All entries for Saturday 16 April 2005

April 16, 2005

The Beatles

The Beatles are the best band ever. Okay so that's not a great revelation, but it's easy to forget. Seeing as I'm going to see them play in December (okay, okay, you got me. I'm going to see the Bootleg Beatles play, but I'm not gonna get much closer than that, well without a tardis anyway) I was going to make a "Top-ten", but there are too many great tracks to choose from – it's impossible! So here is a list of Beatles songs that I really like.

Strawberry Fields
Famously it never got to number 1 because it was beaten by that crooner bloke. No not Tom Jones, the other guy. Elephant Hummerblink or summat. Seeing as it's on Sergeant Pepper you'd be forgiven for thinking it's about drugs, but Strawberry Fields is a real place; a Salvation Army home where John Lennon used to like to go as a kid.

It's so catchy, and can you name another song title that uses punctuation and actually deserves it? Nope? Didn't think so. A curious fact about the song is that the album version had different lyrics from the single version.

The opening riffs mega. Clearly Noel Gallagher thinks so as he ripped it off for the introduction to Fade Away (the b-side to cigarettes and alcohol version, not the acoustic help version). The song was a response to the Vietnam war.

I Want to Hold Your Hand
This is what love songs should sound like. None of that "Take off your clothes, yo, bitch. F**, f**, f***. Owww! Yeah…" nonsense thank you very much. See, the sixties were a more innocent time… um, maybe not. Regardless it's a song I love to listen to when I have a crush on someone. How much simpler can you put it? "I want to hold your hand", six little words that say it all.

Helter Skelter
Some say Paul McCartney invented Punk Rock when he wrote this song. Somehow you can't really imagine Sir Paul with a mohican can you? It's still a great song though and probably the best Beatles song for shouting (rather than melodically singing) along to.

Tomorrow Never Knows
This is the last track on Revolver, on of the Beatles' less prominent albums, if indeed any of them aren't. According to the man himself this was John Lennon's "first psychedelic song." He wasn't kidding either, it's bloomin' weird.

Well it wouldn't be right to leave George Harrsion out. This surely is his most famous contribution to the Beatles, well apart from the wicked guitar playing lark. Also it was the only single the Beatles released written by George. It has been covered more than the astonishing figure of 150 times. The most notable being Frank Sinatra's effort.

You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
It's rumoured that John Lennon wrote the song for the Beatles gay manager (as in manager who was gay, not manager of gays silly) Brian Epstein. But it's a great song for anyone who's ever had to hide feeling for anyone, and let's face it who hasn't?

Octopus's Garden
This one of only two songs Ringo Starr wrote for the Beatles (the other being Don't Pass Me By. No me neither). Though he did need a little help from his friends (universal groans), with George Harrison reworking the chord sequence. It's not the classiest Beatles song, but it was one of my favourites when I was knee-high to an oft-used-in-cliches insect – along of course with Yellow Submarine, which Ringo also sang – because the imagery is so child like (or stoned, one of the two). Well it would be, wouldn't it Thomas?

Let it Be
Ah, it had to be here somewhere. The last track from the last album, to which it gave its name. Imagine the emotion of popping your Let It Be LP onto your record player and listening as the needle scratched it's way through this song and then it's all quiet - no more Beatles. However the song wasn't meant like that. It was supposed to be about the Beatles getting back to what they did best - simple live music - after the heavily studio produced White Album. As in "let it be" and don't touch that f***ing phaser.

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