Friday, November 21, 2008

40 Years Ago - the Beatles' White Album

Tomorrow, Nov 22, marks the 40th Anniversary of the release of the White Album. I reserved a copy of that album at my local record store in Ridgewood NJ before it came out and when I went to get it the proprietor reached under the counter and pulled it out and gave it to me. It was white. It had the words "The Bealtes" embossed on the cover along with a number stamped on the front - I forget what the number was but it wasn't a particularly low one - I think somewhere in the 100,000 range.

I took it home and put in on the stereo in my bedroom. I was 14 years old and this was one of the first album releases I had ever looked forward to. Wow - what a mix of sounds and songs - what a LOT of songs! This album was in marked contrast to the Sgt Pepper / Magical Mystery Beatles that I had been listening to - especially after coming fairly quickly on the heals of the Yellow Submarine Soundtrack which just reinforced the psychedelic image of the Beatles. It struck me asa wonderful collection of songs. I remember one reviewer saying that this album made it clear that Lennon and McCartney were the best songwriters since Shubert. Yeah - it's that good.

I must admit that I had more patience for "Revolution 9" back then than I do now but I have more patience for "Good Night" now than I did then so I guess it all evens out. But any album that has "Back in the USSR," "Dear Prudence," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "I Will," "Revolution 1," and "Martha My Dear" is clearly a classic. And my list of songs here just scratches the surface. This is an amazing album.

I've written about this album before here, here and here.


Martin Lane said...

The White Album era appearance on the "Tonight Show" is worth a look, if you haven't seen it yet.

Ron H said...

My feelings are the same, esp. about #9 and "Goodnight." I'm tryiing to think: If this could have been distilled to just all the great songs, would it have been able to fit on one 33-1/3? I'm not sure.

Bob K said...

I agree with Ron that, contrary to George Martin's oft-repeated idea that he wished they'd made a really good single album, I can't imagine losing half of the stuff on this album.

Isorski said...

True story - I was born on September 18, 1968 and according to the Beatles Recording Sessions, on my birthday the band was recording the song "Birthday." As I was being born. Cool, huh? Wish I could meet McCartney and tell him that!

Bob K said...

Isorski - GREAT STORY! I'm unfortunately way to old to have any Beatles songs recorded when I was born.