The Beatles release previously unheard acoustic take of 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps': Stream
The previously unheard version features Harrison on guitar and McCartney on harmonium, and is the first taste of the forthcoming reissue of the 'White Album'.
The Beatles celebrate the 50th anniversary of their iconic 'White Album' this year. In commemoration of the milestone, the surviving Beatles are releasing an expansive deluxe reissue box set. Due out November 9 via their own Apple Corps Ltd. and Capitol/UMe, it includes a ridiculous number of previously unreleased material, including 27 early demos and 50 session takes!
In anticipation of its official release, one of those compositions has been unveiled. The track is a stripped-back rendition of the chart-topping hit 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', originally recorded on July 25, 1968 and is simply titled 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Acoustic Version / Take 2)'.
As Rolling Stone points out, the previously unheard version features just George Harrison on guitar and Paul McCartney on harmonium and at certain points, one can even notice the way McCartney is still growing accustomed to the chords. Harrison can also be heard singing early lyrics that never made it to the final studio cut: “I look from the wings at the play you are staging / As I’m sitting here doing nothing but aging,” he sings.
Apple Music subscribers can listen to the previously unreleased acoustic take below:
'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' was written by Harrison, who first recorded the song as a solo performance, on acoustic guitar, on 25 July, 1968. The song was written after The Beatles returned from India, where they were studying transcendental meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Harrison was unhappy with the group's first attempt to record the track, and so invited his friend Eric Clapton to come and play on it.
Harrison and Clapton often performed the song together live, during which they shared the lead guitar role over the closing section. Live versions featuring the pair were included on the 'Concert for Bangladesh' album in 1971 and 'Live in Japan' in 1992.
Meanwhile, the deluxe edition of the 'White Album' reissue also has new mixes of the album’s 30 original tracks, helmed by producer Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround sound.
It will be available as a super seven-disc box set; three-CD deluxe set; a four-LP deluxe vinyl set; a two-LP standard vinyl set; or digitally. Pre-orders are now ongoing.