I’m back in the great old Pacific Northwest visiting my family, which is nice, but it unfortunately means my internet connection will be sporadic (and poor) for the next few weeks.
Given that, I’m going to have a few less song links. Instead, I’m going to focus mainly on another project, inspired by a series of posts I ran across by Marathon Man ranking every Beatles song from worst to first.
“Hey, I love The Beatles,” I thought to myself while reading it. “Why can’t I do the same thing?” So here I am. It’s a chance to listen to a lot of Beatles songs, think about why I like them, and see if I can come up with something interesting to say about all of them (which is tougher than I thought it would be. I mean, you tell us something interesting about “Hold Me Tight”). And its always fun to make lists, particularly “best to worst” lists. Of course, “worst” is a relative thing. I mean, the worst Beatles song is still pretty great. Well, okay, some of them are actually kind of bad, but very very few.
So, the ground rules:
1. I’m only working with the songs from official albums (UK versions) and the two Past Masters compilations.
2. If it’s a track, I’ll rank it. So “Wild Honey Pie,” “Maggie Mae,” etc. are going to be on there.
2 1/2. Limited exception to Rule #2: The medley on Abbey Road is getting split up into what I perceive to be its component sections. So “You Never Give Me Your Money/Sun King/Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” is one track, while “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End” is another and “Her Majesty” is all by itself. Could I just as easily combine the whole thing together? Sure. But those are the sections with noticeable breaks between them, and it’s how I think of them.
3. Alternate versions: I’m just going to pick my favorite and rank it. So it’s the Let It Be version of “Across the Universe,” and the single version of “Revolution,” for example.
4. This is a subjective list. I’m not trying to rank the “best” songs, but rather my favorites. Any attempt to list the “best” songs will invite so many subjective judgments that it seems more fair to just lay my subjective likes and dislikes out there for all to see.
5. I’ll try to do 15-20 songs a day, with occasional breaks to talk about other bands. But no promises.
6. My opinions of these songs change a lot, even after listening to them for many MANY years. So my list in 2 months might be quite different from right now. So it goes.
7. I’m not going to post any of the songs. You really ought to own all of these albums. I mean, come on, it’s The Beatles!
Comments are welcome. I’d love to hear other people’s favorites and I’d love to hear from people who cannot BELIEVE I would rank their favorite song of all-time so low. Both because I enjoy the debate about what makes The Beatles great, but also because I’m always open to being persuaded that I should re-listen to a song and maybe appreciate it more.
I’ve written a fair amount about The Beatles over the past few years (including a fairly extensive research paper in college about the symbiotic relationship between Sgt. Pepper and the counterculture movement). If people are enjoying the Beatles-fest, I may post some of that stuff.
Anyways, while I’m on the subject of influential awesome old bands, head over to I Am Fuel, You Are Friends to hear Message to the Boys, a new song by The Replacements. It sure is nice to hear a new track by these guys. I mean, Paul Westerberg as a solo artist is fine and all but…it just ain’t the same.
Anyways, I’ll begin with the top 16 worst (or is it bottom 16?) Beatles songs tomorrow.
Beatles from worst to first 11 (the top 10)
Beatles from worst to first 10 (30-11)
Beatles from worst to first 9 (50-31)
Beatles from worst to first: Interlude
Beatles from worst to first 8 (75-51)
Beatles from worst to first 7 (100-76)
Beatles from worst to first 6 (120-101)
Beatles from worst to first 5 (140-121)
Beatles from worst to first 4 (160-141)
Beatles from worst to first 3 (175-161)
Beatles from worst to first 2 (190-176)
Beatles from worst to first 1 (206-191)
Beatles from worst to first: Introduction