Category Archives: Music

Beatles Song Countdown: 195-191

195: Ask Me Why

Album: Please Please Me
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Singer: Lennon

Verdict: This is a interesting song from a musical standpoint. The structure changes a few times and John does some interesting things with his voice. I dig the line, “That I, I, I, I should never, never be blue.” But Paul’s backing vocals are needless and distracting and ultimately, the lyrics themselves are underwhelming. If this were an a cappella solo I’d probably like it more.

Continue reading Beatles Song Countdown: 195-191

Beatles Song Countdown: 200-196

200: Why Don’t We Do It In The Road

Album: The Beatles
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: A song about two monkeys having sex in the street. Or two humans. The song leaves it up to your imagination. What doesn’t require imagination is the song’s lyric. There are a total of fourteen words here, repeated over and over. That seems to be a common theme among these songs down here.

Continue reading Beatles Song Countdown: 200-196

Beatles Song Countdown: 205-201

205: Dizzy Miss Lizzy

Album: Help!
Writer: Larry Williams
Singer: Lennon

VerdictHelp! is not the greatest album, but it’s solid and begins to show the promise that would come out in full force with Rubber Soul. The best part is that it ends with a huge fan favorite Yesterday. Oh wait. It doesn’t. It ends with this piece of garbage, a cover song no less. Which would be less a problem if it was stuck in the middle of the album, but it’s just so maddening sitting right there at the end. Ian MacDonald said this about the song: it’s “an unprepossessing shambles of ersatz hysteria and jumbled double-tracking.” I have no idea what that means, but I agree wholeheartedly. I regret ever listening to it and honestly I regret not ranking it lower in the countdown.

Continue reading Beatles Song Countdown: 205-201

Beatles Song Countdown: 210-206

210: Wild Honey Pie

Album: The Beatles
Writer: McCartney
Singer: McCartney

Verdict: One of the few Beatles songs where literally nobody else had anything to do with it. If they had, they might have told Paul to just fucking stop it already. He admits it’s purely an experimental track (another song where there are no lyrics other than the title) that he wasn’t even considering putting on the white album until Pattie Boyd raved about it. Thanks Pattie.

Continue reading Beatles Song Countdown: 210-206

Beatles Song Countdown: 215-211

215: I Wanna Be Your Man

Album: With The Beatles
Writer: Lennon/McCartney
Singer: Starr

Verdict: Lennon hated this. While Lennon hated everything, he and Paul gave this to Mick and Keith because they didn’t care about the song (and I suspect, let Ringo sing it for the same reason). The Rolling Stones released it as a single and it went to #12 on the British charts, which tells you a lot about the quality of the charts that week. Their version is slightly better, which is like saying that Baby Geniuses is better than Baby Geniuses 2. The song is almost two minutes long and there are barely more words in the song than in its title. Pure rubbish.
Continue reading Beatles Song Countdown: 215-211

Beatles Song Countdown

I fell in love with The Beatles in my mid 20’s, thirty-five years after they disbanded. Most of what I knew of them until then were catchy songs in commercials and the upbeat pop tunes from their early years I’d hear on KQQL. I was blown away when I actually got my hands on the albums and got to hear some of the darker stuff. They’re one of the few bands where I know every song. That said, they still had several flaws and most of the albums had crap filler. For the next month or two I’ll countdown all 215 songs they released together. I’m not going to discuss demos, extended jams, or much of the crap that was on the Anthology albums that are barely listenable other than as a curiosity. I will say, though, that Free As A Bird is a pretty decent song. Still not making this countdown. And while I enjoy Let It Be…Naked, my reviews of the songs will be what was commercially released before I was born. In other words, all of the major albums plus the non-album singles you can find on the Past Masters collection. If there were two versions of the same song that were released, I’ll pick the one I like better (e.g. Across the Universe). The one exception is Revolution and Revolution 1. Just cuz.

Original Theme Song: 2, 1

2. Dallas

Composer: Jerrold Immel

I have never watched one second of Dallas. I don’t even remember who shot J.R. But man oh man had I been about 13 years old when this show debut and heard this theme song, there is zero chance I wouldn’t have watched it.

1. WKRP in Cincinnati

Composer: Tom Wells and Hugh Wilson

Artist: Steve Carlisle

I think I just love songs about radio stations. I also really dig WOLD by Harry Chapin.

So what original theme songs did I miss?

Original Theme Songs: 4, 3

4. Deep Space Nine

Composer: Dennis McCarthy

The Star Trek themes with the captain voiceovers are more famous, but give me a simple orchestra any time.

3. Hill Street Blues

Composer: Mike Post

The fifth and final theme song by Mike Post (in this countdown) is easily his best. It hit #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, which is crazy considering there’s no lyrics.

Original Theme Songs: 6, 5

6. Duck Tales

Composer: Mark Mueller

Artist: Jeff Pescetto

Not surprisingly, the same guy also wrote the theme to Rescue Rangers. I don’t know what it is about this theme I love so much. It doesn’t blow you out of the water with powerful vocals, witty lyrics, or a grand orchestra. I think it just puts me in a really good mood with all the energy and crescendos.

5. Welcome Back Kotter

Composer: John Sebastian

Artist: John Sebastian

I do like me some Lovin’ Spoonful, so it’s not surprising I love this theme. More than his voice, though, I appreciate how the song encapsulates the theme of the show without mentioning any character names. It’s definitely high on cheese, but so is the show. Up your  nose with a rubber hose! Indeed.

For what it’s worth, this song reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Top 100 in 1976.

Original Theme Songs: 8, 7

8. Firefly

Composer: Joss Whedon

Artist: Sonny Rhodes

Did you know Whedon wrote the theme song? If not, now you do. DeathByTroggles: The More You Know.

At first the theme song seems inappropriate for a sci-fi show as “The Ballad of Serenity” is country-western. But then you watch the show, and yup, it fits right in.

7. Big Bang Theory

Composer: Barenaked Ladies

Artist: Barenaked Ladies

There’s a pretty regular joke that this show has been #1 for years and nobody knows anybody who admits to watching it. Well, I’ve seen quite a bit of it (in syndication, while doing other stuff). It’s pretty terrible. The first few episodes showed some promise, but it quickly devolved into the same bad jokes and catchphrases week in and week out.

What is still awesome if the theme song. And here’s an example of the extended version being even awesomer. I’m a huge Barenaked Ladies fan, and this song is very professionally done.