Monday, November 24, 2008

The Beatles "White Album" Turns 40...

It's the 40th anniversary of The Beatles, "The White Album." NPR had a nice reflection on the album that is worth checking out: When The White Album was released 40 years ago this month, fans were both baffled and awe struck by its sprawling world of sound. It was released as a double LP (almost unheard of at the time) and featured instant classics like "I Will," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and "Blackbird." But The White Album (its real name is simply The Beatles) was also filled with songs many found hard to digest, like the eight-minute, experimental sound collage "Revolution 9" or the inexplicably surreal "Wild Honey Pie." On this edition of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen talks with Bruce Spizer, author of The Beatles On Apple Records, about the groundbreaking White Album and how it came to be. Listen to the program here.

Here is a similar 40th anniversary reflection on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band": For many fans, hearing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first time was a life-changing experience. Prior to its release in June of 1967, most of music being produced was for Top 40, AM radio play and for dance parties. Kids bought 45s and never thought of a collection of songs as a "concept album" or work of art. Bob Boilen has a rememberance.

And another on the "Love" CD that came out a few years ago, which features a remix of various Beatles tunes. "Love" is the soundtrack to the Cirque du Soleiel show of the same name in Las Vegas: A new CD of Beatles music is out and it isn't simply a reissue of the same songs. It's a mashup of sorts. Imagine the guitar solo from "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" mixed onto "Lady Madonna." Or tablas from "Tomorrow Never Knows" mixed under the sitar of "Within You Without You." That's what Beatles producer George Martin and his son, Giles have done. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen talks with Giles Martin about these stunning new remixes.

Here is program about a box set that collects the American versions of four early Beatles albums: Capitol Records is releasing four early Beatles recordings, never before available on compact disc. The American versions of The Early Beatles, Beatles VI, Help! and Rubber Soul make up a new box set, The Capitol Albums Volume 2. All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen talks with Beatles author Bruce Spizer about the new collection.

What is your favorite Beatles album?  Why?

Who is your favorite Beatle? Why?


  1. Sometimes my favorite is "Abbey Road," for all its over-ripe musical genius. Sometimes it is "Let It Be," for its stripped down rocking-ness. Sometimes it is the "The White Album," for all its challenging diversity. And sometimes it is "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver" together, because I think of them as a pair, sitting at this crucial transitional moment in the history of the band's sound.

    George is my favorite Beatle for his spirituality and because he is not Paul or John...

  2. So let me introduce to you
    The one and only Billy Shears
    and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band!