Hear John Lennon’s melancholic outtake of The Beatles’ ‘Yellow Submarine’ from ‘Revolver’ reissue

It sounds worlds away from the upbeat original

An acoustic demo of John Lennon singing ‘Yellow Submarine’ from The Beatles‘ ‘Revolver’ has been shared ahead of the Super Deluxe Edition reissue of the band’s 1966 album.

The outtake of the juvenile, upbeat ‘Revolver’ track is a surprise turn from the Fab Four. Lennon’s melancholic demo has never been bootlegged nor even rumoured, making the October 28 album reissue’s all the more enticing to Beatles fans.

In the Super Deluxe Edition of ‘Revolver: Special Edition’ there are 31 outtakes and three home demos from the Beatles’ recording archive as well as a four-track EP with ‘Paperback Writer’ and ‘Rain’. Other release formats and details about tracklists can be found here.

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Giles Martin, producer of the reissue and son of the band’s original producer, George Martin, has worked with engineer Sam Okell in stereo and Dolby Atmos for the release, using the “de-mixing” technology developed by Peter Jackson’s audio team for the the Get Back documentary.

In the opening of Lennon’s version of ‘Yellow Submarine’ some of the lyrics read: “In the place where I was born/ No one cared, no one cared /And the name that I was born /No one cared, no one cared.”

The song’s original opening lyrics are: “In the town where I was born/ Lived a man who sailed to sea/ And he told us of his life/ In the land of submarines.”

Although bandmate Paul McCartney wrote the song’s classic sing-a-long chorus it was perhaps less known that Lennon was so involved in its composition.

“I had no idea until I started going through the outtakes,” Martin said [via Rolling Stone]. “This was a Lennon-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.”

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The Beatles' John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney
The Beatles’ John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney. Credit: Keystone Features/Getty Images

‘Yellow Submarine’ is known as a song showcased by Beatles drummer and singer Ringo Starr. McCartney, meanwhile, has recalled in a new foreword that he’s written for ‘Revolver: Special Edition’: “One twilight evening, lying in bed before dozing off, I came up with a song that I thought would suit Ringo and at the same time incorporate the heady vibes of the time. ‘Yellow Submarine’ — a children’s song with a touch of stoner influence, which Ringo still wows audiences with to this day.”

Also shared ahead of the reissue is an early, sprightly outtake of Got To Get You Into My Life’, which you can listen to below.

Last month, the first take of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ from ‘Revolver’ was shared.

‘Revolver’ is the latest Beatles album to be re-released as a remixed and expanded deluxe box set following ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ in 2017, ‘White Album’ (2018), ‘Abbey Road’ (2019) and ‘Let It Be’ (2021).

All 14 tracks on the original album have been newly mixed by Martin and Okell in stereo and Dolby Atmos, while the album’s original mono mix has been sourced from its 1966 mono master tape.

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