Guitar Tricks Blog
Posted: November 9, 2018

The Beatles 'White Album' Gets 107 Songs in 50th Anniversary Edition

It was 50 years ago that The Beatles released the ‘White Album.’ Today, the 50th Anniversary edition has been released to the world in all of its 107-track glory, that is if you opt for the super deluxe version. Seriously, it’s huge. 

Fun fact: the ‘White Album’ isn’t technically called the ‘White Album.’ The only words on the cover are: The Beatles. Most fans call this album the ‘White Album’ simply because the cover was in plain white without any of the colorful frills from the previous albums, and also missing are any photographs of John, Paul, George and Ringo

The new 50th Anniversary keeps the tradition of a plain white cover, but enhances just about everything else. 

Every song on the album has been remixed but perhaps the most exciting bit are the extra tracks. There are 27 demo takes from the band’s recordings in Esher, George Harrison’s home in Surrey, England.

Included on the demos are would-be classics like “Blackbird,” “Back in the U.S.S.R.” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” In addition to the Esher demos, the anniversary edition of the album also includes a number of outtakes not found on the standard editions.

The Esher demos and additional outtakes are really fun to listen to for any fan of the band, since it gives us a big glimpse into the recording process and how the band struggled and experimented during this time in their careers. 

As I listened to the album, I really enjoyed comparing the demos and outtakes to the new studio mixes. One of the more notable tracks that stood out to me was “Helter Skelter.” 

The track is titled “Helter Skelter - First Version / Take 2” and it sounds nothing like the heavy metal prelude we know it to be. If this was the first version of the song I ever heard, I might have never gotten into The Beatles.  

Watch Giles Martin talk about the creation of one my favorite tracks on the album, “Helter Skelter” below. 

Learn how to play the song here. 

The 50th Anniversary edition of The Beatles’ 'White Album' is available for purchase now, in a variety of bundles you can find here. 

If you have Spotify, you can listen to all 5 hours and 27 minutes of it here

Learn how to play songs from The Beatles here. 

 

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