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krista4

In this thread I rank my favorite Beatles songs: 204-1.

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58 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

 I was 8 years old when this song came out and it instantly became my favorite song and I bugged my mom to take me to the record store to buy it.  The funny thing is the original US mono single played on the radio at that time had a trumpet ending which was mixed out for the stereo version and all subsequent releases .   To this day every time I hear the song my brain adds the trumpet notes at the end.

Here it is if you're interested but I warn you that once you hear it you'll be waiting for it anytime you hear Penny Lane

 

 

My older sister had that single, I do remember that trumpet at the end.

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15 hours ago, krista4 said:

86.  Penny Lane (single, 1967)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

:scared: 

From the beginning, I knew that this would be one of two absolutely beloved songs that I don't dig as much as other people do (little did I know The Fool on the Hill was a third), and that it would rank on my list much lower than it would be on any list of "best" Beatles songs.  Of course I love the song, or it wouldn't be this high, but it clearly doesn't connect with me the way it does for most other people.  The best explanation I have is that, as I think I mentioned earlier in the thread, I mostly don't get nostalgia as a concept.  And if I look at this in comparison to the "nostalgia" of the other a-side of the same single, "Strawberry Fields Forever," I prefer the slight angst of the latter to the idyllic descriptions of this one.  It's sweet and lovely, but I must like the edgier parts of life.

There's a lot I love about this song, though.  It is perfectly polished and clean, and it lilts in a way that puts a smile on my face.  Love that piccolo trumpet.  If some of John's lyrics can read like poetry, I think this song shows that Paul can do the same; I especially love the opening line:  Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs, of every head he's had the pleasure to know.  That's lovely imagery.  And I'm very taken with the rises and falls and especially the way the refrains rise back into the verses.  I even enjoy the modulation near the end, which is a device I'm not usually keen on.  There's nothing I would change about this song; as it is it's a perfect love letter to where they grew up.  Most days, though, there are just ~85 songs I'd rather listen to. 

I'm sure others here could do a better job of detailing what's great about the song.  So instead of saying, "top 10 for me!!!111" let us know what you love about it, too.  :) 

Mr. krista:  "You could take all the songs from the last four records and make a nifty musical, and I won’t give a #### about any of them."  [NOTE:  I don't remember what he was talking about here.]

Suggested cover:  Elvis Costello

 

I love both "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields" because they are so obviously meaningful to the composers.  I also like "Strawberry Fields" better (it's in my top 5) but think you underrated "Penny Lane" substantially.  It's in my top 25 and I am glad it's stuck in my head right now. Very Strange!

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12 hours ago, krista4 said:

84.  Love You To (Revolver, 1966)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

 

Love this song. Actually came up on shuffle yesterday when I was in the dentist chair. Fun fact: sitar music works wonders in drowning out the sound of a dentist's drill.

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15 hours ago, krista4 said:

85.  This Boy (single, 1963)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Glorious harmonies on the verses broken up with that sizzling John vocal on the middle eight.  NufcedTM.

Mr. krista:  "That’s good.  Not my favorite.  It’s a’ight. The probably had to have a slow number for the dances."

Suggested cover:  No one can do those harmonies the way the Beatles did, but I'll post Sean Lennon, Rufus Wainwright, and Robert Schwartzman just because it's nice seeing Sean do that solo (though Rufus could have done it better).

They were playing their Ed Sullivan appearances on the Beatles Channel this morning on my drive into work, and when this song came on, I was trying to remember if it had been listed on the countdown yet.  Then I get in and check the thread this morning and see that it's higher than #######' Penny Lane.  

I feel the last 20 songs or so have enlightened me moreso into Krista's taste, and, therefore, allowed me to realize my top 10 predictions are probably all wrong.  Or are they concatenated?  Who the hell knows.  

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3 hours ago, Godsbrother said:

 I was 8 years old when this song came out and it instantly became my favorite song and I bugged my mom to take me to the record store to buy it.  The funny thing is the original US mono single played on the radio at that time had a trumpet ending which was mixed out for the stereo version and all subsequent releases .   To this day every time I hear the song my brain adds the trumpet notes at the end.

Here it is if you're interested but I warn you that once you hear it you'll be waiting for it anytime you hear Penny Lane

 

 

Very cool.  Thanks for that.

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Crap.  I've typed up two songs and then changed my mind.  I should just go with the order I already had them in instead of constantly rethinking it.  Bleh.  I'll regroup.

Edited by krista4

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9 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Crap.  I've typed up two songs and then changed my mind.  I should just go with the order I already had them in instead of constantly rethinking it.  Bleh.  I have two hours of work calls right now, and then I'll regroup.

Go with the order that will piss the most people off.

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4 minutes ago, zamboni said:

Go with the order that will piss the most people off.

If that were the driving force, I don't think it matters what order they're in.

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My 10:30 got canceled.  Here's a song.

82.  Yer Blues (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

I've read that this song is at least in part meant to be parody, but I think the tongue-in-cheek part is only in its existence, the discomfort and self-consciousness as a well-off white Englishman trying to sing blues.  The song itself displays no parody, though, as the raw, desperate vocal sounds like a truly anguished dude, and the self-revelatory style of the lyrics fit with similar expressions from John in other songs.  John described the songwriting experience as coming from being in India trying to reach God, but feeling suicidal:  "The funny thing about the [Maharishi's] camp was that although it was very beautiful and I was meditating about eight hours a day, I was writing the most miserable songs on earth. In 'Yer Blues,' when I wrote, 'I'm so lonely I want to die,' I'm not kidding. That's how I felt."  

When I first heard this song, I recall thinking it sounded like it had been recorded in someone's basement, and as it turned out, that wasn't far off the mark.  John decided he didn't want to use EMI's Studio Two (their usual location) for this recording, but instead to record it in a 40-square-foot storage room adjacent to the control room.  The close quarters and togetherness - with John on a microphone in the middle - added to the power of the song.  Along with John's despairing vocal, the drums on this song really shine (those fills on the end of every other measure are glorious), the gritty guitar solos sound like modern grunge, and I particularly love the excitement of the interplay between John's guitar and tempo shifts of Ringo's drums.   The whole song feels filthy, which is why I love it.

One unfortunate note on this song:  there's a bad splice of one take over another around the 3:17 mark.  Tough to listen to that.

Mr. krista:  "That’s a good jam.  Hope you’re hearing how hard Ringo is hitting the drums.  That little shuffle.  I liked that a lot.  I liked how British dude blues was a thing in that time, when Ron Wood and the Faces and Eric Clapton got popular, but Lennon clearly loved that music, and he committed to the absolute pathos.  Whereas I think a black guy from the US in the 60s, that person’s tragedy could be apparent and they can communicate it subtly, Lennon has to scream 'I want to die' at the top of his lungs to convey the same feeling.  That 12-bar blues is not terribly exciting, but they play it so well and it’s recorded so well that it just sounds great, and you hear Ringo hitting the living #### out of the drums.  I really like it.  The title is perfect, too."

Suggested cover:  Not sure if it's cheating to post a cover on which John performed, but it's not the Beatles.  The Dirty Mac was a group consisting of John, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchell, who recorded the song for a never-aired TV movie called, "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus."

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14 minutes ago, krista4 said:

 

Suggested cover:  Not sure if it's cheating to post a cover on which John performed, but it's not the Beatles.  The Dirty Mac was a group consisting of John, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchell, who recorded the song for a never-aired TV movie called, "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus."

Love this performance.

Not really related to the thread, but The Dirty Mac performed another tune on the R&R Circus called Whole Lotta Way Too Much Yoko.

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23 hours ago, krista4 said:

87.  Wait (Rubber Soul, 1965)

 

 

This just came up on my classroom playlist.

I'm angry all over again.  

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20 minutes ago, krista4 said:

My 10:30 got canceled.  Here's a song.

82.  Yer Blues (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

I've read that this song is at least in part meant to be parody, but I think the tongue-in-cheek part is only in its existence, the discomfort and self-consciousness as a well-off white Englishman trying to sing blues.  The song itself displays no parody, though, as the raw, desperate vocal sounds like a truly anguished dude, and the self-revelatory style of the lyrics fit with similar expressions from John in other songs.  John described the songwriting experience as coming from being in India trying to reach God, but feeling suicidal:  "The funny thing about the [Maharishi's] camp was that although it was very beautiful and I was meditating about eight hours a day, I was writing the most miserable songs on earth. In 'Yer Blues,' when I wrote, 'I'm so lonely I want to die,' I'm not kidding. That's how I felt."  

When I first heard this song, I recall thinking it sounded like it had been recorded in someone's basement, and as it turned out, that wasn't far off the mark.  John decided he didn't want to use EMI's Studio Two (their usual location) for this recording, but instead to record it in a 40-square-foot storage room adjacent to the control room.  The close quarters and togetherness - with John on a microphone in the middle - added to the power of the song.  Along with John's despairing vocal, the drums on this song really shine (those fills on the end of every other measure are glorious), the gritty guitar solos sound like modern grunge, and I particularly love the excitement of the interplay between John's guitar and tempo shifts of Ringo's drums.   The whole song feels filthy, which is why I love it.

One unfortunate note on this song:  there's a bad splice of one take over another around the 3:17 mark.  Tough to listen to that.

Mr. krista:  "That’s a good jam.  Hope you’re hearing how hard Ringo is hitting the drums.  That little shuffle.  I liked that a lot.  I liked how British dude blues was a thing in that time, when Ron Wood and the Faces and Eric Clapton got popular, but Lennon clearly loved that music, and he committed to the absolute pathos.  Whereas I think a black guy from the US in the 60s, that person’s tragedy could be apparent and they can communicate it subtly, Lennon has to scream 'I want to die' at the top of his lungs to convey the same feeling.  That 12-bar blues is not terribly exciting, but they play it so well and it’s recorded so well that it just sounds great, and you hear Ringo hitting the living #### out of the drums.  I really like it.  The title is perfect, too."

Suggested cover:  Not sure if it's cheating to post a cover on which John performed, but it's not the Beatles.  The Dirty Mac was a group consisting of John, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchell, who recorded the song for a never-aired TV movie called, "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus."

This is one of those Beatles' songs that other hard-core fans love and I think is con job (ducks).

Lennon is rivaled only by Little Richard & Chuck Berry among rock titans as his own worst biographer. I don't believe a word he says about what he meant in any of the songs he wrote (he changed his mind 8 trillion times per interview).

So that leaves the music, playing, and singing. It's heavy and rocks. Great. It's on the same level as "Baby You're A Rich Man" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" to me. 

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

Crap.  I've typed up two songs and then changed my mind.  I should just go with the order I already had them in instead of constantly rethinking it.  Bleh.  I have two hours of work calls right now, and then I'll regroup.

HA!!!!!

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51 minutes ago, zamboni said:

Love this performance.

Not really related to the thread, but The Dirty Mac performed another tune on the R&R Circus called Whole Lotta Way Too Much Yoko.

I was bopping along enjoying that fiddle and wondering what Yoko's purpose was in being there, and then she started to scream.  Why of course, her purpose was to scream.

39 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

This is one of those Beatles' songs that other hard-core fans love and I think is con job (ducks).

Lennon is rivaled only by Little Richard & Chuck Berry among rock titans as his own worst biographer. I don't believe a word he says about what he meant in any of the songs he wrote (he changed his mind 8 trillion times per interview).

So that leaves the music, playing, and singing. It's heavy and rocks. Great. It's on the same level as "Baby You're A Rich Man" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" to me. 

Agree completely on not believing a lot of what John said - not sure if it was purposeful, or the drugs, or both, but his stories did change way too much.  I do believe him more on this one, given the circumstances at that time.  Gross Cynthia was out there with him, but also-gross Yoko was writing him daily letters, and he'd clearly been unhappy with the band for a while, and here he's supposed to be reaching some level of new consciousness but it's not possible because of everything going on and also that he's not George.  John being suicidal is pretty believable to me at any point from about 1967 on.  Maybe earlier.

Your last sentence must be meant as an insult since I know how you feel about "Baby You're a Rich Man," but since I love both the songs you named, I take it as a compliment to "Yer Blues."  :) 

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Shipped my top 22 to @Getzlaf15. Fun exercise. I'm really only committed to the top 12. 2 have been listed by Special K already.

PS. Penny Lane was not among my 22.

Edited by Gr00vus
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1 minute ago, krista4 said:

 

Your last sentence must be meant as an insult since I know how you feel about "Baby You're a Rich Man," but since I love both the songs you named, I take it as a compliment to "Yer Blues."  :) 

I didn't mean it as an insult, just that those three seem to run together for me as a sort of trilogy in my mind of John songs I don't much care for. 

Did I mention I had "Penny Lane" at #11?

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15 hours ago, Getzlaf15 said:

List #29 just came in.  Deadline Friday at midnight.

we have deadlines now?

:rant:

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I've been trying to do a Top 25 for several days. It's given me a new perspective on what a herculean task it would be to rank all 204, regardless of criteria.

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1 hour ago, zamboni said:

Love this performance.

Not really related to the thread, but The Dirty Mac performed another tune on the R&R Circus called Whole Lotta Way Too Much Yoko.

It's actually a great groove if you can get past Yoko's warbling.

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1 hour ago, zamboni said:

Love this performance.

Not really related to the thread, but The Dirty Mac performed another tune on the R&R Circus called Whole Lotta Way Too Much Yoko.

The looks that Ivry Gitlis  (the violinist) gives Yoko when she starts wailing are priceless.

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25 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I was bopping along enjoying that fiddle and wondering what Yoko's purpose was in being there, and then she started to scream.  Why of course, her purpose was to scream.

Agree completely on not believing a lot of what John said - not sure if it was purposeful, or the drugs, or both, but his stories did change way too much.  I do believe him more on this one, given the circumstances at that time.  Gross Cynthia was out there with him, but also-gross Yoko was writing him daily letters, and he'd clearly been unhappy with the band for a while, and here he's supposed to be reaching some level of new consciousness but it's not possible because of everything going on and also that he's not George.  John being suicidal is pretty believable to me at any point from about 1967 on.  Maybe earlier.

Your last sentence must be meant as an insult since I know how you feel about "Baby You're a Rich Man," but since I love both the songs you named, I take it as a compliment to "Yer Blues."  :) 

I always considered Cynthia to be a sympathetic character in the Beatles story.  

Edited by Godsbrother
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@zamboni said I should post what would piss the most people off.  Unfortunately the next one I had listed is in the top 10 of both zamboni and @Mister CIA, so I guess I'm doing my job.  Sorry.  :lol:  

81.  If I Needed Someone (Rubber Soul, 1965)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Having sat in on a recording session of The Byrds in August 1965, George was inspired to write this song by Roger McGuinn's 12-string riffs on "The Bells Of Rhymney."  McGuinn had in turn been inspired by...The Beatles, including George's 12-string Rickenbacker work on A Hard Day's Night:  "I first saw The Beatles on television in 1963, in New York. It was the clip with all the screaming girls. I loved the music! I got it right away and started playing folk songs with a Beatle beat down in Greenwich Village."  

This song has such an amazing groove, starting with that dreamy opening riff.  George's guitar work throughout is just brilliant, and those harmonies, sung off-the-beat or syncopated as most of the melody is, are not just gorgeous but due to the off-beat timing seem to drive the song along, increasing the tension and leading in and out of the bridge.  I love the bridge's upbeat tempo and tambourines, giving it just enough of a different texture to feel satisfying but not interfere with the song's smooth groove as a whole.  I often feel like George's songs, more than any other Beatle's, should be longer.  There's so much complexity and texture in sometimes seemingly straightforward packages that I'd like to have heard them given even more time to develop.

This is one where it's worth mentioning how wonderful the lyrics are, too.  As you might have figured out by now, I'm not much of a traditional romantic, so the "I love you"s don't do it for me in love songs.  The genius in these lyrics is how hypothetical, conditional, and non-comital they are - check out the "if" and "I guess" and "maybe"s here, but then with the bold declaration of being "too much in love":

If I needed someone to love
You're the one that I'd be thinking of
If I needed someone

If I had some more time to spend
Then I guess I'd be with you my friend
If I needed someone
Had you come some other day
Then it might not have been like this
But you see now I'm too much in love

Carve your number on my wall
And maybe you will get a call from me
If I needed someone

Mr. krista:  "It’s such a good jam.  His songs are so dreamy.  It produces such interesting sonic experiments.  Like that jangly 12-string, it starts turning up across the world in other songs.  Such an expressive guitar player."

Suggested cover:  James Taylor  (I'm not posting the cover by The Hollies, which reached #20 on the charts, because George himself didn't care for it.)

Edited by krista4
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45 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

I always considered Cynthia to be a sympathetic character in the Beatles story.  

Perhaps.  I certainly put Julian in that category.

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I finally figured out what (one of) my problem(s) is.  I had the songs ordered and some jotted notes on each, but none of these write-ups were prepared in advance.  So as I'm doing the write-up for each song, I'm listening to the song over and over again to try to catch everything I want to mention.  Starting somewhere in the 100s, when I'm doing so I'm reminded of everything I love about the song, so then when I'm finished with the write-up, I think, "I want this higher."  Then I look above it and scramble to do a write-up for a different song instead.  Rinse, repeat, and resultant re-ordering.  It's thrown my initial list into chaos.

Let's just term this, outside of the top 25 or so and bottom 25 or so, a loose approximation of my favorite Beatles songs.

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I assigned a number to each song and ran it through a random number generator.  Was much easier to come up with a top 204

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18 minutes ago, krista4 said:

@zamboni said I should post what would piss the most people off.  Unfortunately the next one I had listed is in the top 10 of both zamboni and @Mister CIA, so I guess I'm doing my job.  Sorry.  :lol:  

81.  If I Needed Someone (Rubber Soul, 1965)

 

Whoa. :kicksrock:

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9 minutes ago, ScottNorwood said:

I assigned a number to each song and ran it through a random number generator.  Was much easier to come up with a top 204

I did, too.  How else would Penny Lane end up as high as #86?

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2 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I did, too.  How else would Penny Lane end up as high as #86?

Is this what it feels like to be on the other side of trolling?

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2 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I did, too.  How else would Penny Lane end up as high as #86?

egg-zactly

I thought I was doing pretty good just to get it down to 56 or so.

21-56 feels pretty mushy, could shift around every day.

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Does anyone else think the White Album was bloated with a ton of garbage?

I don't mean filler songs like early Beatles....I mean "you thought you wrote a bad song? hold my beer" stuff.

Should have been about 12 songs instead of 28. 

"Blackbird" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" are sublime, but man there is a lot of junk on those four sides.

Seems like K4 has more or less acknowledged this with a good chunk of the album ending up in her bottom half.

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8 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

Does anyone else think the White Album was bloated with a ton of garbage?

I don't mean filler songs like early Beatles....I mean "you thought you wrote a bad song? hold my beer" stuff.

Should have been about 12 songs instead of 28. 

"Blackbird" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" are sublime, but man there is a lot of junk on those four sides.

Seems like K4 has more or less acknowledged this with a good chunk of the album ending up in her bottom half.

I was on board with this being a great single album. But politics at the time meant everyone had their songs make the cut, thus the double.

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I submitted a Top 25. I am embarrassed how difficult I found the process to be, mostly because they wrote about 60 Top 25 songs.

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You were only waiting for this moment to arise

 

Nobody cares about your fantasy team OR your Beatles Top 25

25. Yesterday
24. I Am The Walrus
23. Drive My Car
22. Help!
21. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
20. Blackbird
19. Day Tripper
18. Abbey Road medley
17. I Saw Her Standing There

16. Norwegian Wood
15. Money (That's What I Want)
14. Hey Jude
13. Ticket To Ride
12. Nowhere Man
11. Here Comes The Sun
10. Let It Be
9. Something
8. Tomorrow Never Knows
7. Eleanor Rigby
6. She Loves You
5. Don't Let Me Down
4. All You Need Is Love
3. Penny Lane
2. Strawberry Fields Forever
1. A Day In The Life

Edited by BobbyLayne
fixed
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OMG

I somehow deleted or mislabeled and there’s no number 16

@Getzlaf15 is gonna have an aneurism

On the way to subway, will figure it out later & correct

:bag:

Edited by BobbyLayne

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1 hour ago, BobbyLayne said:

Does anyone else think the White Album was bloated with a ton of garbage?

I don't mean filler songs like early Beatles....I mean "you thought you wrote a bad song? hold my beer" stuff.

Should have been about 12 songs instead of 28. 

"Blackbird" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" are sublime, but man there is a lot of junk on those four sides.

Seems like K4 has more or less acknowledged this with a good chunk of the album ending up in her bottom half.

I am also bloated & superfluous. But i like myself just fine and don't feel the least bit threatened or homicidal about the aspersions you cast upon my favorite Beatle album. Martha, where my pills at?

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6 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

Were we supposed to post our lists in the thread?

Probably not

:bag:

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I feel like I've been posting songs in the 80s for weeks.  Have I double-numbered or something?  This is excruciating.

80.  I'm a Loser (Beatles for Sale, 1964)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Yes, yes, John, we know.  You're such a loser.

More self-loathing from John, this song was described by Paul as joining "Nowhere Man" as John's cries for help during this period (funny he wouldn't also mention the song entitled, errrrr, "Help!").  John pegged this to his self-described "Dylan period" because he used the word "clown" in it, which he said he'd thought was too "artsy-fartsy" until Dylan used it, making it OK.  Alrighty.  @Uruk-Hai, how do you rate the truthiness of this statement by Lennon:  "Part of me suspects I'm a loser and part of me thinks I'm God Almighty."  That one sounds more spot-on to me than many of his statements.

Apparently I am a big fan of John's Dylan period, because in addition to loving this song, we'll see another heavily Dylan-influenced one much higher in the countdown.  I'm clearly also a big fan of John "heart on his sleeve," confessional songs, and I have a special appreciation for this one as perhaps the first time he dived into public exposure of his struggles.  It was a significant breakthrough in his songwriting.  Unfortunately, the lyrics and their cadence bug me a bit on this one; they sound choppy as he hits one note per syllable and the rhymes can seem forced.  He'll get better at it.  

Musically I love John's harmonica part (of course) and the sunny vocals on refrain - how can someone sound so gleeful about being a loser - but to me what makes this song is George.  There, I said it.  George is doing his Carl Perkins tribute perfectly on this song, and I find myself focusing on his guitar work and excitedly awaiting the two short solos from him, the first ~1:35 and the second as the song fades out.  George is the MVP of this one.  

Mr. krista:  "The melody is better than the lyrics.  The dude forced the lyrics into the medley.  The abbaba rhyme is so good you don’t care anyway.  It’s so melodic it doesn’t have to make sense."

Suggested cover:  Eels

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Penny Lane is the #86 greatest Beatles' song and I will fight all of you!

ETA:  I could be wrong, but I think I've only lost three of my top-25 so far.  Or ten.  I'm not checking.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz
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17 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Penny Lane is the #86 greatest Beatles' song and I will fight all of you!

ETA:  I could be wrong, but I think I've only lost three of my top-25 so far.  Or ten.  I'm not checking.

I wondered when you'd be by.  :lol:  Btw, note that I have posted no Paul songs yet today.  Paul-hater, you say?  The next two are also going to be John songs.  :) 

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4 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I wondered when you'd be by.  :lol:  Btw, note that I have posted no Paul songs yet today.  Paul-hater, you say?  The next two are also going to be John songs.  :) 

Actually, it's true -- I've only lost three songs in my Top-25.

#7, #8, #25

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