Listening to the Beatles' White Album, 50 years later

Friday, November 16, 2018

There’s something to be said for having your ears scrubbed clean every so often and experiencing a beloved classic for the first time — again. The 50th-anniversary reissue of “The Beatles,” a.k.a. the White Album, does exactly that. It’s more than just nostalgia at work here. This is reappraisal, reinvigoration — a wholesale reintroduction. It’s as though someone had blown the dust off your youth and handed it back to you it in high-definition Sensurround.

The new/old White Album was released Nov. 9 in four different editions, two on vinyl, two on CD, all featuring new stereo remixes of the original 1968 album’s 30 cuts overseen by Giles Martin (son of the late Beatles producer George Martin) and Sam Okell. The 4-LP and 3-CD versions add in the “Esher demos,” acoustic test versions of 21 cuts recorded by the group at George Harrison’s home in Esher, Surrey. The 6-disc coffee-table version — a monolith that hard-core Beatlemaniacs will probably dance around “2001”-style — tacks on three discs of revelatory outtakes, rehearsals, and alternate versions, a book that reprints the original handwritten lyrics and breaks down the genesis and recording of every cut, and a Blu-ray audio disc for serious soundaholics.

Source: Ty Burr - Globe Staff /


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