" Beatles recording. I think the songs are great as they are being categorized with the BBC stuff, the rest of the Anthology recordings, etc. Good stuff, but not essential, despite the fact that they were released as singles.

If John had been around to participate in the reunion, I may have had a different opinion.

 

EDIT: Just a side note, the version of Real Love released on the John Lennon Anthology and Working Class Hero : The Definitive Lennon compilations is really good. Decent sound quality for a demo recording (better than the version used for the Beatles release), and the simple John on piano with almost haunting vocals is great. I totally heart it.

24 February 2014
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Von Bontee
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I don't consider either of them canon - partly because, to me, they aren't worthy of the designation as "Beatles songs". But as Robert said, they were released as singles credited to The Beatles, so my opinion isn't worth much.

What about "Cry For a Shadow" and the other Hamburg-era singles? Or "Suzy Parker" and other half-assed things recorded during the "Get Back " sessions and never released, are they canon? Don't ask me!

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24 February 2014
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Certainly nothing unreleased from bootleg should be considered canon, especially half-finished things like from the Get Back sessions. I consider FAAB and RL as "real" Beatles songs, and I quite like them...the thing is, I take them for what they are. I think too many people when they came out in '95/'96 expected too much from them. My expectations in 1995 were the same as now, and for that reason I've never had a problem enjoying them for what they are.

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24 February 2014
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Interesting topic as I never gave it a second thought of not including them as part of their catalogue. It says The Beatles, so I to me, it should be.

(Although they are not the first songs to say if somebody new asked me what songs would best represent The Beatles.)

1 December 2014
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The Anthology is released under the name  of the Beatles but all of the tracks are not by the Beatles. Technically the Quarrymen are not exactly the Beatles, so the name on the cover is not enough. The Beatles are John, Paul, George and Ringo. Not always together on the studio but ABLE to be called if they're needed. If not it's not the Beatles it's a dream and as John said, the dream is over.

 

There's also a track by George Martin on the Anthology (like on Yellow Submarine , I know, but that still doesn't make him a Beatle !)

1 December 2014
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I Personally count them as Canon because they were credited as New Beatles Songs when they were being advertised. In Fact when i read "Who Were The Beatles" In the 6th grade. it talked about how the both of them being advertisted as such. So since them i have counted them as such

I Think that Rolling Stone should do a cover story of The Rolling Stones covering "Like a Rolling Stone" or if a Type of Beetle was named after The Beatles.

1 December 2014
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Yeah.  I count them.

It's the closest thing there will ever be to a Beatles reunion.  Also, you have to keep in mind that there are many songs, especially from the White Album onwards, that only some of the Beatles appear on.  Technically, Real Love and Free As A Bird are Beatles songs more so than Why Don't We Do It In The Road?, Don't Pass Me By , and She Said She Said , because the full line-up (plus Jeff Lynne) appears on the reunion songs.

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1 December 2014
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I think they should be canon. But then I think LIBN, Love, YSST, the BBC volumes and 1 should be considered canon, too. For that matter, I think the Decca audition and Live at the Hollywood Bowl should be canon, even though they never officially made it to CD (at least in their entirety). I know I'm in the minority here.

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