Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.
In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only ten—top albums of my life.
And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.
You know. How it was intended.
All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!
. . .
It’s winter of the year 2000.
I’m thirteen, have both braces and glasses, and am growing out what was undoubtedly the haircut mistake of my young lifetime.
Eighth Grade, yo: A sweet arrangement of self-confidence, belly-laughs, and easy homework assignments.
Around Christmastime my family and I had ventured up to New York City for a day. It put an audacious spring in my step as I took in the crowds, the lights, the possibilities.
Right before we boarded the bus for the long ride home, we visited one last shop.
And resting between the tee shirts and tchotchkes, in an unassuming rack of posters on display, I saw this:
Instantly, I wanted to like them. I wanted to know them.
This image, even in my un-Beatled mind, seemed to represent so much more than I Wanna Hold Your Hand.
And oh, Dear Reader.
How right I was.
. . .
The Beatles (1968) Also Known as The White Album
I don’t distinctly remember my first time listening to it. It’s been a part of my musical identity for more than half of my life now. But those double discs lived in my Sony portable CD player for weeks (months!) on end. And, of course, it makes a SnapDragon like me so proud that I still have those original CDs.
It was my first real Beatles’ album experience. I’d dipped my toes in with the Beatles 1 compilation, and unapologetically preferred the second half of it. The “later stuff” was so much better: cryptic, layered—you might even say it was ballsy.
And I freaking loved it.
The White Album is—wait for it—all you need* in an album. Its 30 songs greet you warmly, like an old friend on a dismal winter’s day. There’s an intimacy in both the melodies and the lyrics; I feel almost naked while listening. The screechy Lennon-isms and Paul’s soul-satisfying chord changes just. . . make my life better, yo. They really and truly do.
I’ve also come to realize how much I value the studio sound. Most of my favorite artists–and albums–utilize the studio as an additional member of the band. And The White Album does just that, and flawlessly. There are so many iconic soundbites throughout. I could identify them with one ear covered while sitting in a noisy bar.
They’re a part of me.
And, Dear Reader, my hope is that this album can be a part of you.
So please: turn off your busy mind. Wash your hands. Pour your favorite drink and listen to this luminous piece of timeless history.
. . .
SnapDragon is a writer with fairly long eyelashes.
Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for her view on pretty much everything.
. . .
*As in love is all you need. Like, The Beatles’ song. I knew you’d get it.
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