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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Apologies to Shaft for not getting this quite high enough!

31.  Hey Bulldog (Yellow Submarine, 1969)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

BASS LINE!  That's what it's all about for me.  Mr. krista (bass player) describes it much better than I could, below.  

I've kept this one within shouting distance of "Taxman" through my many re-orderings of the rankings.  I see them similarly in that they rock your face off and have great bass lines, but some questionable lyric choices.  I detail below some of the lyrics I love, but just the overall "Hey Bulldog" part and the barking at the end turn me off a bit.  Obviously, not much, since this still lands in the upper echelon of my rankings.

Just before the group's trip to India, a film crew came to the studio to record a promotional video during which they were to act as if they were recording "Lady Madonna."  But John asserted that they should film the recording of his new song, "Hey Bullfrog," instead.  That's not a typo - the song was originally titled "Hey Bullfrog" until Paul's barking inspired the title change.  The video was then released with the overlay of "Lady Madonna" on sound while the footage is actually showing the recording of "Hey Bulldog," but the fans didn't seem to notice.  Years later, Neil Aspinall edited the video with "Hey Bulldog" being properly played instead; join the cheesy fun of his finished product

Geoff Emerick described the vibe in the studio for the recording of this song to be great, as "all four Beatles were in an exceptionally good mood."  The atmosphere was relaxed and fun-loving, which I think shows in the end result of the song itself, especially all the clowning around in the coda.  It's one of the last times that they all worked together seemingly joyously, and it was the last session at which neither Yoko nor Magic Alex attended, which undoubtedly contributed to the positive spirits.  

In addition to the bass, other highlights of this song for me are the screaming guitar solo and John's vocal, especially the escalating, gritty urgency of the "You can talk to me" repeat.   I also love some of the lyrics, and yes, I'm accusing the lyrics to a song called "Hey Bulldog" of being good.  Specifically, I love these lines in the verses:

(Verse one):  Some kind of happiness is
Measured out in miles

(Verse two):  Some kind of innocence is
Measured out in years

(Verse three):  Some kind of solitude is
Measured out in you

Each of those lines is terrific on its own, but combined with each other in a not-quite-repetitious pattern they're brilliant.

Mostly, I just love this song because it rocks in every way.  Every Beatle was at the top of his game for this one.

Mr. krista:  "####!  Listen to the bass line, though.  Paul McCartney’s a mother####er of a bass player, man.  During the verses, the bass line walks all over the place and sounds super busy, but he’s still right there building a pocket with Ringo.  But then during the chorus he hits that riff right on time with everybody else.  No longer playing that contrapuntal thing but just digs in, just a monster.  What a great rock song."

Suggested cover:  I post this more for the introduction to the playing of the song, rather than the cover itself.  It brought something wet I can't quite recognize to my eyes.  Dave Grohl and Jeff Lynne

 

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19 minutes ago, Alex P Keaton said:

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.

Yeah, I really love those lyrics in the bridge, especially culminating in that bolded line. 

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23 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

My favorite Taxman cover was always Start! by The Jam

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7 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Apologies to Shaft for not getting this quite high enough!

31.  Hey Bulldog (Yellow Submarine, 1969)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

BASS LINE!  That's what it's all about for me.  Mr. krista (bass player) describes it much better than I could, below.  

I've kept this one within shouting distance of "Taxman" through my many re-orderings of the rankings.  I see them similarly in that they rock your face off and have great bass lines, but some questionable lyric choices.  I detail below some of the lyrics I love, but just the overall "Hey Bulldog" part and the barking at the end turn me off a bit.  Obviously, not much, since this still lands in the upper echelon of my rankings.

Just before the group's trip to India, a film crew came to the studio to record a promotional video during which they were to act as if they were recording "Lady Madonna."  But John asserted that they should film the recording of his new song, "Hey Bullfrog," instead.  That's not a typo - the song was originally titled "Hey Bullfrog" until Paul's barking inspired the title change.  The video was then released with the overlay of "Lady Madonna" on sound while the footage is actually showing the recording of "Hey Bulldog," but the fans didn't seem to notice.  Years later, Neil Aspinall edited the video with "Hey Bulldog" being properly played instead; join the cheesy fun of his finished product

Geoff Emerick described the vibe in the studio for the recording of this song to be great, as "all four Beatles were in an exceptionally good mood."  The atmosphere was relaxed and fun-loving, which I think shows in the end result of the song itself, especially all the clowning around in the coda.  It's one of the last times that they all worked together seemingly joyously, and it was the last session at which neither Yoko nor Magic Alex attended, which undoubtedly contributed to the positive spirits.  

In addition to the bass, other highlights of this song for me are the screaming guitar solo and John's vocal, especially the escalating, gritty urgency of the "You can talk to me" repeat.   I also love some of the lyrics, and yes, I'm accusing the lyrics to a song called "Hey Bulldog" of being good.  Specifically, I love these lines in the verses:

(Verse one):  Some kind of happiness is
Measured out in miles

(Verse two):  Some kind of innocence is
Measured out in years

(Verse three):  Some kind of solitude is
Measured out in you

Each of those lines is terrific on its own, but combined with each other in a not-quite-repetitious pattern they're brilliant.

Mostly, I just love this song because it rocks in every way.  Every Beatle was at the top of his game for this one.

Mr. krista:  "####!  Listen to the bass line, though.  Paul McCartney’s a mother####er of a bass player, man.  During the verses, the bass line walks all over the place and sounds super busy, but he’s still right there building a pocket with Ringo.  But then during the chorus he hits that riff right on time with everybody else.  No longer playing that contrapuntal thing but just digs in, just a monster.  What a great rock song."

Suggested cover:  I post this more for the introduction to the playing of the song, rather than the cover itself.  It brought something wet I can't quite recognize to my eyes.  Dave Grohl and Jeff Lynne

 

5th song to be in the 30's on Krista's list and Composite.

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Alrighty, now that I have submitted my list, I will comment on the rankings:

Who the hell am I to rate the Beatles?! 

Seriously, I am not equipped to make such a fine distinction on quality across such a catalog. Therefore, I can only list em as I like em. 

Thus, I can't criticize anyone else's list. 

 

That said, I will now start criticizing anyone that disagrees with me! 🤬

😉

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29 minutes ago, Shaft41 said:

Crap. My Bulldog dreams are dashed. 

I've been wondering, is this one of your favorites?  Or did you just pick it for me?

11 minutes ago, Ted Lange as your Bartender said:

My favorite Taxman cover was always Start! by The Jam

I am not kidding that I thought about posting that!  :lol: 

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17 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Apologies to Shaft for not getting this quite high enough!

31.  Hey Bulldog (Yellow Submarine, 1969)

Beatles version:  Spotify  YouTube

BASS LINE!  That's what it's all about for me.  Mr. krista (bass player) describes it much better than I could, below.  

I've kept this one within shouting distance of "Taxman" through my many re-orderings of the rankings.  I see them similarly in that they rock your face off and have great bass lines, but some questionable lyric choices.  I detail below some of the lyrics I love, but just the overall "Hey Bulldog" part and the barking at the end turn me off a bit.  Obviously, not much, since this still lands in the upper echelon of my rankings.

Just before the group's trip to India, a film crew came to the studio to record a promotional video during which they were to act as if they were recording "Lady Madonna."  But John asserted that they should film the recording of his new song, "Hey Bullfrog," instead.  That's not a typo - the song was originally titled "Hey Bullfrog" until Paul's barking inspired the title change.  The video was then released with the overlay of "Lady Madonna" on sound while the footage is actually showing the recording of "Hey Bulldog," but the fans didn't seem to notice.  Years later, Neil Aspinall edited the video with "Hey Bulldog" being properly played instead; join the cheesy fun of his finished product

Geoff Emerick described the vibe in the studio for the recording of this song to be great, as "all four Beatles were in an exceptionally good mood."  The atmosphere was relaxed and fun-loving, which I think shows in the end result of the song itself, especially all the clowning around in the coda.  It's one of the last times that they all worked together seemingly joyously, and it was the last session at which neither Yoko nor Magic Alex attended, which undoubtedly contributed to the positive spirits.  

In addition to the bass, other highlights of this song for me are the screaming guitar solo and John's vocal, especially the escalating, gritty urgency of the "You can talk to me" repeat.   I also love some of the lyrics, and yes, I'm accusing the lyrics to a song called "Hey Bulldog" of being good.  Specifically, I love these lines in the verses:

(Verse one):  Some kind of happiness is
Measured out in miles

(Verse two):  Some kind of innocence is
Measured out in years

(Verse three):  Some kind of solitude is
Measured out in you

Each of those lines is terrific on its own, but combined with each other in a not-quite-repetitious pattern they're brilliant.

Mostly, I just love this song because it rocks in every way.  Every Beatle was at the top of his game for this one.

Mr. krista:  "####!  Listen to the bass line, though.  Paul McCartney’s a mother####er of a bass player, man.  During the verses, the bass line walks all over the place and sounds super busy, but he’s still right there building a pocket with Ringo.  But then during the chorus he hits that riff right on time with everybody else.  No longer playing that contrapuntal thing but just digs in, just a monster.  What a great rock song."

Suggested cover:  I post this more for the introduction to the playing of the song, rather than the cover itself.  It brought something wet I can't quite recognize to my eyes.  Dave Grohl and Jeff Lynne

 

Admittedly, when I chose this for my guess at Krista's #1, I was extrapolating my own love for this song. It's in my top 5. But I may be alone in that. It's just so darn...infectious. The groove is stellar. The lyrics may be nonsensical, but not all of them, as Krista astutely pointed out, and this is The Beatles we're talking about. When the family plays Beatles: Rock Band, I always take guitar on this one so I can live vicariously through the bassline. So good. 

Edited by Shaft41
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Update on #1 song guesses; two more knocked off:

  1. simey – Abbey Road medley
  2. Mister CIA – She Said She Said
  3. timschochet – Paperback Writer
  4. pecorino – Hey Jude
  5. Binky the Doormat – In My Life
  6. wikkidpissah – Taxman
  7. Dr. Octopus – Got To Get You Into My Life
  8. Nigel Tufnel – You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
  9. Uruk-Hai – Ticket to Ride
  10. Dinsy Ejotuz – Let It Be
  11. Tom Hagen – Eleanor Rigby
  12. Spock – Rain
  13. Leroy Hoard – A Day in the Life
  14. rockaction  - I Want to Hold Your Hand
  15. Ted Lange as Your Bartender – In My Life
  16. shuke – Abbey Road medley
  17. Alex P Keaton – Something
  18. Getzlaf15 – With A Little Help From My Friends
  19. zamboni – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  20. neal cassady – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  21. Shaft41 – Hey Bulldog
  22. Ilov80s – Norwegian Wood
  23. Officer Pete Malloy – I Want to Hold Your Hand
  24. Godsbrother – Dear Prudence
  25. ManofSteelhead – Eleanor Rigby
  26. mike9289 – I’m Looking Through You
  27. heckmanm: Eleanor Rigby
  28. Atomic Punk – A Day in the Life
  29. [Mrs. Punk – In My Life]
  30. bananafish – Abbey Road medley
  31. bonzai – Abbey Road medley
  32. fatguy – Here Comes the Sun
  33. ScottNorwood- Yesterday
  34. Sebowski – I’m So Tired
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Some more tidbits as we reach the top 30:

Four records have been wiped off the map:  Please Please Me, Beatles for Sale, Magical Mystery Tour (EP), and Yellow Submarine.

Still only one song - "A Day In The Life " - has been definitively identified as being in my top 10.  Before we reach the top 25, at least one more will join it.

I'll try to post 26-30 tomorrow so that we can get to that arbitrary designation (Getz, please note that it's the line that's arbitrary, not the selections).  Of course, first I have to choose them.  :lol:  Right now I have 22 that definitely make it, two that definitely don't, and six that are floating back and forth.

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