Clips & Pix: The Beatles/While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Third Version/Take 27)

I know I just posted about the 50th anniversary edition of the White Album. In the meantime, I’ve further explored the massive reissue and simply couldn’t resist to write more about it.

The above clip is a studio take of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, one of my favorite George Harrison songs. In addition to George (vocals, Hammond organ, acoustic guitar), it features John Lennon (electric guitar), Paul McCartney (vocals, piano, bass), Ringo Starr (drums, tambourine, castanets) and Eric Clapton (lead guitar).

Not only have I gained a new appreciation for the incredible variety of music The Beatles wrote for this album (just consider the differences between tracks like Blackbird, Helter Skelter and Revolution 9), but it’s also been an eye-opener how unlike Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, they mostly recorded the White Album as a band playing live in the studio. Based on background chatter, it’s also obvious to me they had a good deal of fun.

You don’t sense any of the tension between them you always read about. I’m not saying it didn’t happen. After all it’s a fact that Ringo walked out at some point, since he couldn’t take it any longer. But it’s also true that John, Paul and George truly wanted him to come back and decorated the entire studio with flowers when he did.

So despite of all the conflict, The Beatles were still able to function as a band, as mind-boggling as that sounds! During a fascinating 90-minute panel discussion about the White Album, which you can still watch on YouTube here, Giles Martin attributed this in part to the fact that John, Paul, George and Ringo really appreciated each other as musicians. At some point, he also appears to doubt that the conflicts between The Beatles were as bad as is commonly thought.

Sources: YouTube

7 thoughts on “Clips & Pix: The Beatles/While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Third Version/Take 27)”

  1. I was listening to the Beatles channel on Sirius and they played a White Album tune, either “Back in the USSR,” or “Glass Onion,” maybe both. And then the DJ came on and said something like, “Well if those takes sounded different to you that’s because they are from the 50th Anniversary Edition.” And I thought, I have heard both of those songs 1,000 times and neither of them sounded even remotely different. Now maybe my ears aren’t good enough or maybe it’s just a shitty car stereo. But I wasn’t sold. I dig this album but no way in hell am I spending another dime on it. Well, I take that back. Have the Esher demos ever been out? I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d long since been bootlegged. I’d love to hear those.

    As to Electric Ladyland, oddly I don’t have a favorite Hendrix album. Push come to shove maybe the first one. But there’s been so much product put out since Hendrix died, well, I’m not running to this one either.

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    1. I understand the Esher Demos were previously available as a terrible bootleg. To me they are pretty intriguing. Having said this, I realize it’s mostly something for Beatles fans.

      Am I gonna get the reissue? Since without a blue-Ray player and the right home stereo setup for 5.1 surround sound I largely can’t take advantage of the improved sound, I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do. Even without the LPs or CDs, I still feel I can sufficiently enjoy the Esher Demos with the streaming versions, given these recordings are very rudimentary.

      As for Hendrix, they really don’t give you many options. Essentially, it’s all or nothing! Like with the White Album, I wouldn’t be able listen to the 5.1 surround sound.

      If I decide to get one of the reissues, I’d mostly likely go with the White Album!

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      1. My question were I to buy either of these, frankly, is how much time would I actually spend listening to them? I bet it would be once each, considering I think that’s about how much time I spent listening to the (for me) long forgotten Beatles Anthology. But that said, I do see the Esher stuff up on Spotify and I will definitely dig into that.

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      2. Fair comment about the time aspect. The entire White Album reissue is 5 hours and 26 minutes!😀

        And, yes, I have the Beatles Anthology as well and haven’t listened to it in ages. It’s also been a while since I last had my Sgt. Pepper 50th anniversary vinyl set on the turntable.

        The reality is it’s hard to rationalize getting these reissues. Then again, music isn’t much about being rational in the first place!😀

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  2. In listening to the Esher demos- they could have just released this as an album if they had wanted to and it would be a much loved album. Agree on While My Guitar Gently Weeps one of George’s best moments with The Beatles or solo. Fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

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