The Beatles’ “White Album” is a double album of great richness, nuance and stylistic diversity. More than forty musicians participated in its recording, including Billly Preston, Nicky Hopkins and Eric Clapton (he did the guitar solo on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”). It is impossible to highlight any song (except for the annoying avant-garde of “Revolution 9”) since each listening can reveal an aspect or detail in the arrangements overlooked in a piece not valued in the right measure that reaches its true dimension and permeates our more acute sensations among its elaborate notes, since even the smallest of Liverpool’s geniuses is a gigantic fact for most groups. Below are the 5 Songs You Can’t Remove From The White Album By The Beatles:
Lennon’s overwhelming “Julia”, dedicated to his late mother: this must be surely one of the most exciting songs that anyone wrote to his mother, and also one of the most emotional of all those John composed in his entire life. Starring his own sad voice and guitar, it is as if John did not want anyone to accompany him in that intimate moment of honoring his mother and as is common in many of the songs on the album, he only appears in the credits.
4. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
Despite the light and optimistic tone of this song, it was one of the recordings on the album that triggered the most tensions: John Lennon hated it with all his soul, and Paul’s perfectionism – it was played dozens of times changing tempo and arrangements – made it engineer Geoff Emerick walked out of sessions fearing for his sanity; “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” is similar in many ways to “Yellow Submarine”: a somewhat childish, happy and carefree song that does not enjoy much sympathy even among Beatles fans.
3. “Helter Skelter”
Paul McCartney has remained in the popular imagination as a soft guy with a high fondness for slow, bland and decaffeinated songs, a cliché established by ignorant people who I doubt have listened to the Beatles’ albums in depth; Macca composed some of the most rock songs of the Beatles, and among all of them “Helter Skelter” stands out loudly: many versions of this song have been made, some even by hard rock bands… but none of them achieve the power of the original recording, in which Paul huffs himself, plays a loud electric guitar, and John Lennon plays a crushing bass. Although the title of the song refers to a kind of slide that used to be in British amusement parks, the aforementioned Charles Manson interpreted it in his infamous way and influenced him to commit the heinous crimes that brought him to fame. At the end of the song, Ringo yells “I have blisters on my fingers!”, A phrase that perfectly sums up the spirit of the song: a totally wild and unbridled rock madness, out of control.
2. “Happiness Is a Warm Gun”
John Lennon based a large part of his ideas when composing on small things (drawings, advertisements, posters), and precisely“ Happiness Is A Warm Gun ”is one of those examples. John read a devastating phrase in an American gun magazine: Happiness is a warm gun, that is, happiness is a hot gun. And a gun is hot only when it’s fired … maybe at someone. With this sinister context begins the song that, despite not reaching three minutes in length, has three wonderful different and differentiated environments. As we already said, John will use that compositional technique throughout the album. “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” is one of those songs darker – at least in terms of popularity – of the Beatles, but without a doubt one of the most remarkable and enjoyable: even for Paul himself it was one of his favorites on the album.
1. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is an epic rock song that featured an exceptional guest, Eric Clapton, who was one of Harrison’s best friends. Clapton took over the most memorable guitar solo that he is, despite the great albums and songs he recorded throughout his life as one of the most legendary guitarists in history, among the best he has ever played.
If there is one performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” –and its corresponding guitar solo- that can rival the original recorded for the white album, that was the one performed by Tom Petty, the son of Harrison –Dhani-, Jeff Lynneof ELO and Steve Winwood (among others) at George Harrison’s induction gala in 2004 – George died three years earlier – in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame: after a perfect performance full of feeling, a possessed Prince (probably by Jimi Hendrix) launched a furious three-minute solo in which he rivals Eric Clapton himself. One of the most spectacular rock and roll moments of the 00’s.