The Bodhisattva Beat
Music and Life

The Beatles: The Beatles (White Album)

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The Beatles: 1968

This is a very controversial album. There is very little middle of the road opinion on this one. Like any true Beatle freak, I love it. Honestly, I believe I would even if this was not my favorite band. This is highly successful experimentation. The success is even more impressive, when considering the tension within the band. This actually could have something to do with why it works. Each song is a mostly individual work, with the other guys as session men.

 

All the stops are pulled out, and anything is fair game. There are rockers, ballads, Vaudeville, reggae, folk, and performance art. There is even a genuine prog piece (silly as it may be) in “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” There are other proggy moments, but none as obvious. All this may seem disjointed, and unsettling, but that works for me. I rarely want to hear just part of it. It is a cohesive album. How this happened, I have no idea.

 

This is a landmark album for The Beatles, and rock music. Once again they showed that there are no boundaries. As always, pulling it off beautifully. The White Album is a rite of passage for any true rock (or modern) music lover. It doesn’t have to become a favorite to be appreciated. Check it out. You will be better for it. You can tell me you hate it, but at least you will have heard it. The “White Album” is a masterpiece, and essential for a complete collection.

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2 Responses to “The Beatles: The Beatles (White Album)”

  1. My older sister stood on line at the record store for a half-hour to pay $8 for it the week it premiered. My mother repeatedly told her it was crazy to pay $8 for a record album, and that she had read in Time Magazine that this music was now leading children to take drugs.
    When I heard the first song, a parody of the Beach Boys called “Back In The USSR”, I remember hoping that the rest of the album would be as upbeat as that song. But it was 1968, man. The entire fabric of western culture was tearing apart.
    According to Mark Lewisohn, author of “The Beatles Recording Sessions,” Paul ended up playing the drums on that track, because Ringo had stormed out on August 22nd, 1968. Ringo left the band for three days, according to Ken Scott, who attended the session. John, Paul, and George, each took turns playing bass on that cut, and overdubs were used to patch it all together. “Back In The USSR” now reminds me of the Paul McCartney and Wings sound, which would take over the airways some years later with uptempo songs like “Jet” and “Junior’s Farm.”
    I agree with what you say about one not having to like the album or not. After all, how can you expect a person who favors the “Music Concrete” of Revolution 9 to also enjoy “Helter Skelter”? Between the covers, the album hosts an entire course in Music Appreciation. That’s probably worth $8 afterall.

    • That’s a great story, and a terrific response to the review. This is the kind of input I am looking for here.

      By the way doodleburger, do I know you, or did you just land here by chance?


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