16. “Bad To Me” (John demo, 1963)
John Lennon wrote this song for fellow Liverpudlians Billy J.Kramer and the Dakotas, who shared Beatles manager Brian Epstein. In fact, John apparently wrote it while on holiday with Epstein in April 1963. He recorded a demo for Billy and the boys to follow when they went into Abbey Road Studios to cut the song (with Paul McCartney in attendance, for the added Beatle effect). The tune was one of the stronger ones that the Beatles “gave away,” going to number one in the UK, and becoming a top ten hit in the States the following year. The demo is fun to hear, providing an alternate universe glimpse into if the Fab Four themselves issued the song.
15. “One and One Is Two” (Paul demo, 1964)
Keeping with the theme, Paul recorded this song-to-order demo in his suite at Paris’ George V hotel in January 1964, mere days before he learned that the Beatles had their first American number one with “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” However, the same fate was not in store for this little tune, written in response to mounting pressure from the record company for more “product.” Lennon completely denied he had anything to do with the composition, later calling it one of Paul’s “bad attempts” at songwriting. It was rejected by not just one, but TWO of their Liverpool mates, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas (who recorded “Bad To Me” several months before), and The Fourmost (who had already had hits with several Lennon-McCartney songs, including John’s “I’m In Love”). A version was eventually released by the South African group The Strangers with Mike Shannon in May 1964, and it disappeared without a trace.