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124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic Brilliance
This was a brave follow up to Sgt Pepper. So completely different and so diverse, it is a virtual dictionary of all musical styles. When I first heard it in 1978 I was completely blown away. This is the album where they were not only on top of their game but also had the self confidence to put out an album of no less than 30 songs! One has often come to the conclusion...
Published on 19 Feb 2006 by John Heaton

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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Truly folks, save your money.
This album is my favourite by the Beatles and one of my favourites by any artist. The music is often sublime and never less than interesting over 90 + minutes. I, like most, was subject to the advertising onslaught for the new remasters and was intent on resisting as i already have the albums on vinyl and cd. I read the reviews (mainly positive) and curiosity got the...
Published on 16 Sep 2009 by zappa


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124 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eclectic Brilliance, 19 Feb 2006
By 
John Heaton (Budapest, Hungary) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Beatles (Audio CD)
This was a brave follow up to Sgt Pepper. So completely different and so diverse, it is a virtual dictionary of all musical styles. When I first heard it in 1978 I was completely blown away. This is the album where they were not only on top of their game but also had the self confidence to put out an album of no less than 30 songs! One has often come to the conclusion that there was no room in one band for three such stupendous songwriters. So here they got around that by releasing a brilliant double album. There has been much talk of how things might have been better had they reduced this to a single album. What bollocks! For a start, no Beatles fan has ever agreed which tracks should have been shelved. As Paul says in one of his finest lines ever: ’Shut up it’s the bloddy Beatles album’. That it is, and we are eternally grateful.
John Lennon never reached the peaks he reaches here. All his songs are wonderful. From the finger picking ’Dear Prudence’ with a stomping bass line from Paul to the tour de force group effort ’Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ to the supremely melodic ’Sexy Sadie’. Who ever said that McCartney wrote all the melodies is sadly mistaken. This is a melody to die for. And there is ’Julia’, the sweet and moving lament to his lost mother and the Mother he had found in Yoko. ’Revolution’ needs no introduction. Even if this slower album version is slightly inferior to the raucous rendition on the B Side of Hey Jude, it is mighty fine all the same. ’Cry Baby Cry’ is a wonderfully atmospheric piece with Paul contributing some suitably eerie piano. Even the lesser Lennon numbers are exciting: Glass Onion (with its famous tribute to Paul), ’Everybody’s Got Something To Hide’ sees The Beatles rocking like they never had before. And ’Bungalow Bill’ is a fun sing-along but with a dark lyric which is wonderful in its parody of the tiger-shooting guy who was with them at Maharishi’s camp where everyone was supposed to be peaceful! ’I’m So Tired’ has to be the ultimate Lost Album Track. No one seems to know this masterpiece outside the inner Beatles fan circle. Take a listen as Lennon said in the intro to his song ’Scared’ 6 years later. ’Yer Blues’ is another band tour de force, recorded in a small room with all four Beatles. Which was not the case for every number here.
And Paul, the other half of that great songwriting partnership has never surpassed the quality of material he produces here. With the possible exception of the Beatles’ final album ’Abbey Road’. ’Back In The USSR’ is a timeless rocker, ’Obla-Di Obla-Da is effortlessly magical. As is ’Matha My Dear’ (where does he find these melodies from?!). ’I Will’ and ’Blackbird’ are two of his very finest acoustic numbers. Which as we know, again to quote Edmund Blackadder, is up against some pretty stiff competition. And then we have here from Paul ’Helter Skelter’, ’Why Don’t We Do It In The Road’ and ’Birthday’, three stupendous rockers that you could easily be forgiven for thinking that Lennon was behind them. But No. As most people know by now Paul could rock with the best of them. God Bless You Paul.
And if that wasn’t enough, we have four George Harrisongs. ’While My Guitar’ is marvellous. Another masterful group performance, albeit without any contribution from Lennon. But Eric Clapton’s wonderful distorted guitar solos and Paul’s piano intro and stomping bass line make up for that. ’Piggies’ and ’Savoy Truffle’ are minor gems. But ’Long Long Long’ is a George ballad up there in the etchelons. The way it follows the mayhem of ’Helter Skelter’ is a genius of progamming.
Oh I forgot ’Honey Pie’ from Paul, the superb following number to ’Revolution’. Sublime. And then buried on Side 3 (vinyl) is ’Mother Nature’s Son’ which is close to the definition of Beauty.
Ringo chips in with his first composition ’Don’t Pass Me By’, which The Band told George was their favourite off the album. It is infectious. And then following the avant garde collage ’Revolution 9’ (the only track whose inclusion is even remotely controversial) we have Ringo singing ’Good Night’. A perfect close to a pretty near perfect album. They would go to produce two more albums after this but this is the last album where, despite the tensions and the obvious individuality of the 30 tracks on offer here, TheBeatles believed in themselves wholeheartedly. It is quite possibly their greatest masterpiece.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It rocks and it sighs...still amazing, 17 Nov 2012
By 
This review is from: The Beatles [VINYL] (Vinyl)
The 2012 issue is lovely to listen to. The sound has space and the acoustic instruments sound woody, natural in a roomy environment. I have to recommend this for the balanced sound of actual people at work in the playing.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh yeah... oh yeah .... oh yeahhhhh!, 13 Sep 2009
This review is from: The Beatles: The White Album (Audio CD)
Like many who cannot afford to buy the remastered box set in one go, I decided to try just my favourite album as a taster and see if the hype was justified. For me, that album was Revolver. "Hmmm" probably describes my initial reaction on hearing it. I so wanted it to sound incredible, to reveal new, previously hidden instruments and nuances, but it just didn't.

Not wanting to be disappointed so easily I decided to have one more try with The White Album and OH MY GOD!!! there it was. Everything I wanted the Revolver remaster to be. Crystal clear guitars and bass, punch to the percussion, passion in the vocals, an invitation to revisit an old and rather over familiar friend with renewed love.

I don't know why the remastering on The White Album sounds so much better than on Revolver. Possibly because in my opinion it never sounded too hot in the first place and therefore there was more scope for improvement. Will I go on and purchase the box set, probably not, but will I continue to try the albums one at a time. You bet!!!
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Quality of the Beatles Best Album. A must Have., 9 Sep 2009
This review is from: The Beatles: The White Album (Audio CD)
My first impression was how much better the music sounded, more musical, better balance. I was simply awestruck as the music came through with clarity & precision bettering the excellent re-masterd re-issue of the Yellow Sub CD some years ago. One of my all time favourite tracks, Dear Prudence, sounded much more open with a wide soundstage and excellent vocal and instrument separation as I could here the instruments stand out. The stereo imaging is excellent as if listening to a live rendition. JLs vocals sound very natural with excellent timbre and McCartney's bass now sounded much more natural with better definition with less boom, I could go on....
Overall the music is better separated with a rounder sweeter sound. While my guitar Gently Weeps has come alive, as the instruments stand apart with the Hammond organ cleanly separated and Clapton's guitar solo sounds like I have never heard it before, supreme. The overall sound balance is excellent in comparison to the original stereo mixes that sound course and bright and just awful in comparison.
Very impressed so far, can't wait to here Abbey Road, Pepper and Revolver.
Listen to the sax solo on Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, It's simply superb.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their Tortured Masterpiece, 22 Sep 2008
This review is from: The Beatles (Audio CD)
It had been a tough year and a bit for The Beatles. Their manager Brian Epstein had died of an overdose, their Magical Mystery Tour had seen them mauled by critics for the first time, and their attempts to practise transcendental meditation in India with the Maharishi had ended in disaster. It was during that ill-fated trip that most of these songs were written.

Inside the band itself, the situation was also far from hunky dory. Lennon would soon lose interest in the band, spending more and more time with his new partner Yoko Ono instead. Harrison was increasingly sick of being overlooked by John and Paul, who still only permitted him a few songs per album (he has four out of thirty here). Sensing this unease in the band, McCartney increasingly took charge of the group, a fatherly attitude which further annoyed the others. Meanwhile Ringo gets sole writing credit for `Don't Pass Me By', not one of the album's best but certainly pleasant enough.

It was with these tensions that The Beatles made The White Album, a self-titled song collection that derives its popular nickname from a stark white cover. Most of the songs here are pretty much solo compositions, as the band's two main songwriters had both begun to jealously guard their own work, allowing only minimal input from the other. Ironically, this is the album where George Harrison finally became their equal, writing a couple of the very best songs here.

Beginning with the sound of a plane taking off, Back In The USSR is a Beach Boys homage with a thumping piano beat and lyrics that were fairly controversial during the middle of the Cold War. This fades hauntingly into the acoustic Dear Prudence, written to encourage Mia Farrow's sister out of hut-bound seclusion during the India trip. Glass Onion mockingly references other Beatles songs, providing more fodder for those fans desperate to read hidden meanings into their work. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da is a bouncy tale of inter-racial marriage with a happy ending. Wild Honey Pie is a 50-second oddity that reinforces the strange new direction The Beatles had taken. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill sounds more like a twisted nursery rhyme than a rock song, a trait common to much of The White Album.

Next is While My Guitar Gently Weeps, possibly the album's best song. Written by Harrison and featuring guitar from his friend Eric Clapton, it tells of spiritual pain and disillusionment. Happiness Is A Warm Gun is one of the album's most oddly structured songs, featuring several disorientating changes of tone one after another. Martha My Dear is a nice piano ditty that may or may not be inspired by McCartney's dog, depending on who you believe. I'm So Tired is another pained Lennon contribution (he was clearly not having a fun time in 1968). Blackbird is a Bach-inspired piece, once again acoustic because this was the only instrument available to the band in India, and comprising some tasteful samples of the eponymous bird's song.

Piggies is perhaps the bitterest song present, comparing Capitalism to pigs eating bacon, unfortunately a key inspiration for the Manson cult's murder spree. Rocky Raccoon is a slightly unhinged story of a spurned lover setting out (and failing) to kill his rival for the woman in question's affections, featuring some honky-tonk piano. Don't Pass Me By is a bluesy country song written by Starr, the writing of which predated recording by at least four years. Why Don't We Do It In The Road? originated from Paul seeing two monkeys doing just that, and I Will is another McCartney effort, written for future spouse Linda Eastman. The first disc of the CD version (and second side of the original vinyl) ends with Julia, written for Lennon's dead mother and the only Beatles song on which he is the sole performer. This is one of the album's most beautiful compositions, imbued with a real sense of sadness and longing.

Disc Two opens with Birthday, on which McCartney sounds near-psychotic with celebration. Yer Blues expresses suicidal intent, the sort of soul-purging that would become increasingly common during Lennon's solo career. After this, the subdued Mother Nature's Son is a relief to hear - an early version of what would become Jealous Guy was dropped from the album because of perceived similarities to this McCartney tune. Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey supposedly concerns Lennon and Ono, though alternative suggestions have been made such as drugs (it was around this time that Lennon acquired a taste for heroin). Sexy Sadie was originally called Maharishi, but George convinced John to alter the lyrics, though the sentiments remain the same. Helter Skelter is The Beatles' loudest and craziest song, the point where this album sounds most disturbed. Long, Long, Long is an extremely subtle Harrison piece, easy to overlook amidst more attention-grabbing Lennon and McCartney songs, but actually incredibly beautiful.

Revolution 1 was Lennon's response to a hippy movement that had grown increasingly violent, saying that he wants change but won't become brutalised to get it. Honey Pie is another of McCartney's music-hall-style recordings, which a lot of people sniff at but I think are actually quite good (this one especially). Savoy Truffle is probably Harrison's weakest contribution here, name-checking the contents of a chocolate box. Cry Baby Cry was inspired by fairy tales, ending with a brief McCartney segment that pleas `Can you take me back?', as though begging to return to a pre-Beatles childhood. The album's penultimate track is its most controversial, Lennon's chaotic sound collage called Revolution 9: personally I think it's interesting and genuinely haunting, though not one of the album's very best. Finally comes Good Night, a soaring ballad that Lennon wanted to sound deliberately cheesy.

And so that's it. The White Album is The Beatles' most endlessly fascinating album, simply because it features such a wide range of styles and moods. Overall the tone is dark and depressed, a result of the isolation and slight sadness felt by the band that had by now surpassed all its contemporaries. As though longing to regress to youth, many of the songs have a distinctly childhood feel, though it's not the happy one of Sgt Pepper a year earlier. My favourite tracks are `Dear Prudence', `Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da', `While My Guitar Gently Weeps', `Blackbird', `Rocky Raccoon', `Julia', `Mother Nature's Son', `Sexy Sadie', `Helter Skelter', `Long, Long, Long' and `Revolution 1'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabs at their very best, 8 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Beatles: The White Album (Audio CD)
Is this the greatest Beatles album? Perhaps is my personal feeling. This album has it all. Great McCartney tracks such as Blackbird, Honey Pie, Back In The USSR and Helter Skelter. Harrison wrote one of his best Beatles songs in While My Guitar Gently Weeps. For me Lennon spoils the album by inserting the awful Revolution 9. Hey Jude should have been used their instead.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite simply a work of GENIUS, 30 Aug 2008
By 
Adamski (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Beatles (Audio CD)
This is my favourite Beatles album and to all those who say it contains filler I will state that in my opinion it takes a long time to appreciate the finer details of this record - ie on the first few plays YES you are going to think there's some filler. I had the same opinion of Pet Sounds when I first heard it. Truly deep and meaningful music *does* take time to be fully absorbed and whilst initially I agreed with a lot of other folk that this should have been a single LP, I have since grown to appreciate *every* single song on this double collection. I would not drop any of them from the track list (well maybe Revolution No.9). I suppose this is The Beatles' rock record and perhaps those of a pop persuasion don't get it purely because it doesn't sound like Help or Rubber Soul. Well I'm into a lot of rock bands but I *love* Help & Rubber Soul and I also like Pet Sounds (hardly a 'rock' record in the traditional sense) so to me the fact The Beatles flit between different genres only enhances their appeal - Zeppelin and Queen did this further down the line and were all the more interesting for it. Those who dismiss the white album as having filler just haven't listened to it enough! It's like only reading a few lines from each chapter of a book and thinking you know the whole story, you need to spend a lot of quality time with this album in order to truly appreciate it. When it clicks believe me, it truly clicks! I just cannot understand a Beatles fan who doesn't consider this to be a 5-star album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely unparalleled!, 12 April 2008
This review is from: The Beatles (Audio CD)
I have a rather eclectic taste in music, but if I had to name my absolute favourite album, it would have to be this one closely followed by Abbey Road.

The musical genius and diversity presented here is simply unmatched by anything else. And we get to hear the first Punk piece in history ever: Helter Skelter!
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The album I return to most often, 18 July 2001
By 
R. Rowley (Oxford) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Beatles (Audio CD)
It's hard to compare this album to any other by the Beatles: it's a double album (with two beginnings, two climaxes, two endings and two tracks sung by Ringo) at over 90 minutes in length. Moreover, the variety of the music involved is unmatched anywhere else in their repertoire. Here we have their heaviest rock (Helter Skelter, Birthday), their sweetest and most syrupy tunes (Blackbird, Julia, Goodnight), their most interesting social comment (Piggies, Revolution, Bungalow Bill), tuneless sampling (Revolution 9), pure blues (Yer Blues) and 20s ditties (Honey Pie, Martha My Dear) plus simply great tunes like USSR and Mother Nature's Son, oh and a parody of over-interpreting their lyrics (Glass Onion). All that's missing is a George sitar song, but it doesn't matter since we've got his While My Guitar Gently Weeps instead. So why is it not their 'Best Ever Album'? Well probably for the very reasons given above: it's all a little too much. It's length and the variety of styles makes it a treat to dip into but hard work going from start to stop. A single artistic vision fails to shine through, presumably because the individual Beatles were growing rapidly apart. For me however the 'White Album' is the one I come back to most often and, along with 'Revolver' and 'Abbey Road', one of their best three.
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49 of 57 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Truly folks, save your money., 16 Sep 2009
This review is from: The Beatles: The White Album (Audio CD)
This album is my favourite by the Beatles and one of my favourites by any artist. The music is often sublime and never less than interesting over 90 + minutes. I, like most, was subject to the advertising onslaught for the new remasters and was intent on resisting as i already have the albums on vinyl and cd. I read the reviews (mainly positive) and curiosity got the better of me. I decided to buy this album as several reviews mentioned it as one being particularly improved by the process.

For me, any difference is insignificant but at least i've satisfied my curiosity and now know not to waste more on other albums. So, my advice is save your money and don't give it to those who don't need it but who feed on the devotion of music fans in much the same way as football clubs feed on the devotion of fans by producing endless variations of the club shirts which fans will still buy ........... It's about money and commerce

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts..........

In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking

I'm also surprised that so many have praised the packaging. The actual cds are difficult to get out and the absence of a jewel case means the cover will damage easily and will probably be ready for replacing just in time for the next remaster.

Finally, i love the beatles and i love the music on this album but this product adds nothing significant,in my opinion, to previous formats.
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