Mike Jahn

It's a good thing Manson didn't see this or he would have killed me too. It's a snippet from a review I wrote of his fave album -- other than the one he did himself with songs about garbage dumps -- the Beatles "White Album." I just tripped over this online. Someone posted it. Manson, the desert music critic, committed his psychedelic mass murder inspired largely by the “White Album.”

“Many songs are either so corny or sung in such a way that it is hard to tell whether they are being serious. In most cases, they seem not to be. In an act of lyrical overstatement, they sing “Have You Seen the Bigger Piggies in Their Starched White Shirts?” And it doesn’t matter if the words – “Now it’s time to say ‘good night, good night, sleep tight’ – are sung as a put-on, they still are painful to hear.

“It is a light record. The music is light, clean and crisp. The lyrics are light. Usually they are happy but often they are lacking in substance, rather like potato chips.

“This new album sounds spectacular at first, but the fascination quickly fades. Where the best American groups – Jefferson Airplane and Blood, Sweat and Tears are two of them – produce substantial music that can be lived with, the Beatles tend to produce spectacular but thin music that is best saved for special occasions.

“The Beatles, though they might not have intended it, have in essence produced hip Muzak, a soundtrack for head shops, parties and discotheques.”

Some of you will need to Google “Muzak” and “head shop.” Maybe “discotheque” as well. The word “party” perseveres, however.

And if there's a take-home message from this post, it's that I have a problem with sacred cows -- as the saying goes, "he who follow sacred cow down the road encounters cow shit." Before too long comes my recollection of Woodstock, now 40 years down the road.

2 comments 2 comments ( 1732 views )

No Userpicraincoaster
It's interesting to read real rock journalism about the Beatles back before they became The Legendary Beatles.

No UserpicSpike Perkins
Ironically, when the Beatles White Album came out, I was 14 and had been brought up with classical music, and the noise piece, "Revolution 9" was what made me take the Beatles seriously, because it reminded me of what some of the avant-garde classical composers were doing.

I remember the review in Time (probably Jay Cocks) said it was more of a slice of the band's life than a grand concept like Seargent Pepper. I would say, looking back, that many of the songs were less profound that some of the ones on Rubber Soul and Revolver, many were satirical, and simple--like out takes or scraps of notebook entries. I own a CD copy of it now, and find it charming, asuming and at times touching.

Sometimes I thing we expected too much of pop music in those days. Maybe the Beatles were tring to remind us to let is be fun, and not take everything so seriously, and maybe there is a bit of Dada influence in there, too.