Spe­cial edi­tion for al­bum’s 50th

Whangarei Report - - MUSIC - By Brian Kelly

One of my most prized al­bum pos­ses­sions is the Bea­t­les’ White Al­bum. That fa­mous Bea­t­les dou­ble al­bum turns 50 to­day. Sim­ply called The Bea­t­les when it was re­leased on Novem­ber 22, 1968, it was the Bea­t­les’ ninth stu­dio al­bum, con­sid­ered by many at the time to be a mas­ter­piece.

It was re­leased when the Viet­nam War was rag­ing, and Martin Luther King had just been as­sas­si­nated.

A review in Rolling Stone

mag­a­zine at the time of the al­bum’s re­lease summed it up quite suc­cinctly: “You are ei­ther hip to it, or you ain’t”.

A re­viewer in the Sun­day Times

wrote, “Mu­si­cally, there is beauty, hor­ror, sur­prise, chaos, or­der. And that is the world; and that is what the Bea­t­les are on about.”

It was recorded at a time when the band was falling apart.

There was ten­sion in EMI’S Abbey Road Stu­dios be­tween band mem­bers.

John Len­non told Rolling Stone

in 1970, “There isn’t any Bea­tle mu­sic on it . . . It was John and the band, Paul and the band, Ge­orge and the band.”

To cel­e­brate the al­bum’s birthday, a deluxe edi­tion has been re­leased that delves into the record’s ex­haus­tive record­ing ses­sions.

The project has been pro­duced by Giles Martin, son of the orig­i­nal pro­ducer Sir Ge­orge Martin.

As was done last year with Sgt. Pep­per, the new edi­tions con­tain a wealth of archival record­ings and other ma­te­rial, a brand-new, dig­i­tally remixed pre­sen­ta­tion — a la­bo­ri­ous re­trieval and re­assem­bly of the con­tents of the orig­i­nal mul­ti­track mas­ter tapes, with a com­pre­hen­sive scope far be­yond that of all previous re­mas­ters and re­leases.

Added to that are the iconic pho­tos of the Fab Four and a com­pre­hen­sive book de­tail­ing the mak­ing of the record.

The stu­dio en­gi­neers even went to the ex­tent of us­ing the orig­i­nal record­ing mix­ers and com­pres­sion equip­ment that is still in use to­day at Abbey Road.

One of my favourite tracks on the re-re­leased al­bum is a demo ver­sion of Ge­orge Har­ri­son’s While My Gui­tar Gen­tly Weeps. It fea­tures Ge­orge alone with an acous­tic gui­tar and some dou­ble track­ing. Beau­ti­ful.

It’s in­ter­est­ing to note that when Paul Mccart­ney wrote Black­bird ,he was the same age as Ed Sheeran is now. Happy birthday to the White Al­bum.

To cel­e­brate the al­bum’s birthday, a deluxe edi­tion has been re­leased that delves into the records ex­haus­tive record­ing ses­sions.

Photo / File

His­toric footage of the Bea­t­les from Eight Days A Week.

Brian Kelly is a host on Coast Break­fast ra­dio.

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