Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Record That Wasn't

A bit earlier today I was playing random tunes from my music stash when a version of the old Dobie Gray standard "Drift Away" popped up. The artist information on it, which came from wherever I downloaded it a few weeks back, says it's by the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Which is why I downloaded it to begin with. Who wouldn't be interested in hearing such a historic pairing? I wondered why I'd never heard of its existence before now.

As it turns out, the explanation for its weird obscurity is that no such Stones/Beatles recording exists. Oh, there's a Stones recording of "Drift Away," but the Beatles had nothing to do with it. The Stones recorded the song during the 1973-74 sessions that yielded It's Only Rock and Roll, but didn't put it on the album, most likely due to time restrictions--it's certainly not because it wasn't good enough. It surfaced on the 1991 bootleg compilation Greatest Rarities, Volume 1. However, the tantalizing possibility of a Beatles/Stones collaboration, multiplied by the anything-goes ethos of the Internet, perpetuated the "Drift Away" myth. But Gray's "Drift Away" wasn't a hit until 1973, and if the Beatles had joined the Stones in Germany to cover it in 1974--four years after they broke up--the whole world would have known about it. And besides, there had already been Beatles/Stones collaborations: John and Paul sang on the Stones' "We Love You," and Mick sang on the Beatles' "Baby You're a Rich Man."

Another track found on the Greatest Rarities compilation, "Too Many Cooks," is said to feature John on guitar. His participation has never been confirmed--although Mick says it's possible he was present for the informal jam session that resulted in the song. But as far as "Drift Away" is concerned, there's nary a Beatle involved.

Drift Away/The Rolling Stones (mp3)


At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your comment on no such thing as the beatles and the rolling stones Drift Away, well, I think that there may have been one, I have an original 7" acetate of take 1 & 2 Beatles and the Rolling Stones Drift Away. You can hear both groups singing together on the original EMI Label. If you would like to actually see the photo of this recording just email me

At 9:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No way the Beatles got together in secret in 1974, after being broken up for 4 years to record in secret with the Rolling Stones. The two biggest bands in the world recorded together and no one knew about it. Besides not all Beatles were on speaking terms in 1974. Also what are the four solo Beatles they doing in Germany where the song was recorded. You've been scammed, plain and simple.


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