Beatles’ ‘White Album’ recording process taxed producer George Martin

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In this Aug. 23, 1966 file photo, The Beatles (from left) Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison appear at a press conference in New York. | AP Photo, File

NEW YORK — Giles Martin says his father, producer George Martin, would wince whenever a fan would say that the “White Album” was their favorite 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 Nov. 9.

“He liked things to be organized, and the ‘White Album’ wasn’t organized,” Giles Martin said recently.

George Martin, photographed in Los Angeles, Saturday, July 12, 2008. | Dan Steinberg/AP

George Martin, photographed in Los Angeles, Saturday, July 12, 2008. | Dan Steinberg/AP

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 Martin 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.

Associated Press

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