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


krista4

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On 7/18/2020 at 2:15 PM, Pip's Invitation said:

When I was in the car on Thursday to run errands, I was listening to a station whose theme of the day was songs that reached No. 1 in the UK but not the US. One of the songs that came on was Paul's "Pipes of Peace." I don't think I'd heard it since it came out. The 12-year-old me thought it was wimpy and ignored it. Many years later, I can hear elements in it of the Paul magic, but it's still not my cup of tea. He clearly intended for this to be an Important Song, and in the US we just didn't care. 😂

This was another one:

Quote

13.23 - The Specials - Ghost Town (1981)

 

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On 7/20/2020 at 9:14 PM, Pip's Invitation said:

This was another one:

13.23 - The Specials - Ghost Town

That one's a little endemic to British culture, though. Too many BNP guys mucking up shows at the clubs with quasi-fascist tactics wasn't really hitting the States as hard as a pressing social issue as it did the Brits, who were in the midst of Thatcherism and the part inklings of a real rise from the BNP.

Think of our L.A. hardcore bands and Reagan. Dead Kennedys, Reagan Youth, Suicidal's "I Shot Reagan..." The list goes on, we were just concerned with different things. Racist skinheads (not British skins) wouldn't come home to roost for a while in hardcore. That was more mid to late '80s. Late '80s, really. 

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Just got to your review of the Paul concert.

Uh oh, we have major differences about Junior’s Farm. If I were told I’d be going to a Paul show where Junior’s Farm and Letting Go were in the first 4 songs, I’d be beaming regardless of what else was in store.

Never having seen Paul (or any Beatle) is a major gap in my concert history.

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16 hours ago, Pip's Invitation said:

Of course.

Also, what strain of whatever prompted MoCS's posts on page 120?

🤣

<checks medicine database>

According to my records, over the time span covering page 120, the strains responsible were a mix of:

I was still working on the proper dosages for my neuropathy and insomnia.

Unfortunately, the side effects had not yet been addressed. :bag:

At present, my dosages are about 60% of that time.

Still good medicine (& buzz), but less side effects. 😁

 

 

Also:

On 7/17/2020 at 10:47 PM, Man of Constant Sorrow said:

Warning: many a my posts should be an auto-skip from back then. 

I was an odd child. 

 

;)

 

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7 hours ago, Pip's Invitation said:

Just got to your review of the Paul concert.

Uh oh, we have major differences about Junior’s Farm. If I were told I’d be going to a Paul show where Junior’s Farm and Letting Go were in the first 4 songs, I’d be beaming regardless of what else was in store.

Never having seen Paul (or any Beatle) is a major gap in my concert history.

I've seen Paul twice but not the others.  I hope I'll get a chance to see Ringo.

I don't recall what I said about Junior's Farm.  I like the song, but find the chorus a bit plodding and don't feel the same energy as in some of the other Wings rockers.

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On 10/16/2019 at 9:38 PM, krista4 said:

Enjoyed Side 3 followed by Side 2 of All Things Must pass today.  Jesus, I forgot what a great record this is.  I'd put Side 3 up against just about anything.

Maybe this will make your studying tonight go faster. 

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11 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I've kind of over-Pauled myself, so tonight is a George night.  Doing some initial tiers - number TBD, @Binky The Doormat.

Out of curiosity, and forgive me if you covered this already, because, frankly, I haven't been reading your posts, but are you listening to their albums in chronological order, or are you just randomly skipping around?  I can certainly see the case for either way.  

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Just now, Shaft41 said:

Out of curiosity, and forgive me if you covered this already, because, frankly, I haven't been reading your posts, but are you listening to their albums in chronological order, or are you just randomly skipping around?  I can certainly see the case for either way.  

For George, I did them chronologically except for covering the two Traveling Wilburys albums after the solo stuff.

For Paul, I started with Flowers in the Dirt because I wanted to.  Then I did all the Wings and solo stuff in chronological order, then circled back to others after that.

So far I've done Ringo albums entirely chronologically

In each case I try to remember to listen to the non-album singles and other dribs and drabs in the proper spot chronologically, but sometimes I come across something that didn't make it in the right spot.

I'd try harder to make it all chronological if I were to start over.

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45 minutes ago, krista4 said:

For George, I did them chronologically except for covering the two Traveling Wilburys albums after the solo stuff.

For Paul, I started with Flowers in the Dirt because I wanted to.  Then I did all the Wings and solo stuff in chronological order, then circled back to others after that.

So far I've done Ringo albums entirely chronologically

In each case I try to remember to listen to the non-album singles and other dribs and drabs in the proper spot chronologically, but sometimes I come across something that didn't make it in the right spot.

I'd try harder to make it all chronological if I were to start over.

Hmmm. That's a much different process from my "hey, these are my 100 favorite Neil songs today" approach. 

Of course, since I started posting the countdown, I have thought of many songs that I wish I'd had room for. I suppose if I'm feeling ambitious, after the countdown is over I could post a list of what 102-204 (since 204 is a thing around here) might be on the given day that I ranked them. I know what 102 is because I remember the last song I cut from the list. 

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10 minutes ago, Pip's Invitation said:

Hmmm. That's a much different process from my "hey, these are my 100 favorite Neil songs today" approach. 

Of course, since I started posting the countdown, I have thought of many songs that I wish I'd had room for. I suppose if I'm feeling ambitious, after the countdown is over I could post a list of what 102-204 (since 204 is a thing around here) might be on the given day that I ranked them. I know what 102 is because I remember the last song I cut from the list. 

Yeah, you mentioned before the differences in our processes.  Mine is lengthy and exhaustive and yet no better or more satisfying.  It's probably more frustrating than yours.  But here I am, again.

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Just now, krista4 said:

Yeah, you mentioned before the differences in our processes.  Mine is lengthy and exhaustive and yet no better or more satisfying.  It's probably more frustrating than yours.  But here I am, again.

We all have to do what works best for us. Having a 9-year-old helps as far as being less exhaustive about other stuff. 😄

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On 6/25/2020 at 11:38 PM, krista4 said:

The other item I wanted to mention is that, as most of you know, Mr. krista is now ex-Mr. krista

Oh no. I just got to this. I am being sincere -- this is up there with Neil and Pegi Young as far as feeling sad about breakups of people I don't know IRL but feel like I do. 

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2 hours ago, Pip's Invitation said:

Hmmm. That's a much different process from my "hey, these are my 100 favorite Neil songs today" approach. 

Of course, since I started posting the countdown, I have thought of many songs that I wish I'd had room for. I suppose if I'm feeling ambitious, after the countdown is over I could post a list of what 102-204 (since 204 is a thing around here) might be on the given day that I ranked them. I know what 102 is because I remember the last song I cut from the list. 

God help me, I've started to do this. Once I get an idea in my head...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Figured I'd give a little update here.

I've completed my final cuts for Paul (136 songs), George (70), and Ringo (29), but I'm still moving their individual order around before eventually melding them together into one master countdown.  Yes, it's very important for me to make sure I don't identify my 120th favorite Paul song as, say, my 123rd favorite.  :bag: 

I haven't started through John's albums yet, but I expect that to take less time since he sadly has fewer than anyone else.

Before anyone scoffs at Ringo having nearly half as many songs as George, I'll note that he also has twice as many albums as George did.  20!  20 Ringo studio albums I listened to so that you don't have to!

I'm hoping to start the countdown within two weeks.

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43 minutes ago, rockaction said:

I hate to throw a wrench in your esteem, but I think that's a false dichotomy there (or however one puts that). 

Dammit, I might have listened to the post-1980 Ringo albums* if she didn't do it for me! 

* - If I were really drunk

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On 8/14/2020 at 5:05 PM, simsarge said:

My almost favorite podcast "Coverville" did a full album cover of Help! to celebrate it's 55th birthday. Some good, some bad, some....different

Interesting stuff!  Thanks for posting it.  Sorry I did not see this post until now.

I came into the thread to post that the new list is on the precipice, with the new thread here.

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On 1/12/2019 at 8:56 PM, krista4 said:

203.  Revolution 9

Beatles version

Feel like I'm going a bit chalky here with these first (or last) two, but rest assured that the full list will be aggravatingly un-chalky.  I really want to like this and am a more natural audience for it than most people, as I'm interested in sound collages and in musique concrète.  Wait, is this where we should start talking about Yoko?  Maybe I'll save more Yoko discussion for when we get to Ballad of John and Yoko or something else, but here's a preview:  I think Yoko is talented.  There, I said it.  And I'm not sure I can name another song where her influence is so directly felt.  But in my opinion this just...doesn't work.  I like some of the sounds, but it's too much of a mishmosh of ideas.  Even this type of work needs a structure - or maybe better put, a logic - and cohesion, and this doesn't have it.  And good lord, it's too long.  At three minutes I might listen to it when it comes on, but at 8+, that's a big nope.

It's interesting to me that Paul was doing so much more work in the avant-garde realm at this time, and yet this composition by John was the one to make the album.  Maybe that's why Paul didn't want it on there.  I know he's said that he (Paul) didn't think his avant-garde work was worthy of their albums, and I doubt he thought John's was either.

John thought he was painting a picture of revolution and spent more time on this song than any other, though I'm not sure if he was pleased with the result since he said later that he mistakenly painted a picture of anti-revolution.  I've read that there is a humor in the way it's constructed, and certainly John was known to have a fantastic sense of humor and has said the "number nine" part at the beginning is in there because he just found the way it was said hilarious.  Unfortunately Charles Manson heard a lot he liked in this composition and was inspired by it; I guess the "revolution" idea got through to someone.  So there are plenty of people - some of them presumably not mass murderers - who "understand" this work better than I do.  I'd be interested in hearing from someone who likes this one as to what you like about it.  I'm open to learning on this.  When it comes down to it, I'm glad they tried this, even though I don't like it.

Mr. krista's thoughts:  "My problem with this is that I think that sound collages and tape art…I’m very interested in that stuff.  Glenn Gould’s are some of the best things I’ve ever listened to.  And it’s clearly artful in the way they’ve done it, but they’re long, immersive, complicated things that need to be perfect in order to work well.  It can’t be a montage where you could take any part of it and replace it and it would be the same thing.  It still needs to function in the same way as music does. Stuck in the midst of a record like this with pop songs, it’s flung at you.  And it doesn’t draw you in.  If anyone is interested in this, then Steve Reich, or Glenn Gould’s The Idea of North are really good places to start, and you can then go back to this and see what Yoko was on about.  But it’s a lot less artful than the best of collage art.  I feel like my aesthetic is much more sympathetic to something like that, and yet I don’t like it."

Suggested cover version:  Alarm Will Sound  I thought this would be a hard one to find a cover of, but there are a shocking number of cover versions.  People be cray.  But holy hell, these people performed it live.  Though I still don't enjoy the song, this is worth a viewing just for the ballsiness of it.  Impressive.

Thus far you are right on that mark, except I always thought that Revolution 9 lacked Wild Honey Pie's one saving grace, brevity.  If Revolution 9 had been a minute long, it would have just been another oddity and fit on the wildness of the album, but it's way too long.......In fact, I can tell you that I did exactly that on my White Album playlist on my phone.  Edited Revolution 9 to like 1:30, the faded it.  It works and it's still included on the album, but it's just a taste.  If I'm listening on vinyl, I let it go for a bit, then get up and move the needle.  Can't take it for that long

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11 minutes ago, Guido Merkins said:

Thus far you are right on that mark, except I always thought that Revolution 9 lacked Wild Honey Pie's one saving grace, brevity.  If Revolution 9 had been a minute long, it would have just been another oddity and fit on the wildness of the album, but it's way too long.......In fact, I can tell you that I did exactly that on my White Album playlist on my phone.  Edited Revolution 9 to like 1:30, the faded it.  It works and it's still included on the album, but it's just a taste.  If I'm listening on vinyl, I let it go for a bit, then get up and move the needle.  Can't take it for that long

y'see, there was this sugarcube additive which became wildly popular about the time that the white album was released, but scant media by which to exorcise away those extra calories. rather than shortening it into a Hostess HoneyPie, perhaps it should have been lengthened to the scope of a rainbow with Nixon & Hoover dancing a naked jig along to it at the end.

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On 1/15/2019 at 11:52 PM, krista4 said:

One more so east-coasters have something to talk about in the morning.  I have freaking conference calls starting at 7 a.m., so I'll be back in the later morning to see how it goes.  

Reminder that we're in the realm of not-awful now, but it's the Beatles so something still has to be in the 190s, and I'm sure I have this lower than many of you would.

192.  Why Don't We Do It in the Road?  (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

As I look back at it, I probably should have kept this in a lower position, since it's the only song left that kind of irritates me.  What's done is done!

Paul knocked this out without input from John or George, which apparently hurt John's feelings, though John later professed (perhaps sarcastically) to loving this song.  I appreciate Paul's description of the inspiration for the song, which was based on an experience in India:  "I was up on the flat roof meditating and I'd seen a troupe of monkeys walking along in the jungle and a male just hopped on to the back of this female and gave her one, as they say in the vernacular. Within two or three seconds he hopped off again, and looked around as if to say, 'It wasn't me,' and she looked around as if there had been some mild disturbance but thought, Huh, I must have imagined it, and she wandered off. And I thought, bloody hell, that puts it all into a cocked hat, that's how simple the act of procreation is, this bloody monkey just hopping on and hopping off. There is an urge, they do it, and it's done with. And it's that simple. We have horrendous problems with it, and yet animals don't. So that was basically it. Why Don't We Do It In The Road? could have applied to either ####### or ####ting, to put it roughly. Why don't we do either of them in the road? Well, the answer is we're civilised and we don't. But the song was just to pose that question. Why Don't We Do It In The Road? was a primitive statement to do with sex or to do with freedom really. I like it, it'd just so outrageous that I like it."

I appreciate the sentiment here (how you doin'?), but what makes the song irritating to me is Paul's vocal.  What is he trying to do?  This is one of those times when I feel like Paul's ability to perform in different genres almost slips into unintended parody, unlike John's "Yer Blues," which will be ranked much higher.  

But as to Paul's vocal, let's have Mr. krista take over:  "Such a throwaway track.  One good line, but the song doesn’t really go anywhere. Pretty half-assed.  Can you imagine if George had had something to do with it, like a killer guitar part?  George could have really helped that song.  So dumb, so half-assed.  Trying to sound like BB King.  Shut your British hole.  You're doing it in the bed, the curtains closed.  It's a well appointed room, or whatever the opposite of a road is.  [20-minute diatribe regarding English people trying to co-opt the blues, complete with comparison to if we tried to make a Native American song by doing the woo-woo-woo with our hands hitting our mouths and saying "how?".] 

Suggested cover:  Lowell Fulsom  Holy hell, this is how blues should sound.  And listen to those angry guitars.  

Yeah.  Not a great song.  On the madness that is the White Album, however, it works.  And it's short. Like Wild Honey Pie.

 

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On 1/13/2019 at 9:14 PM, krista4 said:

202.  A Taste of Honey

Beatles version

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

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

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

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

So I was just listening on shuffle and “voila!” this song popped up.  Wow.  It’s horrible.  So we listened to the Herb Alpert version - not bad!  And I found myself thinking, if you put lyrics to this, it’s sort of lounge-like.  Which it turns out was just me plagiarizing krista’s comments here unintentionally, as some subconscious homage to Joe Biden being the president now.

Anyway, I quickly jumped into this thread thinking “please dear god, this had better be bottom-5.”  Well done krista.

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1 minute ago, Alex P Keaton said:

Anyway, I quickly jumped into this thread thinking “please dear god, this had better be bottom-5.”  Well done krista.

One of the few Beatles songs I skip if it comes up on shuffle. 

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6 hours ago, Pip&#x27;s Invitation said:

One of the few Beatles songs I skip if it comes up on shuffle. 

I maybe should have had it last, since it’s taking something out there and making it remarkably worse.  At least the ones I had below were at attempts at something new, albeit awful.

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