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Author Topic: White Album and acid burn out  (Read 13952 times)
Reverend Joshua Sloane
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« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2006, 08:53:03 PM »

The chords get me alone, then when you include the lyrical subject it's even more.
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cabinessence
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« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2006, 09:22:16 PM »

John as withering hack, huh? Maybe later, but not here, not yet. Julia is one of the finest songs he ever wrote, Dear Prudence is a stately, airy anthem full of sunshine, and one of the best 'band songs' on the album,  Revolution, whichever tempo and style it's played, doowoppy or 'waaah!', is a delight as music and delivery whatever one thinks of the message and political stance ('cop out!' at the time but rather reasonable sounding in retrospect), Happiness is...is a great sinister, totally unclean vibe, very sleazy and desperate; excellent guitar and vocal performance. John's singing is at its peak on this album, period; he's in control of his instrument as to breathing  and he expresses himself amazingly well,  conversationally as well as operatically, often in the course of a single verse like Roy Orbison used to, whisper to a scream: he's transparent here emotionally in every song. That's not just primal blunderbuss screaming, but every shade of whispered emotion too. On relatively (a relative term, he can do no wrong here for me) minor compositions like I'm So Tired, the song's less the thing than the interpretation, a fed up, worn down man muttering to himself and into an imagined 2am telephone, flaring up and fading repeately like the match lighting yet another cigarette (plus "And curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid get!" is one of the greatest free associating 'tired brain' lines I've ever heard, linking the smoke and the romantic spat to the man who popularized chivalry and tobacco, both very overrated daily necessities)

What applies to the singing is true of the playing too. John's overall performance level is very  self-assured and free. I like Everybody's got something to hide...the way that covering band The Feelies did, as a great rhythm and riff to bash away at.

For what it's worth, John and Paul, while often apart here, seem as complementary and competitive as ever. For every Rocky Raccoon, John supplies a Bungalow Bill; for each I Will, a Julia, and so forth. Though their voices couldn't be more distinct, their songwriting is quite of a piece, interchangeable even at times,  witness Good Night, as good a Paul song as John ever wrote (or did Paul 'really' write this one too, eh? Or was it John ghosting Hey Jude, which sounds to me like Paul doing his very best John imitation in his own voice...)

And on top of everything else, Ringo drums at  his unsurpassed best on the John songs. His musical sympathy for the guy is simply psionically amazing throughout the Beatles span, and best still, here.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2006, 10:57:52 PM by cabinessence » Logged
Bean Bag
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« Reply #27 on: January 25, 2006, 05:55:36 AM »

Burned out.  Acid, dope, stardom, ego.  Burned out.

Bubba nailed it.  I think Strawberry Fizzelds, Penny Lane and all that stuff are genuine contributions to the advancement of musical and human expression.  Just as were Pet Sounds, Today, Surf's Up -- new worlds, brother...dig?  New places.  Burried treasures in the mind and spirit affirmed right in front of our eyes and ears...right?

You're damn bloody right I'm right.  I'm fukin' Rush Limbaugh right...Ted Nugent right.  But TO ME, and this is just me talkin' here fellas, but the stuff on the White Album sounds rehashed, over-the-top, in search of a spanking "even my poo is worth your time" bucket of noodles.  And that's a fact Jack Black...as far as I see it anyway.

Hey, you can't have it both ways in a two-way.  But it can have it's fans, too.  Hear me on that.  That's cool.  Some of the music is cool.  But I think Lennon was largely spent after the pinnacle.  I'd be.  He basically became a flake-out.  I mean Yoko?  Don't give me that sh-t homes.  Get that sh-t outta here.

I think they got their funk on...their groove on occassionally after the pinnacle.  They still did some really good stuff after that.  But I hear artistic and egotistic flatuence all over their so-called White Album.  They couldn't even think of a name for it.
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Jeff Mason
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« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2006, 06:04:43 AM »

Cabin -- I love Dear Prudence, but I find it ironic that you call it out as a band song when it is one of the few places where Ringo doesn't drum on a Beatles track with drums....
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jazzfascist
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« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2006, 06:05:28 AM »

John as withering hack, huh? Maybe later, but not here, not yet. Julia is one of the finest songs he ever wrote, Dear Prudence is a stately, airy anthem full of sunshine, and one of the best 'band songs' on the album,  Revolution, whichever tempo and style it's played, doowoppy or 'waaah!', is a delight as music and delivery whatever one thinks of the message and political stance ('cop out!' at the time but rather reasonable sounding in retrospect), Happiness is...is a great sinister, totally unclean vibe, very sleazy and desperate; excellent guitar and vocal performance. John's singing is at its peak on this album, period; he's in control of his instrument as to breathing  and he expresses himself amazingly well,  conversationally as well as operatically, often in the course of a single verse like Roy Orbison used to, whisper to a scream: he's transparent here emotionally in every song. That's not just primal blunderbuss screaming, but every shade of whispered emotion too. On relatively (a relative term, he can do no wrong here for me) minor compositions like I'm So Tired, the song's less the thing than the interpretation, a fed up, worn down man muttering to himself and into an imagined 2am telephone, flaring up and fading repeately like the match lighting yet another cigarette (plus "And curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid get!" is one of the greatest free associating 'tired brain' lines I've ever heard, linking the smoke and the romantic spat to the man who popularized chivalry and tobacco, both very overrated daily necessities)

What applies to the singing is true of the playing too. John's overall performance level is very  self-assured and free. I like Everybody's got something to hide...the way that covering band The Feelies did, as a great rhythm and riff to bash away at.

For what it's worth, John and Paul, while often apart here, seem as complementary and competitive as ever. For every Rocky Raccoon, John supplies a Bungalow Bill; for each I Will, a Julia, and so forth. Though their voices couldn't be more distinct, their songwriting is quite of a piece, interchangeable even at times,  witness Good Night, as good a Paul song as John ever wrote (or did Paul 'really' write this one too, eh? Or was it John ghosting Hey Jude, which sounds to me like Paul doing his very best John imitation in his own voice...)

And on top of everything else, Ringo drums at  his unsurpassed best on the John songs. His musical sympathy for the guy is simply psionically amazing throughout the Beatles span, and best still, here.

I agree with that, generally his songs were up to par compared to McCartney’s and in contrast to McCartney who more or less walked in the “beatled” track, he tried to broaden the scope of  what they could do with their music, with stuff like “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” and “Revolution 9”. This  is also true of their later careers, where Lennon’s music was the one (together with George’s, really) that strayed most from the Beatles type of music, whereas McCartney carried on doing more or less the same. Maybe in that way Lennon was selfindulgent to some, but I think if people have to develop artistically, they have to be a little selfindulgent and generally I think Lennon toed the line.

Søren
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« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2006, 07:31:51 AM »

Quote
I think they got their funk on...their groove on occassionally after the pinnacle.  They still did some really good stuff after that.  But I hear artistic and egotistic flatuence all over their so-called White Album.  They couldn't even think of a name for it.

Dude, it's a joke.  They call it The Beatles because that implies that it defines them, and since it's an album that's all over the place, it's hard to define.  Thinking like that is the opposite of burn-out.
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Bean Bag
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« Reply #31 on: January 25, 2006, 08:03:38 AM »

Quote
I think they got their funk on...their groove on occassionally after the pinnacle.  They still did some really good stuff after that.  But I hear artistic and egotistic flatuence all over their so-called White Album.  They couldn't even think of a name for it.

Dude, it's a joke.  They call it The Beatles because that implies that it defines them, and since it's an album that's all over the place, it's hard to define.  Thinking like that is the opposite of burn-out.

Deeeeep.
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cabinessence
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« Reply #32 on: January 25, 2006, 11:33:07 AM »

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I love Dear Prudence, but I find it ironic that you call it out as a band song when it is one of the few places where Ringo doesn't drum on a Beatles track with drums....

Ah, but 'the band' I meant wasn't the Beatles, it was Siouxie and the Banshees!  Wink

Seriously, I just meant a song fit for a band, any band, to play, which Prudence is whereas much of John's (and others') work here fits under the heading of solo-trip.

Ringo IS on most of the Lennon material and I stand by what I said about his intuitive sympathy when playing along with his mate 
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Chris D.
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« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2006, 11:53:02 AM »

Quote
I think they got their funk on...their groove on occassionally after the pinnacle.  They still did some really good stuff after that.  But I hear artistic and egotistic flatuence all over their so-called White Album.  They couldn't even think of a name for it.

Dude, it's a joke.  They call it The Beatles because that implies that it defines them, and since it's an album that's all over the place, it's hard to define.  Thinking like that is the opposite of burn-out.

Deeeeep.

It was beyond you.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #34 on: January 25, 2006, 12:04:15 PM »

Quote
I think they got their funk on...their groove on occassionally after the pinnacle.  They still did some really good stuff after that.  But I hear artistic and egotistic flatuence all over their so-called White Album.  They couldn't even think of a name for it.

Dude, it's a joke.  They call it The Beatles because that implies that it defines them, and since it's an album that's all over the place, it's hard to define.  Thinking like that is the opposite of burn-out.

Deeeeep.

It was beyond you.

Word, Chris. Stay out of tangling with the cool people here, Shaft. Thank you.
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Jeff Mason
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« Reply #35 on: January 25, 2006, 01:49:03 PM »

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I love Dear Prudence, but I find it ironic that you call it out as a band song when it is one of the few places where Ringo doesn't drum on a Beatles track with drums....

Ah, but 'the band' I meant wasn't the Beatles, it was Siouxie and the Banshees!  Wink

Seriously, I just meant a song fit for a band, any band, to play, which Prudence is whereas much of John's (and others') work here fits under the heading of solo-trip.

Ringo IS on most of the Lennon material and I stand by what I said about his intuitive sympathy when playing along with his mate 

That's cool.  I get it.  I was just being cute...
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cabinessence
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« Reply #36 on: January 25, 2006, 05:48:29 PM »

That's cool, it's the Lennon reflex-backlash ('post-acid reflux'?) that's making me a tad tetchy   CoolAngry
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« Reply #37 on: January 25, 2006, 08:15:59 PM »

I LOVE the Siouxsie and the Banshees version of Dear Prudence! It makes the original sound so... plain and boring.
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I. Spaceman
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« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2006, 08:17:52 PM »

*sigh*
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cabinessence
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« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2006, 12:52:28 AM »

sighs aside (while sighing, myself), I can relate. The Siouxie version of Prudence for me dusted off what had become a soap impression donated  to the national trust many, many years before, reminding me of what a great piece of pop music it was at base.

Much of White Album started as demos recorded in Rishikesh, and rerecorded not all that differently, low key, lo-fi, a bit contemptuosly dismissive of the usual audience by implication.

This approach telegraphed 'artistic growth',  beyond-pop 'reality' expressed by slightly slovenly recording techniques, warts and all, an aesthetic choice of a piece with the design of the record cover (and the stubble faced Paul and other glossily unvarnished publicity  headshots found within) as well  as made for ageless, undated performances unencumbered by distracting period studio techniques (in many cases)...but the hermetic, don't give a foda potential inaccessibility probably alienated more than it wowed. If you're Dylan (the model here, I suspect), unpolished to begin with, eternally unpredictable, often predictably cruelly unaccomodating, fans accepting anything you deign toss them in the way of a few crumbs, you can get away with this more or less forever.

If you're The Beatles, probably not. Look how the Basement Tapes inspired excellent poppified and accessible cover versions from every quarter, however gossamer-thin or meager  the  originals, whereas White just got one Obla-di Brit hit cover, and a slowburn coffee house following for takes on Blackbird and Mother Nature's Son, a Barbra Streisand take on Honey Pie, the minimal Paul quotient of no-fail standards barely netting licensing rights even so. (While My Guitar did have a huge cult following, but it wasn't something that could be played in Vegas, thus rarely copied, though positioning George to take off with Abbey Road as the breadwinner of the band.)

It's the least covered Beatles record of all time. As a result, in my opinion, so much greatness iremains locked up in the unfleshed-out originals. They haven't been  explored enough by others in friendlier styles to familiarize us with how great they were to begin with.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2006, 01:08:02 AM by cabinessence » Logged
I. Spaceman
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« Reply #40 on: January 26, 2006, 01:02:05 AM »

Quote
Much of White Album started as demos recorded in Rishikesh, and rerecorded not all that differently, low key, lo-fi, a bit contemptuosly dismissive of the usual audience by implication.

Hmm, and perhaps slightly imitative in that goal of a fellow Rishikesh tent-mate's band back on the Coast?
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cabinessence
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« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2006, 01:29:42 AM »

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Much of White Album started as demos recorded in Rishikesh, and rerecorded not all that differently, low key, lo-fi, a bit contemptuosly dismissive of the usual audience by implication.


Hmm, and perhaps slightly imitative in that goal of a fellow Rishikesh tent-mate's band back on the Coast?

Hmm, could be!
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« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2006, 04:53:39 AM »

I tell ya, the best version of "Dear Prudence" is by 70's Aussie soul dude Doug Parkinson and his group "In Focus"...

Well, not best, but different... check it out... very cool.
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Chris D.
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« Reply #43 on: January 26, 2006, 07:31:03 AM »

Cabinessence, have you heard the Space Negroes' cover of "Back in the USSR"?  Also, the Pixies and Breeders did good covers from that album.
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« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2006, 08:39:39 AM »

Quote
I think they got their funk on...their groove on occassionally after the pinnacle.  They still did some really good stuff after that.  But I hear artistic and egotistic flatuence all over their so-called White Album.  They couldn't even think of a name for it.

Dude, it's a joke.  They call it The Beatles because that implies that it defines them, and since it's an album that's all over the place, it's hard to define.  Thinking like that is the opposite of burn-out.

Deeeeep.

It was beyond you.

Word, Chris. Stay out of tangling with the cool people here, Shaft. Thank you.

Relax dudes  Kiss  it was a joke.
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dude ll doo
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« Reply #45 on: January 26, 2006, 10:33:42 AM »

White album covers, the Breeders version of "Happiness" springs to mind
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« Reply #46 on: January 26, 2006, 10:44:42 AM »

Another Beatles cover I like better than the original is John Denver's version of Mother Nature's Son. John did so many awesome covers of the Beatles' work (too bad he only did McCartney songs).
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cabinessence
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« Reply #47 on: January 26, 2006, 11:46:59 AM »

And John D's Leaving on a Jet Plane is only really fulfilled by the Peter, Paul & Mary interpretation. Interesting Denver quote on a related subject:

Quote
“People don’t cover my songs as much as they should which is a shame. Annie’s song is still one of the best loved songs of recent years yet no-one’s recorded it other than James Galway.”

He overlooked Monty Python's "Farewell to John Denver" (which has a version of the tune with 'John' singing something like "You came on my pillow!" before being strangled to death), but that's neither here nor there...Denver's expressing the regret of one who thought of himself first and foremost as a songwriter: one's tunes belong to the world, most gratifying when others adopt and make them their own (then again, it could just be regret over lost residuals and revenue stream of course)

I've heard and like most of the White Album covers mentioned. My original point was the LP was little covered when it was new (adding to the list, I remember a contemporary Italian band doing USSR and Lady Madonna in the style of Blood, Sweat and Tears; Nina Simone did a superb rewrite of Revolution which largely tossed out 'count me out' Lennon lyrics in favor of 'Burn, Baby, Burn!' ones of her own) whereas "Something" on Abbey Road was more what the interpreters were waiting for and expecting, the first universally coverable item since Hey Jude.

Was White Album a parenthesis of self-indulgence between  "good" normal Beatle music? I don't think so, but if sheer number of Hugo Montenegro and Frank Sinatra-covers is a reliable index of greatness and artistic success, The Beatles was certainly a failure, as a truly popular record, anyhow
« Last Edit: January 26, 2006, 11:49:19 AM by cabinessence » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: January 26, 2006, 12:04:44 PM »

Great posts on the White, Cabin.
Wild Honey Pie by the Pixies is my favorite White cover.
Prudence is great, but let's not forget that Siouxsie did another classic White cover on the first album, Helter Skelter!
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« Reply #49 on: January 26, 2006, 12:49:57 PM »

"You may be a lover but you ain't no f uckin' dancer! Look out! Helter skelter, na na na na nanana!"

The vocalizing of the electric guitar was really annoying at first but it grew on me.

Their cover of "Wheel's On Fire" by the Band is definitely one of their best, though.
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