The Song Is a Lie: The White (Lie) Album
Song titles should speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Take it from me, I'm the guy who co-wrote "You Cannot Kill David Arquette" and he's still completely undeniably alive despite multiple ninja attacks. That's called credibility, children, and you might want to take notes.
All blatant and desperate self-promotion aside, song titles are important. They should encompass the message of the song. When Lady Gaga comes on and the tune is "The Edge of Glory," you picture her right on the edge of said glory as m'lady intended. A more classic example for you is "Bohemian Rhapsody": Freddie Mercury nailed both words of that title with unerring accuracy, even when it comes to the multiple meanings of the word "rhapsody."
That's why he's the Queen, she's the Lady. For the next five days, we'll be highlighting a few plebeian schmucks who felt the need to lead us astray. Such behavior deserves scorn and thrown fruit. Might as well start at the top.
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is a song that it is literally impossible to hate, but I'm going to try and muster some bitchiness for the sake of tone all the same. It is not only the best thing that George Harrison wrote for The Beatles, I would venture that it is the best song on the The Beatles (the "White Album") and possibly the best song of 1968, period.
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The spirituality, the longing in Harrison's voice, and the personification of the rock emblem of the guitar all make for a potent and evergreen tune that I'm willing to bet musicians will still be playing 100 years from now.
Trouble is... Harrison's guitar isn't gently weeping at all; at best, it's rhythmically breathing. Those awe-inspiring electric licks aren't the work of the Beatle, they are the uncredited genius musings of Harrison's friend Eric Clapton. If this is somehow the first time you've heard this factoid, listen to that video up there again and facepalm yourself for never realizing such an obvious fact. It's OK, we all have.
The band had tried to record the song sans Clapton several times before, but Harrison just couldn't call any of those versions the version. So he asked Clapton to sit in, which he did reluctantly, because no one ever sat in on a Beatles record.
Nonetheless, Slowhand agreed, and what happened is magic... and a lie. The title of the song should have been "While Clapton's Guitar Gently Weeps."
Coming up next time? Sean Combs' heartfelt heap of bullshit.
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