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
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?
A Hard Day's Night - alternate Criterion designs
3 hours ago