The Beatles are back for more. A second new Beatles single, “Real Love,” will be released to radio today in a special, four-song package targeted for Valentine’s Day.
It will be issued to the general public on March 4 on CD, cassette and vinyl formats.
“Real Love” follows the December release of “Free As a Bird.” Both were John Lennon compositions from the late ‘70s, for which the surviving Beatles added new tracks. Unfortunately, “Real Love” is even more murky-sounding, as modern technology cannot resurrect Lennon’s voice, which sounds as if it’s recorded underwater.
The song is a bland, midtempo number with lyrics that hardly rank with Lennon’s best. “Seems that all I really was doing was waiting for you,” he sings over and over again in some of the more intelligible passages. Conclusion: No amount of studio tinkering can save a bad demo tape.
The real news, though, is not “Real Love,” but the three songs with it. All are previously unreleased versions of Beatles hits not available elsewhere. Fans get a much-needed bonus with a seductive live version of Lennon’s “Baby’s In Black” (from a Hollywood Bowl show in 1965); a remix of Ringo Starr’s trippy “Yellow Submarine”; and a marvelous alternate take of Paul McCartney’s “Here, There and Everywhere,” with newly remixed harmonies by Beatles producer George Martin. Nicely done.