I thought I’d try something a little different today – the Beatles’ “White Album” is a fantastic double album, but I think it could have been a flawless single album. It’s one thing to talk about it, so I should probably put my money where my mouth is and construct my ideal tracklist.
The original double album has a whopping 30 songs, so I’ll try to fit the industry standard 14 onto my two-sided single album. These won’t necessarily be my 14 favourite tracks, just the ones that I think will create the most cohesive listening experience.
Before we get onto my picks, here are a few of my related blog posts:
1 – Back in the U.S.S.R.
“Back in the U.S.S.R.” is a perfect opening song, and I wouldn’t dare to change it.
It’s full of uproarious energy, and McCartney’s lyrics are pretty funny. I’m sure other songs could serve as valid openers, but this is still the best.
2 – Dear Prudence
“Back in the U.S.S.R.” actually feeds directly into “Dear Prudence” on the original album, and it works so well that yet again I’m unwilling to make a change.
It does a great job of slowing the pace down, and is a great bridge to the next track …
3 – Glass Onion
I’m sorry, but the original first three songs on the album are perfect.
“Dear Prudence” introduced some surreal concepts and production choices, and “Glass Onion” capitalises on the weirdness perfectly. For what it’s worth, “The White Album” has one of the strongest opening trio of songs of any album in music history.
4 – Happiness is a Warm Gun
Okay, now I’ve finally made a unique choice!
The original album goes to “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, but I find that to be too big of a tonal shift. “Happiness is a Warm Gun” would be the much better choice, and it keeps the unsettling tone of “Glass Onion” going whilst providing a unique take.
5 – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
This song actually comes immediately before “Happiness is a Warm Gun” originally, but I think this could be a good placement for “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.
It acts as the musical highlight of Side One, and picks up the pace after the mildly downbeat song before it.
6 – Sexy Sadie
“Sexy Sadie” comes really late in the original tracklist, but I think it fits the vibe of the Side One I’m going for.
It feels similar to tracks like “Glass Onion” and “Happiness is a Warm Gun”, probably because they’re all written by Lennon!
7 – Julia
This might feel like a bit of a left-field choice, but I thought “Julia” should remain as the Side One closer.
The only thing going against it is that we’ve had loads of Lennon songs one after another, but hopefully this track is different enough to stand out.
8 – Blackbird
“Julia” acted as my soft Side One closer, so it seems appropriate that “Blackbird” can ease us into Side Two.
I dropped quite a few of McCartney’s songs while thinning out the tracklist, but there was no chance I’d be leaving out this masterpiece.
9 – Birthday
“Birthday” is the track that kicks off Side Two in the original, but I’ve used it here as a bit of a later injection of energy.
I needed a song to bring the tempo back up again for the final stretch of songs, and this seemed as good a track as any.
10 – Savoy Truffle
Most people would probably overlook “Savoy Truffle”, but it’s too underrated for me to leave out.
I love the horn arrangement, and it serves as a nice second-half treat.
11 – Yer Blues
I have no particular reason for including “Yer Blues” here – it just felt right.
It’s not in my top 14 songs for the album, but I think it fits the tone of this Side Two more so than others.
12 – Long, Long, Long
Another underrated Harrison gem, “Long, Long, Long” is a nice breather before we move onto the final stage.
It’s a little quieter than the songs before, but hopefully it bridges the gap to the next track.
13 – Cry Baby Cry
I think “Cry Baby Cry” would make a great follow-up to “Long, Long, Long”, and McCartney’s little ditty at the end would feed into the finale brilliantly.
It doesn’t have the most interesting production, but hopefully they can polish it up in my alternate-reality version (they’d have half the songs to worry about, after all!).
14 – Helter Skelter
“Goodnight” is pretty great as far as finales go, but I want a bit more oomph to my closer.
It doesn’t get much more emphatic that “Helter Skelter” – it would be a bonkers way to end the album, and Ringo can still have the last laugh with “I’ve got blisters on meh fingers!“
Aaaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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