The Beatles’ New White Album: Why ‘Good Night’ Is a Gloriously Weird Revelation

The Beatles’ New White Album: Why ‘Good Night’ Is a Gloriously Weird Revelation

There’s a moment on the Beatles’ new “Super Deluxe” edition of the White Album that sums up all the glories of their 1968 masterpiece. And weirdly, that moment is “Good Night.” There’s always been something mysterious about “Good Night” — the album’s orchestral finale. It’s a tender ballad from John, one he always meant for Ringo Starr to sing, without ever explaining to Ringo (or anyone else) why. Many fans dismissed it as a coy joke. But it nearly steals the show on the new box set, in a previously unheard outtake where all four Beatles sing it together. John, Paul, George and Ringo harmonize the “good night, sleep tight” refrain, over John’s folkie finger-picking. It’s hard to believe this great version sat in the vaults all these years, gathering dust. But after you hear John play “Good Night” on guitar, the song is no joke at all — it feels instead like a cry from the heart, cleverly disguised, waiting for the world to notice 50 years later. MORE

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