Showing posts with label The White Album. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The White Album. Show all posts

Monday, August 10, 2020

List Your FAV FIVE: Albums

Last week's blog, LIST Your FAV FIVE Songs was a lot of fun! I'm so thankful to the people who participated and made Monday Monday Music a little more interactive. For the little music blog that could, I got a larger number of hits than most weeks, as I think that some readers passed along the blog to family and friends who may have cast a silent ballot at home.

The feedback I got from several people was that it was really hard to pick only five songs, and that's why I liked it so much! So if you either electronically responded or silently made your list on a napkin, I thought I'd continue the reader participation theme this week by stepping it up a notch. This week let's all put our heads together and list our five favorite albums of all-time.

As I write this on the weekend before the Monday post, I've started a brainstorm list (on recycled printer paper) of 33 albums and initially only knew one album that would will make the final five. My suggestion- just start looking through your vinyl album/CD collections, or music streaming service favorites. That should get you going.

After studying my list of 33, it came down to:
  • Which Beatle album(s) to pick;
  • Which singer-songwriter album(s) to pick;
  • and most importantly, what albums did I know every song and played them into my heart and soul.
Paul Hobbs texted me last week after participating in the FAV FIVE Songs blog and wrote, "It would be interesting to hear what made one choose a particular song. As music is a time machine, specific incidents and events can certainly play a role in creating a list such as this." I couldn't agree more; and so my third bullet point above and Paul's words lead me to this list of five albums that have stayed with me since "the era" of the 60's and 70's. 
  1. The White Album, The Beatles
  2. After the Gold Rush, Neil Young
  3. Who's Next, The Who
  4. Late For The Sky, Jackson Browne
  5. Buffalo Springfield Again, Buffalo Springfield
This week I will forgo why I chose these five albums as your list will also come to me without an explanation to the "time machine, specific incidents and events" that influenced your short list. 

What makes your list and my list interesting, is that we may or may not have some background information of 'why' one made a specific album selection, but the mystery and our speculation may be enough to make our music week a little more intriguing. So share this blog with friends and family as it may spark an interesting conversation. 

Note- For kicks, you might be interested in 'my weekend brainstorm' of 33 albums and I've included it here at the end of the blog. I made my list within a hour and then put my pen down and did that on purpose because knowing myself, it quickly would grow to fifty, then one-hundred and hey thats' a horse of a different color.

One last thing before I turn you loose to think and create your own list; I want to simply make the distinction between 'best' and 'favorite.' Citizen Kane is often ranked by critics as the best movie of all-time and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is similarly ranked as the best album of all-time. My list could have easily included Sgt. Pepper, but the emotional impact of The White Album for me comes from a place in the time machine that makes it an extra special favorite.

Now it's your turn.

If you do not see the Google Form in this blog from your browser, use this direct link -

I'll be looking forward to making and posting Your FAV FIVE Albums playlists this week, so come back to see everyone's playlists! (note- I will create the playlists in the order I receive them on my end.)

Doug McIntosh's FAV FIVE Albums

Mary Kit McIntosh's FAV FIVE Albums

Paul Hobbs' FAV FIVE Albums

Ron Ouellette's FAV FIVE Albums

Desperado, Eagles (on Spotify, as the complete studio album is not available on YouTube)

Desperado (pieced together with various studio and live song versions)

Shawna McIntosh's FAV FIVE Albums

Vicki Forman's FAV FIVE Albums

Ken Forman's FAV FIVE Albums

Ron Zieman's FAV FIVE Albums

Are You Experienced • Jimi Hendrix (This link is available on Spotify as there are only a few original studio tracks from the album available on YouTube)

Note - Ron suggested I get this album as I purchased Are Your Experienced and Buffalo Springfield Again at the same time in 1968 as these two albums were the first albums I actually bought with my own money (from my paper route). It's so fitting to find it here as one of Ron's FAV FIVE along with my Buffalo Springfield Again pick above.

Roger Demchak's FAV FIVE Albums

Jane Hobbs' FAV FIVE Albums

Hotel California • Eagles
(This link is available on Spotify as there are only a few original studio tracks from the album available on YouTube)

Doug's Brainstorm List of 33 FAVorite Albums
(Listed in the order they came into my head)
  1. Late For The Sky, Jackson Browne
  2. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles
  3. Who's Next, The Who
  4. The White Album, The Beatles
  5. Abbey Road, The Beatles
  6. Innervisions, Stevie Wonder
  7. Buffalo Springfield Again, Buffalo Springfield
  8. Desperado, Eagles
  9. Tumbleweed Connection, Elton John
  10. Madman Across the Water, Elton John
  11. John Prine, John Prine
  12. After The Gold Rush, Neil Young
  13. Deja Vu, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  14. Sail Away, Randy Newman
  15. A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles
  16. There Goes Rhymin' Simon, Paul Simon
  17. Tea For The Tillerman, Cat Stevens
  18. Court and Spark, Joni Mitchell
  19. Sweet Baby James, James Taylor
  20. Talking Book, Stevie Wonder
  21. Moondance, Van Morrison
  22. Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon and Garfunkel
  23. Tapestry, Carol King
  24. Blue, Joni Mitchell
  25. Highway 61 Revisited, Bob Dylan
  26. Blood On The Tracks, Bob Dylan
  27. Revolver, The Beatles
  28. Cover Girl, Shawn Colvin
  29. Prisoner in Disguise, Linda Ronstadt
  30. Nilsson Schmilsson, Harry Nilsson
  31. Karla Bonoff, Karla Bonoff
  32. Damn The Torpedoes, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  33. If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, The Mama's and the Papa's

Monday, November 26, 2018

The Beatles: 50th Anniversary White Album - Esher Demos/Instrumental Backing Tracks Mix

On November 9, 2018 The Beatles released their 50th Anniversary edition(s) of the 1968 White Album. For many (including me), it's the best rock 'n' roll double album ever made and recorded in arguably the best year in rock 'n' roll history. It was released to the world on November 22, 1968, which happened to coincide with the 5th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. 

The six, yes 6 CD Super Deluxe Set includes 107 tracks or 5 hours and 26 minutes remastered by George Martin's son Giles Martin. Giles to many Beatles fans, is 'the keeper of the flame.' I end this week's playlist with Giles being interviewed about the White Album. 

Here is the Super Deluxe version for purchase on Amazon.

Here is the streaming version on Amazon Music.

One of my most favorite Christmas shopping memories was driving down to the La Cumbre Plaza shopping center in Santa Barbara to Christmas shop with my next door neighbor Ron Zieman and his family. Ron was on a mission from God to get The Beatles White Album for Christmas, as it was not yet available in our small town of Santa Maria, CA. I was along for the ride, but I remember Ron's expression as I believe he found it in a department store and held it up like the Willy Wonka 'golden ticket.' When we got back home, it was never Christmas wrapped, but rather unwrapped quickly from it's shrink wrap and we were listening to it in Ron's bedroom on his portable record player that night. 

Fifty years later, I realize the magnitude of 1968 on the world, but I had no idea how the music of that time would shape my life in such a profound manner. It in fact helped me look at the world from a bigger prism than my small town projected. The music and particularly The White Album came to me in my 13th year and today, frames a place in time when I was just starting to grow up. 

Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated on April 4th, and Bobby Kennedy on June 6th, 1968. On the night of June 6th, the California Primary, my dad and I stayed up to watch the race and results and I remember it as a bonding moment as we talked with my questions and his explanations about how this game was played.  I went to bed with Bobby winning and then was awakened by my dad with the news. I'll never forget the look on his face as he told me. This was a beginner's punch in the gut lesson of politics, swirling and evolving in my head.

Then in the fall, the White Album is released and it's simply a masterpiece of music. No concept album here, an eclectic mix of styles all blended to expand a young person's perceptions of music, and thinking. For example, as a 13 year old, John's line in Revolution"But if you go carrying pictures of chairman MaoYou ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow" was synthesized by me to- think for yourself, not to blindly follow a leader or the crowd.

The 50th Anniversary mix gives us all more Beatles to listen to. It includes the 27 rehearsal 'Esher Demos' made in one magical day at George Harrison's house shortly after the group had returned from their trip to India together. These demos were taped on George's reel to reel tape recorder in late May of 1968 and before the band entered Abbey Road Studios to cut the album. 

For a deeper look, read Rob Sheffield's article in Rolling Stone - The Beatles’ Esher Demos: The Lost Basement Tapes That Became the White Album

Last week, I was so excited to find the Super Deluxe (all 107) tracks posted on YouTube that I had to write this blog and include it here. 

For the Playlist this week, I've mostly assembled the Esher demos coupled with the instrumental tracks, out takes and remix tracks from the 50th Super Deluxe Set to make my own little White Album. These tracks capture the acoustic and harmonizing Beatles- all of whom seem to be having a wonderful time together. There has been a lot said about the internal discord of the making of this album that would eventually lead to the breakup of the band. But I agree with Giles Martin, if you listen to his interview, he says he can't hear the discord but rather the genuine Beatle banter and laughter on all the audio he poured through to do this 2018 remix.

So what's your favorite songs on the White Album, old or new mix? Let me know in the comments section below if you like.

This go around, my favorite is the lads singing backup vocals to Ringo's lead on Goodnight (Take 10 With A Guitar Part From Take 5).  

Take it from the 1968 thirteen-year old and the current sixty-three year old as it is agreed,
The White Album is a marvel to listen to at any age.