What I Think of the Beatles Part 1


Nov 13 2008, 1h44

I know it's been done before, but the thing is, I've never done it before. So I'm going to write a little something about The Beatles.

I'm not sure when exactly my first Beatles moment was. I don't even remember the first song I heard by them and cared. What I do know is that it wasn't all that long ago, and that the first album I listened to properly was Abbey Road. Gradually I found the rest, and now I'm just missing all of what's before Help! except I Want to Hold Your Hand and Please Please Me.

This is because I got Please Please Me and wasn't all that impressed, really. I mean, I Saw Her Standing There is really good, and Twist and Shout is strangely enthralling (will his vocal chords snap on this chorus? this one? this one?), but the rest I could take or leave. Then, skipping over three albums, the next one I had was Help!, and the situation was similar. Yesterday yes, You've Got to Hide Your Love Away yes (anthology version is better I think though), Help! yes yes yes, but the rest? Meh. So unless anyone tells me otherwise, I'll assume what comes in the middle is much the same, and leave it for a rainy day.

Which just gives me more time for the awesome.

Rubber Soul has easily overtaken Abbey Road as my favourite Beatles album. Unfortunately, I delayed getting it for a long time because I'd got Revolver on the basis of its critical and popular adulation and had been underwhelmed.

Of course, there are strong tracks. I'm Only Sleeping is good, Taxman I liked at first but got a bit sick of. Good Day Sunshine is alright when I'm in the mood. Similarly And Your Bird Can Sing. The rest I have to be in the right mood not to just skip. I have never really understood the lavish praise heaped on Eleanor Rigby. The only song I really love and would miss if I didn't have it is For No One.

And I have tried. When at first it didn't succeed, I put it away for a while and gave it a fresh start later, and continued to do so for quite some time. Unfortunately, it seems the more I listen to this album looking for its secret, the less I enjoy it and the more disappointed I get. More often than not I end up listening to Rubber Soul instead.

This album is perfect until it gets to The Word and Michelle (and What Goes On? Jury's out) and is perfect after them.

Drive My Car. Sublimely catchy funpop with a neat story, cowbell and beeping.
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown). Mellow, Dylan-lite goodness with a sweet guitar-tone. Only bad point is sometimes the lyrics try too hard and done really come off. The rhymes don't convince me. ("Sit anywhere --> Wasn't a chair?" does that part sound wrong to anyone else?)
You Won't See Me. Ooooooh, la-la-la! Not really memorable, but nice listening. I like the drums. And the out-of-step parts in "If I knew what I was missing"
Nowhere Man. Lyrics remind me of the Kinks. Before I had worked out their voices I assumed this was George. And, what a change! Aaaaaaah, la la la! this time. Lovely.
Think for Yourself. George always sounded the most Liverpudlian when singing. Yesss, I love using that word. "I won't be tharr with you" *grin* Really good lyrically
The Word. Repetitive annoying cheesy love-worship
Michelle. Just not interesting. Or particularly catchy.
What Goes On. Awww, Ringo. I like the backing vocals better than your lead. Sorry. To make up for this I will pay more attention to your drumming in future.
Girl. There is too much awesome in this song for me to write it all down. Flawless
I'm Looking Through You. "YOU'RE NOT THE SAME!" *BLOOP BLOOP bloobablooba BLOOP BLOOP bloobablooba*. Sweet melody, sweet harmony, just generally sweeeeeeet.
In My Life. Nice.
Wait. versey versey versey versey CH...OR...US. This song is okay.
If I Needed Someone - somewhat off-putting how similar The Hollies' is. And I heard theirs first. :S I really like the lyrics to this, though, it's nice.
Run for Your Life - Up with plenty of others as my favourite. Jaunty and slick and cruël ... little girl

Oh yeah, and I haven't properly listened Magical Mystery Tour yet. Obviously, I Am the Walrus and The Fool on the Hill are Top Tracks, and not just because I don't remember any of the others except Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever, which I'm lukewarm on. ... Look, a duckie! *runs*

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Another disappointment for me. Getting Better was stuck in my head for a week, With a Little Help from My Friends is terrific, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! is terrific, and that's it.

Tune in some other time for words about The Beatles and Abbey Road! Guaranteed to exist, at least partially!


  • richardrw

    A interesting review Derek; I enjoyed reading it. Whilst I used to play all the old Beatle albums, cover to cover, time after time when they first came out, the world has become so saturated with their music that like so many people, I've become a little fatigued with it. However there is no doubt that it was brilliant music, truly original and with the facility to speak out to a worldwide audience. I can and do still listen to some of their stuff - A Hard Days Night and Abbey Road particularly. Comparing those two albums makes you realise how much their music evolved over an amazing five year period between 1964 and 1969. I can't think of any other band ever who stetched their stylistic boundaries quite so much. By the way, I'd forgotten how good For No One is! Regards, Richard.

    Nov 15 2008, 9h02
  • CU2005

    Consider Past Masters. It's a two volume compilation of their singles. Volume 2 is the better of the two.

    Dez 5 2008, 14h21
  • Vanilla-villa

    Epic! =)

    Jun 26 2009, 21h42
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