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tkitna

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Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« on: June 20, 2011, 09:34:37 PM »

The Beatles


The Beatles or The White Album, whatever you prefer. I’ve always just called it The White Album. I don’t listen to this album very much and now I know why. There’s a lot of stuff on it that I don’t care for. it’s a mixed up, jumbled up, mess. Maybe it was due to the transition the lads were in with Brian dying, the whole India thing, and Yucko making her presence known. I’m not sure. I do know its way too long. This thing about killed me while I was attempting to put this review together.


Back In The USSR - Paul doing his best Beach Boys impersonation with this fast paced rock/pop tune. Airplane beginning is pretty cool. 0:08 love the guitar here. Song does have a great beat to it. Drums are doubletracked. Piano is good throughout. Rhythm guitar sounds great. Backgrounds are good. Pauls does a great job singing as well. 1:35 Guitar solo is nice. Paul I gather? 2:03 lead guitar comes in with a repeating note that makes it my favorite part of the song. Well everything seems pretty positive except that I’m terribly sick of this song. I quickly change the station if it comes on and never listen to it.

Dear Prudence - I think this has become my favorite Beatle song. I’ve always liked it a lot, but I’ve heard it a few times in the last week or so and its awesome. Love the guitar intro. Johns voice is fantastic. Bass sounds good and clear. Pauls drumming is very good on this song. Maybe my favorite that he’s done including his solo work. Has a very Ringo feeling to it though. 1:24 backgrounds vocals add a higher pitch. Nice. 1:49 Love the guitar part. 2:12 Guitar again. 2:50 Paul rips this part up on the drums. Sorry to keep coming back to that, but I like it. 3:03 Piano is great here. 3:18 piano down the keyboard, who doesn’t love that? Guitar ending is great too. What else can I say? Fantastic song.

Glass Onion - Ringos drums sound great on this song. Bass is powerful and cool. Johns voice sounds nice. 0:10 like when the strings come in. Guitar tone is good throughout. 1:00 like the higher pitched background ‘Aww’. 1:12 Johns ‘Oh Yeah’ is priceless here. 1:28 flute is cool after the fool on the hill is mentioned. 1:48 Ending is awesome. Who thinks that stuff up? Nice song, but nothing great.

Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da - Really don’t like this song unless I’m drunker than hell and then it can be fun. Johns beer barrel piano intro is nice, but then again, he was sick of this song too. Ringos drums are crisp and good. Pauls voice does sound great. 0:51 high pitched repeat of ring in the backgrounds. Seems like nobody took the song seriously. Speaking of backgrounds, I hate the ‘La La La’s’. 1:34 I do like the laughing part. 2:32 dig the piano part here. Again, I don’t care for this one.

Wild Honey Pie - Why even add this to the record? This is terrible. Its almost as though the Beatles were testing us to see how far we would go. I like the guitar sound. The voices annoy the p*ss out of me as does everything else. One of the most embarrassing moments for the Beatles ever.

The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill - Not a fan of this song either. Sorry. The Spanish guitar intro is nice, but I don’t think it was even a Beatle that played that. I might be wrong and I cant remember. I hate the background vocals. Johns voice is decent here. Bass sounds good. Ringos brush work is great. 0:53 tambourine is nice. 1:21 liked how John ended ‘Eye’s’ when he sang it here. 1:46 wanted to cut my ears off and I’ll leave it at that. 2:00 like how the keyboard ended. 2:18 what is this instrument? Whistling sucks. Just not my cup of tea.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps - The most bloated, boring, overrated Beatle song ever. I’m going to my grave wondering why people like this song so much. Piano intro with the hi hat splash is nice. Georges voice is alright. Ringos drums sound great. 0:34 like the gallop on the percussion instrument. 0:50 the background vocals along with George are butchered. They are never together and that’s for the entire song. Sloppy. Claptons guitar tone is nice but his solos don’t do anything for me. He does nothing on this song that George couldn’t have done in my opinion. Its only a mediocre to bad Clapton song as for his guitar playing. Hate the high background weeping while George moans during the ending. I’ve said it a million times, but if John or Paul wrote this, it would only be just another Beatle song.

Happiness Is A Warm Gun - Always liked this song. Dig the guitar at the beginning while John sings. 0:14 guitar strums are nice. Ringo drums sound good once again. 0:29 backgrounds are good. 0:44 love the guitar tone here. 1:16 tambourine adds. 1:35 Johns voice has never sounded better than in this part. 2:22 nice falsetto. Good song.

Martha My Dear - Always fond of this song too. Like the piano in the beginning. Like the strings when Paul starts singing too. 0:38 love how the horns act as the bass. 1:00 drums and guitar coming in and tempo change is sweet. 1:20 dig the guitar being played behind the strings. Pauls falsettos throughout the song are strong. Good song, but nothing great.

I’m So Tired I hate this song. So boring. Johns voice sounds good. Bass sounds great. Really don’t like Ringos drum sound here though. 0:37 Johns voice sounds excellent. 0:47 Like the guitar tone. 1:29 Love Ringos double time on the drums. Eh, I cant stand this song.

Blackbird - Another one that I’m really sick of. I hate the tapping during the song. Bugs me. Great guitar tone. Pauls voice is nice. 0:47 doubletracked backgrounds are good. Not that tight together, but good. Bird noises in the background is dumb as hell. Should have left those out. Not a bad song and I guess its kind of tough on the guitar, but I hear it too often.

Piggies - Remember when I said the Beatles were seeing what they could get away with? Here you go. The harpsichord is nice. Bass sounds good. Acoustic guitar sounds good too. 0:05 like the little cymbal percussion instrument. 0:26 strings add a lot. 0:48 voice through the megaphone is cool. 1:26 backgrounds are terrible. 1:44 love the harpsichord going to different key here. I do like the ending, but over all, I think this is a stupid song.

Rocky Racoon - Another one I’m sick of. Yeah, it tells a neat story, but I’ve listened to this way too much when I was younger. Doesn’t make it bad though. Acoustic sounds good. Pauls voice is ok. 0:41 like how Ringo comes in with the hi hats. Bass with effects is cool. The harmonica makes me think of Neil Young when I hear this song. 1:48 best part of the song is when Ringo hit’s the snare hard after Rocky got shot. 1:55 saloon piano is great. 2:22 organ sounds like an accordion. 2:52 love the background vocals. Not a bad one, just sick of it.

Don’t Pass Me By - Ringo wrote this. So what. That’s doesn’t give this song an excuse for being bad, and it is. Piano sounds good. Ringo drums sound like crap. Bass and organ are annoying. 0:38 fiddle is dumb sounding and never should have been here. Its almost as though Ringo was unsure about the song and thought that a country/western flare would make the song acceptable. It didn’t. Ringos voice is actually alright throughout. 2:38 somebody (Ringo I think) counts to 8. Pretty neat. The song is such a mess that they didn’t even know how to end it.

Why Don’t We Do It In The Road - Another one of the Beatles most embarrassing moments is right here. This sucks. Thankfully Paul left it short. The piano and bass isn’t bad. Hate Pauls voice. I do like the electric guitar tone. Drums sounds awful. 1:17 cool bass part. Terrible, terrible song.

I Will - Love Pauls voice. Like the bongos and acoustic in the beginning too. Ringos constant ride adds to the song. The background ‘Do’s’ throughout suck. 1:40 like the doubletracked harmonies. 1:27 maracas are cool. Just an ok song at best.

Julia - Beautiful song. Great how John can write when he wants to say something. Love the guitar. Double tracked backgrounds are nice. 0:14 studio opens a channel here and it sounds neat. 1:04 John sings shimmering and it comes through like his normal voice. Awesome. Good song.

Side 2

Birthday - Hey the Beatles wrote an anthem. How cool. Yeah whatever. Don’t you just love when its your birthday and somebody calls to sing this to you? I don’t. Moving on. I like Ringos intro. Song is a pretty good rocker. Guitar sounds good and then the singing starts. It kills the song for me. Just annoys me. 0:42 like Ringos drum solo and Paul counting in. 0:56 constant handclapping here is awful. Shame because Johns voice is killer and the clapping detracts. 1:10 piano is great. 1:22 Paul yells Dance and extends it. Nice. 1:29 Don’t care for the organ. The high backgrounds singing ‘Birthday’ sucks throughout. I don’t like the ending either. The song is a nice rocker and I actually like it a little better than my review might portray. Not bad at all.

Yer Blues - Hate this song too. Bass sound sucks and is annoying. I don’t care for the guitar tone either. Johns voice is decent, but it cant save this song. 1:01 cool echo effect on Johns voice. Ringos drumming is the best part of the song. 2:09 tempo change is welcome and organ is nice in the background. 2:24 really dig Ringos doubletracked snare here. 2:53 guitar solo is like razor blades to my eardrums. Horrible. This song is awful.

Mother Natures Son - I like this one. I like the acoustic in the beginning. Pauls voice is good. 0:42 love the bass here. 0:59 tapping is not needed. Actually don’t mind the ‘Do Do Do’s’ during the song. 2:16 love, love the acoustic guitar that comes in here. Lite song that’s not great, but enjoyable enough for me.

Everybodys Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey - Like this one a lot. Love guitar and handclaps in beginning. Ringos snare has never sounded better. Bass jams throughout the entire song. The constant bell ringing doesn’t even offend me. 0:32 guitar tone is great. 0:38 the scream here is awesome. 0:39 shaker in the background. 2:03 great guitar here too. Most enjoyable song.

Sexy Sadie - Like this too. Love piano in beginning. Bass sounds great. Ringo is awesome as usual. Johns voice is strong throughout. 0:25 ‘Wa Wa Wa’ backgrounds are cool. 0:54 organ in the background sounds good. Background vocal are great throughout the entire song. Again, I love when John has something to sing about.

Helter Skelter - Pauls slams the Who. I also love when Paul just writes something for the hell of it and gets his point across (Silly Love Songs anyone?). Hard, hard rocker here. Pauls voice is great throughout. 0:23 love background ‘Ahhh’s’. Powerful bass. Ringo kills as usual. 0:40 guitar tone is great. 0:50 sounds like glass breaking in background. 1:31 squeaking mouse noises now. Weird. 1:35 guitar solo is awful. Tone is muddy and its harsh like a lot of effort was being put into it, but he couldn’t pull it off. 2:35 favorite part of the song with the guitar here. Song probably should have ended around the 3:00 minute mark. That would have made it more acceptable, but they threw in a few fade in’s and fade outs. Ringo had blisters on his fingers and I had blisters on my eardrums when the song ended.

Long Long Long - Always been a favorite. Love guitar and organ in beginning. Like Georges smooth voice and doubletracked backgrounds. Ringos drumming is powerful and bass is top notch. 1:14 love piano and Georges voice here. One of my favorite Beatle moments on album. 2:30 creaky door effect is cool. 2:45 I like the painful wail at the end. Love the song, but I must say the production has always sucked. Muddy compared to the rest of the album.

Revolution 1 - Don’t like this song and really don’t care for the single version either. False intro is cool I guess. Acoustic guitar sounds good. Electric guitar sounds slow and plods. Sound effects in the beginning are dumb and not needed. Johns voice is ok. 0:48 like the horns. 1:03 Shooby Doo Wah’s are ok, but would have been better if the song had a faster pace in my opinion. 1:21 French horn doesn’t work. Annoying. Guitar solo’s are decent. Bass playing is good, but the ending sucks.

Honey Pie - Pauls going back to the old times again. Neutral song to me. 0:09 like the old phonograph effect. Pauls voice is ok. Horns are nice with the ragtime tempo. 1:33 guitar solo sucked. Not much else to say.

Savory Truffle - Cool song. Like organ in beginning. Love guitar playing along with the singing. Drums are muddy and I don’t care for the sound. Horns are great and definitely add. 0:29 falsetto sounds good. Rhythm guitar is awesome throughout. 1:26 random tambourine hit. Just one. Why? Guitar solo is good. Catchy song that I enjoy.

Cry Baby Cry - Probably a top 15 song for me. Love the guitar and accordion in beginning. 0:15 repeating bass? Never noticed before. 0:17 Like piano. 0:26 even better piano. 0:41 Ringo is fantastic ending the bars with a hi hat splash. Wish I thought like him. 1:10 glasses bumping and birds singing in the background to portray the tea party. Cool. 1:26 love the guitar here. Best part of the song. 2:33 ’Can you take me back,,’ ending sucks. Love the song.

Revolution 9 No. Not doing it. Its 100% sh*t and I refuse to bother. By all means, help yourself though if you feel the need.

Goodnight - A nice way to end and album. A classical lullaby type song with Ringo at the helm. Speaking of Ringo, his voice sucks here. All in all, reminds me of a Disney tune. I always shut the album off before this song ends if that’s any indication of how well I like it though.


There you have it. I never listen to this album and now I know why. I don’t like hardly any of the songs. I never realized that before. I always pick this as my desert album if I’m stranded, but now I need to reconsider. Just because theres more to listen to doesn’t always make it the right choice. Why bother if theres barely anything you like on it?

Ovi

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 10:11:19 PM »

I'll dedicate this whole post to Happiness Is A Warm Gun, mainly because I haven't heard the rest of the  album in a while.The song itself really did the magic to me. I had listened to about 6-7 tracks before, classics like "Here Comes The Sun", "Let It Be", "Yesterday" etc. but I was willing to listen to a Beatles album from begging to end.I decided to start with the one that seemed the least accessible (don't know why), so I downloaded The White Album. I went to a trip with my family by car, and I put my headphones on and started to listen to the album. As for the first listen, first tracks sounded ok, at "Wild Honey Pie" I was already thinking "this is getting weird" but then "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" came up. I was stunned.I had never heard anything like it before. John's voice was incredible, the way he changes it amazed me.That bad ass guitar riff at 0:44 made me fall in love with the song even more. I thought "this is it! The Beatles are the best band ever and this is the best song ever". I admit I forgot to listen to the album, I listened to HIAGM for about 20 times during the trip.It was a great experience. I still like the song, though it's no more magic, after hundreads of listens.

Great review, I completely agree with you on Long, Long, Long, I was starting to beliave I'm the only person on Earth that likes George's tune.
In my opinion Don't Pass Me By is the worst Beatles song ever. I just can't stand it.
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 10:16:05 PM »

Quote
Revolution 9 No. Not doing it. Its 100% sh*t and I refuse to bother. By all means, help yourself though if you feel the need.

 ha2ha
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 11:56:52 PM »

Great review as usual tkitna.

I would broadly go along with much of your excellent critique but for a few inevitable deviations (see below).

Like so many others I could happily see this flabby double album halved to just fifteen or sixteen tracks....only the sprawling four sided grandeur of this somewhat overblown smorgasbord allowed the Beatles to get away with occasional bits of rubbish tucked out of sight here and there; yet there are inevitably some real gems here too of course. I must disagree with you about "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" which I absolutely love (both here and as the stupendous unplugged masterpiece from Anthology). But by and large I always feel this is very much Paul's album. John's White Album contributions are particularly hit and miss for me.

Soooo...IF I had to split this collection (more or less) in half, I'd have:

YES please:

Back In The USSR- Belting opener with fab harmonies, a real cracker
Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da- Paul turns his hand to reggae - at his infectiously catchy best
While My Guitar Gently Weeps- George's career pinnacle to this point, superb
Happiness Is A Warm Gun- Nicely layered build up to a pleasing ensemble piece (on a generally disjointed album)
Martha My Dear- Irresistibly bouncy singalong from Macca
I'm So Tired- Lennon turns the screw, demonstrating phenomenal voice control and highlighting for me why he was the group's best vocalist
I Will- Sheer, simple beauty - McCartney was effortlessly unsurpassable with this kind of material
Birthday- A rollicking good knees up with all the lads in great party mode
Yer Blues- Guilty pleasure for me, closest the fabs ever came to real blues
Mother Nature's Son- Another gorgeous little gem from the pen of Paul, beautiful
Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey- John lets rip...this is FUN!!
Sexy Sadie- Lennon at his sarcastic best takes a scorpion sting at the Maharishi - fascinating track
Long Long Long- Gentle beauty from George which blossoms then soars
Honey Pie- Where Rocky Raccoon falls into hokey pastiche, this one hits the right buttons for me - classic Hoagy McCartneymichael!
Savoy Truffle- A delicious slice of sour rock from George - great, catchy number
Cry Baby Cry- Superbly creepy little nursery rhyme from John. Don't like Paul's "Can you take me back..." coda though.



NO thanks:

Dear Prudence- John sounds half asleep. Wispy and shallow...dare I say that I actually much prefer The Siouxsie & The Banshees version?
Glass Onion- a decent snappy little track, but just an excuse for John to crossreference other songs in a thinly veiled semi-filler
Wild Honey Pie- Silly rubbish
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill- Gets repetitious very quickly
Blackbird - Nice but way overrated. Can take it or leave it personally.
Piggies- Harrison the misanthrope... I like the harpsichord but hate George's nasal echo-chamber vocal and the pompous Pythonesque finale.
Rocky Raccoon- Paul hams it up with a mildly embarrassing, sub standard Buster Keaton style theme. Full marks for trying though.
Don't Pass Me By- Plink-plonk piano and humdrum cardboard melody from Ringo, with no proper finale
Why Don't We Do It In The Road?- Why didn't they leave it in the road...for the garbage collectors?
Julia- Lennon rarely sounded more wishy-washy. He could occasionally equal McCartney's talent for beautiful melody. Not this time. Dreary.
Helter Skelter- Paul just wanted to score points for volume and raw noise. And he does. Tedious to my ears I'm afraid.
Revolution 1- I love the single B Side version. This just sounds lazy, slapdash and punch drunk. Not enough bite.
Revolution 9- Dear God NO!!!! Admit it, it's out-and-out undiluted self indulgent sh*te (which should never have seen the light of day in my opinion) and those who praise it are - to my mind anyway - falling head first into the emperor's clothes trap of pretentious bullsh*t. For "Free form avant garde" read "unstructured, random bollocks maquerading as art".
Goodnight- Way too corny - and Ringo's singing is dreadful.

The poster was nice. I got an avatar out of it if nothing else!
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 12:04:35 AM by Mr Mustard »
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2011, 12:26:05 AM »

"Dear Prudence" is my favourite song on the White Album. A simple melody, beautiful harmonies, nice lyrics. I think Paul's drumming here is his best non-bass contribution to the Beatles along with his lead guitar on "Taxman".
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2011, 12:31:17 AM »

Finally reread my initial post and fixed some of the spelling errors. Morocco and maraca. Why do I struggle so?

tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2011, 12:38:18 AM »

I must disagree with you about "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" which I absolutely love (both here and as the stupendous unplugged masterpiece from Anthology).

No problems here. Bunches of people love that song, but I just cant join that crowd. Even when I was young, this song fought me. Do me one favor though Mr. M, please give this song a good listen to and see how sloppy it really is. I'd love to hear your opinion about it. Just didnt seem like much care was taken. Maybe they only had Eric for a very short time and did the best they could.

Quote
Dear Prudence- John sounds half asleep. Wispy and shallow...dare I say that I actually much prefer The Siouxsie & The Banshees version?

Your just doing this on purpose.  ha2ha

Quote
The poster was nice. I got an avatar out of it if nothing else!

Yeah, might have been the best things about the album.

peterbell1

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2011, 09:24:52 AM »

The White Album is easily my favourite Beatles album - there's no way I could ever split it down into a single LP.
I'm happy to admit that the CD normally gets turned off before the end of disc 2, so I rarely listen to Revolution 9 or Goodnight, but I think everything that comes before is fantastic. I don't think having a couple of duff songs makes for a bad LP.

Lennon is at his very best on songs like Happiness, I'm So Tired, Dear Prudence and Yer Blues.
Paul shows how effortlessly he can switch from one genre to the other with songs like Helter Skelter, Honey Pie, Mother Nature's Son, Obladi-Oblada, etc. The comments above have said that Blackbird is overrated - but I absolutely love it. Definitely in my top ten Beatles tunes.
The George songs range from OK (Savoy Truffle) to marvellous (WMGGW), and I don't mind the Eric Clapton guitar part. I think he adds something that George hadn't discovered in his guitar playing up to that point - soul.
I even don't mind Ringo's Don't Pass Me By, and if Goodnight didn't have the misfortune of coming after Revolution 9 I'd probably listen to that one more often than I do now.

And speaking of Revolution 9 - I would never say I loved it, but I certainly don't hate it (I'm listening to it now, in fact, just coz I haven't heard it all the way through for years). I never realised there was so much of George's voice in there. I like the way the "Number 9" bits go from side to side in the stereo mix. Not much of Paul or Ringo in there, is there?
Has anyone ever done research on where all the various bits of music come from? What's that backwards music that's playing at around 45 seconds? There's some Revolver guitar parts in there as well, yes?
I'm sure at 2 minutes George is saying "Mr Bell" - is he talking to me?!  ;D
I think it was a very brave move to include it on a Beatles album - must have blown a few minds back in 1968!

I love the variety of the album, I love the cover, the poster. Musically it's so disjointed that it makes it all come together somehow.

Take this brother, may it serve you well ....
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 10:36:42 AM by peterbell1 »
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stevie

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2011, 09:38:38 AM »

'Oh come on...it's the bloody White Album'!

A query TK, about Paul's drumming on BITU and DP. We know Ringo left for 2 weeks but is it 100% fact that Macca played drums on both songs?

It sounds like him on BITU but is so 'Ringo' sounding for DP! I've always wondered about that.

While I'm here, my top three White songs are DP, ST and P!!
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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2011, 09:54:14 AM »

And speaking of Revolution 9 - I would never say I loved it, but I certainly don't hate it (I'm listening to it now, in fact, just coz I haven't heard it all the way through for years).

What redeeming qualities can you possibly find about it? I mean, its a sound collage if anything. Its not even a song.

Quote
I think it was a very brave move to include it on a Beatles album - must have blown a few minds back in 1968!

Its blowing my mind right now due to the fact that I cant believe anybody enjoys it. Brave of the Beatles? More like a pompous, egotistical move. Paul didnt even want this crap on the album. Its over 8 freaking minutes long too. A true embarrassment to their legacy.

tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2011, 09:58:51 AM »

A query TK, about Paul's drumming on BITU and DP. We know Ringo left for 2 weeks but is it 100% fact that Macca played drums on both songs?

It sounds like him on BITU but is so 'Ringo' sounding for DP! I've always wondered about that.

It appears to be fact that Paul did indeed play the drums on both tracks. He officially played them on Martha My Dear too, but they are so secondary on that song that nobody really cared to mention it.

I agree with you that 'Dear Prudence' really does sound like Ringo, but he wasnt there.

peterbell1

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2011, 10:27:50 AM »

What redeeming qualities can you possibly find about it? I mean, its a sound collage if anything. Its not even a song.

Its blowing my mind right now due to the fact that I cant believe anybody enjoys it. Brave of the Beatles? More like a pompous, egotistical move. Paul didnt even want this crap on the album. Its over 8 freaking minutes long too. A true embarrassment to their legacy.


As you say, it's not a song - it's a sound collage, and it does indeed run for more than 8 minutes. Which is precisely why it was brave of The Beatles - the greatest SONGwriters of their generation - to include it on an album. They had been pushing boundaries on their albums for years and here they are doing it again. The Beatles do Zappa, and then some!

It's not something that makes for repeated listening and I wouldn't say it's enjoyable (I doubt it was ever meant to be), but I think it's an interesting listen nonetheless. John (and Yoko and George) are playing with the recording process.

I don't think it's egotistical of him - surely it satisfies one's ego more to write a number one hit single that everyone raves about?
He's being bloody-minded, sure - he's doing precisely what he wants to do.
He's taking the p*ss a little as well. I reckon there was an element of "Let's see what hidden meanings they can find in this!"
But he's also experimenting, which isn't a bad thing. He carried on with this experimentation for a while and released the results on his early solo albums, but then got bored with it and went elsewhere, musically.

I'm glad Revolution 9 is out there - more than 40 years later and we're sat talking about it, so he must have done something right!
From what I understand, Paul was the main driving force behind 1967's experimental track Carnival Of Light, but that one never saw the "light" of day. Maybe Paul didn't have the balls to release it, but John didn't care about public perceptions of him and was happy to put out Revolution 9 for everyone to hear.

(I just read in the Recording Sessions book that the final mix of Revolution 9 was done on this very date - 21 June 1968 - so it's appropriate that we're discussing it today, on it's 43rd birthday!)
« Last Edit: June 21, 2011, 10:41:48 AM by peterbell1 »
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2011, 10:42:56 AM »

Paul didnt even want this crap on the album.

I've heard that too, but then I've also heard that Paul and Ringo knocked off "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" whilst George and John were otherwise engaged, re-mixing elsewhere in the studios. John was miffed to have been left out because he liked the track and I gather that Paul later hinted it was "revenge" for being omitted from "Revolution 9" (suggesting he wanted to be in on it). Both tracks are crap as far as I'm concerned.

The Beatles always had the balls to break new ground on their albums but I think this was John's obsession with Yoko (and her "scene") selfishly manifesting itself in vinyl form (within his own familiar territory - i.e. on a Beatles record). I'm pretty sure George Martin opposed it, but its my belief that most final decisions were contained between the four Beatles by this stage in their career.

"Revolution 9" is only being discussed all these years later because it is woven into the tapestry of a very popular and fascinating Beatles album. And I suppose it does add a bit more variety to the fabric of the double LP if nothing else...but that's as gracious as I can be towards it. It belongs at home on "Two Virgins" and "Life With The Lions"...does anyone actually listen to those recordings? ever? (and yes, I own them - but only because I am a sad completist!)
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peterbell1

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2011, 11:10:12 AM »

You can listen to Revolution 9 backwards here (it makes as much sense backwards as it does forwards!!)  ;D

http://kingtet.com/number9.htm

And it really does sound like he's saying "Turn me on dead man"!!! There's a clip of that piece plays when you load up the webpage.
Maybe Paul IS dead after all  ;D
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glass onion

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2011, 11:15:19 AM »

the white album......you don't get many good doubles,but this is the best.come on now guys,don't go stripping it down to a single!!this is by far the most interesting record in the beatle cannon.'the tension album'.
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nimrod

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2011, 01:14:33 PM »

Whilst it was fantastic when it was released I have thought over the years that it would be better as a single, I just dont like half the tracks, so I agree with George Martin.

My single album would consist of;

Back in the USSR
Dear Prudence
Im so tired
Glass Onion
Julia
Obla Di
Martha My Dear


Gently Weeps
Blackbird
Savoy truffle
Cry Baby Cry
Helter Skelter
I Will
Goodnight

For me that wouldve been a very strong album, sorry guys theres too much dross on the double....
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glass onion

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2011, 09:16:21 PM »

i'm gonna keep posting short comments on 'the white album'.hope you don't mind,fellow fans.firstly.....i have always thought it could be paul drumming on 'savoy truffle'.just sounds like his playing.i love the white album.the whole package,the poster,the prints,the sleeve,glorious.'dear prudence' is a highlight,and sorry everybody,but i like 'revolution 9'.no reason...i just find it fascinating and very,very dark.
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peterbell1

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2011, 10:16:10 PM »

sorry guys theres too much dross on the double....


I haven't heard the word "dross" for years!  ;D

I dunno if I would ever call anything the Beatles did "dross". Apart from some of the unreleased stuff that they put out on the Anthologies, like "If you've got troubles" and "12-bar original". They are proper dross. I'd rather listen to Revolution 9 than either of those two. Thankfully, they agreed!

But going back to the White Album, I agree it does have its peaks and troughs, like any album, but just because it is a double LP people think it is justified to say "Some of it was rubbish and it should have been a single LP".
In that case, i think Help! should have been an EP - cut it down to 4 or 5 songs and it's great. Same goes for Let It Be.

The White Album was what it was, and it is what it is. As Beatles fans, I think we should be defending what (in my opinion) is the boys' masterpiece, not slagging it off and saying that 50% is superfluous. It is an amazing piece of work - it is certainly disjointed, rambling, and smacks of the lack of harmony that had befallen the group. It's like a Beatles LP with some solo songs tacked on. But that is part of what makes it great.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2011, 11:31:40 PM »

I stood on line all night long outside Macy's in NYC to buy The Beatles the day it was released.  I gave the album to a girlfriend a year later.  I'm sure it had a low serial number.  Who knew?  I bought another double LP a few months later to replace it.

So I cut classes that day to listen to what I bought.  And I wasn't the only one who did!

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da - I really liked this song the first time I played it.  I didn't know it was reggae at the time.  It just sounded good.  But several months later Desmond Dekker and The Aces' The Israelites hit the airwaves and we were suddenly exposed to ska, rocksteady and reggae.  Even then, I suspected Paul was paying homage to Desmond Dekker.

But then came Anthology and I heard an even more reggae-sounding version of this song...

The Beatles - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Anthology 3 Disc 1)


Ever since, I've preferred this earlier take.

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tkitna

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Re: Beatles under a microscope - The Beatles
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2011, 12:31:53 AM »

Both tracks are crap as far as I'm concerned.

Agreed

Quote
The Beatles always had the balls to break new ground on their albums but I think this was John's obsession with Yoko (and her "scene") selfishly manifesting itself in vinyl form

These are the words I was looking for. Revolution #9 has Yoko stamped all over it. To me, her art was more shock vlaue to get attention than anything else. Revolution #9 was the same.

Quote
"Revolution 9" is only being discussed all these years later because it is woven into the tapestry of a very popular and fascinating Beatles album. And I suppose it does add a bit more variety to the fabric of the double LP if nothing else...but that's as gracious as I can be towards it. It belongs at home on "Two Virgins" and "Life With The Lions"...does anyone actually listen to those recordings? ever? (and yes, I own them - but only because I am a sad completist!)

Perfectly said.
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