Analog Adventures: The Beatles (The White Album)
My first experience with The Beatles was through my dad. He is old enough to remember watching them on the Ed Sullivan Show. He grew his hair out to copy the distinct mop-top look, just like a lot of other kids his age. The Beatles used to come on the oldies format radio station all the time when I was young. It was always their number one hits and never their more experimental music. It wasn’t until my dad’s favorite Beatles song, Revolution, came on the radio that I learned about the White Album. I tried to download this on a 56k modem on Napster, but given how dense and long this album is, I didn’t even finish downloading ‘Dear Prudence’.
My first opportunity to listen to this album in full was from one of my moms co-workers. She brought over her very expensive CD copy of the album, and I proceeded to rip it to the family computer, a massive undertaking that took an hour to do. I then burned a copy of the album and listened to it a hundred times over. It was the soundtrack to my life from ages 9-13.
The interior of the album
Is It Worth It?
In an increasingly digital world, ownership becomes symbolic. While there are several excellent remasters and reissues of the White Album available in the wild, I wanted a first edition pressing because that was the way my dad first heard the Beatles.
Physically it is easy to spot a first edition; there is a serial number pressed on the front of the album. Unless you own a serial number in the low hundreds, this record is not worth much more than a reissue copy. Ringo Starr’s number 0000001 copy sold at auction for a staggering $790,000, the highest price ever paid for a single vinyl record.
My album serial number (Photo Credit: Tanner Matherly)
The front of the album is famously plain, save for the relief title and black serial number. The inside contains great pictures of the band, and if you’re lucky, a great poster. A good copy of a first edition will set you back about $40-50. It’s a small price to pay for history and a memory.
- Dear Prudence