So Paul McCartney is now saying that The Beatles might finally release “Carnival of Light,” the much-hyped, fourteen minute avant garde audio experiment from early 1967.
The track wasn’t good enough to include in the Anthology set, which should tell us something. The “new” songs there, the embarrassingly mixed “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love,” were mind-numbingly bland and served as a warning that we’ve already heard the best of The Beatles.
But because anything John, Paul, George, and Ringo touched in the 1960s has a mythical aura, fans say this "Carnival of Light"—with its lack of rhythm and melody and random shouts like “Barcelona!” and “electricity!”—proves The Beatles were improvisational pioneers. Just as “Helter Skelter” anticipated heavy metal and the “White Album” laid the foundations for progressive rock, so they say, this song shows how much psychedelic and art music owes to the Fab Four.
Don’t be surprised if Paul also starts pushing to release these other “missing” Beatles tracks that had a huge influence on future music:
“Staircase to Paradise”: This missing Beatles track built up from an acoustic guitar intro to a dramatic crescendo of riff-heavy electric guitar and pounding drums, providing the template for hard rock bands from England.
“Remainin’ Alive": With its disco beat—years before we even knew what a disco beat was—this hidden single (which the band cryptically recorded under the name “The Beatle-Gees”) revolutionized dance music in the late 1970s.
“Every Inhale You Take”: A simple yet elegant song, the likes of which other bands couldn’t achieve until the mid-1980s.
“The Odor Resembles Adolescent Spirit”: The Beatles were so groundbreaking that they invented alternative rock before rock itself has solidified. Whiny, angst-heavy lyrics and distorted electric sounds from Liverpool wouldn’t take off again until two decades later in Seattle.
“Sensual Back": The Beatles not only invented pop, but apparently also hip-hop. And wow, they could dance. Only in recent years has another skinny white guy been able to parallel their work.