Monday, April 1, 2019

The Beatles - A Doll's House



The Beatles – A Doll’s House

(soniclovenoize “White Album” single-LP reconstruction)


Side A:
1.  Revolution 19
2.  Honey Pie
3.  Not Guilty
4.  Don’t Pass Me By
5.  Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?

Side B:
6.  Helter Skelter
7.  Wild Honey Pie
8.  What’s The New Mary Jane
9.  Can You Take Me Back
10.  Goodnight


After being probably the most highly requested reconstruction on my blog, I finally did the impossible and reconstructed the ultimate single-disc version of The Beatles’ 1968 self-titled release, aka The White Album.  Not only does this reconstruction whittle down the massive, bloated, filler-filled 30-song collection to its core essentials, it also represents the very best material The Beatles recorded during this period. 

After spending several months under the tutelage of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in early 1968, The Beatles emerged from Rishikesh, India with nearly 40 new compositions.  Uninterested in filtering only the best material to be featured on their follow-up proper to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles choose to record almost all of the material they had written, collecting it all onto the band’s first double album set.  Furthermore, although the songs had all predominantly been written on acoustic guitars in the Indian wilderness, each song’s arrangement was pushed as far as possible into drastically different genres—from electric blues to ska, from sound collage to western balladry, from ragtime to proto-metal. 

The resulting self-titled album—dubbed The White Album due to its entirely white cover—has been a controversial release.  With 30 songs of varying quality, the track order is a mess and each song incongruent with the one another.  Many feel the album could be drastically improved by pairing it down to one disc.  Not only could one reduce the album to the best songs, but one could also sonically unify the album to sound more cohesive.  But could it be done? I believe my reconstruction solves all of these problems and is the quintessential single-disc White Album, what The Beatles probably should have originally released in 1968.  
Side A opens with the flagship song of the album, “Revolution 1”.  Here, using both the standard stereo mix from the 2009 White Album Remaster and the Take 18 from the White Album Deluxe box, I was able to sync the full ten-minute track with its sister piece “Revolution 9”, also taken from the White Album Deluxe; thus presented is the closest to John Lennon’s true artistic intent for the song, what I call “Revolution 19”.  Finally, one can understand the relationship between “Revolution 1” and “Revolution 9” and how the two fit together, and it rightfully sets the tone for this cutting-edge Beatles album.  Following is one of Paul McCartney’s most complex and riveting pieces, “Honey Pie”, taken from the 2009 Remaster.  The very best of George Harrison’s material from this era follows: “Not Guilty”, taken from the White Album Deluxe.  It features additional EQ and stereo panning to make the vocals stand out and match the rest of the album, and faded out as George had intended as per it's rough 1968 mono mix.  Next is frankly one of the best songs of the album, the fantastic “Don’t Pass Me By”, complete with its restored orchestral introduction taken from Anthology 3.  Side B closes with Paul McCartney’s tortured romantic plea, a philosophical query that comments on the Greco-Roman concepts of lust, while simultaneously juxtaposing it with the post-modern notions of psychological abandonment due to a lack of peripheral perception.  Of course I can only refer to the masterpiece “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?, taken from the 2009 Remaster of the White Album.

Side B opens with one of The Beatles most sophisticated compositions, the slower, early twelve-minute version of “Helter Skelter” taken from the White Album Deluxe, a recording that essentially invented Krautrock.  Here it is reedited for logical cohesion.  The album takes a turn for the serious and decidingly dramatic, with “Wild Honey Pie” from the 2009 Remaster.  Next is one of John Lennon’s very best compositions of his later Beatles-period, the full length, original 1968 mix of “What’s The New Mary Jane”, taken from the White Out bootleg.  With a short excerpt of “Can You Take Me Back” from the White Album Deluxe to break the tension, A Doll’s House concludes the only way it possibly could: with Ringo’s “Goodnight”.

The resulting album becomes one of The Beatles most forward-thinking albums.  A Doll’s House pushes boundaries, invented numerous musical genres and is generally ahead of its time… while still remaining an enthralling yet challenging listen.  A revolution indeed!




Sources used:
Anthology 3 (1996 CD)
The Beatles (2009 Remaster)
The Beatles (2018 Deluxe Edition)
White Out (2015 bootleg, Ass Blaster Records)


flac --> wav --> editing in SONAR Pro & Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included


78 comments:

  1. Now this is true Avant Garde disguised as an april fools prank, thank you

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  2. I would've liked to hear Revolution 19 and see a custom designed Fool label though...

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  3. ...and a happy April Fools to you too!

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  4. I always thought a one-disk white album was a stupid idea, but damned if you haven't proved it, or, well, something or other. "Don't Pass Me By" with the restored orchestral introduction was an inspired inclusion. But where is "Sour Milk Sea"?

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  6. In an alternate universe, your Doll's House surely showcases the avant garde side of the Beatles (maybe Carnival of Light as a bonus track). I love the White Album as it is warts and all, but here would've been my single LP version https://epatrick909.blogspot.com/2016/12/an-alternate-white-album.html

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  7. Nicely done, Sir !!! Your take on Revolution is inspired .

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  8. Wow, now that was the chuckle of the day !Nicely done, but I don't think Not Guilty is in the same caliber of tunes as the rest. It's actually one of my favorites from the sessions. Maybe Bungalow Bill instead ?

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    Replies
    1. Bungalow and Rocky Raccoon almost made it.

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    2. forgot about Rocky...so many tunes, so little space .....

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  9. Hahahaha! This is hilarious

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  10. Happy April Fool's Day, Sonic.

    ...Now go make the real album!! I expected Circles included! ;P

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  11. In all seriousness, I would have downloaded this. I wanted to hear your edit/mix of Revolution and Not Guilty and the original mix of Mary Jane. Excellent jest though.

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    Replies
    1. Oh. I tried and went to a blank page. I suspected it was part of the joke.

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  12. I've just been reading around - apparently zippyshare is now blocked in the UK, so that's why I couldn't access the download.

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  13. Got me, too! I was about to write an impassioned comment ("How could you possibly leave off 'I Will', etc) when I remembered the date. I agree with Eric Gilliland about the whole package "warts & all". It's like Sir Paul responding to questions about a single album reduction-"It's the bloody Beatles' White Album!"

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  14. Worth the listen. Rev 19 was excellent.

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  15. April Fool's or no, I found this selection of tunes to be an inspired perspective on the "ROUGHER" side of the fab 4, if they were choosing to become a proto-punk /avant-garde unit. Pop it is not! But I really like your choices and am VERY much enjoying the mix.

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  16. Zippyshare is blocked in the UK, to access posts you need to use a VPN. It appears it is being done by Zippyshare them selves.

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  17. Oh boy, I must admit, you are a brave man! Really enjoyed Revolution no. 19, giving Ringo two songs and George only one, is a kind of revolution in itself, isn't it? Although with the wealth of material left over, Julia, I Will, Guitar Gently Weeps, Dear Prudence, you paradoxically proved that there is no way to bring the album back to a one-album deal. Maybe a nice acoustic based album as counter weight to this avant garde overdose? Nice try though and as always highly appriciated.

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  18. but but but ... what about happiness is .... and the monkey song ... and back in leningrad ....

    still got me 2 days later

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  19. While it took me a moment to see the "joke", I downloaded to hear Revolution 19. Amazing! If you are in the UK, jump through whatever hoops you need to download this. You will not be disappointed.

    Thanks for this.

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    1. Great. After listening to this I now have to see what an expanded and slightly rearranged White Album would sound like. Replacing Revolution 1 & 9 with your Revolution 19 and the longer Helter Skelter, Add in the outtakes and a few elements I used on my solo album versions and we have a double album ala "Use Your Illusion". Fill each CD as close to capacity as possible. It could work.

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  20. So need to dl this to hear REV19, but seriously unless it is a highly altered Do It In The Road, how did that make it. It's the weakest of the 2LP set.

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  21. Some people are still not getting the joke.

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  22. Thank you for your work! This is a very important and necessary thing. I listened with great interest to your single-disc version of the “White Album”. Let me express my opinion. From my point of view, it was a very interesting album, but it is something completely different than the “White Album”. Very different atmosphere. “Revolution 19” is a wonderful thing, but, in my opinion, it was hardly worth opening this album with a 10-minute track. In addition, the presence of the 12-minute version of Helter Skelter is not very clear. It is monotonous and devoid of any musical development. This is just a test of patience. There are 30 songs on the “White Album”, but you chose only 5 originals, plus 2 songs in other versions. I think this is not enough for the single-album “White Album”. This is just my opinion.

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    Replies
    1. Did you notice the date of the original blog post?

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  23. OK, finally got to hear this. Sonic, that job you did combining the two Revolutions is absolutely amazing. I salute you!
    Also great to hear the original mix of Mary Jane, because I've long wanted to hear it as it should have been, but never have. So thanks for that also.
    And you did a very nice job with Not Guilty too.
    The rest we all know and have our opinions on, but for those three songs I mentioned, this joke was worth its weight in gold.

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  24. This is a joke right? you "whittled" out the best songs goofball!

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  25. i did notice the date but..... ha ha anyway

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  26. The funniest part of this is reading the comments of the people taking it seriously. Great job! Really looking forward to Rev 19 when this is done downloading, and anything with Mary Jane gets a positive laugh in my book. Well done!

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  27. Despite your best worst effort, you have made a fascinating version, perhaps proving some point that I would not have imagined when I had my go at it [http://solikewise.tumblr.com/post/105858372707/the-white-album-try-to-make-it-a-single-lp-post]. It's heartening to know that you still appear to be having fun when making these. This may be my favorite 4/1 joke ever. Thanks!

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  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  29. Such hard work like this as a hobby has caused me to request this be done to The Clash's "Sandinista!" You can cut 20 tracks off of that and have 16 left to work with. I think it would be better than Give Em Enough Rope and Combat Rock. As it is, it's the most bloated album of average music by a popular rock band in history. I'm surprised they didn't try to do a ragtime jazz song on it or attempt to cover Willie Nelson.

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    1. My go-to single LP Sandinista! is the Sandinista Now! promo album...

      https://www.discogs.com/The-Clash-Sandinista-Now/release/3422469

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    2. Just remove all the reggae.

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    3. I never knew about "Sandinista Now!". A very essential selection. (It doesn't really have a 5:51 mix of "Washington Bullets" though, does it...?)

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  30. Excellent April fools, Ringo would be chuffed!!

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  31. I love your site and the album versions that you construct.
    My first take was that your "album" included all the songs from the White Album that I "hated" ...
    Then I realized this was a April fools joke. You got me on that one.

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  32. Great stuff.Any chance of using anything other than Zippyshare (it's blocked in the UK)? Thanks.

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    1. I'm open to suggestions that don't cost $

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    2. I've been happy with Mega so far. And they don't delete inactive links.

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  33. Thanks for all these reconstructions!

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  34. While I love the White Album as a double album this looks well worth grabbing. Thank you,

    Still would LOVE to see Dr John Sun Moon & Herbs double album version on here if such a thing is ever even do-able.

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  35. I made a version of this (well, the White Album as two separately-released albums) for my blog... http://resequencer.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/beatles-white-album-glass-onion

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  36. For your consideration, Sir - Revolution No.#1 (Take 20), found in Deep Space: https://www90.zippyshare.com/v/9YyGGHQe/file.html

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  37. re: zippyshare blocked UK
    opera browser includes a vpn setting that gets you round this restriction

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  38. Despite it being an April's Fool joke, you made a really interesting, weird take from the White Album and cuts related to it. I think it'd be a great exercise to make a more "serious" version of a cut White Album. Keep up the great work!

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  39. I nearly spat mu cornflakes out! haha But actually some of those tracks really would get on my whittled down white album!

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  40. I just kinda wanted to chime in, long time listener, first time caller. You do amazing work, what I wish I had the ability to do, and it's always note perfect. I shit you not, Revolution 19 really crushed. The Beatles informed my concept of avant gardening, and revolution 9 shaped my idea, in earnest, of what sounds could be. To hear it as it was intended, man....You are doing the Lord's work. I thank you, please keep keeping on. You are awesome.

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  41. If you don't beat me to the punch, I've always tried to envision a Sgt Pepper with Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane intact, replacing With A Little Help with A Northern Song, kinda setting an ironic tone from the get go, that would make it hang together instead of trying to sustain a kind of dated kitsch pastiche. Is it wrong to find Sgt Pepper hollow at the Apple core? Everyone seems to give recommendations, I always wanted hear that. Bless you, and thank you.

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  42. Maybe you could also create a WeTransfer link so those of us in the UK at least have a week to download the files after a new post goes up. I'd hate to miss out on your future creations.

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    1. iirc Wetransfer links are only active for a day or two. So what would happen is someone would be asking for a re-up every two days.

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    2. Google Drive? I've been hosting some files for people who lost their capacity to do so, either by C&D or whatever (full disclosure: I also am hosting the mp3s of your deleted Band On The Run & Living In The Material World albums, courtesy of another fan :) ), yes it costs to upgrade from the initial 15GB, but as a free stopgap measure until you can find another filesharing platform that all can access without a VPN from Hogwarts LOL, it can't hurt >:)

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  43. Mr. Sonic. I will be posting my take on an expanded White Album in a week or two. I have integrated your Rev19 into the project, hopefully with your OK. (By the way, the addition of the unused sound loops at the end from Glass Onion was a nice touch.) Still working on it but it's shaping up nice. Lots of unique edits and backstory of my own. I can send you a preview if you'd like, otherwise if it doesn't go up this Friday it will the next. Thanks so much for your hard work here. Many of your constructions have found their way into my main library.

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  44. Problem solved. Just open https://www.free-proxy.com/ and copy and paste the forbidden link into there and the Zippyshare download can be accessed. Great work as ever, even in the name of an April Fool joke, but I still don't understand how that orchestral intro to 'Don't Pass Me By' makes any musical sense. It's a shame Big George Martin is no longer around to explain it.

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  45. I can´t download any album from this blog
    Help!

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    1. https://drive.google.com/open?id=13Uhi8-ZA3PttP5l70OE2SFTHxxlCaxNQ

      Hope this works :)

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    2. Oh, it works, thanks, can you send me links from the others Beatles albums from this blog?
      Thanks for all

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    3. https://drive.google.com/open?id=11EZ2twKZhF-IW4IQ1WBZBc4XDlKekiiE

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    4. I did assume you had meant the Beatles Never Broke Up (BNBU) series LOL

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    5. Yeah, just need Get Back, but is asking you for so much

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    6. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AFKjMlt1TiBnrRrZlEVAsXAirRtaMWxc

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    7. Oh, tanks, what´s the version you send me?

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  46. Haha... the worst of The Beatles on one disc! Hilarious! Mind you, Not Guilty is not a bad song...

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  47. Not a criticism, per se, but The Beatles always tried to put 14 tracks on their albums, to give fan's their money's worth. Perhaps if you had done that here, those wanting tracks you didn't include could have had their wish?

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  48. If you like this album, have a moment with my dumb Spotify playlist "Carnival of Light" imagining a Beatles'fuck you' contract obligation fulfillment album released in 1970... ;-)
    https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5tbgw1WWaCD5e1z1yILpI2?si=JCPLuZ2JQB-M0Eojw4KZdg

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