Abracadabra, my title for the 1974 Beatles album in The Death and Life of Mal Evans, was an early working title for the Beatles 1966 album Revolver until the group discovered that another group had recently used it. Finding songs that fit the criteria for this mid-decade album was a little more difficult, since several years had passed since the band had really broken up, and the members were starting to venture into new sonic territory.
Abracadabra – A Beatles Fantasy Album
“Imagine” (Lennon, Imagine, 1971)—Why wouldn’t “Imagine” be a Beatles song? It’s an instant classic that would have fit on any Beatles album.
“Band on the Run” (McCartney, Band on the Run, 1973)—This song ties in with the timeline nicely – 1973. John also liked the entire album, so I don’t see him vetoing this song.
“I’m the Greatest” (Starr, Ringo, 1973)—John wrote it for Ringo for his self-titled album. John also plays piano and sings background vocals, and George plays electric and slide guitar.
“Jet” (McCartney, Band on the Run, 1973)—See “Band on the Run” above.
“Mind Games” (Lennon, Mind Games, 1973)—Was originally demoed when the Beatles were still together in 1969 (called “Make Love, Not War”).
“Art of Dying” (Harrison, All Things Must Pass, 1970)—Dates back to 1966 and never made it onto a Beatles album, perhaps because of its religious theme. But because of the mystical qualities of the album, it may have sneaked on.
“Let Me Roll It” (McCartney, Band on the Run, 1973)—It’s been said that Paul tried to mimic John’s echo-style production in the song.
“Let It Down” (Harrison, All Things Must Pass, 1970)—Written in 1968, it failed the Get Back auditions, but its larger-than-life musical sound fits nicely with the motif of the album.
“Live and Let Die” (McCartney, “Live and Let Die” single, 1973)—The reggae-flavored bridge would have never made it, but the verses sound Beatlesque.
“Nobody Loves You (When You’re Down and Out)” (Lennon, Walls and Bridges, 1974)—Written in 1973, it serves as a perfect reminder of Lennon’s anguish during his time apart from Yoko.
“Venus and Mars” (McCartney, Venus and Mars, 1975)—This is actually a reprise to the song “Venus and Mars” from the album of the same name. The song is not about John, but he and Yoko were interested in astrology, and during this time, John was supposed to visit Paul in New Orleans, where he was recording the album. Another near miss for a reunion.
“Gimme Some Truth” (Lennon, Imagine, 1971)—Originally demoed during the Get Back George plays guitar.
And there you have it. Is there a third fantasy Beatles album? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out. 😉