Monday, May 16, 2005

Beatles Esher Acoustic Demos: Child of Nature and Revolution

Last week the Keoki and I discussed which Beatles albums we liked best. Mine are the White Album, Revolver, and sometimes The Magical Mystery Tour or Sgt. Peppers, depending on my mood. The Keoki's is Rubber Soul.

Sometimes, though, when you know an artist's catalog so well, you get the urge to listen to a live recording or a demo.

When you listen to "Child of Nature," you may feel the urge to whistle along with Lennon's "Jealous Guy." The latter song derived from a White Album scrap. From Wikipedia:

The [Jealous Guy] song's genesis came after the Beatles attended a lecture by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, when Paul McCartney wrote "Mother Nature's Son". John's composition, "Child of Nature", was not selected up for The Beatles (the White Album) but John continued to play it into the Get Back sessions. Eventually, the lyrics were scrapped and replaced by the now well known "Jealous Guy" lyric. The original lyrics John used were as follows:

On the road to Rishikesh,
I was dreaming more or less,
And the dream I had was true,
Yes, the dream I had was true.

I'm just a child of nature,
I don't need much to set me free,
I'm just a child of nature,
I'm one of nature's children.

Sunlight shining in your eyes,
As I face the desert skies,
And my thoughts return to home,
Yes, my thoughts return to home.

Underneath the mountain ranges,
Where the wind that never changes,
Touch the windows of my soul,
Touch the windows of my soul.

Three recordings of "Child of Nature" are currently known. The first is a demo of the song recorded at the home of George Harrison in May of 1968. The second, on which George sings backup, was recorded at Twickenham Film Studios on January 2, 1969. A third recording was made at Apple Studios on January 24. A snatch of the chorus from the second recording appears on the Fly On The Wall bonus disc packaged with Let It Be... Naked.

Here's the 1968 Esher demo recorded at George Harrison's abode:
Beatles - Child of Nature (Esher Demo)(mp3)

Our second track is also an Esher demo, a quiet, stripped acoustic version of "Revolution." From psst! magazine:

At first "Revolution was an acoustic, Dylanesque track. The demo can be found on the Esher Bootleg Tapes. It highlights John's soft vocal, backed up with an acoustic guitar and handclaps supplied by fellow band members. This style was carried through to the version that found its way onto the White Album.

Beatles - Revolution (Esher Demo) (mp3)

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