8 January 2014
this White Album stands out because it almost seems you are listening to 4 seperate solo artists. alot of the songs could very had been done in the 70s as solo artists. there's some Paul songs that sound like they could be Wings' songs. Even the George songs BEFORE the slide guitar staple sound like a solo (even with Eric Clapton on WMGGW sound like it could be a slide). It almost sounds like one of this "super groups" made up of well-known 70 artists to make a 60's album. you can easily hear the solo style of each member starting out on this album. it's ironic they should self-title this album.
3 March 2015
It is commonly known that The White Album was historically the trigger to what happened in the Get Back project and what followed it, in other words the split. The Beatles, now managers by themselves, Ringo and George full time dads and John and Paul freshly become fiances. Each has his own side projects (Ringo started acting, Paul and George managed other artists, John and Yoko started experimenting in the avant-garde scene and peace movements), the technology of late 60s started bursting and new modern music started popping out of every hole of England and the US. It was only reasonable that they would create the most guiding example of all these, a rock n roll masterpiece, that combined the heaviest rock mania of the time (helter skelter) with the following long-long-long, a psychdedelic-almost spiritual tune. It combined different folk influences - from flamenco in Bungallow Bill, country in Don't Pass Me By, indian/eastern in The Inner Light (although released as a single). This magnificent album, has also combined a baroque-like Piggies with probably the most heard-of avant-garde tune - Revolution #9.
There's no doubt, that this album is one of a time, history changing pop masterpiece. But... That's what we think. As far as I know, John later noted that it might have been a solo-work collection. For example, Why Don't We Do It In The Road?, Honey Pie, Mother Nature's Son, Martha My Dear and etc they're all Paul. On the other hand, Julia is all John, Hapiness Is a Warm Gun is mostly John and etc. In While My Guitar Gently Weeps they invited an external guitarist (Clatpon), Ringo does not play in many songs... In other words, it's not The Beatles which he formed and saw in his visions. Plus, it's noticable that in his solo career, John "retreated" to the late 50s and early 60s rock n roll feel, like in Cold Turkey and probably most of his solo work.
On the other hand, George started experimenting with electronic music and managing. Also, as far as I know, much of his double-album All Things Must Pass songs was written during 1968. So, George finally started writing, but it didn't make Paul and John let more of his music into their album, and only 1 song of the White Album's 30 songs stood out as a George hit (While My Guitar)
Ringo, as we all know was in a crisis and he left the band. As I mentioned he didn't play in many songs and his first wirtten songs wasn't something really.
Paul is the only one I can say can relate to the White Album, it matches his solo-work approach, and he was probably the one who played the most instruments from all Beatles.
Add the recording time limit to all this, and it makes me think that The Beatles themselves didn't really liked the period and what they did. It made them eventually take a break and then fire George Martin, go back to their roots and abandon the new approad. Unfortunatly the reality made them split because such important late-20 year olds cannot make music the same way they did when they formed in their youths. They again formed for Abbey Road, hired Martin and used the same approach of the White Album for it (for example John didn't participate in Here Comes The Sun and Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Ringo didn't participate in Because...), Paul again wanted his experimenting way of work, John again wanted his more traditional way of work, what eventually made us one of the greatest albums of all time, which John didn't like most of it commenting harsh stuff on songs like Maxwell and the medley. But hey, they're both on the Rolling Stones' top 10 albums of ALL TIME.
1 May 2011
The Beatles didnt fire George Martin for the 'Get Back' project, going back to their roots as a straight four piece band with no overdubbing they were making a tv documentary which would show them rehearsing and then finishing with a live concert and album and so he wasnt needed to produce them in the same way. Mr Martin did attend a number of the days the Beatles were at Twickenham and Apple during the January sessions and can be seen in the 'Let It Be' film.
20 August 2013
@yardengruman, I thought your post went well with derek's post so I moved your post over here. A companion thread to this one: The White Album as solo albums
1 May 2011
Just a thought and haven't worked it all out but is Ringo on less of the White Album tracks than George? Ringo is missing on the opening two but George is absent from 'I Will' and 'Honey Pie' which Ringo is on and whilst George doesn't play on 'Good Night' (one of the two Ringo vocals), Ringo is on all of George's.
8 January 2015
Tracks Ringo is not on off the top of my head (and a quick consult of MacDonald and cross-checking of Lewisohn):
30 tracks in all, that means he's on 22. That's a lot of McCartney that no one else is on too. MacDonald has a question mark against Ringo on drums on Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, but Lewisohn notes that he did drum on on many takes of that song and the context suggests he drummed on the version they used (it certainly sounds that way to me). Ringo's drumming on Why Don't We Do It In The Road?? is an overdub the next day according to Lewisohn not as suggested by MacDonald that he joined Paul on the initial recording. I hadn't taken in that Martha My Dear was a Paul-only affair (we'll never know for sure, because Trident kept such terrible records).
12 May 2015
Quite simply things had got too hot between the band members in the studio during the White Album sessions, and it subconsciously became a situation where the writer of the song basically led the session. Of course there are exceptions such as the group collaboration on the likes of 'Revolution' and 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun'.
I suspect much of this was down to johns reliance on yoko, which meant paul was working more in isolation and indeed lennon barely contributes to georges material at all. Pauls perfectionism was now beginning to drive starr crazy as well as george. And the shambolic running of apple was beginning to help widen the cracks in the bands relationships. So i don't necessarily think it was by design that the record sounds very much like solo artists emerging it was purely a practical thing to get the record done.
The White Album is still a major piece of work though,featuring much of the groups best late period work but in retrospect i think paul knew the group was dying on the vine and made a last ditch attempt to save it with 'get back'.
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