According to the news Paul McCartney says it’s time to release “Carnival of Light.”
The history of the Beatles' most mysterious unreleased track.
The now famous Abbey Road studio tour in 1983 and the Anthology series that was finally realized in 1995 has allowed the public at large to hear unreleased Beatles studio material.
But there is an additional unreleased track that was given its world premiere during a two-day event -- when it could have been heard by anyone present -- and has not been heard since. It's the 1967 track, "Carnival of Light," perhaps the Beatles' most significant experiment in the avant-garde.
The track was created for "The Carnival of Light Rave," an event held at the Roundhouse Theater Jan. 28 and Feb. 4, 1967, and promoted by underground designers Binder, Edwards and Vaughan, who had been hired by Paul McCartney to decorate one of his pianos (similar to the decorated piano seen on Paul's '89 tour).
The trio invited Paul to create a track for the event. Although John's avant-garde's work with Yoko is well-known, McCartney had experimented with avant-garde music also, and it was McCartney who instigated the recording session for the track.
It was recorded on Jan. 5, 1967 during a five-hour session that also included vocal overdubs for the then-unreleased "Penny Lane."
According to descriptions of the session from Record Collector magazine and by Mark Lewisohn, the four-track recording begins with track one as basic drums and organ rhythm backing and track two as sound effects and distorted guitar.
Track three consisted of John and Paul screaming like "demented old women", according to one account, with John crying "Barcelona!" while Paul screams, "Are you alright?," with added whistling and water gargling. Track four had more sound effects, tambourine shaking and tape echo. The track ended with Paul shouting, "Can we hear it back now?"
The 13-minute, 48-second track was mixed down to mono and a copy was given to Binder, Edwards and Vaughan. It was used for this one event and hasn't been heard in public since. Those attending reportedly thought it was an excellent piece of '60s avant-garde music, but Beatles producer George Martin felt it was a waste of time.
"This is ridiculous. We've got to get our teeth into something a little more constructive," Martin told Geoff Emerick during the recording session.
They did, and in very short order. The next day, they went back to work on "Penny Lane."
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