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


krista4

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1 hour ago, Uruk-Hai said:

I don't think I know all of these songs, but that would be one helluva career if one act caught all of the Beatles' giveaways listed here.

Stevie Wonder did this in the '70s/80s. He was so hot, he just made a bunch of careers giving away music.

Also Barry Gibb of the bee gees.

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145.  Till There Was You (With the Beatles, 1963)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

A ballad is generally not my cup of tea, but this one ranks higher than some of the other covers because I think the Beatles significantly outperformed the original from the musical The Music Man.   I think this is a fabulous early Paul vocal, so tender and pure, and George's classical guitar work really shines with that gentle Latin groove and a solo that glides perfectly back into the vocal.  Ringo on bongos completed the flamenco feel.

It's strange to imagine this being part of the band's Hamburg days, but Paul gave a nifty explanation:  "I could never see the difference between a beautiful melody and a cool rock 'n' roll song. I learnt to love all the ballady stuff through my dad and relatives – 'Till There Was You,' 'My Funny Valentine' – I thought these were good tunes. The fact that we weren't ashamed of those leanings meant that the band could be a bit more varied. And there was a need for that, because we played cabaret a lot. Songs like 'Till There Was You' and 'Ain't She Sweet' would be the late-night cabaret material. They showed that we weren't just another rock 'n' roll group."  I've also read that they kept this song in their repertoire as a tribute to the older crowd, to let them know that hey, it wasn't so bad for them to let their kids listen to the Beatles.  

I'm going to make the bold prediction that this is a @timschochet favorite.

Mr. krista:  "The vocals are really nice, and the guitar playing is kind of jazzy and jangly; the leads are really good.  The pitter-patter bongos sort of bum me out.  Something I might enjoy more in the context of The Music Man.  Weakest track on this record so far."

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29 minutes ago, krista4 said:

147.  Till There Was You (With the Beatles, 1963)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

A ballad is generally not my cup of tea, but this one ranks higher than some of the other covers because I think the Beatles significantly outperformed the original from the musical The Music Man.   I think this is a fabulous early Paul vocal, so tender and pure, and George's classical guitar work really shines with that gentle Latin groove and a solo that glides perfectly back into the vocal.  Ringo on bongos completed the flamenco feel.

It's strange to imagine this being part of the band's Hamburg days, but Paul gave a nifty explanation:  "I could never see the difference between a beautiful melody and a cool rock 'n' roll song. I learnt to love all the ballady stuff through my dad and relatives – 'Till There Was You,' 'My Funny Valentine' – I thought these were good tunes. The fact that we weren't ashamed of those leanings meant that the band could be a bit more varied. And there was a need for that, because we played cabaret a lot. Songs like 'Till There Was You' and 'Ain't She Sweet' would be the late-night cabaret material. They showed that we weren't just another rock 'n' roll group."  I've also read that they kept this song in their repertoire as a tribute to the older crowd, to let them know that hey, it wasn't so bad for them to let their kids listen to the Beatles.  

I'm going to make the bold prediction that this is a @timschochet favorite.

Mr. krista:  "The vocals are really nice, and the guitar playing is kind of jazzy and jangly; the leads are really good.  The pitter-patter bongos sort of bum me out.  Something I might enjoy more in the context of The Music Man.  Weakest track on this record so far."

It isn’t. 

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Actually I’m very resentful of The Music Man. Did you know that The Music Man came out the same year as West Side Story, and that they competed for all the Tony Awards? The Music Man won them all, even though West Side Story is a far better musical and has survived the test of time. 

West Side Story is about immigrants. The Music Man is about Donald Trump. 

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

Actually I’m very resentful of The Music Man. Did you know that The Music Man came out the same year as West Side Story, and that they competed for all the Tony Awards? The Music Man won them all, even though West Side Story is a far better musical and has survived the test of time. 

West Side Story is about immigrants. The Music Man is about Donald Trump. 

Ladies and gentlemen, either you are closing your eyes to a situation you do not wish to acknowledge, or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated by the presence of a timschochet in your community! :angry:

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Now that I am off my phone and on a proper computer, I can finally give a more nuanced explanation of the Phish / Beatles connection. Let's start with the band names. The Beatles deliberate misspelling is far cleverer than Phish's. Nonetheless, Phish is named after the drummer in the band, Jon Fishman, but in a nod to the Fab Four, they went with a misspelling, too. Other fundamental similarities are that each band has four members, the drummer is an occasional writer and singer but usually on "throwaway" songs, at least in comparison to the real meat of their catalog. Oh, and they invariably take a bow at the end of each set, just as the Beatles typically did.

Beyond that, Phish embraces the same cheeky attitude that the Beatles had in spades although it is rarely in their interaction with the press, as the press doesn't really cover them. But instead, Phish is as playful and irreverent with their fan base as the Beatles were with press coverage. For instance, they played a 17-night residency at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 2017, playing concerts on 13 nights. They dubbed thee event "The Baker's Dozen," naming a theme for each evening (like Boston Creme), and giving away actual donuts to the first 1000 fans. Or witness their interactive chess game with fans throughout some of the mid-90s where the band and the fans would alternate moves over the course of a tour.

As has already been noted, Phish performed the entire White Album as the second set of 10/31/94, their first  "musical costume" in a series of about ten significant Halloween performances. This came out of another interactive play between fans and band as they asked the fans to vote on the album they'd perform. The performance, by the way, is almost uniformly praised as an all-time great show, not the least of which is due to the inspiration which infected the other two sets that they played that night (yes, it was about a six hour show). 

Of course, lots of rock bands list the Beatles near the top of their main influences, but Phish embodies their playful spirit more than most. The homages continue as the band regularly covers A Day in the Life and occasionally offers While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Dear Prudence, and others. And of course, there are significant differences, too, as the Beatles are predominately known for their singles and LPs, and stopped touring around the midpoint of their careers. Meanwhile, Phish is known as a live band whose recorded material takes a back seat to the concert experience. But for me, it comes back to the geniuses at the heart of the two bands (John and Paul with a dash of George, and for Phish it is Trey Anastasio), their incredible musicality, and the dedication to their craft while also maintaining that playfulness. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Link to a 1996 version of A Day in the Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1004YbRANTM

 

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144.  Birthday (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

It's love it and hate it within the same song!  What I love about this:  it's a rave-up; the guitar riff; the drums; the music (but not the vocals) between 0:42-1:43; the "take a ch-ch-ch-chance" bit; the fact that it seems a rare bit of fun during their White Album sessions.  What I hate about this:  the lyrics oh god those ####### lyrics; Paul's cookie-monster vocal; the "biiiiirthday" backing vocals by Yoko Ono and Pattie Harrison; the fact that I can't hear it without thinking of that stupid Anthony Michael Hall character in that stupid Sixteen Candles movie.  I could overlook everything else if it weren't for the lyrics.  Paul claimed this was a collaboration with John; as was often the case, John claimed no part in it and called it "a piece of garbage."

Mr. krista:  "Badass riff.  Badass drumbeat.  It sounds like a Little Richard song, too.  It has that kind of effortlessness that comes from just being able to rock out a song.  I like the reverse polka, pa-oom instead of oom-pa, from Ringo.  Listen to this.  [Plays me Little Richard's "The Girl Can’t Help it."]  It’s the same song."

Suggested cover:  Paul Weller.  And in tribute to prior discussion in the thread:  The Iveys 

Edited by krista4
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1 hour ago, pecorino said:

Now that I am off my phone and on a proper computer, I can finally give a more nuanced explanation of the Phish / Beatles connection. Let's start with the band names. The Beatles deliberate misspelling is far cleverer than Phish's. Nonetheless, Phish is named after the drummer in the band, Jon Fishman, but in a nod to the Fab Four, they went with a misspelling, too. Other fundamental similarities are that each band has four members, the drummer is an occasional writer and singer but usually on "throwaway" songs, at least in comparison to the real meat of their catalog. Oh, and they invariably take a bow at the end of each set, just as the Beatles typically did.

Beyond that, Phish embraces the same cheeky attitude that the Beatles had in spades although it is rarely in their interaction with the press, as the press doesn't really cover them. But instead, Phish is as playful and irreverent with their fan base as the Beatles were with press coverage. For instance, they played a 17-night residency at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 2017, playing concerts on 13 nights. They dubbed thee event "The Baker's Dozen," naming a theme for each evening (like Boston Creme), and giving away actual donuts to the first 1000 fans. Or witness their interactive chess game with fans throughout some of the mid-90s where the band and the fans would alternate moves over the course of a tour.

As has already been noted, Phish performed the entire White Album as the second set of 10/31/94, their first  "musical costume" in a series of about ten significant Halloween performances. This came out of another interactive play between fans and band as they asked the fans to vote on the album they'd perform. The performance, by the way, is almost uniformly praised as an all-time great show, not the least of which is due to the inspiration which infected the other two sets that they played that night (yes, it was about a six hour show). 

Of course, lots of rock bands list the Beatles near the top of their main influences, but Phish embodies their playful spirit more than most. The homages continue as the band regularly covers A Day in the Life and occasionally offers While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Dear Prudence, and others. And of course, there are significant differences, too, as the Beatles are predominately known for their singles and LPs, and stopped touring around the midpoint of their careers. Meanwhile, Phish is known as a live band whose recorded material takes a back seat to the concert experience. But for me, it comes back to the geniuses at the heart of the two bands (John and Paul with a dash of George, and for Phish it is Trey Anastasio), their incredible musicality, and the dedication to their craft while also maintaining that playfulness. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Link to a 1996 version of A Day in the Life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1004YbRANTM

 

This is a beautifully put argument in favor of a band I'd previously dismissed (until earlier in this thread).  I'm going to check them out a lot more extensively, though that will earn me the wrath of both @OrtonToOlsen and Mr. krista.  And the bolded part is damn charming.

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10 minutes ago, krista4 said:

145.  Birthday (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

It's love it and hate it within the same song!  What I love about this:  it's a rave-up; the guitar riff; the drums; the music (but not the vocals) between 0:42-1:43; the "take a ch-ch-ch-chance" bit; the fact that it seems a rare bit of fun during their White Album sessions.  What I hate about this:  the lyrics oh god those ####### lyrics; Paul's cookie-monster vocal; the "biiiiirthday" backing vocals by Yoko Ono and Pattie Harrison; the fact that I can't hear it without thinking of that stupid Anthony Michael Hall character in that stupid Sixteen Candles movie.  I could overlook everything else if it weren't for the lyrics.  Paul claimed this was a collaboration with John; as was often the case, John claimed no part in it and called it "a piece of garbage."

Mr. krista:  "Badass riff.  Badass drumbeat.  It sounds like a Little Richard song, too.  It has that kind of effortlessness that comes from just being able to rock out a song.  I like the reverse polka, pa-oom instead of oom-pa, from Ringo.  Listen to this.  [Plays me Little Richard's "The Girl Can’t Help it."]  It’s the same song."

Suggested cover:  Paul Weller.  And in tribute to prior discussion in the thread:  The Iveys 

Cant imagine placing any rockin' out Beatle tune outside like fitty, cuz the melody making is just as strong in them as the ballads or anthems. But that's why i dont make lists. Shonuff love thinking about em when others do, though.

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22 hours ago, krista4 said:

@AAABatteries, it has come to my attention that three (3) days ago, you stopped playing the Beatles to listen to a movie soundtrack.*  You march yourself right back into the Beatles thread and post your sixth and 12th favorite Beatles songs as penance.

*Sorry, missed your post before this.

Lol - I distracted myself with the Movie Endings thread.  I promise I will post a top 20 or 25 at some point but don’t want to steal any of your thunder or spotlight :lmao: 

I will say I spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles XM station the last four days.  We drove 20 hours to and from my daughters cheerleading competition in Indy.  Was fantastic.

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36 minutes ago, krista4 said:

This is a beautifully put argument in favor of a band I'd previously dismissed (until earlier in this thread).  I'm going to check them out a lot more extensively, though that will earn me the wrath of both @OrtonToOlsen and Mr. krista.  And the bolded part is damn charming.

It’s a free country.  Listen to crappy music if you want to.

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

Actually I’m very resentful of The Music Man. Did you know that The Music Man came out the same year as West Side Story, and that they competed for all the Tony Awards? The Music Man won them all, even though West Side Story is a far better musical and has survived the test of time. 

West Side Story is about immigrants. The Music Man is about Donald Trump. 

West Side Story glorifies gang violence. The music man encourages children to play music.

 

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One more before I go out for the evening.  

143.  The Inner Light (single, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Our first heavy sitar song!  Fascinating to me that this, of all songs, was the first George composition to be released on a single, albeit the b-side (to Lady Madonna).  It's a gorgeous song, and I could listen all day to those sitars, tablas, and various instruments I can't spell.  To me, it's the best Indian musicality that George achieved on any of his songs, which might be because the instrumentation was recorded in Mumbai (or then, Bombay) with a bunch of local guys as the musicians.

The lyrics were based on a passage in the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.  If you are into this type of philosophy, the final lyrics seem particularly lovely:

The farther one travels
The less one knows
The less one really knows

Arrive without traveling 
See all without looking
Do all without doing

George did a great job on a vocal that was out of his usual range, but the reason I rate this one lower than the other two heavily Indian-influenced tracks (Within You Without You, and Love Me To) is that is feel a bit too languid for my tastes.  The sitar "response" to George's vocal "call" has nice energy, but the vocal sounds too draggy for my taste and drags the song along with it.  The song doesn't seem as "grand," for lack of a better word, as "Within You," and the overall musical composition of "Love Me To."  That said, I love this one.  I know both @Godsbrother and @BroncoFreak_2K3 expressed a preference for this one over one or both of the others, and that's certainly not "wrong."

Mr. krista:  "A lot of George's Indian music are starting to sound the same.  I don’t know, I like the ones that are really absorbing and not so annoyingly jarring."

Suggested cover:  Jeff Lynne & Anoushka Shankar  This is really special; just about made me cry.  :heart: 

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Hey guys, just got a call that my Grandpa just died.  He was almost 99, so not completely shocking, but TPW to my mom are welcomed.  Anyway, just a heads up that I might not be posting as regularly for a short bit as I travel to Louisville and back.

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4 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Hey guys, just got a call that my Grandpa just died.  He was almost 99, so not completely shocking, but TPW to my mom are welcomed.  Anyway, just a heads up that I might not be posting as regularly for a short bit as I travel to Louisville and back.

sorry krista.  

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13 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Hey guys, just got a call that my Grandpa just died.  He was almost 99, so not completely shocking, but TPW to my mom are welcomed.  Anyway, just a heads up that I might not be posting as regularly for a short bit as I travel to Louisville and back.

Oh my word, I'm sorry k4. Condolences and not worried about you posting, but hoping you make it back safe and intact emotionally and physically. 

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33 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Hey guys, just got a call that my Grandpa just died.  He was almost 99, so not completely shocking, but TPW to my mom are welcomed.  Anyway, just a heads up that I might not be posting as regularly for a short bit as I travel to Louisville and back.

So sorry to hear this news. My condolences to the Krista family. Safe travels.

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45 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Hey guys, just got a call that my Grandpa just died.  He was almost 99, so not completely shocking, but TPW to my mom are welcomed.  Anyway, just a heads up that I might not be posting as regularly for a short bit as I travel to Louisville and back.

My sincere condolences, friend. Safe travels.

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8 hours ago, krista4 said:

Hey guys, just got a call that my Grandpa just died.  He was almost 99, so not completely shocking, but TPW to my mom are welcomed.  Anyway, just a heads up that I might not be posting as regularly for a short bit as I travel to Louisville and back.

sorry for your loss - take care of your family business. We'll still be here when you "get back" (pun probably intentional).

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8 hours ago, krista4 said:

Hey guys, just got a call that my Grandpa just died.  He was almost 99, so not completely shocking, but TPW to my mom are welcomed.  Anyway, just a heads up that I might not be posting as regularly for a short bit as I travel to Louisville and back.

Very sorry to hear. Best to you and your family.

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9 hours ago, krista4 said:

Hey guys, just got a call that my Grandpa just died.  He was almost 99, so not completely shocking, but TPW to my mom are welcomed.  Anyway, just a heads up that I might not be posting as regularly for a short bit as I travel to Louisville and back.

Sorry to hear that- wonderful he got to live such a long life though. May we all be so blessed. While it is a sad occassion, I hope you have some quality time with your family. 

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13 hours ago, krista4 said:

145.  Birthday (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

It's love it and hate it within the same song!  What I love about this:  it's a rave-up; the guitar riff; the drums; the music (but not the vocals) between 0:42-1:43; the "take a ch-ch-ch-chance" bit; the fact that it seems a rare bit of fun during their White Album sessions.  What I hate about this:  the lyrics oh god those ####### lyrics; Paul's cookie-monster vocal; the "biiiiirthday" backing vocals by Yoko Ono and Pattie Harrison; the fact that I can't hear it without thinking of that stupid Anthony Michael Hall character in that stupid Sixteen Candles movie.  I could overlook everything else if it weren't for the lyrics.  Paul claimed this was a collaboration with John; as was often the case, John claimed no part in it and called it "a piece of garbage."

Mr. krista:  "Badass riff.  Badass drumbeat.  It sounds like a Little Richard song, too.  It has that kind of effortlessness that comes from just being able to rock out a song.  I like the reverse polka, pa-oom instead of oom-pa, from Ringo.  Listen to this.  [Plays me Little Richard's "The Girl Can’t Help it."]  It’s the same song."

Suggested cover:  Paul Weller.  And in tribute to prior discussion in the thread:  The Iveys 

I love the distorted riff starting around 0:57. The “yes we’re going to a party party” bit. Ahead of its time. 

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14 hours ago, krista4 said:

145.  Birthday (White Album, 1968)

 the "biiiiirthday" backing vocals by Yoko Ono and Pattie Harrison

I've always kind of liked that part of the song. Sort of an aural realization of the carefree childlike happiness you'd have about your birthday or going to a friend's birthday party.

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