The unreleased Soundtrack to the unreleased film (1971-77)
This review is going to feature quite a bit of “What if?,” “What was?,” “What is?” And “What could be?”
I think that for Paul McCartney, “I THINK” he really wishes that this had happened instead of what really did…. (Some are quite obvious while others feature my wish as well).
The Beatles would have STAYED creative brothers and never broken up. They continued to work on amazing albums as their best songs combined on new albums only added to the legend.
The band allowed themselves to work on solo projects, and helped each other as often as they wanted.
The money would be handled by the right people after Brian Epstein’s death. Each of whom made the right decisions on every aspect of it. The money issues would never come into play etc…
Wives and girlfriends caused no internal or external problems, and were unnoticed parts of the cherished Beatles recording sessions unless asked. They were there…but no beds.
Apple was never started.
John and Paul hadn’t agreed to put every song as Lennon-McCartney back in 1962. I feel Paul wishes they had just been honest about each, and MOST IMPORTANT is that Brian Epstein never allowed to sell or lose any or their song rights or get swindled on merchandising rights.
That they would have learned to tour with 1970’s and 1980’s technology…. They would have full band sets and solo sets and the shows would be mind-blowing.
John would have had better security and had a chance to live a full life.
The Beatles would have ended after George’s 2001 death, unless John had died of natural caused earlier.
The final one…. I think Paul would have loved The Beatles to have made this project we are discussing today. He loves hand drawn cell animation and acquired the rights to the Rupert books in one of his first non-musical investments in the late 1960’s. He announced that he had bought the rights to the Rupert catalog on the day he released McCARTNEY 1, which also was the day announced he was leaving the band.
I think he loved how Yellow Submarine ultimately went down with the critics and fans. Since the Beatles wouldn’t be making any more of the HELP type silly films, then outside of recording, filming concerts or producing animated films could have been a direction had the band stayed together.
In retrospect “Let It Be” was supposed to be that type of film. The editing forever ruined its true worth. If only the “Get Back” film we saw in 2021 had come out in 1970….
For their last film commitment they even floated the idea of doing “Lord Of The Rings” (with them in the lead roles) before making it “Let It Be” in 1970.
But with the actual history of the break up Paul was free to do and start all of the whims he tried to get the others to do.
Paul formed a band, and toured.
He recorded a film filled with live footage and animation in the 1972 period called “The Bruce McMouse Show” which finally was wonderfully finished and saw the light of day a few years ago.
At the same time Paul also wanted to do a full length animation of the newly acquired RUPERT library, so he must have set into works in 1971 the starting of maybe story boarding etc….
But he came up with a complete story in musical fashion. This “album” is roughly 70-75% or so finished.
Paul hums and whistles or skats within songs where maybe he hadn’t finished lyrics.
The sound quality is very good for a bootleg, but not nearly as good as that from any final mix source. But the sound is still good, not great. There is an orchestra track on some songs mixed in, but it sounds somewhat bland with less than 100% sound depth (I’m Listening under the headphones). The piano used is the same on each track, and sounds like the kind played in a pool hall.
Recording was started in 1971 with the original 4 person Wings. Denny is clearly heard on the harmonies, but not so much Linda. Overall it sounds like Paul did the drumming and everything else, and shared guitar work with Laine. Except for one song I don’t hear the Seiwell sound…
Paul gives a narration before every song describing what is happening in the story…
If he had finished this soundtrack without a film… the critics would have went wild as this is strictly for children or drug taking adults…. Paul and Linda fell into the later.
In 1971 the film was never made. The ideas stayed. In 1978 the film was never made. What came was Paul saving one song and giving it the full animation treat in “Rupert And The Frog Song.” If the entire film was given this care and quality music, it would have been amazing.
But “Frog Song” was huge, the best selling VHS video sale of 1984. It was featured as the opener to the 1984 film “Give My Regards To Broad Street.” It also was featured on Disney channel.
Paul took another segment idea in his 1997 short animated “Tropic Island Hum.” The Disney connection was here as it opened for the movie, “Hercules.”
Now, works are underway for another film, “High In The Clouds.” This is again, is another segment from this Rupert album.
It is interesting to see this project start brewing in late 1969, never FULLY blossom but still it yields dividends to this day.
Rupert Song (version 1)
Paul: “Once upon a time there was a young white bear named Rupert.”
-Besides “We All Stand Together” the most commercial sounding song, that even with its child like quality stays in your head long after it ends.
Paul seems content on the melody, but the words aren’t flushed out. Paul sings words that fit the phrase but are meaningless. Denny and Linda add nice harmonies on the chorus. Would have like to see this one finished properly. Rating – 8
2. Tippi Tippi Toes (Parents Theme)
Paul: “He lived with his mother and father in the village of Nutwood.”
-Piano only, Paul on drums. It goes through a few tempo changes, aided by acoustic guitar and synths. It has kind of an old-time driving down the road feel at points. Some nice chord changes…. But was it supposed to have lyrics? Rating -7
3. Flying horses
Paul: “One day he is exploring in the woods when he is surprised by a black winged stallion leading a herd of white flying horses. They tell Rupert of a secret mission that the king of the birds has for him. And the stallions says they have been sent to take him to the king. So Rupert sits on the leaders back, and off they gallop.”
Horses run…. The sounds are there as they move along, with acoustic and electric guitars helping drive the herd.
Not much here….. besides the horses… Paul strums the melody of the next song as the song ends…and the horses seemingly stopped. Rating – 6
4. When The Wind Is Blowing
(Paul & Linda McCartney)
Paul: “After a long run they leap off the edge a high cliff and start to fly to the clouds.” (“High In The Clouds” segment)
Another where Paul just skats until he get to the “When The Wind Is Blowing” line. A gentle acoustic number that has a few nice chord changes but was never seemingly finished. His bass playing is evident for the first time. There are some nice Spanish guitar flourishes here and leaves me wanting more…. He even does a few verses whistling…. Rating – 6
5. The Palace Of The King Of The Birds
Paul: “As the huge clouds part they see the palace of the birds.
This piano based instrumental feature Paul multi-tracking vocals on harmony but again, no lyrics. Has a bit of the “Frog Song” feel to it. Rating – 6
6. Sunshine Sometime
Paul: “The King explains that the North wind has gone out of control and is about to freeze the whole world over. Rupert agrees to help and flies away, carried by a giant bird. But they meet icy winds which freeze the birds wings over, and he has to drop Rupert, who manages to parachute down on a tropical island.” (“Tropic Island Hum” segment)
-We’ve heard this song before. A wonderful little ditty. It was given to us as a bonus track on the RAM box set. I have heard this song with (1978?) and without lyrics (1971?). This would have made a nice addition to the first Wings album. The bass work is amazing. Rating – 8
7. Sea / Cornish Wafer/Storm
Paul: “After a celebration with the natives, where Rupert meets “Sailor Sam” (1973 BAND ON THE RUN reference), they set off the next day across the sea.”
This is an amazing 3 part song. Paul and Denny really bring out the slow sea dirge “Sea.” One can feel the boat slow journey across the open water. It then quickly changes into the sea shanty “Cornish Wafer.” Why wasn’t this song dusted off for “LONDON TOWN?” They, sounding like “Feet On The Ground” from MEMORY ALMOST FULL, Paul and Denny (or Lawrence etc..) share the guitar stage on this segment as the boat finds itself rocked by the electronic tidal wave. Wow…. Rating – 9
8. Nutwood Scene
Another piano instrumental, very old time sounding musical phrases depicting rural life. Birds chirp gleefully throughout the song. The least flushed out of the piano based songs. Rating – 4.5
9. Walking In The Meadow
Paul: “After a visit by Doctor Lion, Rupert begins too feel better. One day he goes for a walk in the countryside.”
Now…this could have been the link that starts off the “Frog Song” film, where Rupert takes off for a walk and meets the frogs and owls…. There he left his home…. Maybe this is easier to explain than Dr. Lion?
-Another whistler from Paul. He mouths sounds but no words. No, THIS is the least interesting unfinished piano instrumental. Rating – 4
10. Sea Melody
Paul: “Rupert now decides to carry on with his mission. And with the help from the professor he set off on a flying bubble to seek the advice of the “wise goat of the mountains.” After many adventures he meets Jack Frost but they are both buried by a massive avalanche of snow and ice. The friendly south wind rescues them and after a fierce battle they and all their helpers defeat the north wind.”
Wow…. that was a lot of story that went by between the last two songs…. You sort of need the movie. On the last, Paul plays a familiar sounding melody that lifts the mood. The synth and backing vocals are sweet. Rating – 6
11. Rupert Song (version 2)
Paul : “The balance between the winds is restored and Rupert and his friends say goodbye and head home for tea.”
-Paul reprises the opening tracks, just like he did on track one. A different skat vocal track and a bit shorter. Either Denny or Lawrence play some nice phrases on guitar. Rating – 8
Overall this unreleased album rated as 6.59/10. We could probably add at least 0.5-1 full point out of 10 if the songs were finished to satisfaction.
Overall I hear the faint melody in various songs that Paul may have brought into other future recordings. Nothing exact, but the melodies remind me of similar melodies over the last 45 years.
Next: 2000’s Liverpool sound Collage
Kind of sad, to do so much work on something and not having it see the light of day or even get finished.