From 1970’s “Let it Be” album, this is another awesome Beatles song you don’t hear that much of because it’s not one of the 30 or so Beatles songs that’s played, with little variation, on most classic rock or oldies stations. At some point, I’ve been meaning to make an iTunes mix for myself of all the Beatles songs that you never hear on the radio. Why haven’t I done it? See my last entry…
This about sums it up these days … Fortunately, I’ve got good company on this one. From the Beatles “White Album” from 1968.
In my opinion, the Beatles hit their peak with the 1966 album “Revolver” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” is the mind-bending track that concluded that masterpiece. I love the way the odd sound effects and distorted vocals blend so well together with a driving beat … in just under 3 minutes! “Tomorrow” was recently used to great effect at the end of a particularly good “Mad Men” episode (“Lady Lazarus”) from season 5.
“Revolver” was their last album that wasn’t a self-conscious mess. Yes, the Beatles had a lot of great songs after 1966, but in my opinion, the ratio of truly great to merely good or worse songs got wider and wider. That period between 1965 and 1966, when they released “Help!,” “Rubber Soul,” and “Revolver” was their best.
I still don’t know why people claim “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (the first post-“Revolver” album) is the Beatles’ best album, let alone “the greatest of all time.” Yes, its mixing and production were revolutionary for its time. But the actual songs (except for “A Day in the Life” which is legitimately great) are mediocre at best. To call “Pepper” a masterpiece for its production value is like saying “Titanic” is a great film because it cost a lot of money and had cool CGI. The cheesiest psychedelia from that period (and that includes The Strawberry Alarm Clock and Iron Butterfly) is way cooler that “Pepper” could ever hope to be. But I digress…
More stellar early 1970s post-breakup Beatles, this time from Ringo Starr, the most underrated of all of the Beatles. Starr may have never had a consistently excellent album as John Lennon’s “Plastic Ono Band” or Paul McCartney’s “Band on the Run,” but he did some have some awesome singles. This is easily in my Top 5 of the post-Beatles solo-Beatles singles.
The Beatles tend to run hot and cold with me. I don’t know whether it’s oversaturation or overpraise of everything they’ve ever done that sometimes rubs me raw. Please don’t get me wrong. For the 8 years that they recorded (1962-1970), the Beatles were some prolific bastards and all of their great stuff (even if it only comprises 40% of what they recorded, in my opinion) is better than what most bands have produced over twice (or even triple) the number of years. Despite that, a lot of what the Beatles recorded was merely OK. And even some of it was pretty dreadful.
But “Get Back” is a song that I’ve never ever disliked, even during those times when I’m down on the Beatles. Unlike much of what they’ve done over the years, “Get Back” just sounds like a bunch of friendly musicians kicking back and just jamming away for the hell of it. The organ fills by Billy Preston are an especially nice touch and are miles away from the funk freakouts (sometimes great, sometimes not so great) Preston did in the 1970s. It’s a song that always makes me feel better, even when I’m in a really s—ty mood.
Fats Domino does a killer version of this deep track off the Beatles’ “White Album.”
With the exception of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” this is my favorite George Harrison song and arguably the finest song of his late-1980s comeback. And of course, it was thrown away as the end credits song for “Lethal Weapon II.” A really, really lovely song that always brings a smile to my face.
One of the greatest mash-ups of all time, courtesy of Danger Mouse. Jay Z’s “99 Problems” mixed with the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” F–kin’ sweet!