By Dave Lifton
While the Beatles are getting set to release The Christmas Records, an official release of the flexi-discs they sent out every year to their fan club, an extremely rare record – only three copies were known to exist – made by Paul McCartney for his bandmates at Christmastime in 1965 has made its way online.
It was found by Dangerous Minds, who also shared an interview with McCartney from 1995 where he talked about it. “I had two Brenell tape recorders set up at home,” McCartney recalled in 1995, “on which I made experimental recordings and tape loops, like the ones in ‘Tomorrow Never Knows.’ And once I put together something crazy, something left field, just for the other Beatles, a fun thing which they could play late in the evening. It was just something for the mates, basically.
Hear it below:
“It was like a magazine program,” he continued, “full of weird interviews, experimental music, tape loops, some tracks I knew the others hadn’t heard, it was just a compilation of odd things. I took the tape to Dick James’s studio and they cut me three acetate discs. Unfortunately, the quality of these discs was such that they wore out as you played them for a couple of weeks, but then they must have worn out. There’s probably a tape somewhere, though.”
He appears to have been correct, and you can hear it above. The 18-and-a-half minute tape features McCartney doing an impression of an American disc jockey, introducing some his favorite records at the time. He plays, “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole, “Someone Ain’t Right” by Peter and Gordon, “I Get Around” by the Beach Boys, “Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vandellas, “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley and “Down Home Girl” by the Rolling Stones.
“[I]t was really a kind of stoned thing,” McCartney told biographer Barry Miles.