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White Album 50th Anniversary Edition
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25 September 2018
11.06am
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I preordered through the Beatles store.

"Stop throwing jelly beans at me." --George Harrison

25 September 2018
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J Alesait
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Hi everyone! I'm delighted by the 3 CDs of outtakes and the Esher Demos included on the Super Deluxe track list. But I think the most important thing on this reissue is the remixing of the original album, which I reckon will be the 'standard' version of the album from now on (just as the remixed Pepper). I remember a few years ago (maybe a decade now) the mere idea of remixing a Beatles album was blasphemy. Now it seems we're all accustomed to it, and I foresee that these remixed albums will be the ones the next generations will be listening to, once all the original Beatles fans and listeners are gone. So I hope every Beatles album gets its remixed version at some point. Then, even the 2009 remasters will probably be obsolete and of only historical importance. Just my two cents...

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25 September 2018
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glazball
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J Alesait said
I think the most important thing on this reissue is the remixing of the original album, which I reckon will be the 'standard' version of the album from now on (just as the remixed Pepper).

The difference between 2009 vs. 2017 stereo mixes of Sgt. Pepper are night and day, and it's just shocking to try to listen to the 2009 mix now.  It's awful, but we (well, most of us!) didn't know any better until 2017.

I'm eager to hear how the 2018 mix of White Album turns out.  I know it will be incredible, but honestly I'm at a loss to know exactly -how- it will be improved.  I'll have to let my own ears be the judge.  Since the White Album was originally made to be listened to in stereo, I don't expect much of an improvement of what we already have - but I'm ready to be pleasantly surprised.

Looking forward, I think it will be even less of an issue if we see a new stereo mix of Abbey Road next year.  What could possibly be done without ruining the Beatles original intent?  It already sounds impeccable.  (Sorry, I don't mean to derail the thread, just hammering out my thoughts!)

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25 September 2018
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J Alesait
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I'm eager to hear how the 2018 mix of White Album turns out.  I know it will be incredible, but honestly I'm at a loss to know exactly -how- it will be improved.  I'll have to let my own ears be the judge.  Since the White Album was originally made to be listened to in stereo, I don't expect much of an improvement of what we already have - but I'm ready to be pleasantly surprised.

If I recall correctly, the eight-track mixing deck was available at Abbey Road only midway through the recording sessions, and a lot of tracks had to be 'bounced down' to vacate new empty tracks for recording, resulting in a downgrade of sound quality. Now each track can be equalized, mixed and placed individually on the stereo image. That alone radically improves the final stereo mixdown of each song.

Looking forward, I think it will be even less of an issue if we see a new stereo mix of Abbey Road next year.  What could possibly be done without ruining the Beatles original intent?  It already sounds impeccable. 

The same here, although to a lesser extent, Abbey Road being the most 'modern' of their albums sound-wise, but I'm sure the mixing can be improved still. Bear in mind that every new mix uses the original one as reference, so the Beatles original intent is preserved, if not better served.

25 September 2018
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Dark Overlord
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I hope they don't screw up the mix like they did with Sgt. Pepper .

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The Hole Got Fixed

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25 September 2018
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Dark Overlord said
I hope they don't screw up the mix like they did with Sgt. Pepper .  

In what way did they screw up that mix?

25 September 2018
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J Alesait said

If I recall correctly, the eight-track mixing deck was available at Abbey Road only midway through the recording sessions, and a lot of tracks had to be 'bounced down' to vacate new empty tracks for recording, resulting in a downgrade of sound quality. Now each track can be equalized, mixed and placed individually on the stereo image. That alone radically improves the final stereo mixdown of each song.

Half way through the Pepper sessions, they used 2 4-track decks side-by-side, so songs like WALHFMF, while technically done on 4 track, actually can be seperated to each individual instrument (*ahem* rock band seperations *ahem*)

So with the White Album , every track should have 8 tracks, except for obvious exceptions (Good Night , Julia , Mother Nature's Son etc)

 

J Alesait said

In what way did they screw up that mix?  

They 'brickwalled' it something shocking...

They also took out all the psychedelic aspects of LITSWD and made it a rock song instead (imo), same with ADITL.

They changed the key of She's Leaving Home ...

However, all is forgiven, because the outtakes are good and they did some fantastic mixes (eg SPLHCB , WALHFMF). Perhaps they're more at home mixing rock not psychedelia, in which case they may have struggled with the White Album .

 

I'll just have to wait and see!

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Oh, by the way, this post was made by The Hole Got Fixed!

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25 September 2018
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J Alesait said

In what way did they screw up that mix?  

It just doesn't sound right to me, i prefer the original 1967 mixes.

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25 September 2018
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Luckily we have both. We can choose which one to hear!

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25 September 2018
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glazball
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The Hole Got Fixed said

They 'brickwalled' it something shocking...

They changed the key of She's Leaving Home ...

She's Leaving Home finally sounds correct!

It's unfortunate the CD version is on the loud side, but I'd have to disagree that 2017 Mix as a whole is "screwed up".  Apparently the vinyl version isn't brickwalled -  maybe you could give it another chance on vinyl?  I hate that vinyl often gets the properly mastered pressing over CD, when it's such an inferior format!  But I digress...

Staying on topic, I'm also a huge, huge fan of multi-channel releases and I'm most excited about hearing the White Album in delicious DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1!

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25 September 2018
10.51pm
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Ron Nasty
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I'm gonna be a bit controversial here and make some complaints about the 50th anniversary edition, or elements of, anyway.

First off, the packaging of the 4LP and Super Deluxe, or more precisely, their slipcases.

How did the album become known as the White Album ? It was because the outside artwork was all white. By using the gatefold pictures on the slipcases for both they defeat and change that original artwork in a way I disapprove of.

WAC1.jpgImage Enlarger

WAC2.jpgImage Enlarger

Neither of those are the proper White Album artwork, and Nasty doesn't like that. Since when did you have four individual portraits on the cover of the White? And, yes, I get that slipcase removed, you get the proper artwork, or an approximation on the Super Deluxe, but none of my current releases when everything is in its right place has pictures of the Beatles visible, these do, therefore defeating and contradicting the original artwork.

There should be, at the least, one more disc of studio outtakes. The Pepper super deluxe gave us 33 outtakes for the sessions, allowing us quite a glimpse at how songs progressed, many quite deeply explored over several versions. The Beatles super deluxe offers us 50 outtakes for the sessions - and quite a few of those are for things that were not released at the time, only 17 more even though it's dealing with over double the amount of songs, instantly meaning there can be less exploration of how songs developed.

And of the 5 non-album songs to the album for outtake examination, unlike Pepper where we got alternate versions of the two non-album tracks along with their finished versions, the master of none of those five songs is included.

And then we get to the Lady Madonna  sessions, the outtakes of which are added (out of chronological order) to the end of the third disc of outtakes, as if an afterthought, something that isn't a part of the WA sessions, and that's because those three songs aren't and weren't. It also annoys me because it confuses where George was during the WA sessions. He'd abandoned the sitar and Indian music that had dominated his contributions to the group in the couple of years previously, returning again to the guitar. How better to show George had given up on making his songs Indian by the time of the WA than to include the instrumental of one of his most Indian tracks?

I'm not suggesting I won't be raving over what we do get on 9 November, just that it could have better.

Off-topic:

@The Hole Got Fixed I'm not good at keys and things like that, but isn't the 2017 Giles remix of She's Leaving Home  in the same key as the Beatles mono mix rather than the sped-up original stereo which changed the key and was done without them?

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26 September 2018
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Tony Japanese
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I think 6 cds is plenty enough for something like this. I'm not the kind of fan who wants to hear seventeen different takes of 'Dear Prudence ' - all with relatively minor variations. I'm looking forward to hearing the Esher demos, to see how they compare to the finished versions and I'm perfectly happy to trust the judgement that more takes haven't been included because they're not worth listening to.

I am inclined to agree about Lady Madonna , The Inner Light and Across The Universe though. As far as most of us are concerned (i.e. me), the sessions for the album start in May with the Esher Demos and end with Julia . Obviously Apple/The Beatles/EMI/Whoever considers those first three to now be part of the White Album sessions.  It's almost as if they've been added as an afterthought though, to fill up the space - I'd be happier if they included them in chronological order.

26 September 2018
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The Hole Got Fixed
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It may very well have been in the same key. I haven't heard the mono mixes of Pepper (though I did hear the 2017 mixes) as I dislike listening in mono, as stated elsewhere. 

So I'd trust you on this one, and I need to learn to fact check on these things! 

Still - the remaster should be in the key we are familiar with for the respective mixes, imo.

Oh, by the way, this post was made by The Hole Got Fixed!

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26 September 2018
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The Hole Got Fixed said
It may very well have been in the same key. I haven't heard the mono mixes of Pepper (though I did hear the 2017 mixes) as I dislike listening in mono, as stated elsewhere. 

So I'd trust you on this one, and I need to learn to fact check on these things! 

Still - the remaster should be in the key we are familiar with for the respective mixes, imo.  

Personally, I have always preferred the mono version of "She's Leaving Home ". The slower stereo version just feels awfully slow. However, below is a reference that might help clear up the history behind the differences of mixes.

According to Kehew & Ryan's Recording The Beatles, page 294:

"While varispeed was typically applied to individual overdubs, three tracks on Sgt. Pepper - "Within You Without You ," "When I'm Sixty-Four " and "She's Leaving Home " - were mixed with the oscillator set to 53 Hz, raising the pitch of each track a full semitone (in the Beatles' absence, "She's Leaving Home " failed to be varispeeded during the stereo mix, so the faster, higher version is only available on the mono Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band). It has been suggested that Paul may have wished to sound younger on "When I'm Sixty-Four ," an effect which varispeed can accomplish quite easily. It is also possible, however, that he simply decided the song was too slow when hearing the final mix played back. Anyone who has ever heard the track played at its original, fairly plodding tempo would undoubtedly agree that the decision to speed up the song was a good one."

26 September 2018
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Ron Nasty
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Myself, @Tony Japanese, being familiar with what's available on bootleg, I know there's more out there that hasn't been included. For instance, Brian Epstein Blues, a jam from the Sexy Sadie  session is absent, as is the I Will  variation The Way You Look Tonight.

A week before the expanded White gets released, on 2 November, Dylan releases the 6CD Bootleg Series 14, which includes the complete New York sessions for Blood on the Tracks. In recent years, with different degrees of availability, Dylan has released virtually every recording made, either in the studio or live, between 1961 and 1967.

I don't think the Beatles should follow suit as both had different recording methods, but do think they could have easily been more expansive with this White re-release than they have been. Whether it's one that excites or not (for me, it does excite), compare the depth Yoko has gone into the Imagine  sessions on the upcoming box set for that to the scratching the surface of what's there that this edition of the White does.

@The Hole Got Fixed, one of the main points Giles made about his Pepper remix was that he created a stereo mix that was based on the mono mix which the group were a part of rather than the stereo mix where they weren't in the room.

I realise aspects of Giles' mix may seem odd to those unfamiliar with the approved mono mix, but Giles' mix is closer to how they wanted it heard than the stereo mix done without them at the time was.

The truth is, the original stereo She's Leaving Home , while the most familiar, ignored their mono mix and sped the song up.

As Giles said:

I grew up listening to the stereo. I was surprised. I didn't know that there were different pitches in "She’s Leaving Home" in the mono and stereo, and how stark the differences are, before I started working on this project.

All Giles has done is given us a stereo version of how they wanted the song, and even if a little jarring because it differs to the familiar stereo, it makes sense to me that Giles stuck with the Beatles mono mix rather than, what was largely, Geoff Emerick's stereo mix.

John always said that you haven't heard Pepper until you've heard the mono, for those who don't like mono, Giles created a stereo version of it.

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26 September 2018
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Tony Japanese
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I was thinking of the Dylan Bootleg Series when I wrote my response - particularly the 11 disc edtion of The Cutting Edge series. I'm a fan of both, but I don't need to hear every cough or chord Dylan or the Beatles ever recorded. I'm sure there are some who do though.

Incidentally, a comment taken from another forum made me chuckle.

Until today I never knew anyone who thought that lengthening the White Album would be a good idea.

26 September 2018
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Ron Nasty said
And then we get to the Lady Madonna  sessions, the outtakes of which are added (out of chronological order) to the end of the third disc of outtakes, as if an afterthought, something that isn't a part of the WA sessions, and that's because those three songs aren't and weren't.

You're absolutely right. Those outtakes are out of place and shouldn't have been included. They are pre-Rishikesh songs.

Off-topic:

but isn't the 2017 Giles remix of She's Leaving Home  in the same key as the Beatles mono mix rather than the sped-up original stereo which changed the key and was done without them?  

Wasn't the sped-up version the one they approved?

26 September 2018
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@J Alesait You're right, the mono is the faster of the two. PWT (forum acronym for Posting While Tired for those yet to come across it)! Should remember to check things rather than trust a sleepy mind. Though the argument I was making that favouring their mono mix over the stereo mix they had nothing to do with explains the shift, rather than Giles coming in 50 years later and deciding to change it.

Pleased that I'm finding some agreement on presence of the Lady Madonna  sessions.

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26 September 2018
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The number of outtakes included could have gone into the hundreds, there had to be a cut-off point somewhere and it seems that Apple is sticking to the format of the 6-disc + book 'Pepper' box (an extra cd of music over a DVD equivalent of the Blu-Ray which has no video).

As for the content, quibbles can easily be raised over one outtake over another, but that is always the case. For instance, due to the wealth of outtake material available for selection, why include material which was used on 'Anthology 3 '; surely there is a different take of Rocky Raccoon good enough for inclusion, why include 'Step Inside Love'/'Los Paranoias' (presumably it's to feature the full four-minute 'LP' considering it's edited on 'Anthology' but it's a dreadfully unfunny joke available on bootleg for anyone who wants to suffer)? Three versions of 'Good Night ' yet one of 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun '! Personally, I'd go so far and say that since there is a Blu-Ray included Apple should have the balls to stick on take 3 of 'Helter Skelter ', would be one hell of a bonus to the fans without all the hysterics over its appearance if pre-announced. 

I presume the February 1968 material is included to cover all of 1968 (tho there is no 'Hey Bulldog ' here and ten takes were recorded - why not even an instrumental backing track?) but I agree it's out of place to include them at the end of disc 6. I would guess Apple wanted to open with the take 18 of 'Revolution ' over 'The Inner Light ', (a 12-minute Lennon number which will be heavily focused on in the build-up to the release over an instrumental outtake of a [lesser-known] Harrison Indian track). I don't agree, I think it should be a matter of if included due to correctly, I can just see where Apple are when deciding on their approach. 

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26 September 2018
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meanmistermustard said
Apple should have the balls to stick on take 3 of 'Helter Skelter '

It's obviously being blocked from ever getting out, probably by the same Beatle who classified 'Carnival Of Light ' to be Top Secret...:-)

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