Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ranking the Beatles my damn self: IV

Eleven more albums' worth of material to go. You can expect frequent observations like "10 albums of material better than While My Guitar Gently Weeps!" out of me the rest of the way.

165. Yer Blues (The Beatles)

I am suspect of people who defend this song too vigorously. Although maybe they're just big Lennon fans; this was kind of the precursor to his early solo work, no?

164. Your Mother Should Know (Magical Mystery Tour)

Sometimes I eye this song rather suspiciously, like another McCartney track I detest on this album, but it seems harmless enough.

163. Wait (Rubber Soul)

Not bad for end-of-the-record filler. Good chorus, and I admire that they tried to do something different with the verse, but it didn't work for me.

162. Birthday (The Beatles)

Too dumb.

161. I Need You (Help!)

I usually won't skip this song. Harmonies save it.

160. Mr. Moonlight (For Sale)

I have a soft spot for any song where John is wailing like he is on this song. It's not the greatest-constructed song, but his voice could be a powerful weapon on the first few albums. If you think I've overrated this one, wait 'til you see where I put Please Mr. Postman.

159. Julia (The Beatles)

Ooh! Sacrilege! Just a little too long. Also, for a Beatle to play a song himself -- just his voice and accompanying himself on one instrument, with no overdubs -- well, the material's got to be pretty strong. The main 'riff' of this song is great, but I've been there and done that four seconds into the song. Everywhere else the song goes, I don't feel much urge to follow it.

158. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles)

Ooh! Sacrilege! I know it's good; I'm not arguing that it's not good. I mean, Mr. Kite, I could argue that it's not good. Not the case here. I just don't seem to want to listen to it much. Dreary. By the way, right about here is the cutoff; anything higher than this, I'll pretty much never skip when listening to the album it's on.

157. I Should Have Known Better (A Hard Day's Night)

This seems kind of like a bizarro I Want to Hold Your Hand; it has the same structure, the same number of twists and turns, but what works in I Want to Hold Your Hand doesn't here. Obviously, at this point, and for a little while now, my criticisms have been expressed to justify low placement, not to say the song isn't any good.

156. From Me to You (Past Masters vol. I)

A stronger song, I think, than Please Please Me, or even Love Me Do. I like it largely because of the bridge. I think if I had been alive and listening to music at the time, it would have seemed like more of the same formula, but in retrospect, it rises in stature.

155. Tell Me What You See (Help!)

Great harmonies, but this song really avoided a worse fate because of the humming at the end. Sometimes four seconds like that can make a song.

I don't listen to this one so much because the bottom of this album is a little skip-around-worthy. But holy crap, what about side 1? I include Ticket to Ride, which I'm sure kicked off side 2 of the LP, but with the magic of CD and mp3, that's seven straight songs without any real temptation to skip. If you can stomach Act Naturally, you can just about make it through the whole album if you want, but those first seven ... I'll have to keep an eye out whether any other album has a stretch that impressive.

154. Anna (Go to Him) (Please Please Me)

Another one from the era where you would listen to John sing the proverbial phone book if they put it on record. Fun to sing.

153. Octopus's Garden (Abbey Road)

Might've overrated this. Doesn't do much for me. But that transition between the verse and chorus is a nice touch -- well arranged.

152. Long, Long, Long (The Beatles)

I wasn't even sure how to rank this. I think I like it, but I never listen to it. Does that make any sense?

151. Eleanor Rigby (Revolver)

Ooh! Sacrilege! I'll skip this every time, although I certainly listened to it enough when I was younger. I'm not saying that this is a great song, and that I'm just burned out on it. I did like it a lot, and I did listen to it plenty, but I think this song's overrated. Good production, but not what I'm looking for in a Beatle song. I'm pretty sure I'm harder on Paul's missteps than John's. Also, looks like I lied about never skipping anything ranked higher than While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Let's say on the greatness scale, this is probably 151, but on the me-likey scale, it'd be lower.

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Join us again tomorrow, when we knock off half of Let It Be and half of Paul's stuff from Abbey Road.

1 comment:

Tonto said...

I like 'Birthday.' It automatically plays in my head whenever I hear a grown adult say "birfday."

I also hear Ryan Adams' 'Nuclear' every time I hear Dubya or Palin say "nuke-a-ler."