A must for all Beatles fans, the bands up-coming 50th anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of The Beatles, will also include a previously unheard recording of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
The track was recently track premiered at Rolling Stone and, same as the version that came out on Anthology 3, it features Harrison playing acoustic guitar, and Paul McCartney on harmonium and a different last verse: “I look from the wings at the play you are staging / While my guitar gently weeps / As I’m sitting here doing nothing but aging / Still my guitar gently weeps.”
The history behind the track is pretty fascinating. It took three weeks to record, and even then, the Beatles returned to the studio with another arrangement, and Harrison invited in Eric Clapton to play the guitar solo.
One of the other highlights of the Super Deluxe Edition is another version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a version where Clapton plays a much longer solo and Harrison trying to emulate Smokey Robinson’s falsetto vocals. It eventually stops with Harrison laughing and saying, It’s okay, I tried to do a Smokey, and I just aren’t Smokey.”
Giles Martin, the albums reissue producer said of Clapton’s involvement: It was Harrison’s “way of telling the music industry and fans that: ‘The best guitarist on the planet likes my songs. I’m here,’” following years of McCartney and John Lennon giving short-shrift to Harrison’s material.
The collection drops on November 9th and the Super Deluxe Edition of The Beatles will contain six CDs, a new stereo mix of the double album, 27 demos recorded at Harrison’s house in Esher, three discs of outtakes from the sessions plus a Blu-ray audio disc.