14. “A World Without Love” (Paul demo, 1964)
Paul got it right this time with a tune that he apparently started writing when he was just 16. Originally offered to Billy J. Kramer, the lyrics still needed a little work and he rejected it. “The funny first line always used to please John,” McCartney recalled in his memoir Many Years From Now. “‘Please lock me away –’ ‘Yes, okay.’ End of song.” When Paul moved into the family home of then-girlfriend Jane Asher, he dusted it off and gave it to her little brother Peter, who lived in the room next door and had just received a contract to record as the duo Peter and Gordon. The song went to number one on both sides of the Atlantic. For years the sole copy Paul’s acoustic demo was in Peter Asher’s possession, but a 30-second clip of the tape leaked early this year. In order to hear the whole thing, you have to get tickets to Peter’s live show!
13. “Yellow Submarine” (“Rap” intro, 1966)
Already one of the most beloved songs in the Beatle cannon, this child-friendly tune originally had a long spoken-word intro penned by John Lennon in the style of a medieval epic poem and read by Ringo Starr. The ode name-checked a charity walk done by Dr. Barbara Moore from Land’s End to John O’Groats (the two points farthest apart on the British mainland) and somehow tied back to the whole yellow submarine theme. Yeah, we don’t really get it either. Although they spent hours trying to get all kinds of sound effects in place, session engineer Geoff Emerick described the final result as “in a word, boring,” and the intro idea was ultimately scrapped. It finally saw the light of day (albeit briefly) as a track on the CD single for “Real Love,” a Lennon demo completed by the three surviving Beatles for the Anthology project in 1996.