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McCartney Confirms 50th-Anniversary Edition Beatles' White Album

After almost a year of speculations, the 50th-anniversary edition of the 1968 album 'The Beatles', better known as the White Album, has been confirmed by Paul McCartney. McCartney talked about the release in an interview with music magazine DIY about his new album Egypt Station:

It’s all in place. I’ve just got a couple of essays [to sign off on]. It’s all lined up and it’s really good.

Since last year’s release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary edition, there’d been rumors about an similar, expanded version of the White Album. Last Summer, Giles Martin, son of the late Beatles producer George Martin, first referred to the White Album as being the “next release,” before withdrawing his comments. Giles Martin also remastered Sgt. Pepper’s reissue and help create the Love compilation and produced Live at the Hollywood Bowl. Last fall, Ringo Starr also pleaded for a reissue:

I’d like to do the ‘White Album.’ I think Giles (Martin) should redo that. I don’t know why not. And Abbey Road. I love the ‘White Album’ (because) we were back being a band, even though emotionally it was a bit weird between us for a while, and I left the band and came back, and George (Harrison) had all those flowers (decked out on my drum kit) — you know that story.

During his interview with DIY, McCartney admitted he liked working on the re-release. Not only because of all the memories, but also because he does “learn things” by listening it back:

The album itself [‘The White Album’] is very cool and it sounds like you’re in the room; that’s the great thing about doing remasters. But we’ve also got some demos of the songs, so you get things stripped right back to just John’s voice and a guitar. You just think, how fucking good was John?! Amazing. We were just doing it; it was amazing. We were having a good time.

According to some rumors, at least of some the so-called ‘Esher Demos’ will be included on the reissue. The Beatles recorded these at George Harrison’s place, Kinfauns in May 1968, before the actual recordings at Abbey Road Studios. Only a very few demo’s ended up on ‘Beatles Anthology 3’. Probably many more will emerge on the box set.

McCartney did not specify a release date for the Beatles set. But the original White Album was released on November 22, 1968 in Britain and a few days later in the US, so late November will be a likely date, The 50th-anniversary editions of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band also came at the time of the original release.

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André Homan

André Homan is a Dutch writer and journalist.

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