29 November 2012
Ben Ramon said
Into the Sky with Diamonds said
I agree except for one thing: this album does not to feature any of their great harmonies.
I was just about to vehemently disagree with you, but then I glanced over the White Album again and realised that you are quite correct. I guess the gradual dissipation of studio teamwork, as well as the stark duality between hard-rockin’ numbers and solo acoustic numbers, put blissful pop harmonies aside for 1968. There are a couple of exceptions though: what about the absolutely spot-on doo-wop parody harmonies in the last section of Happiness Is A Warm Gun ? The epic blasts of harmony in the background of Helter Skelter ? Or the surfin’ Wilson brothers homage in the bridge of Back In The USSR ?
The great harmonies disappeared after Rubber Soul .
Hmm, they became subtler possibly, but again there are exceptions. Gotta love the complex bloom of voices at the beginning of Paperback Writer (like a book opening), the shimmering Eastern harmonies in the chorus of Rain , the “TAXMAAAAN” cries that mirror the Batman theme tune of the time, the gorgeously understated dreamy backing “oohs” in Here, There And Everywhere and I’m Only Sleeping , the entirety of And Your Bird Can Sing , the lush “it’s wonderful to be here” welcomes of the band to contrast with Paul’s yelling compere in Sgt Pepper ‘s, “see how they ruu-un” in Lady Madonna , and I don’t even know where to begin with all the lovely harmonies on Abbey Road (although Because , as you pointed out, would be an obvious start).
12 November 2012
I love how the White Album shows all four members spreading out in different directions. it’s sad because it’s a reason why they broke up, but it’s also good because the songs are great. There are harmonies on the album, but not many. When the Beatles were a tight group, many of the songs had harmony vocals. On the White Album and Let it Be, there are much less, maybe because of the tension.
"The world is a very serious and, at times, very sad place - but at other times it is all such a joke."-George Harrison
9 August 2011
The Beatles could have harmonized in their sleep (and sounded great). And sure, any time they sang together they would harmonize.
But their best harmonies took work; they were crafted.
In “If I Fell ” Lennon and McCartney are singing two different melodies throughout.
Ben Ramon said, “the “TAXMAAAAN” cries that mirror the Batman theme tune.”
Love it. Can’t believe I never made that connection considering I was a fan of both.
6 December 2012
Into the Sky with Diamonds said “The great harmonies disappeared after Rubber Soul .”
I mostly agree (and there sure were some great harmonies on that album, just listen to Nowhere Man ), but there were some really good ones after Rubber Soul , although I guess they weren’t as frequent and “We’re all such great friends”-sounding, if that makes any sense. Still, what about Because ? IMO those harmonies are as good as the ones in Nowhere Man .
Btw I love the Batman reference.
Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy, Ravioli, Eggroll Eggrolli...
9 August 2011
14 December 2012
I was actually JUST listening to it! As I type, I am listening to Help ! though. Definitely my favorite.
"I'd tell her I love her, but she'd only reject me in the end and I'd be frustrated. That's why I play guitar; it's my active compensatory factor" -Ringo said something like this once, I changed it up a bit.
17 December 2012
I love the White Album more than any other commercially available thing in the world, and will even listen to Paul’s “fruity” songs when they come on (ho ho!).
First heard the mono mix only a couple of years ago and was ecstatic – a 2nd version of the best thing ever!
The best bit on it, I find, is the approx. 9 minutes beginning side 2 (Martha My Dear to Piggies ) – not necessarily because of the songs themselves (which are all lovely), but because it’s so audacious to sequence them like that.
My favourite side as a whole is probably 3, even though I used to be frightened of of Helter Skelter .
11 February 2013
"Sleep pretty darling do not cry"
14 January 2013
Yes, I love it. Its within my top 5 and it was the first album I listen to all the way through (I received the albums out of order).
Ben Ramon said
the “TAXMAAAAN” cries that mirror the Batman theme tune of the time
My spouse pointed this out to me a while ago. I never made the connection before that. Was it coincidence or intentional?
27 December 2012
I love every Beatle album released in the UK except Yellow Submarine .
8 November 2012
An artist who really loves the White Album :
Q: Tell me about your current exhibition “We Buy White Albums”.
A: My collection of White Albums is on display at Recess, a storefront art space in SoHo. It’s set up like a record store with the albums arranged in bins by serial number, and visitors are invited to browse and listen to the records. Except, rather than sell the albums, I am buying more. I currently have 693 copies.
More at the source.
9 August 2011
The link is fascinating.
8 June 2013
i love pepper too, i think it might be my favorite, but i also put let it be up there and i think White Album might make my second or third favorite, i still need to buy it though, can’t find it anywhere!
“Anyway, there is one thing I have learned and that is not to dress uncomfortably, in styles which hurt: winklepicker shoes that cripple your feet and tight pants that squash your balls. Indian clothes are better.” - George Harrison
9 August 2011
Welcome! See two posts up. Eventually the guy may be willing to part with one of his 700 copies.
16 July 2013
The album’s eclecticism is its greatest asset. Had they gone with George Martin’s decision to make it just one single album (sorry, George, but that’s one of the few times you’ve been wrong ), it would’ve no doubt lost a good deal of its character.
I was one of those who agreed with GM and thought it would have been a much tighter unit with a bit of culling. I’ve gone back to it several times recently, partly because so many talk about it being their favourite album (or close to) wondering what the hell they heard that made them rate it so much. Despite still not being a fan of some tracks (anything to do with honey pies!), I’m a bit of a convert – it’s a unique piece of recording and I was wrong to wish it was different. It has a flavour all it’s own and it’s an amazing listening experience.
"Try to realise it's all within yourself - no-one else can make you change"
8 August 2013
I LOVE the White Album ! It’s got so many fantastic songs, I’m So Tired , Happiness Is A Warm Gun , While My Guitar Gently Weeps , Revolution 9 (may be joking about that last one!) It’s diversity really sets it apart, there is something for everyone whether it be rock and roll, blues, country, soul, ballads, heavy metal, experimental avant garde nonsense…. Imgaine all the great songs we would have lost had it have been a single album. I used to always skip Revolution 9 but have lately forced myself to listen to it whenever I play the album (which is frequently). It has its moments but I do think it should have been left off. A Beatles album really wasn’t the place for it but I suppose John wanted to get it out to a large audience, and what larger audience than Beatles fans? Unfortunately all its seems to have done is confuse everyone and fuel the ridiculous Paul is dead rumour.
1 May 2011
8 August 2013
18 April 2013
Very true! You can find ‘evidence’ anywhere if you want to believe in something.
"Drag, isn’t it?” —Paul McCartney
19 April 2010
The White Album could not have been a single album because it was almost genetically impossible for the Beatles to make it a single album – here’s why.
Their records very quickly moved away from being a collection of 14 songs on vinyl and they turned into snapshots of where they were at in life and indeed where they thought they were heading. This easily was hinted at with HELP and became more and more true after that.
By the time the White Album came out they each had too much to say and too much to project. They didn’t set out to do a single album or a double album, they set out to communicate their own place in life – and the album reflects how disjointed they were. Because of their lack of unity it took more songs for them to feel they had made their point.
And their point was always “THIS IS WHERE WE ARE – WHERE ARE YOU?”
Lennon has affirmed this many times.
The fact that the White Album is a double is even specific to its own organic existence. In other words, it’s part of the White Album aura to discuss whether it should had been a single album. If it had been a single album no one would be asking if it should had been a double album. That’s because it never was a single album in concept.
Rather, its an album whose concept wasn’t completed until it took two albums to do it.
Their standing firm in opposition to George Martin’s desire to make it a single album only shows that even though they were disjointed internally, they were a united front to the world. You can’t really understand this album unless you incorporate the reality that they had to fight conventional thinking (once again) in order to get it out the way they wanted it.
The plain white numbered cover, the strange inside poster, the four separate 8x10s the black and white pictures, the slightly gray lettering, the disjointed songs – these guys knew exactly what they were doing.
"She looks more like him than I do."