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Listen to Long Lost Paul McCartney Christmas Album 'Unforgettable'

Image screenshot: YouTube / Simon Wells

The season of merriment, overindulgence, Xmas party regrets and mulled everything is upon us. And with it comes the seemingly endless parade of Christmas songs. Songs which you’ve heard endless times before and probably never want to again, depending on your Scrooge factor.

However, one Christmas record you likely haven’t heard is one Paul McCartney made all the way back in 1965. McCartney made it for his bandmates in The Beatles—Ringo, John and George—giving it as a pressie for the festive season. And now everyone else can have a listen too.

Iconic Beatles shot taken at Sheriff Road Studio, London in 1965 and used on the cover of Mojo to celebrate The Beatles Anthology release. © Robert Whitaker

Because the 18 minute album, titled Unforgettable, has recently resurfaced on YouTube. Although, don’t get too excited because although the album was crafted by Macca and features little skits by the music legend, it doesn’t feature any new music from him or The Beatles.

Instead McCartney acts like a DJ and makes a mixtape for his band buddies, which includes songs by The Rolling Stones, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Elvis and more.

The Beatles having fun at Cliveden House whilst taking a break from filming the 1965 comedy, 'Help'. © Robert Whitaker

The story behind the disc, whose contents have been uploaded to YouTube courtesy of music biographer Simon Wells, saw McCartney visit music publisher Dick James' studio so he could transfer a tape onto disc and then gift it to his bandmates.

There were supposedly only three copies of the disc ever made and they’ve all become lost. It has appeared in bootlegs but this is the first time it has been released online so anyone can have a listen. So, we can all thank Wells for giving music fans an early Christmas present.

John, Paul and George by the swimming pool at Cliveden House in 1965. © Robert Whitaker

As website Dangerous Minds notes, where the video first appeared, the story behind the disc was chronicled in Richie Unterberger’s book The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film:

For years, it had been reported that Paul McCartney recorded an album at home around Christmas 1965 specifically for the other Beatles. Supposedly, it included singing, acting, and sketches, and only three copies were pressed, one each for John, George, and Ringo. In a 1995 interview with Mark Lewisohn, Paul confirmed this in some detail, explaining, “Yes, it’s true. I had two Brenell tape recorders set up at home, on which I made experimental recordings and tape loops, like the ones in ‘Tomorrow Never Knows.’ And once I put together something crazy, something left field, just for the other Beatles, a fun thing which they could play late in the evening. It was just something for the mates, basically.”

"It was called Unforgettable and it started with Nat ‘King’ Cole singing ‘Unforgettable,’ then I came in over the top as the announcer” ‘Yes, unforgettable, that’s what you are! And today in Unforgettable...’ It was like a magazine program: full of weird interviews, experimental music, tape loops, some tracks I knew the others hadn’t heard, it was just a compilation of odd things. I took the tape to Dick James’s studio and they cut me three acetate discs. Unfortunately, the quality of these discs was such that they wore out as you played them for a couple of weeks, but then they must have worn out. There’s probably a tape somewhere, though.

Listen to the album below:

Rockarchive is delighted to offer many Beatles images as limited edition photographic prints which you can buy here.

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