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


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6 hours ago, krista4 said:

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.

I personally can't conceive of ranking anything worse than Revolution 9. 

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Maybe I should wait until I'm drunk and sappy, but I want to thank deeply and sincerely the people who participated in this thread.  Actually all of them, because even the ones who irritated me earlie

The Background: I don’t remember exactly when or why I decided to do this, but it’s been rumbling around in my head for a while to put the Beatles song into an order of personal preference.  When

1.  In My Life (Rubber Soul, 1965) Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube There are only two songs I’ve ever heard that I thought were perfect in their composition and recording, by which I mean

6 hours ago, krista4 said:

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.

We had a 5-minute family debate at dinner last night that was basically “if you were placed in a torture chamber and had to listen to the same song on a continuous loop, which would drive you insane faster — A Taste of Honey or Wild Honey Pie?”

My son kept asking why two of the worst songs ever both had the name honey in them.

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Finished the saintsfan/Guido Merkens thread. Funny how it was the catch-all Beatles thread on this board until this one -- and ends with discussion of the plans to create this thread. 

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On 3/1/2019 at 12:23 PM, heckmanm said:

Final album stats: Revolver your clear "winner" with both mean and median rankings 14-16 spots better than runner-up Help!


Album					High	Low	Mean	Median
----------------------			----	---	----	------
Please Please Me			35	202	131	147
With the Beatles			12	194	140	149
A Hard Day’s Night			23	161	82	72
Beatles for Sale			56	185	137	149
Help!					4	157	72	64
Rubber Soul				1	158	75	77
Revolver				5	159	58	48
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band	6	165	92	89
Magical Mystery Tour			44	197	143	160
The Beatles (aka White Album)		10	204	114	120
Yellow Submarine			31	171	114	127
Abbey Road				3	196	90	88
Let it Be				2	200	108	105
Singles, etc.				9	198	98	99

Standings by mean (average) rank:


Album					High	Low	Mean	Median
----------------------			----	---	----	------
Revolver				5	159	58	48
Help!					4	157	72	64
Rubber Soul				1	158	75	77
A Hard Day’s Night			23	161	82	72
Abbey Road				3	196	90	88
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band	6	165	92	89
Singles, etc.				9	198	98	99
Let it Be				2	200	108	105
The Beatles (aka White Album)		10	204	114	120
Yellow Submarine			31	171	114	127
Please Please Me			35	202	131	147
Beatles for Sale			56	185	137	149
With the Beatles			12	194	140	149
Magical Mystery Tour			44	197	143	160

Rubber Soul and Hard Day's Night would flip-flop based on median rank, but nothing else would change.  Abbey Road and Sgt Pepper in a near dead heat.

@Guido Merkins

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On 1/18/2019 at 1:09 PM, krista4 said:

Back to it.  Two songs that couldn't be more different from each other.

171.  All Together Now (Yellow Submarine, 1969)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

This song, along with a few others that will come up soon-ish, is a children's song but still a blast for me.  It's also been a popular "terrace chant" at English football games - I think it was the Ron Howard documentary that had video of this (though I might be mixing that up with a different doc).  I went to see the remastered Yellow Submarine in the theater last year, and the rollicking great time people were having singing along with this one at the end might have positively affected my rating of the song.  Sure, it's a trifle, but it's just ####### fun.  Sometimes that oughta be enough.

Mr. krista:  "It’s a fun song.  It’s appropriate for a children’s movie.  [Discussion whether YS is a children's movie.]  It’s very gentle, and both a children’s song and a drinking song."

Suggested covers:  I would not argue it is "good," but the André 3000 version cracks me up.  Of course The Muppets version is recommended.

 

170.  Don't Bother Me (With the Beatles, 1963)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Apparently I enjoy the first George-penned song on a Beatles album much more than (1) George did or (2) the rest of the Beatles did, as I've read that none of them were pleased with it looking back.  :shrug: But I like the spookiness, the darker mood than most anything else they were doing at the time.  Check out some of these lyrics in comparison to the rest of what was on these early records:

Since she's been gone 
I want no one 
To talk to me 
It's not the same 
But I'm to blame 
It's plain to see 

So go away and leave me alone 
Don't bother me 

I can't believe 
That she would leave 
Me on my own 
It's just not right 
Where every night 
I'm all alone 

I've got no time for you right now 
Don't bother me

Ringo's percussion and Paul's excellent bass combine to set either a Latin or Western tone (I vacillate on which one I'm hearing) that i find pleasing.  I love the breaks just at the end of the verses, too.

Mr. krista:  "I like the Western kind of galloping.  I like this song a lot.  Might be the first time I’ve heard it.  I’m really into this.  Would make a great soundtrack song, like something where you’d say 'What the #### is that?'  'That’s the Beatles, dummy.'"

Suggested cover:  I've listened to more terrible covers of this song than any other so far.  All I can offer, again, is The Smithereens, though their version might be slightly too on the nose.

I always wonder why none of the Beatles seem to like this song.  I agree with you, this is far darker than anything else they were doing at the time and that, alone, I think makes it stand out....

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On 1/19/2019 at 9:03 PM, krista4 said:

Funny you should mention that.

155.  Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

A #1 hit in several countries, this was also voted the worst song of all time in a 2004 online poll in the UK.

Inspired by a phrase used by his Nigerian friend Jimmy Scott (full name:  Jimmy Anonmuogharan Scott Emuakpor), while in India Paul wrote this story about a fictitious couple named Desmond and Molly.  The Beatles recorded it joyfully and merrily during the White Album sessions, all agreeing it was one of their best efforts, and it became a smash hit single.

Wait, that's not quite right.  Actually the other Beatles hated it, hated all the time spent on recording and re-recording it, and this was one of the songs that inspired John to start complaining about Paul's "granny ####."   John famously and furiously acted out during one of the re-recordings, started smashing the piano keys as hard as he could and at twice the speed of prior recording, shouting "This is how the ####### song should go!"  I guess he was right, as this was the intro take that was used in the final product.  Paul's profane tirade against George Martin during later vocal re-recordings then drove away Geoff Emerick, who could no longer stand the atmosphere and vowed never to record with them again (though he did later return for Abbey Road).

Despite the fact that the atmosphere was tense (put charitably) at this point, the song somehow sounds joyous, with the other Beatles hootin' and hollerin' in the background, shouting out clever little retorts.  I think this is the ultimate love-it-or-hate-it song in the Beatles catalogue, and since I vacillate between the two, it falls in the middle of my rankings.  Sometimes I just can't bear that faux-ska sound or the inanity of the lyrics, and sometimes I get caught up in the harmless fun of it and want to dance around.  What can I say; I'm a woman.

If this is "love it or hate it," let's mark Mr. krista firmly in the latter column:  "I hate this ####### song.  I hate the stupid laughter; I hate the background noise. That’s what happens when white people try to play reggae.  It’s awful.  I’m surprised he didn’t put on a fake Jamaican accent like George Harrison did in "Gone Troppo."  All of the Beatles should feel deep shame about this song.  Every time it comes on the radio, they should feel like they just got caught masturbating.  Because they did."

Suggested covers:  Arthur Conley, with Duane Allman on guitar  The Marmalade has a #1 hit with this cover.  Desmond Dekker was the inspiration for naming the character "Desmond."  For a couple more where the videos are pure gold: Andy Williams and Don Ho ; Bing Crosby

I actually prefer the version on Anthology III.  Not sure why they changed it

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On 1/29/2019 at 7:15 PM, krista4 said:

:popcorn:  I have thoughts but would like to hear this from some of the more knowledgeable folks, too.  I know a few have mentioned in here that George is their favorite.

 

On 1/29/2019 at 7:08 PM, Mister CIA said:

Hey nerds, talk to me about George Harrison and how his contributions to the Beatles rank in comparison to Lennon and McCartney (and Ringo too, I suppose). In my formative years I pigeonholed him as distinctly and firmly 3rd place, but this thread has given me pause.  His legacy sounds heavy and important.

Couple years late...Sorry.  George started off very much as the lead guitar player in the Beatles and not a song writer. John and Paul wrote all their bad songs before anybody knew who they were. George learned in the public eye.  By the time the Beatles broke up, George could write songs as well as John and Paul but, IMO, was not as prolific.  The tons of great material on All Things Must Pass is the direct result of him emptying his backlog.  

His solo career was, IMO, similar to Lennon, but not quite as good as McCartney although out the gate, he was probably better than both because of the sheer amount of great songs he already had.

I think of it like this.  What other band has a 3rd banana the level of George Harrison??.....party of one IMO.  George is the leader of a lot of bands if he didn't happen to be a member of the Beatles

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On 2/21/2019 at 1:21 PM, Yankee23Fan said:

I don't know why this is such an amazing thread, but I think part of it is the personality that you have conveyed here over the years which shines through in both humor and serious when necessary.  The topic is one that invites debate because whatever you call their top 50 songs won't match other people and no one is wrong because of the massive amount of greatness they had.  It's fun, the world sucks generally speaking right now, and there are probably other reasons.

Overall, this is without question a top FFA thread.  All time.  And it's not even done yet.  Sure, I don't agree with what you've done to some songs, but that is the point.  This isn't you claiming to be the definitive ranker of Beatles' lore, but just sharing your opinion, mixed with some musical fact and backbone that makes it hard to disagree with you.  Had you just said, Let It Be isn't a top song because the first time I heard it I had bad gas and it always reminds me of that - then you deserve mockery.

No one else is as interesting within this thread.  I wasn't kidding at the beginning that it made me think I really should do a Billy Joel one mainly because I can probably name every song in album order from start to finish off the top of my head so the knowledge base is there.  But Billy isn't a 10th as important as the Beatles, you've set a bar so high here that any similar thread is likely going to suffer as a result, and the amount of work you have put into this (which shows, and if you are faking it, even better) just might be a slight too much for me to want to undertake.  The President thread thing I did was enough work to last a lifetime on internet message board discussion of no real consequence in the real world bucket of things you measure a life by.

Your top 25 isn't going to match mine so much.  That has made this more entertaining.  Carry on.  Take your time.  The ride has been a blast. 

This is well said.  I am in awe of what you have done here krista.  I have about 30-something songs left to read about and I can't wait

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50 minutes ago, Guido Merkins said:

  I have about 30-something songs left to read about and I can't wait

Better send me your Top 25 list then ASAP.

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On 2/2/2021 at 11:23 AM, Guido Merkins said:

What other band has a 3rd banana the level of George Harrison??

Raymond McGinley of Teenage Fanclub is the only one I can even remotely think of. (He's now 2nd banana after Gerard Love left in 2018.)

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4 hours ago, Pip's Invitation said:

Raymond McGinley of Teenage Fanclub is the only one I can even remotely think of. (He's now 2nd banana after Gerard Love left in 2018.)

Ummmm...no. 

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Just now, Binky The Doormat said:

:lmao: ...sorry, it's like trying remember everything in a set of encyclopedias.  

I was just coming back in to edit my post to say it's ok, it's a great story that can be retold as much as we want.  Seriously.

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26 minutes ago, rockaction said:

:lmao: You've gotta be kidding me. That's unreal.

Given what we know about George's sense of humor, I have no problem believing that that or something like it actually happened. 

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I guess this is some Twitter thing today.  Ex-mr. krista showed up for a dinner we had this evening and asked me if I'd seen the thing about George.  I informed him that I'd posted about this multiple times before.  :hot:  He said he'd seen something on Twitter about it.  Don't know why it's become new info somehow, but I don't twit/tweet. :shrug:  

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12 minutes ago, krista4 said:

I guess this is some Twitter thing today.  Ex-mr. krista showed up for a dinner we had this evening and asked me if I'd seen the thing about George.  I informed him that I'd posted about this multiple times before.  :hot:  He said he'd seen something on Twitter about it.  Don't know why it's become new info somehow, but I don't twit/tweet. :shrug:  

It's the musical-anecdote equivalent of "RIP" threads for someone who died 5 years ago, because someone tweeted an article without looking at the date and a bunch of people retweeted it without looking at the date either. 

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8 minutes ago, Pip's Invitation said:

It's the musical-anecdote equivalent of "RIP" threads for someone who died 5 years ago, because someone tweeted an article without looking at the date and a bunch of people retweeted it without looking at the date either. 

OMG you're saying Abe Vigoda died?

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On 2/9/2021 at 12:51 PM, krista4 said:

You can find reference and links to it - twice - in my solo Beatles thread.

There's a joke here. I wish I could find it .  :D

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On 2/3/2021 at 1:01 PM, Guido Merkins said:

This is well said.  I am in awe of what you have done here krista.  I have about 30-something songs left to read about and I can't wait

What did she say?   None of us read her posts. TIA.

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