“The White Album” Review

Steve Lang, Managing Editor - Yearbook

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Producer Giles Martin and Mixer Sam Okell bring a welcome modern approach to The Beatles’ 1968 self titled masterpiece (often referred to as “The White Album”) which brings an interesting listening session, but does not completely change the experience as a whole.  

 

The Beatles have a discography almost completely composed of classics and, “The White Album” is no exception from that list. Famous for its landmark in audio production history, expansive tracklist and behind the scenes conflicts among the four band members. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of the album, son of the original producer of ‘The White Album’ Giles Martin remixed the album alongside Audio Mixer Sam Okell.  Martin has remixed previous Beatles albums including 1967’s “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.

 

The 50th anniversary remixed release of “The White Album” was highly anticipated because of its massive amount of content. Physical releases of the Deluxe and Super Deluxe editions include photos and a booklet containing stories from the sessions among other things. But in terms of actual songs, all versions include the original 32 song tracklist. Among the Deluxe iterations, several demos and excerpts from the sessions, running the Super Deluxe editions track list up to 107 songs.

 

The remix of the core 32 songs is fantastic, bringing to life classics such as “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and “Dear Prudence”. The vocals are brighter and more present, the guitar is more present, the drums are more clear, and the bass is more deep but still plays its role in the mix.

 

Because of the remix, stand out songs like “Helter Skelter” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” are more alive than their original master and mix. However, this does not mean it’s a completely new album. If “The White Album” did not appeal to a certain audience, it obviously will not change their minds with a mix.

 

The extra sessions and demos are interesting to listen to hear, especially to see where all of the songs came from, from a recording point of view. Hearing the original 13 minute version of “Helter Skelter” is an example of this. Listening to the song how the band initially wrote and composed it as a slow-chugging track, compared to how it was released on an album, is really intriguing to hear.

 

The 50th anniversary release of “The White Album” is something to behold for fans of the album itself and the band. ‘Deluxe versions’ bring a collection of new and interesting songs for super fans to enjoy. Fans of The Beatles and “The White Album” will like the release, regardless of the verison of the release it is.

 

Releases of the 50th anniversary editions of “The White Album” are available on CD, Vinyl and, streaming services where The Beatles can be found, such as Spotify.

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