FMD — The White Album

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of The Beatles releasing their album The Beatles, or as it is commonly known The White Album. In celebration of the anniversary, the album was re-released with a remaster of the original, a bunch of demos and alternate takes, and other studio arcana. Here's a hagiographic article on it I highly suggest reading if interested.

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-accidental-perfection-of-the-beatles-white-album

The common refrain of The White Albums was this was when the Beatles starting to break up. Many of the songs appeared to be one or two Beatle composing and recording on their own. One thing the re-release has shown as that they were much more collaborative than previously advertised. The so-called Escher Demos really point this out. I wish that the Escher Demos were in fact released as a stand alone. I would definitely pick that up.

My own history with The White Album goes back only 40 years or so. As a teenager, I listened to The White Album a lot, stoned, in my bean bag chair, with headphones. Which is what white suburban teenage boys did a lot of in the late 70s and early 80s. So I know this album intimately. Even as a teenager and into adulthood, some of the one-off songs bugged me so when I was able through I-tunes, I eliminated what I considered the crap songs. That left me with a solid 18 song album in the 55 minute range. It had a nice mix of the rockers and softer songs. I've listened to this version of The White Album for the last 10 years or so.

Reading some of the articles on the making of The White Album, I learned that there was discussion among the Beatles to release two albums instead of one double album. This intrigued me. My 18 song version could probably be broken down to a two album hard and soft version, in fact I could probably add Martha My Dear to the soft version to make it a bit longer, instead of an EP.

So below is my "Rock" version of the White Album. It's 12 songs, 37 minutes long and pretty much every song is a killer. Savoy Truffle makes it because the song rocks, even if the lyrics are dumb. Why Don't We Do it in the Road and Everybody's Got Something to Hide make it for the same reason. The order is the same as the original album except I put Revolution #1 at the end. It also follows the basic structure of mostly Lennon-McCartney songs, with a smattering of Harrison, and a Ringo song. The White Album is beloved because of its sprawling, druggy, vibe. If they had released my Rockin' White Album version, who knows how history would've been changed :o)

Back in the U.S.S.R.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness Is a Warm Gun
I'm So Tired
Don't Pass Me By
Why Don't We Do It in the Road?
Birthday
Yer Blues
Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey
Helter Skelter
Savoy Truffle
Revolution 1

21 thoughts on “FMD — The White Album”

  1. THIS ALBUM IS 50 YEARS OLD!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?

    anyway, i decided to go with a 44 minute total LP length. i did not take individual side length into consideration though, so deal with it.

    "Back in the U.S.S.R."
    "Dear Prudence"
    "Martha My Dear"
    "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
    "Blackbird"
    "Sexy Sadie"
    "Rocky Raccoon"
    "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"
    "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"
    "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"
    "Helter Skelter"
    "Don't Pass Me By"
    "I'm So Tired"
    "Julia"

    1. other notable points:

      -i fully understand that my intake for this album is completely out of skew from its original context. for example, songs like "revolution 1" don't really have the same strong meaning for me as others, and as such, was one that didn't make the cut for me. instead, it was one of those songs that 97.1 overplayed at my job and eventually made me want to strangle it.
      -i actually like a lot of paul's so-called "old gran" songs, so they probably have higher representation from me than from others (and there are plenty of examples on this album).
      -the fact that "helter skelter" was released in 1968 still kind of blows my mind. this is one of those moments in music history that i truly wish i could have digested it in its original context.
      -agreed that despite the frivolity of the "monkey" lyrics, it's actually a kickin' groove. "savoy truffle" doesn't make the cut for me though.
      -"don't pass my by" might be ringo's best beatle song
      -"i'm so tired" might be my favorite song that could have only been written by JL.

  2. 01. "Everything Worthwhile" – Walt Mink El Producto
    02. "The Exchange" – TorresSprinter
    03. "Great Big Kiss" – Johnny ThundersSo Alone
    04. "Young Lover" – St. VincentMASSEDUCTION
    05. "Noble Heart" – PHOXConfetti
    06. "You're Blessed – Iceage"New Brigade"
    07. "I Believe In You" – Cat PowerJukebox
    08 "Last Ride" – Beach House7
    09. "Pyscho Killer (Acoustic) – Talking HeadsTalking Heads: 77
    10. 3030 – DeltronDelton 3030

  3. I've been diving deep back into the Teenage Fanclub catalogue, a band I fell in love with when I first heard A Catholic Education twenty eight years ago at Let it Be Records. So in keeping with the Fab Four theme, I present "Genius Envy". In addition to being one of the great "kiss-off" songs of all time, it contains this bit of truth:

    So what if you see other people
    I only get jealous when I listen
    to The Beatles
    So go and get someone new

    1. A good FMD Topic would be a shout out to panned or misunderstood albums that subsequently came out after a beloved critically acclaimed album but now should be considered classics in their own right. 13 would easily make that list.

        1. Pinkerton would be another.

          I'll give doing a full post some thought, I have a couple of ideas for my upcoming turns but could be a good topic for early in the new year. (or of course someone else could do a post as well.)

          1. First album that came to mind when I read free's idea. Definitely was misunderstood and panned by many at the time of its release. Followed up OK Computerwhich was their most beloved album. Now... looked at by most as a top 3 album for them.

            1. Kid A was definitely misunderstood but "panned?" It got a 10 from Pitchfork and 4 stars from Rolling Stone. I would argue that Kid A was one of those albums where the critical acclaim and popular acclaim was completely divergent.

                1. This is exactly what I was talking about. A lot of (not all) critics loved it. The unwashed masses expecting O.K. Computer II were like huh? I have a friend who still suffers from listening to Kid A for the first time after being so excited for it after O.K. Computer.

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