Thread: The Beatles
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
Davey Moore
The Great Disappearer
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: URI Campus and Coventry, both in RI
Posts: 461

Rubber Soul

Rubber Soul is one of the albums that came along sparked the musical revolution of the 60s. Famous for it's reputation as their "turning point", that its used as an analogy whenever a band makes an album that breaks the mold of their previous albums stylistically, saying "It's their Rubber Soul." The reputation isn't given without warrant either. The Beatles really branch out in terms of subject matter and provide a glimpse of the genius that is to come.

Drive My Car is a great way to start off an album that moves like a hurricane. This album never fails to get my head bobbing and this song is no exception. The Beatles were known for having a great beat, and well, this album is a great example of why. I've always found that the beats from those early 50s rock songs were some of the best in popular music, and The Beatles emulate that style they so revered perfectly. An interesting tidbit, McCartney says that "Drive My Car" is a euphemism for sex.
YouTube - The Beatles - Drive My Car

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) is a song mostly written by John Lennon, detailing a secret affair he had, it drove him so crazy that finally he had to write a song about it, writing it in a semi-cryptic fashion because he didn't want his wife to know about it. It sort of seems silly in retrospect, I mean, how could Cynthia Lennon NOT have known that John was cheating on her? In Liverpool Art College, where they met, John was the only person on campus who would have casual sex. Most of the students there were just rich white kids, who wanted to be hip, but John was the real deal. In fact, their whole relationship really is a perfect example of the old adage, "opposites attract."

It features the first time a sitar is used during a pop song. When listening to this song, the influence of Bob Dylan on The Beatles becomes apparent. This song seems to almost be an homage to the sort of playful, cryptic lyrics that were Dylan's signature at that time.
Album Version of Norwegian Wood: YouTube - The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
And for all those interested, alternative version from The Beatles Anthology: YouTube - The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) Anthology

You Won't See Me is another great demonstration of The Beatles great beat, and of their expanding musicianship. In this point in his life, Paul was having a crisis with his then girlfriend, Jane Asher. She wasn't returning any of his phone calls and for once in his life, he was the vulnerable one in a romantic relationship. This accounts for the bitter feel of this song. I personally love the backing vocals by George and John, this song has such a nice flow, I find it's one of their more underrated songs.

YouTube - You Won't See Me - The Beatles

The next song is a classic of theirs, and in my opinion its one of their best vocal performances. John wrote the lyrics to Nowhere Man in fifteen minutes, and though I hate to keep repeating myself, is another example of their great beat and their expanding song writing capabilities. This is a surprisingly introspective song written by John, and is an earlier indicator that John has a really introspective, cynical and hard edge side to him. My favorite parts of this song are two sort of subtle moments. In the video link of the song, my first favorite part is about 1:38 in, where they repeat the lyrics "Doesn't have a point of view...", its an example of the beat I was talking about, and is something that is sort of missing from their later albums. Besides Sgt. Pepper, which has it's own style of beat, even though The Beatles go leaps and bounds as musicians, these earlier-mid 60s songs are the best songs just to let loose and dance to. For instance, I think in songs like Ticket To Ride and I Saw Her Standing There they have that classic, fun rhythm(though in Ticket To Ride, it gets a little funky.) My second favorite part is near the end, in the video it's around 2:35, where Paul's voice jumps higher than the others in the harmony at the lyric "Making all his nowhere plans for nobody." It puts the cap on a great song, and one of my favorites of theirs.

YouTube - The Beatles - Nowhere Man

In Think For Yourself, the boys get political. Well, namely, George does. This is one of George's earlier inclusions on their albums. I don't think it's George's best song by far, but I think it is quite a good song for someone who hasn't been writing songs for that long and has to compete with the dynamo that is Lennon-McCartney. We start to see George developing his own style on this song.

YouTube - The Beatles - Think For Yourself
The boys rehearsing the song, banter, for those interested: YouTube - The Beatles- Think For Yourself (Vocal Rehearsal)

Have you heard about The Word? OK, so I admit that I just saw Family Guy a couple of days ago and had to make that reference. This song is great for demonstrating that killer beat. Notice the maracas, and the great guitar part. It's one of the first songs of theirs where they talk about love, not about the act of love or being in love, but the abstract concept of love itself. It would end up being a defining theme(love that is, not the song, but it is a really good song) in the latter part of their careers, but also of the 60s as a whole.

YouTube - The Beatles - The Word

Michelle is quite a nice song with really good backing vocals in my opinion. I always find it interesting when songwriters include random words in foreign languages, and Michelle draws on Paul's late teen years when he would go to hip college parties and would pretend to be French in order to pick up girls. It usually worked.

YouTube - The Beatles 'Michelle'

What Goes On is a song where I don't know which way to lean. I think it's sort of catchy. Sometimes I listen through the whole thing. Sometimes I just skip over it. It's the first song Ringo wrote that is on an album. Mediocre at best.

YouTube - The Beatles - What Goes On

Girl. John Lennon's flight into his mind, and him detailing, almost painfully, his fantasy woman. Later on, he will find that woman. I think it's the only Beatles song where the chorus is one word and a sigh. It may hold the record for shortest chorus in length for a pop song, but someone should check my facts on that one. I like the guitar during the chorus, how the sort of whimsical guitar strumming.

YouTube - The Beatles - Girl

I'm Looking Through You is the best demonstration on the album of the beat I was talking about. It is the most underrated song on the album. I love the acoustic guitar opening. The song is about Paul's dissatisfaction with his relationship with Jane Asher. I love the parts of the song where it sounds like someone is clapping sort of fast, it is so catchy.

YouTube - The Beatles "I'm Looking Through You" 1965 (video montage)
Anthology version:YouTube - The Beatles - Anthology 2 - I'm Looking Through You

In My Life was the first Beatles song I heard. My dad played it for me. It's been in my memories for so long, that it sort of seems old to me. I know it's beautiful, I know it's one of John's best lyrical jobs, but for some reason I can't get into it like I was, and I used to be obsessed with it. I still think it's one of the best songs they've written though, if I look at it from an objective, critical stand point.

YouTube - John Lennon Tribute In My Life

Wait is another one of those underrated songs I think. The beat is absolutely infectous in my mind. This is some of my favorite drumming by Ringo, and I really like the exchange between the guitar and the drums at certain points. It is a very solid pop song that for some reason gets looked over. I don't find it mediocre at all.

YouTube - The Beatles - Wait

If I Needed Someone is George's second song on the album. He admits that this song is heavily influenced by The Byrds. This is the only song of Harrison's that The Beatles sang on stage, the only other songs that Harrison sang on stage were cover songs. One of my favorite parts is when Paul backs up George with a really high voice in the harmony. I find it quite good. The guitar part is quite 60s.

YouTube - The Beatles - If I Needed Someone

Run For Your Life is a mystery, I don't know why this song is so catchy considering the subject matter. As I'm listening, I notice that the harmony during the chorus is actually quite cool. Lennon said this song was just one of those songs you write for the sake of writing it and getting it out of the way. I sort of agree, it's nice and catchy but it definitely isn't a stand out.

YouTube - The Beatles - Run For You Life

The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

Last edited by Davey Moore; 10-12-2008 at 08:54 PM.
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