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20 Beatles songs that John 'hated' - article
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8 May 2018
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Father McKenzie
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Just found this, and thought it might be worthy of discussion/debate. 

 

I knew he disliked Run For Your Life ,but some of the other songs on this list are very surprising (Cry Baby Cry ,Lucy, and Paperback Writer in particular ahdn_paul_01)

 

Anyone have any thoughts? ahdn_george_01

 

http://ultimateclassicrock.com.....non-hates/

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8 May 2018
7.43pm
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Elementary Penguin
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I knew about most of these because I have read the Playboy interview.

He was very critical of a lot of Beatles songs and very critical of Paul's songs but he is at least critical of his own songs as well. 

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9 May 2018
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Timothy
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His comments don’t impact my enjoyment of those songs, but I’m obviously aware of them. I think it’s actually great he said this stuff because it shows how geniuses don’t see themselves that way. He was genuinely critical of himself, had evolving opinions and wanted perfection. He also double tracked his vocals because he didn’t like his voice. I love his voice and can’t get enough of it. Certain songs can also evoke times in our lives we may not have enjoyed.

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9 May 2018
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SunKing
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I don't take too much stock always in what John said about songs. I imagine his opinions shifted pretty often on a lot of things and what he said that day about something could have just been him trying to be interesting or controversial with an interviewer.  He also could have just been generally trying to show that the Beatles songs weren't sacred and could be viewed critically, at least within the family of the Beatles members.

Among the many terrible things about John's death was that he died 10 years after the Beatles breakup, when feelings probably fluctuated wildly, even if they were generally good. I could imagine that despite better relations, there were flashpoints of annoyance about the band and that everything he was trying to do was soaked with the Beatles history.  It would have been so very interesting to see how John's opinions evolved over time.  Would he have mellowed or managed maybe a more cohesive opinion about the Beatles canon?

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9 May 2018
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Beatlebug
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Good point @SunKing. As we've seen, Paul has mellowed toward the Beatles legacy over the years -- it's not as talked about, but he refused to play Beatles songs in concert for the first few years of Wings.

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9 May 2018
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Ron Nasty
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Though it should be noted that those songs John criticised the writing of he was pretty consistent on over the years, often expressing his dislike of them within months of release, just as he was consistently critical of Paul's love of show tunes, another aspect of the list.

To think he might have re-evaluated those songs had he lived longer seems unlikely.

Those that he criticised the actual recording of, especially when complaining about Paul or George Martin's contributions, he may have changed his opinion about. Even with those he may not have though, as it is not uncommon for an artist to complain that they failed to capture the work in the way it existed in their imagination.

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The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

9 May 2018
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Elementary Penguin
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I can understand why some of those songs he didn't like. It's Only Love isn't one of his best songs even though I do enjoy it.

I am a little surprised about Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds , Help !, and Strawberry Fields Forever though. I know he wanted to re-record some of those songs. It would have been interesting if he had of done that though. 

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10 May 2018
3.38am
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Billy Rhythm
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He was known not to have been too fond of 'And Your Bird Can Sing ' either, but I didn't see it listed...  he said something to the effect of "that's me, another horror"...:-) 

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10 May 2018
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Billy Rhythm said
He was known not to have been too fond of 'And Your Bird Can Sing ' either, but I didn't see it listed...  he said something to the effect of "that's me, another horror"...:-)   

I've read that he was also critical of She Loves You : "I can't stand She Loves You now. Every time I hear it,I turn the radio off"a-hard-days-night-john-7

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11 May 2018
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Timothy
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Ron Nasty said
Even with those he may not have though, as it is not uncommon for an artist to complain that they failed to capture the work in the way it existed in their imagination.  

Very true. 

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11 May 2018
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Shamrock Womlbs
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I just don't understand why he wasn't more vocal on his own recordings, on how to record them or they sound he wanted to achieve ...or why he wasn't as critical with Paul's songs as he was with George...

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16 May 2018
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Billy Rhythm
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Father McKenzie said

I've read that he was also critical of She Loves You : "I can't stand She Loves You now. Every time I hear it,I turn the radio off"a-hard-days-night-john-7  

I remember that quote, but I seem to recall it was 'Eight Days A Week ' that he was referencing...  It's from an interview during the mid-sixties when their music was undertaking the psychedelic transformation...  He said something like "songs like 'Eight Days A Week ' sound like a real drag to me now, I turn the radio off whenever they come on"...

Another 'Sgt. Pepper ' track that he wasn't too keen on was 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite'...  mainly because the lyrics were literally copied almost word for word from the circus fairground poster that inspired it...  He'd said "I'm not proud of it, I was just going through the motions because we needed another song for Sgt. Pepper "...:-) 

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18 May 2018
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Father McKenzie
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Billy Rhythm said

I remember that quote, but I seem to recall it was 'Eight Days A Week ' that he was referencing...  It's from an interview during the mid-sixties when their music was undertaking the psychedelic transformation...  He said something like "songs like 'Eight Days A Week ' sound like a real drag to me now, I turn the radio off whenever they come on"...

Another 'Sgt. Pepper ' track that he wasn't too keen on was 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite'...  mainly because the lyrics were literally copied almost word for word from the circus fairground poster that inspired it...  He'd said "I'm not proud of it, I was just going through the motions because we needed another song for Sgt. Pepper "...:-)   

 

Thanks @billyrhythm. Yeah,I got confused with that. I think he said something like "We aren't going to be singing She Loves You when we're in our 30's".

 

I love Mr Kite. If he could write a song like that while just going through the motions,it just shows how good he was,and what a genius the guy was 

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18 May 2018
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ewe2
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For me the question is complicated not just by Lennon's paranoia and questionable consistency, but by the general Beatles position of "old sucks" or "you're only as good as your last song", or as Lennon liked to say "artistic movement". With that attitude and a tendency to blame others for the shortcomings he saw in his work in later life, I shudder to think how Anthology would have gone down with him. The "old sucks" attitude shouldn't be discounted as a motive for his dislike for all that, recall how they would make fun of their old songs as callouts in other songs or on the Christmas records. In retrospect I do wonder how much of that was driven by Lennon's insecurity with the others seeing it as a laugh. It's complicated!

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20 May 2018
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George Martin had a good read on John's "inability" to be satisfied with their work, at the  4:50  mark of this video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s98WiJ95R9c

 

No matter what they had achieved with any one of their recordings, inside John's mind, it ALWAYS sounded better...:-)

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5 July 2018
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Timothy
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ewe2 said
With that attitude and a tendency to blame others for the shortcomings he saw in his work in later life, I shudder to think how Anthology would have gone down with him. 

John knew the Beatles were good, but I could see him downplaying their myth/rebelling against the hype, ala the 'we were four guys' recording. Everyone likes praise, such as John's reaction to a perceived snub by George. But I think it was just his personality to be cynical or critical about himself, and indeed others. Even if just in a playful way. I think it was a safety blanket for him and to regain a sense of control over things. 

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