October 21, 2016

The Alternate White Album - 1998 Edition


The sleeve says: No Anthology Tracks.Another in the series of Alternate albums, where a collection is put together based on the timing of the original released album. This particular C.D. collects together a lot of fine outtakes from the "White Album" era, including studio alternate takes, live performances and of course the Esher sessions. It also pulls together some of the official stereo or mono mixes that were less commonly found. Yes, I know we already have these pieces, but, nicely presented and nicely collected together makes it worth having them again.

I'm approaching The Alternate White Album with the attitude of the amateur who loves the White Album, and not with the attitude of the hard core Beatles fan who wants to get every possible alternate take that exists out there. I mostly wanted to hear some of the alternate versions and mono mixes that exist of these songs without shelling out a fortune for the original mono vinyl (yet).

The double CD set offers a run through the 31 songs of the original album in alternate takes, either from mono mixes, the 'Peter Sellers Tape' (a tape with early rough mixes of the songs, given as a gift to actor Peter Sellers by Ringo) and a few from the Esher sessions in spring 1968. These versions are not radically different (the possible exception being a wonderful acoustic version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"), but they add interesting little twists and turns here and there that have just the novelty value for me as a moderate Beatles fan to enjoy the material anew.

Added to this are 25 bonus tracks, home demos, out-takes and alternate takes of varying quality and interest that were recorded at the same time. There are no fantastic discoveries here, but tracks like George's "Sour Milk Sea" and "Not Guilty" deserve to be heard, John's "Everybody Had a Hard Year" sheds some light on "I've Got a Feeling" from Let It Be, and the prototype for his "Jealous Guy" (here under a different title) may surprise quite a few people, so it's not all just fluff.

The sound quality of this is fine, only the Esher sessions and home demos sound rather muffled. The package claims that the CDs contain "no Anthology tracks". I'm not entirely sure about one or two of them, but mostly this seems to be true.

As a mixture of released tracks (the mono mixes), demos, unreleased mixes and out-takes this can of course not reach the quality of the released White Album, and hard core fans will perhaps want a more comprehensive set of alternate versions from the White Album sessions, but this is useful enough to broaden the horizon for the average fan. Not one of the rip-off bootlegs, but actually pretty good stuff. http://rateyourmusic.com/release/unauth/the_beatles/the_alternate_white_album/





TRACKLIST :

Disc 1:
  1. Back In The USSR [Alternate Mix, Extra Aeroplane Noises]
  2. Dear Prudence [Alternate Mix, Clean Intro, Different End]
  3. Glass Union [Mono Mix 26-9-1968]
  4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da [Alternate Mix, 'Peter Sellers tape'] 
  5. Wild Honey Pie [Alternate Mix, 'Peter Sellers tape']
  6. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill [Esher Sessions, May 1968] 
  7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps [Acoustic Version] 
  8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun [Mono Mix, Louder Bass]
  9. Martha My Dear [Mono Mix 4-10-1968]
  10. I'm So Tired [Monitor Mix, Extra Guitar] 
  11. Blackbird [Mono Mix, Different Bird Sounds] 
  12. Piggies [Mono Mix, Different Piggies Sounds]
  13. Rocky Raccoon [Mono Mix] 
  14. Don't Pass By Me [Alternate Mix, 'Peter Sellers tape']
  15. Why Don't We Do It In The Road?[Mono Mix]
  16. I Will [Mono Mix]
  17. Julia [Early Acoustic Lennon Demo]
  18. Child Of Nature [Esher Sessions, May 1968] 
  19. Not Guilty [Unreleased Stereo Remix] 
  20. Circles [Esher Sessions, May 1968] 
  21. Sour Milk Sea [Esher Sessions, May 1968]
  22. Junk [Esher Sessions, May 1968]
  23. Hey Jude  [Early Version, 30-7-1968] 
  24. Brian Epstein Blues [Monitor Mix]
  25. What's The New Mary Jean [Take 4]
Disc 2:
  1. Birthday [18-9-1968, Overdubs 19-9-1968]
  2. Yer Blues [Alternate Mix, 'Peter Sellers tape']
  3. Mother Nature's Son [Monitor Mix]
  4. Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey [Alternate Mix, 'Peter Sellers Tape', Cleaner Intro, Different Ending]
  5. Sexy Sadie [Unedited Version, Lasts 38 Seconds Longer Than The Released Version]
  6. Helter Skelter [Mono Mix, Shorter Version Without 'Blisters On My Fingers', Louder Backing Vocals]
  7. Long, Long Long [Mono Mix, 7-10-1968]
  8. Revoution 1 [Acoustic Version, Esher Sessions]
  9. Honey Pie#1 [Esher Sessions]
  10. Honey Pie#2 [Esher Sessions]
  11. Cry Baby Cry [Esher Sessions]
  12. Revolution 9 [Mono Mix]
  13. Good Night [Shorter Version, Chldren's Voices At The End]
  14. I Hate To See [The Evening Sun Go Down]
  15. Hey Jude [Early Version, 30-7-1968]
  16. Las Vegas Tune [30-7-1968]
  17. Everyone Had A Hard Year [John's Home Demo]
  18. A Case Of The Blues [John's Home Demo]
  19. Happy Rishikesh Song [Demo]
  20. Oh My Love [John's Home Demo]
  21. Gone Tomorrow Her Today [Acoustic Version]
  22. Helter Skelter [Acoustic Version]
  23. Wierd Album Sessions [Anthology Video Medley]
  24. Spiritual Regeneration [Rishikesh Tape, India 1968]
  25. Riskikesh No. 9 [Rishikesh Tape, India 1968]
https://manuelbeatlogs.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-beatles-alternate-white-album.html