I've been listening to the 50th anniversary mix of Sgt. Pepper and it's really made me wonder what it entails for the all but officially announced 50th anniversary mix of The White Album. I've listened to Pepper since I was a boy, it was part of your education in a sense growing up and ever since I've been listening to The Beatles through headphones, you can't get away from the harshness of the panning on their stereo albums. Instruments usually go hard left, right or centre with vocals wherever they land. Suddenly with Pepper 50th mix, the entire soundscape is wide open and used without harsh panning. The mix mostly conforms to the tried and tested modern mix of centre vocals, drums and bass with other instrumentation drifting off to the sides at varying percentages. It works well and I'm so happy Giles and the team went back to the original multitracks, before they were bounced down for the final 4 track mix and was able to sync them up and utilise them to their fullest. I cannot listen to the original '67 stereo mix anymore, it sounds dark and lost and empty next to the 50th anniversary mix. Take Lovely Rita, on the 50th mix, it thunders through with backing vocals coming in both channels, the drums and bass complimenting Paul's vocals and it sounds so full of life. After all, it's a joyous, celebrating a meter maid. On the '67 mix, because George and the band were working from the bounced 4-track tape, it sounds cavernous and empty and almost creepy. The instrumentation isn't sitting where it should and the instruments don't compliment each other because of the harsh panning and bouncing down of the multitracks. It's something I didn't really realise until I went to compare both mixes because to be honest, I didn't think there was going to be such a departure and difference, I wanted to compare the clarity of the instrumentation and equaliser choices and I seemed to forget how spaced out and empty the first stereo mix was through headphones. I ask you all to put on your headphones, put on Lovely Rita from both mixes and listen. It's not only a difference of choices in how George and Giles approached the mix but also on a technical level, you can really hear how going right back to the original tapes and utilising them as they couldn't before. Most importantly, the mix starts to affect the feeling you get from the album. The '67 mix doesn't do the songs justice and with the 50th anniversary mix, it feels like this big, joyous, technicolor album. In fact, as I listen to it, it almost sounds like a soundtrack to some lost Beatles Pepper film, it's cinematic. When it comes to The White Album, I get the distinct impression it's going to change how I perceive the album. I can almost hear songs like Happiness Is A Warm Gun and Glass Onion in my head as they will sound with a more modern mix and I cannot wait for it. It's a great album with some of the most peculiar and impressive instrumentation on a Beatles record and the new mix will really unleash that just as the 50th anniversary Pepper mix did.