Ranking The Beatles

Jonathan and Julia Pretus

Musician and self-described Beatles fanatic Jonathan Pretus ranked the entire recorded catalog of the Beatles, because he's a big, big nerd. Then he decided to make a podcast to talk with other people and learn about their connection with The Beatles' music. Tune in as Jonathan and his guests, joined by his co-host/wife Julia (a more level-headed, casual fan) discuss the rankings, what they think makes each song so great (or not-so-great), and see if it really is a fool's errand to try and rank the music of the greatest band of all time. Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support read less
MusicMusic

Episodes

#95 - Savoy Truffle with Chris Carter (host, Breakfast with the Beatles)
28-12-2023
#95 - Savoy Truffle with Chris Carter (host, Breakfast with the Beatles)
After a few years of producing some fairly heady and serious musical output, George found himself wanting to lighten the load a bit in 1968. Not everything needed to be Within You Without You, inspiration didn't always have to be divine. It could come from anywhere, even your friends gross teeth. Thanks to his friend Eric (you know who)'s love of chocolates and disregard of dental hygiene, George came up with Savoy Truffle, an under-rated (imo) tune in which Paul and Ringo provide some of their nastiest grooves. George's decision to let the song be led by horns instead of guitar keep it exciting and energetic in a way it just wouldn't be if guitars were the feature instrument. George said around this time he "just wanted to be a rock star," and he certainly seems to be the part here, with a great vocal delivery matching his guitar lines, and lyrics that are downright sexy. How this song doesn't get more love is beyond me, cuz it's a killer. To wrap up our 2023 season, we're delighted to welcome the one and only Chris Carter, host of Breakfast with the Beatles! Chris is celebrating the show's 40th ANNIVERSARY, and we couldn't be happier to talk about it with him. I mean, it's on in our car every morning anyway! We chat with Chris about the history and the future of Breakfast with the Beatles and how he keeps it fresh, gnarly horn sounds, absent John, and a wonderful story about a call from a Beatle's wife. If you don't already, listen to Breakfast with the Beatles Monday - Friday 8-11 ET on Sirius XM's Beatles Channel, and on KLOS every Sunday 9-12 PT. What do you think about "Savoy Truffle" at #95? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#96 - It Won't Be Long with Ken Womack (author, "Living the Beatles Legend, The Untold Story of Mal Evans")
21-12-2023
#96 - It Won't Be Long with Ken Womack (author, "Living the Beatles Legend, The Untold Story of Mal Evans")
Riding high on the success of a chart topping debut album and #1 singles, the Beatles were searching for what the next big hit would be. While "It Won't Be Long" didn't turn out to be that hit, it did provide a brilliantly urgent shot with which to start their sophomore album. It absolutely fires out of the speakers, grabbing the listener immediately with a passionate lead vocal from John that volleys back and forth "yeah!" "yeah!" "yeah!"s with Paul and George. A great guitar hook, tight syncopation from John and Ringo showing that this band has chops and an ear for crafting winners even on mere album tracks. It's a great way to start the second album, showing that there's definitely more in the tank from this young upstart band. We're thrilled to welcome back author and Beatles scholar Ken Womack! He's ready to rank, and ready to talk about his fantastic new book, "Living The Beatles Legend: The Untold Story of Mal Evans," a book that finally shines the light on the boys' longtime assistant and confidante. We talk about amazing journey to rescue Big Mal's archives, the Red and Blue remixes, the storm of touring, and much more! Grab a copy of the book here, and get ready for the follow up next year! What do you think about "It Won't Be Long" at #96? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#97 - Good Morning, Good Morning with Red Rockers
14-12-2023
#97 - Good Morning, Good Morning with Red Rockers
It can be tough to write songs when you're not out living real life experiences. After the Beatles stopped touring, John often found himself at home, bored and isolated from the social scenes he'd been in while on the road. But John could find inspiration in anything...posters, newspapers, even commercials. That's where he found inspiration for this rocking ode to everyday malaise that would find a home towards the end of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Driven by some gnarly sounding horns, a driving drum track that hides a complicated time signature, and an absolutely ripping guitar solo from Paul, "Good Morning, Good Morning" seems to often get the short end of the stick. It's not as psychedlic and dreamy as some of John's other Pepper-era tunes, but it's certainly as vidual a lyric and as well produced a track, and a nice chance to hear the band really rock on that album. This week, we're thrilled to be joined by Darren HIll and John Thomas Griffith of the recently-reunited Red Rockers. Before they scored an early MTV hit in 1984 with the song "China," they were hailed as America's answer to The Clash by Rolling Stone, and released the seminal album "Condition Red." After a fateful discovering of long-lost master tapes, they've not only recently re-mixed and re-released the album, they've also performed their first live show since breaking up in 86 (it was amazing, btw). We chat with John and Darren about how they got their record back, reuniting, the Beatles punk credibilty, de-evolution, the art of the album, and so much more. Follow Red Rockers on Facebook or Instagram to see what the future holds, order yourself a copy of Condition Red, or stream it wherever you listen to music! What do you think about "Good Morning, Good Morning" at #97? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#98 Hello Goodbye with Debbie Davis (singer, musician)
07-12-2023
#98 Hello Goodbye with Debbie Davis (singer, musician)
1967 was arguably the top of the mountain for the Beatles. With the Sgt. Pepper album, they provided the soundtrack that encapsulated global consciousness, while also elevating themselves beyond just a mere pop band; they were artists of the highest order. It was also the beginning of the end, with the death of Brian Epstein kicking off a long series of events that would eventually unravel the band. But by the year's end, they were just too big to fail. As such, "Hello, Goodbye" made it's impact as a return to light-heartedness that the band, and the world, needed. It's an insanely catchy song, sing-a-long-able in every way, and miles removed from the higher plane they'd been operating on for the last year. But it's kind of like cotton candy. It's sweet, and satisfies the sweet tooth, but doesn't have any real substance to it. But boy, it's sure tasty. This week we inaugurate Debbie Davis as the newest member of the 4 timers club! We welcome back one of the best singers in New Orleans to discuss this song, musical grave robbing, commerciality, and more! What do you think about "Hello, Goodbye" at #98? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#99 I Will with guest Mike Viola (singer, songwriter, producer)
30-11-2023
#99 I Will with guest Mike Viola (singer, songwriter, producer)
We're into the top 100 songs in our rankings! We can't turn back now!! Paul McCartney seems to have a knack for making sure he finishes things. "Now and Then" is a good example; he saw something there worthwhile and though it took a couple of decades, he saw it through to completion. The same can be said for "I Will," a song for which he had a melody kicking around a long time before he was able to complete a lyric for. After tossing lyrics he worked on in India with Donovan, and after John declined to help, he came up with what on paper are incredibly simple lyrics, but say so much more. And that melody...what a winner. He looped in Ringo and John to add percussion, and a brilliant vocal bass, cramming the final song with hooks in a simple arrangement. It makes for one of the more beautiful and light-hearted moments on an album that can sometimes be viewed as really dark. To discuss this song, we're thrilled to welcome back this week's guest, Mike Viola! Mike (who joined us back in 2021 to discuss #165 "Your Mother Should Know") is a wonderful singer, songwriter, and producer, who's worked with acts like Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Mandy Moore, Jenny Lewis and more, and has written songs for numerous films like Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. He's also the voice you hear singing the brilliant "That Thing You Do!" from the film of same name. Since we last spoke, he's released the fantastic "Paul McCarthy" album, which we highly recommend you check out. And he's going to be on a solo acoustic tour in the early part of 2024, which we also highly suggest you get tickets for if he's in your area. We chat with Mike about manic creativity, songwriting responsibility, the best way to watch Get Back, and more! What do you think about "I Will at #99? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#100 I Should Have Known Better with Laurie Kaye
29-11-2023
#100 I Should Have Known Better with Laurie Kaye
As Paul noted in the Get Back series, The Beatles seemed to excel when their backs were against a wall. They were certainly feeling the time crunch during a several week residency in Paris in early 64. They hadn't yet conquered America, but they were due to be there in a couple of weeks. They also had their first movie on the horizon, and they had to finish writing most of the songs for the film and it's accompanying album. All while playing a bunch of shows, and trying to enjoy the fact that they'd just gotten their first #1 in the US. Thankfully, they were able to knock out some classic material in that time, including this song, "I Should Have Known Better." Featuring an effective harmonica hook, a 12 string guitar solo, and a wonderful lead vocal from John, this song almost exemplifies '64-era Beatles. In fact, it's often the song I think about what when I think about what typifies the band. It's the first Beatles song I can remember hearing also, which may explain that. It's simple, sustinct, effective, and so so catchy. Joining us to chat this week is Laurie Kaye, author of the new book "Confessions of a Rock and Roll Name Dropper: My Life Leading Up to John Lennon's Last Interview. We chat with Laurie about her journey in radio, including interviewing a couple of other Fabs, leading up to her December 8th 1980 interview with John. We also discuss some of the other legends she's chatted with, harmonicas, the Hard Days Night Movie, and much much more! Check out Laurie's book at https://www.confessionsofarocknrollnamedropper.com/ or wherever you get Beatle books! What do you think about "I Should Have Known Better" at #100? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#101 - Every Little Thing with Joe Adragna, singer, songwriter (The Junior League, The Minus 5)
16-11-2023
#101 - Every Little Thing with Joe Adragna, singer, songwriter (The Junior League, The Minus 5)
While the exact time and place of this song seems to have been lost to the fog of 80+ years of memories, Paul does remember that he wrote this song with the thought it might end up as the Beatles next single in 1964. It seemed to lack that certain Beatle magic singles required, but it found a home on the back half of Beatles For Sale, albeit a home that maybe doesn't do it the justice it deserves. It's sneaky in a few different ways. It's got melodies and hooks for days, from the verse melody to the soaring chorus, to that chorus' emphatic tympani hits. And that's before we even get to John's 12 string electric guitar part, which comes across as a totally different take on the 12 string electric from what George would have played. Speaking of John, he turns in a fantastic vocal, and it's one of the rare times in the catalogue a song is sung by a Beatle who wasn't also the composer of the song. Joining us this week is Joe Adragna, the brains behind power-pop force The Junior League. He's been putting out critically acclaimed music under this moniker since the early aughts, as well as playing in a variety of other groups. We chat with Joe about DIY recording and Jonathan's lazy musical output, power pop blueprints, childhood Beatles obsessions, and the Beatles' impact on kids today. Be sure to check out Joe's music at The Junior League's bandcamp page, or wherever you buy or stream music! And give em a follow on Facebook! What do you think about "Every Little Thing" at #101? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#103 You're Going to Lose That Girl & #102 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) with guest Mary Lasseigne
09-11-2023
#103 You're Going to Lose That Girl & #102 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) with guest Mary Lasseigne
Been a long time since we did a two-fer episode! Here we go! The Beatles often seemed to turn in some of their best work when up against a deadline. A handful of songs that would make up most the Help! album seemed to come about in short order, as the band had to write and record a big majority of the album before leaving to film. "You're Going to Lose That Girl" is one John knocked out in short order that really shows the band's growth as a unit, and represents them at maybe the most professional sounding of the early Beatles era. A killer, classic John vocal with pitch perfect call and response vocals from Paul and George and rock solid foundation from Ringo, pushed forward by a frantic bongo overdub. It just seems to be the epitome of early-Beatles cool, especially in light of the brilliant performance footage of it in the Help! film. And in very different times, the band turn in one of their most straight ahead rocking performances with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)." By the end of the Sgt. Pepper sessions, the band hadn't really done a true out and out fast rocker since maybe the middle of 1965. Ready to put their masterpiece to bed, the band spent the last day of the sessions letting it all out on the uptempo penultimate track. With some of Ringo's most killer grooves (the Beastie Boys would sample the intro on Paul's Boutique, their own hip-hop Sgt. Pepper), absolutely killer guitar from George and John, and some of Paul's most frenzied shouting, the band showed that even though they were branching out in all directions, they could be the best rock and roll band in the world. Joining us to talk these two songs this week is Mary Lasseigne! The bassist for The Cowsills (formerly of Cowboy Mouth, just like me - there's a lot of us) stops by to talk backing into the Beatles via Wings, playing with 60s legends, Now and Then, and these two very different Beatles tunes. Catch her on the road with The Cowsills! What do you think about "You're Going to Lose That Girl" at #103 and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" at #102? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
Now & Then - a round table discussion from Ranking the Beatles, Blotto Beatles, & BC The Beatles
06-11-2023
Now & Then - a round table discussion from Ranking the Beatles, Blotto Beatles, & BC The Beatles
IT'S HERE!! New Beatles music in...2023!?!?! What a time to be a Beatles fan. After blowing our collective minds with the Get Back documentary in 2021, Peter Jackson and co. have again used their MAL software to allow separation of John's vocal and piano from his original demo, solving the issue that seemed to have stalled the completion of this song in the 95 Anthology sessions. With the help of Giles Martin, Paul and Ringo have finally seen this one over the finish line, the last new Beatles song. It's a LOT to take in. From the song itself, to ithe controversial video, to the even more controversial single artwork, we wanted to discuss it all. So we decided to gather some Beatle pod friends to chat about after we had a couple of days to let it all sink in. We're joined by Allison of BC The Beatles, and Tommy, Becker, and RB of Blotto Beatles to let our thoughts out and see just how we're all feeling about this momentous moment in Beatles history. What do you think about Now and Then? Let us know in the comments on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Be sure to check out www.rankingthebeatles.com for all things RTB, grab yourself a Rank Your Own Beatles poster (we'll be updating it soon to include "Now and Then"), or if you're really enjoying it, Buy Us A Coffee! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#104 - You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) with Sam Whiles, host of "Paul or Nothing"
01-11-2023
#104 - You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) with Sam Whiles, host of "Paul or Nothing"
After what must have been a creatively exhausting few months creating Sgt. Pepper, The Beatles blew off steam by recording a track that was more in line with the Goon Show humor they grew up loving, filled with weird voices and sound effects, creating comedic environments and asides, purely for the enjoyment of doing something that appeased them. It took them several sessions over a couple years to finish it, with Paul and John working in on it together even during some of their most tumultuous times. For somer reason, it was something they really wanted to finish. Usually a song like that would stay in the vaults, but by the time the wheels had fallen off, this bizarre track found a home as the B-side of "Let It Be," mainly due to John's prodding. If any song released during their time together could be considered obscure, it's probably this one. However, while it's understandable that this song may not be people's cup of tea, I've always found this to be an absolutely captivating and fun song. It's the absurd humor and silliness we all love in A Hard Day's Night or Help or (more so) Magical Mystery Tour, but on record instead of film. This is probably one of the best looks at the entangled relationship of Lennon and McCartney, two people so connected into each other's brain and psyche and humor. It's their in-jokes, it's their connection as friends with their own private world, and it's right here on record. It's two friends on the microphone doing being the kids they've always been, and it's a blast. How you can you listen to this and NOT smile? And not to mention, it has maybe one of Paul's most ferocious vocals, and possibly Ringo's fattest groove and best sounding drums? Cmon! Who else could do this!?!?! To discuss this bizarre tune, we're happy to welcome back our good buddy Sam Whiles. He's the host of "Paul or Nothing," the absolutely wonderful Paul McCartney podcast, which is the only place to get All Paul All The Time. He joins us to discuss the bizarre humore and charm of the Beatles, the weird chemistry of bandmates, early aughts internet, and why Jonathan chooses this hill to die on. Be sure to subscribe to Paul or Nothing wherever you get podcasts, and follow Sam on Twitter and Instagram to join the fun. What do you think about "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" at #104? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#105 - Across The Universe with Dan Wilson (guitarist)
25-10-2023
#105 - Across The Universe with Dan Wilson (guitarist)
Lots of songwriters point to the idea that the best songs are the ones that tend to find the you, letting the writer be the vessel or medium. Much like "Yesterday" did for Paul, "Across The Universe" seemed to come to John from within a dreamstate, appearing in his subconscious while lying in bed, almost pushing him to get up and go write down the words and find the melody that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. An absolutely gorgeous lyric no doubt influenced by the band's recent immersion into meditation and easter philosophy, the song marks John at perhaps his most cosmic and peaceful. The irony is that from a recording standpoint, John never could figure out what he wanted to do with the song. Unlike "Yesterday," where George Martin seemed to know exactly what the song needed, that directive and inspiration was no where to be found for "Across The Universe." Lennon lead the band through multiple arrangement ideas but never captured what he thought he was hearing in his head, or where he thought the song should go. Which is a shame because I think although it's a really beautiful track (I love all the versions out there) the track ultimately suffers from an almost un-easy performance from John. As released, it never feels totally settled and comfortable in it's own skin. It's almost like it's missing the confidence in the delivery because John never seems sure of where he should be going. But even still, it's a beautiful song, one of John's best written songs, I just think it's a B- minus track of an A+ song. Joining us this week is jazz guitarist Dan Wilson! The Ohio-based virtuoso joins us to chat about making people move, jazz vs rock, coming into jazz from a church and funk background, and his newest album Things Eternal, which features a FANTASTIC version of "Eleanor Rigby." There's a taste here in the episode, but we highly recommend you check out the whole thing. Be sure to follow Dan on Facebook and at his website to hear more music and see when he's playing! What do you think about "Across the Universe" at #105? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#106 - Baby, It's You with Chuck Gunderson, author "Some Fun Tonight"
19-10-2023
#106 - Baby, It's You with Chuck Gunderson, author "Some Fun Tonight"
It almost seems a shame that the Beatles only ever recorded one Burt Bacharach song. There are arguably no finer melodicists in modern popular music than Bacharach and Lennon/McCartney. But "Baby, It's You" is the only song from his catalogue they ever laid to tape. Recorded for their first album and a product of their well documented love of girl-group R&B, it's a chance for John to show his fantastic, soulful voice. His voice really carries the track with an impassioned delivery, bolstered by always great background vocals from Paul and George, solid foundation, and a charming celeste solo from George Martin. It's a wonderful example of John's potential for being a blue-eyed soul singer if things had been a little different. Joining us this week is Chuck Gunderson, author of "Some Fun Tonight - The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours of 1964-1966." His books are the absolutely definitive look at the Beatles North American tours, the going-ons that made them happen, and the behind the curtain look at what went down. It's a stunning 2 volume set filled with hundreds of unreleased photos, we can't recommend it enough! We talk with Chuck about Beatles tributes, writing the book you want to read, the simplicity of early Beatles tours, girl groups, US albums and more! Get a signed copy of the books at somefuntonight.com, or grab a copy at Amazon or wherever you get books. What do you think about "Baby It's You" at #106? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠, ⁠⁠Instagram⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠Twitter⁠⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#107 - I Feel Fine with Laurence Juber (guitarist, composer, Wings)
10-10-2023
#107 - I Feel Fine with Laurence Juber (guitarist, composer, Wings)
At the end of what was probably the busiest year they'd ever have, the Beatles needed a single for the Christmas market in 1964. They needed to churn it out while also wrapping up work on their 4th album. John picked up a riff from a Bobby Parker song and wrote what he thought was "a lousy song" around it, but nevertheless, brought it to the band. Thankfully, his fellow Beatles all had deep bags of tricks to pull from. Ringo added a latin groove straight out of "Tequila," George added a Chet Atkins-infused solo, Paul keeps it tidy with a grooving bass part and great harmonies. And a little bit of musical voodoo gets sprinkled on top when the band stumbled upon the magic of feedback, which they then tack on to the beginning of the track. All of the sudden, this "lousy song" is their 6th consecutive #1 that year, stayed in their live set for the next 2 years, and goes on to be the 56th best selling single of all time in the UK. Not bad for a little song called "I Feel Fine." The Beatles magic of turning a song into something stronger than the sum of its' parts is on display here, as there's not too much weight to the song, but boy is it a cool song. Speaking of cool, how cool is this? Joining us on the show this week is guitarist, composer, and former Wings member Laurence Juber! The London-born virtuoso joined us for a lovely chat back in June (which is why some of the upcoming things he mentions have already happened), in which we discuss his Teatime with LJ livestreams on Facebook, the upcoming Brady Bunch musical he's been working on, his journey with Wings, an absolutely lovely moment with George Harrison, and much, much more! Be sure to follow Laurence on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LaurenceJuberGuitar and you can check out all of his music and keep an eye on dates on his website at https://laurencejuber.com/. What do you think about "I Feel Fine" at #107? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠Facebook⁠, ⁠Instagram⁠, or ⁠Twitter⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠www.rankingthebeatles.com⁠ and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to ⁠Buy Us A Coffee⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#108 - I've Got A Feeling with Julian Fulco Perron (singer, songwriter)
03-10-2023
#108 - I've Got A Feeling with Julian Fulco Perron (singer, songwriter)
Though the Lennon/McCartney partnership really only existed in name by 1969, the two songwriters still knew who the best person was to help complete a half-written tune. As they'd done before on songs like "We Can Work It Out" and "A Day in the Life," each brought an unfinished piece they were able to stick together to make a whole with "I've Got A Feeling," combining Paul's verse idea and John's bridge. It's a song they worked on constantly during their January '69 sessions and was the source of some real touchy moments with George, but it never really took flight until Billy Preston showed up and sprinkled his magic keys on it. Billy's gospel-tinged electric piano provides the perfect call and response in the verse. Paul delivers a powerful top-of-the-range vocal that gets countered by John's more subdued bridge vocal. George's fluid leads throughout combine well with Billy's keys, and Ringo provides a super solid foundation, as always. But in the end, the song doesn't really SAY anything, it's more a performance track than an actual song. Though, I'd give my left toe to write a track like this and have it be someone's 108th favorite song of mine. Joining us this week is Denver-based singer and songwriter Julian Fulco Perron. He's got a couple of incredibly catchy, vibey, funky singles out right now, reminiscent of "Arrow Through Me" era Wings and Bee Gees grooves. And he does it all himself! We talk about being a DIY artist, genre hopping, what would have happened if Billy had joined the band full time, and Julian's great story about attending a Paul show. Follow Julian at his website, Facebook, or Instagram and stream his music wherever you stream groovy tunes! The songs "About Love" and "Burnout, Baby" are featured in this episode. What do you think about "I've Got A Feeling" at #108? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! Be sure to check out www.rankingthebeatles.com and grab a Rank Your Own Beatles poster, a shirt, a jumper, whatever you like! And if you're digging what we do, don't forget to Buy Us A Coffee! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#109 I'll Cry Instead with Phoebe Lorde of Another Kind of Mind
26-09-2023
#109 I'll Cry Instead with Phoebe Lorde of Another Kind of Mind
In early 1964, John was certainly on a hot streak as a songwriter. He had the lion's share of material on the band's 3rd album, the soundtrack to their film "A Hard Day's Night." He wrote the title song essentially on command. He was the main or sole writer on the majority of the album, and had the most lead vocals. In the film, he's presented as the cocky, confident leader of the group, an image Lennon would be saddled with to present day. Yet that image isn't really the truth. In reality, he's actually filled with fear of abandonment, jealousy, self-image issues, and questions of self-worth, and all of these issues come to the forefront in the very self-aware "I'll Cry Instead." It's a propulsive, rhythmic tune, with a great Lennon vocal, and the height of economy in songwriting. In under 2 minutes, he exposes his jealousy and desire for revenge while also being too afraid to show the hurt he keeps inside. Pretty heady stuff for a pop song, which is probably why director Richard Lester chose to leave this one out of the film. We're thrilled to welcome back the always wonderful Phoebe Lorde, co-host of the brilliant podcast Another Kind of Mind. AKOM is one of the most fascinating Beatles podcasts around these days, challenging longheld tropes and narratives about the band with commentary, educated criticism, and original, thought-provoking analysis. Their work was recently featured in by the GRAMMY Foundation in an article about the history of LGBTQ+ people in the Beatles story. If you're not already listening to AKOM, check them out wherever you get podcasts, follow on Twitter or join the convo on Facebook! What do you think about "I'll Cry Instead" at 109? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠Facebook⁠, on ⁠Twitter⁠, or on ⁠Instagram⁠! Be sure to check out ⁠rankingthebeatles.com⁠ for all your RTB needs, and tell a friend to come join in the fun! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#110 I Need You with guest Kit O'Toole (host of Talk More Talk & Toppermost of the Poppermost)
19-09-2023
#110 I Need You with guest Kit O'Toole (host of Talk More Talk & Toppermost of the Poppermost)
George Harrison's journey as a songwriter began later than his other bandmates. After delivering his first self-penned track for the band's 2nd album, he had to rely on a Lennon/McCartney song for the 3rd, and a Carl Perkins cover on the 4th. But by the time of the Help! album, he had 2 on the table, and found his abilities starting to really grow. With "I Need You," he drops the dour, bitter persona he is sometimes known for to deliver an open, honest, vulnerable track that's economical in length, has some gorgeous key changes, and features the band starting to stretch in terms of trying new sounds in the studio. George plays rhythm guitar on a nylon string acoustic, Ringo plays percussion on the back of a guitar, John (?!?!) delivers the back beat on the snare drum, while Paul delivers a really interesting bass part that eschews the normal root note bass mentality. The band aren't afraid to venture into new territory, and George seems unafraid to show his actual vulnerability and own real life turmoil, which all coalesces into a track that's better than people remember. This week, we're thrilled to welcome back the Queen of Beatles media, Kit O'Toole! Fresh from speaking on a whopping 7 panels at the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans, we chat with Kit about her upcoming course on the British Invasion at Monmouth University (sign up here), the legacy of the Help! film and album, George's growth as a writer, memories of cds and cassettes, and so much more! Follow Kit on Facebook for more fun! What do you think about "I Need You" at 110? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on Facebook, on Twitter, or on Instagram! Be sure to check out rankingthebeatles.com for all your RTB needs, and tell a friend to come join in the fun! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#111 - Here, There, & Everywhere with Dave Depper (guitarist, Death Cab For Cutie)
12-09-2023
#111 - Here, There, & Everywhere with Dave Depper (guitarist, Death Cab For Cutie)
The friendly creative rivalry between the Beatles and the Beach Boys arguably hit it's peak in 1966 when the bands released two albums that routinely top "best album ever" lists, the Beatles' Revolver and the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds. Lennon and McCartney had been inspiring Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson to up his songwriting, and vice versa. On Revolver, this influence shines through in the harmony-laden "Here, There, and Everywhere," a song Paul managed to scribble together while waiting for John to wake up for a songwriting session. Not a bad way to kill some time. It's an absolutely gorgeous song that, honestly, I'm not sure why in the hell I have it ranked at #111. I must've been in a weird mood the day I did this ranking, or maybe I was halfway through a bottle wine (I did make this list during quarantine afterall), but this song is just beautiful. Between the melody and the 3 part harmony, I pick up real mid 60s Brian Wilson vibes here (not surf era, more the Summer Days.../Pet Sounds era), and it makes me think that while "Here, There, and Everywhere" has a really basic backing track, I wonder if it might have benefited from a more intricate style Brian Wilson production? To chew on my latest ranking abomination, we're happy to welcome back Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Dave Depper! Since we last chatted with Dave, his band has released the fantastic album Asphalt Meadows, as well as an acoustic version of the album, and he's released a solo album which is an entire cover of the Air album Moon Safari. Busy fella! Dave calls this song "the most beautiful song ever recorded by anyone," but in shocking news, Julia's not quite feeling it! We chat with Dave about creative spontaneity, remixes, Paul's stunning dexterity as a singer, God-level songwriting, and one of the best stories about meeting a Beach Boy (not that one, and probably not the other one you're thinking of either). Check out Dave on tour with Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service this fall (if you can snag a ticket), and head to davedepper.com or deathcabforcutie.com to pick up his tunes and DCFC's, or anywhere you choose to listen to/buy music. What do you think? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Follow along and let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Instagram @rankingthebeatles, or Twitter (I'm never calling it X) @rankingbeatles. Be sure to visit rankingthebeatles.com for all your RTB needs, tshirts, posters, you name it! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#112 - Two of Us with guests Sodajerker (Brian O'Conner & Simon Barber, songwriters and hosts of Sodajerker on Songwriting)
20-06-2023
#112 - Two of Us with guests Sodajerker (Brian O'Conner & Simon Barber, songwriters and hosts of Sodajerker on Songwriting)
One of the first songs The Beatles worked on for the Get Back sessions of 1969, Paul's "Two of Us" was inspired by his road trips to nowhere with his new love, Linda; piling in the car, picking a direction and getting lost, just for fun. When he brought it to the band, it was originally conceived as a fast, chugging rocker, with a dual harmony vocal for Paul and John to harness their inner Everly Brothers on. This is the song the band were working on when George has his infamous "I'll play whatever you want me to play, or I won't play at all, whatever it is that will please you, I'll do" moment in the Let it Be film. Despite it's peaceful, loving origins, it was a track that caused major head bumping. However, in it's final form, it's a breezy, easy, track, with effortless vocals from Paul & John, and just the right amount of everything from the band musically. I've got to say, I adore this song, and what I was thinking when I ranked this at #112, I have no idea. Honestly, maybe I was drunk. I don't know, I ranked these during lockdown so it's possible. To rightfully question my sanity this week, we welcome Brian O'Connor and Simon Barber to the pod. Better known as the duo Sodajerker, Brian and Simon are a songwriting team who also host the absolutely brilliant podcast Sodajerker on Songwriting. For the last 10 years, they've been interviewing the cream of the crop of the world's biggest and most successful songwriters, legends such as Elvis Costello, Lindsey Buckingham, Nile Rogers, Diane Warren, Paul Simon, Noel Gallagher, and an up-and coming writer you may have heard about named Paul McCartney. They've amassed the largest archive of songwriter interviews in the world, and it's one of my absolute favorite listens, both as a musician, and as a music lover. Brian and Simon join us to talk about all manner of things, sculpting air, esoteric songwriters like Van Dyke Parks and Michael Nesmith, bad Scouse acting, how badly Jonathan blew it here, and their absolutely EPIC meeting with Sir Paul. Check out Sodajerker at www.sodajerker.com, or on Apple podcasts or anywhere you get podcasts! What do you think? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@rankingthebeatles⁠⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@rankingbeatles⁠⁠⁠! Be sure to visit ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Wanna show your support? ⁠⁠⁠Buy us a coffee⁠⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#113 - Piggies with guest Andre Bohren (musician, The Walrus, 1000s of others)
13-06-2023
#113 - Piggies with guest Andre Bohren (musician, The Walrus, 1000s of others)
By the time of the White Album, George Harrison had mellowed considerably, thanks in part to his immersion in meditation. His newfound enlightenment replacing the dour, bitter side that came out in earlier songs like "Don't Bother Me," or "Taxman." So it's interesting that this chilled out version of George would decide to pickup the abandoned-in-1966 song "Piggies" to complete for the band's 1968 album. But indeed he does, and with a big assist from Abbey Road engineer Chris Thomas, turns in an Orwellian baroque classical-influenced social commentary track about class inequity. It's an outlier on a album with many outliers, but it's a really fun, light-hearted yet heavy-handed track that wouldn't work nearly as well without the harpsichord work of Thomas, who happened to be overseeing the session and had the gumption to suggest, and then perform that part that essentially drives the whole track. Whether it's essential is another argument for another podcast, but it wouldn't be the White Album without "Piggies." Bringing a close to 3 Weeks of The Walrus is the caboose that makes our Beatley engine work, Andre Bohren. Andre is commonly known in musical circles as a drummer, mainly holding it down for Johnny Sketch & The Dirty Notes and being one of the busier drummers for hire in the area. He's the drummer in the Walrus, but he's also the keyboardist/pianist and he often plays drums and keys at the same time. You see, he's a classically trained pianist, who, when he's not playing drums, also does classical performances at clubs and festivals all over town. And since I know nothing about classical music, he's the guy for the job. We chat about some of the intricacies of classical music, the chronological proximity of the Beatles to classical composers (its about the same from then to now, terrifyingly enough), Chris Thomas, MVP, and the playful "screw you" that is "Piggies." Check out everything Andre, and get a copy of his fantastic classical piano record Resonance at https://www.andrebohren.com/. What do you think? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@rankingthebeatles⁠⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@rankingbeatles⁠⁠! Be sure to visit ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Wanna show your support? ⁠⁠Buy us a coffee⁠⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support
#114 - Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby with guest Felix Wohlleben (guitarist, The Walrus)
06-06-2023
#114 - Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby with guest Felix Wohlleben (guitarist, The Walrus)
Though George was still a budding songwriter in 1964, deadlines and heavy workloads meant he didn't have anything ready for the band's 4th album. John and Paul didn't seem to have the time to write him something new either, so when the clock was ticking, the band reached back into their bag of beloved covers to find a spotlight for their lead guitarist. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby, a song by one of their heroes Carl Perkins (or was it?) proved a formidable track to give George a chance to flex his well honed country guitar muscles, and give the band a fun rocking moment to end their most mellow record to date, Beatles For Sale. It may be a cover, but it's a great band performance. George is really confident in his singing and playing, and really seems to be going for it vocally. It's a really fun track on a more serious album, and though the track is a good time, live, it's an absolute stomper. At Shea Stadium, they sound like the world's best garage band. I maybe wonder if I associate that smoking like track more with the song and that may bump the ranking up a bit more in my subconscious, but maybe not. I just love this song. We're in week two of the Three Weeks of Walrus here on Ranking the Beatles, and who better to talk George with than our own quiet one, Felix Wohlleben? Our lead guitarist joins us to talk about the origins of The Walrus and his own journey as a guitarist, the influence Jazz has on the Beatles (and their influence in Jazz), Carl Perkins: Song Thief, Beatles Vs. Stones, and more! Though we have no Walrus album for you to check out (I mean, the Beatles did it first), check out the record Felix just made with Jenn Howard! Get yours here! What do you think? Too high? Too low? Or just right? Let us know in the comments on ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Facebook⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Instagram ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@rankingthebeatles⁠, or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠Twitter ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠@rankingbeatles⁠! Be sure to visit ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠rankingthebeatles.com⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Wanna show your support? ⁠Buy us a coffee⁠! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/message Support this podcast: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/rankingthebeatles/support