Fans might have a major new Beatles release to look forward to by year’s end. Beatlefan magazine reported that work is apparently going forward with an expanded version of the group’s 1968 self-titled double album, better known as the “White Album” — along the lines of the recent deluxe, expanded reissue of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. According to an unnamed source, the final go-ahead for the project has yet to be approved by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, and Olivia Harrison. Back in May, during a chat with the BBC, the Beatles’ archival producer Giles Martin — son of the late-George Martin — set off a minor fan frenzy when he referred to the “White Album” as being the “next release,” before walking it back.
Ringo Starr has long held a soft spot for the “White Album.” Last fall, he spoke to The New York Times and gave his reasons why the album stands out for him: “I’d like to do the ‘White Album.’ I think Giles (Martin) should redo that. I don’t know why not. And Abbey Road. I love the ‘White Album’ (because) we were back being a band, even though emotionally it was a bit weird between us for a while, and I left the band and came back, and George (Harrison) had all those flowers (decked out on my drum kit) — you know that story.”
- Shortly after the release of 1968’s “White Album,” Paul McCartney shed light on the John Lennon standout track, “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”: [“I like it, y’know? It’s a favorite of mine. The idea of the ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ thing is from an advert in an American paper. Where. . . it said — ‘happiness is a warm gun,’ sort of thing. And it was, sort of, ‘get ready for the long, hot summer’ with a rifle. Come and get them now.’ It was an advert in a gun magazine, y’know? And it was so sick, y’know, the idea of ‘come and buy your killing weapons — come and get it.’ And it was such great line — ‘happiness is a warm gun’ — that John, sort of, took that and used it as a chorus. And the rest of the words, I think they’re great words, y’know? It’s a poem, and it finishes with ‘happiness is a warm gun, yes it is.'”] SOUNDCUE (:36 OC: . . . yes it is)
- In the past, Ringo Starr shared that the ‘White Album’ sessions were instrumental in bringing the Beatles closer together: [“Sgt. Pepper did its thing — it was the album of the decade — of the century, maybe. It was very innovative, great songs — I’m glad I was on it; but the ‘White Album,’ we ended up being more of a band again. And that’s what I always love, I love being in a band.”] SOUNDCUE (:15 OC: . . . in a band)