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Paul McCartney Led a 15-Minute Beatles Song That Was Never Released



A majority of The Beatles’ songs were relatively short because that’s what fits better for radio play. Besides ‘Hey Jude’, most of their hits were three or four minutes. In one of his more experimental modes, Paul McCartney developed a 15-minute song that he got The Beatles to play with him. It’s still never been released, but the former Beatle said it could see the light someday. 

Paul McCartney made a 15-minute song with The Beatles called ‘Carnival of Light’

There are many rumored, unreleased songs from The Beatles that fans have been scouring for. One of these mythical tracks is “Carnival of Light”, an “avant-garde” 15-minute instrumental track created by McCartney. The song emerged when David Vaughan, a friend of McCartney’s, asked him to record music for an event called The Million Volt Light and Sound Rave or the Carnival of Light Rave

So, McCartney recorded “Carnival of Light” for Vaughan, but Vaughan wasn’t thrilled with the results. The experimental track was quite long and unorganized. According to Barry Miles, who wrote McCartney’s biography Many Years From Now, the song has no melody or rhythm, and consists of The Beatles making “random sounds.”

In a 2002 article on Rocking Vicar, Mark Ellen shared an excerpt from an interview with McCartney for The Word where he asked him about “Carnival of Light”. McCartney said the other Beatles were into the idea, but producer George Martin wasn’t a fan. 

“[Vaughan] asked me to write a fifteen to twenty-minute piece, and I was into that kind of thing, not on record with The Beatles, but just for that,” he said (via Beatles Bible). “I went into the studio and said to the guys, Look we’ve got half an hour before the session officially starts, would you mind terribly if I did this thing?… This is a Beatle record. And they all just fell in with the spirit of it and I just said, ‘Would you go on that and would you stay on that and would you be on that and we’ll just take twenty minutes to do it in real time?’ And they all just got into it.”

McCartney tried twice to get it released, but it never happened


“Carnival of Light” wasn’t something The Beatles could release as a single, and it never was included on any of their albums. Paul McCartney also never released the Beatles song on his solo records. However, the “Yesterday” singer has been trying to get it released since it was recorded. He wanted to attach it to a 1996 short film he released called “Grateful Dead: A Photofilm,” but it wasn’t included. 

“I did a thing called The Grateful Dead Photo Film, using Linda’s snapshots and making them move, dissolving between them and making them into a film, a short art film, which I showed at festivals and things,” McCartney said. “And I’m actually in the process – although everything else and its uncle is holding it up – but I’ve got a Beatles photo film on the go, and I would love to use it as part of the soundtrack of that.”

He also wanted the song included in Anthology, but it got rejected.

“It was up for consideration on The Anthology, and George vetoed it. He didn’t like it. Maybe its time hadn’t come.”

Source: Cheat Sheet


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