Beatles Song Countdown: 90-86

90: The End

Album: Abbey Road
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: A beautiful way to end the Abbey Road medley and a nice song for the group to go out on together. Each player had their own solo, and it was the only time Ringo had a drum solo with the band. I’d rank this higher but I don’t care for the “love you” chant in the middle of the song. But the ending is killer. Paul does his thing with “Oh yeah! All right!” and then sends us home with the touching final bit of wisdom: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” 

89: It’s All Too Much

Album: Yellow Submarine
Writer: Harrison
Singer: Harrison

Verdict: Man this song evokes a lot of passion from critics on both sides. Some call it one of the best acid rock songs ever, and the rest consider it utter garbage. I think it’s fine. I still don’t like the Hammond organ and the bass clarinet alternates between soothing and obnoxious depending on the verse. But I dig every time George sings the chorus and the “too much” chant at the end is pleasantly hypnotic.

88: Tell Me Why

Album: A Hard Day’s Night
Writer: Lennon
Singer: Lennon

Verdict: A fairly standard pop rhythm from John here and I’m not the biggest fan of the chorus. But dang it I really like the verses, especially the final one. “Is there anything I can do-oo-oo!” gives me chills every time.

87: Across the Universe

Album: Past Masters, Volume II
Writer: Lennon
Singer: Lennon

Verdict: Normally I abhor animal sound effects in a song; usually it’s cute the first time but then just gets in the way on repeated listens. For some reason it completes this version of the song for me.Maybe I just love the sound of bird wings flapping off the water. And as opposed to Phil Spector’s version, this one just feels more raw. When John sings, “Jai Guru Deva, Om” it feels more personal. That said, I don’t really care for “Nothing’s gonna change my world” repeated ad nauseum.

86: Anna (Go To Him)

Album: Please Please Me
Writer: Arthur Alexander
Singer: Lennon

Verdict: Another song by John that probably sounds better because he had a nasty cold at the time. Alexander’s version of this song is just so plain and John really brings the desperation the lyric needs. For sure one of the highlights on the debut album. Unfortunately the lyric is a bit misogynistic which sometimes makes me wince if I’m thinking too hard while listening.

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