Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ranking the Beatles my damn self: Bar-Mitzvah

Today I am a fountain pen:

36. Let It Be (Let It Be)

The song so good, they named the album after it. George's solo on this shaped me as a guitarist. The surreal backing vocals boosted this above You've Got to Hide Your Love Away.

35. I've Just Seen a Face (Help!)

Kind of the precursor to All Together Now, in that it's in the argument for most singable Beatles song. Is it annoying when I say "great harmonies"? Are you like, Yeah, I *know* it has great harmonies, it's the friggin' Beatles?

34. I Don't Want to Spoil the Party (For Sale)

How is this only 34 when I love this song so much? The melody, and where it goes for the third line of the verse ... the awesome harmonies in the bridge ... the way they change up the beat in the bridge ... the intro and outro ... if this were the best song the Beatles had ever done, they might still be my favorite band. You know what? No way this is 34.

34. If I Fell (A Hard Day's Night)

So John is actually singing the harmony in this, right? The high part's the melody? This was the Beatles' first beautiful song, isn't it?

33. Eight Days a Week (For Sale)

I can't rank this song objectively. I've got summer camp dance memory issues; I don't remember who I was dancing with, but I remember the song. And then they put the alternate takes on the Anthology disc, the ones with the different intros they tried, and that couldn't have been more fun to listen to. When I think of their early hits, their breakthrough hits, I think of She Loves You, and I Want to Hold Your Hand, but this is my favorite, hands down.

32. Help! (Help!)

Help! Sorry. So I try not to give too too many context points, but I do admire this song (and rate it accordingly) knowing what a breakthrough it was for John lyrically. I think I read that he was sorry later he made it so catchy, that it obscured what he was saying, but that's the beauty of the Beatles' work. Maybe by now he'd have come around on that stuff.

31. Across the Universe (Let It Be)

Helped by some of the recently released alternate takes, especially the one with the tamboura in it. Took me a while to appreciate this song. Maybe I just needed to grow up. Maybe ... maybe we've all got a little growing up to do.

30. Sun King (Abbey Road)

Think I underrated it. Can't explain how much I love the "Everybody's laughing" part. Have you heard the backwards version on the Love CD? I think that part works even better backwards.

29. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)

The song so good, they ... saw that one coming, didn't you? I became a bigger fan of this track after hearing the Yellow Submarine version, where the guitars are mixed higher up in the chorus.

28. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window (Abbey Road)

See, why did Paul waste time with those other songs when he could write melodies like this? Props to as many Georges as it took to get that guitar sound in the verse.

27. Hey Bulldog (Yellow Submarine)

This is not a luxury; this is a necessity. I can imagine someone thinking this song is just a lark, but it's so joyous (and such a cool riff), the mix is so great, the solo is so great, and the end ... again, I would have overrated a recording of John and Paul pooping in 1969 as long as it sounded like they were having fun doing it.

26. Please Mister Postman (With the Beatles)

It is to my eternal shame that I did not get this into my top 25. I can't look past the fact that the whole song is the same progression, the same four chords over and over again, with no variation. So it's this high for three reasons: the energy, the opening, and maybe the best vocal performance of John's career.

25. I Don't Want to Spoil the Party (For Sale)

There, that looks better, doesn't it?

* * *

Join us tomorrow for this week's long-distance dedication.

No comments: