Beatles obsessives the world round are either rejoicing right now or looking mournfully at their bank balances, in light of the news that The White Album has been dutifully remastered. You might have heard three versions of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ earlier on last month, now you’ll be able to “peel back the layers” of ‘Glass Onion’ with three new versions. This includes another Esher demo, named after a recording period spent by the band at George Harrison’s residence in Esher, Surrey.
These early acoustic Esher demos are quite an insight into the band’s writing process. ‘Glass Onion’, it seems, started off as strummed acoustic guitar alongside some humorous moments where Lennon hasn’t quite worked out the song’s surrealist lyrics yet.
Meanwhile, ‘Take 10 / Audio’ shows a more fleshed out sounding version of this song, and with the whole band behind it ‘Glass Onion’ takes on more groove. Though it’s of course not a speck on the version that the band eventually complete.
Now here’s the last step in the journey through the evolution of ‘Glass Onion’, the fully developed bulb, as it were. It’s the version that The Beatles make with George Martin on board, and it’s obviously the most mature and sophisticated one in terms of arrangements. It’s had a glossy remastering, and you can hear it here alongside a new video, which comes as a slideshow of Beatles photos and footage packed with references for fans. It was put together by Paul McCartney and art director Richard Hamilton.
This new video is like a box of memorabilia; it’s quite simply done but a real treat for anyone looking to catch some intimate glimpses into the band at play.
This remaster of The White Album follows on from 2017’s Anniversary Edition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. This new release has been remastered with new stereo mixes and 5.1 Surround Audio, also including 27 previously unreleased demos and 50 session recordings. It will be available everywhere from 9th November.