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It’s become accepted wisdom that the making of the Beatl es, aka the White Album, was the moment that the fractures within the band became critical – its sprawling, diverse brilliance the sum of four solo projects rather than a band working in harmony towards a collective vision. the vast new Deluxe Edition, released this month, holds within its grooves ample information to suggest that line is at least partly a red herring. Listening to the illuminating collection of largely unreleased studio outtakes reveals a playful levity that contradicts the view of a band barely on speaking terms. A debate about Marmite-flavoured crisps at the start of Lady Madonna dissolves into laughter, while Paul and John fool around like giggling stoned teenagers on the daft Latin-flavoured Los Paranoias. Also revelatory on the finally released Esher Demos is a remarkably torpid early take of Helter Skelter recorded before McCartney turned it into the white-knuckle powerhouse it became on the final album.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Long Live Vinyl - Dec 2018
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