I got a lot of flack for my low ranking of “Yesterday” on this list, and I’m not gonna lie, I had second thoughts. To say I quivered in my boots and experienced heart tremors would be an understatement. The feedback made me sweat more than Papa John after eating 40 pizzas in 30 days. Much like Papa John, I’ll backtrack a little bit and say that, if I were to do this list again, I would certainly reconsider and probably put “Yesterday” a lot higher.
“Yesterday, I was CEO, they called me boss / Now my bloodstream’s 60% sauce.”
All that to say, “A Day in the Life” is probably just as heralded as “Yesterday,” if not more so–it often tops Beatles song rankings–but this is one I’m going to stand behind. Objectively it is Continue reading “#90: A Day in the Life”
FADE IN: A LIVERPOOL SCHOOLYARD, 1955.
A group of teenage ruffians, among them PAUL McCARTNEY, decked in nice cardigans and donning loosened ties, puff on cigarettes as they practice a new insult-based game they recently discovered.
RUFFIAN #1: Yo momma’s so fat, when she weighs herself, the scale says “To Be Continued”!
RUFFIAN #2: Yo momma’s so dumb, she asked what’s the number for 999!*
PAUL McCARTNEY: Yo momma’s so old, she Continue reading “#94: Your Mother Should Know”
For a guy who maintains a very consistent and particular public persona, Paul McCartney surprisingly often lets his freak flag fly on record. Truth be told, they typically end up becoming some of my favorite songs of his, which probably says more about me than it does about Paul’s willingness to get weird. We all love “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Band on the Run,” but my McCartney collection would be incomplete without oddball gems like “Temporary Secretary,” “Monkberry Moon Delight,” and “Morse Moose and the Grey Goose.”
Maybe the earliest evidence of Paul’s musical wild side is 1967’s “Fixing a Hole,” an eerie slice of psychedelia with lyrics that sound especially deep and thought-provoking at first but it turns out that, once again, Paul is just singing about Continue reading “#98: Fixing a Hole”
I have a theory about “Hello Goodbye.” It’s probably a stretch, and maybe I’m playing armchair psychologist a bit, but here goes: “Hello Goodbye” marks the beginning of the end of the Beatles. Continue reading “#105: Hello Goodbye”
In the last entry, I noted that “Got to Get You Into My Life” made an impressive jump on my ranking, but now we get to the exact opposite. Had I done this countdown 15 years ago, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” would have been a clear-cut top 50 entry. And let’s be clear; it’s a great song. But what was intriguing imagery to my younger self now seems like a bunch of random gibberish. I almost feel like I would prefer it as an instrumental. Maybe hang on to the Lennon/McCartney harmonies in the chorus, but I don’t know that I would miss the rocking horse people and newspaper taxis if they were excised.
The elephant in the room Continue reading “#111: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”
John Lennon famously hated the sound of his voice, and often insisted that producer George Martin lather it with effects or otherwise manipulate it. This was complete and utter malarkey of course. Listen to vocal tour de forces such as “Happiness is a Warm Gun” and solo gems like “Oh My Love” and “Isolation,” and it’s obvious that John possessed one of the greatest voices in rock history.
That said, Continue reading “#115: Baby You’re a Rich Man”
1967 was inevitably going to be a make-or-break year for the Beatles. In fact, before they released the outstanding “Strawberry Fields Forever”/”Penny Lane” single, everything seemed to be stacked against them. Their decision to quit touring in August of 1966 was a risky move, especially because that fall they didn’t release a new single (let alone a new album) for the first time in their career. On top of that, Continue reading “#119: Magical Mystery Tour”