The Beatles have unveiled an intriguing, previously unknown demo of “Yellow Submarine” sung by John Lennon ahead of their expanded reissue of Revolver.
The final track became an ageless children’s song with lead vocals by Ringo Starr, but this long-lost minute-long early take is entirely different. Lennon sings “Yellow Submarine” as a melancholy piece about the town in which he was born, where “no one cared, no one cared.” Listen below.
“I had no idea until I started going through the outtakes,” remix producer Giles Martin tells Rolling Stone. “This was a Lennon-[Paul] McCartney thing. I said to Paul, ‘I always thought this was a song that you wrote and gave to Ringo and that John was like, “Oh, bloody ‘Yellow Submarine.’” Not at all.”
Set for release on Oct. 28, this special edition of Revolver also includes another version of “Yellow Submarine” with Lennon and McCartney singing a duet. “I [was] given the keys to Abbey Road and the Beatles’ vault and was allowed to go into the tapes – and it’s just amazing,” Martin said at an earlier Revolver listening event. “It’s such an amazing body of work. There’s such energy that comes out of all of the tapes. My kind of role is like: Everyone should be able to hear that energy.”
The results changed the Beatles – and all of rock music – forever. “The whole album is them saying, ‘Hey, let’s make it all completely different,’” Martin tells Rolling Stone. “This was the nitroglycerine that blew everything up.”
Listen to John Lennon’s Early Version of ‘Yellow Submarine’
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