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Ranking the medley songs from Abbey Road (+ "Her Majesty")
22 June 2012
6.57pm
The Beatles bassist
Norway
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I just wanted to make a topic about ranking songs, in this case the songs from the Abbey Road Medley, and if you want "Her Majesty" as well. Here's the playlist in actual order:

You Never Give Me Your Money -> Sun King -> Mean Mr. Mustard -> Polythene Pam -> She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Golden Slumbers -> Carry That Weight -> The End ———————————————--> Her Majesty .

 

and here's my list (there are 9 songs totally):

9) Her Majesty

8) Mean Mr. Mustard

7) The End

6) Carry That Weight

5) You Never Give Me Your Money

4) Sun King

3) She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

2) Polythene Pam

1) Golden Slumbers

"Real music is made by real people playing real instruments using own creativity and skills."
22 June 2012
7.26pm
fabfouremily
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1 – Sun King> Love the gibberish and as I speak Spanish and French, I understand a bit of it. Typical of John to get 'Chicka Ferdy' somewhere in there.

2 – Polythene Pam> why? you may ask. Just because of this:oh you should see Polythene Pam, she's so good-looking but she looks like a man

3 – She Came In Through The Bathroom Window> Written after a slightly strange encounter, result:slightly strange song. Strange is good though.

4 – The End> Lovely.

5 – Golden Slumbers> Also lovely.

6 – Carry That Weight

7 – You Never Give Me Your Money

8 – Mean Mr. Mustard> I feel bad for putting it so far down the list but I prefere all the previous ones, sorry.

9 – Her Majesty>Always try and sing-a-long to this one. And never quite manage to.

 

I've just realised that it's the wrong way round, I should have started with the one that I least like. Oh dear, sorry but I'm not changing it now. I've already given myself a headache by trying to work out which one was my least-favourite. My apologies Her Majesty.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

22 June 2012
9.44pm
kedame
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"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
22 June 2012
9.58pm
unknown
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All living things must abide by the laws of the shape they inhabit
23 June 2012
7.56pm
GeorgeTSimpson
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9. Sun King (as an individual song it's a bit boring I think but in the medley it's good I like the change from You Never Give Me Your Money to sun king and from sun king to mean mr. mustard so in the medley it's much better than Her Majesty)
8. Her Majesty (they shouldn't have recorded it)
7. Polythene Pam (good songs but I prefer other songs)
6. Mean Mr. Mustard (the same as Polythene Pam)
5. Carry That Weight (I like the little solo after the first chorus very much)
4. The End (very nice with it's solo and the piano part)
3. You Never Give Me Your Money (awesome song with it's many parts)
2. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (i think the best rock song next to get back)
1. Golden Slumber (the finest ballad of all time)

Once there was a way to get back homewards. Once there was a way to get back home; sleep pretty darling do not cry. And I will sing a lullaby
25 June 2012
12.01am
kelicopter
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25 June 2012
12.08am
I Me Mine
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I don't consider Her Majesty part of the medley so I won't include it my ranking:

8) Sun King (nice riff but low-tempo and seems TOO long)

7) Mean Mr Mustard

6) Carry That Weight

5) Polythene Pam (although I love the backing vocals)

4) You Never Give Me Your Money

3) She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (especially the chorous)

2) The End (nice rock song but EPIC ending)

1) Golden Slumbers (Paul's vocals)

Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble.
23 July 2012
7.16pm
FlyOn13
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“I was special. I always have been. Why didn't anyone notice me?" -John Lennon
24 July 2012
4.34am
unknown
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Nice list, FlyOn13, ours are basically the same. We just have Carry That Weight and Sun King switched.a-hard-days-night-ringo-15

All living things must abide by the laws of the shape they inhabit
24 July 2012
11.32am
FlyOn13
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Oops! Didn't notice! You had a pretty nice list too! a-hard-days-night-george-10

“I was special. I always have been. Why didn't anyone notice me?" -John Lennon
24 July 2012
5.18pm
Dipsy
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09) Her Majesty: Alright, I'll just come out and say it--I don't feel this song is needed on the album; I feel it's just distracting. I think The Beatles would have really had something if they had ended the album with "The End": it just feels like…well…the end of the album, and I think throwing in what I consider to be a filler song after such a beautiful finale takes away from the stupefied numbness you experience after the medley. And if this song is so great, why do so many listeners always forget it's there?

08) Carry That Weight: Although an excellent intro into "The End" and a summation of what their lives would be like after The Beatles, I feel it's too much of a sequel to "You Never Give Me Your Money" rather than a strong song of itself.

07) Sun King: I believe this to be John's worst contribution to the album. Paul contributed some beautiful backing harmonies and the music itself takes on a very dream-like quality…but the song as a whole is enough to put me to sleep in comparison with almost every other song in the medley!

06) Mean Mister Mustard: The conclusion of "Sun King" provides a lovely transition into this song…and let's face it: a louder, more up-tempo song was definitely needed after that bizarre lullaby.

05) Polythene Pam: This song is enough to bring an instant grin to my face. The quirkiness is electric, and the silliness of it all is intensified when listened to directly after "Mean Mister Mustard": the placing of this song in the medley's line-up is nothing less than perfect. Typical Lennon humor…and don't I love it!

04) Golden Slumbers: What a lovely little ballad from Paul. The music is beautiful, the lyrics are beautiful, and he somehow manages to make his voice as beautiful as the instrumentation itself. In short, a beautiful song.

03) The End: Guitar solos from each of the boys and a drum solo from Ringo! What more could a girl ask for? The last line of the song seems to sum up a message they tried to make clear over the course of their entire career: "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make". And, boy, did they make us all fall in love…with them!

02) She Came In Through The Bathroom Window: I just love the silliness and playfulness of this song. The title itself sparks enough curiosity within the listener to keep coming back for more. And knowing the origin of "She Came In Through The Bathroom" makes this song even more delightful and entertaining.

01) You Never Give Me Your Money: I enjoy this song immensely. Not once has it ever been skipped on my iPod, and there's no difficulty in seeing why. It feels like a medley within itself: almost like Paul's own take on the style of "Happiness Is A Warm Gun". McCartney songwriting win!

"I'm not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I've always been a freak. So I've been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know? I'm just one of those people."
8 February 2014
4.13pm
tulane
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I don't really think of the medley as separate songs but as one long, continuous piece.

What actually is a song after all?

You Never Give Me Your Money is itself actually several song fragments stitched together.

So is Happiness Is A Warm Gun.

I've got a feeling is a couple of different songs stitched together.

Day in the life is as well really.  The "woke up got out of bed" bit is like a completely different song compared to the main part.

If we broke these songs down into the constituent parts they might not seem so great but sometimes the whole is more than the sum of the parts.

"Woke up got out of bed" would not be a great song in itself but works really well as part of A Day In The Life providing great contrast and variety before the song returns to the main section.  A Day In The Life would not be as good without it.

In Revolution in the Head it says somewhere that John Lennon looked at songwriting as joining bits together.

The Beatles are famous for having middle eights in their songs.

Really middle eights are essentially songs within songs if you think about it.

If you listen to traditional music (ie. folk music) you don't have that.

I've never come across a folk song with a middle eight – they always seem to be verse-verse-verse-verse or verse-chorus-verse-chorus all the way through.

Most Beatles songs have middle eights, and songs with middle eights are basically little medleys in themselves – two different tunes in one song.

I think the Abbey Road medley is, in it's way, as good as anything the Beatles ever did even if individual parts may seem unremarkable if looked at in isolation.  I love the way the "You never gave me your money" melody reoccurs in "Carry That Weight" for instance, which shows that the medley is really one long piece.

They probably should have called the second side "Abbey Road suite" or something but I suppose it could have made the record look like poor value for money ("not many tracks – what a rip off").  Perhaps there were publishing or radio play issues too which would discourage the Beatles from doing this.

 

8 February 2014
4.53pm
fabfouremily
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They probably should have called the second side "Abbey Road suite" or something but I suppose it could have made the    record look like poor value for money ("not many tracks – what a rip off")

Do you think that's what people would've thought? There's plenty of lp's out there that have just a few songs on and are among the best ever made. Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here, for instance. The number of songs doesn't necessarily equal value for money.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

8 February 2014
5.02pm
Mr Bellamy
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"We can do what we want, we can live as we choose"

18 February 2014
12.50am
Matt Busby
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This did not format well at all, trying to insert comments inside the block.  I'll * all my comments that might appear to be tulane's.

tulane said

You Never Give Me Your Money is itself actually several song fragments stitched together.

*or several fragments of a song spread throughout the whole thing (basically the melody is the recurring theme of the piece)

Day in the life is as well really.  The "woke up got out of bed" bit is like a completely different song compared to the main part.

If we broke these songs down into the constituent parts they might not seem so great but sometimes the whole is more than the sum of the parts.

*There are many songs like this, for example Supper's Ready (Genesis), Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Genesis again, but Gabriel is a genius, and the rest weren't far behind), Quadrophenia (The Who), Pinball Wizard (the soundtrack, forget if the Who put an album out where they perform all the songs).  I just realized I probably didn't have to provide the artists for most of those a-hard-days-night-george-10  Even Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair are like this.

I think the Abbey Road medley is, in it's way, as good as anything the Beatles ever did even if individual parts may seem unremarkable if looked at in isolation.  I love the way the "You never gave me your money" melody reoccurs in "Carry That Weight" for instance, which shows that the medley is really one long piece.

*I agree that is one of a small group of the Beatles' supreme accomplishments

In this one, George's guitar solo in The End could easily have been in You Never Give Me Your Money (if it had a place for a big guitar solo) – it's in the same key (I believe, never having seen the sheet music) and improvs off the same recurring melodic theme.

Now my list:

9) Her Majesty (in fact like some others I'd have preferred it to just end with the last line of The End

8) Sun King

7) Mean Mr Mustard

6) Polythene Pam

5) Carry That Weight

4) You Never Give Me Your Money

3) She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

2) Golden Slumbers – I love the line 'Smiles awake you when you rise', with Paul's voice at it's most expansive in "Smiles awake".

1) The End – was there ever, ever, ever a better way for a band to go out?  Never by far!  Also, it's pertinent to note that George's guitar solo would have fit right into YNGMYM, which is the recurring theme of the whole thing (but of course a hard guitar solo would not have been right in YNGMYM).  Same key (I'm pretty sure, never having seen the sheet music) and exactly the same kind of improv off that theme that could have happened in another song (had there been a guitar solo in it).  When Paul finished the 2nd encore with Carry->Golden->End my uncle had to scrape me off the floor a-hard-days-night-george-10

I've got nothing to say but it's ok

18 February 2014
2.19pm
xskelterhelterx
Nova Scotia
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19 February 2014
5.36pm
Matt Busby
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It's interesting that, for the most part, our lists are all very similar, especially the top 4 or 5, almost all of us have Golden Slumbers, The End, You Never Give Me Your Money, Carry That Weight in some order with Golden Slumbers and The End usually the top 2.

i think given the group who's contributing, this indicates that these are the  "best" songs on the album side.  Likewise, our bottom 5 are pretty much the same songs in slightly different order (most, not all).

-Mike (who feels old when the contestants on American Idol – my forbidden pleasure, i normally avoid network tv – grew up watching it from early childhood)

I've got nothing to say but it's ok

19 February 2014
7.00pm
meanmistermustard
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9. Her Majesty (as an after thought surprise its fine but in the medley it would have dragged it all down as/with a massive bump. Its best feature is when playing the Album very loud with someone else in the room, the near heart-attack they get when that chord comes crashing down is wonderful.)

8. Golden Slumbers (meh! What folk see in this escapes me, maybe its the supposed heart pulling lyrics about going home and where the Beatles were. As i said "meh!!" and that "byeee" i dislike.)

7. Carry That Weight (for the YNGMYM reprise it goes above Golden Slumbers, otherwise, well it wouldn't be would it, it would be below (not level as no ties – always feel they are going to choke me, i do have a Day Tripper one, tie that is. Oh, rankings.)

6. Polythene Pam (can't go elsewhere so it must be here. Do prefer the heavy guitar strumming intervals than the verses.)

5. Mean Mister Mustard ("his sister Pam works in a shop. . ." flows so neatly and you need to hear the basic take, it is incredible)

4. Sun King (the opening is simply beautiful, like sitting outside in the sun on a glorious day with no breeze and a very cool glass of juice. Lie back, forget everything and just indulge. John's garbling lyrics are exquisite, it all sounds complete gibberish, it mostly is. Los Paranoias did the same thing, failed miserably, and became torture.)

3. The End (Its fabulous, simple as. So why here? Well. . . It just is. Tempted to switch it with Sun King but no ties (see above). The closing lyrics generally get the acclaim but for me its Ringo's drum solo and then the guitar battle. Beatles showing in 90 odd seconds how to do this perfectly; bands in the 70's took it, stretched it out to seemingly hours, and bored the planet)

2. She Came In Thru The Bathroom Window. (Fabulously fabulous. No idea if the bridge between PP and this is part of PP or this so here it goes, its marvellous, with John's mutterings and then it kicks in and by gum its good.)

1. You Never Give Me Your Money (Starts so gently with the piano, giving no hint of the troubles it was detailing, changes about 48 times as it goes on, all brilliant, and never gets dull, right down to the little kiddie rhyme at the end. Paul tried songs within songs within songs later on but rarely got anywhere near as good as this one.)

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
19 February 2014
9.10pm
PeterWeatherby
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Genuinely curious: how do you (y'all) "rank" a song? Is there a kind of subjective scale, from "I hate it" through "it's just 'ok'" to "I love it"? Is it like a 1-to-10 system?

I'm only asking because it fascinates me – I'm utterly incapable of ranking Beatles songs. It's binary for me – I like it, or I don't.

Not a bit like Cagney.
19 February 2014
9.20pm
fabfouremily
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^^^ Too hard for me to rank Beatles songs, so I tend to not bother trying to. There's none that I don't like, and most I really love, so that's not the best start. I'm much better at ranking, say, Stones' songs because there's a few I love, a few I like, and some I really hate.

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