6 Music Celebrates The White Album
BBC Radio 6 Music
14 Oct 2018
Ahead of its 50th birthday, Martin Freeman hosts the ultimate listening party of the Beatles’ ground breaking double album The White Album. Martin is joined by a panel of expert fans including actor John Simm, musician The Anchoress (also of Manic Street Preachers and Simple Minds), and journalist John Harris as they go through the entire album with exclusive behind the scenes stories.
Play The White Album Listening Party (02:47:38):
How many albums with a plain cover would be immediately recognised across the planet with just the words “The White Album”? A nightmare for the marketing team, but as ever, the ideas and wishes of the Fab Four fifty years ago were way ahead of their time. Respected, award winning actor Martin Freeman is a huge fan of The Beatles’ 1968 revolutionary work (which John Lennon regarded as their song writing zenith) and provides enlightening, entertaining and surprising insights into it.
This special celebration includes in depth appreciation by fans, experts and critics. Martin Freeman and Giles Martin introduce and explain a sample of never before heard material from the album’s original fabled Esher sessions at George Harrison’s house. Most importantly it’s a Listening Party for a double album from one of the greatest and most innovative bands of the time – all the original album tracks played, enjoyed and discussed for over 2 hours and 45 minutes with the finest commentators and contributors including John Simm, The Anchoress and John Harris.
Back In The USSR is perhaps the greatest album opener. While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird and Good Night are undeniably some of the most beautiful songs written in the 1960s and 70s. Revolution 9 would be most people’s first experience of electronic avant-garde experimentation.
With his thirst for knowledge and previous presenting experience on 6 Music and Radio 2, Martin Freeman is keen to dig deep into key tracks and will also unearth more about the Abbey Road recordings and production sessions with those involved at the time and with the new 2018 mixes.
In this special programme, Martin looks at the turbulent times of 1968 with archive illustrations and an era, reflected on the album, when peace and love started to evolve into something different. It was the year of the Apollo 7 beaming back TV pictures from space, Led Zeppelin’s first live gig, The Kink’s Village Green Preservation Society, the new Trojan Record label and a kiss between Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura breaking new ground.