Whiter Than White – Three Shades of “The BEATLES” (White Album)



When this year began, I mentioned that throughout the year I would post some blogs celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles landmark “White Album.”

Well now that the year is almost over I decided to hop to it and finally share some posts about a few of the different copies of the White Albums I have in my collection.

Now as most rabid Beatle fans know there will be a super nice (and expensive I’m sure) White Album box set coming out probably in November of this year which will feature all sorts of goodies like outtakes, remixes and who knows what else.

So until that collection comes out and possibly readdresses the best sounding version of the album, I thought it might be nice to take a look at some of the best sounding versions of “The BEATLES” I own.

(Note: the album is actually just called “The BEATLES” but its nickname of the “White Album” has become so prevalent that it’s now mainly known by that name but I’ll refer to it both ways.)

Today I am featuring two of my favorite White Albums: one vinyl and one CD and both stereo versions. I’m also throwing in a first pressing U.S. vinyl copy of the White Album I acquired earlier this year not because its the best sounding but because it’s in great shape and fun to see.

In my opinion out of all the vinyl pressings you may find of The BEATLES (White Album) the best in terms of quality of sound would have to go to the 1978 UK white vinyl pressing.

This pressing is superb and I think sounds so clear and so vibrant that it easily takes the top spot of all the pressings I own.

Don’t get me wrong,  a first pressing UK regular black vinyl issue is right up there neck and neck with the white vinyl pressing from 1978 but there’s just something special about the sound of the 1978 pressing that makes it stand out from all the others.

And I happened to stumble on a really beautiful condition copy of the white vinyl issue (see photos above) a couple of years ago at a record show. The dealer must not have known what he had as he only charged me $40 for it and it goes for well above that most places online as its sought after by collectors for its sound and is relatively rare these days.

My other favorite way to listen to The BEATLES (White Album), if I’m listening to a CD version, is the first pressing numbered CD issue that came out in 1987.

I just love the sound of the original 1987 mastering as its not as pumped up with bass as the 2009 remaster CD and just sounds right – lovely, nice bass and sounds near the first UK vinyl pressing in terms of dynamics.

I like the 2009 remaster but tend to reach for the 1987 CD whenever I’m in the mood for listening to the stereo version of the White Album.

(Note 2: For the mono version hands down the 2009 mono CD wins but that’s not a part of this blog post so never mind lol.)

And lastly take a look at the beautiful U.S. Apple numbered pressing copy of the White Album (also see above) I got just this year. It has the song “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill” listed as just “Bungalow Bill” which indicates a first issue label but also has a higher number on the cover which is almost 2 million.

I’m guessing the cover and album are both first pressings as the album sold in vast quantities but I thought the first issue labels were found with lower numbers but who knows if it was switched over the past fifty years or so – still a very lovely copy.

And the cover is actually still pretty white as most U.S. pressing get very grimy and dirty over the years but this is is still in really nice shape!

As for sound, I’ll never say a U.S. pressing is the best listening experience for this album as British copies beat it hands down, but this U.S. copy does actually sound pretty nice.

So take a gander at some of the photos above!

As usual you’ll see hype stickers (the person who had the UK white vinyl pressing actually kept the hype sticker yay!!!) and the CD longbox for the 1987 CD issue as I’m a pack rat with music and love to see them as most people threw them away.

More on more versions of the White Album soon!

Until next time be well and TTFN!!!