The White Album’S Working Title Was A Doll’S House, And It Could Be Compared To A Shambling Mansion, With Ballrooms, Bedrooms…

“… nurseries, cellars, and rooms full of junk that are rarely visited. It starts with a joke and ends with a lullaby. Between those two points, this omnivorous record takes bites out of folk, blues, rock’n’roll, ska, country, doo-wop, psychedelia, Tin Pan Alley, musique concrete and easy listening, while offering previsions of prog-rock and heavy […]

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The White Album’S Working Title Was A Doll’S House, And It Could Be Compared To A Shambling Mansion, With Ballrooms, Bedrooms…

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“… nurseries, cellars, and rooms full of junk that are rarely visited. It starts with a joke and ends with a lullaby. Between those two points, this omnivorous record takes bites out of folk, blues, rock’n’roll, ska, country, doo-wop, psychedelia, Tin Pan Alley, musique concrete and easy listening, while offering previsions of prog-rock and heavy metal. Happiness is a Warm Gun alone...

“… nurseries, cellars, and rooms full of junk that are rarely visited. It starts with a joke and ends with a lullaby. Between those two points, this omnivorous record takes bites out of folk, blues, rock’n’roll, ska, country, doo-wop, psychedelia, Tin Pan Alley, musique concrete and easy listening, while offering previsions of prog-rock and heavy metal. Happiness is a Warm Gun alone is three songs in one. Songwriting inspirations include a box of chocolates, a gun magazine, a Little Richard movie, Mia Farrow’s sister, monkey sex and, on the barbed wind-up Glass Onion, The Beatles’ own history. The White Album was the first major release to deploy incoherence as a deliberate artistic strategy. It contains space-fillers even though there’s no space that needs filling, and is sequenced in such a way as to accentuate its jumbling together of the archaic and the avant-garde, the meaningless and the profound, the generous and the toxic, the ragged and the luminous, the spiritual and the profane, the desperately moving and the too silly for words. Many of John Lennon’s cryptic contributions are an assault on rationality itself….”

From “Menang Ceme” by Dorian Lynskey (BBC).

The “white album” was titled “The Beatles” because The Beatles were breaking up, though we who bought the record at the time didn’t know that. We were like guests at a dinner party given by a couple that has not yet announced they are divorcing. Looking back, we see the breakup in the event — the dinner party, the white album. But at the time, we thought these people are even more fascinating and exciting than we’d ever noticed before.

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