Album no. 60/1001
The Beatles are back and you’d better believe they’ve had a drug or two. There is a real psychedelic turn on this album and you know what? It’s real good.
This has got ‘Eleanor Rigby’ on it, which is almost certainly in the top two songs about people called ‘Ele(a)nor(e). ‘Yellow Submarine’, ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, this has some big tracks on it. Apart from those scouse voices it’s hard to recognise the mop-topped clowns from With The Beatles even though it’s less than three years later. This is genuinely good stuff, get around it.
Have you listened to this album before?
CL: Yes! I think this is probably my second-favourite Beatles album. Oh… maybe third favourite. I don’t know. I certainly like it. Which is more than I can say for some of their other albums we’ve heard.
NK: I have, but I don’t think it cracks my top 3. Sorry Beatles.
CL: ‘Eleanor Rigby’ is easily one of my favourite songs… ever. So that’s a solid gold winner. ALSO SUPER WEIRDLY I really enjoy ‘Love You To’ (not a grammatical error guys) which is mostly a sitar. And I hate the bloody sitar. ‘She Said She Said’ is EXCELLENT, ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ and of course ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ as well. Pretty much every song on this album is great. Even ‘Yellow Submarine’. Sort of.
NK: Ok, so point by point: ‘Eleanor Rigby’ is good but not my favourite on this album, ‘Love You To’ sucks (sitar), ‘She Said She Said’ is very good, ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ is great and my favourite track on the album, ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ is pretty good, and ‘Yellow Submarine’ is not great but helps the album with it’s weirdness.
CL: ‘Paperback Writer’ (which is one of my favourite Beatles songs EVER) was a single that was released alongside this album, despite not actually appearing on it – very disappointing. BUT putting that aside, there’s so much good stuff to get amongst here that it really doesn’t matter.
NK: I love ‘Paperback Writer’ too! Weird.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
CL: I honestly think this album is appropriate for any time. Doing chores. Doing a bit of drugs. Doing nothing. It is excellent. As Lennon suggests on ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’:
“Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.”
NK: “Doing a bit of drugs”. For some reason this album comes across as very English to me, more than the other Beatles albums we’ve heard. I think they’re beyond being a standard pop group at this point, they’re into iconic territory. Listen to this if you want to imagine you’re in London circa 1966.
Why has this album been included on the list?
CL: This is where shit starts getting real. It’s where all of the Beatles (except lovely Paul) gave LSD a bit of a go and I think it had a pretty spectacular result. This is such a departure from their earlier music it truly almost sounds like a different band. Some of the tracks are pretty weird (I mean who the hell would get a string octet on a rock album in 1966?! ABSURD) but this is where they started experimenting with playing things backwards and just chucking a bunch of stuff at the wall and seeing what stuck. I think most of it stuck because this is GREAT.
NK: I agree with that apart from describing Paul as ‘lovely’. This is the Beatles getting a bit psychedelic on yo asses. The lyrics are all over the shop, and the instrumentation is pretty weird as well. My man George writes and sings three of the tracks on this, sadly including the very ordinary ‘Love You To’. Ringo sings ‘Yellow Submarine’, as if you couldn’t tell. ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ bears no resemblance whatsoever to With the Beatles, it’s a pretty dramatic transformation.
Will you be listening again?
CL: Absolutely. Some may say that there are some duds on this album – this is the one with ‘Yellow Submarine’ after all – but do you know what I would say to those people? I would say that you are wrong. Goodbye.
NK: This is the most consistent Beatles album we’ve had so far. The good songs are really good, and the bad songs are not nearly as bad as the ones on previous albums. Weird fact: I didn’t notice it all that much the first time, but the song that has since gotten stuck in my head the most is ‘Doctor Robert’. Not sure what that’s about.
CL: Go forth and listen immediately.
NK: I’m incapable of giving five stars to an album with ‘Yellow Submarine’ on it, but it’s still pretty good. I am torn about this rating because I think I grade the Beatles on a curve. However they still have 3 albums to come on this list, so they’ll get over it.