I linked to my favorite post-Beatles Paul McCartney songs on his 70th birthday. So I reckon I ought to post my favorite Beatles McCartney songs on his 80th birthday. When he hits 90, I don’t know WHAT I’ll do.
The list is roughly #11 to #1. Well, except for one thing. Also, comments are based on recollection because that’s what Beatles music is for me.
Helter Skelter – white album. The Who and other bands were considered loud, and this was a response. Paul usually plays this on tour in the latter third of his shows.
Get Back– A-side of a single; Hey Jude(album (US). A joyous song, whichever rendition.
I’m Down – B-side of Help! single, which only made it to #101 on the US pop charts. Yes, it’s surely McCartney’s remake of Long Tall Sally. The ABC-TV broadcast of the live performance at Shea Stadium in 1965 hooked me.
Getting Better – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I am fascinated by the STRUCTURE of this song. It’s verse and chorus, but the chorus gets increasingly longer each time out. I thought it was incredibly clever writing.
Back in the USSR – white album. The first song on the album with fun lyrics and Beach Boys harmonies
Lady Madonna – A-side of a single; Hey Jude album (US). Initially, I wasn’t positive this last Capitol single even was the Beatles.
Revolver and Rubber Soul rule
Eleanor Rigby – Revolver. A moving McCartney story song. But even without the lyrics, it’s a beautiful song, as the Anthology version shows.
For No One – Revolver. Simple yet devastating. Vocal, then horn solo, then vocal and horn. Stunningly effective.
You Won’t See Me – Rubber Soul. It is the Mal Evans sustained chord on the Hammond organ throughout the last verse, last chorus, and outro that gives this song a special buzz. At the same time, I have related to the notion of feeling invisible. On the US version of the album, this is followed by Think for Yourself (Harrison) and The Word (Lennon), and they go well together.
Drive My Car – Rubber Soul (UK), Yesterday and Today (US). Extraordinary chord structure. I’ve noted before that it was John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful, saying in a magazine that this was on Rubber Soul, which eventually led me to realize that the UK and US albums were not alike, even when they had the same name.
Got To Get You Into My Life – Revolver. When I was home alone, as the song got to the final chorus, I started slowly increasing the volume. The horns were so resplendent to my ears and down my spinal column that Ie practically wept for joy. Then it led into Tomorrow Never Knows, possibly my favorite pairing on any album.
One more thing, though. There are some great songs in the medley on Abbey Road. I’m particularly fond of Golden Slumbers. Happy 80th, Macca.
Coverville 1404: Paul McCartney Cover Story IV