"Tonic for the soul," raves Time Magazine. Anthology 2 covers the period of Beatles music where the band was just beginning to expand their horizons, and these songs reflect the processes that the band went through to make their songs unique. Demos, experiments, outtakes, and several live performances from 1965 to 1967 make this probably the most compelling Anthology volume.
- Real Love
As was with "Free As A Bird", "Real Love" was recorded by John as a demo on a tape recorder sitting on top of his piano around 1979. The tape was given to Paul by Yoko and he, George, and Ringo added vocals and instruments in early 1995. The original tape had tape hiss and clicking removed and was sped up to sound more upbeat. The celeste used on the intro is the same celeste used on "Because" from Abbey Road, and the harmonium used is the same one used on "We Can Work It Out".
- Yes It Is
A combination of takes 2 and 14 (take 14 being the eventual master) recorded during Help! sessions in under five hours, "Yes It Is" was left off of the film's soundtrack and instead used as a B-side for the "Ticket To Ride" single.
- I'm Down
The previously unreleased take 1, turning out "pretty darn good" in Paul's words, take 7 being the master.
- You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
A mix of takes 1, 2, and 5 (take 9 being the master), in which take 1 breaks down early and some studio talk (including a little rhyme by John) preceding take 2, the song itself being take 5.
- If You've Got Trouble
Written by Paul for Ringo to sing on Help!, only one take of "If You've Got Trouble" was recorded and vocal and other overdubs were added. However, they were not happy with the song and it was scrapped, with Ringo singing "Act Naturally" for the film instead.
- That Means A Lot
Recorded for Help! in two takes spanning over a month apart, this is take 1 which was ultimately shelved. The song was given to singer PJ Proby and reached #24
With recording completed in two takes, the orchestral overdubs added to take 2, this version of "Yesterday" is the previously unreleased take 1. Paul can be heard instructing guitar chords to George, although the album's linear notes suggest George may not be playing.
- It's Only Love
Take 2 with a false start from take 3 preceding it, featuring only guitars and vocals (the master being take 6).
- I Feel Fine
Taken from the group's August 1, 1965 appearance on the Sunday night British program "Blackpool Night Out", their second and last performance.
- Ticket To Ride
Another track from the August 1 concert for "Blackpool Night Out".
A third selection from their second "Blackpool Night Out" concert. This is the first ever stage performance of "Yesterday".
A fourth track from the second "Blackpool Night Out" appearance.
- Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
Recorded at the Beatles historic first concert at Shea Stadium in New York.
- Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
Take 1 (the master being a remake recorded nine days later) featuring the sitar, but considerably slower. This version was recorded under the name "This Bird Has Flown".
- I'm Looking Through You
The original recorded in nine hours and featuring vocal overdubs on a basic rhythm track, this early version is missing the chorus ("Why, tell me why...").
- 12-Bar Original
A favorite for bootleggers (who frequently mislabeled it "12-Bad Original"), "12-Bar Original" was an instrumental track written by all four Beatles for inclusion on Help!, only because at the time it was recorded there were not enough tracks to fill the album. John and Paul both brought several classics, however, and the song was dropped.
- Tomorrow Never Knows
Take 1 recorded after a three-month vacation from filming and recording, featuring the same elements as the master (take 3), but slightly different.
- Got To Get You Into My Life
Take 5 which is merely a shadow of the master (take 9), as it does not include some of the lyrics or vocal tracks and none of the orchestration.
- And Your Bird Can Sing
The unreleased take 2 (take 10 being the master), in which the band breaks out in uncontrollable giggling fits.
The full take 11, which was reduced into take 12 and issued as the master. This version features a few added lines and a different ending than the master.
- Eleanor Rigby (Strings Only)
Take 14, which was originally reduced to take 15 and overdubbed with Paul's vocals, this is the orchestral score written by George Martin featuring 4 violinists, 2 cellists, and 2 viola players.
- I'm Only Sleeping (Rehearsal)
An instrumental demo which was nearly erased from the session tape.
- I'm Only Sleeping (Take 1)
Recorded as one of five mono takes recorded after the master had been established, this remake of "I'm Only Sleeping" is previously unreleased.
- Rock And Roll Music
After completing Revolver, the Beatles performed five shows at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, two of which were recorded by NTV, a Japanese television company. This Chuck Berry cover was recorded on June 30.
- She's A Woman
Also taken from the Tokyo performances (during which the name Revolver was chosen for their new album) along with "Rock N' Roll Music" (see above).
- Strawberry Fields Forever (Demo Sequence)
A series of takes recorded by John on his acoustic guitar at home. Features the basic sound, the first verse, and chorus.
- Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 1)
Recorded during their first sessions back in the studio together in five months - and after renouncing touring forever - take 1 of "Strawberry Fields Forever" is significantly different than both the demo and the master.
- Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 7 & Edit Piece)
The master being an edit of takes 7 and 26 (with the first minute being take 7 and the rest take 26 slowed down slightly), this is the entire take 7 with the familiar drum track dubbed onto the end (an extended version featuring remixed vocals - notably the "cranberry sauce" sequence).
- Penny Lane
The third song recorded during the Sgt. Pepper sessions, this version of "Penny Lane" is a special Anthology mix of several takes, including several instrumental tracks which had broken down.
- A Day In The Life
Another Anthology mix, featuring pieces of takes 1, 2, and 6 as well as some additional unmentioned takes. Features an interesting count-in by John and the basic 32-bar count-in which was overdubbed with an orchestral score in the master before Paul's "woke up/fell out of bed" bridge.
- Good Morning Good Morning
The basic track (take 8) which was overdubbed with additional vocals and sound effects and eventually became the master (take 11).
- Only A Northern Song
A mix of takes 3, 12, and some unmarked vocals. Although recorded during Sgt. Pepper's sessions and intended for inclusion on the album, "Only A Northern Song" did not surface until 1969's Yellow Submarine.
- Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (Takes 1 & 2)
The first takes, both of which broke down but feature some insightful studio conversation which established the direction of the song.
- Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (Take 7)
The basic track to which all of the overdubs were added (as take 9). Features some prodding by George Martin and some remixed instrumentals near the end of the track.
- Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
A mix specially prepared for Anthology including the best of tracks 6, 7, and 8.
- Within You Without You (Instrumental)
The instrumental track without vocals, including Indian instruments such as the tamboura, tabla, dilruba, and swaramandal along with an overdub recorded a week later featuring violins, cellos, and George's sitar.
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
Recorded in one session, with take 9 being the master, this version is the basic take 5 with Paul's guide vocal. Overdubs were added later.
- You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)
Recorded over a two-year period, starting in 1967 and continuing sporadically until it's release in 1970 as the b-side to "Let It Be", the original version of "You Know My Name" was over 6 minutes, later trimmed to around 4. This mix features more of the song but is not the complete track as recorded, as there are several parts on the released master not on this version.
- I Am The Walrus
The basic track, take 16, that was fortified with strings, vocals, and sound effects. This version features just the band and John singing, without the overdubs.
- The Fool On The Hill (Demo)
Recorded 3 weeks prior to the taping for Magical Mystery Tour, sounding very different from the master and without a completed set of lyrics.
- Your Mother Should Know
An experimental arrangement by Paul.
- The Fool On The Hill (Take 4)
Closer to the demo version than the final master, take 4 of "The Fool On The Hill" still did not feature a completed set of lyrics. This version taped nearly 3 weeks after the demo was recorded.
- Hello Goodbye
Take 16, featuring many overdubs and extra instrumentation not used on the master, which, like this version, was overdubbed onto the basic track 14.
- Lady Madonna
Remixed from a different take (take 3 and 4) than the released master.
- Across The Universe
Recorded during the "Lady Madonna" sessions but unreleased until it appeared the WWF charity album. This is take 2, lacking several overdubs that the master featured.
- Capitol/Apple CDP 7243 8 34448 2 3, released March 19, 1996
- Digital only, released June 14, 2011
Promo disc, front cover
Promo disc, back cover