Album / ??!!
Happiness Is a Worn Copy of The White Album
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM
[This post has been amended.]
Obsessive collector Rutherford Chang, curator of the We Buy The White Album store in New York, had the daft/brilliant idea to record 100 copies of the first side of the Beatles self-titled 1968 LP—aka The White Album—simultaneously. What ensues is an interesting study in the infallibility of turntables and a bizarre listening experience, as Über-familiar songs erode and mutate before your stunned ears.
Things start off sounding normal enough with “Back in the U.S.S.R.,” but by track 2 (“Dear Prudence”), the recordings start to go out of sync and consequently strange overtones appear. As the needles move across the vinyl over time, the sound gets progressively more chaotic and the songs become barely recognizable. Tragically, you can hardly hear George Harrison and Eric Clapton’s guitars gently weeping. On the plus side, the execrable "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" sounds more tolerable in this messed-up condition. Side-closer “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” turns into a haunting ambient dirge with a choir of ghostly Lennons singing way off in the distance. Spooky as fuck, man.