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THE BEATLES

The Beatles

Proto-Prog


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The Beatles The Beatles album cover
4.15 | 534 ratings | 59 reviews | 50% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1968

Songs / Tracks Listing

The Beatles

Disc: 1
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)
9. Martha My Dear (2:28)
10. Im So Tired (2:03)
11. Blackbird (2:18)
12. Piggies (2:04)
13. Rocky Raccoon (3:32)
14. Don't Pass Me By (3:50)
15. Why Don't We Do It In The Road (1:41)
16. I Will (1:46)
17. Julia (2:54)

Total Time 46:22

Disc: 2
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 & My Monkey (2:24)
5. Sexy Sadie (3:15)
6. Helter Skelter (4:29)
7. Long Long Long (3:04)
8. Revolution 1 (4:15)
9. Honey Pie (2:41)
10. Savoy Truffle (2:54)
11. Cry Baby Cry (3:01)
12. Revolution 9 (8:22)
13. Good Night (3:11)

Total Time 47:07

Lyrics

Search THE BEATLES The Beatles lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search THE BEATLES The Beatles tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul McCartney / bass, vocals
- John Lennon / guitar, vocals
- George Harrison / guitars
- Ringo Starr / drums
- George Martin / orchestration, arrangements

Releases information

PMC 7067/8 (Mono)
PCS 7067/8 (Stereo)
CDP 7 46443 8
CDP 4 96895 2 (Special Edition)

Thanks to Certif1ed for the addition
and to Angelo for the last updates
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THE BEATLES The Beatles ratings distribution


4.15
(534 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(50%)
50%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(35%)
35%
Good, but non-essential (10%)
10%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

THE BEATLES The Beatles reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by el böthy
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I always say that this is the best album of all times, not my favorite, but damn good!!! The Beatles reached their peak with this one. Lennon´s experimentation would bring the mini suite happyness is a warm gun, the weird Every has got something to hide except me and my monkey, the great lyrics of Revolution 1, the touching and simple Dear Prudence and the progressive blues of Yer Blues among others. Mccartney as always delivers some great pop songs like back in the USSR, Mother nature son, the excellent Blackbird and the proto heavy Helter Skelter. Harrison surprises with Long, Long,Long and the memorable While my guitar gently weeps. Even Ringo has a song of his own: Don´t pass me by. This album really shows how advanced the Beatles were for their time...it was 1968, noone was doing something like this!!! Floyd was still a psicodelyc pop band, Frank Zappa was going for it, but still wasn´t there, jethro Tull was more of a blues,folk band ...really the Beatles were miles ahead of every one...and in many ways still are.

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Send comments to el böthy (BETA) | Report this review (#69464) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Desert Island Material.

Finally! The Beatles on ProgArchives. And it's about freaking time, since this album has more progressive elements than many albums by Queen, Rush or even Yes. No serious prog collection is complete without 3 or 4 Beatles records. No kidding. The White Album could've made the most fantastic album of all-time...as a single album. Scrape off some 'filler' song (like Cry Baby Cry or Good Night and more, you'll see) and you'll discover the ultimate double album of all time, and probably the most successful.

Many pop moments (courtesy of McCarthney) are sweetening the whole pattern, but in the core, this leads to absolute genius experimentation with the little help from their friends (Clapton, Jagger, Richards). Too many classics on one album, this is too good to be true, I tell you.

Take Helter Skelter, the first 'heavy metal' tune as we know it; Rocky Raccoon and it's cool honky tonk atmosphere; Happiness is a Warm Gun as terribly destructive and double-edged; and the ultimate technological prodigy of the era: Revolution Number 9.

So much progressive goodies and the super popish and oh so catchy grooves that we all know and love is making me choose this as the ultimate Beatles experience.

Groovy, explosive, experimental and terribly addictive, period.

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Send comments to Menswear (BETA) | Report this review (#69507) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Effectively 4 solo albums (ok, 3 solo albums and a solo single), this is the work of a disintegrating unit. Ringo actually left the group at one point during the making of this double album, leaving McCartney to play the drums on a number of tracks including Back In The USSR.

Having said that, it is one of their best works, also possibly the least known by the general public. The Fabs went back to basics here, starting with the minimalist cover, and this album features the rawest rock they ever recorded (Helter Skelter). There is a dazzling array of styles here - from rock'n'roll to country to jazz to avant garde to bedtime lullaby.A number of these songs were written in India during their time with the Maharishi.

McCartney contributes some solo work (Blackbird, Martha My Dear, I Will, Mother Nature's Son) which is amongst his finest and also some bizarre ones (Wild Honey Pie, Why Don't We and the uncredited Can You Take Me Back?).

Lennon's work includes the biting Sexy Sadie, aimed at the Marahishi who apparently had an eye for the ladies, the multi-section Happiness is A Warm Gun which features the most time signature changes in a Beatles song, a number of stark rock'n'rollers (I'm So Tired, Everybody's got something to hide, Yer Blues) and Goodbye, sung by Ringo but written by John for Julian. Glass Onion was deliberately written for those who like to find hidden meanings in Beatle songs ("The Walrus was Paul").

Harrison contributes the classic While My Guitar Gently Weeps, with Clapton on slide guitar, the underrated Long, Long, Long, the average Savoy Truffle and the not so good Piggies. Starr's contribution is his first solo credit on a Beatles record - the country-tinged Don't Pass Me By, which he had been writing for the previous 5 years.

On top of all this lot (and George Martin begged them to make it a single LP) we get two of the three versions of Revolution (the Lennon/Ono avant garde one which is probably best forgotten and the acoustic version), Lennon's funniest line ("I'll have another cigarette and curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid git") and a hit for Siouxise and the Banshees (Dear Prudence). The best Beatles album? Possibly.

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Send comments to chopper (BETA) | Report this review (#70305) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 23, 2006

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The quintessential Beatles album. If there was any of their reportoire that justified progressive labels then ' Double White' definitely fits the bill. Conceptual by nature, damn challenging and demanding at times. Listen to ' Revolution nine' it is really experimental. There is no doubt these guys lay down a lot of ground roots for the the real pioneers of progressive sounds but then again one always needs at least one band or personality to start the ball rolling. Elvis Presley was another liberator of expressionism.

Double White is a richly textured album which from host to post delivers excellent music. There is no point discussing the mastery of the musicians because they were never brilliant, what they were brilliant in was the mastery of experimentalism and two fingers up to the critics or unbelievers at the time. In terms of material there are too many good songs to mention and it would be far easier dissecting a Porcupine Tree album instead! However these ones shine out as the best from an overall masterpiece of it's genre. ' Back In The USSR', ' Helter Skelter", " Wild Honey Pie", " Happiness Is A Warm Gun" and the irrepressible " Rock Roccoon". Recommended to anyone who felt that the Beatles were below progressive music. Any Beatles fan would arguably have this and ' Revolver' at the top of their list.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#72999) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 24, 2006

Review by Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The year 1968 was a very problematic year, not only for The Beatles. There were students riots around the world, including one of them in my country which was heavily repressed, ten days before the Olympic Games were celebrated in my city. I have vague memories of the riots and of the Olympic Games, being myself three years old at the time, but, believe or not, I still have some memories about them.

This album also was recorded during a tense period of three or four months in 1968, on which The Beatles had a hard time. Due to the tension, even George Martin and long time Recording Engineer Geoff Emerick went to their respective holidays during the recording of this album, leaving to then new Recording Engineer Chris Thomas the task of working with The Beatles for several days. Even Ringo Starr left the band for several days. Despite the tension, it is amazing that this album is still very good, even giving the impression of being recorded during "happy and funny times".

In this album, The Beatles left Psychedelia behind them. Some of the songs were recorded in different combinations of the members of the band, or even alone. For example, "Wild Honey Pie" was recorded by Paul alone, "Why Don`t We Do It in the Road?" was recorded by Paul and Ringo, "Julia" by John alone, etc. During Ringo`s absence, Paul recorded drums in "Back in the U.S.S.R." (with George and John also adding some drums parts in this song) and in "Dear Prudence". George Martin also did several very good orchestral arrangements for some songs. But the general impression was, IMO, that this album marked a "change" for the band in many ways.

My favourite songs from this album are: "Dear Prudence", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Martha My Dear", "I`m So Tired", "Piggies", "Julia", "Yer Blues", "Helter Skelter", "Long, Long, Long", "Honey Pie", "Cry Baby Cry" and "Good Night". There is also a very experimental piece of music called "Revolution 9" created and recorded by John, with some collaborations by Yoko Ono and George Harrison.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#78947) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 21, 2006

Review by Chicapah
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars How do you follow up the most influential album of the 20th century? The answer is: You don't even try. And they didn't. The "White Album" is so drastically different from Sgt. Pepper's that it could be from a totally different group. Poor George Martin. He probably never had any idea who would show up and what shape they'd be in when they did. The Fab Four were going in four different directions and the music herein reflects that emphatically. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing but the "group effort" concept was not at the forefront. There are obvious jewels here that have stood the test of time but there's also some downright strangeness going on, as well. Progressively speaking, there are several standout cuts. "Dear Prudence," "Glass Onion," "Happiness," "Everybody's got something to hide," and "Helter Skelter" definitely pushed the envelope of normal tunesmithing. You might notice that most of these cuts were from the experimental and bohemian mind of John Lennon so he has to be singled out as the carrier of the prog torch on this collection of songs. When this came streaming through my ears the first time I felt it was a bit of a letdown after the brilliant LP that preceded it and I still have trouble warming up to it even now. It's a real hodge-podge of musical styles and production and never finds a singular identity throughout. Perhaps it is just a reflection of where the Beatles were headed at the time and, in that case, it shows that the end was just over the horizon.

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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#84071) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Beatles epic double album, simply titled The Beatles (but also knows as the White Album, mainly because of the bare cover) would prove to the world that the in the studio incarnation of the Beatles were still able to crank out a large amount of songs, and throughout the 30 songs on this album, a wide spectrum of moods are presented in varying forms, from the opening planes and rocking sections of Back in the USSR to the avant-garde sound collage Revolution 9, no idea is left out of this album, and for the most part this album is largely successful, but some parts are a bit drab and dry, as is the case with most double albums. A little history about the making of the album. During the start of the sessions, the tensions between the group rose so high that Ringo went off and quit the band for a rather short period of time (a week or so), leaving Paul to fill in the drum parts for the first few tracks on the album. Luckily, Ringo returned with a brand new drum set garnished with flowers and a sign that said Welcome Back on it. This marked the first time a member of the group actually quit the band. But enough about that and more about what this album has.

The first disc of the set features 17 of the total 30 tracks, and it has some real stand out numbers. Back In the USSR is the first track on the album, and it has a real old Beatle feel to it, with the falsetto harmonies and the standard structure. McCartney's drum performance is great (this is one of the two or three tracks on the album that doesn't feature Ringo) as well as Harrison's great guitar solo. Glass Onion is Lennon's throwback to old songs with lyrical references to Strawberry Fields, the Fool on the Hill, and the Walrus (who turned out to be Paul!). Anyway, the chord progression is rather nice and the snearing vocals from Lennon are great. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da is a majestic piece that has some a genuine upbeat feel and some fine vocals from Paul. The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill is a bit of a children's story piece from Lennon (Yoko does backing vocal on the track) and it has a great fun feel in the vein of Yellow Submarine. While My Guitar Gently Weeps is arguably the best song George Harrison ever wrote during his time with the Beatles. A great a melodic chord progression as well as some stellar vocals and a superb guitar solo from both Harrison and his longtime friend Eric Clapton (at that time of Cream).

Happiness is a Warm Gun was originally three different songs, but they decided to add them together, it has some great riffing in the beginning, a stellar middle section that was very heavy for the Beatles, and a great ending chorus with the phrase happiness is a warm gun repeated over and over again. Blackbird is an acoustic Paul McCartney tune that has some wonderful lyrics and a nice overall beat (he taps his foot to keep in time and it really comes off nicely). Piggies is the second Harrison song on the album, and it's a playful piece that contains a lyrical line from Harrison's mother (what they need's a damn good whacking). Rocky Raccoon is a honky tonk country piece with Paul McCartney doing his best doing some southern narrations between the ragtime piano section in the interludes. Don't Pass Me By would mark the first Ringo penned song since What Goes On (yet Lennon and McCartney both contributed to the piece). It's a nice rocking tune that has a bit of a country edge, similar to that of Rocky Raccoon.

The second disc is comprised of the final 13 tracks of the album and in my opinion has a lot less to offer than the first disc, but there are still some great tracks. Birthday has some nice unison riffing from the guitars and the bass, and the insistent vocal really comes off well. Yer Blues is a nice blues number that has some great riffing and some searing leads from Harrison. Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey is a rocker like Birthday, with some stellar riffing in the beginning, and some truly nonsensical lyrics from Lennon, but it's a fantastic piece in the end. Helter Skelter can be considered as the first hard rock piece ever. Originally conceived as a 25 minute jam, they cut it down to five and allowed for a lot of instrumental breaks. It's a superb track with great guitar work overall, and Ringo's famous phrase at the end (I got blisters on me fingers) really ends it well. Revolution 1 is a nice acoustic waltzy piece, but I think it gets better represented as the heavy and distorted single it became, Revolution. Savoy Truffle is another Harrison penned track about Eric Clapton's sweet tooth, and the harmony vocals and the main theme is spectacular. Revolution 9 is the most controversial Beatles piece, it's also their most avant-garde. What it is mainly is a sound collage of random effects and noises, and for the most part I'm not too fond of it, but it shows the true experimental nature of John Lennon and his willingness to try something like atonal composers Edgar Varese. Good Night is a lullaby John wrote for his son Julian and is sang by Ringo accompanied by a full orchestra and really ends the album on a majestic and somber note.

In the end, The White Album is a controversial album that has a lot of stellar tracks, and some good filler in between. Mind you not all the tracks are great, but they have this aura about them that make them all far from terrible. If you're looking for a progressive Beatles record, then look no further, you're reading about one right here. It's an excellent album that I think no fan of early or avant-garde progressive rock should go without. 4/5.

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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#85302) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 31, 2006

Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Team
5 stars This is a very controversial album. There is very little middle of the road opinion on this one. Like any true Beatle freak, I love it. Honestly, I believe I would even if this was not my favorite band. This is highly successful experimentation. The success is even more impressive, when considering the tension within the band. This actually could have something to do with why it works. Each song is a mostly individual work, with the other guys as session men.

All the stops are pulled out, and anything is fair game. There are rockers, ballads, Vaudeville, reggae, folk, and performance art. There is even a genuine prog piece (silly as it may be) in "Happiness is a Warm Gun." There are other proggy moments, but none as obvious. All this may seem disjointed, and unsettling, but that works for me. I rarely want to hear just part of it. It is a cohesive album. How this happened, I have no idea.

This is a landmark album for The Beatles, and rock music. Once again they showed that there are no boundaries. As always, pulling it off beautifully. The White Album is a rite of passage for any true rock (or modern) music lover. It doesn't have to become a favorite to be appreciated. Check it out. You will be better for it. You can tell me you hate it, but at least you will have heard it.

It may not be the proggiest, but it is a masterpiece, and is essential for a complete collection.

H.T. Riekels

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Send comments to bhikkhu (BETA) | Report this review (#88949) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 04, 2006

Review by Chris H
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Okay The Beatles White Album huh? The general consensus claims it to be the first ever double LP! Well too bad its not, "Freak Out!" By the Mothers Of Invention is, but thats a horse of a different color. This is probably the Beatles' most eclectic piece of music as it is a mix of about 10 different genres. How about a review now?

Disc 1 of 2 starts off with "Back In The USSR", a spoof of the Americanism presnted in "Back In The USA". Its a nice tune, but not very Beatle-esque and I prefer their other works to it. "Dear Prudence" is a ballad that can get quite repetitive at times, but it always btings a smile to my face it it just has the feeling of a happy atmosphere surrounding it. "Glass Onion" starts out with a referance to "Strawberry Fields" and that's the only hit it'll score with Beatles fans. Very trite and boring. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La- Da" is nother sweeter-than sugar song that I don't particularly like, but can't help to smile at. The lyrics tell of a couple who get married and grow up together, and it's just very refreshing and crisp. "Wild Honey Pie" is a very quirky piece, it is just a few strings being played with a weird growling voice singing the title. Not much, but a nice touch. Next is "The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill", which is a childish track and lacks substance. Alot of people mention it as a favorite, but if you asked me I would tell you to just skip it. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" takes the cake as my favorite Beatles song of all time. One of the greatest songs ever, and it just demands a listen. The lyrics are intensely melancholy, yet the guitar lines are deep and beautiful all together. Just awesome! "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" is another excellent song, more melancholy but a tad more upbeat with the guitar. these two songs flow very nicely together and they are my favorites on the album. "Martha My Dear" features an excellent piano introduction, and it is onemore of those happy little love songs that makes you think of your loved ones and nod and smile. Very catchy, an excellent song as well. "I'm So Tired" is yet another great song, but unlike the previous three this takes a little bit of time to appreciate the musicianship and the way they fuse the blues with softer melodies. "Blackbird" breaks the chain a little bit as the music isn't really "all there", but McCartney's vocals shine brightly in a musically-lacking piece. "Piggies" equals filler. Please do yourself a fovr and skip this track, your body will thank you! "Rocky Raccoon" is not a very good song, but it is very interesting to look at the honky-tonk atmosphere the Beatles show here, which stray away from their normal sounds. "Don't Pass Me By" starts with a great percussion introduction but quickly slips downhill when the scratchy vocals and annoying chords come into the song. "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" is another short quirky number that you can help but play over and over again. Sheer addictiveness right here! "I Will" is a nice little ballad, you should paly it to that special some-one and it'll bring a smile upon their face. "Julia" ends the first disc of this album, and it jsut so happens to be one of Kurt Cobain's favorite songs of all time. "not mine though, I don't recommend a listen to it.

Okay now we are onto Disc 2. It kicks off with "Birthday", the song everybody just loves to hate. The song itself has reached an iconic status in just about everywhere, as when it is your birthday you just need to hear it! Great riffs, very catchy, a nice little tune. "Yer Blues" is next, and it is just the title suggests, a throw-back to the gritty American Delta blues writers with some gravelly vocals. "Mother Nature's Son" is an acoustic ballad that has some nice work on the horns, but not much substance other than that. "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey" is a quirky little number that seem to enjoy alot. The sound is crisp and clean, and the lyrics make no sense what-so-ever and that always appeals to me when a singer can take nonsense and give it meaning. "Sexy Sadie" is classic Beatles-type filler. It is still enjoyable, but it makes no impact and the album would still be the same without it. "Helter Skelter" is far and away the best song on this side of the album, and one of my favorite Beatles tunes ever. A song about a playground slide, George and Paul craft it and shape it into an almost heavy-metal tune. The Beatles never have sounded this heavy, and they never would again in their career. The next song is "Long, Long, Long" and it has a touch act to follow. As expected, the soft, mellow balld type song fails to keep any attention to the album after following "Helter Skelter". But on the bright side, "Revolution 1" follows after, and it is the complete anthem to America with it's cultured lyrics, catchy hooks, and just all around enjoyable atmosphere. Excellent tune. "Honey Pie" and "Savoy Truffle" are songs about an actress and a box of candies respectively, and they both need to be burned and never listened to by human ears again. Seriously. "Cry Baby Cry", "Revolution 9" and "Good Night" are all exteremly uneventful tracks, and I usually end the album at "Revolution 1", but I had to warn you about those other two tracks. Utterly terrible, and they take away fromt he overall album's rating as well.

So in conclusion to my longest review yet, this album was an incredible mix of different genres including heavy metal, acoustic balladry, pop, blues, blue-grass and more. Would get a 5 star from me, but three or four utterly horrible filler tracks knock it down to a 4. The good music definately outweighs the bad though!

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Send comments to Chris H (BETA) | Report this review (#108080) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 19, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars They had to make it a double album because Lennon, McCartney and Harrison insisted on having their songs on the record. They had three studios operating at the same time and of course the above mentioned trio were at times in their own studio doing their own thing. Ringo was so frustrated he quit for a short time, causing McCartney to play drums on the recording of one song. Yes, at this point it was every man for himself.

For me the first disc is far superior to the second disc. From the surprisingly good guitar on "Back In The USSR" to the fun songs like "Ob-la-di,ob-la-da" , "Piggies" and "The Continuing Story Of Bungalo Bill" which features mellotron. To my favourite BEATLES song of all time "My Guitar Gently Weeps". I love the psychedelic "Dear Prudence" as well as "Martha My Dear" and "Blackbird". "Rocky Racoon" is just a great song that tells a story. If they had just released disc one alone it would be a 5 star rating, but I have to give it 4 stars overall. In my list of BEATLES records I would put this behind "Magical Mystery Tour" , "Sgt.Pepper's..." and "Abbey Road".

This record reminds me in a way of LED ZEPPELIN's "Physical Graffiti", not musically of course but in that they were both double albums that were released late in their careers.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#112936) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars GOSH!

After an album like "Pepper's", the Fab Four need some more time to release their next studio album. It was also a difficult period for the band. Each member working more on an individual basis and the feeling of a "band" being less valid than earlier.

Ringo left the recording sessions for two weeks. Paul did play drums on two tracks (the first two of the album). On "Back In The USSR" George and John also participated in the drumming on the stereo version. It is now famous that during an interview John was asked : "Do you think Ringo is the best rock drummer in the world?" His answer was : "He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles!"

When you listen to the opener, "Back In The USSR", the band took up with their debut and rock'n'roll style. The link with the "Beach Boys" is also very obvious. Both bands were respectful of one another and George Martin said that "Pet Sound" (recorded in 66 by the Californian band) was the MAJOR source of inspiration for "Pepper's".

A song like "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" has never been a fave of mine. It is said to be an homage to the growing Jamaican community in the UK and their music (reggae of course). Apart this original fact (the first "white" reggae song?), there is nothing to write home about this.

As on almost each double albums (except "Quadrophenia" IMO) there will be several fillers on this album. Too much on this one. "Wild Honey Pie" is the first of them. The next ones are : "Martha My Dear", the pastoral "Blackbird", "Rocky Racoon" and its Western style, the traditional Ringo one "Don't Pass Me By" (an old song that Ringo wanted to propose as early as 1964). Neither John nor George are featured on this track. And side two goes on on the same mood : "Why Don't We Do it in the Road" is pretty dull as well.

On the second disc, the bluesy "Yer Blues" is unbearable to my ears. Heavy and extremely difficult to digest. Press next. Except of being the longest title of a Fab Four song "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" has little to offer. Another weak rock'n'roll song.

The list is frankly long (almost half the tracks actually) and goes on with "Honey Pie" and "Savoy Truffle". I really wonder what's all this fuss about this album? I have some difficulties with "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill". A song based on a personal experience while the band was in India. Very good verse, but awful (really) chorus.

One of my all-time fave from the band comes next. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". A wonderful song written by George. Each time I listen to it (not mentioning when I see it played on video/DVD)I am either on the verge of tears or I just simply cry, like now.

George did invite Clapton for the phenomenal guitar solo, and during his presence in the studio, the tensions were kind of left aside and it were the best times the band experienced. It is also my absolute fave from this album (but that's not difficult).

"Happiness is a Warm Gun" is a mini-opera on its own (in the vein of what "The Who" had done with "A Quick One, While He's Away" in 1966). But this song is only three minutes long and features lots of theme changes; which is not frequent in such a short song.

Another very good song is "I'm SoTired" written by John at three AM while he was in India, during a "meditation" experience. "Piggies" is a weird song. Not a great one. Only saved by its lyrics which are a vitriol critics of some social classes (comparing them to pigs). I quote : "Have you seen the bigger piggies in their starched white shirts? You will find the bigger piggies, stirring up the dirt. Always have clean shirts to play around in". !

"I Will" is the first song Paul wrote for Linda. It is a charming but short ballad, full of tranquillity. Not great, but after so many weak songs, it comes as a breath of fresh air. The closing number of the first LP is very much on the same mood. Another peaceful ballad which features only Lennon playing acoustic guitar and sing. It is the only Fab Four song to feature John only .

IMO, if you except "Weeps", the second side of "The Beatles" is by far the weakest side of an album the Fab Four ever recorded.

The second LP starts with another rock'n'roll song (just like the first one). But "Birthday" is just average. Vocals (!) particularly are far from being enjoyable.

"The Beatles" was very much influenced with their Indian "philosophical" experience developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who founded and developed the "Transcendental Meditation". It seems that "Mother Natures Son" was inspired by one of its lecture. An unreleased song called "Child Of Nature" was not considered for this album. It will turn out to be "Jealous Guy". They would have been inspired to have that one inserted in this album.

While the second half of the band was leaving India (Paul and Ringo had already left the "master" before the end of the "initiation") John will get to know that the "transcendental guru" made use of his influence to get some sex affair with a disciple. He composed "Sexy Sadie" based on this experience.

Side three is definitely their rockiest one ever. Since there were lots of criticism about McCartney's songwriting (he could "only" write ballads), the noisy "Helter Skelter" is flirting with the metal sound. Not my cup of tea to be honest.

To compensate this, the following song is a sweet ballad written by George. At least a decent song (but no masterpiece, let's be clear). It was the closing track of the third side of this double album. As weak (or even weaker) than side two. The Fab Four are definitely lacking inspiration.

The last side of this album features over twelve minutes dedicated to "Revolution" in two formats. These are the two best moments from this side. The closing "Good Night" which features Ringo on the vocals accompanied by an orchestra is also pleasant. The rest ? Well, forgetable.

My feelings are that it is the most overrated Fab Four album. IMO, it is a collection of sub, sub par "Beatles" songs of which VERY FEW are memorable. Still, it is the best-selling album from the band. This just leaves me speechless. As all the high ratings on PA. I would like to know from where the "too many classics" come from.

This album has of course little to do with prog, whatsoever. George Martin was so P.O. that he left the recording sessions and went on holidays...

When I discovered this album in 1973, I could absolutely not enter into it. When I tried again some twenty-five years later, the same feeling applied. And time hasn't changed my mind now. It is still a MAJOR deception. Two stars. Can't go higher. I am just astonished thatI could wrote such a long review about an album I don't like. Even if it is considered as rubbish for most of you (my review I mean).

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#155580) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, December 16, 2007

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It was quite odd for me personally because I knew this album for the first time not directly interacted with this release. But, I was at that time having a cassette titled "A Concert for Bangladesh" whereby one of the performers was George Harrison. What interested me was actually one song in that cassette, i.e. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Wow! The song blew me away at first listen and I was not aware at all that the song was originally published in The Beatles "White" album. But that cassette, I always repeated when the "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" played wonderfully from my cassette deck. Later, I knew that there was The Beatles album released in 1968 which people usually called it as "White" album. I was really happy knowing that the song was actually one of excellent songs from the album.

Another thing that surprised me as well was "Sexy Sadie" where I found it also appeared in a compilation by local radio station Prambors. So when I knew this album contained this song as well. I was happy as well. This song remained great even after decades of knowing it.

In addition to those two memorable songs, this album is an excellent release by the band. The straight rocker "Back In The U.S.S.R." (2:43) opens the album beautifully with its pondering guitar sounds and eerie vocal harmonies. Right after this rocker, the music moves into break with an acoustic "Dear Prudence" (3:56). ""Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" (3:08) was very popular in the 70s and it has popular chorus line that made the song was a major hit. The other interesting aspect after "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (4:45) is the follow-up song "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" (2:43) which has uplifting mood. Really cool! The music flows naturally to a ballad "Martha My Dear" (2:28) followed wonderfully with "I'm So Tired" (2:03). "Blackbird" (2:18) is a great track with wonderful melody and great guitar work.

Other tracks in Disc Two are also excellent, in addition to "Sexy Saddie". "Yer Blues" is a great track that has been covered by some blues musicians like Jeff Hailey. "Helter Skelter" is a great rocker.

Overall, this is an excellent addition to any rock music collection.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#156999) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 29, 2007

Review by Kotro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Sexy maharishis and flaming ashtrays

I've never been much of a Beatles fan. I always found them to be excellent pop songwriters, but at times inconsistent and not really producers of masterpieces. Even their apparent breakthroughs in music never seemed to impress me as much, in comparison to what the Beach Boys were doing. Plus I couldn't get past all of that cheesy pop they put out every once in a while. And yet, after the personally disappointing beat-psychedelic pop of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the band seemed to get in touch with raw emotions for the first time, perhaps as a result of their retreat in India, but most likely because of growing dissention in the band. It is amusing, however, that coming from India the band got back to work with a bag of musical ideas. from the States. That's right, there is not a bloody sitar in sight, only electric and acoustic guitars aplenty, and inspirations from 30's dance-hall music, John Cage, the blues and The Beach Boys.

In fact, the boys who gave us such great pop music are honoured in the album opener, Back In The U.S.S.R., along with obvious not to Chuck Berry. The groove and harmonies are typical BB, but the Beatles rock a bit more, featuring some great electric guitar work, a feature that goes into the following song, Dear Prudence, a groovy ballad also featuring a great drum and bass line. The grooviness is also captured in the third track, Glass Onion, a Beatles song mocking the Beatles. Features the use of orchestral instrumentation in the background, lurking behind the dominating guitar, bass and drums that drive the song forward. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da is quite a shift from the more rocking style with which the album opened. It sounds almost like a carnival soundtrack, very merry but with the potential to be quite annoying in case of overexposure. It does not, however, reach the annoying levels of early 20's sounding country song Wild Honey Pie, a small piece that serves as an intro to The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill - featuring (quite discernible) vocals from Yoko Ono, on a track that would not sound out of place in a sing-along- on-the-bus-as-we-make-way-for-a-camping-trip-kind-of-song. Just as all the clapping near the end is beginning to annoy, the song is swiftly cut to make way for the next one. After a whole bunch of Lennon and/or McCartney songs, we are treated to the first Harrison-penned song of the album - and what a contribution it is! While My Guitar Gently Weeps is probably one of the most memorable songs from this album, and rightly so. George's fledging vocals and guest star Eric Clapton's fingers in the guitar give this song an aura of warm despair and immortality. And it rocks, too. Just as much as the grim Lennon song that follows, Happiness Is A Warm Gun - Lennon would soon find that out for himself. History apart, it is an excellent track, moody and dark, and immensely rich in rhythm changes, from folk ballad to blues to psychedelia all in just under 2 minutes and 44 seconds. After the depressing note that ended Side One we are forced too seek comfort - no one knows who really is Martha My Dear, but she is well remembered in this lovely song which begins as another take on 30's music-hall to then turn into a pop with a classical twist song, featuring the use of a brass ensemble. I'm So Tired is a return to the melancholic rock of Lennon which really drenches this album. Then there is the classic McCartney acoustic ballad Blackbird. We are then once more presented with a genius contribution from Harrison, this time in the form of the two minute baroque-sounding social satire Piggies. Rocky Raccoon is a wild western-flavoured song, both in theme and music. Next up we get Ringo's first writing credit - and it is, surprisingly, a very good one: Don't Pass Me By features excellent vocals and violin playing, in a sort of folkish jig song. Why Don't We Do It In The Road is a small piano-driven blues by Paul, pretty standard, but amusing all the same, courtesy of McCartney's raucous vocals - so different from his next track, the romantic ballad I Will.The first disc ends in this mellow tone, with John Lennon's elegy to his mother, Julia, another small (as most of the songs on this album) acoustic ballad.

Tea break. Damn, this is one long Beatles album - but oh so fun! Movin'on.

Birthday opens Side 3 in the same way as the album opener - a fast paced Rock n'Roll track, featuring some heavy guitar riffs and excellent drumming. The heavy intro does not stop here as it's followed by the heavy blues track Yer Blues, another Lennon track where he should be more careful about what he said. Four minutes of pretty standard anger-drenched blues-rock. It is followed by Blackbird part 2. Sorry, I mean Mother Nature's Son, another folky ballad by Macca. Rock n'Roll returns to scene, again by the hand of Lennon, in the form of Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me & My Monkey. John pens another one with Sexy Sadie, a soft rockin' groovy track with a nice beat and lush arrangements. Next up is Paul trying to be funny, and failing miserably - Helter Skelter has been immensely praised over the years, but the image I get from hearing it is of small boys with big guns. Paul can hardly sing in tone, with all the effort he makes to simply be loud. The drums are completely out of place, beating in such a slow rhythm as opposite to the guitar riff. There are indeed some good electric guitar licks and interesting vocal harmonies. But overall it's just too cacophonic and disorderly, a kind of music that the Beatles simply weren't cut out to produce. Best moment? Ringo's hilarious line I've got blisters on my fingers!. I am thus grateful for the peace that ensues in the form of Long Long Long, Side 3 closer by George Harrison. Some see it as perfectly superfluous, others as one of the most underrated Beatles track - I fall somewhere in the middle, finding it an excellent ballad and a good balance for the previous track, but something easily topped by the Beatles and Harrison himself. Flipping the record we are greeted by a call for change - Revolution 1 opens Side 4 with a typical blues electric guitar lick and sound effects. John sings calmly in-between occasional power chords and orchestral bursts. Honey Pie is another Paul trip into early 20th century music, in a very well executed music-hall jazz kind of song. Harrison's final songwriting credit of the album is Savoy Truffle, a personal favourite, a crazy piece of music, groovy, orchestral, jazzy and bluesy all at the same time, featuring excellent vocals, electric guitar, saxophones and electric piano. Cry Baby Cry is another mid-tempo soft-rock track, ending 2 and a half minutes into it for an non-credited Macca song. After Paul failed attempt at hard-rock , we are treated to John failed attempt at experimental music - rather than a real composition, Revolution 9 is more of a long collage of pre-recorded sounds - orchestras, crowds, movies, studio chatter and other random and assorted recordings, all glued together with no apparent order. I'm not so keen on the track by itself, but it's simply a great weird piece to include in the album, especially towards the ending, and especially before the closing lullaby Good Night, penned by Lennon, sung by Ringo, and featuring extremely lush orchestral arrangements courtesy of George Martin. I simply love the way the chaos of Revolution 9 flows into this lovely and orderly piece, and I just can't imagine them ever played apart.

So, why is this the best Beatles album? First off, its more of a rock album than anything they did before, which for my taste is an important feature. John Lennon's song are especially noteworthy in that aspect, in the same way Paul McCartney excels in his ballads and songs his granny would enjoy, but not so much on his rockers. Harrison pens four songs, and all four are among the best of the album (makes me wish he had even more). Even Ringo has a memorable contribution. Being the longest Beatles album, it could also have a lot of space taken by useless filler - and yet it doesn't: not all songs are brilliant (some are far from it), but there is not a single one I would like to see scratched from the album. It's a big, ridiculously diverse album, but at the same time quite consistent, which is quite remarkable given its structure and all the ill-feeling among the members of the band (in fact, among the entire Beatles machine) at the time. It's their most honest and down-to-earth album, and that is probably the reason for why it shines among their entire discography.

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Posted Thursday, October 23, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Beatles ( known better as the The White Album) is the ninth full-length studio album by British pop/ rock act The Beatles. The album was originally released as a double LP with thirty songs. A very ambitious project that has a few flaws but mostly excels in brilliant songwriting, extremely well sounding production and generally great musicianship. The recording of the album, which took place at Abbey Road Studios in London with George Martin as the producer as usual, was mared by the ego clashes of especially John Lennon and Paul McCartney ( and to a lesser extent George Harrison). Poor Ringo even left the band for a short period of time before returning because of the bad atmosphere. Many of the songs were almost recorded as solo projects and there were fierce discussions as to which songs were to be included on the album. The great variation between the songs is not a problem for me but as a whole the album seems a bit incoherent and I´m sure the album would have benefitted greatly from leaving out a few of the more average or weak songs on the album. I absolutely loathe Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and I´m not particularly fond of the Ringo Starr led and folky Don't Pass Me By to say it as nicely as possible. They could have left out those two to start with if you ask me.

The album still contains some of the best songs The Beatles released though. I really enjoy the psychadelic and rather weird songs on the album like Glass Onion, Wild Honey Pie, The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill and Piggies but songs like While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Back In The U.S.S.R., Happiness Is A Warm Gun, Dear Prudence, Helter Skelter ( borderline heavy rock that one IMO) and the beautiful closer Good Night are also excellent songs. The 8:22 minute long experimental sound collage Revolution 9 was a bold move by The Beatles but it´s not to my personal taste. It is a standout track on the album though.

The Beatles ( The White Album) is not the strongest Beatles album IMO but it´s still an excellent album that fully deserves a 4 star rating. No one comes near The Beatles when we´re talking memorable and well written melodies and even their less than brilliant efforts are far better than most other music in the same vein from that time.

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Posted Monday, June 15, 2009

Review by 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.

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Posted Sunday, July 26, 2009

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The hangover from 1967

1967 was an amazing year for the Fab with two acid infused classics on their hands. In spring 1968 they flew to India to spend some time expanding their consciousness with the Maharishi. He made an impression on them initially but Lennon would see through the charade in time. During this vacation they amassed a fair amount of material and recorded from May through October 1968. The White Album is probably The Beatles least coherent overall, seemingly loose and occasionally sloppy. Which is probably exactly what some of them wanted. After being constrained a bit by Paul's thematic ideas for Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour, one gets the feeling that White Album was John and George saying "stay the hell out of the way." There is some serious experimentation happening throughout, both in styles and in sounds. John would comment that the album was a special treat for fans because it "has a lot of stuff on it." This is absolutely true, it is an album for fans which gives them additional insight into the personalities of the band. But judged as an album on its own accord, well, it has some issues. There are plenty of tracks here not up to the usual standards.

The great stuff here is pretty varied with John contributing the pleasant "Dear Prudence" and the fantastic "I'm so tired" where you can literally hear the weariness and anger just below the surface. "Revolution 9" is an interesting sound collage that is probably The Beatles most radical piece, but unfortunately it's not something you'll want to hear more than once per decade. Paul has plenty of great character pieces, ballads, and story-songs. "Martha My Dear" showcases Paul's love for that slightly dated feel which I find so appealing, these days such songwriting style would be so refreshing. "Blackbird" is drop dead gorgeous acoustic bliss and "Mother Nature's Son" may be the highlight. "Helter Skelter" is a fan favorite with Paul pushing his vocals to the extreme. George delivers the lovely "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" which may be his finest Beatles track, along with the strange baroque-sounding "Piggies." The closer "Good Night" was a really nice touch. But perhaps more than any other Beatles album, there's some fairly disposable stuff here like Back In The USSR/Glass Onion/Wild Honey Pie/Bungalow Bill/Why don't we/Yer Blues/Everybodys/Long Long Long.

Were the White Album a single disc with only the best material it would easily be another 4 star affair. With all of the extra delicacies offered, some good and some not so, the album falls to 3 stars overall. Still, while this music is all over 40 years old now, it still blows my mind how superior it is to most modern era mainstream music.

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Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Review by Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Let me try to be fair here in my assessment of the White Album, properly titled THE BEATLES. First and foremost, I wasn't around in 1968 back when it was first released, so I don't necessarily understand how revolutionary this claims to be. Second, I wasn't really a Beatles fan growing up, so no childhood memories to latch onto here. However, I'm giving two stars to an iconic album of the 1960's, so I'd better have a good explanation.

Actually, I think I do. What the White Album lacks is a good dose of consistency. The album seems to cover a barrage of styles with poor transitions between style changes. This is not like say Queen's A NIGHT AT THE OPERA where many diverse styles were covered, but the fluidity was better and such style changes seem natural to Queen. Going back to THE BEATLES, it goes almost haphazardly from good ol' rock n' roll (''USSR'') to silly kids TV themes (''Bungalow Bill'') to prog rock (''Happiness'') to country (''Rocky Raccoon'') to blues (''Yer Blues'') to avant-garde (''Revolution 9'') to...you get the idea. Any good defense of this album would be the number of styles covered, but in my definition of good music, a great flow trumps multiple genre nods any day.

Keep in mind that the White Album is a double album; this means that there's guaranteed to be quite a few filler tracks. Yes, I use the ''politically incorrect'' term ''filler'' here, but in my mind it makes perfect sense. If you don't believe me, try to defend ''Wild Honey Pie'', easily the worst song I've ever heard out of this group, a song that needn't belong on any album. Why, might you ask? It's a minute of the worst guitar noises and yodeling there is. Thankfully, no other song is this dreadful although ''Bungalow Bill'' comes close thanks to Yoko Ono's vocals.

However, most filler are songs that just don't sound like they ''have it''. Take songs like ''Glass Onion'', ''Yer Blues'', ''Blackbird'' and ''Me and My Monkey''; all of those songs mentioned sound very average to my ears without being of any importance. Others like ''Piggies'', ''Ob-La-Di,Ob-La-Da'' and ''Revolution 9'' are just weird experiments coming from the Beatles, all of them sounding like messes. Then again, double albums and filler tracks go together like peanut butter and jelly. Heck, I'm willing to admit that some double albums I like (TAGO MAGO, CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY, FREAK OUT! to name a few) have filler tracks or padded lengths. As pessimistic as it sounds, I should have expected a numerous amount of filler.

However, not all is average here. Even with ''Wild Honey Pie'', Side 1 is clearly the strongest side carrying four of the albums strongest tracks; ''Back in the USSR'', ''Dear Prudence'', ''While My Guitar Gently Weeps'' and ''Happiness is a Warm Gun''. Of particular interest to progsters should be the ethereal ''Dear Prudence'' and its bass jumps and the metre shifting mini-suite of ''Happiness''. I guess everyone has their favourite cuts on this album, but after the first side, only ''Julia'', ''Helter Skelter'', ''Savoy Truffle'' and ''Revolution 1'' are of any interest to me.

It's a well-known album, so this ought to be one that you might want to check out. Just keep in mind that just because the Beatles made this album doesn't mean it's a masterpiece. I say that if THE BEATLES was kept to a single album, it might have been less controversial. Definitely should come with a warning tag.

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Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars For it's time, this was a very advanced album. Much of the press, and the Beatles fans back then, just didn't understand this album, and probably never will. This was a band that has grown up. And this album is really the definition of proto prog.

George Martin's production on this album is revolutionary. The sound of the bass, the strings in Glass Onion, the honky tonk piano in the silly Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, the warbling backing track in While My Guitar Gently Weeps, it's all perfect. And don't get me started about Revolution Number 9.

With this many tracks, there are bound to be a few clunkers, but they are just a few. And after all these years, there are some track that I just never need to hear again. Still, this iis a great album.

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Posted Friday, February 12, 2010

Review by Matthew T
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Late November in 1968 The Beatles released a double album and although commonly referred to as The White album it was actually self titled and due to the plain white used on the cover the name has stuck. The album came with four nice glossy photos,one of each band member and a poster with a photo collage on one side and the other had the lyrics of each tune. The original vinyl release was numbered in sequence and was usually for each country where the album was printed.The actual songs throughout the album are not divided but follow on with minimum breaks.This was the first album to be recorded since the death of Brian Epstein and this is where the band really are coming to the end of the road but with all these issues another wonderful record was created and perhaps the most eclectic album in the bands catalogue.

With the sound of a jet engine the album commences with what could be described as a Beachboys influence with Back in The USSR. The first and only single to be taken of the album was Ob la di Ob la da and the flip in Australia was While my Guitar Gently Weeps and yet internationally it appears it was Julia. We got the better deal to say the least. Other singles were taken later but long after the album was released. One other single was also recorded but did not appear on the album. The first three sides of the album are considered the cream by the majority and with songs such as Glass Onion, While my Guitar Gently Weeps ( considered by this reviewer to be George Harrison's proof that he was a great tunesmith as well and could hold his own against the two big boys Lennon/McCartney)Happiness is A Warm Gun, Blackbird, Rocky Raccoon, Don't Pass Me By ( Even Ringo gets a shot), Why Don't We do It In The Road, Yer Blues, Mother Natures Son, Long,Long,Long( George again) and the blazing Helter Skelter and the rest of the songs are just behind in quality but with a Beatles album everybody will have other favourites and that only really shows the quality of the song writing from the band. Sexy Sadie could be pehaps the most dubious song on the first three sides.

On side four of the album which is considered by a lot of people as being patchy there are some absolute little gems contained within and Revolution 9 being one of them and with this Sound Collage created by John Lennon there is something quite original with its own atmosphere contained within and is really only the held together barely with the repitition of No.9,No.9 disliked by a lot of fans and considered their worst track but it is art and one which took the most time for me to enjoy of the album.Revolution 1 is the first version and although slower in tempo. Still another and not too popular tune appears to be the last song on the album which was Good Night but once again this was The Beatles and could be considered as quite a good finisher to the album as one should remember Double albums were considered extremly lengthy in time in their early days.John Lennon wrote it and Ringo did the vocals and even George Martin plays the Celeste. There a few other songs I have not mentioned on side four but none of them are poor but just indivdual members doing their own thing which really could describe how the album was constructed as the band was barely a band anymore but four indivduals working with George Martin.

Some musicians that particapted in the album were Eric Clapton, Jackie Lomax and numerous others. One mention though is how three of the bands wifes or partners( if you prefer) also contribute vocals on the odd track throughout excepting Paul. Patti Harrison, Maureen Starkey and of course Yoko Ono.

A masterpiece of course and a timeless one at that and the first album on Apple. The number on the album I used for the review which is mine is 34,800 issued in Australia. I was late buying my copy as $11.00 was not chicken feed at 10 years of age.

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Posted Friday, March 12, 2010

Review by JLocke
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The Beatles' White Album is one of the most talked-about Rock albums of all time. Some say it's the best thing the band ever did, while others say it was crammed full of filler and could have benefited from being trimmed down in length (among the latter group of people is Beatles producer George Martin). Over the years, I have become more and more inclined to agree with the former opinion, and the simple reason is that after years of listening to The White Album, it has sunk in to a point that my listening experience of it is now just as personal and important to me as any key event in my life.

But what makes this release so special? Well, transport yourself back to 1968, if you can. At the time, Rock fans were only just beginning to get their feet wet in the bottomless pool of creativity that we now seem to take for granted. This single piece of work featured within its ingenious gatefold cover a large variety of musical styles including Space-Rock, Avant-Garde, Pop, Folk, Symphonic Rock, and even a quick romp in the realm of early Metal. To mesh so much varied content together on a single release was daring as hell, and still scares people away today. You name any other mainstream Pop-Rock artist popular today who even comes close to being this diverse on any of their albums. You can't of course, because The White Album is in some ways peerless in that regard. No other Rock album has ventured so far in every direction-- and succeeded like this one does.

The bulk of the material heard on this release was written while the band went on their retreat with the Maharishi in India. Much of the lyrics are also direct references to people, places and incidents encountered while staying there. As a result, so much material was brought back to the studio that the band chose to release a double-LP. Daring was this choice, but it was also the best one, in my opinion. I know some people think the album could have been a lot better had it been condensed, but personally, I don't know how you can condense something so rich with content like The White Album is. True, a few songs here and there sound a bit underdeveloped or like mere goofing off, but even those tracks have their charm, and the complete experience of listening to The White Album from beginning to end is such that I honestly couldn't imagine any of the tracks on the record being removed. It all plays a role in making this one of the most enjoyable Beatles records-- not just for me, but for many many others.

The listening experience of this album is too precious to spoil through play-by-play descriptions (and even if I would attempt something like that, I wouldn't do any of the songs justice), so rather than do that, I'm just going to give a quick overview of the album to give you an idea of just how vast a musical plane the influences span.

The album begins with an ode to the Beach Boys-style Pop music in the song ''Back in the U.S.S.R.'', then instantly goes into one of the band's greatest ballads, ''Dear Prudence''. Follow that up with John's playful ''Glass Onion'', Paul's happy, fun-loving Pop tune ''Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da'', and the random, off-the-wall ''Wild Honey Pie'', and you're already getting an idea of all the varied, rich content this release has to offer.

''The Continuing Story of Bungalo Bill'' starts off with an impressive guitar lead, then jumps into the main song, which sounds like an old tune from the south. By the way, keep in mind that all this time, many different instruments and orchestrations have already been implemented, and we are only six songs in. ''While My Guitar Gently Weeps'' is arguably the best Beatles-era George Harrison song, and it features a soaring, wailing guitar solo from Eric Clapton. Clapton was brought in by Harrison in order to ease tensions the band members were feeling at the time, and the paring of two monumental artists resulted in on of the greatest Hard Rock ballads of all time.

John Lennon's ''Happiness Is a Warm Gun'' starts off in one place, and ends on a completely different note. His lead guitar work about fifty seconds in to the track is so good and heartfelt, and sounds more like a human being's voice than it does a stringed electric instrument. The man was a genius in every sense of the word. The odd-time vocal section chanting ''Mother Superior jumped the gun'' always gives me chills.

''Martha My Dear'' is a gorgeous piece from McCartney, and features classical instruments heavily along with the drums, bass and guitar. A short and sweet symphonic journey. It all sounds very British to my American ears, but who knows, It's damn good, that's all I know. Paul's bass line that comes in during the final verse is also quite masterful and climbing. John's ''I'm So Tired'' is a nice soft rocker that sounds influenced by the 50s doo wop styles, but builds into a more raw presentation as John strains out the words ''Stupid git!''.

This is the section of the album that I refer to as the 'animal section'. Three songs in a row where animals are the main subject matter. ''Blackbird'' shows off Paul McCartney's acoustic guitar chops quite well, as he finger-plucks away and sings in his smooth, gentle voice about a bird learning to fly and escaping its surroundings. A nice little song. Then, ''Piggies'' is the symphonic track which features a glorious outro filled with powerful cellos and violins. ''Rocky Raccoon'' is without a doubt the funniest song of these three, and tells the wacky story of a raccoon who is on a quest to take back his girl from his thieving rival. It's a folk song full of harmonica, traditional acoustic guitar strums and a ragtime piano. A must-listen.

''Don't Pass Me By''. If there IS a weak track to be found on The White Album, I suppose it would be this one, of any at all. Nothing is wrong with it, really, but it's a Country song about waiting up late for a lover to arrive home who has long left town and/or died in a car accident (at least that is my impression based on the lyrics). The fiddle leads are the highlight of the song, and Ringo's voice is the downside. I personally like Ringo's voice a lot, but this particular song shows his limitations as a vocalist, for whatever reason (he will redeem himself later with the lovely ''Good Night'').

''Why Don't We Do It in the Road?'' is a raw, hard rocker that talks about . . . well, I think you can guess the subject matter. Good song, if perhaps a little underdeveloped and short. McCartney is on top of his singing game on this track. ''I Will'' is a light-hearted ballad featuring vocal bass lines, and a southern-style guitar. ''Julia'' is the greatest song John Lennon ever did solo while still in the band. it is about his estranged mother, who died before he had a chance to re-connect with her. It's sorrowful, beautiful and full of heart. His playing and singing are both top-notch, and this song serves as the perfect, gentle ending to the album's first half.

Part two of The White Album kicks things off with another hard rocker called ''Birthday''. ''Yer Blues'' is, you guessed it, a bluesy Rock song about loneliness. John's rough vocal stylings serve the music well, here. Such diverse voices these men had. Switching gears completely once again, a beautiful Folk song titled ''Mother Nature's Son'' serves as one of the album's many highlights. ''Everybody's Got Something to Hide'' is a story about addiction told at a frantic, schizophrenic pace. John talks about his own personal 'monkey' on his back, and the breakdown at 2:05 is truly of the great Rock 'n Roll moments.

''Sexy Sadie'' is said to be written about the Maharishi. John Lennon apparently learned of an attempted rape of Mia Farrow by the Maharishi, and the group announced that they were leaving their retreat in India immediately after learning this. I personally have no idea how true that is, but I've heard it enough times from enough different sources to assume that is indeed what Lennon was singing about. In this case, names were changed to prevent lawsuit, and Sadie is the Marishi.

''Helter Skelter''. Alright, here we go. The heaviest song The Beatles ever recorded, by far. This is early Heavy Metal, and they pull it off brilliantly. Everything about this track just makes me groove. Once again, it's Paul McCartney showing just how diverse and capable he is as a vocalist, and while his screaming and raw-cut singing style may still not quite match the caliber of John's infamous ''Twist and Shout'' performance, it's pretty damn good. In reality, the band jammed on this idea for quite a long time before reaching the final product, and one early version of the song wasn't metal at all. I'm glad they chose to go this route, because it once again shows how the band was capable of pulling off any musical idea they chose to pursue.

''Long, Long, Long'' is another folk song of sorts, featuring one of the most memorable, haunting guitar openings in Beatles history (notice there a lot of 'most' moments on this record for me; another reason why I believe it to be essential). However, unlike its peers found in here, this one is much more psychedelic and progressive, and is possibly the only true 'Prog Folk' song on The White Album. It actually puts me in mind of some of the stuff John Martyn would do a little later. ''Revolution 1'' is, in my opinion, not as good as the single version, which is the most remembered, and a hard-rocker. This album version is much slower and more laid back. However, that IS only an opinion, and this version is still absolutely wonderful. It's got a bit of a Swing influence, and is in reality more varied and creative than its faster-paced counterpart.

''Honey Pie''. Remember ''Wild Honey Pie'' from much earlier on the album? Yeah, this song is nothing like that. Sounds like something Al Jolson would sing. It's great, of course, but the name similarities with the aforementioned track is apparently just coincidence. ''Savory Shuffle'' is a brilliant Funk track that also boarders on Big Band at times. Sounds like it could have influenced Chic's ''Dance, Dance, Dance'' track. Another winning track, but just as unusual as the previous one, at least for Beatles music. ''Cry Baby Cry''. It's a hint of the type of musical style The Beatles would later fully develop for the Abbey Road record. The final thirty or so seconds is a haunting mini-ballad courtesy of McCartney.

''Revolution 9''. Here it is. The single most important track on this entire record, and the one reason you should own it. I'm not kidding when I say that this track is extraordinary. Avant-Garde through-and-through, this is an anti-song. It has no set structure or influence, nor does it seem to say any one particular message. There ARE words here, but they are disjointed, unrelated ramblings, typically consisting of profane, agitated stories or nonsensical poems. Nearly everything you hear on the lyrical front is spoken-word, and anything else is just lifted from other sources. Not only is this the most unconventional, forward-thinking track the band ever did, it is also one of the most disturbing listening experiences I encountered during my early days of experimental listening. It still stays with me. I don't really want to point to anything specific, because I think if you haven't heard this track yet, you need to experience it fresh, without any prior knowledge of exactly what is contained, here. I think even the most avid of Beatles haters must admit that this is one hell of a progressive track. Nothing quite like it existed before in popular music, and this was a huge step for music. Now we were moving into the realm in which 'music' was no longer made up of conventional ingredients. This is a 'song' that had me looking over my shoulder in my house at night for a few days after first hearing it, so I guess that means it's effective. I'm not going to say anymore-- buy this album, and listen to ''Revolution 9''. Period.

Well, after the undoubtedly unsettling listening experience of that last track, The Beatles decide to end things on a calmer note, and the Symphonic ballad ''Good Night'' is where we end up at the end of this vast, varied, sometimes unsettling musical sojourn. The light at the end pf the tunnel as it were is this track, and not only is it probably the most melodically beautiful track on the album, but Ringo does a dynamite job of being the singer. This is nothing more than a peaceful lullaby; no tricks, no Avant-Garde weirdness, no hard rocking surprises . . . just beautiful music. It is the perfect way to end this monster of an album.

So, now the question is . . . does The White Album rank among the very top Beatles releases? My answer to that is absolutely. There is no way this album will ever drop below my personal top five for the band, and I often find myself wondering if The White Album is not in fact their best work. I think a lot of good cases have been made for that claim. After all, the band took the most musical risks, here. Also, a large amount of the band's very best songs are on this release. I honestly can't say whether or not it IS their best, but it's ONE of their best, for sure. The sheer bravery that they displayed by taking their music in so many different (and often uncharted) directions shows what a monumental piece of work The White Album really is. Love it or hate it, you can't deny that it's The Beatles' most diverse record, and I think most fans of the group are inclined to feel the same way I do about it. It's just so full of treasures that you would be doing yourself an incredible crime to not listen to it. I would assume most people here already have, but for those of you who haven't (especially if you are one of the people who actually think The Beatles were nothing more than a Pop group), you need to pick this one up right away. In my opinion, it is indeed essential, simply because of its attitude and varied, unconventional content. I wish a rating higher than five existed for albums like this one. Truly one of the most masterful works I have in my collection.

Very, very happy listening.

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Send comments to JLocke (BETA) | Report this review (#273327) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, March 21, 2010

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars By far the longest and most ambitious project the Beatles would ever undertake and the quality definitely shows with each passing track. The BEATLES or The White Album is a collection of 30 compositions recorded at the peak of the band's creativity which doesn't necessarily mean that the individual moments here surpass any of their other classics. What this album offers its listeners is a continuous stream of quality material without once showing a sign of weakness.

The consistency and versatility featured on The White Album is truly remarkable considering its 90+ minute run and the fact that only a handful of these songs usually make it on the compilation releases only adds to my amusement. I actually think that this release benefits a lot by not having that many all-time classics because its those lesser known song moments that make this album shine more than anything that the Beatles had produced up to this point. Let's take a song like Happiness Is A Warm Gun, which is in fact a medley of three song ideas complied into a 3 minute mini epic, and imagine how it would have worked have it been a part of albums like Revolver or Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I honestly can't do it!

This is an album I can pick up almost any time and sweep though without even noticing the time, which is definitely a sign of a quality release. Still, I somehow have a difficulty of calling The White Album an essential masterpiece of progressive rock music. The only reason for that has to do with my attachment to the final era of the Beatles which can't really compare to anything released up to that point, even though The White Album definitely comes close.

***** star songs: Back In The U.S.S.R. (2:43) Dear Prudence (3:56) While My Guitar Gently Weeps (4:45) Happiness Is A Warm Gun (2:43) Martha My Dear (2:28) I'm So Tired (2:03) Blackbird (2:18) I Will (1:46) Julia (2:54) Birthday (2:42) Mother Nature's Son (2:48) Sexy Sadie (3:15) Honey Pie (2:41) Cry Baby Cry (3:01)

**** star songs: Glass Onion (2:17) Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (3:08) Wild Honey Pie (0:52) The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (3:14) Rocky Raccoon (3:32) Don't Pass Me By (3:50) Piggies (2:04) Why Don't We Do It In The Road (1:41) Yer Blues (4:01) Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me & My Monkey (2:24) Helter Skelter (4:29) Long Long Long (3:04) Revolution 1 (4:15) Savoy Truffle (2:54) Revolution 9 (8:22) Good Night (3:11)

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Send comments to Rune2000 (BETA) | Report this review (#292047) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 26, 2010

Review by baz91
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars The Beatles' eponymous album, 'The Beatles', may be the most memorable album of all time! This is where The Beatles decided to throw everything in, including the kitchen sink. With 30 tracks lasting 93 minutes, this is one of the most eclectic albums ever made. I could spend hours writing this review, but since I don't want to do that, I'm going to play a little game where I write only 5 words about each song (and then possibly some more at the end) and give it a rating out of 10.

Back In The U.S.S.R. Aeroplanes ruin this good track! 7/10 a)

Dear Prudence Amazing song with brilliant drumming. 10/10

Glass Onion Clever lyrics about The Beatles. 9/10

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-DaThe most annoying Beatles song. 3/10 b)

Wild Honey Pie Even this is much better! 6/10

The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill Hilarious lyrics with good chorus. 9/10

While My Guitar Gently Weeps Eric Clapton's epic guitar solo! 10/10

Happiness Is A Warm GunTime signatures! Very progressive song! 10/10 c)

Martha My Dear Piano based, old-school rocker. 9/10

I'm So Tired Perfect lyrics sung with emotion. 10/10

Blackbird Beautiful acoustic track. Sweet lyrics. 8/10

Piggies Brilliant because it's so creepy! 9/10

Rocky Racoon An old western tale. Superb. 9/10

Don't Pass Me By Another cringeworthy Ringo tune. *sigh* 4/10

Why Don't We Do It In The Road? Twelve-bar blues. Simple yet effective. 8/10

I Will Too lovey-dovey in my opinion. 7/10

Julia Too repetitive. Good lyrics though. 7/10

Birthday Really exciting rocker. Strong drums! 9/10

Yer Blues Heavier blues track, depressing lyrics. 9/10

Mother Nature's Son Intriguing, deep song. Good brass! 8/10

Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey Punky rock song. Sometimes repetitive. 8/10

Sexy Sadie These lyrics make no sense! 7/10

Helter Skelter The heaviest Beatles song. Astonishing. 10/10

Long, Long, Long Very quiet and quite strange. 7/10

Revolution 1 Slow version of Revolution. Passable. 6/10

Honey Pie Very old-school! Good melody! 9/10

Savoy Truffle Brilliant song about eating chocolate! 8/10

Cry Baby Cry Interesting lyrics, a little creepy. 8/10

Revolution 9 Underrated musique concrète. Occasionally horrifying! 8/10 d)

Good Night We love you really Ringo. 6/10

Points I'd like to make, which I couldn't flesh out in 5 words.

a) It could have been a really good track but those aeroplanes are really annoying and continue for the entire song!

b)This is one of those tracks we had to sing in school, which is why I don't hold it with any fond memories. Moreover, the bouncy beat and the melody turn this into a desperately cheesy song.

c) Yes, this track is extremely progressive! The lyrics are all proggy, e.g. 'She's well acquainted with the touch of the velvet hand, like a lizard on a window pane'. There's at least 10 time signature changes (including polyrhythms at 'When I hold you...'). There's also at least 4 distinct sections to this music. All this in 2:45 makes this a fantastic prog song.

d) I feel I need to give praise to Revolution 9 as it recieves a lot of negative comments. If you are indeed a prog fan, you should have no trouble listening to this track with an open mind. The White Album would simply not have been the same without it. The highlights of this track for me are the soundclips of someone saying 'The watusi ... The twist' and then almost immediately afterwards 'Take this brother, may it serve you well'. This is The Beatles' longest official track, so your doing yourself no favours if you refuse to listen to it!

It's astonishing to think that just 4 years earlier, these men were releasing songs like Eight Days A Week and Can't Buy Me Love. The early Beatles and the later Beatles seem worlds apart from each other. While not every track on this album is great, there are more than enough good moments to call the White Album a masterpiece. There is such a diverse range of styles and genres mixed in here, that the band will really have you guessing what's around the corner. Astonishing music played by astonishing men.

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Send comments to baz91 (BETA) | Report this review (#438824) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 25, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars It is, of course, nonsense to say that the White Album revealed the death of Paul McCartney. But it might be possible to say that hidden within its famously oblique lyrics is a different revelation: the death of the Beatles. The band had begun composing the album whilst on retreat with the Maharishi but left disillusioned with the guru; by the time the recording sessions were other, they were thoroughly disillusioned with each other. This album marks the point of no return; after this, the band would be caught in a death spiral of constant disputes and regular departures - Ringo actually left during the recording, only to return before his departure was officially announced. The band would shamble on in this state of living death through their last few albums, and it's probably a sign of how talented they were that they were still able to make an acceptable album under such conditions.

Things start off well. The first four songs are all gems - a couple of heartening and fairly straightforward singalongs from Paul and some psych gems (one gentle, one hard-edged) from John. But then things go a little off the rails - Wild Honey Pie and The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill aim for whimsy but hit irritation, both coming across as undeveloped ideas which could have used a little work. George Harrison makes a fine attempt to put the album back on course with the excellent While My Guitar Gently Weeps, but the momentum's been lost. It's not the experimentalism per se that makes them not fit - Happiness Is a Warm Gun, possibly the oddest song on the first side, is actually damn good - so much as the way they come across as solo demos that their respecting primary songwriters believed in but the rest of the band didn't.

Side two has another strong opening selection of tracks - Martha My Dear gives the proceedings a little elegance, whilst I'm So Tired has a clever mix of languid sections and fraught bridges which puts you in mind of Lennon tossing and turning during a sleeping night. But then Harrison follows up the gentle and thoughtful political message of McCartney's Blackbird with a naive and crude little message in Piggies. McCartney's Rocky Raccoon takes the bands' habitual borrowings from Dylan to a tedious extreme, and Ringo's sloppy and unfocused Don't Pass Me By is one of his worst contributions to a Beatles album. Things do pick up towards the end of the side, with two nice little song fragments from Paul, but it closes on another downer with Julia, which is pretty enough at first but is a bit too repetitive and is dragged out for so long that by the end it becomes intensely irritating.

Side three includes a number of unconvincing attempts to do some hard rock (Birthday, Helter Skelter, and Everybody's Got Something to Hide...) or blues (Yer Blues), and also includes Sexy Sadie, a somewhat mean-spirited and half-baked song from Lennon, and Long, Long, Long, one of Harrison's more forgettable numbers. And side four includes the plodding Revolution 1 (nowhere near as good as the single), the pointless Revolution 9 (I won't dignify it with the term "experimental" because that would imply Lennon was actually trying to achieve something with it), another version of Honey Pie (really, one version was more than enough), a forgettable Savoy Truffle from Harrison and a Good Night warble from Ringo. Really, the only song worth the time on this last side (to me) is Cry Baby Cry.

The thing about the White Album is that there's a damn good Beatles single album in there, swollen up to double album size by a lack of filtering and quality control. But then, trimming it down would mean agreeing to remove some of the songs, and the Beatles were in absolutely no state to be making such concessions to each other at this point in their career. There's a five star album wanting to get out here, but I can't give it more than a three - and that's generous for a double album whose songs I want to trim so savagely. What I will say about it is that which albums you'll want to skip over will probably differ from the songs I personally dislike, which I suppose is a testimony to just how disjointed the whole thing is; maybe if you had an extremely broad taste in music you'd be able to appreciate every single song on here - but I can't think of any situation in which I'd be in the mood to hear *all* the songs on here.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#450635) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review by thehallway
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars With 30 songs and 94 minutes of listening time, this is one of the most expansive albums I own. And it's good, although I don't think anyone could like every single song. The White Album saw The Beatles turn away from their psychedelic and baroque pop period in favour of, basically, doing whatever they felt like at any given moment, be it blues, country, rock, ska, folk, reggae, jazz, funk, metal, vaudeville, pop, soul, music hall, prog, boogie, or totally avant-garde electronic soundscapes.

I'll talk about a few of my favourites from the album. 'Dear Prudence' is a wonderful journey of a song, building up the instrumentation around a familar chord sequence. I think it was an influence on Led Zeppelin (think 'Ten Years Gone'), and maybe even Supertramp ('Even in the Quietest Moments'). The song that closes side one, 'Happiness is a Warm Gun' is also fantastic, changing time signatures as often as Gentle Giant. It shows John as the forward thinker of the group, even if Paul could write a better melody. George's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' is equally one of his best songs, featuring Eric Clapton's famous guitar solo, but it's the great chords that do it for me.

The second side might be my favourite (it's mostly Paul, so that doesn't surprise me). 'Martha My Dear' is a strange, but endearing composition, and everything about it feels just right. 'Blackbird' meanwhile, is Paul's best acoustic ballad, and he already set the bar quite high with 'Yesterday'. 'Rocky Racoon' is another cracker, a western pastiche. Lennon's songs here reflect what would come from him in the seventies; with the moody rock of 'I'm So Tired' and sad, meaningful 'Julia'. 'There is certainly a feeling, after the album's first half, of individualism. This continues throughout the record, and it becomes a problem for me when the songs don't sound remotely 'Beatley'. The appeal of this band was their cohesiveness, and whether these tunes are good or not, very few of them sound like 'a band', which makes the whole album seem more like a aural documentary of Abbey Road Studios than a piece of art.

'Birthday' is the one song that really defies this judgement, and the whole band are on top form. Apart from that song, 'Mother Nature's Son' is the best that side three has to offer. The final side is also thin on meat, but flows the best, with the pair of 'Revolutions' bookending and 'Good Night' making for a beautiful finale. 'Honey Pie' and 'Savoy Truffle' are gems from Paul and George, but nothing new by this point in the album. Regarding 'Revolution 9', I come on the "favourable" side of the fence, because I think the picture Lennon paints is interesting from a number of angles. It doesn't come close to the true avant-garde composers though.

I always feel a bit tired and confused after listening to The White Album, but it is one of the Beatles' albums I frequent if I want to pick out some great individual songs. 1967 couldn't last forever, and in that respect, the greatest thing about this monster is that it wasn't afraid to take chances.

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Send comments to thehallway (BETA) | Report this review (#563408) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, November 06, 2011

Review by friso
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The Beatles - 'The white album' (1968)

With' Sgt. Pepper' the legendary Beatles established themselves as the masters of sixties rock development. In '68 the band had already reached it's zenith and 'The white album' is the album that would have been much better if it had been a single lp. Due to the mix of instant classics and material that isn't too interesting spread over 90 minutes I can't really get into this one. Even if it had to be 2lp, why not skip on at least 20 minutes of weaker material?

Whereas former albums had a warm production and sound, this album sound plain silly. There's nothing but treble in the mix and even when I equalize it myself I can't help to be bothered by the sis and shaky sound. Furthermore, '68 would prove to be the year the Beatles would be overthrown on all grounds by bands like The Mothers of Invention, The United States of America, The Doors and The Collectors, to name a few.

Now, let's not get whimsical. The first lp contains a lot of great songs and the Beatles have never been more eclectic and frantic. The band does show it can find new grounds to explore and some of vocals are really good. With the mix of radio-friendly pop and acidic psych tracks it's kind of a wonder this album became a classic, because a lot of people must have really disliked tracks like 'Helter Skelter' and 'Revolution number 9'. For fans of the progressive genre this album had a lot of diversity and frequently shows how things can sometimes work out all right and sometimes completely fail.

Conclusion. An under-produces Beatles album with both of classics, lesser known beauties and misses. Not the first record of the Beatles to get into, but perhaps an adventurous record for fans. Three stars.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#747510) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars Some of this album is classic, and some of it not so much. I chose to go with a 5-star rating however because of one reason: The Beatles (White Album) is the most diverse collection of songs ever created. Period. Almost every style of music is explored in the album's 30 songs. Rock n' roll ("Back in ... (read more)

Report this review (#1089148) | Posted by thebig_E | Thursday, December 12, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars My first successful acid-trip took place with this album as backdrop. If I can sound objective the other choice was "The Wall" which was unbearable; in such conditions. Later on I returned to this work which turned out to be; what "The Pepper" album was for others; the wildest experimental recorde ... (read more)

Report this review (#975438) | Posted by admireArt | Tuesday, June 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I will say this right here: this is the only Beatles album that is really a masterpiece, IMO. While they have made a few great albums, none of them comes even near this. Why, exactly? It's hard to say why. You see, while the other great Beatles albums are standard experimental pop stuff, this one st ... (read more)

Report this review (#780973) | Posted by Grape_Jam | Monday, July 02, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If Sgt. Peppers was the most experimental album, and Magical Mystery Tour was the most psychedelic, than The White Album is easily the bands most diverse album. This double album is packed with a ton of different styles and sounds, some of which are new for the band, and many of which are familiar. ... (read more)

Report this review (#771419) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The more tracks you have on an album, the less guarantees you have that it will get an arithmetic average close to a five. However, here's the deal: this is my most favorite of all Beatles albums. Of course, this is not one of the reasons why it got a five. This is a double mammoth that is quite sol ... (read more)

Report this review (#614004) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My Favorite Beatles album. Just full of classics with only one or two duds. This album is gonna go a little in depth on every track so bear with me. Back in the USSR: Kicks off the album with a sorta Beach Boys parody. Very energetic and upbeat and really makes me get up and dance. Dear Pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#514000) | Posted by criticdrummer94 | Saturday, September 03, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A double studio album from The Beatles. Wow, this must be good. If I am not too mistaken, this is one of the first ever double studio albums in the history of popular music. Due to obvious reasons, a double studio album is a huge undertaking and slightly insane. Very rarely is a band/artist ab ... (read more)

Report this review (#464505) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, June 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Rating: 10/10 No questions about it: "The white album" is -after "The wall"- the best double album of all time. There are several reason to set straightly such affirmation, but perhaps the main is one we all seemed to forget as well as rock created itself -from inside its own nucleus to outsi ... (read more)

Report this review (#458503) | Posted by Mattiias | Thursday, June 09, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I often tell people unfamiliar with The Beatles' later music to listen to this one. It's one of the most creative, experimental albums ever made and way ahead of it's time (as many have said before). Most of the songs were conceived during a visit to India in Spring 1968. Meditating there appar ... (read more)

Report this review (#349750) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Saturday, December 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 ... (read more)

Report this review (#294097) | Posted by Alitare | Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of those albums that I've listened too so many times, that the songs are just constantly scraped into my head. Different from their other albums, this album almost seemed like a branch out of solo efforts from the band (with George's material being the strongest, just like in Abbey ... (read more)

Report this review (#288612) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Tuesday, June 29, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Beatles "White Album" 1968 THE SUN IS UP Beatles produce double album like a street resume. 8 by 10s included. I never knew this was this kind of band. I mean you can actually touch this entity, this band from Liverpool. We immediatly ... (read more)

Report this review (#280467) | Posted by halabalushindigus | Tuesday, May 04, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Aptly given the moniker "The White Album" for its seemingly white album art, The Beatles is a true return to form for the group after a number of psychedelic explorations. Indeed, 1967 proved to be a fruitful year for the lads from Liverpool as cessation of touring allowed the band to experimen ... (read more)

Report this review (#214138) | Posted by mr.cub | Wednesday, May 06, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In his car, a friend of mine asked me this week that if I could copy over onto CD one of my old vinyl records which would be the first. I said I suppose it would be the White Album. Incredibly, he reached his hand into the glove box and pulled out the first cassette his hand touched - it was t ... (read more)

Report this review (#189320) | Posted by PinkPangolin | Friday, November 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Before Led Zeppelin came with the crushly Black Dog or Dazed & Confused, there was The Beatles with Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey (Lennon-McCartney). I think the two of LZ tracks above were, not in straightly, inherit the nuances of EGSTHEFMAMM's music. This is why we ... (read more)

Report this review (#186738) | Posted by Geizao | Thursday, October 23, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I imagine that many of you have already committed to say everything he had to say about the white album and songs component. But I want to do my bit then: -- The disc has sold more than 19,000,000 copies. Most sold 60 years -- The kit denounces clearly tension within the group not able to mak ... (read more)

Report this review (#168839) | Posted by Amaury | Sunday, April 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album is a MISH MASH of songs that probably would never have been released by any other band even if they wanted to.... The record company executives wouldn't let them see the light of day.... Except this is the Beatles here.... and they basically could do whatever they wanted to ..... Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#166301) | Posted by digdug | Thursday, April 10, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars What more could I say the previous members already have said ? This White Album is purely a magical record. 30 songs here. Yes, there are some fillers (I don't really like Honey Pie, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La- Da, Don't Pass Me By and Wild Honey Pie), but in its entirety, this release is absolutely great. ... (read more)

Report this review (#162848) | Posted by Zardoz | Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is far and away the best record that the Beatles did. Forget Sgt Pepper it is this double set that is the most entertaining and important recording of the fab four. I spent the summer of 1972 walking the hills and paths of Wiltshire accompanied by my first cassette player and a recording of ... (read more)

Report this review (#158750) | Posted by burgersoft777 | Wednesday, January 16, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of those albums that make The Beatles be what they are now; an album that changed the history of the music. And that is not easy considering that only a year before they had already changed the history with Sgt. Pepper's. Each song from this album is opposite to another one, and a ... (read more)

Report this review (#124926) | Posted by Proglodita | Wednesday, June 06, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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