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Your Least Favourite Song of The Beatles
22 September 2009
2.24am
Jackson Tan
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Since there's a thread on everyone's favourite song, I suppose I ought try to make one for the opposite end: the least favourite song in the entire Beatles discography. I know, all of the songs by the Beatles are great, but there must be one which you craze the least for! Which is it?

For me, it'll be a surprising choice, since I think there are people who likes it. It's Helter Skelter, and the reason why I liked it the least is obvious if you consider the fact that I hate metal music.

What about you?

22 September 2009
10.40am
Joe
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Wow – I've never heard of a Beatles fan hating Helter Skelter before.

I suppose there are several usual suspects. For me the bottom five would be (at least today):

5: Yellow Submarine
4: Maxwell's Silver Hammer
3: Mr Moonlight
2: Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
…and at number one – Honey Don't. It's such a tedious song, which seems to go on for years – I always skip it when it turns up on my iPod. Though there are a lot of other Ringo songs that get skipped – Act Naturally, I Wanna Be Your Man, What Goes OnYell

Revolution 9's not in my list, though. I can't say I love it, but I appreciate what Lennon was trying to do at the time.

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22 September 2009
3.49pm
c64wood
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I would say:

Revolution9 (but with respect to what Joe said)

Wild Honey Pie

Only A Northern Song

It's All Too Much

Ask Me Why (don't like the woo woo's)

Long Long Long (don't really hate this one.  it just could have been done better)

I know you know what you know, but you should know by now that you're not me ~ Ron Nasty
23 September 2009
12.51pm
Joe
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Have you heard the remastered versions of Long Long Long, It's All Too Much and Only A Northern Song? They sound much improved, clearer and punchier, particularly that last one. Poor old George was a bit short changed for many years.

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24 September 2009
5.02am
Jackson Tan
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Curiously, I liked Maxwell's Silver Hammer very much. The carnivalesque tune with the macabre lyrics reflect very well the superficial cheerfulness of a homocidal maniac. In fact, it was my second most favourite song from Abbey Road, being just slightly behind Octopus's Garden.

Haha, I suppose I have very different tastes from most people!

28 September 2009
6.27pm
RufusWild
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I agree this is a slightly different question from 'what song do you skip when it comes up on your iPod?'  But I have always considered Only A Northern Song almost embarassingly bad.  It's kind of George's Glass Onion, and it's hard to listen to.  The only reason it's not an automatic skip is because of its qualities as biographical insight into George.

Hey Bulldog is on any list for me of songs I don't really believe are Beatle songs.  Sounds like a group imitating the Beatles.  But that is also probably because I came to the song late. 

Like Jackson Tan, I am not a fan of Helter Skelter.  Manson ruined it for me, but I probably wouldn't have liked it anyway.

The one time in the whole catalogue where it seems to me they are trying to repeat themselves is Magical Mystery Tour, and it sounds cheesy and cheap.

Not a fan of Spector's version of Long and Winding Road, but hard to call it a Least Favorite (or Favourite) song…

And then just for the heck of it – P.S. I Love You.

Addendum: Of course, having written this post, I have now listened to all these songs, and want to take it all back…!

"We were just a band, who made it very very big, that's all."
29 September 2009
7.52pm
Alissa
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Wow, I have to say I agree with a lot of these least favourite songs, though I hate to admit that such a perfect band has a few imperfect songs!

I don't really like Only A Northern Song, it just lacks a certain zing to it. It's rather boring. The lyrics are amusing, but not enough to make me listen to the song when it comes up on my iPod.

Sexy Sadie also isn't one of my favourites. I mean, it's all right, I'm just not in love with it. I'm usually a sucker for all of John's songs, but this one just doesn't attract me in any way. Same as Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! It's not entirely tragic, it just doesn't give me that extra or wow-factor (though I'm a fan of the idea of it.)

Flying seems to never end. It's just a monotonous series of duh-duh-duhs that don't even sound that nice. Not the biggest accomplishment of the boy's.

Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight… see ya, George!
30 September 2009
3.48am
RufusWild
New York, NY
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Yes, Flying.  Endless…!

"We were just a band, who made it very very big, that's all."
2 October 2009
7.44am
c64wood
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Alissa said:

Sexy Sadie also isn't one of my favourites. I mean, it's all right, I'm just not in love with it. I'm usually a sucker for all of John's songs, but this one just doesn't attract me in any way.


I like Sexy Sadie because John wrote it about his dissillusionment of the Maharishi.  Replace the words "Sexy Sadie" with "Maharishi" and give it another go.  John wrote some lovely lyrics out of bitterness

I know you know what you know, but you should know by now that you're not me ~ Ron Nasty
3 October 2009
8.42am
beatlerevolver66
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10

having been a fan of the beatles for a long time (i'm 16 and i've been listening to them since i was 10) there were some songs i originally didn't get, but soon grew on to me. most of the White Album, when i first heard it years ago, seemed like a piece of crap. i hated it. it seemed that each song got progressively worse and worse, excluding While My Guitar Gently Weeps and blackbird. but i fortunately gave it more chances and ended up loving everything on there, including Revolution 9. play the White Album in its entirety without stopping once and you'll be impressed to know that Revolution 9 really fits with it. i also wasn't a fan of you know my name (look up the number) and i had given it quite a few chances, but i was listening to the remastered Past Masters the other day and really enjoyed it and thought it was a fun song. out of everything, i'd say their worst song was What's the New Mary Jane?. it's just boring. it's ok at first but then that whole weird part just gets annoying. and btw guys, it's Only A Northern Song, to me, is one of george's best. and Long, Long, Long… i never gave it a chance cuz i couldn't hear it too well on the 87 release.. it seemed too quiet to be placed between helter skelter and Revolution 1. but remastered, the song gets a whole new light and it's incredible. almost everything by the beatles is enjoyable.

9 October 2009
12.33pm
MiRaleigh
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I love these types of discussions because everyone is going to have their own, (and since it's all subjective anyway) equally valid, spin.   That said – I love 'Mr. Moonlight'.  Mark Lewisohn called it the "worst Beatles song on the worst Beatles album" and favored "Leave My Kitten Alone" for inclusion on 'Beatles for Sale'.  Kitten was a typical rave-up cover that John had already done on Twist And Shout (and would do again on Dizzy Miss Lizzy).  Mr. Moonlight covers uncharted territory, especially the cheesy ice rink organ solo.  I also really dig "Flying", especially the vocal part – sounds like the lads are having fun!   I agree with the world that Maxwell's Silver Hammer is terrible…but I think Paul had a lot of those songs that are filler.  Martha My Dear is pretty bad – even Fixing A Hole and Lovely Rita are fairly disposable once taken out of Sgt Pepper context.   Your Mother Should Know is pretty bad.  Run for your Life is pretty bad (and was disliked by John himself). The Yellow Submarine songs, I think, all are sub-par material with the exception of Hey Bulldog, which totally rocks.  I can't listen to The Word, as it is very much of its time and one of the only Beatles originals that can't stand up in any era as a great song.  But this is nitpicking.  The Beatles worst songs still stand head and shoulders over all but the best of everyone else's work!!

9 October 2009
9.32pm
Alissa
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I like Sexy Sadie because John wrote it about his dissillusionment of the Maharishi.  Replace the words "Sexy Sadie" with "Maharishi" and give it another go.  John wrote some lovely lyrics out of bitterness


I was aware that this is the meaning, and I find if I actually input 'Maharishi' into where 'Sexy Sadie' should go, I can appreciate it a little bit more. I'm actually quite partial to the vocal, now.

Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight… see ya, George!
17 November 2009
7.47pm
skye
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I wasn't impressed by rain when I first heard it, and it hasn't made it onto my ipod yet. If you like it, what am I missing?

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
17 November 2009
10.38pm
Alissa
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skye said:I wasn't impressed by rain when I first heard it, and it hasn't made it onto my ipod yet. If you like it, what am I missing?


For me, I like the double vocal of the chorus John sings. It's higher and a bit strained, but so good in my opinion. The range that man has is wonderful, and in that song, that's probably my favourite.
I usually listen to it in one headphone so I can only hear that wail of John's during the chorus, perhaps give that a try. 

Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight… see ya, George!
18 November 2009
1.14am
skye
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Huh. That did help. So I guess it's Paul's "rai-rai-rai-ai-ain" that bugs me. Is it better in the remastered, stereo or mono?

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
18 November 2009
9.44pm
Alissa
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I unfortunately have neither Skye, just a version off the internet,
but yes, John makes that song what it is- a gem.

Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight… see ya, George!
18 November 2009
10.09pm
skye
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Oh well someday. Wink  I hope to buy one or the other in January, if I don't blow my Christmas budget.

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
19 November 2009
11.38am
Joe
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skye said:I wasn't impressed by rain when I first heard it, and it hasn't made it onto my ipod yet. If you like it, what am I missing?


I love Rain. There's something about the sound of it that just… works. It's quite hard to put into words. Ringo's drumming is great, Lennon's vocals are superb, and it's got that acid-inspired mood that ran throughout Revolver (I'm Only Sleeping, She Said etc). I'd much rather listen to Rain than Paperback Writer.

 

They did some interesting things with it too. They played the backing track really fast when they were recording it, so it was much slower at normal speed on playback. That gave a different tone to the instruments. And, of course, it had The Beatles' first use of backwards recording, on the vocals in the coda. I also like the extra 2/4 bar they added just before the first chorus – it's a nice variation (they did the same in the verses in Revolution).

I haven't got both the mono and stereo versions to hand right now (I left my iPod at home), but if you don't like the pre-remastered version I'm not sure you'll suddenly start loving it. As for the box sets, do try and get both if you can afford them – the differences are often quite something, and – despite what some people might say – neither is the definitive version. There are plenty of new details to be heard in both sets.

Please don't spoil my day; I'm miles away

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19 November 2009
12.19pm
skye
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I didn' think that it would chage drastically, but I did read, for example, that She's Leaving Home was a little faster in the mono version and that it was better for it.

I agree that it has a lot of awesome elements (love Ringo's drums); I've added it to my playlist. Maybe it will grow on me.

What's wrong Paperback Writer besides being over played?

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
19 November 2009
1.32pm
Joe
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Nothing's wrong with Paperback Writer, I just don't think it's one of their better singles. It feels a little like they were trying to write a hit single, rather than something like Penny Lane or Hey Jude that was totally inspired.

She's Leaving Home is a little faster in mono, and a semitone higher. It probably does sound slightly better that way. But I do think the people who swear that mono is the only way to listen to the early albums are missing out on a lot – there's some good stuff in the stereo mixes too, even if they were a bit of an afterthought in the 1960s.

Even the vocals/instrumentation split, so one is in the left speaker and the other in the right, can bring out details that mono cannot hope to – a song like In My Life, with the vocals turned off, shows just how restrained they could be when recording.

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