Back in 1996, The Beatles Anthology 3 included a vocal-only version of “Because.” This is perhaps my favorite Beatles alternate track ever released; without the instruments, it’s nothing but the sheer beauty of those magnificent nine-part harmonies.

23 years later, things came full circle when the Abbey Road Super Deluxe Version included an instrumental version:

This is take 1, recorded on August 1, 1969. Say the liner notes:

Paul’s bass was recorded on track one, John’s guitar is on two and George Martin played a Baldwin electric harpsichord on three. “I duplicated exactly every note that John played on the guitar…. Each note had to be exactly together, and I’m not the world’s greatest player [for keeping in] time; I would make more mistakes than John did.” To help all three stay exactly on the beat, Ringo clapped his hands in time. “We didn’t have drum machines in those days so Ringo was our drum machine!” George Martin joked.

The handclaps were obviously omitted from the finished version, and so Ringo doesn’t appear on it at all; but he hovers over it in spirit, keeping everyone together. See if you can hear him:

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