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Thread: The Beatles White Album 50th Anniversary Tour

  1. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by Rarebird View Post
    He did some Beatles covers on Faithfull.
    Sometimes I think the only thing Gruno knows about Todd Rundgren is that he once toured with some members of The Cars performing their music — neglecting to recognize or even acknowledge that Rundgren has a career that is so much more expansive than that. Beyond just writing and performing music even.

    That said, this whole tour kinda baffles me.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by mogrooves View Post
    I'd delete:

    Ob-La-Di...
    Wild Honey Pie
    Bungalow Bill
    Blackbird
    Rocky Raccoon
    Don't Pass Me By
    Why Don't We......
    Birthday
    Long, Long, Long
    Honey Pie
    Good Night
    Revolution #9
    Mostly agreed with this, but I'd take out Blackbird (which I agree with the consensus is marvelous) and add Piggies, Yer Blues, and Savoy Truffle to that list. Surprised nobody has mentioned Mother Nature's Son - always one of my favourite of Paul's acoustic songs. As for the album's 'eclecticism,' that could equally be described as 'incoherence' and the bands' cohesiveness began to disintegrate (not for nothing did Ringo leave the band during these sessions for a brief period). Indeed, I have to say that, for all the individual creativity on show, for me the dominant impression that I get from listening to this album is the onset of collective ennui.
    Last edited by kid_runningfox; 06-13-2019 at 03:59 AM.

  3. #53
    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Yeah, I know they aren't from the White Album, but if I recall correctly, they were released close to the WA. They fit nicely into my playlist there.

    Here's a portion of my playlist. In fact, I felt inspired enough to listen to this section on my Polk Atrium 5's (with a nice sub) in the patio while I grilled some steaks this evening.


  4. #54
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    Like many people, there are a handful of tracks I do skip on the white album, but I wouldn't delete nearly as many as mogrooves listed. Certainly not Blackbird, Why Don't We Do It In The Road and Ob-la-di (sorry). I also happen to like Birthday and I have a soft spot for Honey Pie, as it is the first song I can remember hearing - in fact, it's my earliest memory, age 3 or so, playing in my backyard with my family while Honey Pie was on the radio, and I was enthralled by it! So although I understand how that song has the 'throwaway Paul' factor, it is special to me.

    Bungalow Bill is perhaps my least favourite Beatles song, so yes that is a skipper, as are Rocky Raccoon and Revolution 9. The others on that list are acceptable, and the rest of the album is glorious to my ears!
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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by mogrooves View Post
    I'd delete:

    Ob-La-Di...
    Wild Honey Pie
    Bungalow Bill
    Blackbird
    Rocky Raccoon
    Don't Pass Me By
    Why Don't We......
    Birthday
    Long, Long, Long
    Honey Pie
    Good Night
    Revolution #9
    Bingo !!
    “Pleasure and pain can be experienced simultaneously,” she said, gently massaging my back as we listened to her Coldplay CD.

  6. #56
    I absolutely agree that The White Album is extremely self-indulgent. In fact, all music which doesn't speak instantly and directly to me personally is self-indulgent. Plus strange and alien. What's the purpose of any artistic expression if not to make -me- enjoy it? On -my- terms?

    It's pretentious as well. That's even worse than being self-indulgent.

    Although they're a bit reminiscent.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  7. #57
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    The only things I could do without are 'Piggies', 'Savoy Truffle' and 'Honey Pie'. But I don't skip past them when listening.

    Sure 'Don't Pass Me By' is a dud but I suppose it's the token Ringo song...Then again the far superior 'Good Night' serves that role even though he obviously didn't write it.
    Last edited by JJ88; 06-13-2019 at 09:36 AM.

  8. #58
    The White Album is a pretty uneven set of songs, for me in terms of what I like listening to, but I don't dispute its value.


    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    The only things I could do without are 'Piggies', 'Savoy Truffle' and 'Honey Pie'. But I don't skip past them when listening.

    Sure 'Don't Pass Me By' is a dud but I suppose it's the token Ringo song...Then again the far superior 'Good Night' serves that role even though he obviously didn't write it.
    I've actually always really liked 'Piggies'.

  9. #59
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    ^For me, it's a really good (too good) arrangement for a not very good song. I do however really despise that 'damn good whacking' bridge. Lyrically and melodically weak, IMHO.

    I have come around to the view of those who think of it as their best album. I often do come around to thinking this way about double albums (see also Blonde On Blonde, The Lamb..., Exile..., Odessa). My favourite remains Abbey Road, though.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    I absolutely agree that The White Album is extremely self-indulgent. In fact, all music which doesn't speak instantly and directly to me personally is self-indulgent. Plus strange and alien. What's the purpose of any artistic expression if not to make -me- enjoy it? On -my- terms?

    It's pretentious as well. That's even worse than being self-indulgent.

    Although they're a bit reminiscent.
    well played!
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  11. #61
    ^ Oh, but I'm serious - kinda. It is their most obtusely self-indulgent album in that there sometimes even appears to be a contest going on about who's ideas or whims are the more peculiar or indeed the more ludicrous. But so what? They were still statements of an individual artistic mentality there and then in time, and from a combo sitting on top of the world.

    Is it an uneven album? Certainly. I find tracks like "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Helter Skelter" gimmicky and drawn-out tedious, and the convergence with the more 'out' songs doesn't really play too well. Yet it's arguably the first Beatles release to allow for a skinless exposé of what amounted to very obvious inherent eccentricities on the part of each member; an idiosyncracy not merely cozy and cute as earlier, but altogether rather dirty, dark and nasty. The transition of ending through "Revolution 9" onto "Good Night" has to be one of the most wicked tricks served by a major recording artist in popular music. Calculated, perhaps - but effective all the same.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  12. #62
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    The only things I could do without are 'Piggies', 'Savoy Truffle' and 'Honey Pie'. But I don't skip past them when listening.
    Savoy Truffle is one of my favorites from that album. I get hungry just thinking about it.
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    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    ^ Oh, but I'm serious - kinda. It is their most obtusely self-indulgent album in that there sometimes even appears to be a contest going on about who's ideas or whims are the more peculiar or indeed the more ludicrous. But so what? They were still statements of an individual artistic mentality there and then in time, and from a combo sitting on top of the world


    AND, isn't it at least partially the job of artistic expression to be 'self indulgent'?
    Steve F.

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    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    AND, isn't it at least partially the job of artistic expression to be 'self indulgent'?
    I suppose it depends on which side of the Trout Mask fence you sit. And I'm fastening strobe bulbous for the life of me.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  15. #65
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    "I find tracks like "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Helter Skelter" gimmicky and drawn-out tedious"

    This^^^ WMGGW was killed through repetition.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    ^ Oh, but I'm serious - kinda. It is their most obtusely self-indulgent album in that there sometimes even appears to be a contest going on about who's ideas or whims are the more peculiar or indeed the more ludicrous. But so what? They were still statements of an individual artistic mentality there and then in time, and from a combo sitting on top of the world.

    Is it an uneven album? Certainly. I find tracks like "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Helter Skelter" gimmicky and drawn-out tedious, and the convergence with the more 'out' songs doesn't really play too well. Yet it's arguably the first Beatles release to allow for a skinless exposé of what amounted to very obvious inherent eccentricities on the part of each member; an idiosyncracy not merely cozy and cute as earlier, but altogether rather dirty, dark and nasty. The transition of ending through "Revolution 9" onto "Good Night" has to be one of the most wicked tricks served by a major recording artist in popular music. Calculated, perhaps - but effective all the same.
    To assume any artist who writes music which doesn't speak to you instantly and personally as being self indulgent is for lack of a better term, self-indulgent.
    You respond to a certain type of music which speaks to you and which challenges you and you enjoy it. For others they may not care for the type of music you like, but it doesn't mean your musicians are being self indulgent.

    I do agree with you the songs on the White Album ARE self indulgent, but to me that's part of the charm.
    Let's put it in perspective, and I do believe had the Beatles not done the White Album they probably would've broken up sooner than they did(albeit if there were no binding contract with the record company).
    Throughout their short career, most of the songwriting was done by Lennon/McCartney and the pressures of producing new music, writing music for the Beatles while it gave them a chance to express themselves in the Beatles personna, John and Paul wanted to write their own music in their own style. So instead of leaving the Beatles to do solo albums, we got the White Album. To me it was a pressure release valve for each member to express themselves in their own way. Once that was done, they put enough juice in the batteries to carry on a bit longer. They had grown not only as musicians but personally as well. Paul was the pop writer and John the social activist. This to me was clearly evident when they began releasing solo albums.
    I like your observations regarding Revolution and Good Night.
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  17. #67
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Sure 'Don't Pass Me By' is a dud but I suppose it's the token Ringo song...Then again the far superior 'Good Night' serves that role even though he obviously didn't write it.
    Give Ringo a break. It took him four years to write that song.


    As far as self-indulgence goes, I look at it this way and a bit from personal experience.

    I'm a twin. I grew up a twin. We were dressed like twins. It was always "get the twins together and let's try to tell them apart." As we grew older, we went in different directions and hung out in different circles. It was liberating.

    I have a neighbor whose wife just gave birth to twins. I advised him to be sensitive to their eventual need to be viewed as individuals. (They have a long way before that, but at some point the novelty of being a pair becomes annoying.)

    Similarly, The Beatles were the foursome. I see the White Album as them liberating themselves from the novelty of a foursome and expressing themselves as individual artists. As a fan, I wouldn't have it any other way, warts an all.

    John took things even further with "Plastic Ono Band." I suppose some here would dismiss it for its simplicity and rawness (most songs were done in one or two takes). But, once again, John was liberating himself. And I think it's his best work, warts and all.
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

  18. #68
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kid_runningfox View Post
    ... add Piggies, Yer Blues, and Savoy Truffle to that list.
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    ....I could do without are 'Piggies', 'Savoy Truffle'...
    I kept "Yer Blues" for Lennon's vocal and its parodic intent; "Piggies" for its faux Baroque-isms & the strings, and "Savoy Truffle" for its overall distortion (even the horns) and the inner-voice line at "the pain cuts through, You're going to know, and how."; I prefer it to "While My Guitar..."

    For all the ink spilled about how this album was the Beatles "back to basics," raw and unpolished, devoid of artifice, there are countless "touches" (for lack of a better word) and overdubs throughout that belie the implications of those characterizations. Arfully artless, I'd submit.
    Last edited by mogrooves; 06-13-2019 at 04:05 PM.
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  19. #69
    Not sure how many know it, but "Savoy Truffle" was written for George's buddy, Eric Clapton, who had a sweet tooth.
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

  20. #70
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    Funny that tune came up. I am part of a yearly Beatles jam and I got to admit, I am really sick of the obvious classics. So much so I put together a set of tunes that earned me the nickname "Deep Cut". LOL

    So it's gonna be stuff like Truffle, Dig A Pony, Old Brown Shoe, Cry Baby Cry and some more obvious stuff like In My Life, Hey Bulldog and Good Day Sunshine. I got a kick out of learning some new tunes. I think Brown Shoe was my fave. Leave it to George to work in an augmented and a diminished chord in there.

  21. #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Leave it to George to work in an augmented and a diminished chord in there.
    Great song.
    The White Zone is for loading and unloading only. If you got to load or unload go to the White Zone.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I think Brown Shoe was my fave. Leave it to George to work in an augmented and a diminished chord in there.
    Old Brown Shoe and (to a bit lesser extent) Hey Bulldog are old big Beatle faves.
    Steve F.

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    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  23. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Great song.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Old Brown Shoe and (to a bit lesser extent) Hey Bulldog are old big Beatle faves.
    I've always loved both of those songs.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    To assume any artist who writes music which doesn't speak to you instantly and personally as being self indulgent is for lack of a better term, self-indulgent.
    You respond to a certain type of music which speaks to you and which challenges you and you enjoy it. For others they may not care for the type of music you like, but it doesn't mean your musicians are being self indulgent.

    Quite on the second point - to assume that I (or anyone else, for that matter) terms something 'self-indulgent' just because it doesn't happen to appeal to my personal taste is a classic straw man argument. Please don't put words in my mouth, or assume things I didn't say. There's plenty of music out there that I don't like but I don't think is self-indulgent or pretentious - it just doesn't click with me. The reason why I think that The White Album is self-indulgent is because there is a notable step-down in quality in some of the songwriting from the previous two albums in particular. Moreover, it's clear that the increasing battle of wills between John, George and Paul over whose songs got on the album (and the manifest break down of the Lennon and McCartney songwriting team into its constituent parts) meant that The Beatles' self-editing capacity was being rapidly diminished by the pressures of intra-band competition. Put simply, there are numerous songs on this album (by all three) that likely wouldn't have made the cut previously, and arguably didn't deserve to this time, leading to a suspiciously high amount of filler. As ever, YMMV, indeed, as others have pointed out above, to some the sheer variety of music on offer may be part of the charm. Not for me, though, I just find the lesser parts of TWA tedious and unfocused. Pretentious? Not for me to say, as this is to comment on the sincerity of the writers' intent, and I am in no position to comment on that.
    Last edited by kid_runningfox; 4 Weeks Ago at 01:57 AM.

  25. #75
    Preface: This is not directed at anyone in particular.

    It is my observation that any double album will bring about cries of "filler." Also often, but not always, "pretentious." Almost always "self-indulgent."

    It is my belief that this is a load of hooey. There is not a song on The Beatles I would omit (though I sometimes skip past "Revolution 9" depending on my mood). It is the logical conclusion of what began with Rubber Soul and Revolver. Up to then, the Beatles had been working in a pretty much pure, traditional three-minute-pop-song (and mostly love song) sensibility. With RS&R, they began to realize that they were not constrained by it, and began to experiment with different types of song, different subject matter (it wasn't all love songs anymore), and fun things you could do in the studio. On The Beatles, they took it pretty much as far as they (being who they were, at that time) could take it. The Let It Be sessions, then, were a kind of retrenchment, a stepping back from all that; and Abbey Road can be seen as them taking all the stuff they'd learned and using it in a more disciplined manner.

    Does that make The Beatles somehow a flawless album? No; of course not. A couple of the songs are banal or twee. But seen as part of the process the Beatles went through, I think every song is a step along the way, and important for that.

    But I didn't set out to write specifically about that album. I see the same claims directed at (say) The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, The Wall, Quadrophenia, and even Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (really, Elton John, pretentious?). I'm not sure what it is, exactly, but there's something about double albums that just brings this mindframe into focus.

    I think this mindframe is pretentious and self indulgent.

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