Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Playlist: My One-Disc White Album.

Although I'm a fan of the One-Disc White Album game (the game wherein you pretend that George Martin gets his way and that the Beatles release a wicked solid single-disc album instead of the slightly all-over-the-place double-disc album that DID get released in November of 1968, and then decide which songs should be on it and which shouldn't be), I've never been able to satisfactorily come up with a One-Disc White Album myself.

There are a lot of issues, you know, in rewriting a Beatles album. It's not necessarily going to work if it's just your favorite songs. You have to achieve a John-Paul parity, or else you'd have been in trouble with at least one of them. And you need at least two cuts from George if you're going to be fair too. Ideally, Ringo will get a vocal. I'm basically holding myself to the standard Beatles 14-track album size, though I'm allowing myself to go as high as 15 if I end up including some of the really short tracks that pepper this album. This should work as a playlist, so I'm filing it away as one. Oh, and I'm going to futz with the order to better accomodate the new direction a one-disc White Album would have.


1. Back in the U.S.S.R.

2. Dear Prudence

3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

4. I Will

5. Sexy Sadie

6. Martha My Dear

7. Blackbird


1. Julia

2. Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey

3. Long, Long, Long

4. Don't Pass Me By

5. I'm So Tired

6. Helter Skelter

7. Happiness Is a Warm Gun

8. Why Don't We Do It in the Road?

Do you see how problematic this is?

What my version gets right is parity-- John and Paul get 6 songs each, George gets 2 songs, and we leave in Ringo's contribution out of kindness, which we can do because we've selected two songs that are only about a minute and a half long each. I think there's also a good variety of moods here, with John and Paul and George each getting a straight-up ballad-- well, Paul gets two, but that's Paul. But there's lots of rocking stuff here too.

In fact, the songs that I wanted to include but had to leave out were mostly left out to make room for the various moods I wanted this to include. I want "Savoy Truffle" to be in here somewhere, but "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" seems somehow indispensable, and then I want George's second song to be very different-- so it's "Long, Long, Long." (Besides, I love that song more than is probably healthy.) I have similar problems with "Yer Blues" and "Birthday." And then I find myself leaving out "Revolution 1" just because, you know, at least there's the "Revolution" single... And then, of course, I just want to put in some songs because I heart them, like "Bungalow Bill" and "Cry Baby Cry." You'll note that I also left out songs that might be considered big ones (ahem, "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da") but which I have always considered inferior. One can't help but bring one's own prejudices into this thing.

So maybe this whole game is flawed. But still, have I done anything right here? Is this what you guys think about while you're supposed to be working? Or am I just mildly mentally ill?


  1. I think you did a good job. My version was pretty close to yours. And I did something similar with sequencing; it's hard not to start off USSR/Prudence, isn't it?

  2. This sounds about right to me. I would have no qualms about chucking Bungalow Bill, a song I despise, or Revolution 1, which I don't like as well as the faster version. I would definitely miss Rocky Raccoon, a song I inexplicably like. And I'd rather have Savoy Truffle than Long, Long, Long.

    And I'd probably pick Mother Nature's Son over I Will. I love both but I think Mother Nature's son sounds so gorgeous on the remasters. But then so does I Will.

  3. Yeah, you basically HAVE to start off with Back in the USSR and the Dear Prudence. They're two of the best songs on the album hands down, and they're perfect to kick the thing off.

    As for Mother Nature's Son, I guess I just disagree. Both that one and I Will are a little slight, but I Will wins for melody, for me-- along with better-than-average lyrics for a McCartney 10-minutes-to-write kind of song.

  4. Paul's White Album
    Side 1
    "Back in the U.S.S.R." 2:43
    "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" 3:08
    "Blackbird" 2:18
    "Martha My Dear" 2:28
    "Rocky Raccoon" 3:32
    "Helter Skelter" 4:29

    Side 2
    "Wild Honey Pie" 0:53
    "Birthday" 2:42
    "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" 1:41
    "Mother Nature's Son" 2:48
    "Honey Pie" 2:41
    "I Will" 1:46
    "Hey Jude" 7:11

    John's White Album
    Side 1
    "Revolution 1" 4:15
    "Dear Prudence" 3:56
    "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" 2:24
    "Sexy Sadie" 3:15
    "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" 3:14
    "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" 2:43
    "Julia" 2:54

    Side 2
    "Glass Onion" 2:17
    "I'm So Tired" 2:03
    "Yer Blues" 4:01
    "Cry Baby Cry" 3:01
    "Revolution 9" 8:22
    "Good Night" (Lennon Vocal) 3:11

  5. Those would have been pretty kickass solo albums.

  6. Here I am late again. Traveling and working is really cutting into my blog reading time. I posted a single white album list half a year ago (can you believe how times flies?) in response to Troy's. I remember we had some differences. I wonder if i did it now if it would be the same. Not sure, and having just driven in from a long shoot in SC, I'm too tired to go in search of that blog and post.

    Suffice it to say, no list will make me or anyone happy. I cannot see a list without Yer Blues. I do agree with you, Meg, that I could omit Revolution because it exists elsewhere, and i like the other better. And i agree with you and Todd that USSR and Prudence have to go one-two. I'd also leave out Do It In The Road. I mean, I like it, the singing and all, but it doesn't compete with Yer Blues.

    Enough. It's Impossible!