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Should the Beatles’ White Album Have Been Even Longer?

Based on the discarded songs on the new “Super Deluxe” edition, it could have just as easily been a triple album, says Rob Sheffield

Paul McCartney during a recording session for The Beatles. Abbey Road Studios. October 1968Credit: © Apple Corps Ltd.

Paul McCartney during a recording session, October 1968.

© Apple Corps Ltd.

In the new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, devoted to the Beatles’ White Album, Rob Sheffield makes a bold suggestion: Based on the discarded songs on the new “Super Deluxe” edition, it could have just as easily been a triple album. George Harrison’s  “Not Guilty” and Paul McCartney’s “Junk,” both included as powerful acoustic demos, are some of the more egregious omissions – but on the other hand, the Beatles could have just ditched “Bungalow Bill” and “Honey Pie” to make room. To hear the entire discussion between Sheffield, Andy Greene and host Brian Hiatt, press play below or download and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

The episode also includes a debate over Giles Martin’s remix of the album, which he’s said is meant to help a song like “Blackbird” exist comfortably next to the Ed Sheeran catalog on streaming services. Does the revamped version simply recapture the Beatles’ original intent while transcending the technical limitations of the time, or is there a danger of over-modernizing a classic and re-writing history in the process? Plus, our panel digs into the mythology surrounding the album. Since the new boxed set reveals just how collaborative the Beatles were while making the White Album, how can that be reconciled with the long-standing narrative that it was the moment when they split apart?

Download and subscribe to Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on iTunes or Spotify, and tune in Fridays at 1 p.m. ET to hear the show broadcast live on Sirius XM’s Volume, channel 106.

In This Article: The Beatles, The White Album

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