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Band On The Run
6 May 2010
11.04pm
MrBig
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I just listened to the song "Band on the Run" today for the first time, and I can safely say that that song is possibly the worst piece of garbage I have ever heard. Every other song on the album is stellar, but that song sucks. In terms of ass-suckage, this surpasses Strawberry Fields Forever. Am I the only one who thinks this, or is there someone else who share's my disgust?

"The best band? The Beatles. The most overrated band? The Beatles."
7 May 2010
1.29am
Celebrated_Mr_K
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I guess you're entitled to your opinion.  I don't think "Band on the Run" is great, but I think it's pretty good.

Where I take issue with you is on "Strawberry Fields Forever."  It's one of the dozen or so greatest songs ever recorded by anyone, anywhere.

 

7 May 2010
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McLerristarr
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MrBig said:

I just listened to the song "Band on the Run" today for the first time, and I can safely say that that song is possibly the worst piece of garbage I have ever heard. Every other song on the album is stellar, but that song sucks. In terms of ass-suckage, this surpasses Strawberry Fields Forever. Am I the only one who thinks this, or is there someone else who share's my disgust?


 

I think you couldn't be more wrong! For one Strawberry Fields Forever is one of the greatest songs of all time, and two, I love Band on the Run! It's a bit long and yes, it isn't the best song on the album, but it's still good fun.

7 May 2010
2.12am
MrBig
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Well, I'll answer both of you: First of all, Strawberry Fields Forever is garbage. Does not make any sense at all. Think about it, "No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be high or low" does not make any sense. That is what killed it for me. Horrible writing. However, Ringo's drumming is possibly the best of the beatles.

 

    Secondly, Band on The Run is way too long, and possibly the stupidest subject for a song. Ever. Seriously "Band on the Run"? I think he was hinting that he was part of the only band that actually had to run away from people. Paul was an asshole during those years. Also, it's boring. The only mildly tolerable part is the first note. The rest is zzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZzzzzz. Paul needed to step it up. But he did, however. I loved Maybe I'm Amazed (Don't know if that was before or after).

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7 May 2010
2.19am
McLerristarr
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MrBig said:

Well, I'll answer both of you: First of all, Strawberry Fields Forever is garbage. Does not make any sense at all. Think about it, "No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be high or low" does not make any sense. That is what killed it for me. Horrible writing. However, Ringo's drumming is possibly the best of the beatles.

 

    Secondly, Band on The Run is way too long, and possibly the stupidest subject for a song. Ever. Seriously "Band on the Run"? I think he was hinting that he was part of the only band that actually had to run away from people. Paul was an asshole during those years. Also, it's boring. The only mildly tolerable part is the first note. The rest is zzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZzzzzz. Paul needed to step it up. But he did, however. I loved Maybe I'm Amazed (Don't know if that was before or after).


 

Maybe I'm Amazed was on his debut solo album I beleive.

The lyrics of Strawberry Fields Forever aren't meant to make literal sense, it's about confusion and no one getting him. Strawberry Fields Forever is pure John poetry, the best he wrote. Why does a song having strange lyrics make it a bad song? I Am The Walrus has lyrics which make no sense whatsoever! The lyrics aside, Strawberry Field Forever is an amazing piece of music, even more amazing at the time it was released.

7 May 2010
2.24am
MrBig
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I Am The Walrus is amazing because of the instrumentation. It had a lot of distinctive lines in it ("I am the eggman", "Yellow Matter Custard, dripping from a dead dogs eye", "Sitting on a cornflake"). But, SSF wasn't so distinctive, and every time that and It's All Too Much plays I quiver in fear. Also, I know it's not to make sense, but it doesn't make sense not making sense, if you know what I mean. John's trying to make poetry, but he tried way too hard and ended up with a monster instead of a masterpiece.

 

What's ironic about this whole thing is that John is the only one who agree's with me a-hard-days-night-john-6

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7 May 2010
2.33am
McLerristarr
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Straberry Fields Forever was very musically distinctive. Nothing had ever been done like it before! I've never read a quote by John that says he didn't like the song. George Martin has said the song didn't sound like how John had imagined and John was disappointed, but that has nothing to do with the lyrics. John was also disappointed with Tomorrow Never Knows but that's another absolute masterpiece.

I guess the first line of Joe's article is wrong then:

"One of The Beatles' undisputed masterpieces, Strawberry Fields Forever was written by John Lennon and first released on a single along with Penny Lane."

7 May 2010
3.16am
mithveaen
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Mhh this thread is interesting, so I decided to check Band on the Run. After I checked it I thought… Man, that was the name of the song? Here it goes again my musical memories, I do remember that song.

I think it's.. well.. ok.Actually I think Paul's albums are ok… but I don't have any… 

 

And about Strawberry Fields.. well it's one of my favorite Beatles song but not because it's a Beatle holy cow.I like how the intro leads to the song is great, I always thought of a place to go and dream. Of course I don't know much about music and I'm not a Beatle expert., but I always feel like that with the song.

 

About the nonsense of the lyrics, I have never thought much of that because the "Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. It's getting hard to be someone but it all works out, it doesn't matter much to me" makes the song for me. I've known many people (especially teens) that make that line their motto for living.

 

Mhh now I think about it.. I guess my students are right .. they're always like "Teacher, which kind of drug did the Beatles smoke when they wrote this??" and I'm like "What?? This is Strawberry *freaking* Fields Forever..  get on your knees and bow to the power of the Beatles!!!!"

 

It's interesting to read those different opinions…

 

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
7 May 2010
12.34pm
Joe
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When I went to George Martin's talk last week, we were allowed to submit questions to be selected randomly. One of mine was read out: I asked whether there were any Beatles songs he wished had been recorded/produced differently. George's response was simple: "God forbid!"

He then spoke about how John Lennon had once told him he hated most of The Beatles' recordings, and wished they'd been done differently. "Even Strawberry Fields?" asked George. "Especially Strawberry Fields" was Lennon's response.

Needless to say, I think it's a masterpiece. I couldn't agree that it's garbage because the lyrics don't make sense – the words are an impressionist painting in song; few would argue that Monet would have been better if only he'd been a bit more accurate in his depictions.

I'm reluctant to deconstruct the words, but "No one I think is in my tree; I mean it must be high or low" referred to his feeling that he might be a genius (high) or lunatic/idiot (low), but didn't connect with ordinary people. "I think I know I mean a yes but it's all wrong" – well, you can put your own interpretation on that. The fact is he was experimenting with songwriting, far away from the straightforward statements of his earlier work, and was trying to bring his self-doubt and inarticulation into his lyrics.

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7 May 2010
3.22pm
skye
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Don't waste your money on John's books, you'd just drive yourself crazy. Personally, I like his poetry. Paul describes it as surreal, and I think that's a good way to approach it. It's like trying to figure out the dream you had a night before.

 

As for Band on the Run, my taste is all in my mouth, because I like it too. It's just a fun song, and at 5:12 it's hardly as gruelingly long as you make it out to be. But suppose even two seconds of ass suckage is two too many.

 

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7 May 2010
3.38pm
Zig
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MrBig said:

First of all, Strawberry Fields Forever is garbage.


 If loving Strawberry Fields Forever is wrong, I don't want to be right. That said, this is not the first time I've heard of someone disliking this song.

Different strokes and all that…

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7 May 2010
3.39pm
Marcelo
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OK, I can't judge a song just by the lyrics. In fact, I consider good lyrics a plus to a good song, beacase I consider music first. So, I think that "Come Together" or "Strawberry Fields Forever" are, simply said, masterpieces.

 

I like to play SFF, and its intro (the mellotron riff) sounds good ??on piano.

I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
7 May 2010
5.58pm
GniknuS
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Jeez someone's a little testy…I personally love Band on The Run, it's just a fun song, I like Paul's solo stuff that just sounds like he threw a few songs together because you never really know where they're going. Another example that you would probably hate but I really like is Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, but I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

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7 May 2010
6.03pm
mithveaen
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Marcelo said:

OK, I can't judge a song just by the lyrics. In fact, I consider good lyrics a plus to a good song, beacase I consider music first. So, I think that "Come Together" or "Strawberry Fields Forever" are, simply said, masterpieces.

 

I like to play SFF, and its intro (the mellotron riff) sounds good ??on piano.


 

I agree with you Marcelo. Sometimes lyrics don't make a song a masterpiece. I'm a U2 fan, and I remember discussing with another die hard U2 fan about the song Miracle Drug. He said he couldn't understand why I loved that song that much because some of the lyrics are horrible and I told him "Edge's guitar is amazing and Bono sings it with a lot of passion, how come you don't like it?"

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
7 May 2010
9.15pm
Joe
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GnikNus said:

Jeez someone's a little testy…I personally love Band on The Run, it's just a fun song, I like Paul's solo stuff that just sounds like he threw a few songs together because you never really know where they're going. Another example that you would probably hate but I really like is Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, but I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


 

Now there's a song I really don't like. Awful, kitsch, twee, McCartney at his worst. Well, the second part is; the first bit I don't mind.

Band On The Run is great though. I went through a songwriting phase when I was younger when I didn't bother finishing verse-chorus-verse songs, I just combined bits of half-finished pieces and made them work as mini-medleys. That was entirely due to hearing BOTR and the Abbey Road medley. It's quite liberating to do.

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7 May 2010
10.48pm
Celebrated_Mr_K
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I'm scratching my head at why some of you think "Strawberry Fields Forever" is a mess of throwaway lyrics.  It's lyrically brilliant.

 

Let me take you down

'Cos I'm going to

Strawberry Fields

 

The first line is ambiguous…"take you down" could mean something sinister or calming.   Great songwriting.

Then he says he's going to Strawberry Fields.  That is of course an actual place of peace and hope and, most importantly, refuge from John's childhood. 

 

Nothing is real

And nothing to get hung about

Here John is saying it (Strawberry Fields) is not real…in other words, magical.  Nothing to get hung about…here is ambiguity again.  In the 60s parlance, getting "hung up" is about being caught up in petty concerns and fears.  But the line has a double meaning…getting "hung" is a brutal means of execution.

Strawberry Fields Forever

Hoping the magical place will always be there to escape to.

No one I think is in my tree

John admitted that this was a bit of his ego coming out.  He had always thought he could only be one of two things: either insane or a genius.  The insane side was frightening, so he told himself he was a genius…and that others didn't seem to understand him…they weren't in his "tree."

I mean it must be high or low

Insecurity creeping in…is he indeed a genius or actually insane?

That is I can't you know tune in but it's all wrong

Insecurity giving way to confusion and paralysis…he's baring his soul here, people.  "Tune in" has multiple meanings…tune in musically, to communications, or as Timothy Leary put it ,"tune in, turn on, and drop out."  But John says maybe that's all wrong.

Living is easy wih eyes closed

Misunderstanding all you see

For me, these lines are multi-layered, like the finest poetry, and confirm his genius.  He's speaking simultaneously about how easy it would be to shut out the harsh reality of the world, his own insecurity, and the colossal stupidity of society at large.

 

 

7 May 2010
10.58pm
MrBig
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All I'm trying to say is that this song is the epitome of bad songwriting, and could have been a lot better. John should have asked for help from Paul or George.

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8 May 2010
12.35am
Marcelo
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MrBig said:

All I'm trying to say is that this song is the epitome of bad songwriting, and could have been a lot better. John should have asked for help from Paul or George.


 

I can't understand you. Really. It's your opinion, and I respect that, but can't be more on disagreement.

I'd like to say "thank you" on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition. John Lennon
8 May 2010
12.49am
MrBig
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Well, since everyone hates my opinion on John, I might as well extend it. A Day In The Life should have been at least 8 minutes with all 4 beatles singing a different verse.

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8 May 2010
12.56am
skye
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MrBig said:

Well, since everyone hates my opinion on John, I might as well extend it. A Day In The Life should have been at least 8 minutes with all 4 beatles singing a different verse.


 

Actually, that is an interesting thought, but this is getting off topic. What songs on BotR do you like/dislike?

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