The White Album ranked

So, what with the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ White Album and all, it seems a lot of people are making lists, ranking its 30 tracks from worst to best.

Here’s one:
and here’s one:
and here’s one:
and here’s one:
and here’s one:
and I’m sure there are many others.

How would the SDMB rank the tracks? We’ve done polls on this. There have been at least a couple times we’ve voted on the best song from each disc: once in 2010 (Disc 1, Disc 2) and once in 2014 (Disc 1, Disc 2).

And in 2013 we put 'em all together in an attempt to winnow them down to a single disc. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to base the SDMB’s ranking on which songs got the most votes in that poll, so here’s our list, from worst to best, of the 30 tracks that make up The Beatles:Wild Honey Pie
Good Night
Honey Pie
Long, Long, Long
Revolution 9
Don’t Pass Me By
Yer Blues
Savoy Truffle
Mother Nature’s Son
Cry Baby Cry
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?
Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
I Will
Sexy Sadie
Glass Onion
Martha My Dear
I’m So Tired
Rocky Racoon
Revolution 1
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Happiness is a Warm Gun
Helter Skelter
Dear Prudence
Back in the U.S.S.R.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Of course, my own personal ranking (were I to take the trouble to construct it) wouldn’t exactly match this one or any of the others I linked to. For instance, “Dear Prudence” has never really done much for me, but I love “Savoy Truffle.”

And I was surprised that “Revolution #9” wasn’t even close to last on the SDMB’s list.

The White Album is one of my favorites. I can’t count how many times I’ve listened to it. As far as ranking the songs, that’s a tough one. I’ve always enjoyed the album as a whole, with each song being equal, sitting in just the right place. Sure, Wild Honey Pie isn’t as “good” a song as While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Revolution 9 is weird as hell*, but it all fits together as a single piece of “art” for me.

I will say that the 5.1 mix on the deluxe box set sounds fantastic. Kudos to Giles for creating a wonderful surround-sound version of album.

(*perhaps Revolution 9 is less weird knowing what John was attempting – trying to paint a “sound picture” of a revolution)

Rather than rank the entire album, I’ll list only my favorite tracks, the tracks I still actively listen to 50 years later. In descending order of bestness:

1- Bungalow Bill / Guitar Gently Weeps / Happiness Warm Gun
2- Julia
3- Cry Baby Cry / Can You Take Me Back
4- Sexy Sadie
5- Savoy Truffle
6- Piggies
7- Everybody’s Got Something To Hide
8- Long, Long, Long

and a custom track I made for myself using the old “RockBand” multitracks:
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, with Clapton’s isolated guitar part loud, front and center; everything else barely audible. Because I like it.

Looks like I’m not the only one who did this. If you’re interested:


As another Horrified Onlooker, Here’s a White Album ‘Top 10’ that on any given day could be randomly played to my satisfaction. The absence of other folks’ favorites is no reflection on the quality of the album as a whole. I could play both sides and enjoy that experience as well.

  1. While My ‘Goiter’ Gently Weeps
  2. Long, Long, Long - Cuz no one likes this ‘cept me and my monkey
  3. Sexy Sadie
  4. I Will - Cuz we play this in the group and it comes out so fine
  5. Savoy Truffle
  6. Blackbird
  7. Revolution 1
  8. Back In The U.S.S.R.
  9. Dear Prudence
  10. Glass Onion

I think the SDMB rankings are pretty good. I only have minor quibbles and they’re definitely just personal opinion:

  1. I would have ranked Revolution #9 dead last.
  2. Good Night and Long, Long, Long are too low in the rankings.
  3. Rocky Raccoon is MUCH too high.

Also, I’ve always kinda liked Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, but I hear so much hatred for it that I’m surprised to see its place on the list.

I’ve listened to the White Album 1000 times, and here are the songs I skip: Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Wild Honey Pie, Revolution 9.

I would skip “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” but what would be the point as it’s over by the time I find the skip button.

I don’t know if this was mentioned in the articles or threads, but here’s a bit of White Album trivia: the guitar riff at the beginning of Bungalow Bill was played by pressing a single key on a mellotron.

I saw what you did there, Pal. Having just seen that it’s on my list, you are openly calling me your monkey. I am my own monkey, thank you very much.

Gee, I’m surprised there are only 10 postings so far.
Here’s my Top Ten

  1. I Will

  2. Birthday

  3. The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill

  4. Mother Nature’s Son

  5. Yer Blues

  6. Happiness Is A Warm Gun

  7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

  8. Back in the U.S.S.R.

  9. Glass Onion

  10. Helter Skelter

It’s strange that “I Will” did not have more popularity. Some folks thought it would be the next “Yesterday”.