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”
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”
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”
Undoubtedly one of the most ominous-sounding recordings ever released by the Beatles, it’s hard to believe that “Blue Jay Way” was inspired by such a mundane event of George Harrison waiting for a friend to arrive at his house. Or, I mean, it would be hard to believe if the lyrics weren’t so literal. I have mixed feelings on songs like this; on the one hand it’s kind of a neat diversion to hear an artist steer away from being poetic and just describe something so matter-of-factly. On the other, one of the best things about any work of art is its inherent ability to be interpreted and judged based on the encompassing and unique life experiences of everyone in its audience. When there’s not a whole lot left to the imagination, it isn’t as much fun.
But fun is not the aim of “Blue Jay Way” in any aspect. From its haunting organ fade-in to the monotonous thump of the drum that underscores the first verse to the swirling psychedelic instruments that fly in and out, it’s a pretty trippy four minutes. If you really want to get transcendent though, check Continue reading “#131: Blue Jay Way”
The only instrumental track to appear on a core Beatles album, “Flying” is easily one of the band’s grooviest moments. It’s hard to listen to it and not get transported to a place of serenity, where everything is good and cool in the world, and you start to have second thoughts about Continue reading “#166: Flying”
“All You Need is Love” is easily one of the Beatles’ most iconic songs, and it perfectly captures the flower power spirit of 1967, but as a composition, it’s not really the most exciting piece in their catalog. Sure, you have the cool little “She Loves You” throwback, and you can’t deny that orchestra, but Continue reading “#171: All You Need is Love”