Beatles Weren’t at War During White Album Sessions, Says Producer
Giles Martin, producer of the expanded version of the Beatles’ White Album, argued against the perception that the LP was made during a difficult time in the band’s history, saying instead that it was a more “cohesive” experience than generally understood.
Stories surrounding the 1968 LP include Giles’ father, the late George Martin, being “frozen out” of the creative process, and drummer Ringo Starr actually quitting for 11 days before being persuaded to return. Despite that, Martin Jr. said there was evidence of all four members working closely together in the previously unreleased material that arrives today.
“The revealing thing for me is you go back and listen to the tapes, and what we have on the tapes is a cohesive unit playing together and working on songs together,” Martin told Billboard. “Listen to the sessions – they were very warm. And that’s the surprising thing. I think we thought the White Album was this disparate, angry record – and it has certainly elements of that – but, in essence, the four of them made an album together they wanted to make.”
Discussing his father’s lack of input, he said, “They didn’t want an architect. They wanted to build an album from the bricks up and without any real idea about what it was going to be. They indulged themselves because they knew that each member of the band would make the song better.”
He added that the Beatles’ retirement from touring contributed to the wealth of material laid down during the sessions. “I think the most revealing thing for me, working on the White Album, is just how creative they were, all of the time," he said. "It’s almost like the studio couldn’t handle the level of demand that they wanted to do and the amount of songs they wanted to record.”