Song Backstories

Off the Beatle Track showcases 15 songs the Beatles composed in the early sixties, but never released as a working band. The songs instead were given to other British artists, who in turn produced a sizable body of hits.  

1  I'm in Love was originally released by the Fourmost in November 15th 1963 and reached number 17 on the UK charts. Billy J. Kramer also recorded this song, but his version was abandoned despite 32 takes and coaching by John Lennon.

2  Tip of My Tongue was originally released by Tommy Quickly in August 1963. The single was a flop and remains the only original A-side written by Lennon/McCartney not to have at least made the UK top 75 upon its initial release. In a 1980 interview John Lennon said of the song, "That's another piece of Paul's garbage, not my garbage".

3  Love of the Loved was originally released by Cilla Black on September 27th 1963 and reached number 35 on UK charts. The group recorded the song at their 1962 audition for Decca Records, but never issued it on any of their official releases. Oddly, the Beatles audition version was left off Anthology 1, despite the fact that the other Lennon-McCartney originals from the same session, "Hello Little Girl" and "Like Dreamers Do", were included.

4  You Know What To Do was one of the first songs written and recorded by George Harrison with the Beatles. A demo was recorded on June 3rd 1964, and does not appear on any commercial album except 1995's Beatles Anthology 1 release.

5  I'll Be on My Way was originally released by Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas on April 26th 1963. It was the B-side of "Do You Want to Know a Secret" (also a Beatles cover), which reached number 2 on UK charts, kept off the top spot by the Beatles own "From Me To You". The only recording by the Beatles of "I'll Be On My Way" was for the BBC program "Side By Side" in 1963, which eventually appeared on the Beatles "Live at the BBC" in 1994.

6  I Don't Want to See You Again was originally released by Peter and Gordon on September 11th 1964 and reached number 16 on US charts. The Beatles did not ever record a demo of this song. It is one of the least discussed of the unreleased songs, and was the first to become a hit in the US without even charting in the UK.

7  Nobody I Know was originally released by Peter and Gordon on May 29th 1964 and reached number 10 on the UK charts. It was recorded at Abbey Road in the same sessions that "A World Without Love" was completed.

8  I'll Keep You Satisfied was originally released by Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas on November 1st 1963 and reached number 4 on the UK charts while the Beatles' "She Loves You" enjoyed the number 1 position. John Lennon was present at the recording.

9  It's for You was originally released by Cilla Black on July 31st 1964 and reached number 7 on the UK charts and number 79 on the US charts. Cilla remembered getting a demo of this Lennon-McCartney song featuring just Paul and guitar, but it has yet to surface. Cilla Black was a friend of the Beatles from their Cavern days, and also managed by Brian Epstein. At a press conference in Indianapolis on September 3, 1963, Paul named this song as one of the best Lennon-McCartney compositions.

10  Hello Little Girl was originally released by the Fourmost on September 12th 1963 and reached number 9 on the UK charts. The Beatles made a Buddy Holly styled home demo of this song circa 1960. The Beatles recorded a version of this song in 1962 for their Decca audition, which appears on "Anthology 1" in 1995. "Hello Little Girl" was also recorded by Gerry and the Pacemakers on July 17, 1963 -- not as good as the Beatles and Fourmost versions -- wasn't released commercially until 1991.

11  Like Dreamers Do was originally released by The Applejacks on June 5th 1964 and reached number 20 on UK charts. "Like Dreamers Do" is a song written by Paul McCartney in 1957, although it was credited to Lennon-McCartney. It was performed by the Beatles at their unsuccessful 1962 audition for Decca Records. The Beatles version later appears on "Anthology 1" in 1995.

12  From a Window was originally released by Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas on July 17th 1964 and reached number 10 on the UK charts. It was originally written for Peter and Gordon. Recorded at Abbey Road with George Martin producing, John and Paul attended the session. It is believed that the final high note is actually sung by Paul, as Billy could not not reach it. This was the last Lennon-McCartney song given to Kramer, and his career subsequently tanked.

13  Bad to Me was originally released by Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas on July 26th 1963 and reached number 1 on UK charts, and later in 1964 reached number 16 on the US charts. This single reached number 1 on the hit parade, and was knocked off the top spot by the Beatles own "She Love's You". According to John Lennon, "Bad to Me" was commissioned by Brian Epstein specifically for Kramer. The song was never attempted by the Beatles in the studio. On a surviving studio tape, Lennon can be heard discussing harmonies with Billy.

14  A World Without Love was originally released by Peter and Gordon on February 28th 1964 and reached number 1 on both the UK and US charts. It was the first British Invasion single not performed by the Beatles to top the American charts. It is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

15  One and One is Two was originally released by The Strangers with Mike Shannon on May 8th 1964 and did not chart. It is widely considered to be one of the worst Lennon-McCartney giveaways. The song was originally written with Billy J. Kramer in mind, but he rejected it. It has been reported that John Lennon said that if Kramer recorded the song, his career would be over. It's ultimate placement with a hitless, unknown act is evidence that the song had problems gaining interest.

Source Credits: The Unreleased Beatles (Richie Unterberger); JPGR (www.jpgr.co.uk); The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia (Bill Harry); The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono (Interviewer: David Sheff, Editor: G. Barry Golson); Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org)


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