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Can we all agree … or not?
23 February 2015
8.22pm
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Zig
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This is a fascinating debate. Thanks very much to all parties for keeping it civil.
apple01

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To the fountain of perpetual mirth, let it roll for all its worth. And all the children boogie.

23 February 2015
10.28pm
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meanmistermustard
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I also have my itunes arranged chronologically (mostly - all the live material is together in the one folder, same as the BBC material except for the officially released BBC tracks which i like on its own). 

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24 February 2015
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meanmistermustard said
I also have my itunes arranged chronologically (mostly - all the live material is together in the one folder, same as the BBC material except for the officially released BBC tracks which i like on its own). 

Yes, I did almost the same mmm.

 I have:

1) Beatles UK,

2) Beatles UK mono,

3) Beatles Capitol Canada/USA, (mono/stereo where applicable)

4) Beatles Live (like your setup - Live, BBC & Anthology's),

5) Beatles Extras (The Bootlegs),

6) and Finally The Videos (Got them all..Literally.......).

We are normal, right?????? a-hard-days-night-paul-7

stay-on-topic

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24 February 2015
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Bongo said

meanmistermustard said
I also have my itunes arranged chronologically (mostly - all the live material is together in the one folder, same as the BBC material except for the officially released BBC tracks which i like on its own). 

Yes, I did almost the same mmm.

 I have:

1) Beatles UK,

2) Beatles UK mono,

3) Beatles Capitol Canada/USA, (mono/stereo where applicable)

4) Beatles Live (like your setup - Live, BBC & Anthology's),

5) Beatles Extras (The Bootlegs),

6) and Finally The Videos (Got them all..Literally.......).

We are normal, right?????? a-hard-days-night-paul-7

stay-on-topic

…….Perfectly!

 

The only bespoke….'Beatles' playlist I drew up is a 'John Vs Paul' one.

John belts out a rocker so does Paul…….

Paul sings, (what used to be termed) a 'plaintive ballad' John replies with one of his.

On and on through their solo work. Paul has rather more of that to pick quality from than John has……But John holds his own. 

24 February 2015
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Ron Nasty said
I just think the canon is made up of their released (in the) 60s recordings, whereas you're happy to be more flexible and include 2 90s recordings that were overdubs of Lennon demos.

I don't see why you're so quick to reject 'Free As A Bird ' as "canon" while the 'The Long And Winding Road ' track from Spector's 'Let It Be ' makes the grade.  'The Long And Winding Road ' was released, according to Paul, without his consent or "no input" from him on the "overdubs", he may as well have been dead (some believe that he actually was).  Both songs feature all four playing on them and both were released after they broke up ('The Long And Winding Road ' wasn't officially "released (in the) 60s recordings" but in May 1970).

 

I think the failure (for lack of a better word) in the "Can we all agree ... or not?" exercise, and I believe that I all ready hit on this earlier, was the decision to compile such an extensive list to begin with.  A more accurate barometer on their best loved recordings would've been to have everybody submit their own 'Top 10' list without ANY restrictions on what one person believes to be "canon" and what another does not.  It certainly would've made far less work for those involved in collecting the data, not to mention that more people (myself included) would've participated....:-)

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24 February 2015
11.13am
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meanmistermustard
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Paul did sanction (or didnt stop or oppose) 'TLAWR'. His reply at the time was basically "That was wrong what you did with my song, don't do it again" (as described in Peter Doggett's 'You Never Give Me Your Money ' book), a far cry from Paul's later claims of hating everything about it from the off and wanting to strangle Phil Spector. He got a copy 2 weeks or so in advance of release. As for is being a core Beatles track - yes, without a doubt. All four passed the album for release in May 1970, even if it amounted to little more than a grunt from each of them. There were even arguments between Paul and the others about which album ('Let It Be ' or 'McCartney') got released first (Ringo going around Paul's house and being thown out). Even if Paul wanted nothing to do with the album and went with it for an easy life he still didnt stop it (all the other Get Back /Let It Be albums drawn up by Glyn Johns were rejected and so never saw release).

Throughout this RN and myself have said the core albums have been up to 'Let It Be ', it was their final album. The issue with 'FAAB' and 'RL' (for me) is far more to do with John being dead in 1994 when Paul, George and Ringo went into the studios. So regardless of their intentions, approach, the fact all three got together and worked on a John song, and the outcome, it does not change the fact that John at any point could not agree or disagree to what they overdubbed or to its release.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris)

24 February 2015
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meanmistermustard said
………….. So regardless of their intentions, approach, the fact all three got together and worked on a John song, and the outcome, it does not change the fact that John at any point could not agree or disagree to what they overdubbed or to its release.

And that………….that's the essence of your quibble????????????????? That is what fires 'FAAB' and 'RL' from your canon

 

Fair enough…….

 

Your board…….your rules…..

 

I'm obviously not the right calibre of person to be a 'Beatles Bible' fan.

24 February 2015
2.56pm
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This isn't any one person's board. It is for all of us. No worries there.

Joe says this on his "about this site" page

In some cases, such as the Yesterday ... And Today album, the US market produced a noteworthy release, yet for the most part the UK releases, from Please Please Me to Let It Be - as reissued worldwide on CD in 1987 - are considered the Beatles' canon.

On his "Albums" page he says

Here are links to pages on The Beatles' albums, ordered alphabetically. They include the original UK releases, which have since become the established albums in the group's canon, ...

In a few other places in his site, he also talks about "the canon" the way RN and mmm describe it.

That is the definition that was agreed up on for the purpose of this thread.

I should have piped up earlier and redirected this conversation where it should be Should "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" count as canon Beatles Songs? There's more there if you haven't had your fill of the topic.

@Billy Rhythm, perhaps we can do a project like you describe as a separate project. It sounds interesting Would you want to collect the data?

@Wigwam, I am really curious to know if you really just found out how FAAB and Real Love came into being, or did you make post 359 in jest or with sarcasm? It is hard to read those little subtleties in a post sometimes. I'm not hung about it whichever way you meant it, I'm just curious.

24 February 2015
3.50pm
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Atlas said

meanmistermustard said
………….. So regardless of their intentions, approach, the fact all three got together and worked on a John song, and the outcome, it does not change the fact that John at any point could not agree or disagree to what they overdubbed or to its release.

And that………….that's the essence of your quibble????????????????? That is what fires 'FAAB' and 'RL' from your canon

 

Fair enough…….

 

Your board…….your rules…..

 

I'm obviously not the right calibre of person to be a 'Beatles Bible' fan.

It's my opinion not my board. The board belongs to Joe.

I had a reply all written out and got posted here and then elsewhere however memories of past discussions make me not want to go that route so it has been deleted. The forum and everyone's sanity is more important than my opinion.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris)

24 February 2015
10.42pm
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meanmistermustard said
All four passed the album for release in May 1970 

Really?  I've read (apologies for it's been many years and I don't recall off-hand where) that Paul did everything in his power to stop the release, and it wasn't just because he felt that the others were sabotaging his own 'McCartney' release.  I believe that he even submitted a written request that the horns, strings and choir "overdubs" on 'The Long And Winding Road ' be removed to no avail.  He "didn't stop" the release because he couldn't, the condition that all four (or, their estates) be in agreement on what goes out was a result of the court cases that followed later on in the 1970's, and he most definitely "opposed" the release of 'Let It Be ' in May 1970.

 

You also omit Yoko's endorsement of 'Free As A Bird ' and its "overdubs", like it or not, she represents the voice of John Lennon and it's obvious that John trusted her (and her judgement) eternally, and this fact doesn't change simply because John is no longer able to speak anymore.  This is the same Woman who had a bedside view (literally) of The Beatles spending over 5 Months recording the 'White Album ', she didn't exactly just magically appear after they broke up to alter The Beatles' "canon".  Yoko hand picked 'Free As A Bird ' with an intimate knowledge of The Beatles' recording process and NOBODY channels John's creative spirit as Yoko does, to dismiss 'Free As A Bird ' as Beatles' "canon" is to dismiss Yoko Ono as well, who indisputably is a VERY large part of Beatles' "canon" or "lore", and I know that that seems to bother a lot of Beatles' fans and I'm still flabbergasted as to why.  The Theatles themselves ALL acknowledged Yoko Ono's role in making the "reunion" possible, Beatles' fans should recognize this as well, regardless of how they feel about the song(s) themselves...:-)

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25 February 2015
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vonbontee said

Third, rock lyrics were generally crap in those days unless Chuck Berry was writing them!

If there were a High 5 emoticon thingy, you'd get one here!

25 February 2015
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Ahhh Girl said

@Wigwam, I am really curious to know if you really just found out how FAAB and Real Love came into being, or did you make post 359 in jest or with sarcasm? It is hard to read those little subtleties in a post sometimes. I'm not hung about it whichever way you meant it, I'm just curious.

I'm afraid the lowest form of humour was at work there…...

Though I've been active on the board for a couple of years…….Like most Boards 'The Beatles' Bible' presents itself  by drawing the reader's attention to new posts or threads which means that, (together with my lazy limitation of spending only the time it takes to drink a cup of tea here), I haven't gotten through many of the older and longer threads…..And wasn't aware this was an olde olde worn out discussion.

I was grabbed by, astounded by and replied to, the one stand alone post with the 'no input' from John comment….. I've been nice to 'Nasty' and admitted to not doing my due diligence in terms of ploughing through his other posts to better understand the context and flow of his argument. However, if he had qualified his 'no input' statement I'd have pulled the screen down on this 'Mac' and gone for my stroll along the beach…. no doubt humming 'FAA Bird' ……Still 'if' my Aunty had you know what she'd be my Uncle!!

Then the question of The Beatles Canon was rolled out.

Beatles? Not really Beatles? …Core? Central? Peripheral? That got me fired up!

I don't accept how these songs have, it seems, been consigned to the level of mere footnotes. What 'Apple Corps' view as 'core'……Designated and defined by time and British studio albums has a cool logic to it. I can see the argument. And it doesn't matter to them or any reader here that I passionately disagree.

It's just that I do.

I can't help it….As I said, my views are not the right calibre to fit into your canon. 

Anyone …….Everyone else can take a different view….

Theses two songs are more than John Lennon solo releases and not less than Beatles ones………All the examples of why I think that are above.

I'm not American but I think, (and love it) that many fans on here are…….Perhaps this phrase will 'carry some weight' with them. 

E Pluribus Unum.

 

Bugger…….My tea's gone cold.

 

  

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Atlas said
Theses two songs ('Free As A Bird ' & 'Real Love ') are more than John Lennon solo releases and not less than Beatles ones………
  
 
   

This pretty much sums it up for me, if you're gonna attach an asterisk beside these two as "non-canon" because of certain circumstances of the times then one shouldn't just stop there, there's dozens of tracks that have been released since they first signed with EMI where either 1, 2, or 3 of them were the only ones appearing, or where all four are heard but had little else (including "input") to do with its release.  Take 'Revolution #9' for example, Ringo & Paul are probably heard on it somewhere due to the inclusion of snippets from 'Carnival Of Light ' (according to Engineer Geoff Emerick) or the excerpts of 'Revolution (Take 20)' where all four played on the tracks (and all four likely didn't approve/object or even know their parts were being used for such a dubious purpose) and Ringo & Paul's involvement in the creation of 'Revolution #9' pretty much ends there.  Besides George Harrison 's limited contributions and encouragement to get it off of the ground, this 8-Minute sound collage is pretty much a John & Yoko project that went out under the guise of 'The Beatles'.  Did Ringo or Paul object to its inclusion on an album that they worked so hard on?  We really don't know, but there was much objection at the time from the others to Yoko Ono's mere presence in the studios, so one has to think that they were quite possibly irked, to say the least, that this "Two Virgins Outtake" took up 8 Minutes of Vinyl Space on the first Beatles' album since 'Sgt. Pepper '.  If they didn't bring in a legal brigade to stop its release it's because it wouldn't have done anything to change the outcome anyways.

 

Many had issues with The Theatles tracks well before they were ever released and still cling to these pre-conceived notions decades later.  George Martin has said that he wasn't very keen on the idea of them using a deceased person's recording to kickstart a "reunion" either, but did applaud the work after hearing it.  John was a crazy guy with some pretty crazy ideas and I'd have to think that he would've been quite turned on by the idea of singing from the grave on a new Beatles' track while trusting his spouse/mate's abilities in presenting it to the world.  John often presented many of his ideas to the others in the form of just that, an idea, and rely on his bandmates' talents to help give them form.  Paul, George & Ringo took one of John's "ideas" with the blessings of Yoko Ono and made it into something special, clearly much more of a group effort than 'I Will ', 'Within You, Without You', or many other "Beatles' Songs"....:-) 

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Atlas said 

 
The only bespoke….'Beatles' playlist I drew up is a 'John Vs Paul' one.
 
 On and on through their solo work. Paul has rather more of that to pick quality from than John has……But John holds his own. 

Ohhhhhh, don't get me going on my solo stuff in iTunes....paul-mccartney, and yes agree with you, there is sooooo much more macca stuff to put on iTunes than there is for John. two-virgins

=====================================================================================

And as for the canon stuff, sure "Real Love " & "Free As A Bird " were written much later by John, but it is still a Beatles collaboration!~ george-martin

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25 February 2015
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I'll probably get shot for transferring this 'dream' over, but re-reading it today I noticed how it sums up my view of the Beatles' legacy. And that Real Love and FAAB  are metaphorical and physical reminders of its' power.

I promise to leave it there……..and thanks to all of you for an entertaining discussion.

So……from Beatle Dreams:

"Well I had a lay down and I must have fallen asleep………….

I dreamt I was looking down from the sky at a trevaries… where 3 paths converged…..It was in an olde English glade.
Three men from each road met to banta and talk in trivialities. One was poor and without shoes….another dressed in black and the last a rough grave digger.
They noticed smoke coming from within the glade and sought it out.

………...At a simple fire and cooking pot sat a long haired mystic clothed completely in white. He beckoned them to sit and eat the mushrooms he had gathered from the forest. Two of the three did so greedily. The shoeless man more reluctant at first was swayed by the others.
They all fell into a deep sleep.
Sometime later they woke and the mystic asked them what it was they saw in their dreams.
The man in black was first to answer.
"I saw a sea beast with eight arms to hold you. It tended a beautiful garden under the sea…..where children swam and played and there was much merriment"
"And how about you 'Gravedigger? Did you see Something ?"
"I did' replied the quiet man……."I saw a woman so beautiful…….I played a lute for her until gentle tears fell from my instrument"
"And you sir, a man so poor he is without shoes……yet I think maybe you have more dreams than any other."
The shoeless man was so happy to hear the kind words from the mystic…….but he wasn't sure that his dream would please him. It seemed so simple compared with what he'd heard from his new friends…...
"I dreamt……I dreamt I woke up…..fell out of my bed and combed my hair. Then I must haste with all speed …….And then…. I fell into a dream, within my dream"
The mystic said that was the best dream of all.
"And what did you dream?" They asked the man in white.
"I dreamed we four became brothers……We travelled many winding paths together until we came to a great Abbey. There we became as rich as Kings. Indeed Kings we were. Not just Kings of this realm….. but of all realms……From the toppest most mountain to the farthest sea. And that long after we eventually parted and our bodies became worm meat and our bones turned to dust………The work we had created together still filled people's lives with love and sadness and joy and.. hope.
Will you travel with me brothers?……….."

Then I woke up!" 

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meanmistermustard said
Even if Paul wanted nothing to do with the album (Phil Spector's 'Let It Be ') and went with it for an easy life he still didnt stop it (all the other Get Back /Let It Be albums drawn up by Glyn Johns were rejected and so never saw release

The difference with the Glyn Johns' compilations is that all four were in agreement on the project being shelved and that that decision was made before Allen Klein came onto the scene.  One of Klein's first recommendations to spearhead his Apple Housecleaning was to turn 'Let It Be /Get Back ' into a valuable asset for the company, for as it was up until then, it had been a liability that wasted tremendous resources bearing little fruit.  Of course we all know how Paul felt about Allen Klein and thus he never went along with any of his business decisions, not the least of which was 'Let It Be '.  John, George & Ringo endorsed the 'Let It Be ' album and Phil Spector's involvement while Paul chose to dwell on being outvoted by the others, he most certainly would've liked to block its release back in May 1970 but was powerless to do so...:-)

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At the end of the day, we're really doing this for fun (right?) - we should do what we want.

I've learned a great deal about the term 'canon' (thank you Ron Nasty) but it's up to us as to whether we want to restrict ourselves to that.

(We could also argue to what extent covers such as the super-famous "Twist And Shout " are/are not part of the canon)

I would include any studio recording. If any 'questionable' song(s) end up in the top 10, or top 20, or top 30 we can revisit the issue - or place an * next to the song the way it's done with questionable sports records.

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I think that one thing's pretty clear, and that is NO we can't "all agree".  We can't agree on what songs qualify, or how they're calculated so what makes anybody actually believe that we could possibly agree on which songs are the best?!  It's all good though, having differing viewpoints is what makes for a lively forum, if we all agreed on everything this place would be Dullsville...:-)

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Into the Sky with Diamonds said

At the end of the day, we're really doing this for fun (right?) - we should do what we want.
I've learned a great deal about the term 'canon' (thank you Ron Nasty) but it's up to us as to whether we want to restrict ourselves to that.

Billy Rhythm said

I think that one thing's pretty clear, and that is NO we can't "all agree".  We can't agree on what songs qualify, or how they're calculated so what makes anybody actually believe that we could possibly agree on which songs are the best?!  It's all good though, having differing viewpoints is what makes for a lively forum, if we all agreed on everything this place would be Dullsville...:-)

I was hoping someone would bring up these two points. Thank you @Into the Sky with Diamonds and @Billy Rhythm. While we made the decision (I think - it's been so long now) to only include the "widely accepted" canon, the debate over what should or should not be added to it is excellent. All points are well researched and well thought out.

For the purposes of the seemingly-never-to-be-completed-or-never-to-be-seen survey I guess we CAN agree that it will (hopefully someday) show what songs are the Forum's "favorites" among the widely accepted canon, not the "best".

Thanks again for all who participated or will continue to participate in this debate. mal-evansapple01

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First time I've caught up with all the "canon" discussions in this poll. Like a said a year ago (!) I'm not voting and don't have a stake in this poll at all. But wonder if a solution would be (for someone energetic enough to start one) a second poll after this one's done, for non-canon Beatles tracks? For those of you (us) who are big on non-canon stuff, whether it be from the Star Club or the BBC or Kinfauns or the Jeff Lynne recordings. I would think that anyone passionate enough to want to include so-called non-canon stuff (NOT a qualitative judgement, that term, just a descriptor) would be happy to contribute to a special poll, even if it hasn't got the PRESTIGE of this big catalog poll.

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GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions, Marvin Gaye. PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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