Having a peek behind the curtain with post-1965 Beatles music is a weird proposition because the band was so meticulous with what it crafted and careful with what it put out. Hell, some of The Beatles’ greatest songs (such as “Rain”) didn’t even make their albums because they couldn’t get them to fit quite right.
So the chance to hear what got left on the cutting room floor for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, arguably the height of the band as sonic manipulators, is a welcome one for sure.
Today, The Guardian has provided the first chance to hear some of those aural scraps from the forthcoming Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th anniversary reissue. In this case, it’s a rough take on the title track, sans horns and with a whole lot more banter. “Rough” is definitely the key word, as this version doesn’t quite have the signature riff locked down, but the guitar playing is seemingly looser here. They’re not really trying for perfection and that’s much more humanizing.
You can hear the outtake here now, and listen to a Paul McCartney performance from the Paste Cloud below. The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th anniversary reissue is out on May 26 via Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. An outtake for every one of the album’s 13 songs is included, and there are various editions to cop (including a super deluxe edition that includes 15 more album recordings and a 144-page book).