Some Musings on The Beatles White Album

As promised I am going to make the committment to buy a new CD every month and do a write up on it. This month's record happens to be "The Beatles" otherwise known as The White Album. I'm not going to write a comprehensive review on the album as so many have been there before but will just discuss my listening relationship with it and put forward a few personal observations.

My earliest memories of pop music come from watching TV variety shows in the 60s and hearing songs like Penny Arcade or Puppet on a String. Probably watered down versions of the original tunes (yes in the 60s those tunes could probably be watered down a little). My first recollection of hearing popular music on the radio was listening to "Ob la di" "Ob la da" as the ship I was travelling on was pulling out of Singapore.

As a teenager I was made aware that there was a thing called the White Album. Friends had it, well their older brothers and sisters had it in the house. So it was the sort of record I discovered while visiting peoples houses.

I must confess I liked other Beatles albums much better. The White Album sounded like an interesting bunch of demos and outtakes (to me) that didn't make it on to other albums. Looking back in hindsight with the knowledge of the Beatles history I understand why it sounds like it does, but to this day the songs for the main part sound like demos.

There are some great songs on it however and I've always been intrigued by it enough to keep coming back to it. Perhaps its the personal quality of the accoustic instrumentation in the recording, the White Album being by far the Beatles most "unplugged" work.

In the 1980s I could afford my own copy so I went and bought one at the Heart of Vic Park shopping centre for $55. Unfortunately people that live near the Heart of Vic Park shopping centre get their CD collections knocked off frequently, particularly in the 1980s when CDs meant something. Fortunately I was able to hold on to it long enough to derive some listening pleasure out of it before the inevitable happened.

The White Album is supposedly the Beatles highest selling record. Since it is a double album does each sale count as two? I'm thinking that it doesn't, but find it hard to believe they sold that many.

The 2013 copy I bought
is one of those ecopack affairs. It cost me $23. It comes with a CD extra five minute doco about the making of the album. No group infighting mentioned in the doco. Probably why it was so short.

Richard Hamilton was paid 200 pounds to do the cover design. A bit measly when you consider that included coming up with concept and doing the poster collage that comes with CD and vinyl versions.

"Ob la di" "Ob la da" is a Nigerian saying which roughly translated meands - "Life Goes On"


 

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