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1 March 2015
long long long said
'The slow afternoon of The Beatles' career.'
What a perfect sentence. Love that guy's writing, even I disagree with his general argument that their clear creative peak begun with the opening chord of A Hard Day's Night and ended with the closing chord of A Day In The Life.
Nice writing but still inaccurate: the cover was white because the Beatles wanted it that way. They actually wanted it to be transparent but EMI baulked, so they settled for white. This is the problem with MacDonald, he puts a good paragraph together and totally blows its impact by fantasy facts. This "creepy album" theme also seems to be a favourite of music critics; I'm not sure who copied who though. My issue with that approach is that it's made out to be something weird but given the relentlessly upbeat sense of their previous albums, no one thought to pay attention to the darker songs on those. But, come the White Album and we can make boring pronouncements on the afternoon of the Beatles career, and this isn't just MacDonald's fault. May I remind people that from the Beatles point of view at the time, it wasn't. So much rubbish from music critics attempting to sound wise can obstruct the view, avoid falling into their rut if you can.
Yeah, writers do love their narratives.
8 January 2015
@Joe @Ron Nasty Thank god, I thought I'd gone bonkers! My memory is weird, huh? I don't think MacDonald could have been privy to this information, so it would still be unfair to blame him for his supposition. But I'm still thinking about the myth-making that critics inadvertently indulge in, I may have to write another rant 😀
17 October 2013
I read MacDonald years ago twice.......and when I saw the last up-dated edition going for a song in HMI I bought it and gave my son my old copy telling him 'this is the best book I've seen that informs on the songs and sets the context for them.'
Is there a thread or discussion on here that lays out the reasons why a number of you consider it so flawed?
1 May 2011
Here is a thread on MacDonald's book which has links in post 1 to other discussions on it.
The following people thank meanmistermustard for this post:Wigwam
15 December 2015
As a whole, the 'White Album' is my favorite Beatles album simply because it explores so many musical styles and is so varied emotion-wise in the individual songs. It still sounds like it could have been recorded very recently; it's so fresh and immediate. However, I have to admit that I feel that John Lennon reached his peak as a songwriter on 'Rubber Soul' and Paul McCartney reached his on 'Revolver'.
I know that many people consider 'Abbey Road' to be their favorite Beatles album, but for myself, the songs on there do not have the weight and substance as the ones on the four masterpieces that came before it ('Rubber Soul', 'Revolver', 'Sgt. Pepper' and the 'White Album'). While 'Abbey Road' flows along very nicely when one listens to it, I always feel dissatisfied when the album ends, and I certainly can't say that about the other four albums I mentioned. Just my opinion.
But, of course, ANY Beatles album tops most bands' best work.
15 February 2015
1 May 2011
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