Just in time for that Beatles fan on your Holiday Gift list, this new package offers plenty of New Stuff. For 50 years, The White Album has invited its listeners to venture forth and explore the breadth and ambition of its music, delighting and inspiring each new generation of listeners. The Beatles have now released a suite of lavishly presented White Album packages, including an expanded 6CD + Blu-ray package. The album’s 30 tracks are newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio, joined by 27 early acoustic demos and 50 session takes, most of which are previously unreleased in any form. GRADE: B+
Track Listings
Disc: 1
1. Back In The U.S.S.R.
2. Dear Prudence
3. Glass Onion
4. Ob – La
5. Wild Honey Pie
6. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun
9. Martha My Dear
10. I’m So Tired
11. Blackbird
12. Piggies
13. Rocky Racoon
14. Don’t Pass Me By
15. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?
16. I Will
17. Julia
Disc: 2
1. Birthday
2. Yer Blues
3. Mother Nature’s Son
4. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
5. Sexy Sadie
6. Helter Skelter
7. Long, Long, Long
8. Revolution 1
9. Honey Pie
10. Savoy Truffle
11. Cry Baby Cry
12. Revolution 9
13. Good Night
Disc: 3
1. Back In The U.S.S.R. (Esher Demo)
2. Dear Prudence (Esher Demo)
3. Glass Onion (Esher Demo)
4. Ob – La
5. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (Esher Demo)
6. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Esher Demo)
7. Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Esher Demo)
8. I’m So Tired (Esher Demo)
9. Blackbird (Esher Demo)
10. Piggies (Esher Demo)
11. Rocky Raccoon (Esher Demo)
12. Julia (Esher Demo)
13. Yer Blues (Esher Demo)
14. Mother Nature’s Son (Esher Demo)
15. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey (Esher Demo)
16. Sexy Sadie (Esher Demo)
17. Revolution (Esher Demo)
18. Honey Pie (Esher Demo)
19. Cry Baby Cry (Esher Demo)
20. Sour Milk Sea (Esher Demo)
21. Junk (Esher Demo)
22. Child Of Nature (Esher Demo)
23. Circles (Esher Demo)
24. Mean Mr Mustard (Esher Demo)
25. Polythene Pam (Esher Demo)
26. Not Guilty (Esher Demo)
27. What’s The New Mary Jane (Esher Demo)
Disc: 4
1. Revolution 1 (Take 18)
2. A Beginning (Take 4)/Don’t Pass Me By (Take 7)
3. Blackbird (Take 28)
4. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey (Unnumbered Rehearsal)
5. Good Night (Unnumbered Rehearsal)
6. Good Night (Take 10 With A Guitar Part From Take 7)
7. Good Night (Take 22)
8. Ob – La
9. Revolution (Unnumbered Rehearsal)
10. Revolution (Take 14 Instrumental Backing Track)
11. Cry Baby Cry (Unnumbered Rehearsal)
12. Helter Skelter (First Version Take 2)
Disc: 5
1. Sexy Sadie (Take 3)
2. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Acoustic Version Take 2)
3. Hey Jude (Take 1)
4. St Louis Blues (Studio Jam)
5. Not Guilty (Take 102)
6. Mother Nature’s Son (Take 15)
7. Yer Blues (Take 5 With Guide Vocal)
8. What’s The New Mary Jane (Take 1)
9. Rocky Raccoon (Take 8)
10. Back In The U.S.S.R. (Take 5 Instrumental Backing Track)
11. Dear Prudence (Vocal, Guitar & Drums)
12. Let It Be (Unnumbered Rehearsal)
13. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Third Version Take 27)
14. (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care (Studio Jam)
15. Helter Skelter (Second Version Take 17)
16. Glass Onion (Take 10)
Disc: 6
1. I Will (Take 13)
2. Blue Moon (Studio Jam)
3. I Will (Take 29)
4. Step Inside Love (Studio Jam)
5. Los Paranoias (Studio Jam)
6. Can You Take Me Back (Take 1)
7. Birthday (Take 2 Instrumental Backing Track)
8. Piggies (Take 12 Instrumental Backing Track)
9. Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Take 19)
10. Honey Pie (Instrumental Backing Track)
11. Savoy Truffle (Instrumental Backing Track)
12. Martha My Dear (Without Brass And Strings)
13. Long Long Long (Take 44)
14. I’m So Tired (Take 7)
15. I’m So Tired (Take 14)
16. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (Take 2)
17. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road? (Take 5)
18. Julia (Two Rehearsals)
19. The Inner Light (Take 6 Instrumental Backing Track)
20. Lady Madonna (Take 2 Piano & Drums)
21. Lady Madonna (Backing Vocals Take 3)
22. Across The Universe (Take 6)”


  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    Not my favorite Beatles album. A lot of good stuff here like While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Helter Skelter, Dear Prudence and Back in the USSR. But a lot of bad stuff like Revolution Number 9 and Bungalow Bill. Alternate takes and demos can be fun to listen to once or twice but not always worth the high price tag. I still prefer Rubber Soul or Revolver.

    1. george Post author

      Steve, I’m with you on THE WHITE ALBUM. For some Beatle fans, THE WHITE ALBUM is the zenith of their music. But I prefer their earlier work.

  2. Deb

    Rubber Soul & Revolver should be one double-album, imho. Still my favorite Beatle records. As for the White Album, I love “Back in the USSR”, “Birthday”, and “Julia” (we named one of our daughters Julia because of this lovely song), but if I never heard “Revolution #9” again, it would not trouble me unduly.

  3. Jeff Meyerson

    What Steve said, and you, and Deb. I knew about this because my brother sent me the link this week and said that he bought it for himself. (He was a huge George Harrison fan and was at the Concert for Bangla Desh in 1971 at MSG.) Give me RUBBER SOUL or REVOLVER or even ABBEY ROAD. I do like some of it, of course, but not nearly enough to buy this.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, these huge box sets (Dylan, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, etc.) are dwarfed by the Beatles projects scheduled for the months ahead. Some Beatles fans will play ANYTHING for something new from their favorite group.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I was interested in some of the alternate takes of some Dylan songs, but in the main I agree with you on the paucity of quality in most alternate takes. Worth listening once…and that’s it!

  4. patti Abbott

    Just read the review in the NYT and it seems like more for the Beatles completist than the average fan. Still they are the group of my youth and I am always interested in their work.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, these extravagant box sets seem to show up before Christmas every year. They are aimed at the Gift Market. I’m sure any Beatle fan would love this package…especially if someone else paid for it!

  5. Rick Robinson

    I’m a Beatles fan, in that I like a lot of their music, but I wouldn’t want this. Alternate takes, (he said yet again), don’t interest me and these packages aren’t worth the cost. I agree with the group here about RUBBER SOUL and REVOLVER, and like most of the songs on PLEASE PLEASE ME too (“Do You Want to Know A Secret”, and Things We Said Today” especially.

    I have all the Beatles albums downloaded to my computer, and have “unchecked” the songs I don’t like, so I can just touch “play” and get only what I like, and if I do random, it’s a little of everything.

    1. george Post author

      Rick, I think a lot of hardcore Beatles fans will shell out the money for this extravagant package. Like you, I have all the Beatles CDs I need.

  6. Rick Robinson

    In looking at the track list, I see “Sour Milk Sea”. “Sour Milk Sea” is a song by English rock singer Jackie Lomax that was released as his debut single on the Beatles’ Apple record label in August 1968. It was written by George Harrison during the Beatles’ stay in Rishikesh, India, and given to Lomax to help launch Apple Records. The recording is a rarity among non-Beatles songs since it features three members of the band – Harrison, who also produced the track, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. I had Lomax’ album and liked it quite a lot.

  7. Jeff Smith

    Count me among the “alternate takes? who cares?” group. I won’t get this, and even if someone gave it to me, I’d probably play it once and put it away.

    As for the White Album itself, my feelings have changed over the years. When it first came out, many people said they’d like it better as a single album, but they all had different lists of what should be on that single lp. I felt the same way. Now I want the whole thing. I think it’s a great album because it has all that diverse music on it, and if I still don’t care much for “Bungalow Bill,” that’s okay; it’s a necessary part of the mix. And after dozens (hundreds?) of listens over the years, I’ve come to actually enjoy “Revolution 9.”

    The only Beatles song that really makes me cringe when it comes on is “Bad Boy,” and I’m trying to come to terms with that one, too. All the other lesser efforts I’m okay with.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, THE WHITE ALBUM will never rank as one of my favorite Beatles albums, but like you I want all the songs available if only for historical accuracy.

    2. Todd Mason

      “Mr. Moonlight” , “The Fool on the Hill”, “Don’t Let Me Down”, “Run for Your Life”…these would be the Beatles songs I’d say are more annoying than “Revolution #9″…”Old Brown Shoe” is a pretty minor Harrison, too…yet I always enjoy the similarly repetitive “Oh, Darling” which at least doesn’t sound so narcissistic. “The Word” is another on RUBBER SOUL that rubs me a bit more the wrong than right way.

      “Things We Said Today” is one of the highlights of the A HARD DAY’S NIGHT album, not quite as early as PLEASE PLEASE ME…in the US reshuffle on SOMETHING NEW.

      HELP! is, I think, the most underrated of the band’s albums, in the UK original, if any of their albums can be said to be. I’m surprised at the amount of dislike for “Bungalow Bill”…

  8. Todd Mason

    Alternate tracks are usually most interesting in more improvisational music…jazz, bluegrass, some classical traditions…or when something is stripped down from a lot of production, such as the LET IT BE tracks…similar takes can be interesting but just as likely wearying…

    Or when a song is rewritten to some notable extent, as with the Zombies’ “Just Out of Reach” re-lyric’d to become “Come On Time” to advertise BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING…helps that the new lyrics were witty.

    1. george Post author

      Todd, I have some interest in alternative takes of Bob Dylan songs because of the vast variations. Lyrics change, instrumentation changes, and sometimes the entire tone of the song changes. Same situation on Van Morrison alternative takes.


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