They say it's your birthday.
I'm glad it's your birthday.
Happy birthday to you.
It was fifty years ago today...okay, actually it was two days ago but that doesn't fit into the song lyric. The Beatles released their double album which was simply called The Beatles. It's more commonly known as The White Album because of the basic white album cover.
Do you have a band or an artist that is one of your favorites and one of their records is your favorite, even though you know it's not their best work? This one is mine. I know The White Album is far from their best. I have it rated number five, and that may be pushing it. But, it's always been my favorite Beatles album....and it's been that way since the first hearing.
In 1968, I was sixteen. We bought a copy of this record and played it over and over and over until we wore it out. Then we bought another copy. And when that one was worn out, we did it again.
To be honest, there's nothing groundbreaking about The White Album. It's not as influential as Sgt. Pepper's. It's not a change in musical style and growth like Rubber Soul and Revolver. It's just a lot of music and very good music. There's enough different styles of tunes on this record that there's a little something for everyone.
If you're a fan of John, there's "Dear Prudence" and "I'm So Tired." Paul gives you some classics in " Blackbird" and "Martha, My Dear." George came of age as a songwriter and showed what his future would bring with "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Even Ringo wrote his first solo tune with "Don't Pass Me By."
Plus there's a nice variety of the types of music made on this record. If you like rock and roll, there's "Back In The USSR." A little bluesy tune in "Yer Blues." Some psychedelic music with "Revolution 9." Like I said, a little something for everybody. Even Charlie Manson found a theme in "Helter Skelter."
Yes, there are problems with this album. There's no theme to this record. The songs don't seem to fit together. A lot of this is because the infighting between the band members was getting bad. There was very little teamwork in the making of the album. Each Beatle was bringing in their song and they brought in the musicians they wanted to work with. Plus John Lennon bringing Yoko Ono to the sessions, which something that had never happened before, pissed off the other three.
When you put all that together, plus the pressure of following up "Sgt. Peppers", it's understandable how you get an album like this. But, when a band like The Beatles, puts out an album that is only considered fifth best or so, it's still pretty great. On most greatest all-time album lists, it's ranked pretty high. Rolling Stone magazine has it in the #10 spot in it's 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time.
I'm not sure why this album is my favorite. Some of it is because the songs stand alone on their own. I don't feel like I always need to listen to an entire side like you do with a theme record like "Sgt. Peppers" or side two of "Abbey Road." I can pick a tune from side one, then move on to one from side two, skip side three altogether and move on to "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" and be happy with that choice. Most probably it's just that I love the music on this album more than the others....and there's nothing wrong with that. Personal choice.
So happy fifty years to the White Album. You'll be living on long after most of us have said good night.
Now it's time to say good night
Good night sleep tight
Now the sun turns out his light
Good night sleep tight
Dream sweet dreams for me
Dream sweet dreams for you.
Related Post: Abbey Road is 45 years old
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