A New Version of The White Album, with Demos, Outtakes and More

It’s funny, the Beatles have always been there, and I know all their hits, own all their official releases (in the latest remasters), but I’ve only really been a passive fan of the group. You couldn’t have avoided them back when I was young, and there were a few Beatles records among the first albums I bought, but I’ve never felt the affection, the obsession, that many feel for the band. (Unlike, say, the Grateful Dead…)

So the fact that there’s a new edition of The Beatles (The White Album) is interesting, but my first though was just that “here’s another super deluxe edition of a record that wasn’t that important.” But going to my iTunes library to play the album, I realize how many great songs there were. Perhaps it’s the fact that after the “concept” albums – Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Pepper – the white album comes across as a compilation with little coherence. It is, however, one of the peak’s of the band’s creativity, and about half the songs on the album are classics.

This new edition – about which Rolling Stone has much to say – seems interesting, in part because of three discs of acoustic demos; the Beatles’ Basement Tapes, perhaps, or the Fab Four Unplugged. Do I want to spend what it costs for the deluxe super edition? Not sure. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

But I admit I’m curious to hear more of the origins of this album that I have long sloughed off unimportant.