With great fanfare, The Sunday Times of London recently reported that a trove of previously unreleased Beatles recordings had been discovered in the vaults of EMI — distributor of the Beatles’ albums — where they’d languished for more than 25 years. The tracks, which reportedly include ”If You’ve Got Trouble” (an early vocal attempt by Ringo Starr), ”That Means a Lot,” sung by Paul McCartney, and several versions of John Lennon singing ”Leave That Kitten Alone,” were allegedly recorded with longtime Beatles producer George Martin during the heady 1965 sessions for the group’s Help! album. The Times even reported that EMI plans to release the ”lost songs” as part of a new Beatles CD collection.
But EMI begs to differ. Senior vice president Guy Marriott denies that the general public will hear the recovered tracks any time soon. ”Naturally, there are outtakes and live performances,” he says. ”But no one has agreed to anything.” In a rare display of harmony, the Beatles camp backs EMI. ”The rumor is what we refer to as a ‘monstrous flier,”’ says McCartney spokesman Geoff Baker. ”I think it goes along with the Hitler diaries.”
And to leave no doubt as to whether a collaboration may be in the offing between EMI and the Beatles’ own label, Apple (after years of legal wrangling between the two over the group’s back catalog), an Apple spokeswoman says definitively, ”There are no lost Beatles tapes.”