PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Small Faces “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake”

Small Faces “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake”

Our final pick today for The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide is a deluxe 50th Anniversary reissue of a landmark Psychedelic Rock album that most American have never heard of before. The Small Faces were very successful contemporaries of The Who in the UK, but in the States they found greater fame after the original leader, Steve Marriott, left to form Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, and the remaining members added Rod Stewart and Ron Wood and shortened their name to “Faces.”

Before the split, Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake, named after a tobacco tin, was their conceptual masterpiece. Presented here as a limited four disc (three CDs + NTSC/Region 0 DVD) set. This 60-page hardback book edition contains mono and stereo versions of the album plus a disc of rare bonus material, together with a DVD containing The Small Faces’ legendary feature on an episode of the BBC’s TV show “Colour Me Pop” in June 1968, with the highlights being their performance of “Happiness Stan” and Peter Whitehead’s promotional film for ‘Lazy Sunday’.

This collection also features a deluxe booklet loaded with material, including in-depth sleeve notes by Small Faces authority and Mojo contributor Mark Paytress, interviews, rare photos and memorabilia.

What happens when Swinging London’s foremost mod quartet grow their hair, change their clothes, and go psychedelic? They write an era-defining smash-hit concept album!

Ogdens Nut Gone Flake was originally released by Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate Records on 24 May 1968 and soon hit the #1 spot in the UK where it stayed for six weeks. Critically acclaimed and still featuring in albums-you-must-own-polls, it is by far and away The Small Faces’ best-known and most successful album.

Alongside classic single tracks like ‘Lazy Sunday’ and ‘Afterglow’ plus ‘Song Of A Baker’ and live favorite ‘Rollin’ Over’, the LP even added a conceptual twist with the story of “Happiness Stan” and the narrations of Stanley Unwin on Side 2. To celebrate the 50th anniversary, the album has been newly remastered by Nick Robbins at Soundmastering with the full cooperation of surviving Small Faces member Kenney Jones. This is the best Ogdens’ has ever sounded.

Any fan of late-60 British Rock will love this set, which at Amazon manages to clock in right below the sixty-dollar threshold to steer clear of BIG TICKET DAY.

Check out this video of the band performing “Lazy Sunday,” one of the tracks from this classic album…

Super Patriotic Heroes

Super Patriotic Heroes
by Will Eisner, Alex Schomburg, Charles Sultan, Richard Hughes, Craig Yoe (Editor)
Yoe Books
ISBN-13: 978-1684051793
$34.99 (heavily discounted at Amazon)

Our next pick in The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide is yet another terrific historical collection edited by Craig Yoe. Super Patriotic Heroes is the ideal gift for the fan of Golden Age comic books on your holiday shopping list, and will also be of interest to WWII buffs and students of the comic form.

During World War II, a legion of star-spangled, flag-draped superheroes fought to defeat the forces of evil. Rediscover them now, when we need them most! This book paints a compelling history and presents the exciting, full comic book stories. Let these stories take you back to the days when punching a Nazi was considered a good thing.

Starting with The Shield and followed by Captain America, a whole battalion of red, white, and blue heroes appeared on the four-color page to help fight the Nazis. We need those superheroes again to battle for truth, justice, and the American Way! An historical essay sets the scene for these adventures of All-American Heroes, and lets you jump into action alongside our four-color patriotic forces.

These full-color comic stories from World War II tell of true role-models of the patriotic ideal. Their fascinating history and their stirring tales will both entertain and inspire new generations! See the two-fisted, three-colored Miss America, The Fighting Yank, Super-American, U.S. Jones, Captain Freedom, Lady Liberty, Major Victory, American Eagle, Captain Victory, and many more!

Proudly presented are action-packed stories from America’s Best Comics, Fight Comics, Our Flag, National Comics, and a battleship full of other explosive comic books of the Golden Age!

You should be able to order Super Patriotic Heroes from any bookseller by using the ISBN code, or save a few bucks and get it from Amazon.


Lady D ‘s Not Just Music

Lady D ‘s Not Just Music

Beckley, West Virginia-based musical and artistic legend, Doris “Lady D” Fields, has opened a webstore to sell not only her music, but also T-shirts with her original designs and “reclaimed treasures.” Her music is the perfect gift for anyone who loves great R&, Soul or Jazz music, and her T shirt designs are wonderful gift ideas too.

Lady D ‘s Not Just Music features creations and reclaimed treasures by songstress, Lady D. Always changing, eclectic and uncommon. Browse this site for things you never knew you wanted.

Let’s see what Lady D has to say about herself:

“I am a lot of things! A singer, songwriter, playwright and artist are at the top of the list. I love to sing more than anything in the world but, the overall experience of actually being an artist is a sublime feeling. Artists aren’t really known for making a lot of money…at least not while they are alive. Sure, I would like to sell you one or more of my products but I’d rather think of it as sharing a piece of me with you.

“I record my original music and some covers. You’ll be able to find them here. I love to paint clothing! You’ll find some designs here as well. I love to share what I call “reclaimed items” and you’ll find them here also. I’ll be adding new designs and more reclaimed items weekly. Here, you will find many things that you did not know you wanted. Enjoy looking around!

“I have been singing since the age of three and being a famous vocalist is all I’ve ever wanted. However, life happens and on this journey, I have tried many things to express myself. There is “not just music” on this site, but I have included my growing passion for hand-painting fabric. You’ll find my own designs which are not perfect and no two are the same. That’s the perfection of artistic expression.

“You can have my designs on t-shirts, caps and a variety of other paintables. You can even provide your own items to have hand-painted. From hearts and flowers to African masks and firebirds. Reclaimed books and kitchen appliances. Clothing and shoes. You never know what you’ll find at “Not Just Music!””

With a great assortment of CDs and shirts, and more cool stuff being added every week, Lady D’s Not Just Music is a great way to find cool gifts while supporting the local scene.


The Beatles Yellow Submarine Graphic Novel

The Beatles Yellow Submarine
adapted and illustrated by Bill Morrison
Titan Comics
ISBN-13: 978-1785863943
$29.99 (heavily discounted at Amazon)

Today’s final pick in The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide is perfect for any fan of The Beatles Yellow Submarine.

Somewhat lost in the buzz over 2018 being the 50th anniversary of The Beatles (The White Album) is the fact that it’s also the the golden anniversary of another Fab Four milestone. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine comes this fully authorized graphic novel adaptation. It took a long to get here, but it was well worth the wait.

Originally begun in 1999 for Dark Horse, that project fell through with quite a bit of the work having already been done by writer/artist Bill Morrison. Morrison, is the co-founder of Bongo Comics, who until recently published the hugely successful Simpsons comic range of titles. He is the current Editor of the famous Mad Magazine. He started his career as a technical illustrator before finding work at Disney where he created promotional art for Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Bambi, Peter Pan, Cinderella, The Jungle Book and The Little Mermaid, among others. He also produced his own comic called Roswell: Little Green Men, published by Bongo.

After sitting on the shelf for nearly two decades, Titan Comics acquired the license for The Beatles Yellow Submarine, and on hearing about this aborted project, reached out to Morrison, who revisited and completed his graphic novel adaptation between leaving Bongo Comics and being hired as the new editor of Mad Magazine.

The results are stunning. You probably know the story. The Beatles are recruited by the Captain of the Yellow Submarine to help him free Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the world of Pepperland from the music-hating Blue Meanies.

The music-loving, underwater paradise of Pepperland has been overrun by the music-hating Blue Meanies and their leader, Chief Blue Meanie. They turn the people of Pepperland into living statues by dropping apples on them and imprison the Pepperland’s guardians, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band inside a soundproof blue glass globe, before confiscating all the music instruments in the land.

Pepperland’s mayor sends aging sailor, Young Fred out in the fabled Yellow Submarine to find help. He travels to our world where he stumbles across the Beatles and begs them to help him free his world. They agree and head back to Pepperland, teaming up with Jeremy The Nowhere Man along the way to help overthrow the evil Blue Meanies through the power of music and love. Who knew at the time that the Red Meanies would turn out to be an even bigger menace?

Unlike the 1968 Gold Key Comics adaptation, this graphic novel actually follows the plot of the movie. Deadlines were tight when the movie came out, and the comic book that Gold Key published was based on an early shooting script that was heavily revised before it made it to the screen. It’s still a wonderful book that ought to be reprinted someday, but it’s true appeal to Beatle fanatics is that there are entire sequences in the Gold Key comic that never made it into the movie, and there are bits of the movie that didn’t make it into the comic.

This graphic novel adaptation matches the movie perfectly. Morrison adapts his style to the Heinz Edelmann designs used for the movie, and this is a note-perfect adaptation.

The basic graphic novel retails for just under thirty bucks and can be ordered from any bookseller by using the ISBN code. Of course, Amazon has it with a hefty discount. I try to encourage everyone to use local bookstores, but I also understand that money might be tight, so finding the right price can also be very important.

There is also a deluxe boxed set, which to be honest, I find to be over-priced. In it you get the same graphic novel, a cartoony toy Yellow Submarine, 5 Yellow Submarine pins, an exclusive Artcard signed by Bill Morrison, 16 Yellow Submarine Lobby Cards, 4 Yellow Submarine Movie Posters, and a Yellow Submarine Movie Premiere Ticket, all faithfully reproduced from the originals. It’s a really nice boxed set, but you’ll pay between $150 and $200 for it, and that’s a bit much. As you can see below, it’s really impressive, and it’s limited to 1968 copies worldwide, but I can only inform you of it. I can’t really endorse it (if I did, it’d be a BIG TICKET DAY item). If you are interested, Google will lead you to a few online dealers.

Relative Insanity The Party Game About Crazy Relatives

Our next pick in The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide is the Relative Insanity Party Game About Crazy Relatives, which was made and played by Comedian Jeff Foxworthy. You may have seen Foxowrthy playing this game on The Tonight Show, Rachel Ray and other TV shows, and it can be loads of fun.

This is a game about crazy family members and even crazier situations–perfect for game nights with friends and family. The way it works is, one player will read a setup card aloud, like, “When my brother brought out his new baby to show the family, Granny blurted out…”

Then everyone else chooses a punch line card to finish the phrase, like maybe, “You are not the father!” or “Somebody took a trip to the land of bad decisions.”

And then the reader picks the funniest one to give that player a point–so players need to think about who the reader is and what they might find funny. It’s sort of like a less dark, more subjective version of “Cards Against Humanity.”

Inspired by the insanity of his own family and friends, Foxworthy created the game with laughter in mind. “There are a few certainties in life. One of them is everybody’s relatives are crazy,” Foxworthy says. “You can let them make you nuts too, or you can learn to just laugh about it. I prefer laughter every time.”

When he played it during a Thanksgiving gathering, Foxworthy says, “The results were beyond anything I could have hoped for. We laughed until we cried and a few people might have even peed just a little bit. Enjoy.”

Designed for 4 to 12 players, ages 14 and up, Relative Insanity is a great gift for families with older children, or for folks who love party games, but prefer to steer clear of the darker topics that some party games veer into. It sells for around twenty bucks, where ever games are sold.

Glen Brogan Art

Glen Brogan Art

As we did a couple of years ago, in the 2018 PopCult Gift Guide we are once again going to recommend the art of Charleston’s own Glen Brogan.

Glen Brogan is the type of artist that makes his fellow artists want to give up and pack it in. His art is so good that it’s hard to imagine anybody topping it.

With a sleek style and a strong appreciation of the coolest elements of pop culture, Glen has made a name for himself with exhibits in New York and Los Angeles and work commissioned by Disney, King Features Syndicate, Marvel Comics and more recently with the Overwatch Game and The Powerpuff Girls.

Seriously, we’re talking about eye candy of such a high grade that it can mess with your blood sugar. You’ll find Glen’s artwork on T shirts, prints and more.

In fact, you can purchase his map of Blizzard World from the video game Overwatch as a jigsaw puzzle (seen below) for just twenty bucks. It’s the perfect gift for the Overwatch fanatic or local art supporter on your holiday shopping list. You can order it HERE.

You can also buy Glen’s art on T-shirts HERE, and on prints HERE, HERE and HERE. Unfortunately Glen’s Powerpuff Girls print, which won’t be delivered until January, is already sold out from Mondo. You can still get his Halloween poster with Black Philip.

This is a great way to support a local artist who’s making his name on the international scene and treat your gift recipient to a wonderful work of art (or shirt or puzzle).

Monday Morning Art: Cleo


We kick off this week with a digital painting inspired by a photo of silent movie star Theda Bara as Cleopatra. I basically swiped the pose and the costume, and put her against an abstract background. I also limited the color pallette for this one for no particular reason. Nine months after my catastrophic computer crash, I’m still learning my way around the new tools I have with a more powerful computer, and mixing those with custom brushes I’ve been using for more than ten years. As always, click the image for a bigger version.

Meanwhile today over on The AIR, we present a  Monday Marathon of Radio Free Charleston from 7 AM Monday to 7 AM Tuesday you can tune in for the best local music I can shoot your way. What other radio station brings you 24 hours solid of local music? 

Tune in at The AIR Website, or on this neat little embedded player…

Don’t forget to check back later today for more of The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide. We’re doing this all month, and it’s the best way to find pop culutre gift ideas anywhere on the internets.

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society Deluxe LP (12″ album, 33 rpm), Box Set

The perfect BIG TICKET DAY gift for the rabid Kinks fan, devout anglophile or just anyone with a fascination with intricate and pastoral late-1960s British pop, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society Deluxe LP (12″ album, 33 rpm), Box Set is an epic presentation of a sadly-overlooked classic.

THE KINKS ARE THE VILLAGE GREEN PRESERVATION SOCIETY 50th ANNIVERSARY SUPER DELUXE BOX SET – 2018 REMASTER is a lavishly packaged super-deluxe box set, part of the BMG ‘Art Of The Album’ series, which focuses specifically on high quality, bespoke packaged re-issues of seminal albums within the BMG catalogue, offering the highest spec audio masters and original artwork.

The set contains remastered original LPs, CDs of the remastered original albums plus a wealth of unreleased bonus material, reproduced 7″ singles, deluxe hardback photo book with comprehensive notes and new band interviews, and reproduced original memorabilia.

Somewhat overlooked upon its release in November 1968, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society is now seen as one of the best British albums ever recorded. Created in difficult circumstances by a band who refused to follow fashion, it is an album of timeless, perfectly crafted songs about growing up and growing old, and the decline of national culture and traditional ways.

Enduring and unsurpassed, with its wit, sadness, quiet anger, regret and charm, it is generally considered the high point of The Kinks’ outstanding career and Ray Davies’ masterpiece. A calm, nostalgic album which feels like a sweet, hazy dream but with endless layers of musical and lyrical innovation, The Village Green Preservation Society‘s defiantly British sensibilities became the foundation of generations of British guitar pop.

The band’s sixth studio album was originally issued in November ’68 and would be the last album by the original line-up (bass player Pete Quaife departed in early 1969). Describing the album today, Davies says it’s about “the ending of a time personally for me in my life. In my imaginary village. It’s the end of our innocence, our youth. Some people are quite old but in the Village Green, you’re never allowed to grow up. I feel the project itself as part of a life cycle.”

Counting all the CDs, and vinyl (12″ and 7″), this super deluxe edition is a staggering eleven-disc set. It contains a double vinyl LP with stereo and mono versions (both 2018 remasters) and a 12-track ‘Continental’ (Swedish) version on vinyl.

In addition there are five CDs of content:
2018 Stereo Remaster, from the original HD tape transfers + bonus tracks of singles, B sides and original album related tracks
2018 Mono Remaster, from the original HD tape transfers + bonus tracks of singles, B sides and original album related tracks
Village Green Sessions – Including alternate versions, mixes and backing tracks, many previously unreleased
Village Green At The BBC – TV performance track audio and band interviews, many previously unreleased
Preservation, Sessions, Live & Demos – including mid 70s recordings, previously unreleased home demos, Ray Davies live in Denmark 2010 and unreleased track ‘Time Song’.
There are three replica seven-inch singles, reproduced in picture sleeves. They are:

“Days” / “She’s Got Everything” (1968)
“Starstruck” / “Picture Book” (1968)
“The Village Green Preservation Society” / “Do You Remember Walter?” (1969)

The box set comes with a 52-page hardcover book with extensive sleeve notes and new band interviews and includes essays by Pete Townshend and other writers. It boasts “special packaging” with debossed box cover, foil & metallic text, linen cloth finish and a ‘bespoke accessories holder’.

It also comes with a load of ‘memorabilia’. This includes a poster of Village Green LP inner gatefold; Empire Liverpool 1968 tour poster; glossy 10” x 8” photos from Hampstead Heath 1968 photoshoot; color press photo with reproduced band signatures; Bournemouth 1968 gig ticket; PYE Records promo card; ‘Days’ sheet music and more

As I said, this is the perfect gift for the rabid Kinks fan on your shopping list, but it will also appeal to anyone who loves well-crafted, interesting music. List price is upwards of $160 for this set, but if you shop around online, you’ll find it in the $120 to $145 range.

Check out the promo video:

Best of Warner Bros 20 Film Collection: Best Pictures

Our next BIG TICKET DAY pick came out several years ago, but has dropped enough in price at Amazon that it’s still just barely a big ticket item (just over sixty bucks) but since it includes 20 top-notch films, it breaks down to little more than three bucks per movie for what amounts to an instant movie collection of OSCAR Best Picture winners.

Best of Warner Bros 20 Film Collection: Best Pictures is on sale now at Amazon, and it’s a great collection of films for the beginning movie buff, or young film appreciation student on your holiday shopping list.

This box set pays homage to one of the most iconic all American movie studios, Warner Brothers, with 20 Warners Best Picture winners spanning almost 70 years. Contents include Mrs. Miniver (1942), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), An American in Paris (1951), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Chariots of Fire (1981), Million Dollar Baby (2004) and The Departed (2006).

Included are 20 Best Picture Winners on 23 Discs. Broken out into 3 chapters:

1929-1942 (A New Era)
· The Broadway Melody (1929) · Grand Hotel (1932) · Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) · The Life of Emile Zola (1937) · Gone with The Wind (1939) · Casablanca (1942) –  Mrs. Miniver (1943)

1946-1959 (The Golden Years)
· The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) · An American in Paris (1951) · Around the World in 80 Days (1956) · Gigi (1958) · Ben-Hur (1959)

1975-2006 (The New Classics)
· One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) · Chariots of Fire (1981) · Amadeus: Director’s Cut (1984) · Driving Miss Daisy (1989) · Unforgiven (1992) · The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) · Million Dollar Baby (2004) · The Departed (2006)

Also included is a 24-Page Booklet.

To be honest, this collection includes several movies that rank among my favorites of all time, as well as a few that I’d rather rip my eyes out than watch again. That’s part of the fun. You can watch these films with a friend (or loved one) and discuss afterward whether or not it deserved the OSCAR. Was Chariots of Fire really better than Raiders of the Lost Ark? Was Gone With The Win really better than The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington or Wuthering Heights? With this set, you can loads of fun finding new classics you may have missed, and wondering why some were even nominated for the OSCAR in the first place. And it’s on sale at Amazon with the bonus of being in a box that should be easy to wrap.

The Beatles (White Album) Super Deluxe Edition

The Beatles (White Album) Super Deluxe Edition

Our next BIG TICKET DAY item in the 2018 PopCult Gift Guide is one that Beatles fans (like yours truly) have been waiting for. Following last years comprehensive box set devoted the Sgt Pepper album, The Beatles have released an amazing multi-disc remix and expansion of their 1968 opus, The Beatles, better known as “The White Album.”

This is the only gift that you need to get the obsessive Beatles fan on your shopping list, provided that they aren’t so obsessive that they already pre-ordered it so they could get it the day it was released last week. List prise is $159.98, but you can shave twenty bucks or more off of that if you shop around.

The comprehensive, individually numbered 7-disc and digital audio collections feature:

CDs 1 & 2: 2018 stereo album mix–this is a new mix by Giles Martin, based on the original stereo mix by his father and the band.
CD3: Esher Demos–previously only available in low-fi bootlegs, these are recordings the Beatles demoed at their home studios prior to entering Abbey Road to record the album.
CDs 4, 5 & 6: Sessions– 50 additional recordings, most previously unreleased, from ‘White Album’ studio sessions; all newly mixed from the four-track and eight-track session tapes, sequenced in order of their recording start dates. 107 tracks in total

The Blu-ray includes:
– 2018 album mix in high resolution PCM stereo
– 2018 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 album mix
– 2018 Dolby True HD 5.1 album mix
– 2018 direct transfer of the album’s original mono mix

The book has 164 pages and is made up of 3 themes:
• The bulk of the book is taken up with song and recording notes, all written in exemplary detail by Beatles expert Kevin Howlett. He explains all of the different takes and the actual writing and recording process for every track in the set.
• There is a new scholarly essay on the art of the White Album – explaining that it was actually an important moment in the development of modern pop art and it explodes several myths about what people think had been other cover ideas as well as exploring the way rock music and art were starting to grow together.
• Guardian writer and social commentator, John Harris, has also written a fascinating chapter that looks at the reception of the album when it was released and how that has changed in perception and influence over the decades, concluding that this is in many ways perhaps their most influential album, especially in terms of how it has influenced generations of musicians since.

And we go to the (much deserved) product hype:

In November 1968, millions of double LPs were shipped to record stores worldwide ahead of that tumultuous year’s most anticipated music event: the November 22nd release of The BEATLES (soon to be better known as ‘The White Album’). With their ninth studio album, The Beatles took the world on a whole new trip, side one blasting off with the exhilarating rush of a screaming jet escorting Paul McCartney’s punchy, exuberant vocals on “Back In The U.S.S.R.” “Dear Prudence” came next, John Lennon warmly beckoning his friend and all of us to “look around.” George Harrison imparted timeless wisdom in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” singing, “With every mistake we must surely be learning.” For 50 years, ‘The White Album’ has invited its listeners to venture forth and explore the breadth and ambition of its music, delighting and inspiring each new generation in turn. On November 9, The Beatles will release a suite of lavishly presented ‘White Album’ packages (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe). The album’s 30 tracks are newly mixed by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio, joined by 27 early acoustic demos and 50 session takes, most of which are previously unreleased in any form.

This is the first time The BEATLES (‘White Album’) has been remixed and presented with additional demos and session recordings. The album’s sweeping new edition follows 2017’s universally acclaimed Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition releases. To create the new stereo and 5.1 surround audio mixes for ‘The White Album,’ Martin and Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London. All the new ‘White Album’ releases include Martin’s new stereo album mix, sourced directly from the original four-track and eight-track session tapes. Martin’s new mix is guided by the album’s original stereo mix produced by his father, George Martin.

The minimalist artwork for ‘The White Album’ was created by artist Richard Hamilton, one of Britain’s leading figures in the creation and rise of pop art. The top-loading gatefold sleeve’s stark white exterior had ‘The BEATLES’ embossed on the front and printed on the spine with the album’s catalogue number. Early copies of ‘The White Album’ were also individually numbered on the front, which has also been done for the new edition’s Super Deluxe package. The set’s six CDs and Blu-ray disc are housed in a slipsleeved 164-page hardbound book, with pull-out reproductions of the original album’s four glossy color portrait photographs of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, as well as the album’s large fold-out poster with a photo collage on one side and lyrics on the other. The beautiful book is illustrated with rare photographs, reproductions of handwritten and notated lyrics, previously unpublished photos of recording sheets and tape boxes, and reproduced original ‘White Album’ print ads. The book’s comprehensive written pieces include new introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, and in-depth chapters covering track-by-track details and session notes reflecting The Beatles’ year between the release of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and recording sessions for ‘The White Album,’ the band’s July 28 1968 “Mad Day Out” photo shoot in locations around London, the album artwork, the lead-up and execution of the album’s blockbuster release, and its far-ranging influence, written by Beatles historian, author and radio producer Kevin Howlett; journalist and author John Harris; and Tate Britain’s Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Andrew Wilson.

The BEATLES (‘White Album’) was the first Beatles album to be released on the group’s own Apple Records label. Issued in both stereo and mono for the U.K. and in stereo for the U.S., the double album was an immediate bestseller, entering the British chart at number one and remaining there for eight of the 22 weeks it was listed. ‘The White Album’ also debuted at number one on the U.S. chart, holding the top spot for nine weeks of its initial 65-week chart run. In his glowing ‘White Album’ review for Rolling Stone, the magazine’s co-founder Jann Wenner declared: “It is the best album they have ever released, and only The Beatles are capable of making a better one.” In the U.S., ‘The White Album’ is 19-times platinum-certified by the RIAA and in 2000, it was inducted into the Recording Academy’s GRAMMY Hall of Fame, recognizing “recordings of lasting qualitative or historical significance.”

This is quite simply a massive archeological presentation of one of the greatest albums ever recorded. It will dispel some myths, answer some questions. create some new questions and most importantly, thrill any fan of the Beatles with previously unavailable music. There are other, less expensive versions of this set, if your budget is constrained. You can also find a 4 LP vinyl version, and although you can’t wrap it or read the book, it is available from streaming services.