The Beatles Is 50 Today

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Today is the birthday of The Beatles eclectic rock and roll masterpiece self-titled album. World reknown as the White Album of course.

Sonically and structurally this album is just as innovative as Sgt Peppers was. In a way, it was the first indie-rock album being it covered lots of styles. What really made this great and yet frustrating is how compact a lot of the songs were that left you wanting more, especially on side 2 or the last 9 songs on disc 1. It had the hardest, sweetest, silliest and weirdest songs they ever recorded too.

The band was supertight despite the obvious friction going on during the sessions. Even though they are both credited you can tell which ones were written exclusively by Lennon and McCartney, and the music direction each one will pursue.

The big shocker is the rockers Paul takes lead vocals on, Back in the USSR and Helter Skelter, the latter which conveys how pissed off Paul must have been with John at the time. Even if it’s a song about a kiddie slide being used as a sexual metaphor (which wound up being misinterpreted by the Manson family). But you can see the vast musicianship he will take with Wings with brilliant compositions like Martha My Dear, Mother Nature’s Son and Rocky Raccoon, Honey Pie and his other solo acoustic masterpiece Blackbird. And of course the song verbally hashed out above “Birthday”, which is a better song to sing than the traditional standard.

John’s creative subtleties and madness really dominates the White Album though with his gorgeous “Dear Prudence” and his ode to his mum Julia. His wicked I Am the Walrus sequel in “Glass Onion”. The ennui to a scream and subtle dis at Paul track “I’m So Tired” The drug addiction references of the polar opposite tracks that dominate the black humor of “Happiness is a warm gun” and the jovial “Everybody’s got something to hide except for Me an My Monkey” (although the monkey is allegedly about Yoko) and the metallic “Yer Blues”.

Even though he had only four tracks, you can tell George grew as a songwriter and he surely saved his best stuff for his monster triple album a few years later. But the ones he composed was the radio staple “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, the anti-elitist upper class twit bashing of “Piggies” and the funky confection “Savoy Truffle”

Ringo only sang two but they were also the best of the album, “Don’t Pass Me By” and of course “Goodnight”.

Although a lot of people blamed Yoko, this album is actually what broke the band apart. John and Paul were utterly sick of each other at this point and George was probably fed up with their bullshit. Ringo just wanted to play the drums and probably didn’t give a fuck. I recall a movie of the band where they were recording Revolution #9 and Paul was livid about it being included on the album and John reminded him was a stupid shitty song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da was and that’s on there (it’s a good song anyway, so is Rev 9)

But being The Beatles, the greatest rock and roll band of all time and being consummate professionals a masterpiece was released, meticulously produced by the real 5th Beatle George Martin, which was his best recording and engineering of all their albums. It all worked out in the end and this was released to inevitable praise and delight to millions. And certainly billions now.

I could write more about this tribute, but I’ve got blisters on my fingers!

 

(^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^I do not own or make any money off this banging song^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^)

One thought on “The Beatles Is 50 Today

  1. YIKES, is time slipping by fast…………………..and Ringo was such the underrated Beatle, but his stuff is fun, he just did not take himself as seriously as the other three did.

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