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krista4

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

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I accidentally deleted the PMs anyway. :lmao:  It's really no big deal. One song goes missing. This bird has flown.  

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34 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Regarding "And Your Bird Can Sing," you seem to assume that Mr. krista remembers what my #1 song is.  It took him three tries a couple of weeks ago to get it, and I doubt that it stuck.  :lol:

When we got to my top 50 and I asked which song stood out as not belonging, two people listed "I'm Only Sleeping" as their choice.  Maybe that proves your point!

They're not locked and loaded, since I think he still has Man of Constant Sorrow compiling his, and he'll have to add mine as well when we get to it.  It's simple enough just to give She Loves You 24 more points and subtract one point from each of your prior 2-25!

(I say that, of course, as a person who doesn't have to do it.)

It was between AYBCS & Taxman for my pick of your #1. Didn't think the former was historically momentous enough for you to put a numero uno on and, knowing you liked Revolver and are juuuust old enough to be album-oriented, thought its ringing opening statement of Taxman might be just sticky enough. Not crazy about my pick any longer, but at least i had a reason.

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58 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

It was between AYBCS & Taxman for my pick of your #1. Didn't think the former was historically momentous enough for you to put a numero uno on and, knowing you liked Revolver and are juuuust old enough to be album-oriented, thought its ringing opening statement of Taxman might be just sticky enough. Not crazy about my pick any longer, but at least i had a reason.

I’d put Taxman firmly in the overrated category. Kind of an annoying tune. Definitely a triple-digiter for me.

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On 1/30/2019 at 4:50 PM, krista4 said:

124.  Revolution 1 (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

I'll mostly save my discussion of the lyrics of this song until we discuss the single version, higher in the countdown, but I will point out one difference in this version:  at ~0:57-0:58, John says "count me out - in," meant to indicate an ambivalence than he didn't have in the single version, where he was definitively "out."

This was the first of the three "Revolution" versions to be recorded and was originally over 10 minutes long, with the last six minutes of screaming, whispering, and moaning later being spliced off and used as the foundation of "Revolution 9."  John had wanted it to be a single, but both Paul and George vetoed it, likely concerned about making the political statement and only relenting after recording the faster version, which became the b-side to "Hey Jude."  The arguments over all of the versions of "Revolution" are legendary and excruciating to read about; you really can feel the band disintegrating at this time.

It was during the first recordings of this song that John brought Yoko into the studio, and she became glued to him at all times thereafter.  As Geoff Emerick described it:  "From that point on, wherever John went, she went.  If he went into the toilet, she'd walk him down the hall and wait outside, hunched down on the floor.  When he came out, she'd walk with him back into the studio or control room and sit down beside him again. ...if he was sitting on one end of the piano bench, she'd be at the other end.  If he slid over a bit, she'd slide with him."  In this particular recording, that extended to lying down on the floor with him as he sang the lead vocal on this version of the song.  John had decided he'd be more comfortable lying down to sing this, so a boom mike was rigged to suspend above him during the recording.  And Yoko curled up right there next to him.

I like this song and even appreciate the slow pace, though I prefer the single version.  What I dislike about this one are the "shoo-be-doo-wah"s.  I dunno.

Mr. krista:  "It’s like they had a decent idea for a song and just kept playing it and playing it and playing it.  Beatles were best when they just got to the ####### point."

Suggested cover:  Not really sure which version I would call this is a cover for, but it's never a bad idea to listen to Nina Simone.

If we had a working search function I wouldn't have had to scroll through the whole damn thread to find this.  I was wondering if I had already written enough about the next selection and could just be lazy here, but it looks like I punted.  Crap.

34.  Revolution (single, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

At this point I could randomly choose anything from 13-34 and be happy with it making my top 25, so please consider all of the songs I list from 1-34 as being in my top 25, just as I consider all of my 1-12 to be in my top 10.  Getzlaf will be by to explain the math there.

As discussed above, this was the b-side to "Hey Jude," much to John's dismay.  He lobbied hard first for Revolution 1 to be the next single, but was vetoed by Paul and George Martin, who told him it was too slow.  Convinced that this could be a single, he reworked the song into this faster, more biting version, but unfortunately for him, before they were done Paul brought in "Hey Jude," which everyone agreed would be more commercially appealing.  It appears, since this is at #34 and "Hey Jude" hasn't yet been ranked, that I consider this the greatest single of all time, surpassing Strawberry Fields/Penny Lame and We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper.  Hmph.

As touched on above, John wanted to try a song that commented upon the Vietnam War and other concepts of revolution.  He'd been restrained by Brian Epstein from doing so, but after Epstein's death he felt free to share more of his political thoughts with the world.  As mentioned above, while on "Revolution 1" John expressed ambivalence with "Count me out...in," by the time of the single version he clearly indicated in the lyrics that he should be counted out:   "Count me out if it's for violence. Don't expect me on the barricades unless it's with flowers. ... I want to see the plan. Waving Chairman Mao badges or being a Marxist or a thisist or a thatist is going to get you shot, locked up.  If that's what you want, you subconsciously want to be a martyr.  As for as overthrowing something in the name of Marxism or Christianity, I want to know what you're going to do after you've knocked it all down. If you want to change the system, change the system.  It's no good shooting people."  So while the song is entitled "Revolution," it's actually an anti-revolution song - or at least a critique of the actions of revolution thought perhaps not the ideas - and it was met with scorn and severe attacks from some on the Left.*   

I don't really have to say what I love about this song, right?  It's obvious to everyone?  Fuzzy guitars!!!  Filthy, filthy, filthy.  But so unheard of at the time that many record buyers tried to exchange their singles because they thought the "Revolution" side was damaged.  John hammered Geoff Emerick on this notion of wanting the guitar to be biting and dirty.  During the sessions for the White Album, John wanted everything to be louder and louder, winding his guitar amp to its loudest position and becoming angry when anyone told him that at some point the volume caused the sound to become a mess.  In response to John's demand to make his guitar dirtier on this song, Emerick overloaded two preamps for the two guitars and patched them together into each other, then moved the knobs ever-so-gently as they played to try to find the maximum overload the sound board could take without bursting into flames.  The entire song has that feel, of being on the precipice of burning up, from John's shriek at the beginning continuing through to the crescendo of "All right"s at the end and finally Ringo's amped-up snare fill over the searing guitars fading in and out...a listener must have found himself exhausted upon first hearing this song.  It was the heaviest song the Beatles had recorded to this point, perhaps only to be outdone by "Helter Skelter" a few months later.  

Mr. krista:  "I love that absolutely filthy guitar sound.  All the instruments are completely distorted, just totally blowed. His voice is that muffled, singing through a megaphone type thing.  Another ironic song called Revolution but the lyrics are endorsing the status quo.  I think charitably you could say he’s advocating more nuanced thinking.  But you don’t have to go revolution, do you?  I think he took some #### from the left for that."

Suggested cover:  See above.

*Some more Lennon quotes I found interesting regarding the meaning of this song, left here just so as not to muck up the whole write-up above with quotes.  Keep in mind, though, that all of these quotes are well after the recording, and Paul has indicated that he thinks John ascribed more meaning to the lyrics later than he actually had at the time:

"What I said in 'Revolution' is 'change your head.'  These people that are trying to change the world can't even get it all together.  They're attacking and biting each others' faces, and all the time they're all pushing the same way.  And if they keep going on like that it's going to kill it before it's even moved.  It's silly to ##### about each other and be trivial.  They've got to think in terms of at least the world or the universe, and stop thinking in terms of factories and one country.  ...  If they'd just realize the Establishment can't last forever.  The only reason it has lasted forever is that the only way people have ever tried to change it is by revolution. And the idea is just to move in on the scene, so they can take over the universities, do all the things that are practically feasible at the time.  But not try and take over the state, or smash the state, or slow down the works.  All they've got to do is get through and change it, because they will be it."

"These left-wing people talk about giving the power to the people.  That's nonsense – the people have the power.  All we're trying to do is make people aware that they have the power themselves, and the violent way of revolution doesn't justify the ends."

"f you want peace, you won't get it with violence.  Please tell me one militant revolution that worked.  Sure, a few of them took over, but what happened?  Status quo.  And if they smash it down, who do they think is going to build it up again?  And then when they've built it up again, who do they think is going to run it?  And how are they going to run it?  They don't look further than their noses."

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Speaking of "Taxman" (kinda), George fans should rejoice!  I believe that based on his % of songs written for the Beatles, he should have approximately 3.4 songs in the top 33 remaining, but he has four!  Go George!

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Kick ### rocker - one of the Beatles' best. Didn't make my Top 25, but I'll never not turn it up when it comes on. 

I'll leave aside my tired rant that John's trying to have it both ways.

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1 minute ago, Uruk-Hai said:

I'll leave aside my tired rant that John's trying to have it both ways.

I’d be up for the rant and likely agree with it.

Just got in my car not only to find Rocky Raccoon on the Beatles channel, but at the very moment of the Mcgill/Lil/Nancy line. 

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2 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I’d be up for the rant and likely agree with it.

 

If Lennon didn't understand the climate he was writing this song in, then he's the dumbest person who ever lived - not just naive, but completely brainless. Since I know that ain't true, let's look at what he did here......

Leaving aside his usual retconning after-the-fact interviews (he's far from alone in that among artists, let alone his own bandmates - (ahem) Paul), what can possibly be thought about this record as a Beatles fan in 1968?

He releases an angry-sounding, guitar-driven single during one of the bloodiest summers in recent domestic American history. It should have been the flip side of "Street Fighting Man", whose makers were equally "who, me?" about the results.

I'm not saying the artist is responsible for the idiot, just that the artist clutching his/her pearls about it in a climate in which the Beatles released this record rings false to me.

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Personally, I find the dichotomy of the two "Revolution" versions fascinating.  While I would certainly put #1 lower in my rankings, if I were insane enough to try ranking all their songs which of course I'm not because I can't imagine anyone is, it wouldn't be that far behind.  My brother bought The White Album when I was in high school in the late 80's, but I have no recollection of listening to #1 (although I have recollection of way too much time being wasted on #9, I assume just because we couldn't believe a real band put out a "song" like that).  So, when I first heard it a few years ago, after years and years of regular ol' rock-your-face-off "Revolution", I really dug the laid-back doo wop vibe.  So, then I played it for my kids, who grew up trying to scream the song on Beatles: Rock Band, and they looked at me like I had told them I know what it's like to be dead.  

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51 minutes ago, krista4 said:

34.  Revolution (single, 1968)

:clap:

ALRIGHT

(the lyrics are All Right but I'm acknowledging K4 has placed a song correctly)

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21 minutes ago, Getzlaf15 said:

Composite in the 30's also.

You guys finally got one right! ;) 

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

If we had a working search function I wouldn't have had to scroll through the whole damn thread to find this.

Let me thank you right now for the list of rankings on Page 1 with the links to Spot and Tube.

I will be using those so that Spot and Tube will be on the Composite postings.

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Through song #34, I had yet to hit any songs on Mr. krista's top 10 list.  Are we married because we like the same Beatles songs, or do we like the same Beatles songs because we're married?  I actually brought this up last night, and we acknowledged that we think each of us has one song in our top 10 that was influenced partly by the other, but otherwise we came to these conclusions independently.  But after going unscathed all this time, Mr. krista's list is going to lose three songs in a row, at my #33, 32, and 31.

Reminder of his list, in no particular order:

Taxman

Hey Bulldog

Helter Skelter

I’m So Tired

And Your Bird Can Sing

Rain

Across the Universe

I’ve Just Seen a Face

Happiness is a Warm Gun

In My Life*

*new

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2 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Through song #34, I had yet to hit any songs on Mr. krista's top 10 list.  Are we married because we like the same Beatles songs, or do we like the same Beatles songs because we're married?  I actually brought this up last night, and we acknowledged that we think each of us has one song in our top 10 that was influenced partly by the other, but otherwise we came to these conclusions independently.  But after going unscathed all this time, Mr. krista's list is going to lose three songs in a row, at my #33, 32, and 31.

Reminder of his list, in no particular order:

Taxman

Hey Bulldog

Helter Skelter

I’m So Tired

And Your Bird Can Sing

Rain

Across the Universe

I’ve Just Seen a Face

Happiness is a Warm Gun

In My Life*

*new

My guess is he loses "Bulldog", Helter Skelter", and "Bird Can Sing"

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While I'm composing the next write-up, please enjoy this musical interlude from @Shaft41's daughter!  

Shaft, she is truly spectacular.  I'd have said something nice even if she weren't, but maybe like "great for her age" or something (which she is, too), but seriously she's amazing.  I assume your wife must have some musical talent? ;) 

ETA:  Also, I had to use YouTube, contrary to what I'd previously told you, but I listed it as "private" so that randoms can't come upon it.

Edited by krista4
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8 minutes ago, krista4 said:

While I'm composing the next write-up, please enjoy this musical interlude from @Shaft41's daughter!  

Shaft, she is truly spectacular.  I'd have said something nice even if she weren't, but maybe like "great for her age" or something (which she is, too), but seriously she's amazing.  I assume your wife must have some musical talent? ;) 

ETA:  Also, I had to use YouTube, contrary to what I'd previously told you, but I listed it as "private" so that randoms can't come upon it.

Thanks, Krista.  Appreciate you putting this up.  When I click on the link, it says it's unavailable.  Just me?  

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14 minutes ago, krista4 said:

While I'm composing the next write-up, please enjoy this musical interlude from @Shaft41's daughter!  

Shaft, she is truly spectacular.  I'd have said something nice even if she weren't, but maybe like "great for her age" or something (which she is, too), but seriously she's amazing.  I assume your wife must have some musical talent? ;) 

ETA:  Also, I had to use YouTube, contrary to what I'd previously told you, but I listed it as "private" so that randoms can't come upon it.

Change from private to unlisted.

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8 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Change from private to unlisted.

Done!  Try again!

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3 minutes ago, krista4 said:
5 minutes ago, fatguyinalittlecoat said:

Change from private to unlisted.

Done!  Try again!

:thumbup: This is great

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21 minutes ago, krista4 said:

While I'm composing the next write-up, please enjoy this musical interlude from @Shaft41's daughter!  

Shaft, she is truly spectacular.  I'd have said something nice even if she weren't, but maybe like "great for her age" or something (which she is, too), but seriously she's amazing.  I assume your wife must have some musical talent? ;) 

ETA:  Also, I had to use YouTube, contrary to what I'd previously told you, but I listed it as "private" so that randoms can't come upon it.

She probably gets a little musical talent from me.  Thank God she got her looks from her mom.  

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Just now, Shaft41 said:

She probably gets a little musical talent from me.  Thank God she got her looks from her mom.  

That young lady can sing, my friend. 

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27 minutes ago, krista4 said:

While I'm composing the next write-up, please enjoy this musical interlude from @Shaft41's daughter!  

Shaft, she is truly spectacular.  I'd have said something nice even if she weren't, but maybe like "great for her age" or something (which she is, too), but seriously she's amazing.  I assume your wife must have some musical talent? ;) 

ETA:  Also, I had to use YouTube, contrary to what I'd previously told you, but I listed it as "private" so that randoms can't come upon it.

:clap:

The greatness of this thread just went up another level.

Edited by Getzlaf15
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20 minutes ago, krista4 said:

While I'm composing the next write-up, please enjoy this musical interlude from @Shaft41's daughter!  

Shaft, she is truly spectacular.  I'd have said something nice even if she weren't, but maybe like "great for her age" or something (which she is, too), but seriously she's amazing.  I assume your wife must have some musical talent? ;) 

ETA:  Also, I had to use YouTube, contrary to what I'd previously told you, but I listed it as "private" so that randoms can't come upon it.

More than lovely. My youngest son's mother, who made a living @ music for over thirty years and taught me more about singing than even the stars i used to work with, used to say that the rarest & purest talent of a singer is the ability to find the hinges in a song. Shafty's girl found new hinges in a classic and that is a fresh & beautiful thing to hear.  Keep her playing & believing & away from talent-contest singing at all cost. And thank you for adding to my faith in music.

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1 hour ago, krista4 said:

34.  Revolution (single, 1968)

It's impossible to separate politics from this song, as Uruk-Hai points out. This is deliberately and consciously a political song, and there can't possibly be a "Who? Me?" about it.  I simply love that in '68 he was ripping on the Little Red Book and Chairman Mao's "program." John gave it to everyone with this song, and it seems like everyone deserved his scorn for once, IMHO. 

And the song itself is scorched earth. A sonic revolution for the notion of revolution, that's for sure. 

It does try to have it a little bit of both ways. It's a cynical track, but in some ways a hopeful one. Regardless of its faults, I dig it for its forthrightness. It's like when Jello Biafra tore Jerry Brown a new one in California Uber Alles by the Dead Kennedys. Sometimes it takes somebody on the left to tear apart the zeal of the left and somebody on the right to tear apart the zeal of the right. I do love when that happens and it is justified to have been done. 

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19 hours ago, krista4 said:

35.  Please Please Me (Please Please Me, 1963)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

I don't want to sound complaining.
But you know this pick’s too low in my heart.

(In my heart)
It’s top twenty easily too.
It's so hard to reason with you.
Woah yeah, why do you make me blue?

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1 minute ago, grateful zed said:

so, where are the results?

Krista's on Page 1.

Composite will be posted after Krista is done.

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2 minutes ago, Getzlaf15 said:

Composite will be posted after Krista is done.

70 pages and 6 weeks later ...

just throw me a bone.

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33.  Happiness Is A Warm Gun (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

The idea for this song came from an article entitled "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" in The American Rifleman magazine, which was itself a take-off of the much cuddlier Peanuts book Happiness Is A Warm Puppy.  George Martin had the magazine in the studio, and John was inspired by the title:  "I thought it was a fantastic, insane thing to say.  A warm gun means you've just shot something."  The structure of this song, combining several distinct song parts to form a whole, reminds me of something Paul would do; I love how Paul accomplished this on the "You Never Give Me Your Money" part of the Abbey Road medley, or later in "Band On The Run."  John is equally successful here, and this structure and all the various changes from fragment to fragment are my favorite element of this song.  All of the Beatles were big fans of this song, even normally critical John.  I'm glad they loved, it, since they recorded 70 takes of it over the course of two sessions!

The first of the three fused parts was called "Dirty old man" in John's handwritten notes on the lyric sheet (a precursor to "Mean Mr. Mustard"?).  Derek Taylor claimed this portion was written during an acid trip among him, John, and others, and he gives a detailed explanation for most lines, but I'm not sure if he's believable.  John claimed that the lyrics were just invented by him and were about nothing at all.  In fact, he asserted that the Beatles would sometimes throw these non-sensical lyrics into songs just to see what critics would read into them, sometimes even seeing an interpretation and thinking, "Hey, that's pretty good."  This portion of the song is the most straightforward musically.  Though it occasionally deviates briefly into 6/4 or 5/4 time to accommodate an extra syllable or two, it's mostly in standard 4/4 and played in an uncomplicated fashion on the finger-picking rhythm guitar, bass, and organ, with a simple drum fill, slight distortion of the electric guitar, or nice vocal harmony thrown in now and then.

The second part, beginning with "I need a fix," was called "the junkie" in John's notes, and it's this portion that perked up the ears of the BBC censors and led to its being banned at the time for heroin references.  John later claimed the song wasn't about drugs but just about rock and roll, but that seems a bit of revisionist history.  The references to "Mother Superior" represent Yoko, whom John had Pence-ably begun referring to as "Mother."  George's more aggressively distorted guitar announces that this section is going to be a big change, and this is where the music gets more complex.  While the time signature changes to 3/4 and remains there for the majority of the section, on the phrase "jumped the gun," sometimes - but not always! - a fourth beat is added to turn it briefly into 4/4 time.  To keep up with this madness, Ringo is doing something on drums that I can't exactly describe as it seems he's constantly doing something different, in particular playing each downbeat differently; the effect is really cool.  In addition, I feel like in this section the vocals turn (pleasingly) menacing; compare the harmonies contributed by George in the first section to the high backing vocal offered here by Paul, exactly an octave above John.  The effect sounds threatening to me, as does George's lead guitar that actually "leads" the vocal on the verse, playing the same notes with which the vocal follows.  

The last part was called "the gunman" and came from the article mentioned above, but in parentheses was the word "satire," which was how John addressed what the group saw as the US obsession with guns.  The satire continued with the "bang bang shoot shoot" part, meant to mimic the "shoop shoop" of a 50s R&B song.  This section also contains barely veiled references to sex ("When I hold you in my arms, and I feel my finger on your trigger..."), since as John describes it he and Yoko were spending all their free time in bed at that point.  If this section was supposed to be hilarious, it works for me.  Moving from the dark vocals in the second section to bursting lead vocal in this section while singing of the joys of guns, together with the 50s-style doo-wop in the backing vocal, is beautiful satire.  This section again moves among time signatures, from 4/4 to 6/8 and back, but pauses meaningfully and humorously for John to deliver that screaming line at the pinnacle of the song, followed again hilariously by the doo-wop backup, this time at the height of its sarcasm with the "band bang shoot shoot."  It's all glorious and brilliant to me, albeit somewhat exhausting. 

The subject matter does make me a little queasy now knowing how John met his end.

Mr. krista:  "“Yeah, there’s my jam.  [Narrator, noticing his eyes are closed: 'Hey, you awake?']  Oh, I’m just jamming.  Man, I love that song.  I like things that I generally would hate in songs that seem necessary in there, like the shoot-shoots.  It’s really sardonic.  Great lyrics. It’s heavy and it rocks really hard. It’s like three different songs mashed together."

Suggested cover:  The Breeders

 

Edited by krista4
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1 hour ago, The Future Champs said:
6 hours ago, krista4 said:

 

... Rock, I don’t know why I remembered, ...

Haven't we been through this already?

I don't...remember?

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55 minutes ago, DaVinci said:

I don't want to sound complaining.
But you know this pick’s too low in my heart.

(In my heart)
It’s top twenty easily too.
It's so hard to reason with you.
Woah yeah, why do you make me blue?

Awesome!  :lmao: 

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Today's losers so far:

1.  John

2.  Rock music

Edited by krista4

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2 hours ago, krista4 said:

I’d be up for the rant and likely agree with it.

Just got in my car not only to find Rocky Raccoon on the Beatles channel, but at the very moment of the Mcgill/Lil/Nancy line. 

That line kinda reminds me of my grandfather. My grandfather on my dad's side had a first name and two middle names. He was John William Howard. Everyone knew him as Mike (including my grandmother), which was the name of a horse he loved as a little boy. I called him Paw. I didn't know until I was a teenager that Mike was not a part of his birth name. He also had some childhood friends that called him Saddler.

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23 minutes ago, krista4 said:

33.  Happiness Is A Warm Gun (White Album, 1968)

This is my favorite song on the White Album. I love it.

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Ok, almost ready to submit my list. I need one clarification tho, which is probably listed already, but.. 

What songs are included in the "Abbey Road Medley" for ranking purposes? 

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19 minutes ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

Ok, almost ready to submit my list. I need one clarification tho, which is probably listed already, but.. 

What songs are included in the "Abbey Road Medley" for ranking purposes? 

Eight fragments beginning with “You Never Give Me Your Money” and ending with “The End.”

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Just now, krista4 said:

Eight fragments beginning with “You Never Give Me Your Money” and ending with “The End.”

Excellent. Frees up some room in my 25.

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HiaWG would probably be a top tenner for me. At this point we’re close enough. ####### awesome write up. 

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Also, I really got to say thanks to this entire thread. After being AWOL for months, this is a great thing to return to. 

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This is the beauty of The Beatles.  I am not a fan at all of Happiness Is A Warm Gun.  It would be well down in the triple digits for me.  But I can't really fault anyone for liking it, although I much prefer Charles Schultz's Happiness Is A Warm Puppy.  

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32.  Taxman (Revolver, 1966)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

George's "Oh, so this is what happens to grown-ups" song where he, like the rest of us, first gets a paycheck and sees the government bite out of it.  Unlike my first job at an ice cream joint paying me $2/hour, George perhaps could have afforded to pay a little more, but I can't blame him for protesting what was in fact a 90-95% combined income tax rate in his bracket at the time. Then he learned that the taxes wouldn't even go away when you die due to the "death tax" ("Now my advice for those who die; declare the pennies on your eyes.").  George wasn't the only Beatle upset by this - they all expressed their disgust with this at one time or another.  In fact, since John helped George with the lyrics to this song - notably the lines about the current Prime Minister Mr. Wilson and the opposition party leader and future Prime Minister Mr. Heath - I wouldn't be surprised if some of that cynicism crept into the song from John himself.    

This song represented a first for George, as it was the first time he was given such a coveted spot on a Beatles record - opening track on side one.  This placement as well as the significant time the group put into the song's production indicate to me that this was considered to be one of the record strongest songs...on a record where pretty much every song was insanely good.  Until this thread, I had no idea this was a love/hate song; I assumed all reasonable people loved it. ;)   I assume that those who hate it are mostly turned off by the lyrics, which would be understandable.  Sometimes I find them terribly clever, especially the bridge; sometimes they strike me as irritating or worse as childish or self-serving.  It's my ambivalence over the lyrics that leads to this song missing the top 25.  

wikkid mentioned after I ranked "She's A Woman" that this was the same song.  I should let him point out what he sees as the similarities, but among other things I think the stabby guitars sound similar, and as with the other song, I love that part of this one.  I don't much like Paul's husky vocal on "She's A Woman," though, and prefer George's clear but sneering performance here.  I love the harmonies that come into the call-and-response-style bridge, building to a frenzy that is heightened by the searing guitar solo that follows.  I even love the slightly disturbed-sounding count-in that's not really a count-in, as you can here in the distance the real count-in, all of this harkening back to "I Saw Her Standing There" while simultaneously announcing that this is going to be different.  

The highlights for me, though, are in the bass line/drums, as well as that crazy, brilliant guitar solo.  Credit for almost all of those items goes to Paul.  First, he and Ringo establish a wicked groove with the ever-changing, impossibly quick bass lines and percussion.  Love how these are punctuated after each line of the verse with those cymbal crashes followed by jabby, jarring crashes of simultaneous dueling minor and major chords on the guitars.  Am I the only one who sings "Taxman!!" to those chords even though no one else is singing?  Most importantly, despite this being a George song, Paul performs the guitar solo.  According to Geoff Emerick, "George had a great deal of trouble playing the solo – in fact, he couldn’t even do a proper job of it when we slowed the tape down to half speed.  After a couple of hours of watching him struggle, both Paul and George Martin started becoming quite frustrated.  So George Martin went into the studio and, as diplomatically as possible, announced that he wanted Paul to have a go at the solo instead."  ( @OrtonToOlsen alert.)  Paul told this story slightly differently, indicating that he went to George with an idea for the solo, bringing in an Indian element, and that George suggested he play it.  Despite Emerick's further claim that George was pissed that Paul stole the solo, George stated in an interview in the 1980s that he was pleased to have had Paul play and appreciated that he brought in the Indian feel that George was so intrigued by at the time.  However it came about, there's no doubt that the solo, which was done in one or two takes, was fiercely energetic and stunning, so much so that they decided to re-use it by dubbing it (along with its backing track) over George's vocal at the end of the song.  

Also there's cowbell.

Mr. krista:  "What planet does that guitar solo come from? The 1,2,3,4 is nowhere near the tempo. I’m not sure but I feel like the solos and leads were recorded one way and played backwards.  There’s a real Indian quality.  Ringo’s drums have never sounded like that before.  Just a killer way to open a record.  Doesn’t get any better.  It rocks so hard.  It’s like here, guys, it’s a different thing now.  Surpasses the juvenile lyrics.  Bass line is straight out Jamerson/Motown.  Using his fingers but really heavy, walking all over without stepping on anybody.  He and Ringo just right there – bam."

Suggested cover:  Junior Parker

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1 hour ago, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

Also, I really got to say thanks to this entire thread. After being AWOL for months, this is a great thing to return to. 

Had to do something to lure you back, GB. ;) 

36 minutes ago, Shaft41 said:

This is the beauty of The Beatles.  I am not a fan at all of Happiness Is A Warm Gun.  It would be well down in the triple digits for me.  But I can't really fault anyone for liking it, although I much prefer Charles Schultz's Happiness Is A Warm Puppy.  

That book was my favorite as a kid.  :lol: 

Agree with this being the beauty of it.  And other than very few folks, I can't predict who's going to like what.  That's fun!

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Next one coming up very quickly, since I did the write-up a couple of days ago and then moved it up.  :lol: 

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5 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Next one coming up very quickly, since I did the write-up a couple of days ago and then moved it up.  :lol: 

Crap. My Bulldog dreams are dashed. 

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3 minutes ago, krista4 said:

32.  Taxman (Revolver, 1966)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

George's "Oh, so this is what happens to grown-ups" song where he, like the rest of us, first gets a paycheck and sees the government bite out of it.  Unlike my first job at an ice cream joint paying me $2/hour, George perhaps could have afforded to pay a little more, but I can't blame him for protesting what was in fact a 90-95% combined income tax rate in his bracket at the time. Then he learned that the taxes wouldn't even go away when you die due to the "death tax" ("Now my advice for those who die; declare the pennies on your eyes.").  George wasn't the only Beatle upset by this - they all expressed their disgust with this at one time or another.  In fact, since John helped George with the lyrics to this song - notably the lines about the current Prime Minister Mr. Wilson and the opposition party leader and future Prime Minister Mr. Heath - I wouldn't be surprised if some of that cynicism crept into the song from John himself.    

This song represented a first for George, as it was the first time he was given such a coveted spot on a Beatles record - opening track on side one.  This placement as well as the significant time the group put into the song's production indicate to me that this was considered to be one of the record strongest songs...on a record where pretty much every song was insanely good.  Until this thread, I had no idea this was a love/hate song; I assumed all reasonable people loved it. ;)   I assume that those who hate it are mostly turned off by the lyrics, which would be understandable.  Sometimes I find them terribly clever, especially the bridge; sometimes they strike me as irritating or worse as childish or self-serving.  It's my ambivalence over the lyrics that leads to this song missing the top 25.  

wikkid mentioned after I ranked "She's A Woman" that this was the same song.  I should let him point out what he sees as the similarities, but among other things I think the stabby guitars sound similar, and as with the other song, I love that part of this one.  I don't much like Paul's husky vocal on "She's A Woman," though, and prefer George's clear but sneering performance here.  I love the harmonies that come into the call-and-response-style bridge, building to a frenzy that is heightened by the searing guitar solo that follows.  I even love the slightly disturbed-sounding count-in that's not really a count-in, as you can here in the distance the real count-in, all of this harkening back to "I Saw Her Standing There" while simultaneously announcing that this is going to be different.  

The highlights for me, though, are in the bass line/drums, as well as that crazy, brilliant guitar solo.  Credit for almost all of those items goes to Paul.  First, he and Ringo establish a wicked groove with the ever-changing, impossibly quick bass lines and percussion.  Love how these are punctuated after each line of the verse with those cymbal crashes followed by jabby, jarring crashes of simultaneous dueling minor and major chords on the guitars.  Am I the only one who sings "Taxman!!" to those chords even though no one else is singing?  Most importantly, despite this being a George song, Paul performs the guitar solo.  According to Geoff Emerick, "George had a great deal of trouble playing the solo – in fact, he couldn’t even do a proper job of it when we slowed the tape down to half speed.  After a couple of hours of watching him struggle, both Paul and George Martin started becoming quite frustrated.  So George Martin went into the studio and, as diplomatically as possible, announced that he wanted Paul to have a go at the solo instead."  ( @OrtonToOlsen alert.)  Paul told this story slightly differently, indicating that he went to George with an idea for the solo, bringing in an Indian element, and that George suggested he play it.  Despite Emerick's further claim that George was pissed that Paul stole the solo, George stated in an interview in the 1980s that he was pleased to have had Paul play and appreciated that he brought in the Indian feel that George was so intrigued by at the time.  However it came about, there's no doubt that the solo, which was done in one or two takes, was fiercely energetic and stunning, so much so that they decided to re-use it by dubbing it (along with its backing track) over George's vocal at the end of the song.  

Also there's cowbell.

Mr. krista:  "What planet does that guitar solo come from? The 1,2,3,4 is nowhere near the tempo. I’m not sure but I feel like the solos and leads were recorded one way and played backwards.  There’s a real Indian quality.  Ringo’s drums have never sounded like that before.  Just a killer way to open a record.  Doesn’t get any better.  It rocks so hard.  It’s like here, guys, it’s a different thing now.  Surpasses the juvenile lyrics.  Bass line is straight out Jamerson/Motown.  Using his fingers but really heavy, walking all over without stepping on anybody.  He and Ringo just right there – bam."

Suggested cover:  Junior Parker

Great write up.  Love this song.  Everything about it.   Never knew about Paul doing the guitar solo until this thread - somebody (krista?) referenced it earlier in the thread. It's easy for wacky US liberals (not classic European liberals) like Mrs APK to dislike the greedy message that appears at first glance to be the main thrust of the song, but this song isn't just about Steve Forbes style tax "reform" --- this is about government led oppression and overreach.  

 

If you drive a car, I'll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I'll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

 

Nothing is safe from pre-Thatcher UK government.  Not even a pair of feet.   Love it.

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18 minutes ago, krista4 said:

32.  Taxman (Revolver, 1966)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

George's "Oh, so this is what happens to grown-ups" song where he, like the rest of us, first gets a paycheck and sees the government bite out of it.  Unlike my first job at an ice cream joint paying me $2/hour, George perhaps could have afforded to pay a little more, but I can't blame him for protesting what was in fact a 90-95% combined income tax rate in his bracket at the time. Then he learned that the taxes wouldn't even go away when you die due to the "death tax" ("Now my advice for those who die; declare the pennies on your eyes.").  George wasn't the only Beatle upset by this - they all expressed their disgust with this at one time or another.  In fact, since John helped George with the lyrics to this song - notably the lines about the current Prime Minister Mr. Wilson and the opposition party leader and future Prime Minister Mr. Heath - I wouldn't be surprised if some of that cynicism crept into the song from John himself.    

This song represented a first for George, as it was the first time he was given such a coveted spot on a Beatles record - opening track on side one.  This placement as well as the significant time the group put into the song's production indicate to me that this was considered to be one of the record strongest songs...on a record where pretty much every song was insanely good.  Until this thread, I had no idea this was a love/hate song; I assumed all reasonable people loved it. ;)   I assume that those who hate it are mostly turned off by the lyrics, which would be understandable.  Sometimes I find them terribly clever, especially the bridge; sometimes they strike me as irritating or worse as childish or self-serving.  It's my ambivalence over the lyrics that leads to this song missing the top 25.  

wikkid mentioned after I ranked "She's A Woman" that this was the same song.  I should let him point out what he sees as the similarities, but among other things I think the stabby guitars sound similar, and as with the other song, I love that part of this one.  I don't much like Paul's husky vocal on "She's A Woman," though, and prefer George's clear but sneering performance here.  I love the harmonies that come into the call-and-response-style bridge, building to a frenzy that is heightened by the searing guitar solo that follows.  I even love the slightly disturbed-sounding count-in that's not really a count-in, as you can here in the distance the real count-in, all of this harkening back to "I Saw Her Standing There" while simultaneously announcing that this is going to be different.  

The highlights for me, though, are in the bass line/drums, as well as that crazy, brilliant guitar solo.  Credit for almost all of those items goes to Paul.  First, he and Ringo establish a wicked groove with the ever-changing, impossibly quick bass lines and percussion.  Love how these are punctuated after each line of the verse with those cymbal crashes followed by jabby, jarring crashes of simultaneous dueling minor and major chords on the guitars.  Am I the only one who sings "Taxman!!" to those chords even though no one else is singing?  Most importantly, despite this being a George song, Paul performs the guitar solo.  According to Geoff Emerick, "George had a great deal of trouble playing the solo – in fact, he couldn’t even do a proper job of it when we slowed the tape down to half speed.  After a couple of hours of watching him struggle, both Paul and George Martin started becoming quite frustrated.  So George Martin went into the studio and, as diplomatically as possible, announced that he wanted Paul to have a go at the solo instead."  ( @OrtonToOlsen alert.)  Paul told this story slightly differently, indicating that he went to George with an idea for the solo, bringing in an Indian element, and that George suggested he play it.  Despite Emerick's further claim that George was pissed that Paul stole the solo, George stated in an interview in the 1980s that he was pleased to have had Paul play and appreciated that he brought in the Indian feel that George was so intrigued by at the time.  However it came about, there's no doubt that the solo, which was done in one or two takes, was fiercely energetic and stunning, so much so that they decided to re-use it by dubbing it (along with its backing track) over George's vocal at the end of the song.  

Also there's cowbell.

Mr. krista:  "What planet does that guitar solo come from? The 1,2,3,4 is nowhere near the tempo. I’m not sure but I feel like the solos and leads were recorded one way and played backwards.  There’s a real Indian quality.  Ringo’s drums have never sounded like that before.  Just a killer way to open a record.  Doesn’t get any better.  It rocks so hard.  It’s like here, guys, it’s a different thing now.  Surpasses the juvenile lyrics.  Bass line is straight out Jamerson/Motown.  Using his fingers but really heavy, walking all over without stepping on anybody.  He and Ringo just right there – bam."

Suggested cover:  Junior Parker

one off the composite ranking

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