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The Beatles – The Beatles (1968)

November 30, 2021

[Album 1001/1001]

Do you remember your first blog post?

Mine was written back on November 30, 2011.

It’s funny reading it 10 years later.

According to past-me, on the eve of his 30th birthday, this was the vision/plan for the decade!

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As the saying goes, 1-2-skip a few-1000-1001.

As a running enthusiast, I pictured covering approximately 100 albums per year; with 1001 albums, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

After all, the #1 rule of long distance running? Don’t go out too fast.

With that in mind, I’m delighted that past-me gleefully ignored that advice and came flying out of the gates!

After a bit of a year 3/4 slow-down, it took some hustle to hit the halfway mark (500.5 album reviews) at the domain name halfway mark (5 years).

And it’s worth noting that I use the word album “review” loosely. I’ve started to observe that over the years, the posts have had less & less critical analysis and more & more venn diagrams / vintage hockey / simpsons references!

In any event, here we are, at the end of the ‘1001 albums you must hear before you die’ list.

Like the Vanessa Williams ballad, I went and Saved the Best for Last.

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“$1 for eternal happiness? I’d be happier with the dollar.”
– Mr. Burns (The Simpsons, S8 E7)

In the early 2000s, I was able to turn $1 into eternal happiness.

It’s unfathomable now, but somehow, at that point in time, one could procure a copy of The Beatles (the double LP ‘white album’) for a cool 99¢.

My folks had the record, so even before purchasing my own copy of the album, it was already my favourite.

And I’m having a hard time picturing a sliding doors situation where I’d be any happier, finding an alternate timeline that would possibly yield a better return on my $0.99 investment.

Such a scenario just doesn’t exist.

But to paraphrase The Reasons by The Weakerthans, I’m so glad that the white album does.

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Even if the financial investment was minimal, with favourite albums, the emotional investment is off the charts.

Which means that it’s difficult to consolidate feelings about & experiences with the record into anything resembling rational thoughts.

How does one isolate ‘highlights’ from an album where every second, however flawed or imperfect, is essential in making the record what it is?

I cannot.

However, what I can say is this:

When I started the 1001 albums project, it was primarily because I had a lot of depth in my music collection (owning just about every note recorded by my favourite artists) but very little breadth.

Essentially, I liked what I knew.

So it was important to me to explore different sounds / genres / eras and I’m very grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to do so.

But after a decade of requisite listens, these days when listening recreationally, while some previously-new-to-me-gems find their way into the rotation, I inevitably end up gravitating to my old favourites.

I know what I like.

And I both know & like The Beatles, by The Beatles, best of all.

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Overall, The Beatles is perhaps the ideal metaphor for the ‘1001 Albums.’

Some might say it would benefit from some editing; heated arguments could be made for the inclusion/removal of certain moments.

It’s all over the map, a mishmash of styles.

Some widely known recordings, others considerably less so.

Hearing once is insufficient; listeners are rewarded upon repeated listens.

Perhaps not the ‘best’ but undeniably significant.

And while fortunate enough to still be on earth, it’s something that simply must be heard.

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Verbalize the Positive

Do you have a favourite speech ever?

I think mine might have to be André 3000’s acceptance speech at the 2004 Grammy Awards.

Upon winning Best Rap Album, he walked to the microphone, said “thank you” and off he went.

Inspired by that conciseness…to all family / friends / community / visitors / readers / commenters / people who have loaned me music that I have wonderful intentions of returning at some point in the not too distant future / everyone & anyone who has generously given their time, energy, and attention to participate in this journey:

Thank you!

From → 1960s

28 Comments
  1. Congratulations on finishing the project! If you stashed all those $1 Beatles albums you’d be sitting on a goldmine! My sister got me cheap and beat up copies of Peppers and MMT is the 1990s on LP.

    • My goodness, if only I had found some of those early mono LPs for $1 – and my thanks, Graham!

  2. Wow, you’re first blog post was written on my 13th birthday, lol!

  3. Congrats Fella. Your right about the emotional attachment to music. That cannot be beat. Enjoy reading whatever way you decide to go. Beatles- Simpsons-Hockey it doesn’t matter we will be here!

    • Cheers, Deke – I’m sure there will be no shortage of Beatles/Simpsons/Hockey in the future!

  4. Wow!! Mission accomplished, project brought to a conclusion on time and on budget too! You should be destined for high office Geoff.

    I have had three pets named after tracks on this album and my daughter was named after one of the pets too. That’s how personal this album is to me.

    • I remember you saying your daughter was named after a track – fun to read multiple family members have also had names such as Martha / Julia / Sadie / Bungalow Bill…!
      My thanks, Joe – such a personal record indeed, I can’t think of a better way to spend an hour and a half listening

      • My daughter Martha was named after a cat, who my parents named after a song about a dog … life’s complicated.

      • She’s still Your Dear, in any event!

  5. Congrats on reaching the finish line. Mega impressive, especially to someone like me that struggles to write more than a post a month! Well done!

    • Thanks, HMO!
      It’s been a fun ride – and fun comparing notes about artists as diverse as Venom & Frankie Goes To Hollywood along the way!

      • Scott doesn’t like it to be well known, but he worked as a backing dancer for both acts. True story.

      • I’d love to see that as a double-bill!

  6. Congrats! Major accomplishment and there was no doubt you’d get there from me!! Can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and the site!!

    • Thank you, John!
      I was happy to get the project done in time – have to set a good example of meeting deadlines for my students at school after all!

  7. jprobichaud permalink

    Congrats on the completion of the project Geoff! And thank you for sharing your thoughts, insights, and Venn diagrams on all this music! Cheers!

    • Cheers, JP!
      It’s been a fun journey – now to see what’s been happening in music since 2005!

  8. Well done on reaching the end. Now for the 1001 albums that never made the list.

    • My thanks, Neil – and yes, there could easily be another entire edition or two of worthy albums that didn’t make the original list!

  9. You did it, Geoff! Congratulations! Holy smokes, I’ve been reading these for ages and they’ve all been so good. You need to make them into a book called “1001 Albums In 10 Years From The 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die Project.”* Man oh man. We’re all very proud of you, Geoff!

    Yup, I remember our first post, it said something stupid like “The KMA is gonna rock you” lol. That was in October of 2006. Yikes.

    As for the White album, well, I already covered the Beatles a while ago. Good on you for getting it for $1! That’s my price range! All I can think of is that scene in Mad Men where Draper puts it on, listens for a moment or two, and shuts it off. It encapsulated so much of the show, the era, and the changing of the guard. Cool stuff.

    So what now? You’ve been following this book all this time, now that you have the freedom, what will Geoff do? I know I’ll be here for it!

    * working title, you’re free to use/change it as necessary. 😉

    • If that ends up being the title & the book somehow generates any sort of revenue, royalties will be sent in the mail!
      Very much appreciated, Aaron – and a wonderful question as to what comes next. It will be new listening to music recreationally!

      • Haha right on we’ll be RICH, I tells ya! 😉

        I went ‘recreational’ for a while when I dropped to this brevity (read: lazy) thing I’ve been doing the past few months. I stopped reviewing and basically just slap up a song with the YT video and y’all can decide for yourselves lol. But then I went to a track from the albums I’ve been picking up (once I could, again), so that’s two approaches that’ve worked!

      • Some say lazy, I prefer the term energy efficient!

      • I see what you did there!

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