In addition to recording a new lead vocal for “Penny Lane” — this one, apparently, a keeper — today The Beatles worked on a piece that Paul had agreed to create for an upcoming fashion event. Entitled “Carnival of Light,” it has become something of a Holy Grail for Beatle fanatics; 50 years later it remains unreleased, its inclusion on Anthology 2 having supposedly been vetoed by George Harrison.

There are a bunch of things on YouTube purporting to be “Carnival of Light,” but they all appear to be fakes. It may be just as well; by all accounts “CoL” is pretty out there. Mark Lewisohn describes it thusly:

Track one of the tape was full of distorted, hypnotic drum and organ sounds; track two had a distorted lead guitar; track three had the sounds of a church organ, various effects (the gargling of water was one) and voices; track four featured various indescribable sound effects with heaps of tape echo and manic tambourine.

But of all the frightening sounds it was the voices on track three which really set the scene, John and Paul screaming dementedly and bawling aloud random phrases like “Are you all right?” and “Barcelona!”

Paul terminated the proceedings after almost 14 minutes with one final shout up to the control room: “Can we hear it back now?”

On the whole, it sounds like Paul’s “Revolution 9.” Sometimes unreleased songs are unreleased for a reason… though of course I’d love to hear it. If anyone out there knows how to locate the real thing among all the fugazis, let me know.

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