Are the Esher Demos worth it?

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Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 11 Nov 2018, 19:24

Just asking for a friend.


Before he gets the 3CD version.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 11 Nov 2018, 19:32

It's just beatless ( :) ) acoustic strumming, like plain boiled rice.

The really good stuff is on discs 4 5 and 6.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 11 Nov 2018, 19:44

I want a second opinion.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby toomanyhatz » 11 Nov 2018, 20:20

Don't listen to Coan, he hates acoustic music. They're great - every single one impresses, either for how fully- formed they are, or for bringing out qualities not as prominent in the fully-produced version. Absolutely worth having.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby toomanyhatz » 11 Nov 2018, 20:23

I should add, also, that Paul is the best acoustic accompanist of the three by far. Although John and George are more inventive overdubbers.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby yomptepi » 11 Nov 2018, 20:31

I wasn't thrilled by them. A bit dull.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Bent Fabric » 11 Nov 2018, 23:19

The Esher Demos are the albatross of the whole collection.

Lets say you ordered a gourmet meal (the album, the outtakes) and the restaurant insisted you also have a heaping side of parsley* brought to your table (the demos).





*Edited for "reduced crassness".


I mean, "acoustic music" in theory, but this isn't exactly Pentangle we're talking about here. These demos have been around forever, and I did duly attempt a "good faith listen" yesterday in some vain hope that hearing them all together and cleaned up (as a half dozen of them were on Anthology 3 a couple of decades back) would reveal some heretofore evasive charm, and I'm afraid they still strike me as sort of sub-perfunctory (which the Beatles never were) and generally free of chemistry and spark.

"Happiness is..." might be the jewel of the demos - John sounds "present" in a way that stands out.
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Bent Fabric » 11 Nov 2018, 23:22

Granted, if "Beatles minus magic" scratches a particular itch you might have....

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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Charlie O. » 12 Nov 2018, 00:45

My take is somewhere between hatz's and JSJ's. They're... "interesting." I'm happy enough to have them, but I doubt they'll be played all that much.

I will say this, though: the Esher version of "What's The New Mary Jane" is far more listenable than the EMI one (for what little that distinction is worth). And I kinda wish George had revisited "Circles".
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Charlie O. » 12 Nov 2018, 02:55

Oh, and I like the demo for "Sour Milk Sea" better than the Lomax record (I may be on my own with that one).
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby fange » 12 Nov 2018, 02:56

Looks like i'm gonna have to splash for the full set rather than just the 2-disc release. :(
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Bent Fabric » 12 Nov 2018, 02:58

Charlie O. wrote: And I kinda wish George had revisited "Circles".



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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Charlie O. » 12 Nov 2018, 03:14

Bent Fabric wrote:
Charlie O. wrote: And I kinda wish George had revisited "Circles".



Ha! I half-expected such a response - there's a bunch of GH albums I can't claim to know well.

Listening now. Let me rephrase: I wish he'd revisited it somewhere in the 1968-1971 time frame (with or without the Fabs).
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Charlie O. » 12 Nov 2018, 03:26

A fun(?) thought: we've always talked about whittling the White Album down to one LP... or not. But I say it could have been a triple!

Bearing in mind that there are five normal-length LP sides' worth of music squashed into those four sides... they only would have had to fill another 17-20 minutes to make a triple with normal-length sides. And they had "Junk", "Circles", "Sour Milk Sea", "Mean Mr. Mustard", "Polythene Pam", "Not Guilty", "Child Of Nature" (maybe Paul could have encouraged John to write a better lyric - although it probably wouldn't have been "Jealous Guy" at that point), "Look At Me", "You Know My Name" and a few others to pick from...
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Bent Fabric » 12 Nov 2018, 09:36

Charlie O. wrote:Ha! I half-expected such a response - there's a bunch of GH albums I can't claim to know well.

Listening now. Let me rephrase: I wish he'd revisited it somewhere in the 1968-1971 time frame (with or without the Fabs).


Yeah, for sure there's something about a Ray Cooper co-production credit that suggests George at his most checked out.

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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Bent Fabric » 12 Nov 2018, 10:13

Charlie O. wrote:A fun(?) thought: we've always talked about whittling the White Album down to one LP... or not. But I say it could have been a triple!

Bearing in mind that there are five normal-length LP sides' worth of music squashed into those four sides... they only would have had to fill another 17-20 minutes to make a triple with normal-length sides. And they had "Junk", "Circles", "Sour Milk Sea", "Mean Mr. Mustard", "Polythene Pam", "Not Guilty", "Child Of Nature" (maybe Paul could have encouraged John to write a better lyric - although it probably wouldn't have been "Jealous Guy" at that point), "Look At Me", "You Know My Name" and a few others to pick from...


Well, "Across the Universe", absolutely.

(Lamentably, the lovely and lilting "Goodbye" dates from the following year)

And (though I sadly can't find it on YouTube), I may have finally accepted that my own deep and undying love of the unedited/unmixed (and oft-bootlegged!) Take 4 of "What's the New Maryjane"* is probably a solitary pursuit. For me, it would have been the jewel of any record it graced (3 LP White Album or elsewhere) - for lack of any better descriptor, I find it quite "colorful" (ala the emerging acid anarchy of the MMT/Yellow Submarine era).

Two LPs is probably just right, but...it's tempting to wonder how utterly mad the world's biggest group would have seemed plunking down a triple LP set just in time for Christmas 1968.








*Re "Maryjane", I first heard it HERE -

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something like 35 years ago

Also available here:

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and elsewhere.

You can find it a fairly doctored and somewhat neutered mix of it on Anthology 3.

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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Phenomenal Cat » 12 Nov 2018, 14:04

Bent Fabric wrote:
Charlie O. wrote:A fun(?) thought: we've always talked about whittling the White Album down to one LP... or not. But I say it could have been a triple!

Bearing in mind that there are five normal-length LP sides' worth of music squashed into those four sides... they only would have had to fill another 17-20 minutes to make a triple with normal-length sides. And they had "Junk", "Circles", "Sour Milk Sea", "Mean Mr. Mustard", "Polythene Pam", "Not Guilty", "Child Of Nature" (maybe Paul could have encouraged John to write a better lyric - although it probably wouldn't have been "Jealous Guy" at that point), "Look At Me", "You Know My Name" and a few others to pick from...


Well, "Across the Universe", absolutely.


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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby Walk In My Shadow » 12 Nov 2018, 14:58

Listening now on Spîtofoi.

Some of these are better than the originally released product!
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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby sloopjohnc » 12 Nov 2018, 16:23

I'm not buying the album, but I did listen to them through my music service which I do pay for.

They're interesting in the way some of the anthology demos are, a look into the formation or gestation of finished songs. I think it's always interesting to see the evolution of songs.

It's like going to the British museum and seeing edited drafts of famous works by authors.

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Re: Are the Esher Demos worth it?

Postby pcqgod » 12 Nov 2018, 16:44

I heard an interesting version of "Helter Skelter" on the Sirius Beatles channel the other day. What's that on?
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