The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

20 December 2004

Why don't we do it in our heads?

George Martin's official response:

I don't want a double-album. I think you ought to cut out some of these, concentrate on the really good ones and have yourself a really super album. Let's whittle them down to 14 to 16 titles and concentrate on those.

Of course, in those days the Beatles weren't taking advice from anyone, George Martin included, and The Beatles, otherwise known as the White Album, came out with an unwieldy thirty tracks running over an hour and a half. Boiling this down to a CD-R is easy — throw out both the "Revolution" tracks and do a couple of early fades — but how would you make a good single album, as Sir George had urged, out of all this?

The criteria I set for my own version: less than 45 minutes (to fit a preloaded cassette), alternate John and Paul where possible, two George songs, and find a place for Ringo.

This is what I came up with:

Side One

  1. Back in the USSR
  2. I'm So Tired
  3. Blackbird
  4. Yer Blues
  5. Savoy Truffle
  6. Glass Onion
  7. I Will
  8. Cry Baby Cry/Can You Take Me Back

Side Two

  1. Helter Skelter
  2. Happiness Is a Warm Gun
  3. Honey Pie
  4. Birthday
  5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  6. Good Night

Timings: 21:12 + 20:31 = 41:43.

The excellent Turn Me On, Dead Man offers some alternative versions.

Note: Do not ask me to do this for Todd Rundgren's Something/Anything.

Posted at 8:43 PM to Tongue and Groove

Something/anything Just speed it up.

Posted by: Sweetpea at 9:32 PM on 20 December 2004

I'd pitch "Glass Onion" for "Revolution," the version released as a single. But kudos for dumping "Ob-la-" yadda yadda yadda. Somebody had to.

Posted by: Craig Ceely at 2:48 PM on 21 December 2004

And I thought about adding "Not Guilty," a Harrison track from these sessions that missed the cut originally, but decided to let it be, so to speak.

The 45 version of "Revolution" is better than rather a lot of things, including "Revolution 1," but given the band's predilections in those days — singles and albums were wholly separate — I couldn't bring myself to letting it in. Would have been one hell of a side opener, though.

Posted by: CGHill at 2:55 PM on 21 December 2004

I'd just put on a Monkees album

Posted by: Donna at 11:12 AM on 22 December 2004

Not a bad idea, now that I think about it.

"I-I-I-I-I'm not your steppin' stone...."

Posted by: CGHill at 3:10 PM on 22 December 2004