white album

The Beatles: The Beatles (1968)

Does anyone really sit through the entirety of The Beatles (hereafter known as The White Album) and think its a work of genius?  Some of my favorite songs are on here, and you also have “Piggies” and “Honey Pie” which are…less than satisfying.  There’s a bold beauty on display that The Beatles (hereafter known as…The Beatles) reached for a much more experimental and shaggy structure, where everything before was so compact and cohesive.  Although it’s a fair point to sat that the fact The White Album is so shaggy is the cohesive point, so I don’t know.

But like I said, some of my all-time favorite Beatle songs are on here, like “Dear Prudence,” “Glass Onion,” the omnipresent “Blackbird” and deeper cuts like “Julia” and “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey.”  I didn’t even mention cuts like “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” because it goes without saying how great they are.  It’s easy to get lost in these songs.  There are small, gentle gems like “Cry Baby Cry” nestled up against the experimental weirdness of “Revolution 9” and I get it, particularly as individual moments of the track rise out of the noise stew.  But it’s rare I want to sit through The White Album front to back.

Though I don’t own a copy yet (I have the 2009 remaster on CD), I’ve been streaming the new 2018 Giles Martin mix, which isn’t as revelatory as his Sgt. Pepper mix, but has the HUGE bonus of the Esher demos.  I’m a sucker for any behind the scenes stuff, and hearing the band work these songs out provides a deeper appreciation than I had before.

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