Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ranking the Beatles my damn self: number nine ... number nine ...

Obvious to you, perhaps, but I just thought of it after writing the last post.

90. Old Brown Shoe (Past Masters vol. II)

A throwaway for many, I'm sure, maybe even for George, but always a minor favorite of mine. Underrated solo, too.

89. Day Tripper (Past Masters vol. II)

This song is more than its riff. The song structure is admittedly a little weak, but the vocal performance is terrific.

88. Lady Madonna (Past Masters vol. II)

We could almost knock off this whole disc here, no? Anyway, I'm trying not to do this, as I think I mentioned, but I probably rated this a little higher than I would have were I taking only the final cut into account. I can't help it; I've heard some of the alternate versions and takes, and some of them, especially the one with the dynamite sax solo, make me look upon this song a little more kindly. There's another one of these coming.

87. The Word (Rubber Soul)

I'm not sure; this is either the first song where I thought How can this be only No. 87?!? or the first song I reevaluated strongly due to this exercise and came to a radically different conclusion. Which is to say, I always enjoy this song a lot, but I had to admit it wasn't as good as a lot of other songs.

86. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)

You bounder! You cheat! What can I say? As with some other songs, I concede its greatness (and rarely skip it) but don't love it. I also might have issues with either the mixing or the choices they made for some of the guitar/organ sounds. Points for what John does with his voice in the bridge.

85. Yellow Submarine (Revolver)

Not much point talking about this song. I'll say only that it's this high thanks to the great chorus harmonies. Was listening to it this weekend, and there were times I thought Ringo and the others were switching back and forth as to who was singing the melody and who the harmonies.

84. Yes It Is (Past Masters vol. I)

If it was a surprise to rank The Word so low, this one actually hurts. I love this song. The bridge is so awesome in so many ways. And I like the guide vocal version on the Anthology CD single, where John goes silly.

83. Penny Lane (Magical Mystery Tour)

Flawless execution, and a great song, and I do like it; I just never reach for it. Very nice vocal that's fun to sing, though.

82. Money (With the Beatles)

John's vocal is so charismatic and propulsive that it actually plays tricks on my mind; when I play this, I expect it to be more raw and hardcore instrumentally, because that's how I remember it. Good harmonies too.

81. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles)

Lady Madonna's half-sister. There's an alternate take with a really full-bodied acoustic guitar featuring prominently, and either that take or another has more sax in it than the album cut, and I can't really discount that no matter how I try.

80. Two of Us (Let It Be)

Why? I don't know. And I don't care if it's really about Yoko or Linda or whoever it's supposed to be out. In my mind, this song represents something, and no matter how simple, it's well done.

79. She Loves You (Past Masters vol. I)

I am certainly giving this one greatness/breakthrough points; I listen to the songs we've already covered today far more frequently. But I listened to it a lot once -- too much, I guess -- and haven't soured on it, just tired of it.

78. It's All Too Much (Yellow Submarine)

It is too much, or at least a little too long, and I'm not sure how coherent it is, but it's always held a soft spot in my heart -- the harmonies, the weird drum sound, the psychedelic electric guitar sound, the harmony, the horns ... I read on a bootleg site yesterday that there's actually an eight-minute version.

77. Martha My Dear (The Beatles)

I like this a lot. He meant this. I don't know what he meant for sure, but he definitely meant it more than some of the more widely known stuff. Maybe the similarly styled songs of his that I don't like were just him going to the well one time too many.

76. Rocky Raccoon (The Beatles)

Another song that was fun when you first heard it and you never forgot it. This song is unique in some ways.

* * *

So there; we've crossed into the material that I love. Some of my favorites coming up tomorrow, although I imagine I'll be writing that every day from here on in.

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