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krista4

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

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30 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Paul and John have had their turns at the bottom of the rankings; next up...George (Ringo will follow soon).

201.  Piggies

Beatles version

I expect some people will like this, and that's a-ok.  I hate everything about it:  the lyrics, the snorts, the harpsichord, the nasally vocal.  OK, maybe I don't hate the harpsichord - in fact, I quite like the way it's used in a non-standard fashion to give a little bluesy feel in the bridge.  And I don't hate the strings.  Maybe I could kind of like this as a baroque piece, but...the snorts.  I can't take the snorts, which by the way were John's doing.  Probably 30 spots higher without the snorts.  "Oh, but it's social commentary!"  Great.  That doesn't mean it gets away with being dreck.  

Fun fact:  George's mum came up with the line, "What they need is a damn good whacking."  I think I might've liked to hang with George's mom.  Not-so-fun fact:  this was another inspirational song for Charles Manson, who thought the "piggies" represented white people in the impending race wars - hence the "death to pigs" written at the scene of one (or more?) of the murders, as they hoped it would incite a race war.

Mr. krista:  "It’s dumb.  I could hear Ray Davies listening to that, and thinking 'WTF?  That’s what they did?  We are better – I knew it!  We’ve been better this whole time!'  That sounds like the Kinks ####### around on a Village Green outtake."

Suggested cover:  Phish  A nice jaunty harpsichord, and no snorts.

I've always been blessed with the utter inability to take anything completely seriously for extended periods of time. If the late 60s had a curse, it's that the amazingly great & awful things happening rendered humor either too silly or profound.

It's hard calling someone a "pig", necessary though it was at the time. The trick of both neutering the term by juvenilizing it and heightening the wallow aspects over the political was great jokewriting and i heard it also as a subtle dig at the number of music hall singalongs Paul put on this record. Though yours is a valid placement (the concept remains strong in this one), i'd have to rate this higher than at least all the clangclang early-career album filler.

Edited by wikkidpissah
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My school had a hot lunch program so never really carried a lunchbox.  But I'm pretty sure I remember this one being in the house - maybe belonged to an older sibling.

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5 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

@krista4 - you'll signal us at the point you actually like the songs you're posting, right?

I feel like when you’re ranking something in the bottom 1-2%, you’ll need to have some criticisms of it.  We’re still in the realm of “songs I turn off when they come on,” but we’ll be out of that fairly soon.

@wikkidpissah, loved your perspective on this one.  It’s of its time in a way that’s more interesting to me based on your comments.

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2 hours ago, AcerFC said:

My gripe is that I dont have a spotify subscription so I have to play random songs to get to the one linked. Link youtube imo. But its your thread so really just do whatever you want

I have to admit YouTube is my go to since its the easiest and I often find the comments section and sometimes awful videos very amusing. 

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8 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I feel like when you’re ranking something in the bottom 1-2%, you’ll need to have some criticisms of it.  We’re still in the realm of “songs I turn off when they come on,” but we’ll be out of that fairly soon.

:hifive:

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ANNOUNCE:

1.  I'm going to try to bounce through some more of these bottom-dwellers as quickly as I can today.  Frankly it gets depressing talking about the stuff I don't like when I really want to get to the ones I do, and I don't have a lot to say about them sometimes.

2.  By popular demand, where available I'll include a Youtube link as well as Spotify.  They might be different versions, because I'm just going to take whatever comes up first and don't have the kind of time necessary to synch them.

3.  Unrelated but because it came up earlier in this thread, my own dear mother just sent me an email entitled "OMG" and letting me know that The Mooch will be on Celebrity Big Brother.  Of course, I told her that Henry Ford from the internet had already let me know.

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Piggies was a big part of my childhood soundtrack, really all of side "2" but mostly Blackbird/Piggies/Rocky, these still ring like kids' songs to me

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The first memory I have of the Beatles that I can still recall is "Yellow Submarine", but I don't remember the context or whether it was when Revolver was out or the movie soundtrack a couple of years later. I'm sure I heard some of the earlier songs just by osmosis, but this is the first I can still recall 50 years later. I was at my grandmother's house, I remember (I can still picture her dog in this memory), and I'm guessing my aunt played it either on the radio or on record. I was sitting on the floor and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

The above-mentioned aunt was probably the biggest influence on my pop culture leanings. She's the older of my mom's two half-sisters and is ten years older than I am.  She became a hippie chick in the late 60s. She got me onto Tolkien, Blazing Saddles, and Grand Funk.

Anyway, back to the Beatles.......... one night several years ago I was visiting she and her husband. The Beatles came on the radio and I asked if she saw them on Sullivan.

She said " I did. I had just started puberty. By the time they were finished playing that night, I was through puberty". 

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200.  Dig It

Beatles versions:  Spotify  YouTube

I don't.

For years I thought, "Hey, other than the stupid talking at the end, this isn't so bad.  Maybe I'd like a full-length version of it."  Then I heard the full-length version.  :mellow:  Poor "Wild Honey Pie" wouldn't have been in the cellar at #204 if they'd released that version instead.  I'm not even going to link it here, because I wouldn't do that to you guys.  Spoiler:  it features six-year-old Heather McCartney on vocal.

As released, it's not that bad with the exception of the end bit, but I just can't rank it higher given it is clearly just a snippet, and the other snippet-songs are preferable to me.  At 50 seconds, I don't bother skipping this one, but there's nothing here that interests me.

Speaking of the end bit, given that the next song on the record was Let It Be, was that statement "Now we'd like to do Hark the Angels Come" meant to be a dig on Paul and his style of music?

Mr. krista:  "They were probably playing Like a Rolling Stone and then somebody said they had to sing stuff."

Suggested cover:  Michael Jackson It's not really a cover, but this is for funsies.

Edited by krista4
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One more and then I'll break for a bit.  The "white album" is getting pretty beat up in my rankings.  That will eventually change, but not anytime soon.  :( 

199.  Honey Pie

Beatles versions:  Spotify  YouTube

Some of what John termed Paul's "granny music," this vaudeville sound harkens back to the dance halls of the 20s and 30s.  It highlights to me two of either the positives or the negatives of Paul's songs, depending upon your perspective:

1.  This is the first of the "imagined worlds" songs from Paul, as he conjures a movie star named Honey Pie.  I mentioned earlier that I prefer the more personal approach of John's songwriting, but some people enjoy the creativity of these little worlds Paul imagines.

2.  Sometimes it seems like Paul is so good at creating any kind of music, that he almost seems to be parodying them.  To be clear, I don't think he means to, and that he is sincere in his love for these genres, but as an example, on this one I feel like the addition of the old phonograph sounds at the beginning, as well as the use of his vocal in an old-fashioned way could dip into parody.  This "slipping into" parody will come up again later in our discussion of Rocky Raccoon.

I think this song sounds authentic and true to what Paul was intending to do.  The guitar work is terrific, and the song's overall sound stylish, for lack of a better word.  It's just not for me.  I find it a bit hammy, and I'm not particularly interested in this type of music - see post #3 where I mention I don't like nostalgia, which to me is what this is all about.

Mr. krista:  "I’d rather see this song performed by Gene Wilder and a big monster in a Mel Brooks movie."

Suggested covers:  Glenn Williams  I don't know who this is, but I kind of dig it, even the off-key parts.  I enjoy the uke.  And for the rest of you:  Olivia Newton-John  She's dreamy.

Edited by krista4

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8 minutes ago, krista4 said:

 

2.  Sometimes it seems like Paul is so good at creating any kind of music, that he almost seems to be parodying them.  To be clear, I don't think he means to, and that he is sincere in his love for these genres, but as an example, on this one I feel like the addition of the old phonograph sounds at the beginning, as well as the use of his vocal in an old-fashioned way could dip into parody.  This "slipping into" parody will come up again later in our discussion of Rocky Raccoon.

 

Paul's problem, John's too, is that he needed someone to tell him "no". Once the two of them fell out, and they were "fell out" on this album especially, they ran amok. Both were so talented that they could still hit the bulls-eye enough to offset some of that. It got worse on their solo records, but it's very apparent on the White album. 

Put another way, I think the early/mid Beatles' Paul & John enhanced each other when they collaborated. I think, Sgt Pepper and later, they - at best - cancelled each other's worst tendencies when they'd still actually work together (as opposed to using each other as sidemen, which is what happened on the White Album). Which still brought the world some stunning music.

Or put yet another way, they were both terrible self-editors. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Paul's problem, John's too, is that he needed someone to tell him "no". Once the two of them fell out, and they were "fell out" on this album especially, they ran amok. Both were so talented that they could still hit the bulls-eye enough to offset some of that. It got worse on their solo records, but it's very apparent on the White album. 

Put another way, I think the early/mid Beatles' Paul & John enhanced each other when they collaborated. I think, Sgt Pepper and later, they - at best - cancelled each other's worst tendencies when they'd still actually work together (as opposed to using each other as sidemen, which is what happened on the White Album). Which still brought the world some stunning music.

Or put yet another way, they were both terrible self-editors. 

 

Fabulous post.  There’s another song coming up later where I intended to make the point that I feel like Paul needed a best friend to be honest with him and say, “No, don’t do [a particular thing].”  But your application of that principle more broadly seems spot on.

Edited by krista4

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Have only read the OP so far, but I'm intrigued by your project. I, too, was a late Beatles adopter, and probably haven't heard most of their catalog, so I'll be interested in your findings. :thumbup: 

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3 hours ago, krista4 said:

Mr. krista:  "It’s dumb.  I could hear Ray Davies listening to that, and thinking 'WTF?  That’s what they did?  We are better – I knew it!  We’ve been better this whole time!'  That sounds like the Kinks ####### around on a Village Green outtake."

This made me lol.

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32 minutes ago, Ted Lange as your Bartender said:

And also for the cover versions, not to spoil things but I hope to see the name Wes Montgomery at least once or twice

I am more than happy to entertain anyone’s suggestions on covers.  I have some jotted down, mostly for songs I like much better, but I don’t think I have any of his and will be in the lookout.

 Also will check out the group that @BroncoFreak_2K3 mentioned.

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1 minute ago, krista4 said:

I am more than happy to entertain anyone’s suggestions on covers.  I have some jotted down, mostly for songs I like much better, but I don’t think I have any of his and will be in the lookout.

 Also will check out the group that @BroncoFreak_2K3 mentioned.

Check out his covers of Eleanor Rigby and Day in the Life.  Love his Rigby version.  Smooth as silk

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4 hours ago, krista4 said:

201.  Piggies

Probably 30 spots higher without the snorts.  

:lol:  snort :porked:   

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These songs so far would make a great mix tape for your favorite Beatles hater.

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Beatles are like my favorite band but I couldn’t take this on. Top twenty would be an agonizing affair. Kudos krista and Mr  krista  

P.S. I don’t skip anything on the White Album. It must be ingested whole. 

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While I see the whole album thing, there is a deserved theme so far at the bottom of this list.

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On 1/12/2019 at 7:19 PM, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

#1 My Sweet Lord (Harrison)
#2 Instant Karma (Lennon)
#3 What is Life (Harrison)
#4 Imagine (Lennon)
#5 Silly Love Songs (McCartney)
#6 It Don't Come Easy (Starr [Harrison])
#7 Band on the Run (McCartney)
#8 Jet (McCartney)
#9 Photograph (Starr)
#10 Give Me Love (Harrison)
#11 With a Little Luck (McCartney)
#12 Live and Let Die (McCartney)
#13 Maybe I'm Amazed (McCartney)
#14 Listen to What the Man Says (McCartney)
#15 Stand by Me (Lennon [King])
#16 Give Peace a Chance (Lennon)
#17 Another Day (McCartney)
#18 Happy X-mas (Lennon)
#19 Whatever Gets You Through the Night (Lennon)
#20 Let Em In (McCartney)
#21 Watching the Wheels (Lennon)
#22 Starting Over (Lennon)
#23 Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (McCartney)
#24 Woman (Lennon)
#25 #9 Dream (Lennon)

 

Oof.  I left "Oh Yoko" off this list -- what an oversight.  Slots into top five I think.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz
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56 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

These songs so far would make a great mix tape for your favorite Beatles hater.

My favorite Beatles hater is @KarmaPolice.  :) 

48 minutes ago, Nigel Tufnel said:

Beatles are like my favorite band but I couldn’t take this on. Top twenty would be an agonizing affair. Kudos krista and Mr  krista  

P.S. I don’t skip anything on the White Album. It must be ingested whole. 

As I mentioned to Henry earlier, some of these songs might rank higher if I listened to them in context rather than in isolation.  As it is, I listen to them mostly in two settings:  (1) Beatles channel in the car, which I rarely change to a different channel, including a 14-hour roadtrip last summer (aren't you glad you aren't married to me?), and (2) on the Spotify playlist i have set up with all the Beatles songs and then randomize them while working out, hiking solo, walking anywhere, etc.

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Let's give the poor White Album a break and go to another cover song that I find worse than the original.

198.  Bad Boy

Beatles versions:  Spotify  YouTube

One of three songs by Larry Williams that the Beatles covered on their records, this is the only one where I feel they didn't do him justice.  John simply can't match the shriek of Williams's "Now Junior, behave yourself!" or his Coasters-esque deeper-range "Bad boy!" (which the Beatles version omits entirely); George's guitar sounds plodding in comparison to the rollicking of the original; and to my ears the cover really misses the saxophone.  Maybe as merely a wannabe "bad boy" at that time, John just couldn't hit the depths of the true "bad boy" Larry Williams, who's a bit of a tragic figure.  Drugs and violence throughout his life, ending in a "ruled suicide" that many people suspect was a murder, he might be better known at this point for pulling a gun and threatening to kill Little Richard more than for any of his songs, if the Beatles hadn't covered them.  

I enjoy the other songs they covered from Williams - "Slow Down" and "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" - but feel like this one falls flat.  See if you agree:  original.

By the way, is it just me or did Larry Williams look a lot like Terrence Howard?

Mr. krista is a man of few words on this one:  "Yeah.  I got nothin'."

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41 minutes ago, krista4 said:

My favorite Beatles hater is @KarmaPolice.  :) 

As I mentioned to Henry earlier, some of these songs might rank higher if I listened to them in context rather than in isolation.  As it is, I listen to them mostly in two settings:  (1) Beatles channel in the car, which I rarely change to a different channel, including a 14-hour roadtrip last summer (aren't you glad you aren't married to me?), and (2) on the Spotify playlist i have set up with all the Beatles songs and then randomize them while working out, hiking solo, walking anywhere, etc.

That makes perfect sense. I missed that. 

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I have had coitus to no less than 3 of Krista's bottom 5 songs

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5 minutes ago, ScottNorwood said:

I have had coitus to no less than 3 of Krista's bottom 5 songs

very subliminally subtextual. 

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11 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Let's give the poor White Album a break and go to another cover song that I find worse than the original.

198.  Bad Boy

Beatles versions:  Spotify  YouTube

 

This is one of my favorites, although I like the version from the Backbeat soundtrack more. I don't like the original at all. :shrug:

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1 hour ago, Nigel Tufnel said:

Beatles are like my favorite band but I couldn’t take this on. Top twenty would be an agonizing affair. Kudos krista and Mr  krista  

P.S. I don’t skip anything on the White Album. It must be ingested whole. 

that's what she said.

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7 minutes ago, DaVinci said:

This is one of my favorites, although I like the version from the Backbeat soundtrack more. I don't like the original at all. :shrug:

Do you like it better now that you know Larry Williams looked like Terrence Howard?

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1 minute ago, krista4 said:

Do you like it better now that you know Larry Williams looked like Terrence Howard?

I might like it better if he was replaced by Don Cheadle.

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

My favorite Beatles hater is @KarmaPolice.  :) 

As I mentioned to Henry earlier, some of these songs might rank higher if I listened to them in context rather than in isolation.  As it is, I listen to them mostly in two settings:  (1) Beatles channel in the car, which I rarely change to a different channel, including a 14-hour roadtrip last summer (aren't you glad you aren't married to me?), and (2) on the Spotify playlist i have set up with all the Beatles songs and then randomize them while working out, hiking solo, walking anywhere, etc.

:lol: 

Hater might be strong.  I have a respect for them, but don't really like to listen to them.  That's why I asked if you were doing a spotify list - I would really like to sit down and give your top 25-30 songs an honest go.  

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17 minutes ago, ScottNorwood said:

I have had coitus to no less than 3 of Krista's bottom 5 songs

Did you ever do it in the road?

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Just now, Leroy Hoard said:

Did you ever do it in the road?

A gentleman never tells

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21 minutes ago, ScottNorwood said:

I have had coitus to no less than 3 of Krista's bottom 5 songs

I’m going to guess Wild Honey Pie and Dig It, since they’re each less than a minute long, and Piggies, because of the snorts.

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Just. No on Bad Boy. Couldn't even make it through thirty seconds. Swell pick. We're in, um, agreeance.  

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2 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I’m going to guess Wild Honey Pie and Dig It, since they’re each less than a minute long, and Piggies, because of the snorts.

I gave her the best 0:53 of her life

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On 1/11/2019 at 10:19 PM, SWC said:

i know its just old george but i will always have a soft spot in my dusty old heart for my sweet lord take that to the bank brochachos

You mean He's So Fine?

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29 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Just. No on Bad Boy. Couldn't even make it through thirty seconds. Swell pick. We're in, um, agreeance.  

Let's enjoy it while we can. ;)  Btw, your two favorites ended up much higher, and in reverse order, than I initially thought.

Edited by krista4
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On 1/13/2019 at 7:14 PM, krista4 said:

202.  A Taste of Honey

Beatles version

I've always disliked this song just as a Beatles recording (without reference to what it covers), but in this instance it almost makes me angry how much worse they made it.  I feel like they made it almost unrecognizable, which is not bad in and of itself.   I'd rather have someone do that than note-by-note mimicry (hello, Weezer's Africa!), but in this case I feel that they fell far short with their version, not only compared to the original, but also compared to other covers just before and after theirs. 

The original is an instrumental, slow-paced, and used as a recurring theme in a Broadway show:  original.  The instrumental by Acker Bilk was out before the Beatles recording and is a lovely, fully formed song.  The version I'm most familiar with, and didn't realize for a long time was the same as the Beatles song(!), is the Herb Alpert version, which came out slightly after theirs.  I think his upbeat, Latin-jazzy version is a lot of fun, and overall I prefer the instrumentals of this one.  Inserting the words in has always sounded a little "Bill Murray sings Star Wars" to me.  However, you can do a decent vocal version of this; you just need to be Billy Dee Williams.

When I listen to these various versions, I feel like (though don't know) the Beatles were trying to most closely resemble the Acker Bilk version, which is languid and haunting.  To me, though, their attempt at haunting comes out as jarring instead.  Maybe their vocals just hadn't developed enough at this point, but it sounds like kids trying to do what they think "serious grown-ups" think would sound nefarious and spooky.  It's really only the double-tracking that gives it any depth at all.  I don't think they were ready for the complexity of this song, and I think it fails.  This one is an insta-skip for me.

Mr. krista:  "Yeah I don't like it."  

I asked Mr. krista about this song again.  Updated remarks:  "Of course I hate this.  It's like a poisonous slug.  It's prima facie terrible.  It sucks the moisture out of infants' eyes and leaves them dead."

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3 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I asked Mr. krista about this song again.  Updated remarks:  "Of course I hate this.  It's like a poisonous slug.  It's prima facie terrible.  It sucks the moisture out of infants' eyes and leaves them dead."

1

brutal  🤣

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14 hours ago, timschochet said:

2. As you make each pick, can you add it to the title of the thread? 

 

I am adamantly against this.  Takes all the suspense out of it.

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. for later.  can't believe this undertaking.  pretty sure, i don't care about anything this much, other than my family.

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9 minutes ago, shuke said:

I am adamantly against this.  Takes all the suspense out of it.

:shock:  Hadn't thought of this.  Yeah, with it in the title, why click?  We want more people in here discussing these songs.  Sorry, tim, I'm changing back to the regular title (also means I don't have to do so much updating).

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4 hours ago, Nigel Tufnel said:

P.S. I don’t skip anything on the White Album. It must be ingested whole. 

Agreed.  I like Piggies and Honey Pie.

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