If you’ve seen Richard Linklater’s recent cinematic masterpiece Boyhood, you’ll be familiar with the scene in which Mason (played by Ethan Hawke), presents his son, Mason Jr. (played by Ellar Coltrane) with a gift for his 16th birthday: a compilation of songs from each Beatle’s solo career, fused in one aptly named The Black Album.
I’m not going to rave about how good the film is, although it is achingly good. But it has to be said that this scene, along with many others, perfectly highlights the mutual bonding which can occur through music, and captures a parent’s lifelong passion for a band and his attempts to bestow that same passion upon his teenage son. It’s wonderful.
The official track list has since been released, but I decided to assemble my own version of The Black Album using Mason’s original as a template. As Mason declares in the film, ‘Basically I’ve put the band back together for you.’ Does this disprove the maxim that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’? Probably not. But it still makes a damn good album.
THE BLACK ALBUM – SIDE ONE
1. Paul McCartney & the Wings – Band on the Run
2. John Lennon – Jealous Guy
3. George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
4. Ringo Starr – Photograph
5. John Lennon – Stand By Me (Ben E. King cover)
6. Ringo Starr – Back Off Boogaloo
7. George Harrison – Got My Mind Set On You
8. Paul McCartney – Vanilla Sky
THE BLACK ALBUM – SIDE TWO
1. John Lennon – Working Class Hero
2. George Harrison – All Things Must Pass
3. John Lennon – Imagine
4. John Lennon – Oh Yoko!
5. Paul McCartney (as The Fireman) – Sing the Changes
6. Paul McCartney – No Other Baby (Dickie Bishop cover)
7. Ringo Starr – Liverpool 8
8. Paul McCartney – Too Much Rain
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