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Mott the Dog's review on....

The BEATLES

Review: 083
Date: 8 Jul 02

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
John Lennon - Guitar, Vocals & Dodging tape machine
Paul McCartney - Bass & Vocals
George Harrison - Lead guitar & Vocals
Ringo Starkey - Drums & Vocals

Tracks Listing:
Disc 1
1. Back In The U.S.S.R.
2. Dear Prudence
3. Glass Onion
4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
5. Wild Honey Pie
6. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
7. *While My Guitar Gently Weeps
8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun
9. Martha My Dear
10. I’m So Tired
11. Blackbird
12. *Piggies
13. Rocky Raccoon
14. + Don’t Pass Me By
15. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?
16. I Will
17. Julia

Disc 2
1. Birthday
2. Yer Blues
3. Mother Nature’s Son
4. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
5. Sexy Sadie
6. Helter Skelter
7. *Long, Long, Long


Better known as “The White Album”. This is undoubtedly “The Beatles” most mature and diverse album. Clocking in at ninety minutes (considered to be monumentally long upon release in 1968) every track is a gem.

But how “The Beatles” were holding it all together at this time remains a complete mystery. With all this talent and the massive egos they had developed, it’s a wonder that any songs were recorded by the whole band at all; to come out with an album of such brilliance is nothing short of miraculous.

Each song spotlights one member of the band with obviously Lennon and McCartney supplying the bulk of the material. although by now it was quite clear that they were writing separately. Listen to the diversity on this album. From the cynism of Lennon, “Yer Blues”; McCartney’s natural sense of pop on “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”; Ringo’s whimsical take on country rock in “Don’t Pass Me By”; to George Harrison’s sublime “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (with a young Eric Clapton questing on lead guitar, and simply lighting up the song with his sublime soloing). With four such different characters in a band how on earth could anything be boring? Let me assure you, it doesn’t get that way.

“The Beatles” really rocked as well with such classics as “Birthday”, “Back In The U.S.S.R” (since when this has become the perfunctionary encore for any rock band playing in the Soviet Union), and “Helter Skelter”. “Helter Skelter” became a live staple for many major rock bands including Aerosmith, Motley Crue, and Ian Gillan, but none of them could match the amazing performance by Paul McCartney. His vocals on this track leave you wondering how he ever uttered another syllable. Mind you, the same could be said of his hilarious “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road”.

Of course you then had the other end of the scale with some powerful ballads like Lennon’s tribute to his mother in “Julia”, probably the most moving track amongst this collection; or McCartney’s acoustic “Blackbird”, then taking it into another realm. Lennon’s very Avant-garde “Revolution 9” is not really a song, more a collection of sound bites, but not only a forerunner of things to come, but it’s amazing how well this fits in with the other songs here.

George Harrison really came of age during the recording of this album, not only for his guitar playing, but also his song writing abilities. His searching “Long Long Long” is possibly the most underrated and memorable track here. His contribution was all the more remarkable considering he left “The Beatles” during the recording sessions. Of course, he came back again, leaving it up to Paul McCartney to do the dirty deed to the Fab Four two years later.

Sadly, as “The Beatles” no longer did live concerts, none of the songs were ever played live by the band themselves. Giving them a live concert outlet might of kept them together for a while longer. And who knows where that might of led. After they broke up, although some of their solo work was nothing short of brilliant (Lennon’s “Imagine”; McCartney’s “Band On The Run”; and Harrison’s “All Thing Must Past”; sorry Ringo, no mention for “Thomas The Tank Engine”) they were never destined to reach these dizzying heights again.

From Beach Boy knock offs to reggae and the unknown – this album has it all. If you’re only allowed one album on your desert island make sure this is it. Some records have legend written all over them, this is one.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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