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The Beatles: The White Album Original recording remastered

4.5 out of 5 stars 353 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Sept. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: EMI
  • ASIN: B0025KVLU6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (353 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 649 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

BBC Review

After the show came the reality. Fractured, dislocated and expansive, The Beatles – housed in its legendary plain white, subtly embossed sleeve – came out in November 1968. It arrived at a time when both the group and the world had changed irrevocably: the former since their first forays into fame and fortune, the latter scarred by the ongoing war in Vietnam and the assassination of Martin Luther King, to touch upon the tip of the iceberg.

From the inside looking out, maybe everything wasn't going to be alright, despite John Lennon’s assurances on the rousing Revolution 1, just one of many highlights on what is perhaps The Beatles’ most ambitious studio album.

After writing dozens of songs while meditating in India in the spring, the group returned to Abbey Road – and Trident, in Soho – to record over 30 tracks of new material up until the summer. When you think of how unrest had started to simmer within the group's ranks – Yoko Ono arriving in the studio; Apple forming; Ringo leaving and then returning – and how broad the album's palette of sounds (blue beat, heavy metal, folk and doo-wop, to name a few), The Beatles still manages to hang together like few other works.

The Lennon and Paul McCartney stereotypes are at once reinforced, yet also dismissed – few would have thought Good Night was the product of Lennon’s pen, and likewise Helter Skelter didn’t immediately scream McCartney. Away from such showpieces, it's the doodles that delight – George Harrison's Savoy Truffle is a fine counterweight to While My Guitar Gently Weeps, and Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey balances the gravitas of Revolution 1.

Given that it also contains Lennon, Ono and Harrison's nine-minute noise collage Revolution 9 and McCartney's genuinely pointless Wild Honey Pie, it’s little wonder that producer George Martin always opined that The Beatles could have made a splendid single album. That said, without such variety on offer, the compiling of one’s own version wouldn’t be the national pastime it is today. --Daryl Easlea

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This was a brave follow up to Sgt Pepper. So completely different and so diverse, it is a virtual dictionary of all musical styles. When I first heard it in 1978 I was completely blown away. This is the album where they were not only on top of their game but also had the self confidence to put out an album of no less than 30 songs! One has often come to the conclusion that there was no room in one band for three such stupendous songwriters. So here they got around that by releasing a brilliant double album. There has been much talk of how things might have been better had they reduced this to a single album. What bollocks! For a start, no Beatles fan has ever agreed which tracks should have been shelved. As Paul says in one of his finest lines ever: ’Shut up it’s the bloddy Beatles album’. That it is, and we are eternally grateful.
John Lennon never reached the peaks he reaches here. All his songs are wonderful. From the finger picking ’Dear Prudence’ with a stomping bass line from Paul to the tour de force group effort ’Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ to the supremely melodic ’Sexy Sadie’. Who ever said that McCartney wrote all the melodies is sadly mistaken. This is a melody to die for. And there is ’Julia’, the sweet and moving lament to his lost mother and the Mother he had found in Yoko. ’Revolution’ needs no introduction. Even if this slower album version is slightly inferior to the raucous rendition on the B Side of Hey Jude, it is mighty fine all the same. ’Cry Baby Cry’ is a wonderfully atmospheric piece with Paul contributing some suitably eerie piano.
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Format: Audio CD
Like many who cannot afford to buy the remastered box set in one go, I decided to try just my favourite album as a taster and see if the hype was justified. For me, that album was Revolver. "Hmmm" probably describes my initial reaction on hearing it. I so wanted it to sound incredible, to reveal new, previously hidden instruments and nuances, but it just didn't.

Not wanting to be disappointed so easily I decided to have one more try with The White Album and OH MY GOD!!! there it was. Everything I wanted the Revolver remaster to be. Crystal clear guitars and bass, punch to the percussion, passion in the vocals, an invitation to revisit an old and rather over familiar friend with renewed love.

I don't know why the remastering on The White Album sounds so much better than on Revolver. Possibly because in my opinion it never sounded too hot in the first place and therefore there was more scope for improvement. Will I go on and purchase the box set, probably not, but will I continue to try the albums one at a time. You bet!!!
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Format: Audio CD
It had been a tough year and a bit for The Beatles. Their manager Brian Epstein had died of an overdose, their Magical Mystery Tour had seen them mauled by critics for the first time, and their attempts to practise transcendental meditation in India with the Maharishi had ended in disaster. It was during that ill-fated trip that most of these songs were written.

Inside the band itself, the situation was also far from hunky dory. Lennon would soon lose interest in the band, spending more and more time with his new partner Yoko Ono instead. Harrison was increasingly sick of being overlooked by John and Paul, who still only permitted him a few songs per album (he has four out of thirty here). Sensing this unease in the band, McCartney increasingly took charge of the group, a fatherly attitude which further annoyed the others. Meanwhile Ringo gets sole writing credit for `Don't Pass Me By', not one of the album's best but certainly pleasant enough.

It was with these tensions that The Beatles made The White Album, a self-titled song collection that derives its popular nickname from a stark white cover. Most of the songs here are pretty much solo compositions, as the band's two main songwriters had both begun to jealously guard their own work, allowing only minimal input from the other. Ironically, this is the album where George Harrison finally became their equal, writing a couple of the very best songs here.

Beginning with the sound of a plane taking off, Back In The USSR is a Beach Boys homage with a thumping piano beat and lyrics that were fairly controversial during the middle of the Cold War. This fades hauntingly into the acoustic Dear Prudence, written to encourage Mia Farrow's sister out of hut-bound seclusion during the India trip.
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Format: Vinyl
The 2012 issue is lovely to listen to. The sound has space and the acoustic instruments sound woody, natural in a roomy environment. I have to recommend this for the balanced sound of actual people at work in the playing.
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Format: Audio CD
My first impression was how much better the music sounded, more musical, better balance. I was simply awestruck as the music came through with clarity & precision bettering the excellent re-masterd re-issue of the Yellow Sub CD some years ago. One of my all time favourite tracks, Dear Prudence, sounded much more open with a wide soundstage and excellent vocal and instrument separation as I could here the instruments stand out. The stereo imaging is excellent as if listening to a live rendition. JLs vocals sound very natural with excellent timbre and McCartney's bass now sounded much more natural with better definition with less boom, I could go on....
Overall the music is better separated with a rounder sweeter sound. While my guitar Gently Weeps has come alive, as the instruments stand apart with the Hammond organ cleanly separated and Clapton's guitar solo sounds like I have never heard it before, supreme. The overall sound balance is excellent in comparison to the original stereo mixes that sound course and bright and just awful in comparison.
Very impressed so far, can't wait to here Abbey Road, Pepper and Revolver.
Listen to the sax solo on Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, It's simply superb.
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