The Beatles 'White Album' gets 50th anniversary deluxe reissue
The Beatles/YouTube

Ask any Beatles fan to name the five best Beatles albums, and what will probably be on that list is the band's self-titled 1968 album, also known as The White Album because of its all-white cover. The White Album is now getting a 50th-anniversary deluxe reissue that's due out Nov. 9. The reissue has a deluxe package treatment similar to the 50th-anniversary reissue of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The White Album, which was a No. 1 hit in several countries, has been reissued and remastered before, but the 50th anniversary reissue is the first time that a reissue of The White Album  has a new mix and bonus tracks that are demos and session recordings. Giles Martin (son of the Beatles' late, great producer George Martin) and mix engineer Sam Okell mixed the album's original 30 tracks in stereo and 5.1 surround audio, as well as the deluxe reissue's 27 early acoustic demos (also known as Esher Demos) and 50 session outtakes, most of which have been previously unreleased.

In an introduction written for the reissue's packaging, Giles Martin commented,  “In remixing The White Album, we’ve tried to bring you as close as possible to The Beatles in the studio. We’ve peeled back the layers of the ‘Glass Onion’ with the hope of immersing old and new listeners into one of the most diverse and inspiring albums ever made.”

The 50th anniversary of The White Album comes in three editions:

Standard: The 180-gram 2-LP vinyl set is packaged in a gatefold sleeve with faithfully replicated original artwork.

Deluxe: The 3-CD, 180-gram 4-LP vinyl box set (limited edition), also available in digital audio format, consists of the 2018 stereo album mix with the 27 Esher Demos. 

Super Deluxe: The 6-CD/Blu-ray set, also available on digital audio format, features the same tracks on the 3-CD deluxe edition, plus three CDs that have 50 additional recordings, most previously unreleased and all newly mixed and sequenced in order of their recording start dates. The super deluxe edition also has a Blu-ray with the 2018 album mix in high-resolution PCM stereo; the 2018 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 album mix; the 2018 Dolby True HD 5.1 album mix; and the 2018 direct transfer of the album’s original mono mix. The super deluxe package is individually numbered on the front, just like early copies of The White Album.

The super deluxe edition's slipsleeve packaging includes a 164-page hardbound book, with reproductions of the original album’s color portrait photos of Beatles members John LennonPaul McCartneyGeorge Harrison and Ringo Starr, in addition to a two-sided poster that has a photo collage on one side and lyrics on the other. The book includes rare and previously unpublished photographs, introductions by McCartney and Giles Martin, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, reproduced original White Album print ads and chapters covering track-by-track details and session notes. McCartney commented in the reissue's introduction on what it was like to record The White Album: "We had left Sgt. Pepper’s band to play in his sunny Elysian Fields and were now striding out in new directions without a map."

The White Album was a musical departure for the Beatles, since many of the songs on the album represented the band's heaviest sound and edgiest lyrics to date. For the first time, the Beatles released an album that captured the anger and chaos that was going on society at the time with the anti-Vietnam War protests, the civil rights movement and other political unrest, as evidenced by songs like "Revolution," "Helter Skelter," "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" and "Back in the U.S.S.R." The White Album also has "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," one of the occasional Harrison-written Beatles songs with Harrison on lead vocals. Many Beatles fans consider "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," with its emotionally resonant guitar solo, to be Harrison's Beatles masterpiece.

The White Album also has tender ballads, such as "Blackbird," "Dear Prudence," "Julia" (which Lennon wrote in tribute to his late mother) and "Martha My Dear," which McCartney wrote about his beloved Old English sheepdog Martha. And the album had songs that were celebrations of pure joy and pop perfection, such as "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "Birthday." There were also introspective Lennon-sung songs where he candidly expressed his feelings about Beatles fame ("Glass Onion"), depressing isolation ("Yer Blues") and burnout ("I'm So Tired"). All in all, The White Album is a fascinating time capsule of the Beatles exposing more of their complicated emotions and vulnerabilities to the world at a time when it would have been easier and safer for them to fall into a pattern of churning out superficial pop hits.

Here is the tracklist for the Beatles' White Album 50th anniversary super deluxe reissue:

a new mix and bonus tracks that are demos and session recordings. Giles Martin (son of the Beatles' late, great producer George Martin) and mix engineer Sam Okell mixed the album's original 30 tracks in stereo and 5.1 surround audio, as well as the deluxe reissue's 27 early acoustic demos (also known as Esher Demos) and 50 session outtakes, most of which have been previously unreleased.

In an introduction written for the reissue's packaging, Giles Martin commented,  “In remixing The White Album, we’ve tried to bring you as close as possible to The Beatles in the studio. We’ve peeled back the layers of the ‘Glass Onion’ with the hope of immersing old and new listeners into one of the most diverse and inspiring albums ever made.”

The 50th anniversary of The White Album comes in three editions:

Standard: The 180-gram 2-LP vinyl set is packaged in a gatefold sleeve with faithfully replicated original artwork.

Deluxe: The 3-CD, 180-gram 4-LP vinyl box set (limited edition), also available on digital audio format, consists of the 2018 stereo album mix with the 27 Esher Demos. 

Super Deluxe: The 6-CD/Blu-ray set, also available on digital audio format, features the same tracks on the 3-CD deluxe edition, plus three CDs that have 50 additional recordings, most previously unreleased and all newly mixed and sequenced in order of their recording start dates. The super deluxe edition also has a Blu-ray with the 2018 album mix in high-resolution PCM stereo; the 2018 DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 album mix; the 2018 Dolby True HD 5.1 album mix; and the 2018 direct transfer of the album’s original mono mix. The super deluxe package is individually numbered on the front, just like early copies of The White Album.

The super deluxe edition's slipsleeve packaging includes a 164-page hardbound book, with reproductions of the original album’s color portrait photos of Beatles members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, in addition to a two-sided poster that has a photo collage on one side and lyrics on the other. The book includes rare and previously unpublished photographs, introductions by McCartney and Giles Martin, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, reproduced original White Album print ads and chapters covering track-by-track details and session notes. McCartney commented in the reissue's introduction on what it was like to record The White Album: "We had left Sgt. Pepper’s band to play in his sunny Elysian Fields and were now striding out in new directions without a map."

The White Album was a musical departure for the Beatles, since many of the songs on the album represented the band's heaviest sound and edgiest lyrics to date. For the first time, the Beatles released an album that captured the anger and chaos that was going on society at the time with the anti-Vietnam War protests, the civil rights movement and other political unrest, as evidenced by songs like "Revolution," "Helter Skelter," "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" and "Back in the U.S.S.R." The White Album also has "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," one of the occasional Harrison-written Beatles songs with Harrison on lead vocals. Many Beatles fans consider "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," with its emotionally resonant guitar solo, to be Harrison's Beatles masterpiece.

The White Album also has tender ballads, such as "Blackbird," "Dear Prudence," "Julia" (which Lennon wrote in tribute to his late mother) and "Martha My Dear," which McCartney wrote about his beloved Old English sheepdog Martha. And the album had songs that were celebrations of pure joy and pop perfection, such as "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and "Birthday." There were also introspective Lennon-sung songs where he candidly expressed his feelings about Beatles fame ("Glass Onion"), depressing isolation ("Yer Blues") and burnout ("I'm So Tired"). All in all, The White Album is a fascinating time capsule of the Beatles exposing more of their complicated emotions and vulnerabilities to the world at a time when it would have been easier and safer for them to fall into a pattern of churning out superficial pop hits.

Here is the tracklist for the Beatles' White Album 50th anniversary super deluxe reissue:

CD 1 - The Beatles 2018 mix
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Dear Prudence
Glass Onion
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Wild Honey Pie
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness Is a Warm Gun
Martha My Dear
I’m So Tired
Blackbird
Piggies
Rocky Raccoon
Don’t Pass Me By
Why Don't We Do It in the Road?
I Will
Julia

CD 2 - The Beatles 2018 mix
Birthday
Yer Blues
Mother Nature’s Son
Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey
Sexy Sadie
Helter Skelter
Long, Long, Long
Revolution I
Honey Pie
Savoy Truffle
Cry Baby Cry
Revolution 9
Good Night

CD 3 - Esher Demos
Back in the U.S.S.R.
Dear Prudence
Glass Onion
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness Is a Warm Gun
I’m So Tired
Blackbird
Piggies
Rocky Raccoon
Julia
Yer Blues
Mother Nature’s Son
Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey
Sexy Sadie
Revolution
Honey Pie
Cry Baby Cry
Sour Milk Sea
Junk
Child of Nature
Circles
Mean Mr. Mustard
Polythene Pam
Not Guilty
What’s the New Mary Jane

CD 4 -Sessions
Revolution I (Take 18)
A Beginning (Take 4) / Don’t Pass Me By (Take 7)
Blackbird (Take 28)
Everybody’s Got Something to Hide
Except Me and My Monkey (Unnumbered rehearsal)
Good Night (Unnumbered rehearsal)
Good Night (Take 10 with a guitar part from Take 5)
Good Night (Take 22)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Take 3)
Revolution (Unnumbered rehearsal)
Revolution (Take 14 – Instrumental backing track)
Cry Baby Cry (Unnumbered rehearsal)
Helter Skelter (First version – Take 2)

CD 5 - Sessions
Sexy Sadie (Take 3)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Acoustic version – Take 2)
Hey Jude (Take 1)
St. Louis Blues (Studio jam)
Not Guilty (Take 102)
Mother Nature’s Son (Take 15)
Yer Blues (Take 5 with guide vocal)
What’s the New Mary Jane (Take 1)
Rocky Raccoon (Take 8)
Back in the U.S.S.R. (Take 5 – Instrumental backing track)
Dear Prudence (Vocal, guitar & drums)
Let It Be (Unnumbered rehearsal)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Third version – Take 27)
(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care (Studio jam)
Helter Skelter (Second version – Take 17)
Glass Onion (Take 10)

CD 6 -Sessions
I Will (Take 13)
Blue Moon (Studio jam)
I Will (Take 29)
Step Inside Love (Studio jam)
Los Paranoias (Studio jam)
Can You Take Me Back? (Take 1)
Birthday (Take 2 – Instrumental backing track)
Piggies (Take 12 – Instrumental backing track)
Happiness Is a Warm Gun (Take 19)
Honey Pie (Instrumental backing track)
Savoy Truffle (Instrumental backing track)
Martha My Dear (Without brass and strings)
Long, Long, Long (Take 44)
I’m So Tired (Take 7)
I’m So Tired (Take 14)
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill (Take 2)
Why Don’t We Do It in the Road? (Take 5)
Julia (Two rehearsals)
The Inner Light (Take 6 – Instrumental backing track)
Lady Madonna (Take 2 – Piano and drums)
Lady Madonna (Backing vocals from take 3)
Across the Universe (Take 6)

Blu-ray
Audio Features:
-PCM Stereo (2018 Stereo Mix)
-DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (2018)
-Dolby True HD 5.1 (2018)
-Mono (2018 Direct Transfer of The White Album Original Mono Mix)