It's been more than 50 years since the Beatles formed, and they're still overwhelmingly revered, both internationally and locally. Fab Four tribute act Rain performed two nights in a row to a lively audience at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, and Paul McCartney is still big enough of a draw that he's got two Yankee Stadium gigs in July. Even Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn't immune to the immenseness of these "pioneering forces in pop music," and a new exhibit about them has opened.
Surely most have fond memories attached to some of the most influential songs ever written, but let us also not forget that all that glitters is not gold. Not even these Liverpool legends were exempt from the fact that sometimes, some more than others, musicians just make bad music.
Conversations about the Beatles, or any band,
for that matter, often get to that "favorite song" moment eventually. More often than
not, the answers are satisfactory for the catalog of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Every now and again, though, there are choices that are heinous enough to completely unhinge the mind, and leave an acrid taste in my
mouth. Here now is a compilation of the five absolute worst, most God-awful songs
by the Beatles that others seem to love.
5. "Her Majesty"
So you've listened to Abbey Road all of the way through, as you should every single time you put this record on, and have reached "The End," two minutes and 19 seconds of a monster shredder of a guitar solo followed by a softly sung, insightful line about love and the human condition. A perfect ending to a perfect record -- or so you thought. A moment passes and the majesty of this records sits in, soon interrupted by one of Paul McCartney's trademark silly love songs, garishly tacked onto the end. No cohesion to the rest of the record, no follow-up lyrics to further cement the sentiment just established, just 23 seconds of a forgettable acoustic guitar set to a few lines about being nervous about liking a snotty, dull woman who is also "pretty nice." Thanks for ruining the record.
4. "Yellow Submarine"
As a child, I watched the film "Yellow Submarine" countless times, which would probably make anyone grow up to be a complete nutcase. As I grew older, however, my love for the film's title track dwindled. Featured on what is arguably the Beatles' best record, Revolver, it pales in comparison to the rest of the album -- another extra finger to be gawked at and written by the worst Beatle at that. Good one, Ringo. Talk some more trash about your hometown while you're at it; you're far from winning any more hearts these days.
It was also featured on Beatles Rock Band, and it is the easiest, most boring song to play in the entire game.
3. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
The song is credited as being written by both Lennon and McCartney, but mostly McCartney, which is no surprise. Although not one of his signature silly love songs, it is really nothing more than a silly pop song. On the same record, Paul struck gold by writing "Helter Skelter," a song so good that Charles Manson started a cult and convinced a bunch of strangers to murder one of the most beautiful women in the world. Fuck yeah! If that isn't validation, I don't know what is. There is a disturbing lack of psychedelic murder anthems these days. It's still not too late, Paul.
2. "Glass Onion"
Although I hold John Lennon in highest regard, it's a fact that he produced musical manure even before he started making records with Yoko Ono. A failed attempt to troll all of the hysteria following the "Paul is Dead" hoax, as if that horse hadn't been beaten enough already. The song is nothing more than a catalog of loose references to other, better Beatles songs. John, I am disappointed. 0/10.
1. "Hey Jude"
This monstrosity was birthed from the worst parts of the Beatles. "Hey Jude" is based around the song "Hey Jules," written by this list's MVP, Paul McCartney, written to comfort John Lennon's son during his affair with the woman who broke up the band, Yoko Ono. This festering turd of a song was paired with "Revolution," an excellent, relevant and conscientious song, which perhaps best demonstrates the rift that had formed between McCartney and Lennon. "Hey Jude" is over seven minutes of Paul's wussy whine that ends with an egregious, over-the-top coda in which he shrieks "Juuuuday, Judayjudayjudaaaahhh," which calls this clip of James Brown to mind:
McCartney's insane squealing gibberish would be acceptable only if he were completely coated in sweat, wearing a shirt with the top three buttons undone, and, of course, a ten-gallon hat.
The sad reality of this is that it has spent the most time at the number-one spot on the Billboard charts, far longer than any of their other singles. It pains me to see that this is actually acceptable as a favorite Beatles song, that a person could answer back with this and not feel the least bit shameful or embarrassed.
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I would like it to be known that my favorite is "I Am the Walrus," which I think is a pretty solid one to have.