The Beatles Wiki


The Beatles Wiki

12-Bar Original was an instrumental 12-bar blues written by all of the members of the English rock band, the Beatles; which includes: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. It was first recorded sometime around 1965, but was not commercially available until 1996 when an edited version of take 2 first debuted on Anthology 2, and is one of eight songs not to have any vocals. Prior to the edited version, the song lasted 6:36.[1]

It is one of the only few songs to be credited as Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey, and then published by Lenono Music, Inc., MPL Communications Ltd, Harrisongs Ltd., and Startling Music Ltd. Other songs credited to all four Beatles include "Flying" from Magical Mystery Tour, "Dig It" from Let It Be and "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)", the B-side to the 1995 single "Free as a Bird".[1]

Of all the Beatles members, only John and Ringo ever commented on the song. During some US radio interviews, Lennon was asked if there were any unissued Beatles recordings, he replied that all he could recall was "some lousy 12 bar". Starr told journalist Peter Palmiere that "we all wrote the track and I have an acetate of one of the versions". The quote was later used by Palmiere in a Ringo Starr cover interview/story in DISCoveries magazine in 1993 and by Jim Berkenstadt and Belmo in their book Black Market Beatles.[1]

"12-Bar Original" was the Beatles' first instrumental after signing for EMI, and was produced by George Martin at EMI's Abbey Road Studios, London. Four other instrumentals by the group are the aforementioned "Flying", an outtake version of that song called "Aerial Tour Instrumental", "Cayenne" and "Cry for a Shadow".[1]


(12-Bar Original is counted as an instrumental track in all cases except for in the beginning where Paul says):


One, two, three, four!

(But is usually not counted as part of the song because of it being a countdown)


  • George Harrison – lead guitar
  • John Lennon – lead guitar
  • Paul McCartney – bass
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • George Martin – harmonium

Personnel per Ian MacDonald