Universal Music Group International's Orla Lee Fisher has spoken of the "huge opportunity" around the 50th anniversary special edition of The Beatles' White Album.
The classic double LP (Apple Corps/Capitol/UMe) is re-released on various formats today (November 9), and follows the success of last year's Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band reissue, which went in at No.1 in the UK.
The White Album’s 30 tracks have been remixed by producer Giles Martin, son of "fifth Beatle" Sir George Martin, and engineer Sam Okell, alongside 27 early acoustic demos and 50 session takes.
“It is a huge opportunity for us to work with such a huge variety of unheard and unreleased tracks,” Lee-Fisher, UMGI's SVP marketing, told Music Week. “Never before have they released so many songs on an album. To have 107 songs across the formats is pretty spectacular. We’ve been through Sgt Pepper, which was phenomenally huge and successful, and now we’re into a whole new landscape.”
The package includes the legendary “Esher Demos”, which were recorded at George Harrison’s home in Esher, Surrey.
“It’s spine-tingling to feel like you’re in the room with the band creating it and it’s been exciting to hear all the studio chats and the camaraderie that was there," said Lee-Fisher. "There’s always myth, mystery and mystique, but to hear them in the studio and how they were getting on is just great."
She is confident the release can help the group reach a new generation of fans, while still satisfying existing enthusiasts. “They are one of the few bands that have a hugely strong physical audience, but also a new emerging audience,” she said. “We’ve got something for everyone on this album.”
Lee-Fisher was non-committal the prospect of an anniversary edition of another seminal Fab Four release, Abbey Road, which turns 50 in 2019.
"It is project by project," she said. "There isn't a calendar of plans to celebrate every album because that's not how The Beatles do things."
Subscribers can read the full interview with Lee-Fisher and Giles Martin here.