For anyone who has been following the Beatles for the past few decades, it should be readily obvious that we've covered that ground before. I'm trying to help history not repeat itself by choosing ten Beatles songs that are plenty great but not on every single list I see.
I didn't choose deliberately "hip" or "lousy" songs. There's no "Revolution #9" for the Sonic Youth clan. And no "Within You Without Me" or whatever its called because I've been avoiding Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band since I realized I didn't care for it when I was 12 years old.
This is an honest list. These are songs I still enjoy. Or have learned to love. Does "Norwegian Word" or "Penny Lane" belong on a list of greats? Most likely. But this blog is all about finding new skin for the old ceremony. And about getting paid! Chuck Berry would be proud.
10) "Hey Bulldog": They stuck this song on Yellow Submarine, guaranteeing that it would take forever for me to hear it, since I wasn't about to pay full price for an album that features "Yellow Submarine," "All You Need Is Love" and a side of "Pepperland" crap that isn't the Beatles. I was already annoyed at the American version of Help! with all that Ken Thorpe music. You know, there are other albums to buy out there!
Lennon's vocal sound twice as large and Ringo's drums completely killer. I don't care what the "authentic" version of anything is. I just like the ones that sound right. I don't want Robert Johnson albums without the surface noise and I love an Elvis Presley import I have with tons of fake echo on the RCA stuff. I'll let the purists get together once a week for their Peter Guralnick Appreciation Society Meeting. Me? I'm heading to AA to meet the real keepers of the flame.
8) "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey": Aside from the fact that the much-maligned Knack got slammed for stuff like "Siamese Twins (The Monkey and Me)," this track is Lennon being plenty surreal and really loud and obnoxious. The "White Album" is completely overrated, since people like the idea of it more than the actual content. Or else, people really enjoy sitting through "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," "Wild Honey Pie," "Rocky Raccoon," "Piggies," "Don't Pass Me By," "Birthday," "Long Long Long," "Honey Pie" and "Revolution #9" and I'm the one who's out of line.
6)"I'm Happy Just to Dance With You": I'm not the world's biggest George Harrison fan. But the songs he sings are more tolerable than Ringo's. This one is simple, unpretentious and better than those Carl Perkins and Larry Williams numbers they usually filled gave over to George and Ringo. (That isn't to say that Carl Perkins didn't play these songs completely great on his own, but the Beatles doing them is a bit like listening to the Stones murder Willie Dixon and Muddy Waters.)
4) "Dig a Pony": I remember buying Let It Be and taking it to my aunt's house for a vacation weekend and then spending most of the time listening to my cousin's copy of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Cosmo's Factory. This song sounded pretty good and a lot better than most of the rest of the record, which is so good I've never bought it on CD. Mostly because I think "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road" would be better served being sung by people I don't like.
2) "Flying": The Beatles didn't do many instrumentals. They were a vocal group. And even here you can hear them singing in the background at one point, as if they were afraid to issue a straight instrumental. Not since "Cry For A Shadow" have they been so naked.
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