The Beatles were barely functioning as a band when they began cutting The White Album in the spring of 1968. The death of manager Brian Epstein left them without a leader and long-simmering personal and creative issues began boiling over. Things got so bad that Ringo Starr quit the group for a brief time, forcing Paul McCartney to play drums on some of the songs. The four members were all writing on their own at this point, and many critics have pointed out that the album is almost four solo discs fused together. None of that takes away from the power of the album and, if anything, the wildly varying tone of the songs is the album's greatest strength. "Rocky Raccoon" sounds nothing like "Revolution 9," which sounds nothing like "Piggies," but somehow, it all works. The Beatles simply couldn't make a bad album, even when they couldn't stand the sight of each other.