Here’s a rare and possibly unique Apple Records acetate of an alternate version of Third World War’s self-titled debut album.
Third World War was released in 1971 on Fly Records, but this acetate was cut at The Beatles’ Apple Records studios in London sometime prior to the album’s release. It differs in sequence and mix from the released album, and includes two extra short pieces not included on the released album. Even the regular release of Third World War is a highly collectible album.
The acetate is in Good condition, with numerous marks, but plays through with surface noise in the background, but no skips or jumps, and only a few pops.
We don’t have a copy of the released album, but all of the tracks are on Youtube, and the mixes on the acetate sound much simpler and compressed than on the released version. Most of the tracks are a few seconds longer or shorter than those listed on the released version on Allmusic.com, but we’d expect these are just different fades. However the track “MI5’s Alive” is 9:15 on the acetate and only 8:10 on the released version (probably a much earlier fade out) and “Shephard’s Bush Cowboy” is 4:28 on the acetate and 4:40 on the released version.
The final two tracks on the acetate do not appear on the album; they are a 33 second psychedelic-ish instrumental, and a short bit of studio talkback where the singer says “I fxcked up some of the lyrics; let’s try another one” and the engineer agrees but says “we’re gonna keep that one.”
The Apple Corps Ltd. 3 Saville Row, London Labels upon close inspection show the serrated lines from where the crack and peel backing stickers were removed (visible in the close up scan. This is not one of the many fake acetates on Ebay and comes with our lifetime guarantee of authenticity.)
The sequence on the released album is:
Side 1- Ascension Day/MI5’s Alive/Teddy Teeth Goes Sailing/Working Class Man
Side 2- Shephard’s Bush Cowboy/Stardom Road Pt 1/Stardom Road Pt 2/Get Out of Bed You Dirty Red/Preaching Violence
The alternate sequence on this acetate is:
Side 1- Ascension Day/MI5’s Alive/Preaching Violence/Teddy Teeth Goes Sailing
Side 2- Shephard’s Bush Cowboy/Working Class Man/Stardom Road Pt 1/Stardom Road Pt 2/Get Out of Bed You Red/Psychedelic Instrumental/Studio Talkback
We can find no mention of another example of this acetate; it is possibly unique.
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