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THE BEATLES

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.15 | 531 ratings

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Alitare
3 stars Every face of every boy (except for the real one)

The Beatles - The Beatles (1968)

Overall Rating: 10-11 (You decide!) Album 1: 13 Album 2: 8

Best Song: Album 1: WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS or HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN Album 2: Who actually gives a damn? LONG LONG LONG?

Let me give all youse guys the big rundown of The OFF-WHITE album. It's thirty songs long, an hour and a half of material, and I suppose they were, in that era, trying to just drown everyone in sheer, undiluted scope. I can live with scope drowning, I mean, some double albums have totally rocked my world in my day. Jesus Christ Superstar remains one of my all time favorites, and just check my sentiments on Ayreon, boy. So, you'd guess I love it, right? No, it's a Beatles album, that's strictly an impossibility. No, I just happen to like it a lot, is all.

I'll be blunt right up front, if they'd cut this down to forty minutes of material, and tossed out the excess fat, I'd love The White Album. It's got easily some of the best songs the grab-bag four ever did. But they drown it in excess, man. Especially on album numero dos. That one is just too much. No, Revolution #9 isn't high art, and I tend to hate it a billion times more than I could ever despise Moonchild from King Crimson's debut (primarily because at least that snorefest had structure). It's thirty friggin' songs, most under four minutes! You're going to get almost everything under the sun, bar brutal black metal. Glass Onion is sarcastic rock, foreshadowing Lennon's Plastic Ono Band two years later, while Back in the USSR is beefy hard rawk!

Wild Honey Pie just blows nuts. It blows my nuts. It does so on account of how it's snot nosed and goofy for no good raisin. At least Bungalow Bill has a nice melody accompanying the stupid ideas. I don't really want to explain each song in full detail, because most of it's fairly self explanatory. If the title sounds like it was written by a ten year old who fiddled with his daddy's LSD stash, then sure enough, it will probably sound exactly like it was performed by said ten year old. Hey, Bungalow Bill, what did you kill?

There is a centerpiece moment for the first album, however. It's possibly the greatest 10 minutes in these airhead's career. It's having While My guitar Gently Weeps followed directly by Happiness Is A Warm Gun. The former happens to be abso-friggin'-lutely beautiful, and the latter happens to be one of the best complex pop tunes this side of dog knows what! That solo on Weeps, whether or not it was performed by Claptrap Clapton, doesn't matter any to me. It's great!

What isn't great, is how nothing else even comes close to that level of musical goodness. I can only call it the strangulation of talent via over-productivity. It's the Beetles, so nothing is ever downright offensive (On side one, that is. Revolution #9 needs to be ceremoniously assassinated.) Depressingly enough, much of the material here is too lightweight for me. Too many of the songs are just nice, without being eminently intriguing or catching. Too much of it seems second hand. I've got two hands, I prefer holding it in my right hand. This album requires me to use both, therefore, half of it really is second hand. Those literal bastards. Hey, Blackbird is kinda pretty.

It just won't end! the marathon of mediocre melodies never seem to end! I guess for you fine, level-headed, admirable, ignorantly moronic Beatles fans, this is a paradise. I mean, hell, the more Beatles, the better, right? But as great as the first half of this monster is to me, I got terrible qualms with the second installment. It's louder, less memorable, and did I tell you about this big great heaping pile of anuses I like to call Revolution #9? It's a pretentious sound collage that sucks. Birthday is throwaway rock, and Yer Blues is throwaway blues. I don't wanna stretch it enough to call this material filler, but what else can you call it? It literally just sits there to fill space on the record, and isn't directly intended to blow anyone's mind or overthrow anyone's heart chambers.

Helter Skelter. Is it metal? It's definitely proto-metal, friends, and really paranoid, sons. It's possibly the best moment on the second album, which isn't saying tons, but whatever. You can't win them all, and in the case of this record, they only win about one third of them, I say. Now, I might sound real harsh, but it's only out of frustration. I want to love this record, but I can't. I just can't. Even if Long Long Long touches me, it's only one song out of thirteen. If they took the three best songs from side two, and put it with the nine best songs from side one, that'd be a near masterpiece, folks. Instead, I gotta wade through this crap carp to get to the gems. Get it, anyway, because everyone needs at least five of these songs in their life. Sigh...

***1/2

Alitare | 3/5 |

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