Turns out Paul used more eloquent words to write about the Queen's coronation when he was ten years old. An essay he wrote about the event won a local contest, and the original document has just been uncovered in a Liverpool library.
38. Happiness Is A Warm Gun. It's rumored that this song is based on an acid trip. That doesn't seem like such a far-flung theory. I just love the imagery that the lyrics conjures up. "The man in the crowd with the multi-colored mirrors on his hobnail boots." Plus, who else could make cooing "Bang Bang, Shoot Shoot" so angelic?
37. Yer Blues. This song was a little tongue-in-cheek, but who would really know? John's vocals are just oozin' the bluesins, and everyone else is sounding spot-on as well. Bobby D. gets a shout-out in this one too--"Feel so suicidal, just like Dylan's Mr. Jones."
36. I've Got a Feeling. One of my most recent favorites. I think this song encapsulates the "Let It Be" album better than any other. Although the recording of the album saw a lot of tension between the boys, we're able to hear how John and Paul could still play off of one another's strengths. The main "I've Got a Feeling" theme countered with John's "Everybody Had a Good Year" is perfect.
35. Don't Let Me Down. You can feel this song down in your soul. It is a completely genuine, raw plea for love. "It's a love that lasts forever, it's a love that has no past."
34. Lovely Rita. John thought this song was boring. I certainly do not. Both Paul and John truly had gifts for imagery. I can just see Rita standing there, looking a little like a military man, as the piano gallops through the narrative.
33. Hey Bulldog. Another one that might slip past you if you don't pay attention. Also piano driven, this little gem is on Yellow Submarine.
32. Across the Universe. A slew of other artists thought they could nail this song as well as the Fab Four, but they thought wrong. This was another song that was inspired during their visit of the Maharishi in India, even though it ended up on Let it Be rather than the White Album. "'Across the Universe' borrowed the expression of greeting that TM disciples exchanged when they encountered one another on one of the paths: Jai Guru Dev, or 'long live Guru Dev,' in tribute to the Maharishi's personal swami."-Bob Spitz
31. Revolution 1. I'll leave it to you whether this is the slow or fast version. Either way, brilliant lyrics for the milieu. Once, in Honors, we were talking about some Communist leader, God only knows who. Anyway, with a completely straight face, a classmate chimed in with "Well, I mean, if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow." I burst out in hysterics. Nobody else got the joke.
30. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away. My personal favorite from Help!. John bears it all in this heart-wrencher. Also a quite delightful scene from the film...I still want a little bed down in floor like this.
Tune in for more anon. Oh, and since you're here...I heard that a devastatingly handsome guy just started this blog. =)
Yes, I talk about the Beatles a lot. Sue me.
I logged onto Stereogum this morning to see that Entertainment Weekly had compiled a list of the 50 greatest (and five worst) Beatles songs. I see their marketing scheme, publishing this to coincide with the release of Beatles Rock Band and the remastered re-issues of the albums. But if you're going to do something, at least do a good job of it! The list should have been made by Beatles fans, not some entertainment mag dilettante. Refer to the Stereogum link to see EW's list. In the next few days, I'll work on my revised countdown. Here's 50-40!
50. Revolution 9. This one deserves inclusion simply on the merit of how groundbreaking it was. The Beatles had traveled to the opposite end of the musical spectrum from their roots in pop-rock and skiffle. Revolution 9 represented the shift to the avant-garde (heavily promoted by Yoko) and delving deeper into the experimental methods that first appeared with their backmasking on Tomorrow Never Knows. This may not be a song you want to (or would be able to) sing along with in the car, but you can't deny it's originality. I mean, where else in the Beatles' catalog do you hear George Martin called a "cheeky bitch"?
49. With a Little Help From My Friends. This song showcases the best of Ringo (or Billy Shears.) John and Paul wrote this song specifically for Ringo to sing, which shows how acutely aware each was of the others' presence and abilities. The call-and-answer kind of dialogue is perfect for the song, but cover versions (like Joe Cocker's) show the real versatility of the lyrics. (In case you somehow went through adolescence without watching The Wonder Years, here is the Cocker version.)
48. Only A Northern Song. George's first song on my list. It's melodic without being run-of-the-mill pop. Oh, and glockenspiel? Check. It's sequence in Yellow Submarine is pretty awesome as well.