To celebrate 50 years since the Beatles huge double album, commonly known as The White Album, the Beatles have announced a reissue of the album featuring a whole host of new demos and versions.
As a concept the White Album is about as heavy on weaving segmented pieces together as it is in lacking conceptually. However, that’s why it differs greatly from Sgt Pepper. It almost invites the listener to chop up the album and make something that suits them, rather than trying to please a majority, it encourages a playlist attitude. Do you want the silly British tunes Paul brings with the humorous notes John adds in, or do you want a heavy album lyrically and musically? Do you want to visit the outer fringes of music, or sit comfortable in the road?
Often seen as the point where The Beatles began to split from outer forces, the demo mixes promise to give a glimpse of how misleading that view might feel. The alternate takes and demos reveal pieces of the band in the studio forging ahead with strange new dada writing techniques with trepidation, or laughing about the rowdiness of the long form jams.
Giles Martin and Sam Okell have produced a new stereo and surround mix of the album for people to enjoy, hopefully revealing new texture and detail not heard before. Also included on the Blu-ray is an original high quality transfer of the mono album, for the purists. One CD is dedicated fully to the Esher demos, and another 3 to session outtakes and in progress tracks that lack the final overdubs.
Rolling Stone have been treated to a listen and released a sample of what fans can expect. Highlights include the illusive 11 minute Helter Skelter take in full, a very early version of Blackbird with Paul trying to work out the right way into the song, and an early version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps that precedes the acoustic demo previous heard and utilised wonderfully on the Love album. Another highlight is a John track called at this stage Child of Nature, however it would eventually have new lyrics written to become Jealous Guy.