52 years after it was first produced, a rare piece of Beatles history is available on YouTube. A Christmas compilation Paul McCartney created for his bandmates has been uploaded online.
The compilation is titled Unforgettable, and it is believed that only three copies of it were ever printed: one each for John, George, and Ringo, who received it on acetate discs as Christmas presents in 1965. On the album, McCartney plays the role of DJ, introducing each of the compiled songs and adding in some improv of his own. “And so in this program, Unforgettable, we hope that you are not gonna forget us and are gonna join in,” McCartney riffs in his introduction.
Unforgettable takes its name from the Nat King Cole number that leads it off. Other songs featured in the compilation include “I Get Around” by The Beach Boys and “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley.
Despite the small number of copies in Unforgettable‘s original run, the album survived through bootlegging, which allowed it to endure even as the original discs deteriorated. In 1995, McCartney discussed the compilation in the 1995 book The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film. “I gave them to the fellas and I guess they would have played them for a couple of weeks, but then they must have worn out,” he said. “There’s probably a tape somewhere, though.”
The cut of Unforgettable posted to YouTube matches the description McCartney provided in 1995. The uploader, Simon Wells, noted that only an incomplete version of the album remains, but even in its current state, it is still a remarkable artifact for Beatles fans to stream this holiday season.