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THE BEATLES

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.14 | 511 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars Beatles White Album

Innovative, compelling, psychedelic, quintessential, brilliant!

What can be said of this that has not been said before? It is THE most talked about Beatles album outside of Sgt Pepper. It features some of the greatest most well known tracks of the huge Beatles catalogue such as Back in the USSR, Birthday, While my Guitar Gently Weeps, Dear Prudence, and Obladioblada. But for me it's the lesser known tracks that spark interest. The likes of Everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey, Helter Skelter, Piggies, Yer Blues, Happiness is a Warm Gun, Glass Onion, Rocky Raccoon, Savoy Truffle and Revolution 9 are the Beatles at their most progressive and experimental.

Happiness is a warm gun for example is kind of like 3 different songs within a song, the time sig changes are well ahead of their time and it is chillingly prophetic now that we know how Lennnon actually died.

Helter Skelter is a grand romp into excess with scorching raw guitar and screeching vocals. The end is iconic 'I got blisters on my fingers!'

Rocky Raccoon is a very nice country flavor pastiche on the murder ballad with Paul at his best.

Savoy Truffle is Harrison having a stab at food, and life.

Glass Onion is the tongue in cheek Lennon telling a tall tale of Strawberry Fields, Fool on the Hill and the Walrus ? a dig at their own psychedelic lyrics.

But the one that everyone was spouting off about, and still to this day discuss at length is of course the legendary revolution 9. To describe the track as a song is wrong for a start. It is not a song but something undefined and unreliable. When you think it will go in a particular direction it shifts into new territory. Hated, adored and confusing, it is impossible to ignore. It is one of those moments that worked on many intellectual levels with critics but the reality is the track is really a collage of sounds spliced from a range of sources randomly without making sense as a result. It is not comfortable to listen to and it is impossible not to be moved emotionally in some way when listening to it. Some despise it at rubbish or indulgent nonsense, others think it a work of genius. I must admit I usually avoid it and skip straight to Good Night but in the right frame of mood the track is quite compelling in an artistic way.

The conclusion for this album is it is groundbreaking and one of the milestones of music history. One of the first double albums, one of the most inventive, with the weirdest track, so bold and so compelling on each track, It is far too good and important for anything less than 5 stars. Masterpieces like this come rarely. The Beatles were never more innovative.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 5/5 |

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