Special edition for album’s 50th
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.
Historic footage of the Beatles from Eight Days A Week.
Brian Kelly is a host on Coast Breakfast radio.