Classic Rock Review

The home of old record and bootleg reviews…

Beatles – Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 3


Like its predecessors, the third volume of the bootleg series Ultra Rare Trax features Beatles studio recordings from throughout their career in good sound quality.

An alternate take of “I Saw Her Standing There” (not the same one that was on Ultra Rare Trax, Vol. 1) is from the February 11, 1963, recording session that produced the Please Please Me album. Three other tracks derive from the 1968 sessions for The Beatles [White Album]. In each case, these are complete versions of songs that turned up on legitimate albums. (George Harrison‘s “Not Guilty” didn’t see the light of day until his 1979 solo release George Harrison.)

Usually, they present different musical elements, demonstrating that the Beatles tried various approaches to their arrangements before settling on the final recordings. Thus, “Norwegian Wood [Take 1]” (not the same take that was on Ultra Rare Trax, Vol. 2) has a more prominent sitar part and harmony vocals, while “Across the Universe” has a backwards guitar track. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” sounds like an early run-through by Harrison on acoustic guitar. Tracks like “Ticket to Ride” and its eventual B-side, “Yes It Is,” coming from an era when most songs were recorded all at once, are just alternate takes, not quite as good as the chosen ones. For Beatles fans, the result is fascinating, and the Ultra Rare Trax series helped change the minds of the Beatles’ brain trust, which had insisted for years that there was nothing worthwhile in the vaults.

When the legitimate Anthology series was begun in the mid-’90s, many of these tracks were included, notably the versions of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Norwegian Wood,” and “Not Guilty.”

May 19, 2010 - Posted by | The Beatles Ultra Rare Trax Vol. 3 | ,

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