Beatlesarama sources | A lushly pared-down acoustic version of The Beatles’ classic ode to the six string, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” premiered as a music video on Vevo under a limited partnership between Apple Corps and Cirque du Soleil. The version comes from an early take on the song, with the original lyrics, sung plaintively by the songwriter.
Inspired by the Eastern philosophy book the I Ching, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was written by George Harrison in 1968 for the “White Album.” The LP version is instantly recognizable from that first hi-hat and bass guitar lock. Harrison brought Eric Clapton in on lead guitar to give himself some clout in the studio when going up against the hit songwriters John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Clapton and Harrison had become friends after Yardbirds opened for the Beatles at the London Palladium. Harrison co-wrote the Cream single “Badge,” thought Ringo Starr threw in the verse about the swans in the park and the guy married to Mabel.” Clapton didn’t get credit for his magnificent guitar solo, but then again, he did a lot of uncredited work with Harrison. He played guitar on Harrison’s solo albums from his very debut Wonderwall Music in 1968. Harrison didn’t take credit for his work on Clapton’s songs either, being listed as “L’Angelo Misterioso” on the sleeves.
Clapton, who replaced Harrison as Patty Boyd’s husband after writing the passionate “Layla” and other songs about her, almost replaced the quiet Beatle when he stepped out on the Let It Be sessions. Lennon was ready to replace the old Scouse but McCartney balked, much the same way he did when Harrison suggested adding Billy Preston to the band full-time. Clapton had also backed Lennon on his version of “Yer Blues” for The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.
The new music video for “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is coming out for the 10th anniversary of The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las VegasThe video was directed by Dandypunk, André Kasten and Leah Moyer and highlights the troupe’s performer Eira Glover along with Dandypunk’s hand-drawn illustrations. The effects were created using projection mapping and captured live, in-camera. No post production CGI was used.
The video honors the memory of Sir George Martin, The Beatles producer, and of George Harrison himself. Martin’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (LOVE Version) string arrangement and recording session at Air Studios in 2006 were his final pieces of work in a legendary career that spanned more than five decades.
The video’s release is accompanied by the landmark news that songs by The Beatles have been streamed more than one billion times within the six months since the band’s launch on streaming services worldwide.
The Beatles debuted for streaming on December 24, 2015 with the band’s 13 U.K. studio albums and Past Masters (Volumes 1 & 2),The Beatles 1962-1966, The Beatles 1967-1970, and The Beatles 1. The Beatles’ Anthology, Volumes 1-3 music collections and LOVE album followed on April 4 and June 17, respectively.
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (LOVE Version) is featured on The Beatles’ multi Grammy Award winning LOVE album, the audio companion to The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, which opened on June 30, 2006. To create the soundscape, producers Sir George Martin and Giles Martin worked at Abbey Road Studios with the entire archive of Beatles master recordings.
The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil received huge critical acclaim and is evolved for its 10th anniversary to present a more dynamic theatrical experience. New acts, costumes, choreography, audio visual technology and remixed music have made the experience of the LOVE show more immersive and exciting than ever. Since LOVE’s debut, more than 4,500 performances have been staged for a cumulative audience approaching eight million people. LOVE will stage a special 10th anniversary celebration performance on Thursday, July 14.