Beatles Song Countdown: 20-16

20: Penny Lane

Album: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: Such an evocative song, probably because it’s about a real place and about real things. Probably more than any other Beatles song I have a hard time describing what I love about it. It’s not Paul’s best voice work. And there’s perhaps too many background instruments. I’m not even sure how I feel about the piccolo trumpet solo. Very strange, indeed.

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Beatles Song Countdown: 25-21

25: I Am The Walrus

Album: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer: Lennon
Singer: Lennon

Verdict: An intentional nonsense song John wrote just to confuse the analytically obsessed. The lyrics themselves are not that attractive; it’s definitely not a song I ever just sing to myself. But dang it John’s voice is spectacular as are the backing musicians, especially the strings. I also love all the crescendoing, as if the song means something more than it does. 

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Beatles Song Countdown: 35-31

35: Rocky Raccoon

Album: The Beatles
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: I think I overrated this a bit; satirical songs usually wear thin after a while. Especially since Paul is trying his hardest not to use his best singing voice. I think I just like how most of the song is just one long breath. I also had a girl go on a date with me once after I told her I liked this song. Then again, it wasn’t the best date. 

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Beatles Song Countdown: 40-36

40: Mother Nature’s Son

Album: The Beatles
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: A virtual solo by Paul. He sang while playing acoustic and dubbed in the percussion. Mostly lyrically absent, but nobody can do “doo doo wahs” quite like Paul. Definitely a song the guitar guy at the party could do to try to get attention. 

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Beatles Song Countdown: 45-41

45: The Ballad of John and Yoko

Album: Past Masters, Volume II
Writer: Lennon
Singer: Lennon

Verdict: I don’t really care about John’s struggles with the media following his marriage to Yoko. But John drops some pretty awesome rhymes here. “Holland or France” with “Give us a chance,” and “Honeymooning down by the Seine,” with “You can get married in Gibraltar near Spain.” Plus it’s always fun to belt out, “Christ you know it ain’t easy!” 

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Beatles Song Countdown: 50-46

50: You Won’t See Me

Album: Rubber Soul
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: A rare song for Paul where he sings in a lower key. A fairly simple “Ugh, my girlfriend sucks,” song, but I love the vocalizations, especially John’s harmony. My favorite line is “Time after time you refuse to even listen,” but that’s not surprising for me. I tend to enjoy when a singer stays on each note slightly longer than the rhythm would suggest. 

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Beatles Song Countdown: 55-51

55: Eight Days A Week

Album: Beatles For Sale
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Singer: Lennon

Verdict: Now that I’m to this point in the countdown I think I rated this too high. One of my favorite of the “yeah yeah” hits, but the band didn’t care for the song and never performed it live. I just love John and Paul’s harmony with the “hold me, love me” lines. 

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Beatles Song Countdown: 60-56

60: Back In The U.S.S.R.

Album: The Beatles
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: A nice rocker to begin the white album and I love that Paul wrote this during the height of the fear of communism. I mean, how dare he even consider that Soviets might be human beings. While it’s a parody of “California Girls”, it rises above that. 

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Beatles Song Countdown: 65-61

the beatles 100 greatest songs

65: Here Comes The Sun

Album: Abbey Road
Writer: Harrison
Singer: Harrison

Verdict: A solid offering by George; he wrote it after escaping to Eric Clapton’s home to avoid dealing with the band. I enjoy the melody quite a bit and it’s a good spring song. The repetitiveness of the title gets to be a little much, though. 

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