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  • The White Album challenge

    The Beatles. Also known as "The White Album." Many consider it to be some of their best work, and it's at the top of the "favorite albums list" for countless people. However, there has been some debate over the years about whether or not it might have been a better record had they culled it down to a single album, with just the choice cuts left. Sir George Martin has said on numerous occasions that this was what he thought should have been done, and although he's mentioned a few of the songs he probably would have pulled, he's never given a definitive list as far as I know.

    So here's the challenge. What songs would you keep if you were tasked with song selection for a single LP version of the White Album? And to make it even more interesting, what sequence (order of songs) would you select? And finally, if you'd like to make it even more challenging, try to stick to the limitations of the vinyl age in terms of running times per side - 22 minutes or less being ideal; let's call 30 minutes per side the absolute "do not exceed" maximum.

    To make it a little easier for you, here's the song list for the double album, and the running time for each track.


    Side one

    1. "Back in the U.S.S.R." 2.43
    2. "Dear Prudence" 3.56
    3. "Glass Onion" 2.17
    4. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" 3.08
    5. "Wild Honey Pie" 0:52
    6. "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" 3.14
    7. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" 4.45
    8. "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" 2.43

    Side two

    9. "Martha My Dear" 2.28
    10. "I'm So Tired" 2.03
    11. "Blackbird" 2.18
    12. "Piggies" 2.04
    13. "Rocky Raccoon" 3.33
    14. "Don't Pass Me By" 3.51
    15. "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" 1.41
    16. "I Will" 1.46
    17. "Julia" 2.54

    Side three

    1. "Birthday" 2.42
    2. "Yer Blues" 4.01
    3. "Mother Nature's Son" 2.48
    4. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" 2.24
    5. "Sexy Sadie" 3.15
    6. "Helter Skelter" 4.29
    7. "Long, Long, Long" 3.04

    Side four

    8. "Revolution 1" 4.15
    9. "Honey Pie" 2.41
    10. "Savoy Truffle" 2.54
    11. "Cry Baby Cry" 3.02
    12. "Revolution 9" 8.22
    13. "Good Night" 3.13


    Now, which songs would you keep, and what order would you put them in?
    **********

    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

    - George Carlin

    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

  • #2
    To mess with a Beatles album is sacrilege !!!!
    I would have omitted Honey Pie and Revolution 9.
    Even though I was an 80's Metal Head, the Beatles are a major influence on me and I grew up listening to the Beatles due to my older brothers and sisters exposing me to Rock of the 60's and 70's. I think the order of "The White Album" is perfect as it is !!!!
    Guns don't kill people .... Fathers with beautiful Daughters do !!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      I can't imagine it any different than it is. AJ mentioned #9 but as John Lennon said, loops are the future of recorded music and people won't even have to know how play an instrument to be successful at it. I recall skipping ahead on that cut when I first got the album thinking that it was some bizarre into to another version of "Revolution".

      The silly little bits like "Can you take me back where I came from", "Why Don't We Do It In the Road" and "Happiness is a Warm Gun" are actually very well done.

      The Beatles were in the enviable position of having the big money record machine behind any musical idea that came to them. How many of us have come up with a great riff or a tune that just vaporizes into the aether?

      Part of the appeal of the White Album is the wide variety of the multitude of songs - not to mention the bizarre stereo mix -that we've all become accustomed to.

      I'm sorry Phil but I really have nothing to contribute to the White Album Challenge and it's probably because I've been listening to it as is for so long and it had so much influence on me.

      I would like to point out that when that album came out it was the heaviest thing I had ever heard on record - so heavy in fact that it was scary. Like most Beatle Albums, the McCartney stuff got me first and some of the Lennon stuff made me "wtf?" but as the fluff wore off McCarney's songs, I had become used to Lennon's music and could find the depth in it.

      George Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with his pal EC playing the guitar solo unleashed the Kundalini energy in me (I did no understand at the time) and made me want to play electric lead guitar with the hope that I could make people feel that way too.


      you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

      contentment is true wealth

      Comment


      • #4
        I've played this game before and don't really like it. It think the weird/filler tracks work to make the strong tracks even stronger. A hallmark of a great album, IMO. For example, I think the excellent ending to Side 2 that are the back-to-back McCartney and Lennon ballads "I Will" and "Julia" are made stronger by having to listen to "Dont Pass Me By" and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" first. The outside curve balls that set up the strikeout pitches down the middle.

        . Besides that, it probably can't be culled down to 2 sides anyway. There's 3 great sides of material there anyway you slice it.

        And what are you going to cut? Revolution #9, sure. Wild Honey Pie probably. Some of the weird filler bits. But beyond that....as much as tracks like Bungalow Bill or Honey Pie or Rocky Raccoon are not my favorite Beatles tracks by a long shot, can we really picture the Beatles repertoire without them? If not on the White Album, they need to show up somewhere. On Yellow Submarine maybe?
        _________________________________________________
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        Comment


        • #5
          Helter Skelter
          Dear Prudence
          Blackbird
          Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
          I'm So Tired
          While My Guitar Gently Weeps
          Back In The USSR
          Rocky Raccoon
          The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
          Revolution 1
          Obla Di Obla Da
          Birthday
          Revolution 9

          Yup, that works for me.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm going to take a different tack here and divide it up into two albums: One by John and one by Paul:

            John:

            Side A

            Revolution 1
            Dear Prudence
            Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
            Sexy Sadie
            The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
            I'm So Tired
            Happiness Is A Warm Gun

            Side B
            Yer Blues
            Julia
            Glass Onion
            Cry Baby Cry
            Revolution 9
            Good Night (guest vocal by Ringo)

            Paul:

            Side A
            Back In The U.S.S.R.
            Wild Honey Pie
            Rocky Raccoon
            Martha My Dear
            Why Don't We Do It In The Road?
            I Will

            Side B
            Birthday
            Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
            Mother Nature's Son
            Honey Pie
            Blackbird
            Helter Skelter

            Of course, maybe George's EP would be the best of all:

            While My Guitar Gently Weeps
            Piggies
            Savoy Truffle
            Long, Long, Long
            Last edited by guido61; 08-25-2014, 06:49 PM.
            _________________________________________________
            band websites:
            http://www.JumpStartYourParty.com
            https://www.gigmasters.com/Rock/Jump-Start
            https://www.facebook.com/JumpStartYourParty
            http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/jumps...587fe5f12.html

            Comment


            • #7


              you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

              contentment is true wealth

              Comment


              • #8
                Compressing it into a single album would be tough. There are some tracks that are there I don't listen to much and others that give the better songs contrast so removing them. If I had to cut it down I'd likely wind up with this. Side One

                1. "Martha My Dear" 2.28
                2. "Dear Prudence" 3.56
                3. "Glass Onion" 2.17
                4. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" 3.08
                5. "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" 2.43
                6. "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" 1.41
                7. "Birthday" 2.42
                8. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" 4.45

                Side Two

                1. "Revolution 1" 4.15
                2. "Blackbird" 2.18
                3. "Don't Pass Me By" 3.51
                4. "I Will" 1.46
                5. "Yer Blues" 4.01
                6. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" 2.24
                7. "Helter Skelter" 4.29
                8. "Back in the U.S.S.R." 2.43



                Comment


                • #9
                  This took about 45 minutes for me to pull together, but I feel pretty confident about this being my streamlined White Album.

                  ​Set your iTunes crossfade preference to exactly 3 seconds for the full segue experience. I gave a lot of thought to how one song ends and leads into the next song (the tempos, the pitch, the dynamics, the random sounds, etc.) If I could find a version of "Dear Prudence" without the airplane noise at the beginning, it would be pretty much perfect!

                  1. Helter Skelter
                  2. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
                  3. Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey
                  4. Back In The USSR
                  5. Happiness Is a Warm Gun
                  6. Birthday
                  7. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
                  8. Martha My Dear
                  9. Mother Nature's Son
                  10. Dear Prudence
                  11. Blackbird
                  12. Cry Baby Cry
                  13. Revolution 9

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Phil, I tried to do this like 4 times now but always ended up trashing my playlist. Anytime I would take a song out I would get discouraged because I'm used to how the album is now, but tonight I sat down with a beer, and then another beer and I finally finished how I would do it in a single album. Here we go:

                    Side A
                    1. Back In the U.S.S.R.
                    2. Dear Prudence
                    3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
                    4. Julia
                    5. Blackbird
                    6. Martha My Dear
                    7. Rocky Racoon
                    8. I'm So Tired

                    Side B
                    1. Helter Skelter
                    2. Happiness is a Warm Gun
                    3. Yer Blues
                    4. Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
                    5. Mother Nature's Son
                    6. Sexy Sadie
                    7. Revolution 1
                    8. Cry Baby Cry


                    I couldn't separate Back In the USSR and Dear Prudence, I just couldn't, even without the ambient noise tying them together I just couldn't separate them. My brain is so accustomed to hearing that arpeggio after the airplane noise, and my ears love it. I think, basically I made Side A a little more polished and easy on the ears, which made it a bit more Paul dominant, Side B is bit more raw I'd say, still poppy, but a bit more rough around the edges, which gives more of a nod to Lennon, the superior Beatle.
                    http://lazarusband.bandcamp.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Phil, I want to see your selections and sequence?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        far out we still discuss this album 45 plus years later
                        musta been a good one...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'd get rid of the ones Yoko liked.
                          <div class="signaturecontainer"><font size="2">Mac Pro 2008 - OS 10.6.8<br><br>MOTU Digital Performer 8.1, Machfive 3, Sibelius 7, Eastwest QLOrch</font></div>

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by onelife View Post
                            That's one of my favorite bits / quotes in the Beatles Anthology videos.

                            Here it is in context... with comments from George, Ringo and George Martin (comments start at about 5:40)

                            **********

                            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                            - George Carlin

                            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by nice keetee View Post
                              far out we still discuss this album 45 plus years later
                              musta been a good one...
                              Indeed! A VERY good one.
                              **********

                              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                              - George Carlin

                              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                              Comment



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