PAPERBACK WRITER - PAUL w/JOHN
RAIN - JOHN
After taking a well deserved break early in 1966 and another one after their last tour in August, The Beatles released only 16 songs this entire year. Their twelfth single marks the beginning of Paul dominated singles. It would be over a year and a half between John's last A-side and his next in the summer of 1967.
Paperback Writer is notable for being a non-love song and Paul's new Rickenbacker bass guitar was quite an ear-opener for the time. The B-side certainly showed the advanced experimentation in John's work. The first use of backward vocals on a record.
YELLOW SUBMARINE - PAUL w/JOHN + DONAVON
ELEANOR RIGBY - PAUL
The A-side has Ringo singing one of band's more catchable melodies written mostly by Paul with help from John and an uncredited Donavon, whose song Mellow Yellow may or may not have been a direct influence. The B-side features Paul backed by a string octet and a haunting refrain. Another #1 single and the only one starring Ringo.
|(cover collage by Klaus Voormann)|
The Beatles' seventh and only album of 1966 was another landmark and believed by most to be the pinnacle of their career. Full of fabulous melodies and studio experimentation (which would help/hinder their next album), this is one the best of their albums produced by George Martin. This album also showed John and Paul finally meeting as equals in songwriting share for an album. For the next year and a half, John's output drops off considerably. 2 songs appeared as a single with 12 originals.
TAXMAN - GEORGE
A real triumph for George, the opening number of the album has a cutting guitar solo by Paul, great backing vocals and George's great lyrics about the "man".
I'M ONLY SLEEPING - JOHN
This song perfectly conveys the feeling of trying to wake up on a lazy day, especially if you had tripped out on acid the day before. The first song to use a backwards guitar solo (done the more difficult way of course), John's sleepy vocal is one of his best.
LOVE YOU TO - GEORGE
George brings in some session musicians, who, in this case, adorn a Beatles album with the first use of Indian influenced music. Politely acknowledged by the press at the time.
HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE - PAUL
This has to be one of Paul's most wonderfully melodic love songs.
SHE SAID SHE SAID - JOHN
"I know what it's like to be dead". Can John go an album without mentioning death? Ringo has some great drumming on this one.
GOOD DAY SUNSHINE - PAUL
And why shouldn't it be?
AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING - JOHN
This period of John's songwriting was parodied quite often in the mainstream media, especially in the UK. Love George's solo and again a lot packed into two minutes.
FOR NO ONE - PAUL
Paul's talent for creating lovely ballads has never been more in evident. The horn solo was a masterstroke.
DOCTOR ROBERT - JOHN
Like When I Get Home, this song provided a glimpse through John's eyes of life in the rock and roll milieu. In this case, the flow of drugs thanks to everybody's friend, Doctor Robert. A biting song.
I WANT TO TELL YOU - GEORGE
The pianos are interesting and a rather pointed love song, something George was able to do that the others were not.
GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE - PAUL
Paul does his version of Motown.
TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS - JOHN
Although this was the first song the band recorded for these sessions, its inclusion at the end easily heralded what was to come on their next album.
PENNY LANE - PAUL
STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER - JOHN
This may be the best produced single of all time. No longer touring, The Beatles had become a studio band and the creativity therein was sometimes matched by the studio's hindering nature.
Although an official double A-side single, the DJs, and therefore the sales, dictated that Penny Lane was the A-side as John's song was perhaps trying the patience of the general public at the time. It would seem John no longer cared to write the hit single (would any of his Revolver offerings have been singles?).
That said, Paul's song was a perfect meeting of production and timing, a melodic, mellow acid trip through childhood. The B-side went through many versions before John hit upon the idea of melding two of the versions, creating a haunting poem.
|(cover art direction by Robert Fraser; designed by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth; photo by Michael Cooper)|
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
There is so much consequence with this, The Beatles' eighth album. It shows the sharp decline of songs written by John and the rapid take over of the output by what's been called, "Paul's baby." This most lauded of all their albums has more songs primarily written by Paul than any other Beatles album to date. However, the album also contains as many songs by Paul with some help from John than during the last four years of their career. John has only four songs on this album. No singles were released from this album that features 13 songs and was #1 everywhere.
SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND - PAUL
The fact that this album became a 'concept album' was because of this song. Apparently, John said the idea this was a concept album was bullshit. As for the song, it glaringly exposes the many flaws of too much studio time.
A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS - PAUL w/JOHN
Of course, Ringo needed a song to sing and John helped Paul finish up this one and the finishing up aspect is apparent. Ringo's drum work, however, is stellar.
LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS - JOHN
One of John's weaker efforts has been lauded far beyond it's station and maybe because of all that crap about the title being an anagram for LSD.
GETTING BETTER - PAUL w/JOHN
Finally, the pair score with a song about a beleaguered fellow who, among other things, was "cruel" to his women; an aspect brought to the song by John.
FIXING A HOLE - PAUL
Beautiful guitar work adorns an otherwise routine tune from Paul.
SHE'S LEAVING HOME - PAUL w/JOHN
Paul's soap opera with some notable contributions from John again sees the pair of songwriters not only digressing but regressing as well.
BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KITE - JOHN
As he claimed many times, John lifted most of the lyrics straight from an extant poster. The swirling sound collage created by him, Paul and George Martin can be very thrilling indeed.
WITHIN YOU AND WITHOUT YOU - GEORGE
By this time, George was used to getting screwed, songwriting-wise, by the prodigious and popular Lennon-McCartney combine. So, once more, bring in some great Indian musicians and create a fab and gear song that was way ahead of its time (or perhaps reincarnated from another).
WHEN I'M SIXTY-FOUR - PAUL
Hmmm. Production-wise this is a good song, but, hmmmm.
LOVELY RITA - PAUL
By far Paul's finest song on the entire album. His melody, the backing vocals and production values blend to a near perfect degree.
GOOD MORNING GOOD MORNING - JOHN
Inspired by a television commercial, this wonderful song is a manic-depressive roller coaster of utter joy and utter despair.
SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND (REPRISE) - PAUL
This is a completely unnecessary reprise, except needed to provide a conclusion to the illusion of a concept album.
A DAY IN THE LIFE - JOHN w/PAUL
This song perfectly mirrors We Can Work It Out, wherein Paul wrote most of the song and John contributed the middle. Here we find John's song lacking a middle that was supplied by Paul, albeit not in 3/4 time. The imagery here is a jaw dropper, as is Ringo's drumming. The final chord was also ingenious as several pianos were struck at once. If it weren't for the reprise, John would have ended the album with an impressive one-two punch.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE - JOHN
BABY YOU'RE A RICH MAN - JOHN
Here we have John's third single featuring both sides written by him and what sides they are, with no shortage of controversy surrounding them. The Beatles had been selected to represent the UK in the first worldwide television satellite transmission extravaganza. For whatever reason, John had this song and it was chosen and the worldwide audience assured it was another number one smash around the globe. If it were not, perhaps, for John's intelligent verses, this song would have been the peace anthem that Give Peace A Chance would become. The B-side was a cutting social (and self) commentary that would have made Bob Dylan envious and may (or may not) have included John's biting comment about the group's manager, Brian Epstein, in the chorus fade out, "Baby, you're a rich fag Jew".
HELLO GOODBYE - PAUL
I AM A WALRUS - JOHN
The Beatles' sixteenth single has Paul wrestling back the A-side, but for whatever reason musically, it is still unclear to this day. John's I Am The Walrus was by far the better of the two and it's inclusion (exile?) as the B-side surely sent John's competitiveness askew. Of course, another #1 smash.
|(cover photo by John Kelly)|
Magical Mystery Tour
To accompany the film, The Beatles chose to release an extended play rather than a whole album of material. 1 song appeared on a single so there are 5 originals. In the scheme of John's rapid decline this year of being able to to get his songs produced, this extended play represents the nadir. Of the new songs on this EP, only Flying shows him as a composer, and in this case with the other three lads. Truly a group effort! The film itself was pilloried in the press, but the music was greeted with much acclaim, although the extended play format meant it didn't chart well at all. The enterprising American division simply added some singles and, presto, an 11 song album appeared which quickly became another #1.
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR - PAUL
As concept songs go, this was certainly one of Paul's best. The horn section lifts and the harmonies soar.
THE FOOL ON THE HILL - PAUL
Welcome back the harmonica to a Beatles song! Another mediocre and at times touching song from Paul.
FLYING - JOHN + PAUL + GEORGE + RINGO
This song is best listened to in it's long nine minute version while preferably stoned and/or drunk.
BLUE JAY WAY - GEORGE
Los Angeles can be a weird place at times and George captures that very well with this song.
YOUR MOTHER SHOULD KNOW - PAUL
Where to begin? Sing it again? No, please do not. Paul may have taken over the onus of writing songs but his overall output in 1967 pales in comparison to John's 1964-65 output.