Giles Martin says his father, producer George Martin, would wince whenever a fan would say that the White Album was their favourite Beatles’ record.
The late George Martin would recall how tough it was to make the sprawling double album, titled The Beatles but given its familiar nickname because of the all-white cover. His son is in charge of a 50th anniversary repackaging that is due out November 9.
“He liked things to be organised, and the White Album wasn’t organised,” Giles said recently.
The Beatles worked through the summer of 1968, often in exhausting all-night sessions. As evidence of the time spent, the new package includes the 102nd take of Not Guilty, a Harrison song that wasn’t even included among the 30 cuts of the original album.
The recording sessions were said to be rocky, and Ringo Starr quit and walked out for an 11-day period. But Giles said he believed some of those reports to be exaggerated, based on the tapes that he waded through.
“I looked for the arguments, I looked for the stress,” he said. “And there really wasn’t any.”
Besides punchier, remixed versions of songs on the original album, the anniversary package includes 27 acoustic demos of material the Beatles made at Harrison’s house before recording sessions began, and 50 studio outtakes.