50th Anniversary all things Beatles White Album

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by tinnox, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. SJB

    SJB Beloved Parasitic Nuisance

    Whether or not a reissue comes out, November 22nd will still be the 50th anniversary of an important and renowned album. It is, after all, a "50th Anniversary Celebration," not a "Deluxe Expanded Reissue Celebration."

    To be fair, Pepper didn't have "2 whole discs of outtakes." It had two 50-minute discs of outtakes, with one or two versions of each songs, plus a handful of vintage mono mixes tacked to a different disc (in what appears to me to have been a very last-minute decision).

    I've been loath to guess, because the decisions have all already been made and I don't want to over-promise myself anything. Lowball estimate:
    Discs 1 & 2 - New stereo remix of original album. They could put another hour of material on those two discs, but they won't, out of the same sense of misplaced reverence that keeps the Red Album a double set despite its 62-minute running time.
    Disc 3 - Esher demos.
    I disagree. The dead space on the original album CDs may be sacrosanct, but discs 4 & 5 would still have some room left over for the singles even with some doubling like on Pepper. I see the singles being interspersed with the album tracks in chronological order, same as Pepper. (That's not necessarily what I want them to do - it's what I envision them doing.)

    I think they could easily justify a sixth audio CD, or put the singles on the same discs as the remixed album, but I don't want to promise myself that. Same goes for the songs that didn't make the album at all. I think it would be a dreadful mistake if "Not Guilty" were represented only by the Esher demo, but I'd rather brace for it and be pleasantly surprised than assume we're getting four versions and then curse the heavens for not living up to my fantasies. (Remember the moaning when Pepper excluded "Only a Northern Song," several months after the preliminary announcement accurately said that the set would comprise the album plus SFF/PL?)
  2. Morton LaBongo

    Morton LaBongo Forum Resident

    Manchester NH
    Thank you. And to PeteM also. Yes, Long... definitely has the closest sound to solo Harrison out of all the Harrisongs on here. Also I was thinking about BuCo's statement about the White Album being the lead-in to Lennon's POB and McCartney's 1st LP. Their "solo sound" on some of these songs is closer to those albums than other solo albums that followed, and I feel there is at least some slight resemblance, at least in a few songs. You could say I Will is a little like The Lovely Linda, for example, inasmuch as they both reflect a whimsical, romantic (and acoustic) side of Paul. Ram and Imagine are a little further down the solo path but still have some echoes of the White Album. It's tempting to think of what these would have sounded like as Beatles' songs instead of solo, but I think that's already been discussed somewhere else.
  3. Isaac Azimuth

    Isaac Azimuth Forum Resident

    Upstate NY
    I wish I could argue with you, flattered as I am that you quoted me. But, alas, I go into this release granting that you're probably only too right. It seems to me the problem on Apple's part has always been an underestimation of our attention span / discernment / archival knowledge. The entire "deluxe" proposition is not geared to the general buying public in the first place (though they will undoubtedly sell great numbers in smaller "deluxe" formats). But the full-scale deluxe sets? They can't be designed for anyone but fanatics. Such sets are certainly not going to convert anyone - they are by nature geared to the listener willing to go (and spend) above and beyond. So what's the problem? Why the continual toe in the water instead of the deep dive? We're obviously out there, and always have been - just holding our breaths for such deep dives, hanging on by our fingernails since the first whispers about "Sessions" way back in '81. Which is what I meant by asking them to, finally, please "go for it." Yet I suspect that, great as this set will undoubtedly be, they will not "go for it" like Dylan has clearly understood he is most welcome to. And what a shame. I fear it'll be another 30 years until we can pay to download the session tapes, if ever. Maybe the next generation of family curators will understand the depth of our passion better. And, still, I'm SO grateful for whatever we may soon get.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  4. SJB

    SJB Beloved Parasitic Nuisance

    I suspect they know that some people [clears throat] will buy whatever they put out. But they don't want to put all of it out. They don't want us to hear every mistake, every dead end, every idea that sounded cool at the time but didn't translate to performance.

    If they didn't put out any outtakes, then we'd only have the pristine final products. We'd have too high an opinion of them. Which is nice for a while (hence no outtakes until 1995) but it can be burdensome. The Beatles have never been perfect, have never been anything more than four human beings who, like everyone else, are riddled with flaws. If they are seen as infallible wizards, then they set an impossible standard for their future work. Also, if they made it look easy, then no one appreciates the effort they put into the work (for it was work, even if what musicians do is "play").

    If they put out all the outtakes, the fear is that the mystique disappears completely. The finished work is swamped in a sea of mistakes and false starts and not-quites. (And if they put out every raw session tape, people would be howling for them to release every vintage mix prepared from those session tapes.) Ever been to the Smithsonian? There are some amazing exhibits there. You leave wanting to see more - and there is more. The displays make up a tiny fraction of the Institute's collection. But if you put out everything, the gems get lost among, say, 750 indistinguishable stuffed sparrow carcasses. There is such a thing as "too much." And there's probably a lot of stuff that's so bad, they're still embarrassed by it today. Even the most attention-starved celebrity doesn't have a webcam pointed at their toilet 24/7. Some things are best left unseen and unheard.

    They're trying to walk a line in between. Enough to give us a sense of what it was like in the studio, and how damned hard they had to work to get the music to sound as good as it did and still does. But not so much that they're seen as cashing in on material that is, by definition, substandard.

    Honest people of good will can differ about where to draw the line. (I'd like to hear more stuff too, and I want to pay the creators for legitimate copies. During the Pepper discussion, I cringed every time I saw "I'm not gonna buy it, I already have the bootleg.") But I'm very pleased that there have been steps in the direction of opening the vault a little bit. I'll buy what comes out and hope it encourages them to give us a little more.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  5. thrivingonariff

    thrivingonariff Forum Resident

    I appreciate your love for the group, but I believe that this romantic, mythologized view of the group at the time of the WA is contradicted by the evidence, both musical and personal.
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  6. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Listening to it right now. At night with a glass of Hefeweizen.

    Life is full of simple pleasures.

    I got blisters on ...
    andrewskyDE, jtiner, drum_cas and 3 others like this.
  7. BuCo

    BuCo A Guy Who Can't Have Enough Super Deluxe Box Sets

    New York City
    You should probably have that checked out... ;)
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  8. Lewisboogie

    Lewisboogie Forum Resident

    I used to place the White Album in that space of four almost-solo artists just happening to dump all their tracks onto four sides...

    Yet, they created and released an album called The Beatles — it’s a Beatles album because they said it was, as John Lennon said of Sgt. Pepper as a concept album. The White Album as a Beatles album is not mythology, it’s fact. The personal? Meaningless, IMO. The musical evidence: There are Beatles on every track, if not contributing directly as musicians or vocalists, then either encouraging, criticizing, or otherwise involved. It’s the album from a band, and their best, IMO. (If anything, Abbey Road is much more artificial as Beatles album. That’s the one that’s romanticized.)
  9. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    50 years OMG, I'm so old ... :(
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  10. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Harpsichord with backward loops and flute :pleased::faint:
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  11. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    It's interesting when you look at the songs as they were recorded chronologically. IIRC the earlier songs are more complete Beatles songs and as the sessions became more hostile there were more of the songs that people point to when referring to the WA as a collection of solo songs
  12. Veech

    Veech Space In Sounds

    Los Angeles, CA
    DPMB was an old song, basically co-written with Paul. I'll agree with the low grade, maybe go D+ at most. But the band had always held with giving Ringo at least one vocal track per LP and continued to fulfill this tradition with "Don't Pass Me By" and "Good Night" on the WA. Alternate drum-heavy versions are much more interesting.
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  13. Veech

    Veech Space In Sounds

    Los Angeles, CA
    Savoy Truffle with John. :D
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  14. planckera

    planckera In C

    Minneapolis, MN
    Savoy Truffle Whitman's Sampler version

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  15. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Just wish J&P had written another one for him to sing. Five minutes over a cuppa and a bikkie they could have come up with a far better song than DPMB
    tinnox likes this.
  16. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident

    Maybe they'll drop a few of those 100 takes and make room for the 27-min Helter Skelter. Or maybe that one gets disc #9 all to itself. :agree:
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  17. Veech

    Veech Space In Sounds

    Los Angeles, CA
    True, but Ringo felt insecure during these sessions and I think J&P wanted to give him this.
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  18. Snoddywilko

    Snoddywilko Forum Resident

    United Kingdom
    I'd just like to say that I don’t understand all the people getting their hopes up for the inclusion of tracks like Lady Madonna & The Inner Light etc.

    These tracks were not part of the sessions for The White Album. It would make no sense for them to be included.

    We already have 30 tracks from the album to fit into this reissue; including demo’s & alternate takes. That’s a huge amount of material to edit into a coherent collection without trying to shoe-horn in other tracks that just so happened to be recorded during the same year.

    The only additional tracks I can see being included would be Hey Jude/ Revolution (possibly also released as a stand-alone single for Black Friday; much in the same way as Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane were for RSD.) & Not Guilty; included within the discs dedicated to the album sessions.

    As for the Esher Demo’s: I’ve always hoped for an official release of them in their entirety & would love them to have their own disc within a deluxe version of this 50th reissue; but part of me suspects that even now that won’t happen. A number of these tracks already appeared on Anthology 3. Some may not be considered good enough. Others never even made it onto The White Album: Circles, Sour Milk Sea, Child Of Nature, Junk; & it would make more sense to hold back Mean Mr.Mustard/Polythene Pam for an Abbey Road 50th package. Again: a stand-alone Black Friday release of The Esher Demo’s would satisfy me, with tracks previously unreleased included in the discs of demo’s & out-takes.

    In conclusion, i reckon the deluxe c.d box will include :

    A new remix of the original album.

    A disc of The Complete Esher Demo’s.

    4 discs of studio sessions, including Hey Jude/Revolution & Not Guilty.

    A stand-alone 7” single of Hey Jude Revolution.

    As for the various vinyl variations:

    A 4xLP including the new remix of the album on 2 records & a carefully selected collection of sessions highlights on 2 records.

    A deluxe vinyl box including 9 records:

    2xLP: remix of original album.

    2xLP: The Complete Esher Demo’s.

    4xLP: various studio sessions & alternate takes.

    1x7”: Hey Jude/Revolution.

    (I highly doubt we’ll get quite so much on vinyl but - as a collector of vinyl who is uninterested in buying c.d boxed sets - I sincerely hope we do)

    Followed at a later date by releases of the remixed original album in its original format & a limited edition white vinyl version.
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  19. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    I agree.
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  20. dewey02

    dewey02 Forum Resident

    The mid-South.
    If DPMB was the all quality Ringo could muster, he was right to feel so insecure!
    tinnox likes this.
  21. johnbrode72

    johnbrode72 Forum Resident

    @mikecarrerra has already confirmed that Lady Madonna will be included, and that there will be “27, no more no less” Esher demos.
  22. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    NC USA
    Love the swirling Leslie sound on the pianos on 'Don't Pass Me By'. If I didn't know the song was 3:51 long, I'd guess it was 2:45. It is a welcome bit of entertainment - like walking into a saloon after dealing with the drama of 'Rocky Raccoon'. The primitive plodding motif has a lot in common with much of the rest of the album and fits right in. Well done, Ring...
  23. culabula

    culabula One-time Boulevardier.

    Belfast, Ireland

    Didn’t The Band think it was the best thing on the LP ?
  24. brainwashed

    brainwashed Forum Hall Of Fame

    Boston, MA
    What Don't Pass Me By desperately misses is some quaint little country licks by George and some decent backing vocals. The sleigh bells are an odd touch for sure. As many have pointed out, including our esteemed Beatleologist, @slane , it's very likely that Paul plays one of the drum tracks. Obviously Ringo drums too, but there are two distinct drum tracks on this song. The slip-slide piano intro is very nice, but it sure comes banging in after that. I wonder why John and George skipped this one? Especially being so early in the WA sessions. The Twotles seem a bit too eager here; throwing in the proverbial kitchen sink of overdubs, instead of keeping it a simple country tune. It's not a bad attempt at all, for a debut original... I'd give the recording itself a C+ . Ron
  25. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Gotta say I love "Don't Pass me By". Another British take on C&W and the perfect vehicle for Ringo.

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