#182: Love Me Do

When I wrote about 1969’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” I lamented its lack of lyrical variation (try saying that three times fast), but the truth is, the Beatles had been thrifty with words from the start. “Love Me Do,” the band’s 1962 debut single, contains just 20 unique words. It’s one of those songs that is objectively pretty unexceptional on every level, but Continue reading “#182: Love Me Do”

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#182: Love Me Do

#183: Boys

This track often shows up on “worst Beatles songs” lists, and it’s admittedly a very curious choice for the band to cover. Originally performed by girl group The Shirelles, this ode to the less fair sex was a regular part of the group’s early setlists, allowing them to nail it in the studio in a single take. The decision to only alter certain lyrics results in Continue reading “#183: Boys”

#183: Boys

#205: Chains

The slaughter of Please Please Me covers continues. In order to properly describe “Chains,” the only thing I could really think to do was head to thesaurus.com and decide on my favorite synonym for “pleasant.” I am settling on “congenial.” Also, did you know that “bland” is synonymous with “pleasant”? I mean, I get it but I’ve never really thought of those words as amiable.

So…”Chains.” It’s hard to really get excited about this song. It’s not all that different from the Cookies’ original. It’s just another in the line of Continue reading “#205: Chains”

#205: Chains

#206: Baby It’s You

“Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la” may not be the most profound lyric of all time, but it can make for a heck of a hook. It’s safe to say that “Baby It’s You” does not suffer for lack of being catchy by any stretch, which is hardly a surprise considering it was composed by Burt Bacharach. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to come across a version Continue reading “#206: Baby It’s You”

#206: Baby It’s You

#207: Anna (Go to Him)

It’s gone down as one of the most laughable blunders ever made by a record label: on January 1, 1962, the Beatles auditioned for Decca Records and were turned down, purportedly because “guitar groups are on the way out.” But the truth is, if you listen to those recordings, it’s not the Beatles you know and love. For one thing, Ringo had yet to join, with drum duties handled by inaccurately-last-named Pete Best.

petebest.jpg

Pete Passable-For-The-Time-Being didn’t fit on a marquee.

The 15 songs they recorded that day were selected by manager Brian Epstein and did little to showcase the group members’ personalities, which were just as critical a component of their early success–if not more so–than their musical ability. And that doesn’t even account for Continue reading “#207: Anna (Go to Him)”

#207: Anna (Go to Him)

#212: A Taste of Honey

While I’m definitely a rock fan at heart, you’ll see as the list goes on that I also have an affinity for Paul McCartney in balladeer mode. It’s something he’s excelled at in every stage of his career, but “A Taste of Honey” was not the most auspicious beginning. When you listen to the Beatles’ debut album Please Please Me, there are some immediate, unmissable signals that there’s Continue reading “#212: A Taste of Honey”

#212: A Taste of Honey