10 classic Beatles singles that didn't appear on a Beatles album

2 June 2024, 17:35

The Beatles with their Sgt Pepper album... and the Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane single that wasn't included on it!
The Beatles with their Sgt Pepper album... and the Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane single that wasn't included on it! Picture: Keystone Press / Vinyls / Alamy Stock Photo

The Beatles were masters of the standalone single - here are ten examples of incredible songs that weren't included on a Beatles studio album.

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By Martin O'Gorman

  1. The Beatles - The Ballad Of John And Yoko: release date 30th May 1969

    Written about the events leading up to Lennnon's marriage to Yoko Ono in March 1969, recorded in April and released just a few weeks later, this standalone single was released hot on the heels of its predecessor Get Back. In fact, John was so keen to get the song onto vinyl, he couldn't wait for George and Ringo to return to the UK so the song only features Lennon (vocals, acoustic guitar, lead guitar) and McCartney (bass, drums, piano and vocals). The Ballad Of John And Yoko made its first appearance on an album in the US on the Hey Jude compilation in February 1970, while British fans wouldn't hear the track at 33rpm until the legendary "Blue" album (The Beatles 1967-70) arrived in 1973 .

    The Beatles - The Ballad Of John And Yoko

  2. The Beatles - Hey Jude: release date 30th August 1968

    This momentous Paul McCartney song (all 7 minutes and 11 seconds of it) was issued as the very first Beatles release on their own Apple label in August 1968, backed with John Lennon's inciendiary rocker Revolution, a full three months before the next Beatles album arrived, the double "White" album. Hey Jude gave its titled to a 1970 collection issued in the US in 1970, but not officially available in the UK until 1979.

    The Beatles - Hey Jude

  3. The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever: release date 17th February 1967

    By the time 1967 dawned, The Beatles had already recorded three tracks for their next album, When I'm Sixty-Four, Penny Lane and the progressive Strawberry Fields Forever. Their first outing since they gave up touring in the summer of '66, Lennon and McCartney had half an idea of writing an LP of songs about their childhood in Liverpool, but when a nervous EMI demanded a single after six months without any Beatle product, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane were hived off as a double-A side. This pair of excellent songs were left off the subsquent album, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

    The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever

  4. The Beatles - Paperback Writer: release date 10th June 1966

    Recorded during the innovative sessions of The Beatles' Revolver album, Paperback Writer was written by McCartney with a view to being a stand-alone single, and was backed with Lennon's psychedelic Rain. Although ostensibly the "B" side, Rain was treated as an equal to Paperback Writer, and even had its own promotional film(s) made.

    The Beatles - Paperback Writer

  5. The Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand: release date 29th November 1963

    The song that broke the group in the USA, this classic was issued a week after the Fab Four's landmark second album, With The Beatles, backed with the charming This Boy.

    The Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand - Performed Live On The Ed Sullivan Show 2/9/64

  6. The Beatles - I Feel Fine: release date 27th November 1964

    The Fabs' Christmas 1964 single was released just before their fourth album Beatles For Sale, but did not appear on it. The flip side was the underrated McCartney raver, She's A Woman.

    The Beatles - I Feel Fine

  7. The Beatles - We Can Work It Out : release date 3rd December 1965

    Recorded alongside the Rubber Soul album, and issued on the same day as the LP, We Can Work It Out was a double A-side with the mildly controversial Day Tripper. Both sides would appear on the compilation A Collection Of Beatles Oldies at Christmas 1966.

    The Beatles - We Can Work It Out

  8. The Beatles - Hello Goodbye: release date 24th November 1967

    A breezy Paul McCartney tune, recorded alongside the tracks that would appear on the soundtrack - and double EP set - of Magical Mystery Tour (in fact a brief section of Hello Goodbye's finale appears under the closing credits of the baffling TV film). American record buyers were too particular to deal with an EP, so the songs were combined with Hello Goodbye and other tracks of a 1967 vintage to create a Magical Mystery Tour "album", that didn't see a UK release for another nine years.

    The Beatles - Hello, Goodbye

  9. The Beatles - Lady Madonna: release date 15th March 1968

    The Beatles recorded this McCartney song in a couple of brisk sessions in February 1968, just before they were due to head off to India to study meditation under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Also laid down at the session was Lennon's Across The Universe, and such was the Fab Four's industry during this period, they also managed to bosh out another tune, Hey Bulldog, while making a promo film for Lady Madonna.

    The Beatles - Lady Madonna

  10. The Beatles - She Loves You: release date 23rd August 1963

    The Fabs' biggest selling single in the UK cemented the phrase "Beatlemania" in the nation's consciousness, but it was a standalone release midway between their debut album Please Please Me (March 1963) and its follow-up With The Beatles (November 1963).

    She Loves You REMASTERED - Best Quality ever!

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