The Grey Album – Danger Mouse, Jay-Z & The Beatles

For the Thursday Bootleg this week I decided to go the Hip-Hop route since Jay-Z’s Black Album was #191 in the Top 250 of all time. I mentioned the Grey Album before during my comments on the Black Album, but if you’ve never heard the Grey Album then you would have no frame of reference to understand what I was speaking about.

It is a musical achievement in technology, mixing the Beatles White Album with Jay-Z’s Black Album. A lot has been made about this project in the age of digital downloading & file sharing.

Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) is quoted as saying:

“A lot of people just assume I took some Beatles and, you know, threw some Jay-Z on top of it or mixed it up or looped it around, but it’s really a deconstruction. It’s not an easy thing to do. I was obsessed with the whole project, that’s all I was trying to do, see if I could do this. Once I got into it, I didn’t think about anything but finish it. I stuck to those two because I thought it would be more challenging and more fun and more of a statement to what you could do with sample alone. It is an art form. It is music. You can do different things, it doesn’t have to be just what some people call stealing. It can be a lot more than that.”

This album was named 2004 album of the year by Entertainment Weekly though it was never truly released on it’s own as a legitimate album. It is, however, worthy of the accolades as it is tremendously ambitious in it’s depth of samples & configuration.

  1. Public Service Announcement
    • Samples “Long, Long, Long”
  2. What More Can I Say
    • Samples “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
    • Samples “Top Billin'” by Audio Two
  3. Encore
    • Samples “Glass Onion” and “Savoy Truffle”
  4. DecemberĀ 4th
    • Samples “Mother Nature’s Son”
  5. 99 Problems
    • Samples “Helter Skelter”
  6. Dirt Off Your Shoulder
    • Samples “Julia”
  7. Moment of Clarity
    • Samples “Happiness Is a Warm Gun”
  8. Change Clothes
    • Samples “Piggies” and “Dear Prudence”
  9. Allure
    • Samples “Dear Prudence”
  10. Justify My Thug
    • Samples “Rocky Raccoon”
  11. Lucifer 9 (Interlude)
    • Samples “Revolution 9” and “I’m So Tired”
    • Samples “Ave, Lucifer” by Os Mutantes
  12. My 1st Song
    • Samples “Cry Baby Cry” and “Savoy Truffle” and “Helter Skelter”
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2 thoughts on “The Grey Album – Danger Mouse, Jay-Z & The Beatles

  1. pigshitpoet

    i don’t see the argument for copyright, since this material is based on the subject of the beatles yet is a great departure from traditional pop. rap is an animal unto itself and like graffiti, anything pop-culture or current news is candidate for debate. rap is an argument at the base level of humanity, i call it grunt, since that’s where it seems to derive its beat, gutteral, utteral, mutteral pate. how can anyone mistake this for the beatles? it just ain’t gonna happen… mr. corporation, stand aside, jay z is goin’ for a ride!
    psp

    Reply

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