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An Album You Should Own If You Don’t Already

Geoff Hayward



According to VUWSA President Geoff Hayward

Dangermouse – The Grey Album

Back before Gnarls Barkley (remember ‘Crazy’?) was even a spot on the radar and Jay Z had just finished his “last album”, American DJ and Producer Dangermouse took up the challenge to remix an a-cappella version of Jay Z’s The Black Album with the classic Beatles The White Album. It wasn’t the first to attempt a mashup of the Fab Four, nor would it be the last, but the controversy hardly detracted from what is an album that is not only a classic, but also pretty fucking good.
So where can you buy it? You can’t. And you won’t, ever. The reason being that DM didn’t get approval to sample the Beatles’ tracks. EMI (who holds the Beatles’ copyright) tried unsuccessfully to shut down any website that was distributing the album. So, even having a copy is probably illegal.
With regards to the album itself, it’s an understatement to say that it’s the Beatles like you’ve never heard them before. You will never hear them like this anywhere else. Likewise, if you know The Black Album, you’ll love the backing tracks. I heard The Grey Album first and I think they are a substantial improvement; where The Black Album tries to push the genre, The Grey album puts a Berretta in The Black Album’s mouth and pulls the trigger. A personal favourite is ‘99 Problems’ – the Helter Skelter sample is the perfect match to the explicit aggression of Jay Z. It’s also my unofficial VUWSA Presidential anthem.
It’s the album you have to have – not because it’s illegal, or because it’s the album that catapulted Dangermouse to the mainstream – but because it actually rocks, even for Beatle-maniacs.