Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Least Favorite Beatles Songs

I said I'd come back to this topic, so I am. Besides, I've been stuck in conference-call hell all day, and I have no brain power for anything remotely cerebral. Beatles scholarship comes from the heart and gut, conveniently bypassing the brain. :)

So, Entertainment Weekly came up with its list of 50 best and five worst Beatles songs. I've already editorialized on their best-of list. I agreed with some of their choices, disagreed with others. But I don't agree with any of their worst-of songs. They were:

1. All You Need Is Love
2. Wild Honey Pie
3. Dig It
4. Don't Pass Me By
5. Flying

OK, so "Wild Honey Pie" and "Dig It" don't count. They're not even songs - they're just fragments. "Flying" is a completely inoffensive instrumental - it's not a work of genius, but at least it's pleasant to listen to. It used to be background music on my answering machine (remember answering machines?). "Don't Pass Me By" is a wonderful tune that Ringo both wrote and sang. It's corny and hokey, but by that standard, why is "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" or "Honey Pie" not on the list? And in which crack-smoking universe is "All You Need Is Love" even a bad song, let alone one of the Beatles' worst songs? Feh.

My ground rules are simple: Only real, complete songs count. That's right, "Revolution 9" doesn't make the list, because although it's truly painful to listen to, it's an "aural collage." And those little hacked-up bits of songs on Let It Be ("Dig It," "Maggie Mae") don't qualify, either. Oh, and finally, these are all songs I personally don't like very much. On this list, my opinion trumps all. 'Cause it's my blog. Dissenting opinions are welcome, but they probably won't change my mind.

Here are the songs, in no order except the order I thought of them, and the albums they're on:

1. "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You." Mediocre lyrics, lackluster vocals by George. At least it's short, clocking in at just under two minutes. (A Hard Day's Night)
2. "Blue Jay Way." Plodding psychedelia, with gimmicky production. And it's just boring to listen to. (Magical Mystery Tour)
3. "Drive My Car." A lot of people love this song, but I find it simple, plodding, and discordant. Not horrible, just far down the list in terms of Beatle quality. (Rubber Soul)
4. "Honey Pie." A derivative, throwaway novelty song that should have been farmed out to some up-and-coming band looking for a quick Top Ten song before falling into obscurity. (The White Album)
5. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer." George Harrison said it best: "God, 'Maxwell's Silver Hammmer' was so fruity.'" Amen, George. (Abbey Road)

For the record: I love "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)."

1 comment:

  1. I really like Maxwell's Silver Hammer - but then, my husband is quick to point out that I like Novelty Songs. I totally disagree with All You Need Is Love.

    I'm also a really huge fan of Octopuses Garden. Novelty song.

    Funny coincidence, we're actually listening to the White Album right now.


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