The Beatles’ self-titled 1968 album was re-released to the public as a remastered mix on Nov. 9, 2018. The new mix brings some great new aspects to some weaker tracks, and strengthens some of the best ones. However, some songs almost remain unchanged, or even have alterations that remove what made a specific track great.
The Beatles were at the peak of their creativity in the late ‘60s. From their 1966 album “Rubber Soul” and beyond, The Beatles went from being a cheesy pop/rock band to writing complex and thought-provoking music. Their self-titled album, also known as “The White Album” is no exception.
With the album’s initial release, tracks like “Blackbird” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” became some of the biggest hits from the record. Even lesser-known tracks such as “Cry Baby Cry” and “Sexy Sadie” stand out and remain unforgettable. All of these songs are extremely listenable due to their complexity and feel-good vibes.
Although “The White Album” is still a classic, it remains a cluttered mess with a ton of filler tracks. Tracks like “Revolution 9” and “Wild Honey Pie” hold no purpose, and just sound like a bunch of noise. “Revolution 9” is literally just a bunch of random sound clips matched together and is passed off as complex. “Wild Honey Pie” at least has a structure, but it is just a little ditty that The Beatles passed off as a joke. The only funny thing about the song is that I didn’t find it funny, but rather annoying!
That being said, the new 2018 mix brings so much more to the album as a whole.
One of the biggest changes in the mix is the prominence of the rhythm section. The drums on tracks such as “Birthday” and “Back In The U.S.S.R.” are really brought out to where you can hear each drum hit individually. The drums sound crisp and new, making the album sound as if it were released in 2018. The new mix also really makes you appreciate Ringo Starr’s drumming even more.
To add, the bass in the track “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” gets beefed up to great effect. It gained a much more powerful volume which ultimately led me to start dancing. Although simple, the bass in this new mix of the song drives the it forward at a groovy pace, making this an unforgettable new addition.
The smaller and more subdued guitar parts in the song “Julia” make the track more melodic and beautiful. Not to mention, the horn section in the incredibly underrated track “Mother Nature’s Son” is brought out even more to add even more layers to this already incredible song.
Although this album brings a lot of new things to the table, sometimes the mixing can be detrimental to a beloved song. The backing vocals in the track “Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da” were turned up way too loud, making the song almost annoying to listen to. To add, tracks such as “Blackbird” and “Rocky Racoon” sound cleaner, but ultimately don’t bring any surprises. As a matter of fact, “Rocky Racoon” sounds way more empty than it should. It felt as if there were instruments missing from the song.
One part that genuinely surprised me was the new mix of the track “Wild Honey Pie.” It’s one of my least favorite songs on the whole record, but this new mix of the song fascinated me. It sounds completely re-done, with each vocal part standing out on it’s own. There were two guitar parts as well, which I never noticed at all on the original mix. It is just so baffling that they spent so much time remixing a horrible song like this one instead of working on great tracks that could use improvement, like “Blackbird.”
The Beatles “White Album” provided an interesting listening experience with it’s remastered version. This mix took away some things I loved, but also brought out the little moments that made this record special. It could be frustrating to listen to at times, but my interest in the new edition was high throughout my entire listen. If you are a die-hard Beatles fan, then this is a definite listen for you.