1 Proteus 3 months ago (Seems weird putting The Beatles, fergawdsake, under "Other Players." But this isn't an On The Tube experience. It's audio...)https://www.npr.org/section...Play the whole 45-minute interview with Giles Martin as he puts you in the room with the Fabs, upends what we thought we knew about The Making Of and the Beatles' inner workings in 1968, and gives us the living room demos and smart modern remixes that suggest what the lads might have done with the raw tracks at the time, had they only had the tech.Giles' take on the gestalt of the Beatles in 1968 is almost revisionist: the band wasn't almost breaking up, they did help with each others' songs and work cooperatively together, Yoko wasn't a disruption. That flies against most of our prevailing understanding of that period, and I haven't decided whether to see it entirely his way, or to see that perspective as an overlay on the familiar legends.Giles' lifelong immersion as son of George Svengali Martin in All Things Beatle - but from one generational remove - may help to rose-tint his glasses. I suspect that the surviving Beatles and their widows - all of whom he knows, works with, and who sign off on all the Martin family Beatle projects - may over the years have softened and brightened many of their own memories. That in turn would understandably shade Giles' understanding of an era he knows only from his unique access to the historical record. (He was born a year after the album was made.)Frinstance, he says he doesn't hear a band on the verge of breaking up, then plays us a take of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" which would have been great as a 3rd or 4th take - but it's the 27th. Likewise, we learn that "Sexy Sadie" took a numbing 107 takes. I don't know if that suggests a band "breaking up" - but it certainly suggests a very rusty band.In any case, such ruminations are all beside the point. To have access to all the demos and tons of outtakes (which he mixed not as mixes, but so it would sound like we were in the room in the moment) is incredible. But the remixes of the actual masters we're so familiar with (based on the sample in the interview) peel away layers of compression and even EQ, bring parts we only dimly heard into sharper relief, and promise to be something like a revelation.When I'm really doing a White Album thing, I always have to just give myself up to it. It's lousy background music. It's a long immersive journey, always was - even with the original LP (broken up by short rest stops to flip and change the albums). With the last remaster of the CD, it became even more immersive: you crank it up and let it take you where it wants you to go. One index to the Beatles' brilliance is that you hear something different in the album - not necessarily musical parts, not even the lyrics, but what and how it means - when you listen at different ages. They wrote lyrics, and set them in musical contexts, that open up differently and reveal different aspects depending on your life experiences and memories at the time you listen. They were young men when they wrote and recorded - but they're not young men's songs. They're songs for the ages.I'm anxious to grab this box set for the holidays, and discover a favorite album like it's new again.