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


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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

20 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

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.

Plus it gives us a birthday song suitable for adults, not that 100+ year old kiddie version.

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13 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.

Damn.  Take your time.  The Beatles aren't going anywhere.

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On 1/17/2019 at 8:46 PM, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

That clip is so awesome! 

The fact that we can type a few letters onto a keyboard and watch stuff like that is still miraculous to me.  Think about all the stuff that happened in the other 5000 years of recorded history before ubiquitous video and the Internet that's been lost forever.

George is giddy on that clip. Awesome

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On 1/18/2019 at 2:09 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.

Criminally underrated George song 

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Thanks, guys.  I might post some a little later; couldn't get my #### together to get on a flight this morning, so I'm heading out tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, please enjoy this song by rock band The Beatles; it always make feel happier.

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21 hours ago, krista4 said:

146.  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."

I am a huge fan of musicals, and "The Music Man" is probably in my top 5.  (Just wait for my ranking thread of musicals from 204-1).  However, I'm not a fan of this tune in the musical.  But I LOVE the Beatles version.  Maybe Paul's purest vocal, and I love how he plays around with the tempo a little bit and sings a little behind when you'd expect him to.  This is one of those songs I try and sing along with, and I can never quite match in unison because of Paul's liberty.  Even though my wife loves musicals, too, she didn't remember this song from "The Music Man", so I tried to serenade her with it the other day, being all romantic-like, thinking she'd be appropriately wooed.  I got done, and she just looked at me and said "That didn't help me remember it."  

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1 minute ago, Shaft41 said:

I am a huge fan of musicals, and "The Music Man" is probably in my top 5.  (Just wait for my ranking thread of musicals from 204-1).  However, I'm not a fan of this tune in the musical.  But I LOVE the Beatles version.  Maybe Paul's purest vocal, and I love how he plays around with the tempo a little bit and sings a little behind when you'd expect him to.  This is one of those songs I try and sing along with, and I can never quite match in unison because of Paul's liberty.  Even though my wife loves musicals, too, she didn't remember this song from "The Music Man", so I tried to serenade her with it the other day, being all romantic-like, thinking she'd be appropriately wooed.  I got done, and she just looked at me and said "That didn't help me remember it."  

:lmao: :lmao: 

Agree regarding Paul’s vocal; it’s one of my favorites of his.

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On 1/19/2019 at 3:39 PM, krista4 said:

Finally we get to A Hard Day's Night:

161.  When I Get Home (A Hard Day's Night, 1964)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

I could see people disliking the vocal on this chorus despite the great three-part harmonies,, but I love the way they roar out of the gate and pull you right in.  John's vocal on this is full of urgency and enthusiasm - I think it's really an under-appreciated performance from him - and it makes me feel like there's something we're all rushing to get to.  Everything in this song sounds slightly angry and on edge to me, which makes me both love and hate it.  I love the interplay of the guitars even if I don't quite understand what they're doing.  This is all messy and jangly and aggressive and rocking your face off.  Whooooooaaa-aaaahhhh!

Mr. krista:  "It’s a little sloppy but that sounds good.  You can’t hear any bass in this song.  I kind liked it but can’t hear any bass.  Seems incomplete because there’s no bass."  [Editor's note:    no idea what he's talking about; I hear a driving bass line.]

Suggested cover:  None.  :( 

One of Johns best 

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32 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Thanks, guys.  I might post some a little later; couldn't get my #### together to get on a flight this morning, so I'm heading out tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, please enjoy this song by rock band The Beatles; it always make feel happier.

George , bass ### Rhythm guitar, ‘nuff said. Top 10 for me.

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On 1/19/2019 at 4:50 PM, krista4 said:

Rubber Soul finally gets a cut.

159.  What Goes On (Rubber Soul, 1965)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

When I said this was going to be a Ringo-friendly thread, I was referring to his drumming (which I'll discuss in detail at another time), but i do love Ringo's singing voice as well and think it serves this song well with its straightforward self-assuredness.  This was originally a John-penned composition, in their Quarrymen days, which was later updated and expanded with contributions from Paul and Ringo to make it Ringo's first songwriting credit and a rare (or maybe the only?) John/Paul/Ringo-shared credit.  Ringo was once quoted as saying something along the lines that his contribution was "about five words of it, and I haven't done a thing since!"  God I love Ringo.

This song has such a fine rockabilly feel that for years I thought it was a cover.  Ringo is, as always, a metronome, but I think Paul's bass and George's C&W-swingy guitar work shine on this one.

Mr. krista:  "Yeah, this is good."

Suggested cover:  Sufjan Stevens  Well, this is interesting at least.  Wait through the first 40 seconds; it picks up.

George “Chet Atkins” Harrison in the comments. Yep.

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On 1/20/2019 at 4:53 PM, krista4 said:

My top 150!  WE DID IT!

150.  Think for Yourself (Rubber Soul, 1965)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

I shouldn't love a song just based on maracas and fuzzbox bass, but those are what do it for me in this song.  I'd listen to that #### all day.  Add in some soaring harmonies contrasted with gloomy George lyrics and performance, with an edge of the cynicism he'll be more blatant about in "Taxman" and "Piggies," and you got yourself a krista-approved keeper.  

Mr. krista and I obviously think for ourselves, as his opinion is polar opposite:  "Digging that fuzzy organ.  I like that it rocks pretty hard.  I could have done without most everything but the organ and the drums. Seems like a good mid-tempo rock where I could listen to it more and have it grow on me."

Suggested cover:  Pete Shelley (RIP)  In honor of the lyrics to "I'll Get You," I'll mention that I really really really really like this cover.

This song always makes me think that we are hearing for the first time a glimpse of the greatness to come in the later albums.

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On 1/21/2019 at 2:35 PM, krista4 said:

147.  For You Blue (Let It Be, 1970)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

I LOVE THE LAP STEEL GUITAR ON THIS SONG.  I love the sound of that guitar and the slide; I've read variously that John used a lighter, a shotgun shell, and a lipstick tube as the slide.  George called this a "happy-go-lucky" song, and his vocal has a nice sweet quality to it.  Paul did some interesting work on the piano, putting paper between the strings to give it a fuzzy sound.  The problem I have with this song is George's silly talking during the middle.  Maybe that's just them having fun, but it detracts for me.  Though I enjoy George's vocal on this, I think I'd enjoy it more as just an instrumental.  Still a great groove, though.

Mr. krista:  "Seems fun.  Well, compared to The Long and Winding Road, surgery seems fun.  I like the self-deprecating bits of dialogue. I like the DoBro steel guitar. It was like a really concise Allman Brothers song."

Suggested cover:  Well, I can't resist this:  Dhani Harrison

Great great choice of cover. Was wondering if / when he’d show up.:thumbup:

Edited by BroncoFreak_2K3
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31 minutes ago, BroncoFreak_2K3 said:

Finally caught up. Sorry about all the individual postings. Condolences again krista. Take your time. This thread is epic.

I enjoyed the individual postings!  :) 

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2 hours ago, krista4 said:

Thanks, guys.  I might post some a little later; couldn't get my #### together to get on a flight this morning, so I'm heading out tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, please enjoy this song by rock band The Beatles; it always make feel happier.

Very sorry for your loss Krista.   That is one long life to celebrate!!

Great song.   Huge fan.

Safe travels.

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Condolences Krista.  During your hiatus I was going to start posting my list of top 204 male british pop/rock singers, ranked in order of pretentiousness - but it's turning into too big of a task for me.

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6 minutes ago, ScottNorwood said:

Condolences Krista.  During your hiatus I was going to start posting my list of top 204 male british pop/rock singers, ranked in order of pretentiousness - but it's turning into too big of a task for me.

Where does Michael DesBarres come in?

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14 minutes ago, ScottNorwood said:

Condolences Krista.  During your hiatus I was going to start posting my list of top 204 male british pop/rock singers, ranked in order of pretentiousness - but it's turning into too big of a task for me.

this is important work that must be done.  

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49 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

exhibit a

His press agent did admit that morrissey did, quote, "squats when he pees."

 

ETA:  response to Leroy's response - this is something my mom would occasionally say about Steve Garvey, who she thought was a little too "prissy" (we were gigantic Cincy Reds and hated all Dodgers).   

Edited by Binky The Doormat
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142.  Boys (Please Please Me, 1963)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Pure joy.  I'm not going to do a big write-up here.  Enjoy this live performance with me, and you'll see why I love this one.  Ringo's head shakes...the toss to George at ~1:00 and George's glee...and don't miss John's little kick at ~1:50 that drives the girls wild.

Original Shirelles version

Mr. krista:  "I like it, and I like the Shirelles, too. And Ringo is a great singer for a song like that.  It’s a jam."

Edited by krista4
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There's a snippet of an interview with Paul that I've heard on the Beatles channel a few times where he describes a conversation with one of the Rolling Stones - Mick or Keith, I can't remember - and whoever it was commented how lucky the Beatles had been to have four front men, whereas the Stones had only one.  That live clip above shows that, I think.  :) 

Edited by krista4
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44 minutes ago, krista4 said:

143.  Boys (Please Please Me, 1963)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Pure joy.  I'm not going to do a big write-up here.  Enjoy this live performance with me, and you'll see why I love this one.  Ringo's head shakes...the toss to George at ~1:00 and George's glee...and don't miss John's little kick at ~1:50 that drives the girls wild.

Original Shirelles version

Mr. krista:  "I like it, and I like the Shirelles, too. And Ringo is a great singer for a song like that.  It’s a jam."

It's got a kinda Ray Charles feel to it (What I Say). GB Richard Starkey, he's always seemed like he's had the most fun with the whole thing. I go back and forth between him and George for favorite Beatle.

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On 1/17/2019 at 5:40 PM, krista4 said:

I've had this queued up for a while but kept moving it up the rankings instead.  I need to stop doing that.

178.  The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill (White Album, 1968)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

What I love:  the Ennio Morricone feel at the beginning, Yoko's dissonance, John's vocal, the way it leads into While My Guitar Gently Weeps.  What I don't, at all:  the singalong.  Unlike my view of Savoy Truffle, I do find this one funny.  It makes me smile to listen to it, until it starts to drive me mad with that chorus.  John wrote this one based on an experience in India, about "a guy in Maharishi's meditation camp who took a short break to go shoot a few poor tigers, and then came back to commune with God. There used to be a character called Jungle Jim and I combined him with Buffalo Bill. It's a sort of teenage social-comment song and a bit of a joke."  I like the joke.  Fun fact:  Yoko singing "Not when he looked so fierce..." was the first lead vocal from a woman on a Beatles record.

Mr. krista:  "I prefer this to Rocky Raccoon.  You can pick Yoko out of those background vocals. Did Bungalow Bill ever get back to us on what he killed?  Or was it just the Beatles’s self-respect?”"

Suggested covers:  Dawn Kinnard/Ron Sexsmith - I'm not 100% sold on this, but (1) I love Ron Sexsmith, and (2) I like the switch to an off-key female for the lead singer.  For some serious inventiveness, check out the version by Deerhoof.

 

I'm not sure what to make of this cover.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kW0Fy88ilEs&t=785s

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1 hour ago, Gr00vus said:

It's got a kinda Ray Charles feel to it (What I Say). GB Richard Starkey, he's always seemed like he's had the most fun with the whole thing. I go back and forth between him and George for favorite Beatle.

Gahhhhh, I can’t choose a favorite Beatle.  It might be different every time.  Good topic for the down period while I’m not pulling my weight around here:  favorite Beatle, and why?

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Krista I missed it that you like Ron Sexmith. I only discovered him about a year ago with “Snow Angel” and now I really love about 20 of his songs. He brings back to me memories of early 80s power pop like Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, early Elvis Costello. And his melodies are superb. 

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When John is my favorite Beatle, it’s because I love his songwriting the most and, with due credit to the others, his voice is my favorite.

When George is my favorite, it’s because I like his voice and his songwriting, and I appreciate the breadth of his musical interests, but I love his guitar work.  There’s something about the way he plays that always moves me.

When Paul is my favorite, it’s because I think he’s the best musician of the bunch, the best of perhaps anyone, actually.  And Paul is the one who reminds me the most of me, personality-wise:  a perfectionist who can be a pain in the ###, but well-intentioned.

When Ringo is my favorite, it’s because he’s a beyond talented guy who wanted to support the songs and the band instead of calling attention to his virtuosity.  And more than that, because he’s the one who always seems to be having a damn great time.  Not just the one I’d want to have a drink with, but the one I’d most wish to be.

Edited by krista4
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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Krista I missed it that you like Ron Sexmith. I only discovered him about a year ago with “Snow Angel” and now I really love about 20 of his songs. He brings back to me memories of early 80s power pop like Nick Lowe, Graham Parker, early Elvis Costello. And his melodies are superb. 

If you haven’t checked out Blue Boy yet, do - it’s my favorite.  Glad you’ve discovered him!

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9 hours ago, krista4 said:

 

When Ringo is my favorite, it’s because he’s a beyond talented guy who wanted to support the songs and the band instead of calling attention to his virtuosity. 

I always chuckle when the masses say that Ringo was a terrible drummer. It's one of those things that has captured public sentiment over time, perhaps because he wasn't a physical drummer like Moon or Bonham.

Of course, if you ask any professional musician - famous or not - and they will say how good Ringo was from the beginning. Not flashy, but his timing was incredible.

Edited by zamboni
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33 minutes ago, zamboni said:

 

Of course, if you ask any professional musician - famous or not - and they will say how good Ringo was from the beginning. Not flashy, but his timing was incredible.

This.  All of this.  

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1 hour ago, zamboni said:

I always chuckle when the masses say that Ringo was a terrible drummer. It's one of those things that has captured public sentiment over time, perhaps because he wasn't a physical drummer like Moon or Bonham.

Of course, if you ask any professional musician - famous or not - and they will say how good Ringo was from the beginning. Not flashy, but his timing was incredible.

I always figured that the public sentiment was based on his personality, which was deliberately clownish- he came off as the “least serious” Beatle. 

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7 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I always figured that the public sentiment was based on his personality, which was deliberately clownish- he came off as the “least serious” Beatle. 

That might be part of it. Here's one good article from a few years ago that gives some of the backstory and defends Ringo.

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29 minutes ago, zamboni said:

That might be part of it. Here's one good article from a few years ago that gives some of the backstory and defends Ringo.

Excellent article and spot on.    People love to belittle Ringo, from Pete Best fans to Quincy Jones but the worst is probably Bernard Purdie who made the outrageous claim that he played drums on more than 20 Beatles songs and that Ringo never played anything.    His claims have been debunked many times and the only thing he actually did overdub was the Tony Sheridan recordings years later after the Beatles became stars.   The original drummer on the Tony Sheridan record was Pete Best and not Ringo.

To my knowledge the only Beatles songs that had a drummer other than Ringo was: Love Me Do (LP version, the single was Ringo), PS I Love You both played by Andy White and Back in the USSR, Dear Prudence, Martha My Dear and Ballad of John and Yoko - all played by Paul.   All other Beatles songs that feature drums are Ringo.

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, krista4 said:

143.  Boys (Please Please Me, 1963)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

Pure joy.  I'm not going to do a big write-up here.  Enjoy this live performance with me, and you'll see why I love this one.  Ringo's head shakes...the toss to George at ~1:00 and George's glee...and don't miss John's little kick at ~1:50 that drives the girls wild.

Original Shirelles version

Mr. krista:  "I like it, and I like the Shirelles, too. And Ringo is a great singer for a song like that.  It’s a jam."

I like it very much but it also reminds me of this classic: BUG MUSIC?!?!?

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