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The White Album Turns 40

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					My favorite album of all time, The Beatles self titled double album turns 40 this year.
It was released on November 22nd of 1968 and while it is officially titled simply The
Beatles, it is best known as "The White Album."

While it's not as flawless as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or Revolver
(which I'd probably rank #2 and #3 among Beatles albums) I think it's incredible
variety makes it the most interesting listen over the long term. I've been listening to
The White Album frequently since I first discovered it back in 1996. And even now,
12 years later, I still discover new things about it. Songs that I used to not think that
much of are now among my favorite moments. It's an album that has just continued to
grow on me over the years.

Many have argued that The White Album should have been cut down to a single
album. That some of the album's less perfect songs such as "Bungalow Bill" & "Don't
Pass Me By" could (and should) have been axed along with the experimental
avant-garde "Revolution #9." In fact the Beatles producer (George Martin) himself
has made that argument.

I strongly disagree with that point of view. A great part of what gives the album it's
endearing charm are these songs that would have been chopped to make it into a
single album. While I don't listen to "Revolution #9" every time I play the album, I do
enjoy listening to it when I'm in the mood. It's an experience like no other.

And certainly "Don't Pass Me By" is among The Beatles worst songs but even it has
some charm. In a way it's charming almost because it's not such a great song. It's neat
to hear the other Beatles try to give life to Ringo's less than stellar tune.

And how about songs like "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" & "Piggies." These
are songs that would be unlikely to make such a single album version and yet I find
them to be extraordinarily interesting. Some people would call songs like these
"filler" just because they are not hit singles. I would say to people like that: "Open
your ears & your mind." Put away your Beatles 1 CD and put in The White Album. It
may be a more difficult listen at first but it's also a far more rewarding one in the long
term.

Not that The White Album doesn't have some "hits" as well. Songs like "While My
Guitar Gently Weeps," "Birthday," "Back in the USSR," & "Obladi-Oblada" are all
among The Beatles most well known and most well loved songs. "Blackbird" & "I
Will" are certainly among The Beatles most beautiful songs.

The White Album is my favorite album of all time. Not despite of any imperfections
and not because of them either, but because of the album as a whole. It's an incredible
journey through many different types of music. So many different styles but the one
common thread is The Beatles unbridled creativity. Whether it is "Helter Skelter" or
"Julia." "Happiness is a Warm Gun" or "Martha My Dear." This is brilliant music that
has definitely stood the test of time.

Happy Birthday to The White Album! Not all music sounds so good when it hits the
big four-o.

				
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posted:1/26/2011
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