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Abbey Road Studios, London, October 1968

Paul McCartney is pictured here towards the end of recording sessions for The Beatles (aka ‘The White Album’), which concluded with the recording of Lennon composition Julia on 13 October, 1968. The album’s protracted production was riven with tensions – Yoko Ono’s presence disrupted the unity implied by the album’s title, studio mainstay Geoff Emerick left, as did Ringo Starr, to spend time on Peter Sellers’ yacht, and disillusioned producer George Martin’s authority was sidelined to the extent he went on holiday for two weeks. Some songs (such as Julia and Blackbird) featured their composer as lone Beatle; some (Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da) required alienating levels of perfectionism to complete; others (Happiness Is A Warm Gun) briefly rekindled their love of playing together as a unit. Given all of this, it’s a wonder it was made at all – and a miracle that, all things considered, it was perhaps their creative peak.

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About Long Live Vinyl

The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Issue 21 of Long Live Vinyl celebrates the moment 50 years ago when the two biggest bands on earth went head to head on record-shop shelves. Our cover story tells the inside story of the making of The White Album and Beggars Banquet, while taking a look inside the new Deluxe Editions of both albums – you’ve never heard The White Album like this before! And our special collector’s edition covers enable you to choose either a Beatles or Stones edition – or buy both! Elsewhere this issue, we meet two of the most outspoken characters in the current musical landscape – Richard Ashcroft and Baxter Dury – to hear about their extraordinary new albums, and Heavenly Records founder Jeff Barrett talks us through his remarkable life in music, selecting the records that have soundtracked his career. Tim Burgess sits down for a chat about his O Genesis record label, The Trip visits Liverpool, our Classic Album is A Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 hip-hop masterpiece Midnight Marauders and we round up 40 Essential Laurel Canyon records that should be residing in your collection. If all that’s not enough, we bring you the most extensive range of new album, reissue and hardware reviews anywhere on the newsstand.