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krista4

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

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6 hours ago, krista4 said:

44.  I Am The Walrus (Magical Mystery Tour, 1967)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Since I'm being lazy, I've decided to post a guest write-up for this one.  From @simey a page or two back:

"I like this song. It is quite weird, especially lyrically, but there are several things about the song I like. I love the intro, and the orchestra throughout the song.  I also like the nonsensical lyrics.  krista, I'm not sure if I am hearing it right, but after John sings, "see how they smile like pigs in a sty see how they snide," do I hear two pig snorts after that? I know how you feel about pig snorts.  My favorite part of the song comes right before that pig line, when they go Ho Ho Ho Hee Hee Hee Ha Ha Ha. 

John says he wrote the first line after one acid trip, and the second line after another acid trip. He got the idea for writing the whacked out lyrics from getting a letter by boy that said his English teacher was having the class analyze Beatles songs. I reckon John chuckled with the thought of them analyzing the lyrics to this song. This was also the song that started the rumor that Paul was dead."

From me:  I don't mind pig snorts so much in a song that's not named "Piggies."  A little too obvious with that one.

Also from me:  In my write-up I intended to mention that this song probably had the biggest drop of any on my list.  When I started, it was in my top 15 or so, but I realized along the way that, while I loved the song, I found myself tuning it out a lot rather than actively listening.  There isn't that same level of instant excitement for me that a lot of other songs provide.

Mr. krista:  "I like the song. I like the distorted vocals and the obscurant lyrics, referencing Lewis Carroll.  Funny cause the walrus is the bad guy in that poem.  Like the brief bits of noise.  It’s still just a strange song.  There’s something terrifying and jarring about it.  It’s creepy.  It’s a haunted house of a song."

Suggested cover:  I like the uptempo rock version from Oingo Boingo

I had this at #24 (#nobodycaresaboutyourfantasyteam.) Was always a favorite to play while we were tripping on acid. Though I suspect the purple microdot we used in the late 70s was probably nothing at all like acid in the 60s. I don't remember ever experiencing hallucinations, but my cheeks were always sore the next day from smiling non-stop. Anyway, in those days we mostly listened to prog rock - ELP, early Genesis, early Kansas, early Supertramp, Yes - and most of the Beatles catalogue didn't fit. But this one and a other songs yet to be named did.

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30 minutes ago, krista4 said:

41.  I Saw Her Standing There (Please Please Me, 1963)

 

Way too bubblegum pop for me.  Would be way down my list.

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3 hours ago, krista4 said:

43.  All You Need Is Love (single, 1967)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

From @OrtonToOlsen:  "Love the lyrics and vocals but the ‘bun duh dunna dun’ really detracts from everything else."  For once, I agree with him on something (other than cats)!  I realize I've gone on and on about John's vocal in a variety of songs, but for some reason this is my favorite vocal from him.  It's not flashy or difficult like "Twist & Shout" or some of the others, but the tone in his singing here does it for me.  His voice sounds sleepy but sincere, and incredibly fluid and hypnotic; it almost feels like a lullaby to me, and I'm entranced by it.  The lyrics are lovely; Ringo summed them up as, "It was for love and bloody peace.  It was a fabulous time.  I even get excited now when I realize that's what it was for:  Peace and love, people putting flowers in guns."  [Requisite photo of dorky t-shirt I own.]  What I don't like in the song, and I dislike it enough to take this from a top 20 down to here, is the simplistic chorus and especially the "bun duh dunna dun."  It sounds cheesy, circus-y, and brings the song down.

Setting that aside, there's so much else to love, including the impressive production that I'll cover below.  With respect to the song itself, I love to try to keep time through the frequent tempo changes and especially love tapping out those alternating 4/4, 3/4 beats in the intro and the verses.  There's something about that dropped note that's charming; I'm just glad I wasn't Ringo.   I'm also a huge fan of Fifth Beatle George Martin's arrangement on this; starting with La Marseillaise (French national anthem) to open, through the coda with, among others, snippets of "Greensleeves" and "In the Mood," along with a bit of one of the Brandenburg concertos, the orchestration is outstanding.  Speaking of that coda, I love the sonic cornucopiaTM of it.  

While I said my write-ups might be truncated for a bit, the background of this song's coming to be is too important and interesting to skip.  Might sound quaint now, but the song was written for what was a very big deal at the time:  the first live international satellite television broadcast, a BBC show called Our World.  More than 20 countries were scheduled to participate, and the Beatles were selected to represent Great Britain in the "Artistic Excellence" portion of the show, much to their...indifference.  Brian Epstein showed up to the studio during one of the Sgt. Pepper's recordings, greatly excited to announce this to the lads, but he was met with yawns.  It didn't get better for him, as, when pressed by Epstein to be more enthused, John spoke for the group by telling him, "that's what you get for committing us to doing something without asking us first."  It seemed the Beatles saw this as a violation of their desire not to perform live anymore, but John unenthusiastically agreed that he'd write a song for it.

Several weeks later, Paul casually asked John if he'd written anything yet, and realizing that they had only a couple of weeks to prepare, John got down to writing the song.  The band recorded some backing tracks, including George on a violin(!), but when it came to the vocal, John boldly declared that he would not lip-sync but instead would do the lead vocal live.  Not to be outdone, Paul then stated that he would also play the bass live, and the two of them together talked George into performing a live guitar solo as well.  Luckily for Ringo, due to technical issues of microphone seepage from the orchestra that would be playing, the drums would have to be pre-recorded, though a last-minute decision did allow him to do a live version of the snare drum roll at the beginning.  Though the backing vocals were also pre-recorded, Paul was given a live mic for the show for the ad libs you hear at the end of the song.

The night of the broadcast arrived, and in addition to the Beatles and their wives and girlfriends, a variety of friends were enlisted to sit on the floor surrounding the band while it performed, including usual suspects Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, and Keith Richards.  John was visibly nervous, perhaps because he couldn't use his lyric sheet as he normally would.  The broadcasters had decided to station an additional camera in the control booth, and when the broadcast began about 40 seconds early, they nearly caught George Martin and Geoff Emerick in a Scotch toast; they had to scramble madly to hide the bottle and glasses from the camera.  Another mad dash was then made to get the pre-recorded tape spooled back to its correct spot to start the song.  But somehow, despite everything that could go wrong with a live broadcast, everyone pulled it off!  As mentioned, John's vocal is astounding, despite the fact he forgot to take his chewing gum out before they started and he did flub a couple of lyrics.  The orchestra hit all its marks perfectly.  George pulled off the guitar solo he'd been so nervous about, though he did hit an off note or two starting ~1:26.   Most amazingly, there were no technical glitches with the music, but the broadcast did lose video for a few seconds.

The song was then rushed into the studio for some overdubbing in order to release the single, but not much had to be done to it.  John redid two lines of flubbed vocal, and Ringo replaced the snare roll they'd made a last-minute decision to perform live.  A "wobble" was added to the end of George's solo to mask the bad last couple of notes.  Most people might not have even realized the single version wasn't precisely the same as the version they'd watched on TV a couple of weeks prior.

(By the way, for some reason I previously had this listed under Yellow Submarine.  While it was used on that as well as Magical Mystery Tour, based on how I've listed other songs this should probably be under the "Singles, etc." category.)

Mr. krista:  "Nice job. All-star cast.  I think one needs other things – food, shelter.  Love is definitely up there.  You need love before you need, say, a Nintendo 64.  But there are other things I’d put above love. So I disagree with the lyrical premise."

Suggested covers:  Nothing can replace that John vocal for me, but if you're Elvis Costello, you can surely come close.  Surprised to like this one, but I enjoyed their incorporation of other Beatles's motifs:  Echo & the Bunnymen.  Daniel Johnston gets to the heart of the matter.

Well, it's just @krista4 favorites, nothing more, nothing less, but I had this as my number 4. Just represents quintessential Beatles in my mind. 

Fantastic write-up btw.

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@Man of Constant Sorrow:

1.  I never did figure out what you were saying about "Across The Universe" last night.  Is it a favorite of yours?

2.  You should submit a top 25 if you haven't and Getzlaf won't kill me for saying it.

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8 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

Well, it's just @krista4 favorites, nothing more, nothing less, but I had this as my number 4. Just represents quintessential Beatles in my mind. 

Fantastic write-up btw.

Thanks!

I had this in my top 20 at one point when I thought I was "done," like six months ago.  :lol:  It does seem quintessential Beatles.

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

42.  Day Tripper (single, 1965)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

This one stayed grouped tightly with "I Feel Fine" during most of my maneuverings, with the two flip-flopping frequently but staying close in ranking.  Until I spontaneously decided to rank "I Feel Fine" lower (for Binky:  "higher"), the two were in pretty much the opposite positions than where they ended up.  I'm still not sure which one I prefer.  I think of them similarly primarily because they both feature outstanding riffs.   When I had "I Feel Fine" in this position, it was because of the downward repeated guitar solos and the drumming, and when this one was higher (Binky:  "lower"), it was because it rocks harder and has a vocal that I prefer, though it's hard to follow the lead since Paul and John trade off and weave in and out of unison and harmonies as well.  

As mentioned in the "We Can Work It Out" write-up, this was the double-a-side to that song, though in the US it did slightly worse in the charts than its sister-a-side.  Paul later indicated the song is about drugs, specifically LSD, though the band downplayed that significantly at the time.  John's comments were at times more mysterious, saying it was about "weekend hippies" that only took day trips, "usually on a ferryboat or something" and at times more blunt:  "It was a drug song."

Mr. krista:  "Yeah, I love that song.  Classic riff.  It’s one of those things you think of if you think of classic rock, if you’re one of the unfortunate type of people who have to think of classic rock, or think of things as classic or not.  I’m not going to keep harping on how good of a drummer Ringo is.  I’m just going to keep saying things like, 'I’m not going to keep harping on how good of a drummer Ringo is.'"

Suggested cover:  I didn't have to look any up for this, since Otis exists.  Love how he seems either not to know or not to care about the lyrics.

Might as well go full krippling here....

Happy little song. Not sure why I had it at #19, if I redid my list tonight it'd be lower....like high 20s low 30s. What a fantastic guitar riff, though! One of my favorite licks.

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9 minutes ago, shuke said:

Way too bubblegum pop for me.  Would be way down my list.

no doubt.  It doesn't compare as a stand-alone to these other songs for me either - but man it was so different, and was a part of the initial wave of Beatles songs that overtook the music world.  Take a look at the top 40 the week before they broke in:

BILLBOARD (USA) MAGAZINE'S SINGLES CHART FOR WEEK OF:January 18,1964
TW LW Wks. Song-Artist 
 1  1  8 THERE I'VE SAID IT AGAIN!-BOBBY VINTON
 2  2 11 Louie,Louie-Kingsmen
 3  3  9 Popsicles,Icicles-Murmaids
 4  5 11 Forget Him-Bobby Rydell
 5  7  7 Surfin' Bird-The Trashmen
 6  4 11 Dominique-Singing Nun
 7 19  6 Hey Little Cobra-Rip Chords
 8  8 10 Nitty Gritty-Shirley Ellis
 9 20  7 Out Of Limits-Marketts
10 13  7 Drag City-Jan & Dean
11 16  5 Whispering-April Stevens & Neno Tempo
12 12  6 As Usual-Brenda Lee
13  6 13 Since I Fell For You-Lenny Welch
14 31  3 Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um-Major Lance
15 10 11 Midnight Mary-Joey Powers
16  9 11 Talk Back Trembling Lips-Johnny Tillotson
17 22  7 Anyone Who Had A Heart-Dionne Warwick
18 37  4 You Don't Own Me-Lesley Gore
19 27  4 For You-Rick Nelson
20 21  7 That Lucky Old Sun-Ray Charles

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2 minutes ago, Binky The Doormat said:

no doubt.  It doesn't compare as a stand-alone to these other songs for me either - but man it was so different, and was a part of the initial wave of Beatles songs that overtook the music world.  Take a look at the top 40 the week before they broke in:

BILLBOARD (USA) MAGAZINE'S SINGLES CHART FOR WEEK OF:January 18,1964
TW LW Wks. Song-Artist 
 1  1  8 THERE I'VE SAID IT AGAIN!-BOBBY VINTON
 2  2 11 Louie,Louie-Kingsmen
 3  3  9 Popsicles,Icicles-Murmaids
 4  5 11 Forget Him-Bobby Rydell
 5  7  7 Surfin' Bird-The Trashmen
 6  4 11 Dominique-Singing Nun
 7 19  6 Hey Little Cobra-Rip Chords
 8  8 10 Nitty Gritty-Shirley Ellis
 9 20  7 Out Of Limits-Marketts
10 13  7 Drag City-Jan & Dean
11 16  5 Whispering-April Stevens & Neno Tempo
12 12  6 As Usual-Brenda Lee
13  6 13 Since I Fell For You-Lenny Welch
14 31  3 Um,Um,Um,Um,Um,Um-Major Lance
15 10 11 Midnight Mary-Joey Powers
16  9 11 Talk Back Trembling Lips-Johnny Tillotson
17 22  7 Anyone Who Had A Heart-Dionne Warwick
18 37  4 You Don't Own Me-Lesley Gore
19 27  4 For You-Rick Nelson
20 21  7 That Lucky Old Sun-Ray Charles

This song is awesome!

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12 minutes ago, krista4 said:

@Man of Constant Sorrow:

1.  I never did figure out what you were saying about "Across The Universe" last night.  Is it a favorite of yours?

2.  You should submit a top 25 if you haven't and Getzlaf won't kill me for saying it.

😜

No worries on figuring me out... in my 50 years I've accomplished little on that front. ; )

But, yes, Across the Universe is very high on my list...if I had a list. 

Which leads to #2... 

... AWESOME! Thanks for the invite. I will begin my list now. Also, I have only scanned your master list on page 1 briefly. Thus, I'm not real clear on how things have unfolded. That's good. It will keep my list from being as influenced. I will dig deeper into the rankings after I submit it. 

 

You want a PM or a public post? 

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2 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

😜

No worries on figuring me out... in my 50 years I've accomplished little on that front. ; )

But, yes, Across the Universe is very high on my list...if I had a list. 

Which leads to #2... 

... AWESOME! Thanks for the invite. I will begin my list now. Also, I have only scanned your master list on page 1 briefly. Thus, I'm not real clear on how things have unfolded. That's good. It will keep my list from being as influenced. I will dig deeper into the rankings after I submit it. 

 

You want a PM or a public post? 

Pm it to me please.  WIll be glad to add it.  

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55 minutes ago, krista4 said:

41.  I Saw Her Standing There (Please Please Me, 1963)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Would rank higher if not for slight creepiness of 20- to 23-year-olds singing about a 17-year-old.  It's not "Ringo in his 30s singing You're Sixteen" creepy, but a tiny bit uncomfortable.  If only they could have made her 18...but I guess that's not enough syllables.  

Helluva way to announce themselves to the world, with this track being the opening track on their first album!  Paul's count-in sparks the energy immediately, and every member of the band here is in fantastic form, from Paul's bass to George's exceptional guitar solo to Ringo's Ringoness to John's especially fine rhythm guitar.  The song features those "oooo"s complete with the headshakes that would later drive the girls wild, and the energy on the bridge veers into a sweet gushiness by the end line "held her hand in mi-i-i-ine!" driving into that falsetto.   The song might not have been the most original in some other ways:  Paul later claimed he'd played a note-by-note replica of the bass line in Chuck Berry's "I'm Talking About You," and a couple of the melody lines are nearly identical to "When The Saints Going Marching In" (compare "how could I dance with another since I saw her standing there" to "I want to be in that number when the saints go marching in").  But the charming youthful exuberance that's supplemented by solid adult performances by every Beatle make this one of my favorite rock songs ever recorded.

Mr. krista:  "I like the song a lot, because that George Harrison guitar solo is so killer but he’s so reserved during the verses.  He’s mostly just rhythm but then just rips this rockabilly solo so much better than any rockabilly musician not named Carl Perkins. It just rips, and even with that standard beat, Ringo manages to be inventive.  I like that Paul is doing the Little Richard 'oooo' while the others are doing the British 'oh.'  You might need umlauts to type that."

Suggested covers:  These guys know how to do a good "ooo," too. Little Richard  Jerry Lee Lewis (with Little Richard)  

Those guys are pretty good - I actually saw them together in Rome circa 1988 - but I prefer the Cantonese version by Prudence Liew:

I Saw Him Standing There

:P

OK, mostly kidding but isn't that a hoot? I love how transcendent the Beatles are.

Generally not a huge fan of rockabilly but this one is fantastic. Number 17 on the Nobody Cares list. 

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15 minutes ago, Getzlaf15 said:

Pm it to me please.  WIll be glad to add it.  

Thanks much. 

I'm at Spotify now, and oh boy, this top 25 ain't gonna be easy, but Ima working. 

I'll try to pm by tomorrow evening after making some play lists to whittle the bucket down. 

👍

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Previously I listed my Tier 1, top 18, in chronological order.  I'll rank them by love now.  Honestly, the top 6 are in a Super Tier 1 all to themselves.  Two songs added to make it a round-ish top 20.

  1. I've Just Seen a Face
  2. Nowhere Man
  3. In My Life
  4. A Day in the Life
  5. Let It Be
  6. Something
  7. Across the Universe
  8. Get Back
  9. Polythene Pam
  10. If I Needed Someone
  11. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  12. You've got to Hide Your Love Away
  13. Blackbird
  14. And Your Bird Can Sing
  15. She Said She Said
  16. And Your Bird Can Sing
  17. Eleanor Rigby
  18. Hey Jude
  19. Wait
  20. Help

 

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

I can't quit due to legal threats from wikkid's intellectual property team, so...

you must cease and desist ceasing dis instant!

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40.  Mother Nature's Son (White Album, 1968)

39.  Blackbird (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version (Mother Nature's Son):  Spotify  YouTube

Beatles version (Blackbird):  Spotify  YouTube

I always intended to rank these two together and do the write-ups together, because I think they're the same song.  Ok, one has tweety-bird sounds and the other doesn't, but otherwise they're similar.  They're both Paul songs on which no other Beatles perform. They're both acoustic guitar driven with Paul's finger-picking style.  They both feature pure, peaceful Paul vocals.  They were both composed just after the India trip and included on the White Album.  They both have simple but stunningly beautiful melodies and redolent lyrics.  They both have "nature" overtones, though Paul years later asserted that "Blackbird" was about the US civil right movement.  In both you can hear Paul's feet tapping.  The chord progressions even sound the same to me, though I'm too lazy to look it up right now.  Some differences exist, though, such as the small tempo changes in "Blackbird" that aren't in the comparatively simple "Mother Nature's Son," and the absence of stupid bird noises in "Mother Nature's Son." Also, not every human with a guitar plays "Mother Nature's Son."

I love both of these songs as gorgeous, near-perfect creations, the only downside of them being that they seem like Paul solo works instead of Beatles songs, primarily because they were. Actually I enjoy "Mother Nature's Son" even more than "Blackbird," finding its melody and lyrics slightly more enchanting, and that four-note guitar run at the end of the second line of the second and third verses does it for me.  I prefer it, that is, until we get to the end.  That last line, where Paul sings, "Mother Nature's soooon" as if he were ending a Broadway show, jazz hands and all, drives me batty and makes me rank it just behind "Blackbird."

Fun fact:  the recording engineer accidentally used the sound of a thrush instead of a blackbird in the initial mix of "Blackbird."  Luckily someone else caught it and corrected the error.  How embarrassing would it have been to have a thrush when everyone knows that's not a blackbird?  Whew!

Mr. krista (Mother Nature's Son):  "It’s really good.  There’s a great cover by Harry Nilsson.  It’s really beautiful."

Mr. krista (Blackbird):  "The chords are so pleasing; no wonder everyone with an acoustic guitar learns this song.  It’s perfect the way it is.  That line - into the light of the dark black night - is so evocative.  Those are some of Paul McCartney’s best lyrics and writing and it bothers me that Paul McCartney, who is clearly a fantastic writer, feels that Western trap that everything has to be symbolic, that everything has to represent some larger concept. That a thing can’t just be what it is and beautiful on its own account.  But this is some of his best songwriting.  The Tweety Bird noises don’t help it, though."

Suggested cover (Mother Nature's Son):  Well, OK, Mr. krista, here's Harry Nilsson (the use of strings instead of brass is lovely)

Suggested cover (Blackbird):  Well, duh.

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That's the last write-up for the night; caught up pretty well today!  Heading out for wine tasting for a good portion of tomorrow, but that should just make write-ups later more interesting.

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51 minutes ago, Getzlaf15 said:
54 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

😜

No worries on figuring me out... in my 50 years I've accomplished little on that front. ; )

But, yes, Across the Universe is very high on my list...if I had a list. 

Which leads to #2... 

... AWESOME! Thanks for the invite. I will begin my list now. Also, I have only scanned your master list on page 1 briefly. Thus, I'm not real clear on how things have unfolded. That's good. It will keep my list from being as influenced. I will dig deeper into the rankings after I submit it. 

 

You want a PM or a public post? 

Pm it to me please.  WIll be glad to add it.  

:clap: 

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25 minutes ago, Mister CIA said:

Previously I listed my Tier 1, top 18, in chronological order.  I'll rank them by love now.  Honestly, the top 6 are in a Super Tier 1 all to themselves.  Two songs added to make it a round-ish top 20.

  1. I've Just Seen a Face
  2. Nowhere Man
  3. In My Life
  4. A Day in the Life
  5. Let It Be
  6. Something
  7. Across the Universe
  8. Get Back
  9. Polythene Pam
  10. If I Needed Someone
  11. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  12. You've got to Hide Your Love Away
  13. Blackbird
  14. And Your Bird Can Sing
  15. She Said She Said
  16. And Your Bird Can Sing
  17. Eleanor Rigby
  18. Hey Jude
  19. Wait
  20. Help

 

As requested by @Getzlaf15, I'll bump it up to top 25. AND I'll answer everyone's burning question, which is better: And Your Bird Can Sing, or She Said She Said?

  1. I've Just Seen a Face
     
  2. Nowhere Man
  3. In My Life
  4. A Day in the Life
  5. Let It Be
  6. Something
  7. Across the Universe
  8. Get Back
  9. Polythene Pam
  10. If I Needed Someone
  11. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  12. You've got to Hide Your Love Away
  13. Blackbird
  14. She Said She Said
  15. And Your Bird Can Sing
  16. Eleanor Rigby
  17. Hey Jude
  18. Wait
  19. Help
  20. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
  21. Hard Days Night
  22. Lovely Rita
  23. Cry Baby Cry
  24. Old Brown Shoe
  25. Ticket to Ride ... Love the cognitive dissonance in my 11 year-old mind listening to this song; Cool, but why doesn't she care.
Edited by Mister CIA
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28 minutes ago, Mister CIA said:

Previously I listed my Tier 1, top 18, in chronological order.  I'll rank them by love now.  Honestly, the top 6 are in a Super Tier 1 all to themselves.  Two songs added to make it a round-ish top 20.

  1. I've Just Seen a Face
  2. Nowhere Man
  3. In My Life
  4. A Day in the Life
  5. Let It Be
  6. Something
  7. Across the Universe
  8. Get Back
  9. Polythene Pam
  10. If I Needed Someone
  11. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  12. You've got to Hide Your Love Away
  13. Blackbird
  14. And Your Bird Can Sing
  15. She Said She Said
  16. And Your Bird Can Sing
  17. Eleanor Rigby
  18. Hey Jude
  19. Wait
  20. Help

 

Average of 15?

As you can tell by how many of your top 20 haven't been named yet, our tastes appear to be quite similar.  One of your super-elite-upper tier ones is getting axed soon, though.  :( 

Did you not submit a top 25?

ETA:  Nevermind!

Edited by krista4

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1 minute ago, krista4 said:

Did you not submit a top 25?

Just made it happen.  Shot from the hip with my last 5 (6).  I could probably rotate 75 songs into my top 25, eventually.

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7 minutes ago, Mister CIA said:

Just made it happen.  Shot from the hip with my last 5 (6).  I could probably rotate 75 songs into my top 25, eventually.

I don't think "Lovely Rita" had been named on a top 25 list before now - is that right, Getz?  If so, I'm excited about that!

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2 minutes ago, Mister CIA said:

Just made it happen.  Shot from the hip with my last 5 (6).  I could probably rotate 75 songs into my top 25, eventually.

I have about 14 emails/PMs with Binky rotating 124 songs on his list

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1 minute ago, krista4 said:

I don't think "Lovely Rita" had been named on a top 25 list before now - is that right, Getz?  If so, I'm excited about that!

correct

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14 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Average of 15?

As you can tell by how many of your top 20 haven't been named yet, our tastes appear to be quite similar.  One of your super-elite-upper tier ones is getting axed soon, though.  :( 

Did you not submit a top 25?

ETA:  Nevermind!

I'm guessing it's Let It Be.  Kind of want to lump it together with Hey Jude and While My Guitar Gently Weeps as overplayed anthems, but it's one of those songs that arrests my attention completely, every time.

 

ETA:  Wait, it's gonna be I've Just Seen a Face. 

 

I'll be okay.

Edited by Mister CIA
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2 minutes ago, Getzlaf15 said:
4 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I don't think "Lovely Rita" had been named on a top 25 list before now - is that right, Getz?  If so, I'm excited about that!

correct

Another song that arrests my attention every single time, but there are identifiable gaps of attention during the 2:42.

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18 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Average of 15?

As you can tell by how many of your top 20 haven't been named yet, our tastes appear to be quite similar.  One of your super-elite-upper tier ones is getting axed soon, though.  :( 

Did you not submit a top 25?

ETA:  Nevermind!

Doesn't anyone read his posts?

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21 minutes ago, krista4 said:

39.  Blackbird (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version (Blackbird):  Spotify  YouTube

Suggested cover (Blackbird):  Well, duh.

:clap:

Another top twenty for me (#20), but mostly for very sentimental reasons. My daughter is in her third year of pre-professional ballet, and this was the song they danced to in their previous class (e.g., once a week for enrichment ballet.) Although she loves ballet, three sessions a week is a bit of a slog IMO. So I always associate this song with "back when it was a just for fun" dance class. The outfits they wore were whimsical, all black with webbing under the arms for the wings (I fear I did a terrible job describing them.) 

(aside to @krista4 - I messaged you a pic on FB)

Anyway, while I suppose it's more Macca than Beatles, I have always loved this song. Just a very sweet melody and terrific lyrically. 

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12 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

:clap:

Another top twenty for me (#20), but mostly for very sentimental reasons. My daughter is in her third year of pre-professional ballet, and this was the song they danced to in their previous class (e.g., once a week for enrichment ballet.) Although she loves ballet, three sessions a week is a bit of a slog IMO. So I always associate this song with "back when it was a just for fun" dance class. The outfits they wore were whimsical, all black with webbing under the arms for the wings (I fear I did a terrible job describing them.) 

(aside to @krista4 - I messaged you a pic on FB)

Anyway, while I suppose it's more Macca than Beatles, I have always loved this song. Just a very sweet melody and terrific lyrically. 

Nice!  I'll take a look when my phone charges more; for some reason using FB messenger on my computer gets all whacked.

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42 minutes ago, Mister CIA said:

Does anyone remember Sunday morning Breakfast with the Beatles on the radio?

WTUE out of Dayton still has their own every Sunday from 8-11 AM.  

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

40.  Mother Nature's Son (White Album, 1968)

39.  Blackbird (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version (Mother Nature's Son):  Spotify  YouTube

Beatles version (Blackbird):  Spotify  YouTube

I always intended to rank these two together and do the write-ups together, because I think they're the same song.  Ok, one has tweety-bird sounds and the other doesn't, but otherwise they're similar.  They're both Paul songs on which no other Beatles perform. They're both acoustic guitar driven with Paul's finger-picking style.  They both feature pure, peaceful Paul vocals.  They were both composed just after the India trip and included on the White Album.  They both have simple but stunningly beautiful melodies and redolent lyrics.  They both have "nature" overtones, though Paul years later asserted that "Blackbird" was about the US civil right movement.  In both you can hear Paul's feet tapping.  The chord progressions even sound the same to me, though I'm too lazy to look it up right now.  Some differences exist, though, such as the small tempo changes in "Blackbird" that aren't in the comparatively simple "Mother Nature's Son," and the absence of stupid bird noises in "Mother Nature's Son." Also, not every human with a guitar plays "Mother Nature's Son."

I love both of these songs as gorgeous, near-perfect creations, the only downside of them being that they seem like Paul solo works instead of Beatles songs, primarily because they were. Actually I enjoy "Mother Nature's Son" even more than "Blackbird," finding its melody and lyrics slightly more enchanting, and that four-note guitar run at the end of the second line of the second and third verses does it for me.  I prefer it, that is, until we get to the end.  That last line, where Paul sings, "Mother Nature's soooon" as if he were ending a Broadway show, jazz hands and all, drives me batty and makes me rank it just behind "Blackbird."

Fun fact:  the recording engineer accidentally used the sound of a thrush instead of a blackbird in the initial mix of "Blackbird."  Luckily someone else caught it and corrected the error.  How embarrassing would it have been to have a thrush when everyone knows that's not a blackbird?  Whew!

Mr. krista (Mother Nature's Son):  "It’s really good.  There’s a great cover by Harry Nilsson.  It’s really beautiful."

Mr. krista (Blackbird):  "The chords are so pleasing; no wonder everyone with an acoustic guitar learns this song.  It’s perfect the way it is.  That line - into the light of the dark black night - is so evocative.  Those are some of Paul McCartney’s best lyrics and writing and it bothers me that Paul McCartney, who is clearly a fantastic writer, feels that Western trap that everything has to be symbolic, that everything has to represent some larger concept. That a thing can’t just be what it is and beautiful on its own account.  But this is some of his best songwriting.  The Tweety Bird noises don’t help it, though."

Suggested cover (Mother Nature's Son):  Well, OK, Mr. krista, here's Harry Nilsson (the use of strings instead of brass is lovely)

Suggested cover (Blackbird):  Well, duh.

Really good solo stuff by Paul.  Not completely my style, but I appreciate the purity of his writing and singing in both songs.   Wish he would have just waited to release these post-Beatles, but that's just me being petty.

Mrs APK really loves Blackbird.  We almost had an argument about it earlier today, which is just an extension of a longstanding disagreement about Paul being her favorite Beatle (whereas of course he's my 3rd favorite).

Neither of us have listened to the White Album enough - no clue why - and this thread has helped us regain a love for it.

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@krista4 I don't comment much cause I'm a music loser (Pyromania by Def Leppard was pretty GOOD....) but I love this thread.  Thanks so much for doing it.

 

I feel like "I Saw Her Standing There" is way less creepy if you hear it as a memoir in which the dude singing was also 17...Just my 2 cents.  :D 

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3 minutes ago, facook said:

@krista4 I don't comment much cause I'm a music loser (Pyromania by Def Leppard was pretty GOOD....) but I love this thread.  Thanks so much for doing it.

 

I feel like "I Saw Her Standing There" is way less creepy if you hear it as a memoir in which the dude singing was also 17...Just my 2 cents.  :D 

Notebook updated.

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20 minutes ago, Alex P Keaton said:

Really good solo stuff by Paul.  Not completely my style, but I appreciate the purity of his writing and singing in both songs.   Wish he would have just waited to release these post-Beatles, but that's just me being petty.

Mrs APK really loves Blackbird.  We almost had an argument about it earlier today, which is just an extension of a longstanding disagreement about Paul being her favorite Beatle (whereas of course he's my 3rd favorite).

Neither of us have listened to the White Album enough - no clue why - and this thread has helped us regain a love for it.

I'm fearing that my thread is going to cause an APK divorce!  :lmao:  From the Rocky Raccoon love to Paul as favorite Beatle...wait, what do you mean "of course" he's your 3rd favorite?  If that means Ringo is 4th, I strenuously protest.

18 minutes ago, facook said:

@krista4 I don't comment much cause I'm a music loser (Pyromania by Def Leppard was pretty GOOD....) but I love this thread.  Thanks so much for doing it.

 

I feel like "I Saw Her Standing There" is way less creepy if you hear it as a memoir in which the dude singing was also 17...Just my 2 cents.  :D 

Glad you're reading along, GB.  Interesting idea on ISHST!  Also, I'm not sure which month, but Paul wrote it in 1962, meaning it's possible he was 19 when he wrote it.  :) 

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I was screening covers for "Hey Bulldog," and I don't know...it might need to move back up more.  That bass line!  And in all the covers, no one could rock it nearly as well as the Beatles did.

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2 hours ago, krista4 said:

That last line, where Paul sings, "Mother Nature's soooon" as if he were ending a Broadway show, jazz hands and all

Great write ups.  Pretty sure both of these are in my top-25 and I'm surprised they survived as long as they did on your list.  

I think this is the 3rd or 4th time you've decried the Vaudeville, music hall stuff, but I love that they managed to mix that with rock and roll and rockabilly and blues and still create something new and unique.

I mean... who else even tried to roll that stuff in?  I'm sure they're out there, but I either don't recognize it (likely) or it's more obscure stuff.

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10 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Great write ups.  Pretty sure both of these are in my top-25 and I'm surprised they survived as long as they did on your list.  

I think this is the 3rd or 4th time you've decried the Vaudeville, music hall stuff, but I love that they managed to mix that with rock and roll and rockabilly and blues and still create something new and unique.

I mean... who else even tried to roll that stuff in?  I'm sure they're out there, but I either don't recognize it (likely) or it's more obscure stuff.

I'm glad "Mother Nature's Son" was on a few lists; I think it's highly underappreciated and have no doubt it will be lower in the consensus rankings.  You don't find that ending jarring, though?  It's not that it sounds show-tune-y so much as seeming completely inappropriate to the rest of the song.  Paul was usually brilliant at song endings, so it's surprising to me that he seemed to have given up and gone with something easy.

Edited by krista4

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2 hours ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

... 

I'm at Spotify now, and oh boy, this top 25 ain't gonna be easy, but Ima working. 

I'll try to pm by tomorrow evening after making some play lists to whittle the bucket down. 

👍

Ok. I've completed the 1st bucket of my top 25. Construction was easy.

Unfortunately, it contains 83 songs. 

Time for the hard part now...

Elimination. 

 

This is fun. 

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

I was screening covers for "Hey Bulldog," and I don't know...it might need to move back up more.  That bass line!  And in all the covers, no one could rock it nearly as well as the Beatles did.

These girls rock.

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36 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Great write ups.  Pretty sure both of these are in my top-25 and I'm surprised they survived as long as they did on your list.  

I think this is the 3rd or 4th time you've decried the Vaudeville, music hall stuff, but I love that they managed to mix that with rock and roll and rockabilly and blues and still create something new and unique.

I mean... who else even tried to roll that stuff in?  I'm sure they're out there, but I either don't recognize it (likely) or it's more obscure stuff.

Randy Rainbow!!!

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On 2/15/2019 at 1:42 PM, krista4 said:

I should note, by the way, that from this exercise I've learned that I've been misspelling "psychedelic" my whole life.

I expect this song is more popular with me than with most regular people, but more popular with the crowd here even than with me.  That's a compliment to you guys, as I think it's a hard listen for the man on the street.  Obviously I love it, too, but I've not dropped enough acid (or...any).

That's a shame. 

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On 2/15/2019 at 1:35 PM, krista4 said:

45.  Tomorrow Never Knows (Revolver, 1966)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

There's so much to say about this song, about its production, the various innovations, that I'm sure I'll leave a lot of important stuff out.  I love this song.  It’s could be such a ####### mess, but it's not.  I love the drums, and the wah-wah-wah-wah bird-type sounds (more on that below). The spooky vocals, the tambour, tambourines, the dissonance.  The fact that it's all (almost) entirely one damn chord.  It's aural collage unlike anything produced before it.

John's lyrics were inspired by Timothy Leary's The Psychedelic Experience, his interpretation of the philosophy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.  While he initially wanted to call the song "The Void," he was afraid that would not be understood by the fans at this time, so he adopted a Ringoism for the title instead.  To be honest, I don't pay attention to these lyrics, but maybe others connect with them on a much deeper level than I'm capable of.  

For me, this is all about the music, including how Ringo and Paul keep it all together with the chaos that's going on about them.   There are so many innovations in this song that I won't discuss in detail, such as the backward reverb guitar parts, but I'll mention a few.  John instructed that he wanted his voice to sound "like the Dalai chanting from a mountaintop," which led to Geoff Emerick's idea to channel John's vocal through a Leslie speaker after the first verse.  The effect was that haunting, distant sound that matches perfectly with the lyrics.  

The drum sounds were also new to recording based on a couple of ideas.  Blatantly contravening EMI rules to keep microphones at least two feet from the drums, the microphones were put only a few inches away.  In addition, to dampen the ringing from the bass drum, a large sweater was stuffed in against the rear beater skin.  The results were these full, energetic drums heard on the record.  

As for the tape loops, these were originally from Paul, who was experimenting more with avant garde music at the time than the others, and who'd removed the erase-head from his home tape recorder, allowing additional sounds to be recorded each time the tape spooled through.  All the band members were given an assignment to make some tape loops and bring them back the studio, after which the group listened to the loops backward, forward, slowed down, sped up, any which way, until five were chosen, including the one that sounds like seagulls but is actually Paul laughing.  Then the loops were added to the track:  "Every tape machine in every studio was commandeered and every available EMI employee was given the task of holding a pencil or drinking glass to give the loops the proper tensioning.  In many instances, this meant they had to be standing out in the hallway, looking quite sheepish."  At the same time, in the control room Emerick and Martin "huddled over the console, raising and lowering faders to shouted instructions from John, Paul, George and Ringo.  (‘Let’s have that seagull sound now!’...)  With each fader carrying a different loop, the mixing desk acted like a synthesizer, and we played it like a musical instrument, too, carefully overdubbing textures to the prerecorded backing track."  As a result, the recorded version of this song could not possibly be re-produced.       

Mr. krista:  "The vocal thing that happens there is Lennon singing through a Leslie speaker, usually used with a Hammond organ, but Lennon sang vocals through it instead.  This happens all the time now.  But maybe never before this.  But still sounds so modern.  Sounds like it could have happened any time.  In terms of sound capture, this is an incredible record, and this is particularly an incredible track.  I doubt anyone had used multi-track recording quite like this.  There’s 24 tracks of wildly different sonic information with nothing to do with each other, but then assembled into a song that fits on the record…and it’s one chord!  There’s so much weirdness going on on that.  It’s so psychedelic."

Suggested cover:  Nah, that doesn't seem right for this one.  The genius is in the innovation and the one-time nature of the sound.

I think the Jimi one does it service

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9 hours ago, krista4 said:

43.  All You Need Is Love (single, 1967)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

From @OrtonToOlsen:  "Love the lyrics and vocals but the ‘bun duh dunna dun’ really detracts from everything else."  For once, I agree with him on something (other than cats)!  I realize I've gone on and on about John's vocal in a variety of songs, but for some reason this is my favorite vocal from him.  It's not flashy or difficult like "Twist & Shout" or some of the others, but the tone in his singing here does it for me.  His voice sounds sleepy but sincere, and incredibly fluid and hypnotic; it almost feels like a lullaby to me, and I'm entranced by it.  The lyrics are lovely; Ringo summed them up as, "It was for love and bloody peace.  It was a fabulous time.  I even get excited now when I realize that's what it was for:  Peace and love, people putting flowers in guns."  [Requisite photo of dorky t-shirt I own.]  What I don't like in the song, and I dislike it enough to take this from a top 20 down to here, is the simplistic chorus and especially the "bun duh dunna dun."  It sounds cheesy, circus-y, and brings the song down.

Setting that aside, there's so much else to love, including the impressive production that I'll cover below.  With respect to the song itself, I love to try to keep time through the frequent tempo changes and especially love tapping out those alternating 4/4, 3/4 beats in the intro and the verses.  There's something about that dropped note that's charming; I'm just glad I wasn't Ringo.   I'm also a huge fan of Fifth Beatle George Martin's arrangement on this; starting with La Marseillaise (French national anthem) to open, through the coda with, among others, snippets of "Greensleeves" and "In the Mood," along with a bit of one of the Brandenburg concertos, the orchestration is outstanding.  Speaking of that coda, I love the sonic cornucopiaTM of it.  

While I said my write-ups might be truncated for a bit, the background of this song's coming to be is too important and interesting to skip.  Might sound quaint now, but the song was written for what was a very big deal at the time:  the first live international satellite television broadcast, a BBC show called Our World.  More than 20 countries were scheduled to participate, and the Beatles were selected to represent Great Britain in the "Artistic Excellence" portion of the show, much to their...indifference.  Brian Epstein showed up to the studio during one of the Sgt. Pepper's recordings, greatly excited to announce this to the lads, but he was met with yawns.  It didn't get better for him, as, when pressed by Epstein to be more enthused, John spoke for the group by telling him, "that's what you get for committing us to doing something without asking us first."  It seemed the Beatles saw this as a violation of their desire not to perform live anymore, but John unenthusiastically agreed that he'd write a song for it.

Several weeks later, Paul casually asked John if he'd written anything yet, and realizing that they had only a couple of weeks to prepare, John got down to writing the song.  The band recorded some backing tracks, including George on a violin(!), but when it came to the vocal, John boldly declared that he would not lip-sync but instead would do the lead vocal live.  Not to be outdone, Paul then stated that he would also play the bass live, and the two of them together talked George into performing a live guitar solo as well.  Luckily for Ringo, due to technical issues of microphone seepage from the orchestra that would be playing, the drums would have to be pre-recorded, though a last-minute decision did allow him to do a live version of the snare drum roll at the beginning.  Though the backing vocals were also pre-recorded, Paul was given a live mic for the show for the ad libs you hear at the end of the song.

The night of the broadcast arrived, and in addition to the Beatles and their wives and girlfriends, a variety of friends were enlisted to sit on the floor surrounding the band while it performed, including usual suspects Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, and Keith Richards.  John was visibly nervous, perhaps because he couldn't use his lyric sheet as he normally would.  The broadcasters had decided to station an additional camera in the control booth, and when the broadcast began about 40 seconds early, they nearly caught George Martin and Geoff Emerick in a Scotch toast; they had to scramble madly to hide the bottle and glasses from the camera.  Another mad dash was then made to get the pre-recorded tape spooled back to its correct spot to start the song.  But somehow, despite everything that could go wrong with a live broadcast, everyone pulled it off!  As mentioned, John's vocal is astounding, despite the fact he forgot to take his chewing gum out before they started and he did flub a couple of lyrics.  The orchestra hit all its marks perfectly.  George pulled off the guitar solo he'd been so nervous about, though he did hit an off note or two starting ~1:26.   Most amazingly, there were no technical glitches with the music, but the broadcast did lose video for a few seconds.

The song was then rushed into the studio for some overdubbing in order to release the single, but not much had to be done to it.  John redid two lines of flubbed vocal, and Ringo replaced the snare roll they'd made a last-minute decision to perform live.  A "wobble" was added to the end of George's solo to mask the bad last couple of notes.  Most people might not have even realized the single version wasn't precisely the same as the version they'd watched on TV a couple of weeks prior.

(By the way, for some reason I previously had this listed under Yellow Submarine.  While it was used on that as well as Magical Mystery Tour, based on how I've listed other songs this should probably be under the "Singles, etc." category.)

Mr. krista:  "Nice job. All-star cast.  I think one needs other things – food, shelter.  Love is definitely up there.  You need love before you need, say, a Nintendo 64.  But there are other things I’d put above love. So I disagree with the lyrical premise."

Suggested covers:  Nothing can replace that John vocal for me, but if you're Elvis Costello, you can surely come close.  Surprised to like this one, but I enjoyed their incorporation of other Beatles's motifs:  Echo & the Bunnymen.  Daniel Johnston gets to the heart of the matter.

Suggested cover: https://youtu.be/KW68xAgh1jQ

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8 hours ago, krista4 said:

I had to run to CVS, where I also got Mr. krista Valentine's Day gifts of half-priced candy and a hilariously long receipt.  Don't say I'm not a romantic!

On the way there, "Penny Lane" was playing.  Decided that I didn't rank it where I wished I had after all.  Should have had it lower.

Too soon

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5 hours ago, krista4 said:

 

Interesting idea on ISHST!  Also, I'm not sure which month, but Paul wrote it in 1962, meaning it's possible he was 19 when he wrote it.  :) 

Right, but he wrote it in past tense. The "just"  in "she was just 17" does muddy the waters, though.

Split the difference and say he was 18 in the song?

On another note, there are not enough contortions known to man we could go through to justify "You're Sixteen"'s skeeviness. I don't think Ringo was a perv, but sheesh.

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7 hours ago, krista4 said:

I'm fearing that my thread is going to cause an APK divorce!  :lmao:  From the Rocky Raccoon love to Paul as favorite Beatle...wait, what do you mean "of course" he's your 3rd favorite?  If that means Ringo is 4th, I strenuously protest.

LOL.  It really would be amazing to see a divorce come out of this thread.  I'll keep trying to do my part.

I'm not a serious enough musician to value Ringo's drums --- or hell, everything Paul does from a musical instrument perspective --- as highly as others.

But let's refocus on what matters:  I ranked a Ringo song (With a Little Help From My Friends) higher than you did.  That shows my dedication to Ringo.  😬

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12 hours ago, krista4 said:

41.  I Saw Her Standing There (Please Please Me, 1963)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Would rank higher if not for slight creepiness of 20- to 23-year-olds singing about a 17-year-old.  It's not "Ringo in his 30s singing You're Sixteen" creepy, but a tiny bit uncomfortable.  If only they could have made her 18...but I guess that's not enough syllables.  

Helluva way to announce themselves to the world, with this track being the opening track on their first album!  Paul's count-in sparks the energy immediately, and every member of the band here is in fantastic form, from Paul's bass to George's exceptional guitar solo to Ringo's Ringoness to John's especially fine rhythm guitar.  The song features those "oooo"s complete with the headshakes that would later drive the girls wild, and the energy on the bridge veers into a sweet gushiness by the end line "held her hand in mi-i-i-ine!" driving into that falsetto.   The song might not have been the most original in some other ways:  Paul later claimed he'd played a note-by-note replica of the bass line in Chuck Berry's "I'm Talking About You," and a couple of the melody lines are nearly identical to "When The Saints Going Marching In" (compare "how could I dance with another since I saw her standing there" to "I want to be in that number when the saints go marching in").  But the charming youthful exuberance that's supplemented by solid adult performances by every Beatle make this one of my favorite rock songs ever recorded.

Mr. krista:  "I like the song a lot, because that George Harrison guitar solo is so killer but he’s so reserved during the verses.  He’s mostly just rhythm but then just rips this rockabilly solo so much better than any rockabilly musician not named Carl Perkins. It just rips, and even with that standard beat, Ringo manages to be inventive.  I like that Paul is doing the Little Richard 'oooo' while the others are doing the British 'oh.'  You might need umlauts to type that."

Suggested covers:  These guys know how to do a good "ooo," too. Little Richard  Jerry Lee Lewis (with Little Richard)  

This is my favorite early Beatles tune and was one of very few early songs in my top 25.  I never even considered the creepiness.  I'll consider it for a few seconds.  Nope, still love the song.

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3 hours ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Right, but he wrote it in past tense. The "just"  in "she was just 17" does muddy the waters, though.

Split the difference and say he was 18 in the song?

On another note, there are not enough contortions known to man we could go through to justify "You're Sixteen"'s skeeviness. I don't think Ringo was a perv, but sheesh.

The 1978 video featured a then 21 or 22 year old Carrie Fisher.

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