The Beatles Album Cuts
Here Comes The Sun
This hub is in response to a request from DJ Funktual. Our own Master of Music has asked for an article about album cuts by The Beatles. Not just album cuts, deep album cuts. *Gulp* I'm only a lowly writer. I'm not worthy of such an in-depth assignment from the Master. Feeling a little nervous about this one.
Any of you that have gotten to know me, understand that I consider myself one the world's oldest living Beatlemaniacs. I don't get into much of the history and stats, but the music keeps my love for the Fab Four strong some four decades after I first heard them on the Ed Sullivan Show.
My biggest challenge with this subject matter is the fact that I have no idea which songs other people know or consider a ‘deep cut'. After spending several minutes worrying about that aspect of it, I said, "<censored expletive!>", and decided to just do the ones that I thought should be part of this showcase. Some of my favs are cuts that I'm sure other people (my friends and family) don't understand, don't like, or have never heard of. Those made my short list, regardless of how they're viewed globally. Guess that makes this something of an opinion piece.
The Beatles had 47 number one hits on the Top 40 list during their six and a half year reign. Heaven! I'm proud to share my boys with you. Hope you enjoy them.
Without further adieu, I give you Shirley's List of The Beatles Album Cuts. Deep Album Cuts.
The Beatles Baby's in Black (Live)
Baby's In Black - Beatles For Sale (1964)
I wasn't going to include this one. As far as I know everybody in the world is familiar with it. Though I love the lyrics and tune, it's about as depressing as a country song. I sing along with it and sway, but it makes a person want to pop open a beer so they can cry in it. However, there are a number of people online who feel that Baby's In Black is indeed a deep cut. This one is for the masses, despite my claim above that I wasn't going to do that.
Beatles For Sale is considered by some to have been the weakest of the group's endeavours, yet still a great album. Let's face it, The Beatles never made a bad album. Some were just more ‘classic' than others. If this album really was a weak link for the boys, then it served a purpose. Their follow-up album, Help! was as strong as they come in 1965.
The album did mark a small turning point for John and Paul. John had met Bob Dylan, and the story goes that John was influenced by him and wanted to start making songs that were mini autobiographies. "I'm a Loser" is supposedly a track that illustrates how John was feeling about himself at the time.
Beatles For Sale was the fourth album recorded and released in only 21 months! Only my boys could do that.
The Beatles - The Word
The Word - Rubber Soul (1965)
You cannot possibly listen to The Word without moving your body. If you can, you are not a card carrying Beatlemaniac. This tune from 1965's Rubber Soul, gives us such a huge glimpse of The Beatles to come.
The Word was seen as the first of the boys' songs that dealt with love as a larger concept. It opened the door for songs like, All You Need Is Love to follow. That designates this as a pivotal influence in their career, as far as I'm concerned.
A little trivia for you - George Martin was the playing the harmonium solo on this track.
Go ahead and play it again, you know you want to.
I've Just Seen A Face - 1965
***** I've Just Seen a Face *****
If you listen to only one of the videos here, make it THIS ONE! I've Just Seen a Face is one of my all time favourite songs. I challenge you to listen without singing along.
Released in the U.K. on the Help! album, and in the U.S. on Rubber Soul, the song briefly carried a title of "Aunty Gin's Theme", named for Paul's paternal aunt, because the song was one of her favourites. The tune is also notable due to the fact that there is no bass track.
Many people have done covers of this song, but I've personally only heard one. I consider the remaking or disin' of Beatles songs to be blasphemy.
Did I've Just Seen a Face do anything for their career? I don't know, but it did something for me.
Beatles - Norwegian Wood - Very Rare
Norwegian Wood - Rubber Soul (1965)
Rubber Soul seems to be taking all the awards in this contest. Norwegian Wood is haled by many as being a cut. I do like it, but I'm not convinced that others aren't aware of it, and aren't aware of how good it is.
Paul wrote the middle of the song, with John writing the rest. This was the first western pop tune recorded using a sitar. Perhaps a result of their time spent with Ravi Shankar?
The lyrics in Norwegian Wood are darker than many of The Beatles' previous works, and are considered to be the story of a man setting fire to a woman's apartment after she "leaves him to sleep in the bath", rather than letting the evening finish as he had hoped.
Norwegian Wood illustrated to the boys' adoring fans that they were expanding and experimenting with their craft, and showed the direction they would soon go in.
Beatles - Dr. Robert
Dr. Robert - Revolver (1966)
Dr. Robert was allegedly a code name for the boys' drug dealers, although John claimed he was Dr. Robert. He was quoted as saying that he was the one that carried around all the Fab Four's pills, at least in the beginning.
The main reason I'm including this song is because I don't think many people know about it. Or at least they don't listen to it. It is a story of where the boys were at during that time.
If you watch the pics in the video, you can see the album cover with the dead baby parts (dolls). If you ever get your hands on one, you'll have a collector's item. That cover was created in the U.K., but was changed when U.S. market testing found it offensive. To avoid controversary, they revamped the Revolver cover. Some of the records had already been released, so like I said if you find one, hang on to it and let me know.
Blue Jay Way - Magical Mystery Tour
Blue Jay Way - Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
I'm including this one because when I hear it, I'm just so struck at the contrast between this phase of their music and their beginnings. From She Loves You and I Want to Hold Your Hand, to Blue Jay Way. Stark!
This one was written by George and released on the Magical Mystery Tour album in 1967. A quick search of my brain's memory banks reminds me that the whole premise of MMT was to hop a bus without a destination and travel around to see what interesting things might happen. The resulting movie sucked (in my opinion), but the soundtrack was legendary, as is most of their stuff.
The studio people got the funky sounds in the track by using audio delayed recording techniques.
Blue Jay Way is a real street in the Hollywood Hills. George apparently wrote the song while waiting there for a friend.
Did Magical Mystery Tour help The Beatles grow as a group? Well, it may have let them know what doesn't work when making a movie. I honestly don't know if anything that came after that was directly linked to their MMT experience, or the fact that they were getting older and changing viewpoints.
The Beatles Hey Bulldog - 1969
Hey Bulldog - Yellow Submarine
This is an interesting little ditty that was written mostly by John but credited to both he and Paul. It was originally "Hey Bullfrog", but Paul started barking during the recording and apparently the boys liked that better than 'ribbit', because they changed it.
Hey Bulldog was one of the few Beatles songs to revolve around a piano rift. The recording was filmed extensively, with the film being used later on to promote the Lady Madonna video.
There were two versions of this song. One was recorded and left as is, the other was remixed and all the background frivolity and noise was removed.
According to their engineer at Abbey Road Studios, this was the last song The Beatles recorded as a cohesive unit. After that, they began drifting apart thanks to business, personal and artistic differences.
Beatles - One After 909
One After 909 - Let It Be (1970)
One After 909 was released in 1970 on Let It Be. It was their last record. Ever.
This is another one that was written primarily by John but credited to both he and Paul. It was actually composed in 1957 when the boys were still teens hanging around their neighbourhood together. The first attempt to release the song was in 1963, but they were unhappy with it and canned it. This version is faster than the first one they tried to record. I LOVE this song.
The video came from their 1969 rooftop concert. I haven't seen it in a lot of years, but I seem to recall they also played Get Back. What I did not remember, was that George was wearing light green pants. It was a different time.
The difference in the way the two songs sounded represented the evolution of their change in styles over time. Maybe that makes it the perfect ending for them, but it marked a sad time for me.
And In The End....
I could go on for pages and pages, but I'll stop here. The page is starting to get slow to load, and has become an editing nightmare.
DJ, thank-you from the bottom of my heart for requesting this! I had the best time ever while making it. Loved it so much in fact, that I've already decided that I want to do one on rare Beatles recordings.
Peace folks, and remember - all ya need is love.