Paul McCartney’s 52-year-old Christmas gift to his Beatles bandmates has surfaced online. An extremely rare recording made by Paul McCartney at Christmastime 1965 has made its way to the internet via the website Dangerous Minds. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, only three copies of the retro recording were known to exist, presumably for John, George, and Ringo. All four copies (Paul’s included) were long thought to have disappeared.
While the record is short on Christmas content, it was clearly a labor of love for McCartney’s fellow Beatles. In the 18-minute recording, Paul McCartney plays a DJ as he takes his listeners on a musical road trip of his favorite songs. Sir Paul queues up everything from Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” to the Rolling Stones’ “Down Home Girl” while providing entertaining commentary in a faux accent.
In an accompanying 1995 interview about the long-lost record, Paul McCartney revealed that he had two Brenell tape recorders set up at his home on which he often made experimental recordings and tape loops.
“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,” McCartney said.
“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.”
McCartney revealed that he took the finished recording to Dick James’ studio and they cut him three acetate discs, but that the low quality of the discs back then meant they wore out after they were played for a couple of weeks. While Paul McCartney assumed the discs wore out, he did speculate that there could still be a tape out there somewhere.
You can listen to Paul McCartney’s rare 1965 Christmas recording for the Beatles below.
This is not the first time news of a secret Paul McCartney Christmastime recording has been revealed. Last year, in the “You Gave Me The Answer” section of his website, McCartney revealed that he recorded an album of traditional Christmas songs for his kids in the 1970s because he couldn’t find an album that had just Christmas songs on it.
“I made a record when the kids were little because I realized it was very hard to buy a record that just had the Christmas songs,” Paul revealed on his website.
“So I went into my studio and made loads of tracks. I have a little CD actually, called Christmas Songs, and it’s just all stuff I’ve made up. I multi-tracked them all in the studio and they’re kind of nice! It’s a nice little CD actually, it’s got a sort of sentimental value because all the kids have grown up with it. [Our family’s] equivalent of around a piano would be this little Christmas record I made, which has slightly more than a dozen or so Christmas favorites.”
McCartney, whose 1980 single “Wonderful Christmastime” has become a holiday staple, also revealed that he adds one or two songs to his Christmas collection each year and that he has “thought” about releasing his family’s holiday album someday.
Speaking of Beatles-era rarities, the Fab Four’s limited-edition box set, The Christmas Records, is due out December 15, making the first-ever official release of the flexi-discs the band sent out every holiday season to their fan club.