Monday, June 02, 2008

now that's what i call eponymous

40th Anniversary of the Beatles' "White Album" @ British Library, 27th May

So...more 1968-related cultural reassessment a.k.a. nostalgia, this time regarding "The Beatles", a.k.a. the "White Album", thanks to artist Richard Hamilton whose "iconic sleeve design" surely represents one of his less stressful days at work.

Though for me "Rubber Soul" pips it to the post as greatest Beatles LP, the "White Album" must have been the most stylistically diverse pop record of its time: consider the 1920s-Charleston-esque "Honey Pie", the Beach Boys-like rocker "Back In The USSR", the syrupy orchestral ballad "Good Night", the avant-garde
"Revolution #9", the acoustic lullaby "Blackbird", the Wild West saloon bar honky-tonk-tastic "Rocky Raccoon", and so on and so on.

David Quantick, typically entertaining, gave us the benefit of the trainspotter approach he cultivated while writing his book "Revolution: The Making Of The Beatles' White Album" then various members of the audience gave personal reminiscences of particular tracks. The most entertaining of these was one man's memories of a teenage car journey with an old aunt at the wheel. Having decided on a tape of the "White Album" as suitably cool accompaniment for the homeward journey, he settled back to listen--with said aunt--forgetting about the imminent arrival of "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" and sinking lower and lower into his seat with embarrasment as Macca hammered home that excrutiating title line...

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