From Yesterday to Now: 9 Beatles songs that are often overlooked

The Beatles recorded more than 250 songs from 1962-1970. Which are the most overlooked?

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SiriusXM Editor
July 26, 2017

The Beatles recorded more than 250 songs from 1962-1970, all of which can be heard 24/8 on The Beatles Channel (Ch. 18). Many of these shot to the top of the charts upon release and quickly became instant classics: I Want To Hold Your Hand, All You Need Is Love, Hey Jude, Let It Be. But there are some deep album cuts and B-sides that may not be as familiar to some listeners. We take a closer look at 9 often overlooked Beatles songs… From Yesterday To Now.

1. Hey Bulldog

Released on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album, Hey Bulldog was recorded on February 11, 1968 while The Beatles were being filmed for a promotional video for their new single, Lady Madonna. The two songs share a similar blues feel and were combined for an innovative mash-up on The Beatles’ Love album in 2006.

“It’s a good-sounding record that means nothing.” – John Lennon

Like the song? Get it here.

2. It’s All Too Much

Another gem featured on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack, It’s All Too Much, is an extended psychedelic jam (clocking in at 6:28) written by George Harrison. The Beatles began recording the song on May 25, 1967, a few weeks after completing work on the groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper album.

“I just wanted to write a rock ‘n’ roll song about the whole psychedelic thing of the time.” – George Harrison

3. All I’ve Got To Do

Released on the band’s second U.K. album, With The Beatles, All I’ve Got To Do was recorded on September 11, 1963, in the same session that produced I Wanna Be Your Man and Little Child. American fans first heard the song on the Meet The Beatles album in January 1964.

“That’s me trying to do Smokey Robinson again.” – John Lennon

4. Yes It Is

This often overlooked ballad was initially released in April 1965 as the B-side to the band’s chart-topping single, Ticket To Ride, and can now be found on The Beatles’ Past Masters album. John later described this song as an attempt to rewrite This Boy, another early Beatles B-side. Indeed, the two songs have much in common, notably the doo wop-inspired chord sequences and three-part vocal harmonies from John, Paul and George.

“Yes It Is is a very fine song of John’s. A ballad, unusual for John. He wrote some beautiful ballads but I’m known generally as the balladeer.” – Paul McCartney

5. Old Brown Shoe

Written by George Harrison, Old Brown Shoe was originally released as the B-side of The Ballad Of John And Yoko single in 1969. This song can also be found on The Beatles’ Past Masters album and remains a largely overlooked gem from the band’s back catalog.

“I started the chord sequences on the piano… and then began writing ideas for the words from various opposites… It’s the duality of things – yes no, up down, left right, right wrong, etcetera.” – George Harrison

6. Tell Me What You See

Written primarily by Paul McCartney, Tell Me What You See was released in August 1965 on the Help! album in the U.K., although the track first appeared on the Beatles VI collection in the U.S. two months earlier. The song features the distinctive sound of a Hohner Pianet electric piano, played by Paul, which can also be heard on the Help! songs The Night Before and You Like Me Too Much.

“Not one of the better songs but they did a job, they were very handy for albums or B-sides. You need those kind of sides.” – Paul McCartney

7. I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party

Although sung by John Lennon, I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party was originally written with Ringo Starr in mind. The song was composed in a country and western style that suited Ringo’s personal tastes and was released on the band’s fourth U.K. album, Beatles For Sale, in December 1964.

“That was a very personal one of mine.” – John Lennon

8. When I Get Home

The Beatles recorded When I Get Home on June 2, 1964 – the same day the band recorded Things We Said Today and began work on Any Time At All. The song was released in July 1964 on the band’s third U.K. album, A Hard Day’s Night. In America, the song first appeared on the Capitol Records album, Something New.

“That’s me again, another Wilson Pickett, Motown sound, a four-in-the-bar cowbell song.” – John Lennon

9. You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

One of the most unusual songs in the entire Beatles catalog, You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) was originally recorded in 1967 but remained unreleased until it appeared as the B-side of the Let It Be single three years later. A multi-part song featuring a nightclub cabaret parody and a host of silly voices and sounds, the track was recorded in the weeks following the completion of the Sgt. Pepper album. The song can now be found on The Beatles’ Past Masters album.

“That was a piece of unfinished music that I turned into a comedy record with Paul. I was waiting for him in his house, and I saw the phone book was on the piano with ‘You know the name, look up the number.’ That was like a logo, and I just changed it. It was going to be a Four Tops kind of song – the chord changes are like that – but it never developed and we made a joke of it. Brian Jones is playing saxophone on it.” – John Lennon

Discover more about Hey Bulldog and other overlooked Beatles songs on The Fab Fourum, the live weekly call-in roundtable show hosted by veteran broadcaster Dennis Elsas, TV producer and author Bill Flanagan, and Beatles expert Tom Frangione. Airs Wednesday, July 26 at 9 pm ET on SiriusXM’s The Beatles Channel (ch. 18). Call 1-844-999-BEATLES, email, or tweet @SiriusXM using the hashtag #FabFourum to join the conversation!

Source: The Beatles Bible