Friday, January 30, 2009

Ranking the Beatles my damn self: Dallas 24, Miami 3

So somewhere in today's list we hit the point where I genuinely like all the songs. I thought it might be instructive to tally composer credits up to that point, for comparison with composer credits past that point. Unfortunately, I lack the time, energy, and other resources to research who truly wrote each song, so I'll just pretend whoever wrote it sang it. John deserves credit for singing Please Mr. Postman, doesn't he? So, the results for the lesser material:

Paul: 28
John: 26
George: 13
Ringo: 9

And now? On with our countdown.

135. She's Leaving Home (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)

I know this song is revered, but I would probably skip over it if not for John's vocal.

134. Mother Nature's Son (The Beatles)

I don't know how this is different from some of the Paul songs that bother me, but it is. I think he's hurt by how insincere he seems. Not that he isn't allowed to play characters. But his all seem fakey, where John put some of himself -- or at least some of his craziness -- in his songs. When he's singing about someone creepy, he's exposing his inner creep. Paul is exposing his inner 4-year-old girl playing dress-up.

Or is that too harsh?

By the way, if you haven't caught it, seek out Colbert's interview of Paul. I've never seen someone seem so feeble-minded and so quick at the same time.

133. Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill (The Beatles)

Likes: When John tells us children to sing. Dislikes: Yoko.

132. Only a Northern Song (Yellow Submarine)

Well, we're in. I genuinely like everything from here on in, and probably as far back as Bungalow Bill. Tha's amazing. Ten discs' worth. I couldn't make 10 albums of material that I liked, much less anybody else.

131. For You Blue (Let It Be)

I always had a soft spot for this and for Old Brown Shoe, which also maybe had something to do with discovering them relatively late. But I dig 'em.

130. Hold Me Tight (With the Beatles)

So much to love here, from Paul's energy in the vocals to the descent in the "chorus," to whatever effect he's going for in the bridge; we don't have to know what it is to laught at it. I'll be candid, a song can be helped some by the album it's on, too. With the Beatles didn't have so many standouts, so if I liked a song on it, I maybe liked it more than you might.

129. Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey (For Sale)

More for the Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey part. The vocals by everyone on that couldn't be better.

128. I Want You (She's So Heavy) (Abbey Road)

You might be thinking I've ranked this a little low. Well, I might be thinking I could have used a little less of it. To be honest, Ringo really saves it from a worse fate.

127. Thank You Girl (Past Masters vol. I)

Harmony. I remember listening to this disc whenever I drove to job interviews in the mid-1990s. Maybe I ranked this song higher because I remember listening to it en route to interviews, but maybe I listened to it en route to interviews because I liked it so much.

126. Any Time at All (A Hard Day's Night)

Another way a song can benefit from the record it's on: I like this album enough that I'm disinclined to skip much. It's a very even disc. If you graphed it, it'd make for an almost straight line.

125. I Call Your Name (Past Masters vol. I)

John's vocal -- not the melody, just his vocal -- saves this from a lower ranking.

124. The Inner Light (Past Masters vol. II)

I like George's vocal here. And I know I said I don't give much extra credit for lyrics, and I don't here, but there's an effect from them, something you get from them subconsciously without even having to process them on the surface. Am I making any sense here?

123. Things We Said Today (A Hard Day's Night)

I like the harmonies, and I like the bridge, Paul's melody in it. Otherwise, not my favorite song from this album.

122. Another Girl (Help!)

The verses and chorus are fun, and possibly even funny. But I really love where it goes in the first half of the bridge.

121. You Really Got a Hold on Me (With the Beatles)

This was once a favorite of mine. I probably would like it again if I listened to it more. I'm pretty sure I was singing George's part in the harmonies; he really was given some fun parts.

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Join us on Monday, when I'm almost certain to ask "Can you believe this isn't in my 100 favorite songs by them?"

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