#122: Roll Over Beethoven

Now look, far be it from me to criticize anyone (stop laughing), and the Beatles¬†probably¬†don’t need my 55-year Monday morning quarterbacking, but I’m gonna call it like I see it. They screwed up here. Continue reading “#122: Roll Over Beethoven”

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#122: Roll Over Beethoven

#123: PS I Love You

This is such an absolutely corny, sappy song but I love it. It’s the sort of music that was hugely popular before the Beatles hit it big, so maybe it felt like a safe selection as the b-side for their first single. Either way, it’s far better than the a-side (“Love Me Do”) and is too charming to ignore. Inconsequential in the long run, maybe, but look, not every Beatles song was gonna change the world.

This is another one of those songs that exceeds the sum of its parts, with a checklist of endearing moments in its pros column. Its brisk opening. The simple percussion, which was actually provided by a session musician (having been deemed inadequate at the band’s EMI audition, Ringo was relegated to shaking a pair of maracas). The neat interjections when the “As I write this letter…” section is repeated from John (“ohhh!”), Paul (“you know I want you to”), and George (“yeah”)–incidentally, it wasn’t until I began doing this write-up that I realized Continue reading “#123: PS I Love You”

#123: PS I Love You

#125: Don’t Let Me Down

As I browsed my completely and unarguably definitive ranking of Beatles songs, I have to say I did a double-take when I saw “Don’t Let Me Down” positioned at #125. Like, what’s there not to love? John and Paul give it their all vocally, with some great late-period harmonies; Ringo is practically attacking the drums; and George’s sultry guitar intro sets the stage perfectly for this carnal bluesy ballad. Top that all off with the smooth keyboard stylings of Billy Preston, and it seems like a ridiculously low placement.

Alas, when I listened back I realized the part that throws it off for me. It’s the Continue reading “#125: Don’t Let Me Down”

#125: Don’t Let Me Down

#126: Long Tall Sally

The year is 1956, and your pre-teen child won’t shut up about this newfangled rock ‘n’ roll fad. “Bah, music hasn’t been any good since Glenn Miller mysteriously disappeared 12 years ago,” you tell him as you wipe the ketchup off your chin from an equally newfangled McDonald’s hamburger. Nonetheless, in a desperate attempt to be seen as the ‘cool parent,’ you decide to treat your child to some of this noisy garbage. You inspect the record store shelves and find Continue reading “#126: Long Tall Sally”

#126: Long Tall Sally

#127: Taxman

Money can’t buy me love, and fun is the one thing that money can’t buy, but still, nobody wants to give away 95% of their income to the government. But that was the situation for the Beatles in the mid-1960s thanks to Britain’s progressive tax laws, and George Harrison was none too pleased. “You are so happy that you’ve finally started earning money, and then you find out about tax,” he said. One would hope that he was familiar with the concept of taxation before the age of 23, but the point stands.

I can only imagine what listeners must have thought when Continue reading “#127: Taxman”

#127: Taxman