Giles Martin at The Power Station Berklee Introduces “The White Album” Remix, Outtakes and Demos

November 9, November 9, November 9: On November 9, Apple Corps/UMe will release multiple deluxe editions of The Beatles, the seminal self-titled double album affectionately known, due to its stark packaging, as “The White Album.”

All configurations will include producer Giles Martin’s 2018 stereo mix of the album, assisted by Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios and based on its original stereo mix by George Martin and the Beatles.

At today’s event Mr. Martin first played demo tracks from the oft-bootlegged “Esher demos”, recorded in the basement of George Harrison’s Kinfauns on 4-track reel shortly after the Beatles returned from India in May 1968. Some demoed tracks such as “Not Guilty,” “Sour Milk Sea,” and “Child of Nature” did not make the cut to the album; however the latter became John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” and the group eventually gave “Sour Milk Sea” to their newly signed artist Jackie Lomax for his Apple Records debut. Mr. Martin played some of those tracks along with demos of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and a few others. Seven of these demos were previously made available on Anthology 3, but the others remained previously unreleased until now. All formats were mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road, with two sets of lacquers for the core album (one for Optimal and the other for QRP) being cut at half-speed..

In addition to the new stereo mix, 3CD and 4LP releases will come with 27 tracks from the “Esher demos”. For the true Beatlemaniac, a deluxe box of 6 CD’s and a Blu-ray disc will be offered. Along with Giles Martin’s 2018 mix, there will be 3 CD’s of studio jams, alternate takes, rehearsals, and outtakes from the album and its associated singles. The Blu-ray will contain new 5.1 and stereo mixes with a new transfer of the original mono mix, all in high-resolution 96kHz/24bit audio.

The discs are housed in a slipsleeved 164-page hardcover book with introductions from Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, track-by-track details, and pictures of the band, tape boxes, recording sheets, and print ads. To replicate elements of the original LP’s package, four individual photos of the band and the fold-out poster with photo collages and lyrics will be included. If that’s too much for you, a more affordable standard 2LP set with the album remix only will be part of the reissue campaign.

In his discussion, Mr. Martin sought to contradict the accepted belief that this was a “break-up” album, though he did mention Ringo’s leaving and returning to the band, adding that without the fourth member, there really was no band.

Martin also said the surviving Beatles and Yoko Ono were involved in the mixing process, which was done twice and completed last December after it was decided that the original remix was not satisfactory.

It would be foolish to draw any firm conclusions based upon what we heard in Power Station Studio C other than that unlike the Sgt. Pepper’s… remix the goal was not necessarily to reproduce the mono mix but in stereo. Martin discussed the difficulties involved in remixing the album, which was more of a “band document” than a “production” like Sgt. Pepper’s…. . The tracks were played back from computer on a pair of JBL floor standers, not sure of the model, but the sound appeared to be more “forward” in the midrange and higher overall in midrange energy, but that could have been the speakers. Another listener commented that Ringo seems to get louder (and better) with every remix, something Martin did not deny.

The remix of “Long, Long, Long” seemed to indicate that Martin chose to eliminate the atmospheric reverb behind Ringo’s toms, but again that could be because of the playback. Overall staging also appeared flatter and more immediate but best to wait for the real thing reproduced on a proper hi-fi as opposed to a studio operation.

Pro-Ject Announces White 2Xperience SB Turntable

On Monday (September 24), Pro-Ject announced a new spin on their 2Xperience turntable to celebrate Apple Corps/UMe’s upcoming reissues of The Beatles’ 1968 self-titled double LP, which many fans know as “The White Album.” The belt-driven turntable, which will retail at $1,799, is limited to 1,000 pieces and is almost all white. It features the 9” CC Evo tonearm, pre-mounted Ortofon 2M White cartridge (made custom for this turntable), diamond-cut drive pulley, inverted tonearm bearings, MDF chassis, and a heavy acrylic platter advertised to “improve sonics.” There will also be a white record clamp and electronic speed change from 33 to 45 rpm. With it’s plinth design modeled after the album cover and limited availability, Pro-Ject hopes this will become a true collector’s item for Beatles fans, much in the vein of their Sgt. Pepper’s... 2Xperience turntable.

For those who thought and think the original mixes cannot be improved upon, the session material and Esher recordings should still be of great interest to Beatles fans.

COMMENTS
francisalbert's picture

Yet another Beatles reissue .... yawn

Hats Domino's picture

They really need to put aside their differences and record some new material. It's been, what, like 50 years?!

Anton D's picture

Time to get George back into the fold, as well.

Maybe give George 3 songs per album. There's room on CD format.

alucas's picture

all the re-issues after 87 were a big yawn but since Giles is starting to work them from earlier mixes, the sound, so far, i.e. sgt pepper, has sounded great! yes i have been waiting for this but not the big production package, just the 2lp will do.

Vinyl On Tubes's picture

White vinyl. Come on, man?
4 LP set includes which original version? The Stereo or Mono?
I'll probably just get the 2 LP version.

Jack Gilvey's picture

Looking forward to this, as with all of them.

Jazzfan62's picture

I see Malachi is listed as a co-author. Did he help out with the post? Glad to see his name.

Michael Fremer's picture
I was so pressed for time after the Giles event. So Malachi wrote the body of the piece (including the #9 humor) and I grafted onto it the Power Station event details. How much fun is it to have a 12 year old peer? As much fun as you might imagine.
clucking's picture

"November 9, November 9, November 9: On November 9"

Har har har har.

Anton D's picture

He seems pretty awesome.

You have paid it forward, sir.

azmoon's picture

As a lifelong Beatles fan I only look forward to hearing the out takes and demos. Giles did a terrible job on Pepper and I have no hope this will be any better.

What should have been done is a remaster from the original tapes with an all analog chain to vinyl by Steve Hoffman and/or Kevin Gray.

They should issue the out takes and demos separately so we are not forced to buy the "remix". Listening to the remix will be a 1 or 2 time thing for me.

Nepotism at it's worst on one of the most important catalogs in recorded history.

WesHeadley's picture

I have six versions of Sgt. Pepper's including an original US stereo, MFSL Beatles Box Set, 1976 Japanese reissue, 2012 Stereo remaster box set (EU edition), the 2014 Mono box set, and the 2017 50th Anniversary edition. The 2017 edition blows all of the past editions away. The 2015 mono is very good too. To say he did a terrible job is kind of laughable. I'm listening using a SOTA Star Sapphire table, Origin Live Silver MKII arm, and Soundsmith Hyperion cartridge.

Hats Domino's picture

I don't think it's your gear that is faulty, it's your ears that are laking the ability to hear the Pepper remixes aren't very good and are too compressed.

WesHeadley's picture

I prefer dynamic recordings generally, and I don't think the latest release sounds overly compressed. If others reading this have an opinion I hope a few of them reply and share their impressions.

Hats Domino's picture

Don't know what the DR readings are, don't particularly care. The drums are especially compressed on the Pepper remix. Maybe they've found a way to over-compress the drums yet still retain high DR values for all the audiophiles.

vinyl listener's picture

g martin's fiddlings are akin to the efforts of the old lady who ruined the church fresco.
digital + half speed mastering just finishes the job.

Michael Fremer's picture
Must you turn what's clearly an opinion, into an insult?
Steelhead's picture

I tend to concur with your take. The giles version of Pepper sounds outstanding to me. My go to is the UHQR Pepper and I have had many folks pick it as the one to have over the decades. I also have the mono boxset and bluebox pepper as well. But I enjoy the hell out of the plain cd of Love and my brother thinks it is like someone desecrating a piece of art. I will probably pass (or tell myself that and then get the 4 lp set). I am just glad the fabs are still available on new vinyl and we can argue about it.

Hats Domino's picture

You know, suggesting Hoffman have anything to do with a Beatles reissue really fries my mullet, not to mention is a tired idea that has a nearly 30 year history of not happening.

I just don't want to hear Hoffman's thinned out bass, 1 kHz boost, and muffled top end applied to the Fab's music.

And Kevin Gray's gold-plated bypass switch has some DC offset issues. Everything the guy has done in the last decade has DC on the right channel.

Michael Fremer's picture
You have a choice: either prove that or retract it. You have made a serious charge and since you claim to own a cutting lathe, you're behaving like a competitive troll. If you've not posted proof that Gray's bypass switch as "some DC offset issues". He denies it.
sgt pepper's picture

I see the Hoffman appreciation society have made an appearance from behind their keyboards, talking utter nonsense again.

Michael Fremer's picture
Steve Hoffman does not master vinyl. Do you not know that? It could not be either/or. The tape will never again leave Abbey Road. Sean Magee would do an excellent job on an AAA reissue and I for one would like to see that as well!
Michael Fremer's picture
You could say he also looks like Brett Kavanaugh
Anton D's picture

I love the "looks like" fun of things!

McFaden's picture

damn, Michael! I'd remove that comment before Giles sees it. I can think of no worse insult. ;)

WaltonGoggins's picture

the new standard for American Mob Justice- Guilty until proven innocent, but still guilty, anyway.

Michael Fremer's picture
There was no mob and this was a job interview not a trial so "guilt" or "innocence" is not the standard. His behavior was disgusting, as long as you are asking. He lied repeatedly, he abused and insulted a Senator and he was a whining, bleating creep who did not show judicial temperament. But why take my word for it? Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, a Republican appointee to the court, said after watching Kavanaugh's performance that he's not fit for seat on The Supreme Court. Surely the GOP and Trump can find another well-qualified candidate like Gorsuch.
wgb113's picture

This is my favorite album by them, possible my favorite album of all time. I was pleased with what they did with Pepper and am expecting to be happy with this one.
I'll be springing for the Super Deluxe set as well as the 4LP set - should be cool to have the Esher demos on vinyl - only had a sketchy CD boot from the 90s in my collection until now.

azmoon's picture

Thats what Giles did to Pepper. Brick walled many snippets and pasted them together. Some people like that.

Expect the same on the White Album.

wgb113's picture

While it wasn't the same DR of the original vinyl saying it was brickwalled is a bit much.

I'll take the less dynamic, more natural soundstage over the slightly more dynamic hard panned stereo of the original any day.

Hats Domino's picture

The Pepper remix was flattened pretty thoroughly during mixing. Don't know how much more was done during mastering, but it was definitely overly compressed during mixing.

Michael Fremer's picture
"Overly" is of course a subjective judgement. The way you confuse facts with opinions is both troubling and indicative of slop.
sgt pepper's picture

This is utter nonsense.

sgt pepper's picture

Total nonsense.

Michael Fremer's picture
Not what he did.
sgt pepper's picture

I see the Hoffman forum armchair experts are making an appearance here.

azmoon's picture

Did not know that, but will look into it. I just think his work is really good. As is Kevin Grays. Obviously, many labels also agree.
Giles? His fathers son. That's how he got this important job. Credentials? None.

sgt pepper's picture

Credentials none...........ha, ha, ha. Do some research.

Michael Fremer's picture
But he does not cut lacquers.
RG's picture

When the vinyl mono box came out, we were told that the white album was included (and no lps released after that one) because the band intended it for mono and that the stereo mix was only completed as an afterthought" for the new flangled stereos just coming out at that time. We were told (and sold) that the mono version was definitive. Now, apparently, not so much. I do not understand what Mr. Martin's goal was in this project and what specifically, what exactly, he was trying to improve. I also object to having to buy the 4 vinyl disc set in order to get the demos on vinyl. That configuration includes the 1968 (stereo) mix AND the new mix. Why I am being asked to buy the allegedly inferior 68 mix at the same time I'm being sold a "new and improved" version? It is difficult to avoid the feeling that we are all being jerked around.

sgt pepper's picture

Then don't buy it, simple.

Michael Fremer's picture
I think you've misconstrued or misstated all of this. Yes, the band cared most about the mono version because that's how most kids in the U.K. experienced it so they paid attention as it was mixed. The stereo mix was done by others without their input. This was also true of "Sgt. Pepper's..." where crucial things were left out of the stereo mix that Lennon and McCartney insisted upon for the mono mix. So the stereo remix all those years later was an attempt to fix serious mistakes and to produced a far superior mix because they could use the original "stem" elements instead of pre-mixes intended for mono that tied down where things could be placed on the soundstage and sounded 3rd and 4th generation because they were. No one said the mono versions were "definitive". They were what The Beatles most cared about. I like the stereo too. The need for a White Album remix remains mysterious. I think the original stereo mix sounds great but I'll wait to hear the remix before offering an opinion.
StonedBeatles1's picture

Giles Martin sucks and The White Album needs a remix like a whole in the head.
Shame on Macca for being such a greedy wanker.

sgt pepper's picture

Why do these Trolls turn up time and again

mauidj's picture

Because some of us are not fooled by the incessant remaking of albums that have been remade to death already. That maybe we can see that this is a simple and blatant cash grab. That we can appreciate the perfection of the original.. I don’t need to see Picasso’s son making a version of guernica any more than Sir Gorge Martins kid giving us his version of daddy’s work. The outtakes I get. The rest is food for fools.

sgt pepper's picture

Even with the limitations of the time?

You have not even heard it yet and here we are with you slagging it off?

sgt pepper's picture

Also, you say cash grab, in which way exactly?

sgt pepper's picture

Sgt Pepper was excellent?

mauidj's picture

.....and get branded a Troll.
It used to be called an opinion.

sgt pepper's picture

Erm, not you?

vinyl listener's picture

... more often than not applies to the playback equipment available, not the recordings.

Anton D's picture

Is it any wonder you are too cool to fool?

_

Not taking part in the argument, just liked the last turn of phrase, which made me think of the Bowie lyric.

Michael Fremer's picture
The Sgt. Pepper stereo remix is overall much better than the original. It fixes things The Beatles wanted to have in it that were in the mono mix and mixing from original stems instead of multiple "bounces" produced far greater transparency and a much better sounding record overall.
bwright's picture

The remix was long overdue. There were multiple deficiencies in the original stereo mix.

Thanks to a few brave souls - with the courage to tackle a mountain like Pepper - this album now sounds wonderful.

Michael Fremer's picture
A fool posits that the original stereo "Sgt. Pepper's..." was "perfection". The mono? Yes. It was what The Beatles and George Martin wanted. The stereo? No. It was seriously compromised and flawed, and riddled with both mistakes and compromises necessitated by the recording process.
Anton D's picture

Please read "Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby before making further arguments about this White Album fracas.

You'll thank me later.

:-D

StonedBeatles1's picture

Maybe some of our comments lean to be a bit harder than other's but we're all entitled to our opinion(s).

When it comes to The Stones The 2002 Abkco reissues be it CD, SACD or vinyl sourced via DSD sound wonderful. To my ears the regular CD's sound excellent.

Many people hated The Beatles mid 80's CD's whereas I thought they sounded reasonably good but could have been better. With all the work involved with the CD 2009 reissues and USB stick I found them to be slightly louder and dryer sounding, hence the 1st 4 albums released in stereo. I even felt that The Capitol Albums vol.1 and vol.2, on CD, where a great representation of how the original US albums came out.

As for Pepper, I loved the mid 80's MFSL pressing that I have whereas many felt it to be overly bright and a bit bass heavy. But the 2017 Giles remix to me sounded dry and compressed, in addition to making a stereo mix using the mono mix as a template. That's utter nonsense. There has been 2 great mixes to have for 50 year. Why mess with perfection? Master from the best source available and be done with it!

Now The White Album is my favorite recording of all time, purchasing no less than 14 copies over the years in all the various formats with my favorite being the mid 80's German DMM pressing, and, the mid 80's CD sounds pretty damn close to my ears with it's limitations, per see. Now to use the original stereo mix as a template to create a new stereo mix? WTF is that?? Am I missing something here? Release the outtakes and maybe non edited versions of some of the used takes and leave perfection alone. It's the greed of the music business that caused it's downfall and most likely will once again. Now if sonically this new remix would sound as the sonics of the Love album then I'm mistaken but I bet that t won't. I also believe that the Love album worked as a soundtrack to the Vegas show but as an actual album it was a joke.

All these reissues are making me loath the band that had already ruined my life and caused me a lifetime of being a sheer music lover.

Michael Fremer's picture
"There has been 2 great mixes to have for 50 year. Why mess with perfection? Master from the best source available and be done with it!" Really? The original stereo mix contains many mistakes caused by a failure of the stereo mixers to pay attention to what The Beatles themselves wanted, which was accomplished in the mono mix because they hung around for that one. Fixing those mistakes makes complete sense. What's more, the stereo mix was hampered by the pre-mixed "bounced" tracks necessitated by the lack of sufficient tracks to handle all of the elements. The recording was created to produce the mono mix. The stereo mix was an afterthought. There was no "genius" there. There was simply a mix done as best as could be done under the circumstances. The new stereo mx using the original unbounded "stems" is far superior in almost every way other than the overuse of dynamic compression (the original was plenty compressed as well).
vinylsoul1965's picture

Although I am someone who loves the idea of remixes, Pepper was a disappointment due to the unmusical use of compression. The opening of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" takes out all of the sonic excitement that I experience when hearing the original stereo mix. For me, I would much rather have the "mistakes" that happened in the rushed original mix than to hear the beautiful original first generation tracks assembled together and slaughtered sonically. It is like pouring ketchup onto a perfectly cooked filet mignon. Giles did a great job of going back to the non-bounced original tracks and reassemble them in what was a mix that had really lovely stereo imaging and depth that surpassed the original. However, no matter how much work and detail they went into, I prefer my filet mignon a little underdone than to have it smothered in ketchup. Now, in looking ahead to the White Album, the snippets I have heard so far are promising. The original version is a pretty gritty sounding record that I think will do well with Giles treatment. I am not however looking forward to the remix of Abbey Road.

dgrady's picture

Pepper remix was so much fun. To hear Ringo's kick drum unleashed on the back half of "Good Morning, Good Morning" is exactly the kind of "shake, rattle and roll" John Lennon so stridently advocated for. Sorry the squares can't get hip to that.

"White Album" always sounded like over-compressed dog crap to my ears. It's easily the most sonically annoying of the original Beatles LPs. None of those instruments sound natural. Anthology 3 versions showed that the source tapes had something resembling actual instruments on them.

I'm so excited to hear John Lennon's living, breathing acoustic guitar on "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" or "Cry Baby Cry". Or a snare drum in "Savoy Truffle" that doesn't resemble a wet cardboard box.

Bring it Giles, good on ya.

WaltonGoggins's picture

I don't have 12 other versions- just a basic (lousy sounding) copy from 1973 (replacing the "record player" trashed high school original) and a Mono Box version I've never heard- and probably never will hear. I thought the new version of Back in the USSR sounded better than the '09 version on YouTube, so that's a good start.

I happen to enjoy my 2017 Sgt Pepper very much.(I suspect I wouldn't like the CD all that much.) Not perfect, but it's fun to hear a "full" soundstage across the back wall. And guess what? I can still hear my old left speaker-right speaker copy whenever I want. Mean old Giles didn't come and take it from me in the middle of the night!

alucas's picture

Finally someone is talking some sense in this runaway forum. Giles did A great job on Pepper and will do it again on the white lp. A lot of these people do not have good ears and I hate to see what kind of gear they wasted their money on.

xtcfan80's picture

I enjoy the versions of the White Album Mono CD Box & LP that were released in the past 10 years. I'll get this new 2-LP version (pressed at QRP!!) and will enjoy comparing this new mix with the other CDs & LPs I have...IMO you can't have too many versions of this title....

hi-fivinyljunkie's picture

I see little point in remixes. Alucus you are being insulting to people with better gear that obviously can hear things you can't. The Pepper remix was kind of forced in your face sound which may have improved stereo spread but at the expense of the feel of the original. Tiring to listen to and that's the supposed uncompressed vinyl.

Since Giles was forced to have a second attempt at this presumably by The Beatles and Yoko just maybe he has toned down the compression while improving some aspects of the recording. Agree Giles hasn't the credentials to be doing this in any case. With reference to demands for Hoffman / Grey, Abbey Road have Miles Showell and Sean Magee both of which are more than capable of producing a stellar cut straight from the original tapes.

WaltonGoggins's picture

My systems tend to be a bit on the laid back side (Grado carts) and I haven't suffered fatigue (which I am prone to). Maybe if I played it a lot... I guess I definitely would say that She's Leaving Home isn't as enjoyable.

But quite a few tracks have provided thrills, something I hadn't experienced since the fall of '67, when I heard the album on my friend's parents' bitchin' console stereo. :)

RG's picture

In 2014, Mr. Fremer reviewed the newly released Beatles in mono vinyl box, regarding the white album, he noted at the time:

"....Berkowitz told me that in his opinion and in the opinions of many, the mono mixes were the more important reissues and I agree. They were the ones The Beatles listened to and to which they paid more attention during mixing. The monos were the ones most kids back then heard both on the radio and at home..."

So again I ask, can someone explain why this new stereo mix was necessary and what Mr. Martin identified as needing to be fixed.

Michael Fremer's picture
For those who want stereo. So now there's a much better sounding stereo mix that fulfills the wishes of The Beatles in the '60s.
DJ Huk's picture

A buddy of mine absolutely refused to listen to the Pepper's remix, considering the original holy writ, without distinction between US and UK pressings. But a Beatles fanatic I know considers the remix a vast improvement over every other version. I think it's outstanding. I always found it amusing that Pepper's was known as an astounding "headphones album" then understanding that the Beatles thought the mono was the true representation of what they intended; to me, mono just doesn't come over as well with cans compared to stereo. I always preferred the stereo mix. The earlier albums are better in mono, because they come out as punchier (however, true story, the Ramones were influenced by the stereo mixes of the early albums when cutting their first albums). I'll probably buy the 2 LP remix, even if I don't need the posters and photos and all that, what with my originals in pristine shape.

jkingtut's picture

I made it to the end of the internet. Uh, or maybe just this thread but at the moment I can't tell. Isn't it a pity. A little something to drink or other as one may deem appropriate (or even nothing but we all love our tweaks) and any version of any song on any of their records sends me to an ever glistening and loving other world where I would gladly stay. I went to the Love show in Vegas very soon after it began and even though they were having some sound issues I was mesmerized, and tried to pay another $160 to get back in to the late show but the line was too long and none of those people had tickets. I bought the Love CD that night and again using (or not) the tweaks aforementioned, every time I play it I marvel at the sequencing and the sound quality and my utter enjoyment of this mini trip across their universe. I guess I'm just a musically cheap date.

cundare's picture

The clearest comparison, to me at least, is to Steven Wilson's terrrific remixes of the classic Yes albums. So WHY NOT INCLUDE A PACKAGE THAT INCLUDES ONLY THE BLU-RAY?

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