Paul McCartney has reunited the Beatles on record -- but it may not sound much like classic Fab Four.
McCartney has taken snippets of Beatles chat and guitar work from outtakes of 1960s recording sessions and woven them into tracks on a new CD called "Liverpool Sound Collage."
On one track, "Free Now," John Lennon is heard saying, "OK Paul, you ready, boy? This is it." McCartney replies, "I feel it, I feel free now, free now."
McCartney assembled the CD at the request of Peter Blake, the artist who designed the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band" album cover and now has a show called "About Collage" at a Liverpool art gallery. McCartney has a piece in the show and his music plays as a soundtrack.
The "Liverpool Sound Collage" CD will be released today in the U.K. and Aug. 29 in Canada. No U.S. release date has been scheduled. But in the meantime, fans can get a taste of it on the Net at www.liverpoolsoundcollage.com.
"Free Now" has been circulated to disc jockeys in the U.K. on a promotional disc and has gotten some attention in dance clubs. The 3 1/2-minute track is "a little more underground than you usually hear from me," says McCartney. "It's a new little piece of Beatles a little side dish that's not to be confused with my other work."
The other four CD tracks are "Plastic Beetle," "Peter Blake 2000," "Real Gone Dub Made in Manifest in the Vortex of the Eternal Wheel" and "Made Up." Besides music, the tracks use sound effects like lapping waves and comments recorded by McCartney from people around Liverpool. Some mixing was done by techno producer Youth and Cian Ciaran of the Welsh band Small Furry Animals.
"None of this sounds like Beatle music," says Bill King, editor of the magazine Beatlefan. "It's Paul being avant-garde. If it's analogous to anything, it's 'Revolution Number 9."'
King says fans who have heard the music have "not been bowled over. With the Beatles material, it's hard to tell what it is or where it came from."
While Ringo Starr and George Harrison are heard on "Free Now," they weren't part of this project.
The bigger Beatles news of the fall is still expected to be the autobiographical book "Anthology," a companion to the 1995-96 "Anthology" CDs and video. For that, the three surviving Beatles used Lennon tapes to create "new" Beatles songs called "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love."