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Share via Email. Close Modal Window Hang on for a minute Spam Control Field. Please Ignore. Email Updates. Enter your email address below to receive our weekly email updates. Enter your email address. Listen to Ramcast, the official podcast of The Fordham Ram. Navigate Left. Navigate Right. The Fordham Ram. Search Submit Search. There were tears. Read on for the complete list. But with one majestic, mysterious Rickenbacker distress call, the Beatles as we first met them on The Ed Sullivan Show four months earlier were gone.
In less expert hands, the contrast might have felt clumsy. The rest of the band initially resisted releasing it; even today, some find it mawkish. See No. Elvis Presley, James Brown, and Smokey Robinson all covered it; Frank Sinatra once called it the greatest love song of the last 50 years. The song was a tumultuous way of celebrating their ever-increasing triumph over the pop world. With a love like that, you know you should be glad.
The title was also apt: They broke up shortly after releasing it as a single. John originally wanted to be suspended by ropes and twirled as he sang in the recording studio before conceding that engineering trickery was probably a much safer bet. The path of sonic experimentation that soon led to the mind-expanding grandeur of Sgt.
Still, having left Sutcliffe in Hamburg, the band continued to rock the Cavern as a quartet, with Paul McCartney playing bass. A local music-store owner, Brian Epstein, saw potential in the band when no one else did and reinvented himself as their manager. After hitting dead ends with all of the established British labels of the time, he put together a last-shot meeting with an exec at Parlophone, an overlooked division of the conglomerate EMI.
He advised them to write some new material and get rid of their drummer. His former songwriting partner, one Paul McCartney, added six lines as a sort of bridge. Docked notches for corpse desecration. The call-and-response chorus is labored; the whole thing reeks of having come from a squaresville OffBroadway musical about kids these days. The instrumentation is unusual; there are no actual Beatles playing on the track, but no one cares because the song is so bad.
Docked notches for grave robbing and general dishonesty. After the first visit to Parlophone, McCartney and Lennon went back to Liverpool and did what needed to be done. With a professionalism they might not have possessed, they forthrightly confronted Rory Storm, the leader of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, a prominent Liverpool band, and told him they wanted to steal his drummer, who went by the name Ringo Starr. It was important, they said.
They might have a record contract.
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Band manager Brian Epstein had let many lucrative deals slip through his fingers; but particular concern was directed at Dick James, their song publisher, who made 1, 2, 10, 20 fortunes from this deal. Historical value aside, McCartney and Lennon had vetoed it for Sgt. It took a long time for the band to get this right in the studio. No one liked it; but it was reportedly Lennon who finally sat down and banged the piano part out appropriately.
Newsflash: No one cares about Desmond and Molly Jones. The lyrics are inane even by McCartney standards. And that repetitious backing track goes on for nearly four minutes. I Love You. He was unsure about the group … but decided to go for it. Not that much as a song, though. A creditable early lead vocal on the Chuck Berry classic by George Harrison, who loved the song. It was a stage favorite that is a little tepid on record.
Since Please Please Me , eight months earlier, the band had had three No. The release of With the Beatles was where things in England began to get weird. Stores were overrun by teenagers wanting the record. It is said to have sold a half-million copies on its first day ; that would be the rough equivalent of 4 million copies in the U. They worked out the logic of this or that scenario, and delivered verdicts or advice accordingly.
It took a while before actual love songs with recognizable people and situations in them would be in the offing. The new six-disc mega rerelease of Sgt. Pepper includes a reproduction of the actual poster. The Beatles set themselves up as Sgt. So why were Sgt. The result is a decent novelty song that provides ammunition for those, like me, who contend that, track for novelty track, the song quality on Sgt. A flaw in their contracts allowed them to record outside songs for movies, a financial windfall for the studio lucky enough to make the film. What no one expected was that a young, canny director named Richard Lester would make the resulting movie an unexpected classic, with any number of comic set pieces, ranging from the slapstick to the satirical, that remain invigorating and pointed to this day.
In one scene, George is taken in to be quizzed by an amoral adman on what British youth were thinking. The anvil sound is hilarious. Wait — Maxwell kills people? In the wan Let It Be movie, you can see John Lennon looking pensive as the band runs through this piffle, wondering how his life has come to this. Docked 50 notches for the verse in which Maxwell kills the pataphysical scientist.
She seemed cool. Much later, McCartney would allow that he was guilty of laziness for putting nontracks like this on his albums. An anticlimax to the last uninteresting album the band would release for several years. They broke up for a lot of reasons. Then Lennon started using heroin. Fun times, fun times. Later he tried to paint the other Beatles as the bad guys. The result is just that — show-offy.
This first turned up on an American release, Beatles VI. The vulnerability is charming, though. One of the least interesting songs on the otherwise sparkling Rubber Soul. Ringo Starr grew up Ritchie Starkey — without a father and in the slums. He nearly died from an infection at 6 — remaining in a hospital for a full year. He then contracted tuberculosis, which gave him an extended stay in a sanitarium and no chance at all of regaining his footing in school.
The dismal future that awaited him was thwarted by chance. His natural likability and gifted affinity for the drums changed everything. He came alive on stage — sporting a streak in his hair and flashy rings. That put his life on its unlikely trajectory, and ultimately made him a worldwide household name for some 55 years now.
That likability, his reliable steady beat, and his flair for a tasteful fill made him an important part of the Beatles, which is saying something. He sang lead on 11 songs. The good songs went to the movies and toward the grueling single-release schedule that Martin and Epstein enforced. Beatles for Sale, which came out between the two soundtracks, was another unprecedented smash, spending months at No. Great groovy fuzzed-out bass line, though. Supposedly recorded in one take.
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One assumes this was a live crowd-pleaser, because its charms are elusive on disc. American records were rare in Britain, and the band picked up what songs they could from the eccentric assortment that presented itself; this was originally done in a distaff version by an obscure Detroit girl group called the Donays, written by one Ricky Dee.
Of the four Beatles, Harrison was the only one who grew up in a nuclear family; like the others, though, he also grew up with an outhouse, and playing in rubbled lots, the detritus of a terrible war that had given undue attention to Liverpool, a major port. Lennon could of course be much crueler about it. Harrison responded by leaving Lennon out of his autobiography. This is routinely referred to as a Beatles oddity, but the song itself is from The Music Man , one of the best American musicals of the era. The song about the meter maid, fine.
But we draw the line at animal songs, particularly when the story, pointless to begin with, goes nowhere. Much later, Lennon would play it with the Plastic Ono Band. He, too, grew up marginally in a damaged city; he lost his mother at More than any of the Beatles, and indeed more than just about anyone you can think of, he has radiated happiness and contentment and not in a self-satisfied way for most of his life.
He was in the biggest-selling band of the s, and was probably the biggest-selling artist of the s as well. He was also — how to put this? He smoked marijuana heroically most of his life, and lived a great love story with his wife, Linda Eastman, until her too-early death in If Paul McCartney has a dark side, it is the voice inside him demanding that he dominate every genre of pop music with his cosmically pleasurable, almost ridiculously facile skills.
Here, a number for toddlers. And some people say he was a humorless moralist. But there was a way in which he was always on parole, and over the years his resentment grew. Docked another five notches for having basically the same title as another, even worse, song on the same album. This one, by Roy Lee Johnson, is a genuine oddity, partly crooned, party wailed. He has an amazing voice. In addition to the lulling arrangement and production — novel and relaxing, spectacular and subtle — we have Paul mulling things over, a step up from grinning platitudes about nothing.
The argument against it is that it is in the end an argument for the status quo. Given his place in the universe, of course Paul McCartney liked things the way they were. You might think the song is directed at rich, complacent hippies — but the rich, complacent hippies in the Beatles would never write a song about that, would they?
The very antithesis of a moon-spoon-June love song. Lennon grew up a striking artistic personality, living, it needs hardly be said, at a time and in a place where this was barely recognized. Without getting too psychological about it, you can say this left him with lingering anger and displacement issues, manifesting in lots of drinking and random acts of cruelty many never forgot. As the Decade of the Beatles wore on, a growing realization of some of these issues put his sensibility on a collision course with the unprecedented circus of a professional life he had inadvertently found himself in.
The result in the latter years of the s was a lot of growing up, and out, in public, via this or that very personal, and sometimes not very attractive, artistic statement on the matter. This is a takeoff on Animal Farm , and anything but subtle. Funny voices, too. This is a slow grinder, sung earnestly by Lennon.
Way too much echo on the track, though. Painfully plain, this is one of the first complete songs McCartney and Lennon wrote together. Simple is not the word; there are exactly 17 different words in the song, three of which manage to extend to two syllables. If you grew up with Abbey Road you probably still love it. This is a less interesting, blaring track. The animation film Yellow Submarine was built around it years later. The film was not written by the Beatles, and does not feature their voices either, but their inspiration made it a highly enjoyable cinematic experience, then and now.
And no one could reproduce the inherent manic feel of the Beatles. I respect that Lennon is trying to strip down his work to elements, lose his ego, profess his love for Ono, and disappear to be reborn, all that shit. The outro is interminable, undergirded with a roar of white noise, a nice effect. It finally ends, abruptly, with a sharp cut, mid-note. Later, Emerick came to feel Lennon was right.
What came to be called the Get Back sessions featured songs like this — a guitar or two, bass drums, maybe a keyboard, with natural voices on top. You want to like songs like this — and particularly this song, with two of the most familiar voices in the world winding around each other with obvious pleasure.
The documentary made of these sessions, Let It Be , is an engrossing, wan, sometimes joyous, but ultimately troubled look at four friends who could no longer get it together to record earth-shattering music. The band shelved the material and eventually re-formed to record and release Abbey Road. The Get Back session tracks, by this point a red-headed stepchild, were later refashioned to varying degrees by Phil Spector and put out under the name Let It Be , which inadvertently became, in the eyes of the public, the Beatles sad swan song.
This is one of them. With a sober nod to the past, they played it during the recording of Let It Be.
The 50 best Beatles songs ever, ranked from fab to far-out
Its official name is merely The Beatles. Side one:. Side two:. Despite the conceptual problems, there are striking moments in the first half, not least the cutaway to the credits, and of course the conceit of the foursome going home to a row of townhomes, all of which were connected inside. The Help! There are various stories about whom or what this song is really about, but in the end the critical undertones seem sophomoric; after all, the Beatles had been surviving on amphetamines for nearly a decade.
The intro is one of their drabbest. Too many of his songs consist of the title words repeated over and over in the chorus. The band played it on the famous rooftop concert in Let It Be , but it was left off the album. The song, famously written as he waited for some friends on Blue Jay Way in the L.