Much like with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” my reason for ranking “You Can’t Do That” so low is a bit unfair. Simply put, it reminds me too much of a similar and superior song released that same year. Had “Magical Mystery Tour” and “I Call Your Name” gone unrecorded, “Sgt. Pepper” and “You Can’t Do That” would almost definitely be a lot higher. But this list is about my favorite Beatles songs, not like those purportedly objective “best” lists, since that’s been done to death, and my list is objectively better than any of those.
You know it’s true, editors of Rolling Stone.
“You Can’t Do That” does have one edge over “I Call Your Name” though, and that is, once again, the band’s not-so-secret weapon: killer harmonies. Where John is the only singer featured on “I Call Your Name,” Paul and George contribute backing vocals to “You Can’t Do That.” They don’t really elevate the song beyond your average Beatles track of the era, but still, it never hurts to have multiple Beatles singing together.
As an aside, be sure to check out Harry Nilsson’s inventive cover of this song that immediately won over John Lennon. When you see what Harry did with it, you’ll understand why.