In the long White Album thread, we started talking about how the White Album "feels" different than earlier albums, and not necessarily in a good way. I bought Revolver and White on the same day. I couldn’t explain what it was, but Revolver felt like an album that was positive and opened up the world, whereas the White Album seemed insular, dark, disjointed. The fun songs didn’t really sound like fun; the heavy songs all sounded like the prelude to tragedy. Even something like Dear Prudence felt slightly off, like the darker cousin to Lucy In The sky with Diamonds. Knowing more about the Beatles’ history, I think the tension, resentment, claustrophobia, and heroin addiction (John) seeped into the record—into the way the songs were arranged, the tones they chose for the instruments and mixes, the way they played, the way they sang. The Beatles’ friendship and capacity for joy infused their early recordings, and when they no longer felt the magic, we didn’t either. Whatever it was they did, you can’t fake. I don’t think they ever recaptured it, although a lot of people think Abbey Road did. I think Abbey Road was a beautifully played collection of leftovers, plus two George classics, with a little less tension because they knew it was over. But it doesn’t open new worlds. Lately, I wonder what would’ve happened if they had pulled a Basement Tapes and recorded the whole thing on four track at Esher, with John and George mainly playing acoustics. Maybe some of those songs would’ve worked better performed in the spirit they were written in India, and maybe the camaraderie was still there in May, before five months of Yoko, John on smack, and Paul bossing people around harshed the vibe. What do you guys think? What if they'd brought a piano, a drum kit, and a few guitars and amps to Kinfauns and run down the songs that way--same time, May 1968, same people - no Yoko, no George Martin--then picked 12 or 14 to release? And which songs do you think they'd have picked?