Single White Album
All this reissuing of Beatles material started me thinking about the “White Album”. Many view it as one of the best albums of all time, but producer George Martin felt that it should be a single album rather than a double. As you might imagine, being the curmudgeon that I am, I agree with him. So, after lots of deliberation, I present to you my track listing for a single-LP White Album:
Back in the USSR
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Happiness is a Warm Gun
Martha My Dear
Mother Nature’s Son
There was no great philosophy driving my choices for the album: I just picked the songs that I like the most. I do enjoy others on the record, but I find some a little inconsequential. As for the order of the tracks: I tried to start each side with up-tempo numbers, giving way to the more gentle ones. I thought this would avoid any major clashes in musical styles. However, Back in the USSR and Dear Prudence run together, so I left that as it is. I possibly could’ve crammed one more song on there, but that would’ve affected the sound quality of the LP. Yes, I’ve given it that much thought.
Of course, the album would never have come out with this exact set of songs. There was always a lot of politics involved when it came to the band members and their representation on albums. For a start, this set has more songs by Lennon than McCartney; which I’m sure would’ve annoyed Paul. The band were also keen to have one song on each album sung by Ringo; so they probably would’ve traded a Lennon track for one written by Starkey. Yuck! Harrison might also have felt a little hard done by with just one track; although it wasn’t without precedent.
All in all, I think that there are enough songs from the White Album sessions for really great album that’s one LP and a bit in length. This shows the limitations of the LP format and brings up the idea of ‘Addition by Subtraction’. There’s probably a lot more to be said on that matter, but I’ll save that for another day.
N.B. I reserve the right to change the track listing at will.