With a grand new batch of Beatle boxes, discs, videos and video games about to be unleashed onto the market, allow me to pick straight up where I left off last week with this handy, virtual guide to what was, is, and remains forever Tops upon my Fab Play List….
21) I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER
Here our heroes, lead by J. Lennon, toss off one of the greatest deceptively-arcane musical throwaways of the era with one harmonica holder tied behind their backs. Plus George Harrison says it all with the last twelve-strung note of his guitar solo, as usual.
22) I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND
The crowning jewel which, rightfully so, took Beatlemania global …and opened Bob Dylan’s ears especially to a certain misheard phrase in the bridge, just as importantly it turns out.
23) MARTHA MY DEAR
The most beloved song ever written to a sheep dog? Irregardless, it is that most infrequent instance of a McCartney composition which is perfectly, regally understated in both arrangement and execution. Hence its rare, pure, and SIMPLE (got that, Paul?) charm.
24) DAY TRIPPER
The boys gamely take on the twin late-’65 titans of the Stones and Stax …and, wouldn’t you know it, cross the line with flying colours.
25) ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (Spector version, btw!!)
So maybe its words do flow out endlessly, but WHAT a tune! (no doubt inspired by George’s most-melodious “Inner Light” being completed that very same week).
26) NOWHERE MAN
The Beatles meet The Byrds.
27) DEAR PRUDENCE
What happens when you take your guitar, and Donovan, to India with you. And then one of your playmates won’t come outside. Superb drumming as well …by Paul this time though!
28) NO REPLY
Hey! A Beatle samba, with an actually complete lyrical narrative along the way. Before John fell off the afore-mentioned Dylan’s deep-end altogether with “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” however, mind you.
29) THINK FOR YOURSELF
Can you think of any other song, Fab or otherwise, that can employ a word like “opaque” – not to mention a fuzz-toned bass – and get away with it?
30) GETTING BETTER
Paul’s ever-cute cleverness pretty near capsized the Pepper-y proceedings in all too many places, but for these two-minutes-forty-seven he’s kept keenly in check (“…can’t get much worse”).
31) TICKET TO RIDE
The first heavy metal song, as John once claimed? Oh, boy…
32) YOU KNOW MY NAME (LOOK UP THE NUMBER)
Until Apple Corps gets around to compiling all of the band’s great goonish Christmas recordings on one shiny disc, there’s always this inspired chunk of Brian Jones-saxed lunacy readily available on a compilation and/or file-sharing trough near you.
33) AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING
The Beatles beat The Byrds!
34) CRY FOR A SHADOW
George was only… how old when he helped create this delightfully mock-Marvin (as in Hank of the Shadows) Hamburg set-stretcher?!!
35) THINGS WE SAID TODAY
Finally! The first McCartney effort to hold its own against a Johnsong.
36) YES IT IS
Barely-in-tune British doo-wop …and the greatest Beatle backside since its first cousin “This Boy.”
37) HOLD ME TIGHT
Similarly suspect in the vocal pitch dept., but it’s about as close to, yes, heavy metal as these four comparative short-hairs ever got during the once-swinging Sixties.
38) SHE SAID SHE SAID
Metal doesn’t even BEGIN to describe the veritable wall of Epiphones which took less than three minutes to raise even Peter Fonda from the near-dead.
Sure, the movie’s a clinker, but the song is as harrowingly autobiographical as anything on Pet Sounds …AND you can frug to it!
40) YOU CAN’T DO THAT
When all is said and sung, however: GOTTA have cowbell…