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White Album 50th Anniversary Edition
10 November 2018
6.10am
Wigwam
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Here's review extolling Giles' work on this............

 

Here's the full link: https://www.loudersound.com/re.....ion-review

 

"The featured element of this seven-disc celebration of the 1968 double vinyl White Album on its 50th anniversary is a remixed version of its 30 iconic tracks by original producer George Martin’s son, Giles. There are, of course, many Beatles purists who will only consider any such project sacrilegious. After all, this is The White Album we’re talking about. What was so wrong with it in the first place? Evidently, not much: 19-times platinum speaks for itself. 

Giles Martin’s got form for improving on Beatles perfection. From collaborating on Love to last year’s widely lauded 50th-anniversary remix of Sgt. Pepper, he’s a safe pair of hands. That Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr offered support and assistance to the project speaks volumes. 

So was all the effort worth it? Hell yes. 

Instead of losing intrinsic magic, Martin’s enhanced it. Drums are crisper, cymbal crashes shimmer off into infinity, the bass sound is thicker, its presence defined and accentuated. Vocals gain warmth, guitars chime and soar. Elements previously lost in ensemble murk re-emerge as independent entities, as fresh ears locate and open up airy space between blurred frequencies. Everything sounds more emphatic, more… everything. 

The White Album ’s extraordinarily diverse content has been a constant presence in rock’s subconscious since the genre’s genesis. Reaction to its epoch-defining charms have dulled, familiarity has replaced visceral awe with cerebral respect, but now, sharpened and buffed, the likes of Happiness Is A Warm Gun and While My Guitar Gently Weeps shine brighter than ever. Some selections have been transformed by the process: Dear Prudence is a revelation. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da ? You might even make it to the end. 

Disc Three is Esher demos. The band convene at Harrison’s to nail down working versions of material contrived in India. It’s Beatles unplugged, basically. Bin your bootlegs, it’s exceptional. But the gold for completists comes on discs 4-6: the sessions. Early takes, working versions, unfinished sketches; there’s intimacy (Lennon road-testing Julia for George Martin), revelation (13 minutes of Helter Skelter ’s blues inception), surrealism (the unreleased What’s The New Mary Jane?) and fascinating insight into making-history’s humdrum side (Harrison ordering a cheese, lettuce and Marmite sandwich as Clapton prepares to render his Gently Weeps magical). 

There’s also a Blu-ray complete with 5.1 mix, but you should be sold already. So much more to say, but sometimes fine words just aren’t enough."

10 November 2018
4.59pm
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meanmistermustard
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Picked this up today. Common sense said don't buy the box, get the 4-disc download but I'm a fool for Beatles. To be fair the packaging is gorgeous and it's a delight to have the book, which is stunning. 

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of self to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

10 November 2018
6.13pm
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Ron Nasty
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One thing I would like to take Giles to task over is his disingenuous explanation about certain absences from the set.

First of all, he does this spiel about how when the project was first being discussed he was asked how many songs he thought they should go for, and his reply was to ask how many CDs they wanted to make the set, and pointing out that you never find yourself scraping the barrel with The Beatles and settling on how many CDs they would let him go to dictated how much he could include.

Emphasising that point further, when given the inevitable question about the 27 minute take three of Helter Skelter , he suggests that had he included that it would have limited him, meant leaving other things off.

Why?

CD4 clocks in at 52:02, CD5 at 50:48 and CD6 at 55:32. Altogether, the 3 Sessions CDs clock in at 158:22 out of a possible 240 minutes. That's 81 minutes 44 seconds of wasted space. Obviously, you're never get something to fill every available second, but don't tell me that you've left off a 27 minute take of something because of time constraints dictated by what the physical medium could hold when you've not made use of roughly a whole CD of the space you have; don't tell me it was space constraints when CD5 has 29:11 of unused time, more than enough for HS's 27:11 length.

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10 November 2018
6.32pm
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Dark Overlord
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Apple is extremely greedy when it comes to how much material goes on a CD. These are the same people who put 1962-1966 on 2 CDs despite being only 62 minutes long.

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10 November 2018
7.41pm
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meanmistermustard
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Dark Overlord said
Apple is extremely greedy when it comes to how much material goes on a CD. These are the same people who put 1962-1966 on 2 CDs despite being only 62 minutes long.  

That was more influenced by remaining faithful to the original album and its packaging (double vinyl) but I doubt Apple were concerned charging significantly more for what could have been one CD.

Fans would be delighted to get deluxe sets of all Beatles albums but there is no chance Apple will deviate from the standard and add tracks to the original albums despite the space available. You could easily have mono and stereo mixes on one disc but it's guaranteed Apple wouldn't and that's down to keeping the original albums presentations set in stone. An argument would be the 1965 stereo mixes of 'Help ' and 'Rubber Soul ' on the mono albums in 2009 but they were exclusive to the mono box and I don't think Apple changed the artwork to highlight such a move. I suppose there are also the US album box sets but they are not treated or viewed the same way as the UK core catalogue.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of self to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

10 November 2018
8.23pm
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Ron Nasty
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My first alterations to the Super Deluxe on my laptop, taking CD4 up to a more acceptable 76:43:

white-4-revised.jpgImage Enlarger

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

10 November 2018
8.51pm
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ewe2
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I like the new mix but I have niggles. Things like they lost the 'ple' at the end of I'm So Tired , the way Helter Skelter ends not with a whiplash but a whimper and that unreasonably annoys me. It's the same kind of editorialising we saw on the Peppers mix. Took a few listens for me to get used to the new stereo field; to me it sounds like he's done the same thing with the White Album that he did for Peppers in that he took the best of the mono and stereo mixes and unified them.  Revolution #9 in particular is vastly improved. I really like the improvement in the drums overall, but I'm 50/50 on the bass sound, and the whole thing is too compressed yet again: if you turn up the volume to hear some more detail, those toms will clobber you.

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10 November 2018
9.03pm
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Out of interest........(maybe)

I've ordered my 'Super' from Amazon USA........It won't arrive here until 30th November earliest. My mate , who's over on the 28th, and who'd 'ummed and arrd' over  whether he could include it in his baggage allowance, let me know a week later, but day or two after I'd placed my order.....(Perhaps after reflecting on all the favours I've done him in the past), decides that he could bring it after-all, as his allowance is 30kgs.

I thought bugger!......I'd assumed that coming from the States, with exchange rates, postage and all it would be significantly more expensive than getting him to bring one from the UK.....But no! Did a comparison and it works out 5 pounds cheaper this way. ??? Go figure!

10 November 2018
9.51pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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Going back to the Dynamic Range/compression thing, I ran my own tests on all of the 2009 remasters and then again on the 2017 remasters. A higher score is better (so 9 is better than 6, and so on), and 10 is optimum. 

So the 2009 is the first result, and the 2017 is the second.

SPLHCB 8,8
WALHFMF 10, 9
LITSWD 10, 8
GB 10, 8
FAH 10, 8
SLH 10, 10
BFTBOMK 9, 6
WYWY 10, 9
WISF 11, 10
LR 10, 7
GMGM 9, 7
SPLHCB (R) 10, 7
ADITL 11, 7

 

You can see clearly that Giles has attacked all songs with an unhealthy dose of compression compared to 2009 for Sgt Pepper (except SPLHCB and SLH which have had the same amount), and I can only assume he's done the same thing for the new White Album .

 

Also agree with ewe2 that the end of Helter Skelter is pissweak... 

 

Question: Is it just me, or has the bass from the drums (and to a lesser extent the bass guitar) been dropped in the mix EQ-wise, so there's now much less in terms of bassy goodness? Savoy Truffle is a good example, as is Dear Prudence (especially the 'vocals, guitar and drums' mix) and EGSTHEMAMM.

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10 November 2018
11.38pm
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I never did like the screaming at the end of Helter Skelter , so I was fine with what he did to it. My favorite version is actually the mono one, where you don't hear Ringo at all.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

11 November 2018
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Dark Overlord
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@The Hole Got Fixed how did you perform the compression test.

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11 November 2018
2.38pm
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The Hole Got Fixed
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@Dark Overlord a plug in for a program called Foobar

Oh, by the way, this post was made by The Hole Got Fixed!

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11 November 2018
8.45pm
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Dark Overlord
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Just listened to the mix of Helter Skelter and fortunately they're not trying to emulate the mono mix. However, i don't like how Ringo's quiet during the outro.

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12 November 2018
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Expert Textpert said
I never did like the screaming at the end of Helter Skelter , so I was fine with what he did to it. My favorite version is actually the mono one, where you don't hear Ringo at all.  

Dark Overlord said
Just listened to the mix of Helter Skelter and fortunately they're not trying to emulate the mono mix. However, i don't like how Ringo's quiet during the outro.  

Oh man, that's the epic ending to a great song, and what I hate most about the mono version.  This is a huge disappointment for me! a-hard-days-night-ringo-14

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

12 November 2018
11.53am
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First impressions after listening to the 6 CDs over the weekend through nice headphones: amazing!  (I didn't have time to listen to the 5.1 mix yet.)  Not sure why, but the 2018 mixes Honey Pie and Good Night both sound simply incredible.  The whole album sounds great, but those really stood out to me.

I'm a big fan of John and tend to give him more credit than he often deserves, but after listening to the White Album with all the outtakes it made me realize that Paul is the true star here.  His talents are what made the White Album go from a great album to a legendary album, and I would say that the White Album (at least imho) could be the pinnacle of Paul's entire career.

John had some great songs too, no doubt, but I'm the first to admit some of his WA tunes aren't his finest:  Monkey, Bungalow Bill, Yer Blues , Rev 9.  Paul, on the other hand, was at the peak of his creativity: Blackbird , Helter Skelter , Ob La Di, Ob La Da, Mother Nature's Son , among others - not to mention all the other instruments he stepped up to play when needed (a la, Back In The USSR ).

Nothing but love and respect for Paul after listening again with "fresh ears."

Regarding the Esher demos, Ob La Di and WMGGW sound so much better than the final album versions!  I'm also very glad that they decided to leave off What's The New Mary Jane .  I assume that was mostly due to Paul's pushback, and thank goodness because that song is just awful - lyrically and musically.  The only thing that I wish could have been different is I would have preferred the band kept the harmonies on Good Night , rather than just Ringo's solo vocals.  I don't love or hate the song, but hearing them harmonize as the last song on the album would have added a nice touch that could have put the album up there with Sgt. Pepper as far as having a brilliant closer.

I'm happy with the deluxe set and the 2018 mix.  Let's hope for another great set next year with Abbey Road 🙂

13 November 2018
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Ron Nasty said

For those interested, here is @meanmistermustard's list with added timings, Anthology 3  first then the 50th:

Glass Onion [Esher] 1:51/1:55
Happiness Is A Warm Gun [Esher] 2:15/1:55
Mean Mr. Mustard [Esher] 1:58/2:05
Polythene Pam [Esher] 1:26/1:26
Piggies [Esher] 2:01/2:05
Junk [Esher] 2:25/2:36
Honey Pie [Esher] 1:19/1:59
Rocky Raccoon [take 8] 4:13/4:57
Helter Skelter [take 2] 4:38/12:53
Not Guilty [take 102] 3:22/4:28
Step Inside Love/Los Paranoias 2:31/1:34 + 3:58

The most interesting difference is that Happiness Is A Warm Gun  is 20 seconds longer on than it will be on the 50th.   

And we know the reason for that now: the false start that ended with John saying "Oh, shit --wrong chord" was excised. Really, Giles?  a-hard-days-night-paul-3

Perhaps my one disappointment with this set, apart from omitting the third take of "Helter Skelter " in its 27-minute entirety, is the omission of the version of "Sexy Sadie " with the extended fadeout.

13 November 2018
11.04am
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DrBeatle
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The Esher Demos were really the only selling point for me (I didn't like the Pepper remix and for as interesting as the outtakes are, how often do I really listen to them). The complete demos sourced from George's master tapes are EXQUISITE. It's like having a completely different, acoustic version of the White Album . I wrote about it on my blog if anyone is interested -->

 

https://rnrchemist.blogspot.co.....rails.html

 

It’s like having a different version of the White Album ...how can that be anything other than a great thing?

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13 November 2018
11.41am
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The Hole Got Fixed said

Question: Is it just me, or has the bass from the drums (and to a lesser extent the bass guitar) been dropped in the mix EQ-wise, so there's now much less in terms of bassy goodness? Savoy Truffle is a good example, as is Dear Prudence (especially the 'vocals, guitar and drums' mix) and EGSTHEMAMM.  

A lot of it is the way the stereo field has been mixed. I just don't understand why Martin felt that bass all the way over to one side (often paired with the drums) was a great idea in 2018 on songs like Happiness Is A Warm Gun and While My Guitar Gently Weeps . In conversations I've had with other Beatle fans, the one thing we all wanted was centred drums, but we don't get that, at least not in the stereo version. Overall, big space has been given to the vocals, which is great but it does tend to shove the rhythm section aside. Frankly I'd like to Steven Wilson given a go at remixing, he seems a lot better at it than Giles.

edit: I should add that these comments concern the standard stereo mix. The 5.1 mix is a lot better (and not as compressed!) and I suspect not as much care was taken to master the stereo mix.

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13 November 2018
12.42pm
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Dark Overlord
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Funny you say that @ewe2 because i love when the rhythm track is on the left, vocals are in the center, and everything else is in the right. Having the rhythm track centered with the vocals means that you get less separation.

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13 November 2018
3.22pm
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Ron Nasty
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Two interviews with Giles about the 50th.

NME print interview here, where he's also asked about the future:

There are a few Beatles albums left in the chronology. Are you gonna mix Abbey Road next?

I don't know – it depends what raw material is available. If we do Abbey Road , I have to work out if I can actually make a difference to it before saying yes to it.

And Let It Be ? That'd be interesting given your dad was replaced by Phil Spector.

Well, they did Let It Be … Naked, which I didn't do, which I think was pre-me, but I think it's a different thing as it's a film project. I’d love to be in a situation where you can watch Let It Be and feel like you're in the room with them.

The Beatles were quite prolific. Do you have the time to keep up?

Right now I'm doing this crazy Elton John film Rocket Man with Taron Egerton and Dexter Fletcher, so I'm writing and doing music for the film and it's really fun doing arrangements. We've got 10 and a half weeks of post-production, so I'm tied up with that. So if I do Abbey Road , I'll have to go and examine it, but I'll not be examining it for a while.

 

And an NPR audio interview for the all songs considered podcast can be found here.

44-ish minutes. Haven't heard the full thing yet, did like a bit where Giles is explaining something about them, and recalls his father saying to him, and I'm paraphrasing, so it's something like:

The funny thing about the boys is that they didn't really change much. They were the same arrogant bastards when I first met them...

 I had to laugh at that...

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