What’s The New Mary Jane

“What’s The New Mary Jane” is not the usual type of Beatles’ song. However, recorded during the “White Album” sessions, it’s clear that album was its target. But, in the end, we never saw this song until they brought out the “”Anthology 3″” album in 1996.

In Detail


Release Date: 28th October, 1996
Recorded: 14th August, 1968
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Genre: Experimental, comedy
Track Duration: 6:12 (released version)
Record Label: Apple Records
Songwriters: Lennon-McCartney
Producer: George Martin**
Engineers: Ken Scott, Mike Sheady

** in addition, John Lennon helped to produce the track


Anthology 3 Album (1996)

John Lennon: vocals, piano, tambourine, also some effects
George Harrison: vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion, also some effects

Other Performers

Yoko Ono: vocals, percussion, as well as some effects
Mal Evans: handbell, also effects

Track Source

Anthology 3

What’s The New Mary Jane

The song is weird but fun. So, it shows that they were just messing about in the studio. Especially while they were experimenting with “Revolution 9” etc.

The track consists of three verses and a chorus of “What a shame, Mary Jane had a pain at the party”. Lasting over six minutes, the last three of those involve avant garde sound effects. Then, at the end we hear John Lennon say, “Let’s hear it, before we get taken away”. However, part of the word “away” is missing.

Recording Studio

The original demo took place at George Harrison’s home in May, 1968, so they had an idea what sort of sound they were after. Obviously this would evolve further in the recording studio.

On 14th August, 1968, in the Abbey Road Studios, London, they recorded four takes. However, only John Lennon and George Harrison were to record the song.

John Lennon obviously thought highly about this strange track having spent much time with it. Indeed, he wanted it to appear on the “White Album” or as a B-side to a single. Neither was to happen due to various objections from others. After all, this was at a time when there was a lot of bickering within the band.

So, listen to “What’s The New Mary Jane” and give us your thoughts on this weird song.

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About Bobby

I have been a Beatles fan since the early 1960s so I speak from my heart and soul. It was a pleasure to accept the role of Editor on The Beatles Forum when we left our old site. If you feel that something needs correcting with the information I provide, please contact me.

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