Rarities really refers to one of two albums: A UK compilation released by Parlophone on November 2, 1978, and an American version released by Capitol on March 24, 1980. The first distribution was as part of a box set called The Beatles Collection. Later it was sold separately, starting on October 12, 1979. The LP version has not been produced on CD, but the entire Rarities track listing is available on the Past Masters CD set.
The concept of Rarities was to make available in LP format some of the Beatles songs less well-known to a new generation of Beatles fans. Some were b-sides from single releases and EP's in the UK, which had not come out on studio albums. The two recordings in German (Sie Lieb Dich and Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand) were also added. Bad Boy, released in the US but not in the UK on an album, also entered the track list. To lead off the album, the producer chose an early version of Across the Universe, first distributed in December of 1969, in an album by various artists in support of the World Wildlife Fund. That LP was called No One' Gonna Change Our World. (A different rendition of Across the Universe appeared on Let It Be.)
Analysts of the Beatles Catalogue conclude that Rarities would complete the collection of anyone who held all the standard UK albums, plus the Red Album, the Blue Album and Magical Mystery Tour. Those who also had A Collection of Beatles Oldies and Hey, Jude would find some tracks repeated. Curiously, Love Me Do (from 1963) would still be missing. This gap was filled by the American version of Rarities in 1980.
The American version of Rarities followed the same concept as the earlier UK version; however, some songs considered rare in the UK had been readily available in the US and vice versa. Therefore, the track listing of the US version of Rarities differs from that of its British counterpart. As an additional touch, the gatefold of the US version of Rarities reproduces the "butcher cover" from Yesterday and Today, which had created such a stir when the LP first came out. Unlike the British version, the American collection called Rarities is available on CD. In addition to Love Me Do, which had been out of print since the early 1960's, this album included the famous "run-out groove" from the British version of Sgt. Pepper, omitted from the US album. This fragment is a few seconds of a high-pitched tone and some nonsense patter by the band.
|Side One||Lead Vocals||Written by|
|Across the Universe||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney|
|Yes It Is||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney|
|The Inner Light||Harrison||George Harrison|
|I'll Get You||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney|
|Thank You Girl||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney|
|Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney|
|You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney|
|Sie Liebt Dich||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney|
|She's a Woman||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney|
|I Call Your Name||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney|
|Bad Boy||Lennon||Larry Williams|
|Slow Down||Lennon||Larry Williams|
|Long Tall Sally||McCartney||Robert Blackwell, Enotris Johnson, Little Richard|