The Beatles (The White Album; Super Deluxe Edition) The Beatles (Capitol) I’m sorry, but I am really starting to feel old. We just had a 50th an-

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niversary of the Stones Beggars Banquet, and next year is the 50th anniversary of the for- mation of the Allman Brothers Band. Perhaps the hardest of all to believe is that it has been 50 years since the Beatles shocked fans and the world as a whole with their most experi- mental and eclectic album ever. The double- LP, called simply “The Beatles” came to be known as “the white album,” due to its lack of cover art, electing instead to house the two al- bums in a plain white gatefold cover with the “The Beatles” in small pint on it. Over the years, the album has been

praised endlessly as innovative recording, and the songs were as far a cry from the Beatles sound just a few years earlier as one could get. After all of the hoopla had died down, we all realized that we had lived through some true rock and roll history. When I first heard that the album was

being remixed for an anniversary release, I laughed out loud. “What?” That’s like doing a remake of the Mona Lisa, I thought. I was re- ally riled up about it for months, and then one day, it all became clear to me. They are not trying to improve on the original. That would be impossible. This would instead be an alter- nate take on the album, through the eyes and ears of Giles Martin, son of the band’s origi- nal producer George Martin. The first two CDs present the White

Album remastered, and as much of a fan as I am, I still very much appreciate Giles’ take on

the music. The vocals are warmer and the in- struments really pop, and the music is louder and clearer than ever before. The drums are crisper and the cymbals crash like never be- fore and the bass is out front, no longer buried. Giles has managed to improve on per- fection. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

sounds fresh and new, as does “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” The sound is nothing less than the best Christmas gift an old Beatles fan like me could get. Disc three, “The Esher Demos,” finds

the band in George Harrison’s studio, un- plugged, going over the songs for the album. Amazing stuff. Fans will literally go nuts over discs four through six, a collection of out- takes, working versions, and audio sketched including Lennon playing “Julia” for George Martin for the first time; 13 minutes of the original blues jam that was “Helter Skelter;” and the unreleased “What’s the New Mary Jane?” Hours of fresh Beatles, and only a fifty-year wait! Well, I do believe it’s all in the timing, and this one is perfectly timed for any of those 60-70-year-old Beatles fans who have managed to stay alive in this crazy world. It’s bound to put smiles on more than a few slightly wrinkled, wiser and aged faces.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

Born to Uke Various Artists (Equator Assoc. LLC)

There are

original ideas, and then there are origi- nal ideas. This one is pure original. Var- ious artists recreate

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