Discovery captures Beatle performing 1964 Peter And Gordon hit 'A World Without Love'
A recording of Paul McCartney singing ‘A World Without Love’ previously thought not to exist has been unearthed by Peter Asher.
The song was written by The Beatles star and given to Asher for his duo, Peter And Gordon, to record. Asher was also the brother of McCartney’s then-girlfriend Jane Asher.
Until now it wasn’t confirmed there was a recording of McCartney performing the song, which went to No 1 in both the UK and US after its release in February 1964.
This version, which features McCartney singing and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, was unearthed a few months ago by Peter Asher
In early 1964, McCartney was living in the Asher family home and shared the top floor with Peter. “He had two tape machines and I had one – we were both into taping,” Asher told Rolling Stone . “Paul told me about the song and played it for me.”
He added no one else wanted the song, and that McCartney’s songwriting partner John Lennon didn’t like the composition. When asked about ‘A World Without Love’ in interview, Lennon stated he believed Paul had already written the song before The Beatles formed, saying: ” I think that was resurrected from the past. That has the line ‘Please lock me away’ that we always used to crack up at.”
Merseybeat artist Billy J. Kramer, is also said to have turned down the song, but Peter And Gordon were insistent they had the song to record for themselves.
Asher adds: “Paul said, ‘Absolutely,’ but I had to nag him to write the bridge. It came several weeks later, just in time for the session.” As a result, the tape in Asher’s possession doesn’t feature the song’s bridge.
He discovered the recording (a DAT tape of the reel-to-reel original) in a storage space in LA. There are no plans to release it, but Asher is playing the recording on his touring show Peter Asher: A Musical Memoir Of The ’60s And Beyond, with which he is travelling around the US.
Also on the tape, from the same bedroom recording, is McCartney singing an early version of The Beatles’ ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’.
‘A World Without Love’ is one of two Lennon & McCartney-written songs to have topped the US chart with another artist performing it. The other is Elton John‘s version of ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’.