Monday, January 05, 2009

Question of the Day

Monday, January 5th.

It is not as philosophical as the previous though still important.

Earlier in the evening, while Sweet Toddler J created a delicious dinner for me in her kitchen, the two of us were listening to The Beatles' White Album. Overall, it is a very sound album e.g. "While My Guitar Gently Sleeps," (George wrote and recorded with Eric Clapton without the rest of the Beatles); "Back in the USSR" (recorded without Ringo); "Dear Prudence" (about Mia Farrow's sister who was in India at the same time the Beatles were there); "Bungalow Bill" (about someone who while on retreat with the Beatles in India left the compound to go hunting); Blackbird (though Sarah McLaughlin's version in I Am Sam may be better); Happiness is a Warm Gun; Why Don't We Do It In The Road; etc.

However, It may not be their best work as there are too many songs on the two album set that are just terrible. As much as it pains me to say Appetite for Destruction is a much better complete album than the White Album as even "Night Train" is a better song than "Glass Onion." (FYI I hate songs that are self-referential either to the band name or to other songs and "Glass Onion" is the worst song ever for meaningless self-references.)

At best, this should be one album. Maybe a longer album but one nonetheless.

Here is the question: What "great" album would be better if songs were removed from it? Additionally, how could an album be better is other songs, recorded around the same time as the album of choice, were included (e.g. is songs from Radiohead's Amnesiac were added to Kid A--- not that Kid A needs improvement)?


harrogate said...

Harrogate has always felt that U2's The Joshua Tree would have been a much better album sans the first three songs: "Where the Streets Have No Name," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," and "With or Without You."

Now dont get Harrogate wrong. It is understandable why the first three songs all were such hits. They are good pop songs.

But the truth is, beginning with "Bullet the Blue Sky" and running through the end of the record, The Joshua Tree takes off and becomes something complete, each song being a wondrous gem that complements each other song in terms of both style and content.

The first three hits just don't match the achievment of the rest of the record.

Oxymoron said...

Like the White Album, Harrison's All Things Must Pass, a six-sided album, should only be one disc. The first side is especially strong, including "I'd Have You Anytime," "My Sweet Lord," "Wah-Wah," and "Isn't It a Pity." On side two, you get the Dylan-penned "If Not for You," and on side three, "All Things Must Pass."

Harrison wrote most of songs for Beatles' albums, but they didn't make the cut. The album features Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr, Phil Collins, and Ginger Baker.