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Old Jan 22, 2005, 09:17 PM   #1
Joey Self
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Default White Album as a single disc

I know it's been done many times (on every board I've ever been on, and that's at least 8), but I didn't see it here when searching the last six months, so . . . Here is a post that started a great discussion on another board I'm on. Hope the author of this doesn't mind.

_____________________
All right, here's a scenario for all you "White Album" fans:

Suppose it's late 1968, and George Martin has just hired YOU to whittle down the "White Album" sessions into one 14-song LP (7 songs each side).

After you get over your initial excitement, the reality of the situation hits you: you have to eliminate MORE THAN HALF of the 32 songs recorded during those sessions! (These include the 30 songs that eventually made the 2-LP set, plus "What's The New Mary Jane" and "Not Guilty". I included "Not Guilty" in my 14-song list.)

Which 14 songs would you choose, in what running order, and why? Also, if you like, fill in other details like "I would've used the Anthology 3 version of this instead", etc.

_________________

We developed another "guideline" as we went--the running time on each side had to comform with the norm of 1968, meaning 21-23 minutes. Since this is fantasy anyway, we also decided what to issue as a single (much as with BEATLES FOR SALE didn't have "I Feel Fine/She's A Woman", or RUBBER SOUL was missing "Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out")

Give it a try if you like. I'll post what I came up with in the next note.

JcS
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Old Jan 22, 2005, 09:19 PM   #2
Joey Self
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

Ok, here's my take on it (and I can't resist playing around a little here)

To: The Beatles, George Martin and all concerned
RE: Culling the stack-of-tracks to 14

Gentlemen (and Yoko):

I was extremely honored by your request to select the contents and running order of your next album. What a daunting task, with 32 tracks to choose from. I have tried not to be swayed by the rough running order that you have given me, although frankly, any order that you use will be both criticized by some but ultimately accept as "correct" (save for that awful 8-track market).

In order to pair this down to 14 as requested, I found myself first eliminating songs that were just the work of one of you. Some real gems got tossed, but we want this to be a Beatles album. I've heard the rumors of friction during these sessions, and one way to fuel them is to have several tracks where only John or Paul appears. Therefore, I have tossed the following not on merit (some of them are great tunes) but with the idea of presenting a unified disc:
1. Wild Honey Pie (OK, that went on lack of merit!)
2. Martha My Dear (likewise)
3. Blackbird
4. Why Don't We Do It In The Road (I couldn't tell if that was Ringo on the drums or not; Paul, keep this one around and have John help with some lyrics, it's a keeper with some work)
5. I Will
6. Julia (John, you may want to save this one if you ever do a solo disc in which you try to publicly exorcise some demons?)
7. Mother Nature's Son
8. Revolution 9 (John, I've heard George helped you on this, but you may want to talk him into letting you release it, with more of this type material, with your girlfriend)
9. Good Night, but only because I can't figure out where to put it. It would have been nice after Revolution 9, but since that's going, then out with Good Night, too.

That leaves me with 23. So, on merit alone, I'm kicking What A Shame, Not Guilty (needs some more work--did you guys REALLY do over 100 takes on this?) and Sexy Sadie.

So, with the twenty left, I've decided to pull these 14 for the album, and in keeping with your wishes, I have put no more that 2 of any one of you sings lead on back-to-back and have placed 3 from George, one from Ringo, then divided the other 10 between John and Paul. This pretty much follows the format for what I thought was your best ever--REVOLVER.

Side One:
Back in the U.S.S.R. (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:43
Glass Onion (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:17
Rocky Raccoon (Lennon/McCartney) - 3:32
Don't Pass Me By (Starkey/Starr) - 3:50
Helter Skelter (Lennon/McCartney) - 4:29
Happiness Is a Warm Gun (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:43
Long, Long, Long (Harrison) - 3:04

Birthday (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:42
Yer Blues (Lennon/McCartney) - 4:01
Everybody's Got Something...(Lennon/McCartney) - 2:24
Piggies (Harrison) - 2:04
I'm So Tired (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:03
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Lennon/McCartney) - 3:08
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Harrison) - 4:45

I THINK that keeps both sides under 23 minutes, lads, which is one reason why I had to pick some and omit others.


Fellows, don't forget that coming out in early 1969 is the YELLOW SUBMARINE album, and you only have 4 new songs for it. In addition to the ones I mentioned earlier, you may want to consider putting these 6 on the second side of that record (like you did with A HARD DAYS' NIGHT and HELP!). Otherwise, what are you going to do: put some George Martin's music and rehash some old songs?

Dear Prudence (Lennon/McCartney) - 3:56
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill(Len./McCar.) 3:14
Honey Pie (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:41
Cry Baby Cry (Lennon/McCartney) - 3:01
Savoy Truffle (Harrison) - 2:54
Revolution 1 (Lennon/McCartney) - 4:15

So, boys, I hope you like it. Don't forget you could cull another single from these tracks (While My Guitar Gently Weeps would make a great radio favorite, I think, especially in that new FM format).

Finally, I heard rumors you were just going to call it THE BEATLES. C'mon guys, show some imagination here. With Birthday on here, you could call it THE BEATLES PLAY YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY or something clever like that. The kids'll love it!
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 12:11 AM   #3
matt5
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

I would have made it 15 tracks as opposed to the standard 14.

Side A

1) Dear Prudence
2) Why Don't We Do It In The Road
3) Revolution
4) Martha My Dear
5) Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
6) Long Long Long
7) Cry Baby Cry
8) Blackbird

Side B

1) Happiness is a warm gun
2) Savoy Truffle
3) I'm So Tired
4) I Will
5) While My Guitar Gently Weeps
6) Sexy Sadie
7) Back In the U.S.S.R

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Old Jan 23, 2005, 05:33 AM   #4
Joey Self
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

[ QUOTE ]
matt5 Posted:
I would have made it 15 tracks as opposed to the standard 14.

Side A

1) Dear Prudence
2) Why Don't We Do It In The Road
3) Revolution
4) Martha My Dear
5) Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
6) Long Long Long
7) Cry Baby Cry
8) Blackbird

Side B

1) Happiness is a warm gun
2) Savoy Truffle
3) I'm So Tired
4) I Will
5) While My Guitar Gently Weeps
6) Sexy Sadie
7) Back In the U.S.S.R



[/ QUOTE ]

You really rethought the order--putting "Back In The USSR" as the closer, moving "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" to open the second side. You did leave poor Ringo out of the mix entirely, vocally speaking, but that's not a big deal.

So, what were you going to do with the remaining tracks--any singles, or any used on YELLOW SUBMARINE?

JcS
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 05:44 AM   #5
AnyRoad69
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

If White album would be only one album, I would take:
Back in the U.S.S.R. (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:43
Glass Onion (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:17
Rocky Raccoon (Lennon/McCartney) - 3:32
Don't Pass Me By (Starkey/Starr) - 3:50
Helter Skelter (Lennon/McCartney) - 4:29
Happiness Is a Warm Gun (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:43
Birthday (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:42
Yer Blues (Lennon/McCartney) - 4:01
Everybody's Got Something...(Lennon/McCartney) - 2:24
Piggies (Harrison) - 2:04
I'm So Tired (Lennon/McCartney) - 2:03
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Lennon/McCartney) - 3:08
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Harrison) - 4:45
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 09:18 AM   #6
Frightwolf
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

Dear George Martin,

You picked ME to do this job? You must be on acid... but I'll try my hardest.

First off, we already have a Lady Madonna/Inner Light single out, and a Hey Jude/Revolution single coming out, so I don't see any need to release two of these songs as singles.

Also, after giving it a lot of thought, I would put these songs on the Single White Album, with reasons beside them. Please note that I love most of the Paul songs here, but I had to scrap a few to give some more room to Lennon, even if I felt some of the Paul songs were a bit more enjoyable for me. Stupid bias of mine :P. Here is the listing:

Side 1

1. Back In The U.S.S.R (McCartney)

What better way to open an album than with this? It has a nice crash kinda opener, and it is very upbeat and uptempo. It will really get the listeners in the mood to listen to more. Then, when the noise at the end of the song comes again, it'll transfer over to the next song...

2. Dear Prudence (Lennon)

Now the noise is dying out and it transfers to this song. A powerful number by Lennon, this one will further emphasize how we're coming into the album with a bang. It sports some nice Lennon vocals to boot.

3. Blackbird (McCartney)

Okay, we've gone through two powerful numbers; it's time for a change of pace. This song is a very gentle, beautiful song, and one of the best I've heard from McCartney in all his years singing. The lyrics are very meaningful, and it will cause the listener to relax after the two aforementioned power numbers.

4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (McCartney)

OK, enough relaxing. We've had two power numbers, and one ballad-y kind of number. But have we had a blatently silly song yet? Nope, so that's where this comes in. Despite being a great song by itself, it's the kind of sound we haven't heard yet in the album -- a piano rocker.

5. Piggies (Harrison)

Ah, a Harrison number. As usual, there will be two of them in this album, and this is the first one. The sound is way different than the other songs in the album, especially when all the singers come in at the end. Sounds like they're knighting someone to me personally, but this'll definitely give Harrison a chance to shine.

6. Honey Pie (McCartney)

Geez, we haven't heard a love song during the album yet! This isn't a typicaly one (that'll be on Side Two), but this IS a love song nonetheless, and a very very very very very catchy one at that. It sports EXTREMELY good vocals by McCartney and is a very different sound -- definitely 20s-esque.

7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Harrison)

Okay, closing this side will be the second of the two Harrison songs. Very great, mysterious-sounding lyrics, great vocals, great guitar solo, great end to the song. A definite must-have for this album to begin with, but a perfect way to close all these songs. After 20s sounds and silly songs and power ballads and gentle birds chirping, we have this song to wrap it all up.


Side 2

8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Lennon)

Now we're beginning side 2, and what better way than this three songs-in-one number? It ends pretty powerfully, with some really cool Lennon vocals during the "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" part. A new sound, just like the rest of the songs.

9. Martha My Dear (McCartney)

A cute, catchy number, with some great instrumentalists, this is a nice love song to McCartney's dog. Still, not a TYPICAL love song (that comes later). Let's not forget that McCartney's vocals rule on this one.

10. Rocky Raccoon (McCartney)

We haven't had a story song yet! This here's a story about Rocky Raccoon coming to start some crap with other people. I don't know what makes this song so fun to listen to, but it is, especially McCartneys "Doo Doo Doo" at the end.

11. I'm So Tired (Lennon)

A soporific song, this is a nice contrast to the songs before it. We also need some more Lennon tunes in here.

12. I Will (McCartney)

Here's your "typical" love song, in the sense that it doesn't sound like a 20s hit and is just straight up "I Love You." However, it sports McCartney singing the bassline, very nice lyrics, and a very romantic voice.

13. Good Night (Lennon)

Lennon wrote this lullaby for Ringo to sing, and Ringo hasn't even gotten a number yet! We need at least one, so this'll be it. The song is beautiful, and it'll leave the listener vulnerable, maybe even forgetting that the album has 14 tracks, thinking it has 13, and thinking that this closes the hectic album. But we'll catch them by surprise with the next number...

14. Helter Skelter (McCartney)

Now THIS is a closer! Just when the listener is relaxed by Good Night, the guitar torandoes right in, and we start this heavy metal rocker! McCartney sports some of his best vocals to date here, and you can tell the Beatles are conjuring a storm here! It also with a bang, followed by Ringo shouting, "I GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!" Followed by the album ending


I hope you like it, George! Thanks for giving me this opportunity. Lemme make it up to you and take you out to dinner this Saturday, 9:00 PM, at Buca De Peppo. See ya then!

- Marco La Manno
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 09:22 PM   #7
Suzy Parker
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

All the "single LP" track lists I've seen on any forum are - of necessity, I suppose - very rich mixtures. So rich as to be almost indigestible.

Some of the tracks on the White Album give it an interesting texture. A bit of light and shade, a bit of comic relief, a mood change, an opportunity to recover from a dramatic and demanding song.

If you listen to the whole album, from start to finish, you appreciate these things.

So what are the songs that do these jobs? For side 1, I'd say that Ob La Di/Wild Honey Pie/Bungalow Bill provide a break from the demanding openers (USSR, Prudence, Onion) and the looming monsters Gently Weeps and Warm Gun.

Martha opens side 2 to signal that perhaps this side is not very heavy. And so it proves to be. The nine songs are of a very varied style and subject matter. Even if you don't like one track, another will be along soon. Kind of like buses!

Birthday signals that maybe this side is going to rock. Yer Blues proves that's so. But then Mother Nature is the sorbet to restore the palet before the next rich dish. Three heavy songs follow, then a complete mood change with Long Long Long to wind down the side.

Side 4 opens with the brain food of Revolution, and is followed, thankfully, by the undemanding Honey Pie. Truffle and Cry Baby perhaps make you wonder what is coming: then you are confronted with Revolution 9! And after that, you get the wind-down again, this time it's Good Night.

So I'll keep the fluff, the not-so-good, the undemanding songs because they are essential to the TOTAL White Album listening experience.
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Old Jan 24, 2005, 06:47 PM   #8
Joey Self
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

[ QUOTE ]
Suzy Parker Posted:

So I'll keep the fluff, the not-so-good, the undemanding songs because they are essential to the TOTAL White Album listening experience.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, unless you are going to participate in the theme of the thread, which is to do as The Beatles/Apple asked.

JcS
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Old Jan 24, 2005, 07:12 PM   #9
Suzy Parker
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

[ QUOTE ]
Joey Self Posted:
[ QUOTE ]
Suzy Parker Posted:

So I'll keep the fluff, the not-so-good, the undemanding songs because they are essential to the TOTAL White Album listening experience.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, unless you are going to participate in the theme of the thread, which is to do as The Beatles/Apple asked.

JcS

[/ QUOTE ]

As the Beatles/Apple asked?? Your scenario has George Martin asking! The Beatles knew better, as I do.

Hold on ... the Fabs have just been on the phone ... they're thinking in terms of a TRIPLE now, and are just about fed up with George Martin and his nagging. Just who is the band, they mutter.

Their thinking about the triple is to clear their backlog. They are also repulsed by EMI's plans for a pseudo Yellow Submarine soundtack, with only four new tracks, and one whole side of Martin's muzak. What a ripoff, and the Fabs are right. They want to add to the white album:

All Together Now from 1967
Only A Northern Song from 1967
It's All Too Much from 1967
Hey Bulldog from early 1968
Lady Madonna from early 1968, in stereo
The Inner Light from early 1968, in stereo
Across The Universe from early 1968
Hey Jude from the single, in stereo
Revolution from the single, in stereo (John is grumbling about the slow version now!)
Not Guilty from the WA sessions

Sorry George Martin - expand your mind, matey.
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Old Jan 24, 2005, 08:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

[ QUOTE ]
Suzy Parker Posted:
[ QUOTE ]
Joey Self Posted:
[ QUOTE ]
Suzy Parker Posted:

So I'll keep the fluff, the not-so-good, the undemanding songs because they are essential to the TOTAL White Album listening experience.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, unless you are going to participate in the theme of the thread, which is to do as The Beatles/Apple asked.

JcS

[/ QUOTE ]

As the Beatles/Apple asked?? Your scenario has George Martin asking! The Beatles knew better, as I do.

Hold on ... the Fabs have just been on the phone ... they're thinking in terms of a TRIPLE now, and are just about fed up with George Martin and his nagging. Just who is the band, they mutter.

Their thinking about the triple is to clear their backlog. They are also repulsed by EMI's plans for a pseudo Yellow Submarine soundtack, with only four new tracks, and one whole side of Martin's muzak. What a ripoff, and the Fabs are right. They want to add to the white album:

All Together Now from 1967
Only A Northern Song from 1967
It's All Too Much from 1967
Hey Bulldog from early 1968
Lady Madonna from early 1968, in stereo
The Inner Light from early 1968, in stereo
Across The Universe from early 1968
Hey Jude from the single, in stereo
Revolution from the single, in stereo (John is grumbling about the slow version now!)
Not Guilty from the WA sessions

Sorry George Martin - expand your mind, matey.

[/ QUOTE ]

Oh Suzy Parker. That's funny! I think I love you. Figuratively speaking, that is.

I love your comments about the Yellow Submarine soundtrack. I could never really listen to all of George Martin's "Muzak" either.I agree very much with you on about those filler songs being needed for the whole White Album experience. It would have been too much to digest with just the powerhouse songs.

Although, this is supposed to be a fun exercise I guess, so maybe I'll try to have a bash on this. I would definitely put some of these filler songs in to lighten the mood and make it less pretensious.

I think though that all of us are glad The Beatles didn't give in to George Martin's wishes here. Or we wouldn't have this diverse and interesting album. GM wasn't always right.
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 04:10 AM   #11
Joey Self
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

[ QUOTE ]
Suzy Parker Posted:


As the Beatles/Apple asked?? Your scenario has George Martin asking! The Beatles knew better, as I do.



[/ QUOTE ]

You're correct, I should have gone back to look at it again--I didn't write the scenario, but I should have read it closer this time.

JcS
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 04:19 AM   #12
Joey Self
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

[ QUOTE ]
Savoy Truffle Posted:


Although, this is supposed to be a fun exercise I guess, so maybe I'll try to have a bash on this. I would definitely put some of these filler songs in to lighten the mood and make it less pretensious.

I think though that all of us are glad The Beatles didn't give in to George Martin's wishes here. Or we wouldn't have this diverse and interesting album. GM wasn't always right.

[/ QUOTE ]

It's all what we get used to. Had the material come out originally as Ringo suggested: The White Album and The Whiter Album we'd think anything else was heresy. Another exercise would be in the summer of 1969 after the bulk of the ABBEY ROAD sessions, someone decided to do another double album with all the material in the can at the time. Had we gotten that in 1969 instead of ABBEY ROAD and LET IT BE the next year, that's what we'd be accustomed to.

JcS
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 11:11 AM   #13
Suzy Parker
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

[ QUOTE ]
Joey Self Posted:
It's all what we get used to. Had the material come out originally as Ringo suggested: The White Album and The Whiter Album we'd think anything else was heresy. Another exercise would be in the summer of 1969 after the bulk of the ABBEY ROAD sessions, someone decided to do another double album with all the material in the can at the time. Had we gotten that in 1969 instead of ABBEY ROAD and LET IT BE the next year, that's what we'd be accustomed to.

JcS

[/ QUOTE ]

There's a whiff of the obvious about this. Let's keep playing the game: if Pepper had been a double, if Paul had really died in 66, if there had been no Beatles ...

Time for tea ...
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 11:45 AM   #14
matt5
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Default Re: White Album as a single disc

actually i always thought the white album should have been a triple lp.
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