Author Topic: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest  (Read 1855 times)

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Offline TomSea

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Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« on: November 22, 2018, 05:32:26 PM »
Quote
Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
Dorian Lynskey

Five years ago I stood in a room containing nothing but White Albums. For his installation We Buy White Albums, the Californian artist Rutherford Chang had filled a small gallery in Manhattan with 693 vinyl copies of the ninth Beatles album, some on the walls, some in racks.

The sleeve, designed by Pop artist Richard Hamilton, is famously blank but every one of these copies was faded, stained, torn, illustrated, signed or otherwise altered in some unique way, whether by a human hand or simply by the passing of time. As I studied them, I listened to multiple copies of side one playing simultaneously and slowly drifting out of sync, rendering these exceptionally famous songs eerie and strange.

There’s something about The White Album that invites listeners to mess around with it. Joan Didion stole its title for her 1979 essay collection, an elegy for the dreams of 1960s California. The producer Danger Mouse chopped it to pieces and recombined the fragments with vocals from Jay-Z’s The Black Album to create his 2004 mash-up The Grey Album. The jam band Phish covered all 30 songs on stage on Halloween night, 1994. Charles Manson, notoriously, had his own theories. Even the title has been rewritten: The Beatles called it The Beatles but their fans had other ideas.

Read more at: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20181121-why-the-white-album-is-the-beatles-greatest

I thought this was an interesting article. In the end, I don't think there is much debate. Most agree that the White album is their best. There is no correct answer though, on these kinds of topics.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 05:34:08 PM by TomSea »

Offline Gefn

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2018, 05:51:12 PM »
Yes maybe but how do you explain number nine, number nine, number nine.....
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Offline berdie

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2018, 06:26:56 PM »
I thought this was an interesting article. In the end, I don't think there is much debate. Most agree that the White album is their best. There is no correct answer though, on these kinds of topics.


Maybe from a musicians point it is. Not being a musician myself I have no idea.

Truthfully, I loved the Beatles thru about Rubber Soul and Revolver. A little bit of Sgt Pepper. Then they were hit and miss with me. I may not be deep enough for their later music, lol.

Offline andy58-in-nh

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2018, 07:23:29 PM »
Growing up in those times the world seemed to change daily, as a once-common culture suddenly shattered into a hundred shards whose pieces are scattered about to this day. Through their brief and sometimes brilliant historical interlude, The Beatles almost perfectly reflected their times. Any opinion about which of their albums is the greatest or the best may likewise reflect the particular piece of America's now-dissembled melting pot with which the observer most directly identifies. 

For me, that album is Rubber Soul, recorded in 1965, but which in retrospect was so strikingly ahead of its time that many listeners of a younger age seem to think it was recorded much later than that. The musical diversity, instrumental innovation and thoughtful lyricism contained within is not what most popular music sounded like at that time, even in the full flower of the British Invasion and the birth of the California sound, at whose forefront were Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, who consequentially and equally altered the direction of rock and roll music (e.g.: Pet Sounds). As a singular effort though, Rubber Soul is a stunning diverse and unique compilation whose songs remain eminently listenable and enjoyable five decades on.
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Offline Gefn

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2018, 09:31:15 AM »

Maybe from a musicians point it is. Not being a musician myself I have no idea.

Truthfully, I loved the Beatles thru about Rubber Soul and Revolver. A little bit of Sgt Pepper. Then they were hit and miss with me. I may not be deep enough for their later music, lol.

@berdie I agree although I’ll put Abbey Road in there as one of my favorites too.
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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2018, 01:13:44 PM »
Firmly disagree.

The white album was nothing more than pure chaos put on vinyl, the musical equivalent of throwing a hundred things against a wall and seeing what sticks. Probably the worst record the Beatles ever put out, and that includes Let It Be (which was really more of a McCartney solo effort with a few guest appearances, hardly a full band effort).
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Offline The Ghost

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2018, 05:18:56 PM »
I never bought into any version of "Beatle Mania" whether it was their music, movies, or politics.  Of the so called "British Invasion" groups, their were others bands who were better musically than the Beatles but they lacked what drove the Fab 4 to their stardom......the insane cult like adoration of the teenie boopers and driven by a media trying to prove they were hip and hyping them.

I would argue that the Beetles set back musical growth about 10 years.  Once the broke up all the other groups stopped trying to be Beatleish and we had a number of years of fine music. 

Of course as mentioned, a number of the Beatles contemporaries  did buck the "me too" trend and produced some truly wonderful efforts. 
« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 05:19:31 PM by The Ghost »
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Offline Sighlass

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2018, 05:36:37 PM »
Some of the first music I ever heard was the Beetles, via a cheap record player and ton of 7" records I was gifted as a child (great grandparents giving away kids stuff left at the house).... I played them as a youth (pre teen, early teen), but didn't fancy them any more than the other records I received. I flipped through a few songs on this album before commenting, and some I remember, some not.

Now days I can't say I really care for them that much, but perhaps it is because of their political beliefs. To be honest I only thought of the Beetles again when John Lennon was shot, and only because it saturated the news. Later I found out John was beloved by Castro and I just made me more likely to just avoid them. I can't say the music era I love was any less radical so perhaps I am hypocritical, but I just never cared to care about the Beetles.
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Offline musiclady

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2018, 05:44:52 PM »
"Blackbird" is a magnificent song............ perhaps one of my favorite Beatle's songs (in some heavy competition).

"Obla di obla da" is creative and fun.

I wouldn't say it's their best album, but there's good stuff on it.
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Offline Jazzhead

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2018, 05:46:22 PM »
Firmly disagree.

The white album was nothing more than pure chaos put on vinyl, the musical equivalent of throwing a hundred things against a wall and seeing what sticks. Probably the worst record the Beatles ever put out, and that includes Let It Be (which was really more of a McCartney solo effort with a few guest appearances, hardly a full band effort).

Same here.   While I don't dislike the White Album, it is far from their best.   It's a pastiche,  the collected and disjointed efforts of individual Beatles rather that a cohesive performance by the group.   The Beatles were at their best on Rubber Soul and Help (British version),  followed closely by Revolver and Abbey Road.     
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Offline Jazzhead

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2018, 05:48:05 PM »
"Blackbird" is a magnificent song............ perhaps one of my favorite Beatle's songs (in some heavy competition).

"Obla di obla da" is creative and fun.

I wouldn't say it's their best album, but there's good stuff on it.

There is good stuff on there, amidst the dross.   Julia and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, for sure.   
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Offline musiclady

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2018, 05:50:27 PM »
There is good stuff on there, amidst the dross.   Julia and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, for sure.

Yes. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is beautiful.
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Offline Jazzhead

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Re: Why The White Album is The Beatles’ greatest
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2018, 05:50:38 PM »
For me, that album is Rubber Soul, recorded in 1965, but which in retrospect was so strikingly ahead of its time that many listeners of a younger age seem to think it was recorded much later than that. The musical diversity, instrumental innovation and thoughtful lyricism contained within is not what most popular music sounded like at that time, even in the full flower of the British Invasion and the birth of the California sound, at whose forefront were Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, who consequentially and equally altered the direction of rock and roll music (e.g.: Pet Sounds). As a singular effort though, Rubber Soul is a stunning diverse and unique compilation whose songs remain eminently listenable and enjoyable five decades on.

Dittos - Rubber Soul was their best.   
"He was born poor, died rich, and never hurt anyone along the way"

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