This has got to be one of the most unjustly overlooked Beatles songs ever. I realize by putting it at #138, I’m probably not doing anything to curb its underrated status, but man, give it a listen and tell me that this is not a damn good song on every level. Really. There’s a palpable excitement from the opening roll of the bass and drums to the twinkle of a guitar riff that punctuates everything.
I really don’t know where to start with the praise. How about Paul’s ragged, passionate vocal delivery? Or the double-tracked guitar solo that calls to mind George’s charmingly rudimentary early work with the band but is far more proficient and listenable? Maybe the angsty yet well-crafted lyrics? No, no, I must call attention to the dramatic backing vocals (“Ahh, the night before!”) that elevate this from a mere pop song into an accusatory epic. The narrator’s beloved may have pulled a switcheroo, but I’ll never change my mind on “The Night Before” deserving more love.