The Beatles are without a doubt one of the most popular and influential bands of all time. Though they only released 12 studio albums during their relatively short career, the Liverpool-based quartet left an indelible mark on the world of pop music.
Surprisingly, there are a number of songs written and recorded by the band that have never been officially released.
These “unreleased” songs provide a fascinating glimpse into the creative process of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Here are just a few of the best unreleased Beatles songs that you’ve probably never heard.
18 Unreleased Beatles Songs
“Bad to Me”
Bad to Me was written by Lennon in 1963 and originally recorded by Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas. The Beatles recorded their own version of the song in 1964 with George Martin playing the piano.
The version recorded by The Beatles is significantly different from Kramer’s recording, with a slower tempo and different arrangement. Despite being one of Lennon’s favorite tunes, Bad to Me was never officially released by The Beatles.
“Because I Know You Love Me So”
This song was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and originally recorded by Elvis Presley in 1958. The Beatles recorded their own version during their famous ” Cavern Club” days in 1962.
This upbeat tune features John Lennon on lead vocals and harmonica and Paul McCartney on guitar. Because I Know You Love Me So remained unreleased until 1995 when it was included on The Beatles Anthology 1 compilation album.
“A Case of the Blues”
A Case of the Blues was co-written by Harrison and Starr and originally intended to be included on The White Album. However, the song was ultimately left off of the final tracklisting due to space constraints.
This simple but catchy blues tune features Harrison on lead vocals backed by some great slide guitar work from Duane Eddy. A Case of the Blues remained unreleased until 1996 when it was included as a bonus track on George Harrison’s Best Of Dark Horse 1976-1989 compilation album.
“Child of Nature”
Child of Nature was written by Lennon during The Beatles’ 1968 visit to India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This reflective ballad features lyrics that would later be reused
for Lennon’s Imagine album track Jealous Guy. Though Child of Nature was demoed during The White Album sessions, it was ultimately left unfinished and unreleased.
Goodbye is a Roger McGough composition that was recorded by Paul McCartney in 1967 with assistance from Donovan Leitch. This folksy tune features an unusual instrumentation for a Beatles song including recorder, conga drums, bongos, tabla, and tambura. Despite its unique sound, Goodbye remained unreleased until 1996 when it appeared as a bonus track on Paul McCartney’s Flaming Pie album.
“Black Dog Blues”
“Black Dog Blues” is a blues song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney that was recorded in 1968. The song was recorded during the sessions for the Beatles’ album The Beatles (aka The White Album), but it was left off the final track list.
“Circles” is a beautiful ballad that was recorded during the sessions for the “White Album.” It was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and it features some gorgeous harmony vocals from George Harrison. The song was ultimately left off of the album because Lennon thought it sounded too similar to Harrison’s previous solo single “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
“Love of the Loved”
This Paul McCartney composition was written in 1962 and intended to be his first single as a solo artist. However, it was rejected by EMI and never released by The Beatles. In 1987, Cilla Black recorded and released her own version of the song.
“The Maharishi Song”
Also known as “Sexy Sadie,” this John Lennon composition was written as a response to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who had recently been accused of sexual misconduct. The song was recorded during the sessions for The White Album but ultimately left off the final tracklisting.
“One and One Is Two”
This song was written by Paul McCartney in 1964 and recorded during the sessions for Beatles for Sale. It was ultimately left off the album because the band thought it sounded too similar to their previous hit, “A Hard Day’s Night.”
“The Palace of the King of the Birds”
This is a previously unreleased track from 1967 that was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney during their trip to Rishikesh, India. The song remains unfinished, but an alternate version with different lyrics was eventually released on Anthology 3 in 1996.
“September in the Rain”
This song was written by George Harrison in 1967 and recorded during the sessions for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The song was ultimately left off the album because Harrison didn’t feel it fit with the rest of the album’s psychedelic sound.
“Sour Milk Sea”
This Jack Bruce-penned tune was recorded by the band during the sessions for The White Album, but it wasn’t included on the final tracklisting. It was later released as a single by Jackie Lomax, with George Harrison playing guitar on the track.
Another song from The White Album sessions, this one written by Paul McCartney. It was demoed by McCartney alone before being brought into the studio for recording with the full band. Ultimately, it was left off The White Album in favor of other tracks..
“World Without Love”
A cover of a song originally performed by Peter and Gordon, this track was recorded by The Beatles during their early days as a way to fill out their live setlist. The song wasn’t intended for release, but it eventually leaked and can now be found on bootlegs and unofficial compilations.
“Ain’t She Sweet”
“Ain’t She Sweet” is a song written by Jack Yellen and Milton Ager that was recorded by The Beatles in 1961. The song was originally released as the B-side to the band’s single “My Bonnie.”
This cover of an old jazz standard was recorded by The Beatles in 1961 during their very first recording session. It remained unreleased until 1988 when it appeared on Anthology 1.
“What’s New Mary Jane?”
This song was written by Paul McCartney in 1967 and intended for inclusion on The Beatles’ follow-up to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which became known as The White Album. However, it was ultimately left off the album and remained unreleased until 1996 when it appeared on Anthology 3.
“You Know What To Do”
This song was written by George Harrison in 1963 and recorded during the sessions with the Beatles. It was ultimately left off the album because the band thought it sounded too similar to their previous hit, “A Hard Day’s Night.” However, an alternate version with different lyrics was eventually released on Anthology 1 in 1996.
The Beatles were one of the most prolific and innovative bands in history whose influence can still be felt today, nearly 50 years after their breakup.
Though they only released 12 official studio albums, there are many more songs written and recorded by the band that have never been officially released.
These “unreleased” songs provide a fascinating glimpse into the creative process of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and sometimes even Elvis Presley!