Beatles Song Countdown: 10-6

10: I’m Looking Through You

Album: Rubber Soul
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: Similar to Run For Your Life in that it’s about the angry devolution of one of the singer’s relationships, only without the violence and misogyny. Also, it’s got Paul’s amazing voice (have I mentioned that before?). I might be the only person who loves this song this much. The rhymes are simplistic, the rhythm generic. It’s just his voice. And I like the ending where instead of the usual decrescendo, Paul just keeps amping it up through the fade-out. 

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Beatles Song Countdown: 15-11

15: Run For Your Life

Album: Rubber Soul
Writer: Lennon
Singer: Lennon

Verdict: Lennon cited this as the worst song in the entire Beatles catalog and regrets writing it. I can see why. It’s misogynistic and violent. So yeah. For me it’s so over-the-top it comes off more as an angry hyperbolic fantasy to blow off steam. The guitar work isn’t great either. There’s just something about desperation in John’s voice that draws me in. The way he sings, “Baby I’m determined…” just sends a cold one through me. 

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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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