The Beatles Song Paul McCartney Can’t Release

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INDIO, CA - OCTOBER 15: Musician Paul McCartney performs during Desert Trip at the Empire Polo Field on October 15, 2016 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the masterpiece of The Beatles, the one in which all the artistic creativity brought by the quartet originally from Liverpool emerged. Throughout these years, some official editions or bootlegs have come out that have presented us with hitherto unpublished songs, but there is one song in particular that has not yet seen the light of day and that many followers of the group are still waiting for, it is the mythical and unpublished (even several fans consider it almost an urban legend, but I tell them that it does exist) Carnival of Light.

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So far there are very few people who have had the opportunity to listen to this song that was recorded during the Sgt. Pepper’s sessions. But what is Carnival of Light? It is said to be an experimental avant-garde sound and noise piece. At some point, Paul McCartney tried to include it in Anthology number two, but in the end, it has never seen the light of day.

Likewise, bootlegs have come out that have the song listed, but when we heard it we were disappointed because they are vile frauds; even if we go around YouTube we will find several videos that claim to contain the mysterious song but in the same way we find that they are false, made by some deceitful user.

In Mark Lewisohn’s book, The Beatles Recording Sessions, the date of when Carnival of Light was recorded was on January 5, 1967, that the group met, from 7:00 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., at Abbey Road Studios Two to work on the theme Penny Lane and an untitled song. At the controls on that day were George Martin as producer, Geoff Emerick, and Phil McDonald as engineers.

After re-recording Paul McCartney’s voice for Penny Lane, The Beatles prepared for a special assignment to work on the sound effects for a music and lighting event called Carnival of Light, which would take place on January 28 and February 4, of that same year, at the Roundhouse Theater in Camden, London, and which was promoted by underground designers Douglas Binder, Dudley Edwards, and David Vaughan, who had been hired by the bassist of The Beatles to decorate, in a psychedelic style, the piano.

At Vaughan’s invitation, McCartney agreed to collaborate musically for these shows, originally called The Million Volt Light and Sound Rave or the Carnival of Light Rave, which also featured recorded contributions from Unit Delta Plus, a collective made up of Delia Derbyshire and Brian Hodgson of the BBC Radio Workshop, and an electronic music pioneer named Peter Zinovieff.

It seems that Carnival Of Light will continue to be canned and stored in some warehouse at Abbey Road studios or perhaps in one of the many trunks that Paul McCartney has in the attic of one of his houses. But neither can we rule out that on one of those anniversaries, which commemorate some important Beatle date, it will finally come to light and meet all the expectations that have been accumulated for so many years.