Ron Rosenbaum, Writer

January 7, 2010

Is Revolver the Greatest Beatles Album? Or what?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ronrosenbaumwriter @ 7:51 pm

I know: the question has been asked many times before. But I’ve been thinking about the Beatles lately because I had a call recently from one of America’s great writers on contemporary music, Tim Riley, who wrote an a near-perfect book called Tell Me Why, which is really a series of brilliant short essays about Beatles songs.

Gracefully written essays that treat the songs with a trained musician’s ear, not just as poetic texts to decode but as songs that achieve that evanescent alchemical fusion of word and music in which the lead and leadenness of type on a page is transmuted into gold on the stage. Or in the groove.

Riley amazingly both knows how this works and can articulate it better (on the Beatles anyway) than anyone I’ve read. While so many other writers (surprise!) reduce musicians to their words.

Anyway, he was telling me he’d completed a draft of his much anticipated John Lennon book, seven years in the making, and if there’s anyone I want to read on the subject it’s Riley because he knows the music inside and out.

In the course of our discussion he spoke almost ecstatically about the remastered reissues of the classic Beatles albums and how much there was to discover in them, so as soon as we hung up I hied myself to my next door Borders (no product placement fee), found the remasters, and decided to buy one at a time. But which one? It came down to Revolver, Rubber Soul, or Let It Be.

I have an indelible memory of seeing the film Let it Be when it was first released. An experience that’s imprinted itself on my soul, it was that movie, more than the album, but on the other hand, “Two of Us” may be one of the greatest Beatles songs ever. One of the most beautiful love songs, one of the greatest road songs. And I love Rubber Soul. “Nowhere Man.” “”In My Life.” “If I Needed Someone.” But there’s the obstacle of the impossibly syrupy “Michelle,” which I just can’t stand.

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47 Comments »

  1. Ron, you have the utmost good taste in Beatlery!

    “Revolver” has a powerful claim to being the best Beatles album. “And Your Bird Can Sing” has been one of my favorites since the first time I heard it on the old Beatles cartoon show, and it never gets old–and not just because it’s so hearbreakingly soon over. So many great songs on the album. I would also put in a good word for “Doctor Robert,” which adds some extra ’60s hilarity to the mix.

    Comment by Fred Mecklenburg — January 7, 2010 @ 10:09 pm | Reply

  2. Revolver has always been my favorite followed by Abbey Road and Rubber Soul. favorite song is tough. I Me Mine. Oh Darling. I Want You (she’s so heavy). She Came in Through the Bathroom Window. Too many. Couldn’t possible decide, at least not off the top of my head. Love the musicianship of Taxman and also always loved And Your Bird Can Sing. Sappy, but always thought Here There and Everywhere was one of the best love songs… maybe because it was the song my parents played for their first dance at the wedding.

    Comment by bryan — January 8, 2010 @ 8:31 am | Reply

  3. I’d say “Rubber Soul.”

    Comment by Doc99 — January 8, 2010 @ 9:36 am | Reply

  4. Revolver is the most consistently brilliant. A (heretical) case could be made for the US version of Magical Mystery Tour, which wasn’t a real album but, with the inclusion of several great singles, is impossible to get tired of.

    A Hard Day’s Night also deserves consideration.

    Oddly, Rubber Soul is one of my least favorite. They just seem to be trying too hard.

    Comment by Andrew Dabrowski — January 8, 2010 @ 11:19 am | Reply

  5. Do we mean the American “Revolver” or the British “Revolver”? Either way it is the best, although “Beatles For Sale” is very close. Do not underestimate the strength of the early music, especially “The BBC Sessions” and the British “Hard Day’s Night” soundtrack. Also the Capitol albums “Beatles ’65” and “Beatles VI” are perfect. Songs like “What You’re Doing” and “Every Little Thing” (preferable in Mono) are a more joyous listening experience on 2010 than even the great “Revolver”, and ypu don’t need a Riley or s Baedeker to get the thrill again.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 8, 2010 @ 11:39 am | Reply

  6. If you haven’t read David Norman’s John Lennon bio, which came out last year, do so, terrific on the early years. In my own experience, “Rubber Soul” was the most revolutionary Beatles LP in terms of its initial impact. I bought it in December 1965: the cover was unprecedented, a real work of art. The American “Rubber Soul” began with “I’ve Just Seen A Face” (in the UK, this was on the “Help” soundtrack), followed by “Norwegian Wood”, setting a dreamy mystical tone. The drone like mantra of “The Word”, the throbbing bass line of “Think for Yourself” and the unabashed chauvinism of “Run For Your Life” (outdoing the Stones) added to the whole male dominance theme of the record. This was the anti- “Pet Sounds.” On that night in ’65 I spun the disc over and over again, playing it for my friends over the phone. (But, remember, it was the US version; the Brit version is an aesthetic mishmash, with “What Goes On”, a throwaway, for example). This was the portal album to the mature Beatles, just as “Aftermath” was for the Stones.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 8, 2010 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  7. Good call comparing Aftermath to Rubber Soul.. could you do the same with my favorite group The Who? or were they just to good out of the gate with A Quick One?
    Also, I overlooked the early Beatles for a very long time. Hard Days Night was a revolution for me this past year when I revisited it.
    Happy 75th Elvis!

    Comment by bryan — January 8, 2010 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

  8. 45 years since “Revolver” came out…for a similar time span, back then, we would have been debating the merits of “Roses of Picardy” versus “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland”

    Comment by charlie finch — January 8, 2010 @ 6:40 pm | Reply

  9. Yeah, I agree: Revolver, with Rubber Soul, Abbey Road and Beatles for Sale close behind. The White Album is genius, but a mess. Sgt. Pepper’s is the most influential pop album in history, but who listens to it (except for “A Day in the Life”) anymore?

    But if you’ll let this old rock music critic cheat a little, how about a good word for “‘Yesterday’ and Today”? Sure, it was a U.S. only compilation, but it’s what we grew up with — and its line-up of songs is almost as good as Revolver’s.

    BTW, if Rubber Soul is the greatest album of rock’s greatest group, is it also the greatest rock album? I’m not sure. Astral Weeks is still sitting out there, and so is Pet Sounds. So are The Sun Sessions and What’s Going On? And as the years go by and tastes change, OK Computer (Radiohead), Bee Thousand (Guided by Voices) and Joshua Tree (U2) sound better and better . . .

    — Your fellow PJMer.

    Comment by msmalone — January 8, 2010 @ 6:51 pm | Reply

  10. To paraphrase Ringo, “It’s the bloody Beatles White Album, STFU”!

    Comment by Denver — January 8, 2010 @ 6:57 pm | Reply

  11. Ah yes, I saw the Who’s very first US concert on the Murray the K bill (with Cream, Wilson Pickett, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, The Blues Project, Jim and Jean, and th Hardly Worthit Players as “Senator Bobby”) at the RKO 58th Street Theater, part of a weeklong gig, April 1967). I his 1983 book “My Generation”, Dave Marsh argues that the “Quick One” album (“Happy Jack” in the US, with a couple of different tracks) is not a real album, because the sound quality is bad and because a contractual agreement obligated Moon and Daltrey to contribute songs. However, I disagree, I always loved this album and would agree with Bryan about its equivalence to “Rubber Soul” and “Aftermath”. So “Quick One/Sell Out” is analagous to “Rubber Soul/Revolver” and “Aftermath/Between the Buttons” and “Bringing it All Back Home/Highway 61” and “Something Else/Face to Face” (Kinks, of course) and “Summer Days, Summer Nights/Beach Boys Today”. As for Elvis, let me recommend the disc “Elvis 56”

    Comment by charlie finch — January 8, 2010 @ 7:37 pm | Reply

  12. Bryan, For a real treat, go to YouTube and check out “The High Numbers 1964 at the Railway Hotel”, the rare Kit Lambert film of the Who which he prepared as a publicity tool to get them into the Marquee and get a record deal. Per your suspicions, the Who sprang fully formed from the brow of Athena!!

    Comment by charlie finch — January 8, 2010 @ 7:55 pm | Reply

  13. The All Ron Rosenbaum Beatles Album: “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill” (Shakespeare); “Dear Prudence” (won’t you come out to play, Lolita); “Dr. Robert” (Kevorkian); “When I’m 64” (next November); “I am the Walrus” (John doing Dylan); “Leave My Kitten Alone”; “Komme Gimme Deine Hand” (German version of “I Want to Hold Your Hand”), “Paperback Writer”, “You’re Gonna Lose That Girl” and, of course, “Revolution”

    Comment by charlie finch — January 8, 2010 @ 8:30 pm | Reply

  14. “And Your Bird can Sing” was Lennon commenting on a phrase that Frank Sinatra used repeatedly. I’m no sure if there was some rivalry at the time between the two or if Lennon was putting Sinatra’s macho style up for some ridicule. Apparently “Bird” was used so often by Old Blue Eyes that one was never sure what the reference was.

    Comment by Jack McNulty — January 8, 2010 @ 9:28 pm | Reply

  15. Best Beatles album?

    The Beatles (which is the ‘White Album’ but it is just called “The Beatles”)
    OR
    Abbey Road (I was a HS senior in ’69 and went to The Abbey School, sooo…)

    Best Beatles song?
    “Revolution”

    I remember sitting in the civic auditorium in ’70. The headliner was Vanilla Fudge. Warm up band was some guys we had never heard of.

    Led Zeppelin. Now THAT was an eye opener.

    Comment by RagnarD — January 9, 2010 @ 12:44 am | Reply

  16. well this is a bit of fun. thanks Charlie and msmalone. Have seen the High Numbers at Railway! My biggest problem with Quick One is that the title song was so much better on Live at Leeds. Love the album, but understand the complaints. Live at Leeds is up there with Redding Live in Europe and the two original volumes of Stax Volt live in Europe as my favorite live albums.
    Nice take on Ron’s favorites.
    Sun Sessions and the King are my favorite recordings… passed down at a young age from my dad. also love Million Dollar Quartet. If anyone has not heard their session please find it. Jerry Lee on piano with Elvis and Cash singing along with Carl Perkins. beautiful.
    Charlie, my first Who experience was seeing Townsend several times before he got the band back together. shows my age, but the first time i got to see the 3 of them was at the first Quadrophenia (maybe my favorite album) show at MSG in ’96. Saw Pete several times solo including the Garden concert with Lou Reed (a revisitation of Woodstock)… anyway, wish I could have seen Moon. He and Brando and Clift are my all time artists. Met Daultry 2 days after the Ox’s death. He was a very nice man. I love them Mods. though I’m more a Rocker myself.

    Comment by bryan — January 9, 2010 @ 12:56 am | Reply

  17. anyone have any experience with London? My fiance just got offered a job there but I do not know what the opportunities for a semi-young actor are? I have never had the opportunity to live abroad. have travelled my great country many times over and lived in most major cities, but never did the EU thing. if I thought I could get any work theatrically I would do it in a second (as long as my dog didn’t have to do some sort of quarantine)… is the experience worth it? the idea of taking a train to Paris blows my mind. like going from NYC to Baltimore. should i pass this up? are enough American plays produced there?

    Comment by bryan — January 9, 2010 @ 1:02 am | Reply

  18. high numbers, them, the pretty things, kinks… thems my bands.

    Comment by bryan — January 9, 2010 @ 1:07 am | Reply

  19. Elvis ’56 is my favorite album. also love the compilation Sam Cooke Legend. they may be my favorite all time.
    Radiohead OK Computer is up there as far as modern, along with Raindogs by Waits and Surfer Rosa, Pixies.

    Comment by bryan — January 9, 2010 @ 1:12 am | Reply

  20. even better is The Who’s performance of Quick One on The Rolling Stones Rock N Roll Circus, which is rumored to have been delayed in its release because The Who blew everyone away, including Lennon and the Stones.

    Comment by bryan — January 9, 2010 @ 1:20 am | Reply

  21. sorry for the barrage but am I the only Ron fan to wonder about his thoughts on Inglorious Basterds?? Think The Reader was the worst film I saw in the theater since The Congo (Crichton film ca ’95 ish) and may be the most offensive film I’ve ever seen and I’m a huge fan of John Waters… that being said, I thought Basterds was the film of the year and have been anxious to read Ron’s and his followers reaction.

    Comment by bryan — January 9, 2010 @ 1:38 am | Reply

  22. my highlight performances are Dirty Boulevard at Bowie’s 50th B-Day Concert with Lou Reed, Guns N Rose way back in the day, Dylan’s latest tour (saw him in Pawtucket RI he was having lots of fun), Who at MSG Quadrophenia 1996 (not knowing that i would see them 15 times in 4 years). and Dylan 30th Anni at MSG when NYC crowd made Sinead O’Connor cry.

    what are yours?

    Comment by bryan — January 9, 2010 @ 1:49 am | Reply

  23. I was at all five nights of Bruce at the Bottom Line in 1975, Dylan at Dartmouth, MA in 1975, Stones twice at Graden in 72, Lennon “me to One” concert 72, Stones at Palladium 78, Derek and the Dominoes Fillmore East 70, Dead/New Riders Fillmore East 69, Airplane multiple times Fillmore East 68-70, Dead/Love/Allmans Fillmore East 69, Zep Wolman Rink 70, Miles Davis/Thelonious Monk Wollman Rink 69, Jesse Colin Young/Joni Mitchell/Beachboys/CSNY Roosevelt Field 74, Laura Nyro Carnegie Hall 69, Van Morrison Bottom Line 75, Lou Reed Bottom Line 76, The Band and Dylan MSG 74, Dylan in Maryland 81, Band at MSG Theater 69-70, Santana/McLsughlin/Clapton Nassau Colisuem 75, Mingus Newport/New york 72, Tim Buckley Avery Fisher Hall 69, Delaney and Bonnie Hunter College 69, Tim Hardin Hunter College 69, Taj and Cooder Ford’s Theater 76, Hot Tuna Palladium 72, Dylan 3 nights at MSG 78, Dyland and Tom Petty Byrne Arena 85, Marley at the Beacon 75, Patti Smith Rutherford Hall 75. First time Bowie ccame to my apartment for a visit, since I wasn’t a fan, I went out to Tower and bought ten of his CDs; first thin he does is go through my CD collection, and I ended up giving him a number of rarities which even Bowie didn’t have. When we got to be good buds, I told Bowie, “I was a Velvets fan and didn’t like your stuff, because you stole everything from Lou Reed and he admited it was true.”

    Comment by charlie finch — January 9, 2010 @ 4:07 am | Reply

  24. “Is Revolver the Greatest Beatles Album?”

    Yes.

    Comment by AndrewJ — January 9, 2010 @ 6:49 am | Reply

  25. London: no dog quarantine, theater scene far more vibrant, especially for American plays, tough work rules for expats, though, which you or your agent should thoroughly vet beforehand

    Comment by charlie finch — January 9, 2010 @ 7:35 am | Reply

  26. Greatest rock albums per MS Malone 1) Smile 2) Sergeant Pepper 3) Beggar’s Banquet 4) Lifehouse 5) Kinks Live at Kelvin Hall 6) Blonde on Blonde 7) Who Live at Leeds 8) Human Highway (Neil Young) 9) Velvet Underground 10) Highway 61 Revisited 11) Achtung Baby 12) Fifth Dimension (Byrds) 13) Astral Weeks 14) Led Zeppelin 15) I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got 16) Electric Ladyland 17) Sticky Fingers 18) Cheap Thrills 19) Jefferson Airplane Live at Fillmore East/West 20) Buffalo Springfield Again 21) Freak Out 22) Revolver 23) Sun Sessions 24) Pet Sounds 25) Moondance

    Comment by charlie finch — January 9, 2010 @ 8:07 am | Reply

  27. 26) Music From Big Pink 27) Horses 28) Grateful Dead 29) Rubber Soul 30) Darkness at the Edge of Town 31) Time Fades Away 32) After Bathing at Baxter’s 33) Blood on the Tracks 34) Fresh Cream 35) Who Sell Out 36) Beatles for Sale 37) Animalism 38) Street Noise (Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger) 39) Songs of Leonard Cohen 40) Court and Spark 41) The River 42) Hard Road 42) Happy Trails (Quicksilver) 43) Rumours 44) East-West (Butterfield) 45) Younger Than Yesterday 46) Got Live If You Want It 47) Axis: Bold As Love 48) The Gilded Palace of Sin 49) Forever Changes 50) The Doors

    Comment by charlie finch — January 9, 2010 @ 9:06 am | Reply

  28. Charlie… no love for Tom Waits?

    Comment by bryan — January 9, 2010 @ 12:00 pm | Reply

  29. That’s a whole nutha list

    Comment by charlie finch — January 9, 2010 @ 12:42 pm | Reply

  30. Best 60s videos (all on YouTube) Beatles “Rain” Ike and Tina “River Deep Mountain High” Donovan “Epistle to Dippy” Traffic “Hole in My Shoe” Dylan “Subterannean Homesick Blues” Mamas and Papas “I Saw Her Again” Supremes “Reflections” The Who “Happy Jack” The Who “Pictures of Lilly” Rolling Stones “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby?” The Kinks “Dead End Street” Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever”

    Comment by charlie finch — January 9, 2010 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

  31. Charlie: “Smile”, eh? I devoted my ABC column to it about a year ago: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/SiliconInsider/story?id=162381&page=1

    Bryan: “Surfer Rosa” is a great album. But I still give the prize to GBV. I think even Kim Deal would.

    Comment by msmalone — January 9, 2010 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

  32. MSM: Of course, I included some never actually released albums on the list, beacuse the myth plus the bootlegs available plus the sheer wealth of released material related to the project is more real as a record album than most releases. I am not discussing Brian’s 2004 release (thought that is part of “Smile”). There are two excellent mixes of the album on YouTube, half a dozen excellent Japanese and other bootleg mixes and, best of all, the 30 minutes of released material on the Beach Boys Box Set. The fact that major released songs such as “Cabinessence” and “Surf’s Up” can be broken into component parts and reassembled in the mind and ear adds to the myth and listening reality of “Smile”. Thus, “Smile” is an aural Lego Set, which can be experienced, reassembled and heard differently over a lifetime. Nothing in rock approaches it.

    Comment by charlie finch — January 9, 2010 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

  33. Revolver, sure. Thanks to the Screaming Mania the Beatles don’t have a lot of tapes from live shows to savor. Had they survived longer they might have taken their much enhanced sound on the road with the help of emerging technology. Think of having a Dicks Picks collection of Beatles shows. Best album ever: Live/Dead.

    Comment by Gary Ogletree — January 10, 2010 @ 7:55 am | Reply

  34. Plenty of live Beatle stuff out there, not just on the Anthology DVD set, but also on YouTube. The complete Hollywood Bowl (released in part) is available in two discs on Bootleg. The Washington, D.C. 1964 concert, in the round, available, complete, on YouTube. “Five Nights in a Judo Arena”, the Tokyo concert in which Japanese fans, being polite, were silent, also on bootleg and YouTube. (Generation records on Thompson Street in the Village is the place to get your bootlegs, as many of these stores have closed) Beatles at Shea also available complete on YouTube. The crowd antics actually enhance the music. After all, what could be more “live”? But there are plenty of other Beatles live enjoyments, starting with the BBC sessions, live in the studio, because of Brit union rules restricting disc spinning. These magical sides prove Paul’s contention that, “we were not only a working band, we were the best working band.” The “Ready Steady Go” tapes (again, YouTube) are quirky and exciting, also the Stockholm TV tapes, in front of another culturally sedated audience. That is a heckuva moat to explore, Fabites!

    Comment by charlie finch — January 10, 2010 @ 8:46 am | Reply

  35. Take one small example, the opening of the 1965 Shea concert (on “Anthology” and YouTube). It begins with an old friend of mine, then CBS local TV’s culture reporter Leonard Harris. (Still going strong, Leonard played the politician in “Taxi Driver” and once spun a whole hour of Bing Crosby hits on my WBAI radio show.) Harris tries to get the fans to admits that the Beatles are passe, but their love shines through. Then we have a beaming Ed Sullivan’s rather noble intro (“decorated by their Queen, honored by their country”) anda riproaring verson of “Twist and Shout”, full of adrenaline. It doesn’t matter that the sound comes through the ballpark speakers in centerfield. 50 years ago, “Downbeat” Magazine went over to Coltrane drummer Elvin Jones’ downtown pad to do a “blindfold session” (playing sides for the musician, who tries to identify who is playing what) and found, to the editors’ suprise, that Jones had a 50 cent cardboard turntable, to which Elin commented, “doesn’t matter, the music still comes through.” In my view, same with the Beatles at Shea. Then John delivers these memorable lines, “We’d like to play you a new number, a waltz. I think it’s on “Beatles VI”. I don’t know, I haven’t got it”, as the band launches into “Baby’s in Black”. Not only does John misidentify the record “Baby’s in Black” is on in America (“Beatles ’65”), in his effort to slam the mobsters at Capitol for diluting Beatles’ product to rake in the dough, but John doesn’t recognize what a perfect record “Beatles VI” was, totally by accident. That is just a couple of minutes of the Beatles live experience available to us

    Comment by charlie finch — January 10, 2010 @ 9:04 am | Reply

  36. The best: I keep changing my mind. Usually it’s whichever of the top contenders I’ve just listened to.

    But I’ll put in a plug for the White Album as one of the contenders. It’s not “a mess.” at all. It is plagued by a weak second half of the fourth side; but its prolixity is its strength, and its song-sequencing over three sides purest genius. Yes, even bits like “Wild Honey Pie,” with little independent value, in situ improve the whole.

    It’s often been said, including by George Martin, that it should have been a single album. But as often as I’ve tried to cut it down to 14 tracks (especially using the unofficial songwriter quotas), there’s always something missing, and it’s always diminished.

    Comment by Bohemond — January 10, 2010 @ 9:40 am | Reply

  37. Side 1: Back in the USSR, Dear Prudence, Everybody’s Got Something to Hide, I’m So Tired, Not Guilty, Revolution #1, Helter Skelter Side 2: Birthday, Rocky Raccoon, Cry Baby Cry, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird, Julia, Good Night (Note: “Not Guilty” was left off the original) Hey, today you can BE George Martin and burn your own “The Beatles” CD!!

    Comment by charlie finch — January 10, 2010 @ 1:26 pm | Reply

  38. I left out “Yer Blues” and “Happiness…” because of the foreshadowing of John’s murder. “Martha My Dear” too twee, everything else on the White Album has that music hall/gimmick stuff that George Martin could properly do without (Piggies,Obla,etc.) “Sexy Sadie”: borderline. By the way, there’s a guy named Hopfrog on YouTube who spins his old 45 collection (you watch the record spin), gives the single’s release date and you get to hear that crisp mono sound (nonpareil) through our computer. I just listened to the song that got me through my recent divorce, “(The Love I Saw in You Was Just A) Mirage”, a Ron fave!

    Comment by charlie finch — January 10, 2010 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

  39. Back in the USSR, Birthday, Obla Di Obla Da are by far my least favorite Beatles songs. Can’t stand a second of them. don’t care for any significance they may hold. grating, annoying songs.

    Comment by bryan — January 10, 2010 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

  40. Good Night? Yuck!!!!

    For my personal taste, your Side 2 lineup after the opener is too all-ballady. But, hey, de gustibus non carborundum (don’t eat sandpaper).

    Now include group politics, Charlie: One for Ringo, two for George, and the rest split John/Paul more or less evenly.

    The real point, though, is that the WA is a treasure trove of great Beatles songs from the peak of their powers (remember, a lot of the Abbey Road material was written then as well).

    For myself, after a long cycle shying away from it, I’m inclined to give the top spot back to Sgt Pepper (esp after hearing the mono mix). If only EMI policy had permitted the inclusion of Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane, there wouldn’t be any contest.

    And I do think that the US/Capitol Rubber Soul is actually a bit better than the UK/Parlophone in terms of song lineup- but the US album was ruined by gobs of fake reverb.

    Comment by Bohemond — January 11, 2010 @ 8:16 am | Reply

  41. “Good Night” just a coda, like “The End” on Abbey Road

    Comment by charlie finch — January 11, 2010 @ 9:19 am | Reply

  42. 5 John, 6 Paul, 2 George, 1 Ringo

    Comment by charlie finch — January 11, 2010 @ 9:49 am | Reply

  43. I’ll give a thumbs up to Charlie Finch’s single disc White Album. Sure I’d make a few different selections (Mother Nature’s Son in place of Rocky Raccoon, Yer Blues in place of Revolution #1), but overall I think it works.

    Comment by Peter G — January 11, 2010 @ 9:04 pm | Reply

  44. Best video ever: a drunk Dylan and an embarressed John Lennon in the back of a limo circa 66. Dylan looks like he’s gonna puke and Lennon looks like he wished he’d taken a cab.

    Comment by todd — January 16, 2010 @ 9:48 pm | Reply

  45. One, Two, Three, FOUR….

    Comment by Don — February 9, 2010 @ 10:52 pm | Reply

  46. Great question. I’d say it’s a toss up between The Beatles and Rubber Soul.

    Comment by Eddie Hawkes — February 13, 2010 @ 8:46 pm | Reply

  47. Hi, Mr. Rosenbaum. I’m a big fan of both your “Explaining Hitler” and “The Shakespeare Wars.” My choice for the quintessential Beatles song: “A Day in the Life.” Listening to it all these years later, I still react to it as more than a song; it’s an experience like Kubrick’s 2001, taking you to some higher though not particularly comforting place–turning you on.

    Comment by Scott — February 24, 2010 @ 2:56 pm | Reply


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