The shorter White Album

Many Beatles fans question the group’s decision to release The Beatles (“The White Album”) as a double album. Was there really enough good material to justify four sides? What might a single album crafted from that material have sounded like?

Compact discs and computerized playlists make it easy to answer the second question for ourselves. Click on the “Continue reading…” link to see my attempt at trimming down The Beatles to a single, strong album.

But don’t let me have all the fun—you, too, can make your own White Album! The only rules are that you have to use songs that were on the original White Album, and you’re limited to 30 minutes per album side. Drop me a line when you’re done.

My “shorter White Album” song list:

SIDE A  (21m 54s)
1. Back in the U.S.S.R.
2. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
4. Happiness is a Warm Gun
5. Martha My Dear
6. I'm So Tired
7. Blackbird
8. I Will

SIDE B  (25m 47s)
1. Birthday
2. Mother Nature's Son
3. Everybody's Got Something to Hide...
4. Helter Skelter
5. Long, Long, Long
6. Savoy Truffle
7. Cry Baby Cry
8. Revolution 1

NOTES: Basically, I got rid of the dated experiments, the Indian memoirs, and the sops to Ringo, plus a few other tracks. No, keeping “Martha My Dear” was not a typo. I like that song. No, I’m not going to try to defend that. Aside from moving “Revolution 1” to the end of Side B, I retained the original track order; none of it seemed especially wrong. I was tempted to put “Helter Skelter” right after “Martha My Dear”, though. Finally, I was surprised by what a strong track “Savoy Truffle” is.

One Response to “The shorter White Album”

  1. Mike Thomas Says:

    An interesting exersize but I can’t see trimming more than three or four songs off of the album.
    The only songs I could do without are Wild Honey Pie, with its purposefully out of tune harmonies; Long,Long, Long with the creepy moaning at the end (Yoko Ono’s contribution by some accounts); Revolution No. 9, which used to scare the beejesus out of me when I was a kid listening to the album in a darkened room; and the sleep-inducing Good Night.

    But I can’t see losing such brilliant John Lennon contributions as Julia, his beatiful ode to his mother; Glass Onion, with its delicious self referencing jab at over-exuberant fans; Dear Prudence and Sexy Sadie.
    Also, I dearly love Ringo’s Don’t Pass Me By, one of my favorites on the album.
    And finally, if producing a double album meant they got to keep fun numbers like Bungalow Bill, Piggies and Rocky Racoon, then I’m glad they did it that way. Most bands would have killed to have even one of these songs.

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