Beatles List You’ve All Not Been Waiting For

Obligatory Preface

This was so hard. So hard. So so hard. So so so hard. Harder than life itself. Makes “Sophie’s Choice” seem like paper or plastic.

Blahbitty blah blah blah.

Three Things About The Beatles

I went through my Beatles phase later in life, post-college even. But geez, they are great. And I have a difficult time respecting any musical fan or, particularly, musician, who has never had an extended period of discovering, loving and appreciating The Beatles.

On a related note, there’s no finer place to grasp the concept of background vocals than The Beatles. And you’d be surprised how many musicians don’t get background vocals. There are musicians who can’t sing. There are musicians who can’t sing backgrounds. There are musicians who think they can sing backgrounds, but don’t really understand them past the simplest form. What’s left is fine background singers and those are few and far between, at least on the regular guy/mortal musician level.

On an unrelated note, one of my favorite parts of the must-see rock doc “Lemmy” (the Motorhead singer) is when Lemmy explains that, although the Stones always got the credit as the tough guys, in fact, the Beatles were blue collar rough-and-tumbles from the wrong side of the tracks, while the Stones were a bunch of art school prancers. We stand corrected.

The List

#1 – 5 points – What Goes On – Debate always rages over Ringo’s greatness or lack thereof as a drummer, but I love him as a singer. His clear, sincere voice always cuts through whatever else is going on on the album, whichever that may be. In addition, I love the scratchy guitar. And I’ll never tire of Paul’s decision to walk the bass on just one chorus. So cool. How many bass players would walk it every chorus? Almost all of them. (Lawr would, because he told me.)

#2 – 4 points – She Loves You – The three-part harmony on the final “Yeah” is better than most songs all by itself. A helluva fun song to sing and play yet cover quantity is slim.

#3 tie – 4 points – You Won’t See Me & I’m Looking Through You – Can’t tell you specifically why I like these more than others; it’s just that Beatles thing. And I can’t tell you which one I like more than the other either.

#5 tie – 3 points – All My Loving, She Said She Said, I Call Your Name – Same thing here as the #3 tie, but just slightly less.

#8 – 2 points – Yellow Submarine – Verse gets a 5, chorus gets a zero, averages to 2. (Actually 2.5, but the rules call for truncation, not rounding.)

#9 – 1 point – Blackbird – I’m not one for wimpy songs of beauty, but I like this one. So does Charlie.

#10 – 1 point – Revolution – The poppy one. Q: Chairman Mao? A: Anyhow.

5 thoughts on “Beatles List You’ve All Not Been Waiting For

  1. Steve, this is awesome.

    I read the intro aloud to my family, and when I hit “paper or plastic” all four listening completely cracked up.

    Props for the Lemmy observation, too, not to mention harmonies and background vocals assessment.

  2. ATT job is killing me (though 156 days to go, minus 42 weekend days, 15 vacation days, and three holidays, not like I am counting). But, our org is changing dramatically so we lost four folks to a buyout end of last year and we are still in transition. what it means is a year ago now I had around 24 projects to handle, and today I have 43. Add in my other column obligations and I’m toast.

    Soon…and it ain’t like I don’t think about stuff to write. Just falls to the bottom of the need to do now pile.

  3. I know what you mean, Lawry (don’t call me Anderson). I’ve had many articles in my head that never made it to the keyboard. We need ghost writers.

  4. My days have been a turmoil since the old 15″ MBP bit the dust last week, so I’m embarrassed I didn’t comment on Steve’s Beatles list, which is full of excellent detail. Even if Revolution is more catchy than great. But the Love Me Do comment nails it.

    If anyone is following from home, compiled lists are coming, soon-ish.

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