Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New things on the Beatles' White Album.

Playing right now: The Beatles - Yellow Submarine (the same copy that I bought when I was in third grade. Basically a throwaway album, it nevertheless contains two of George Harrison's best songs.)

Since my birthday, I've digressed into a classic rock/classic oldies state of mind. A friend of mine from work gave me a handful of albums that includes Pink Floyd's Ummagumma, Steve Miller's The Joker and Fleetwood Mac's Then Play On (which I discussed at length with Jim Lingo last night). In eighth grade I loved Floyd and had every album up to The Wall except More. I later sold almost all of them. Ummagumma was one I had on a cassette dub and I later taped over it. Even during my anti-floyd days, I held fond memories of the live half of the album. So imagine my surprise when I listened to it and it sounded kind of dull. What happened?

The Joker was an album I owned around the same time as Yellow Submarine. Every six months I get a craving to hear the opening riff of "Sugar Babe" but never so much that I go to Jerry's to buy it. Glad to have it again.

The Beatles kick of late was motivated by the copy of the newly remastered copy of the White Album that I gotfrom my folks for my birthday. It was on a wish list. I heard it sounds the best of all the new discs, so short of getting the mono box, this was the one I wanted to hear first. And it does sound great. You can feel the individual parts coming together to make the songs whole. It's like they're a real band, not just four iconic figures. Which is probably debatable since the group was falling apart as that album was made.

Here are some key things that are noticeable on the remastered White album:
"Revolution 9" doesn't sound as scary anymore. It just sounds like a bunch of tape loops.
In "Yer Blues," Paul's low E-string is out of tune, or else he's hitting it really hard and making it bend out of tune. (I have a Rickenbacker too, and it's easy to do that.)
The overdubs seem to stand out more. Like the guitars in "Back In the USSR" that hit the high chords in the intro.
There's more I'm sure, but to be honest I've only played it all the way through just once.

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