A couple of weeks late, following the 50th Anniversary Remix by Giles Martin (son of George), I arrive at the amazing “The Beatles” album (a.k.a. and universally known as The White Album), by The Beatles. I have in fact skipped The Van’s “Astral Weeks”, but that’s coming too.
I’m listening to the MQA version to start with although I’m slightly lacking the crisp detail I had from the Moon 390 with a downgrade to an M1 DAC, but it still sounds lovely. I think this quote from John Lennon sums up this album perfectly, as The Beatles tried to get back to being a no holds barred band after the Sgt. Pepper concept.
The album is, in my view, a very eclectic mix of whimsical tracks (Ob La Di, Ob La Da, Bungalow Bill), early thrash metal (Helter Skelter), story telling (most of them), Blues (Yer Blues) and pop. Never before have I wandered along on a walk humming or singing so many random tracks as I have recently. “Ob La Di, Ob La Da, life goes on, yeaahhh… La la la la life goes on”.
Initial song writing began in India on a retreat in early ’68 and all of the band mates contributed to the album with songs. There were famously a few walk outs during the development of the album at Abbey Road and it seems Yoko Ono’s arrival caused tensions. Nevertheless, the album emerged and you can feel the varied collections as they come along, this is not so much an album as a various artists compilation.
The 50th Anniversary edition of this album features recordings from the Esher Demos that were made in the early development of the album. Hey Jude is here too, though not on the album. Of most interest to me is the 11 minute long bluesy first take recording of Helter Skelter which is spectacular. Another favourite of mine takes me to my Siouxsie and the Banshees days with ‘Dear Prudence’.
Overall it is hard for me to mark this above Sgt. Pepper’s because the White Album doesn’t really feel like an album to me, just a bunch of songs collected together, similar to the older Presley or Sinatra albums. So it is a 9 for me but with the parting shot that there are no poor tracks here and I’ve been humming away with joy for the last two weeks to various tracks on here (and I’ve also been sidetracked by George Harrison’s Album ‘All Things Must Pass’, which is an album btw.).
Album – The Beatles
Artist – The Beatles
Favourite Tracks – Dear Prudence, Glass Onion, While My Guitar gently Weeps, Blackbird, Revolution
Released – 1968
Rating – 9.0
Time – 93′ 43″
Tracks – 30
Source – Tidal MQA, 96kHz
Player/Streamers – BluOS/Bluesound Node (I’ve also been using the BluOS Desktop App which is brilliant)
Amplifier/DAC – Musical Fidelity M1DAC/Roksan K2
Output – JERN 14 DS supported by REL T/5i
Cables – QED Supremus
Next Album – 135 – Odessey and Oracle, The Zombies