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The Worst Beatles’ Song of All Time (Just in Case You Wondered)

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It seems that people have a fascination with lists these days. And why not? Short bits of easily digestible info are the equivalent of convenience store snacks for the mind. I'm okay with that, unless you live exclusively on junk food. And just as many people have their preferred snacks, so it goes with lists; often people read only the items that they themselves would've chosen, either as reinforcement of their own belief, or perhaps reinforcement of their own ingenuity. Yes indeed, sometimes we're all just so darn smart.

Well, this list is short. It only has one song on it, and my choice is possibly one with which you would agree, but due to the sheer numbers of songs in the Beatles' catalog it's more than likely you won't. Whatever…I can live with it.

Why bother picking the Beatles' worst song, you might ask? Anyone who knows me well knows I prefer to avoid opening the proverbial can o' worms if I can help it, especially the can that's only opened by bad mouthing somebody. But I would suggest the Beatles' are a different case: the fact is, compared to many other bands, they released very few clunkers in their career. I mean, can you name a song that's unimportant in their catalog, or one that if it hadn't been released might've changed the history of rock music? Sure you can – it's just the song selection is not very large. So, the way I see it, picking the worst song is a bit of a tribute to their high standards. And the other thing to notice is this: even their worst song might actually be better than most other songs by other artists. But that's an article for another day.

One last thing – I left a couple of obvious choices out of the running: "Revolution 9," which is more a sound collage than a song, and "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)," which is more a novelty tune than a serious attempt at a song. In any case, here's my choice for the winner of the title Worst Beatles' Song of All Time….. (the envelope, please)… ah, yes… "The Ballad of John and Yoko."

What's wrong with that perfectly nice song, you might ask? Well, first, it's so self referential; it's basically a guy singing about HIMSELF and his wife and how interesting their life is. More interesting than yours, anyways. The audience doesn't need to be reminded they're listening to a celebrity's opinion – a good song should be universal enough for the fans to identify with it on some level. This isn't universal – it's personal.

Secondly, the music is played in a blues style format, every chord change trite & predictable. I just expect more at this point in The Beatles' career. Or more passion.

Finally, there's only John and Paul on this cut – no appearance by George or Ringo. And yes, there are other cuts where there's only one, two or three out of the Fab Four, but they're much better songs for the two reasons cited above.

There's other reasons, but three make a pretty short list all by themselves. I'd be willing to change my mind if there was enough evidence to warrant that, but I'm pretty sure "The Ballad of John and Yoko" just was never that good a song in the first place, a wet noodle of a song standing beside its much bigger and stronger siblings.

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  • Glen Boyd

    JC, An interesting concept that is unfortunately a little flawed. First of all, the appearance of only a few Beatles on the track is a criteria that if applied across the board, basically cancels out the entire White Album among other things.

    Second, artists singing songs about their own lives and personal experiences is hardly anything new. Much as I personally don’t care for singer-songwriters like Jackson Browne for example, you can apply this same standard to any number of them. Can you say James Taylor? How about Carly “You’re So Vain” Simon?

    Besides “John & Yoko” has some pretty tasty slide licks. So what would get my vote for worst Beatles song? Glad you asked.

    And the rotten Apple goes to — “All Together Now.”

    Yer welcome!


  • Pico

    “All Together Now” is indeed a clunker, but JC would probably call that one a novelty, too.

    Myself, I’m rather unfond of “Blue Jay Way”. Sorry, George.

  • Al Barger

    You might call this the worst Beatles SINGLE, to distinguish it from a handful of lesser scattered album tracks – particularly one or two of the leftovers they put up as new songs for the Yellow Submarine movie.

    I appreciate the point about the self-involved lyrics – though these are more interesting than average in such things. But that kind of diary-entry writing gives John some culpability for the cheesy diary entry folk singer lyrics of Alanis Morisette singing about her menstrual cycles, or whatever it is that she carries on about. And that narcissistic lyric writing goes to all the rappers carrying on about the size of their paychecks and crap.

    Still, “The Ballad of John and Yoko” actually has a fine honest-to-God melody. That’s the main nut right there, even if the half-Beatles arrangement is a less than their best.

  • Jamie

    I’m going to have to disagree. If I can pick from the entire Beatles catalog it would have to be “What’s the new Mary Jane” from Anthology. Terrible. From their non-Anthology catalog it have to be Mr. Moonlight.

  • JC Mosquito

    All good points, everyone, and all you choices are also contenders for the throne.

    One point that I never got to (I was on my way out of town) was Lennon’s “Christ you know it ain’t easy” tag line in the chorus. On one hand it’s kind of humorous when matched with the “They’re gonna crucify me” line. On the other hand, taking a shot at all the fundamentalists who turned on the Beatles during the Beatles vs. Jesus popularity issue was just too easy.

    Mr. Barger – yep, the worst single for sure.

    Pico – yep, BJW is bad, but not worst in my opinion.

    Jamie – Mary Jane for me was just in the same category as Rev 9 – a soundscape or something – not a song.

    Mr. Boyd – The lack of Beatles on BJY or the White album just accentuates any flaw in the songs. And so yes, lots of the White Album is in the running too. The difference I think is that the White Album turned into a bit of a commpetition between, John, Paul, George, John & Paul as a team, The Beatles as a unit & George Martin as a producer in terms of establishing a musical vision, so the songs are acutally pretty good. Notice Ringo was the one who actually quit for a few days. All Together Now was my second choice at any rate. And we’ll have that confessional singer/songwriter dust up another time, if you can wait for a bit. :)

    Remember – the worst of the Lads from Liverpool is way better than the best of some other Beatlewannabes.

  • Bill

    There are no bad Beatles songs in my book. Even the so called “obvious ones” as you put it, are great. I absolutely love the sound collage of “Revolutin 9.” This is where the Beatles invented sampling that is commonly used in hip hop today. I love it. It is so bold, entertaining and experimental.

    As for “You Know My Name,” I have often wondered what is it that people dislike about this song so much. It’s absolutely hilarious. John Lennon’s vocal grunts and mumblings at the end of the recording are pure comedy genius in the best tradition of Monty Python and The Goons! I’m still scratching my head over the reasons why people hate this enjoyable novelty record so much.

    Now let’s also get something perfectly clear; “The Ballad of John and Yoko” is by far one of the best records The Beatles or anyone else has ever made!!!! I’m shocked that you don’t like it.

    I would think someone might pick “Free as a Bird” or “Real Love” over that tune any day. I find those songs to be very good myself, but just for Jeff Lynne’s horrible ELO production alone it has “The Ballad of John and Yoko” beat hands down.

  • Dave

    I guess you’d have to add “Yesterday” to the list considering only Paul played on it, with George Martin on orchestration.

  • Bill

    I must say that I am pleased that no one has picked a Pete Best era song as the worst Beatles song of all time. Pete was a great drummer and this forum proves it! No one has picked any songs from the Decca tapes, Beatles/Sheridan recordings or Pete’s Beatles version of “Love Me Do” as a bad song!

    The Beatles never should have fired Pete. It is obvious from this thread that everyone likes him far better than Ringo. Most of the songs that you guys have picked feature Ringo Starr on drums.

    See the connection? Ringo ruined more than a few great Beatles tunes.

  • John

    I feel particularly inclined to opine on this since I’m in the middle of a very deep Beatles obsession/regression. I heard my first Beatles at 12, and after 40 years of playing guitar and piano, I find myself just about exclusively appreciating the music that started it all, for me anyway. I’m also a Tom Waits fanatic, but mainly I just keep going back to the Beatles. They, Elvis, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Otis, Marvelettes, Supremes, Ronnetes, etc., created/started all this, and it’s just amazing. And I know, I’m leaving out a lot.

    But this topic? Worst Beatle track ever? Come on, it’s got to be Yellow Submarine. I will listen to EVERYTHING from 1962 to 1969, but I will always skip that track when it comes up. Fluff, junk, filler, whatever you want to call it. But just does not stand up with the rest of the catalog.

    Now, Ballad of John and Yoko? No problems with that. You must remember the events that we’re going on at the time. I don’t think it was a celebrity being narcissistic, but more of a great poet/writer putting into music everything that was frustrating/affecting him. And I’m fine with that.

    Pico. All Together Now and Blue Jay Way, again, put them in perspective of the times.

    Except for Yellow Sub, I really can’t find anything bad in the entire catalog. But then again, I’m a fanatic about this music. I guess it all comes down to: just appreciate it and love it.


    (and…wish it was 1964 again)!

  • Bill

    I love “Yellow Submarine!” It’s one of THE greatest children’s songs of all time!

    This goes back to my Ringo theory. People just don’t like the guy. Pete Best should have stayed in the group.

    I also disagree with “All Together Now” and “Blue Jay Way.” They are both classics in my book. Another GREAT children’s song and a fantastic George Harrison gem.

  • celebdrive

    a student of all things beatle since 1966 and my choice without hesitation is “Don’t Pass Me By”

    thank you

  • JC Mosquito

    I never thought of Don’t Pass Me By as being a particularly good song until I heard the Georgia Satellites’ absolutley blistering rendition of it.

    “Now, Ballad of John and Yoko? No problems with that. You must remember the events that we’re going on at the time. I don’t think it was a celebrity being narcissistic, but more of a great poet/writer putting into music everything that was frustrating/affecting him. And I’m fine with that.” – John

    Well, John, that’s the best point yet I’ve heard in favor of this song yet. But I think Lennon did a better job of this on the Plastic Ono Band album. Sure, it’s an album as opposed to a single, but it’s by far a much deeper & richer analysis of the complexity of stardom and its relationship to ego.

    Thanx for the comments, all!


  • Bill

    “Don’t Pass Me By.” Another Ringo song. Yep, they blew it when they sacked Pete. That has to be THE single worst decision the Beatles ever made.

    I’ve always enjoyed “Don’t Pass Me By”, but Pete would have undoubtedly come up with something stronger.

  • kurt

    US gold certification for `The Ballad Of John And Yoko’. Jul 17, 1969. Number 1 hit…

    The Ballad of John and Yoko is an awesome tune. With respect to the era in which it was written it was a celebration of John and Yoko’s out of control lifestyles. I think it is one of their best efforts. Plus, it was recorded during a time of high tension between Paul and John. The fact they got together and made a fine record by themselves proves conclusively what a force of nature these two were together. The lyrics, tune and production all first class.

    This article is pure garabage. Of all articles of this ilk, I have never read anybody putting Ballad on the list. I think this guy simply does not like John and Yoko and is no true Beatles fan.

    As for worst Beatles song (and, yes there has to be one or two), it has to be Maxwells Silver Hammer. Talk about trite and forgetful ramblings. John was quoted as hating it with a passion. With that Mr. Lennon was right… again.

  • JC Mosquito

    Hi, Kurt,

    It’s got nothing to do with being a fan, or liking John and/or Yoko – it’s about the song. It’s simply a melodically and harmonically uninteresting affair that doesn’t even lope along at midtempo – it plods. McCartney is a multitalented musician, but somehow he turns in a sterile drumming performance. And Lennon, the brilliant mind who wrote classics like I Am the Walris and Jealous Guy – I mean, what? He couldn’t come up with a better title? Why didn’t he just call it A Song about Me and Wife and How Nobody Understands Us?

    Sorry – I do consider myself a real fan, and the Beatles set the bar so high that even they couldn’t always reach it. Frankly I’m surpised that George allowed it to be released under the Beatles’ name – I wouldn’t think he’d want to be held responsible for that slide guitar work.

    Oh, Maxwell’s Hammer – yeah, that’s right up there in the inner circle of icky tunes.

    Oh, and Gold certification – doesn’t matter to me. because using that a measure of quality puts any Britney Spears wannabe in the same league as Das Beatleboize, which is just wrong.

    Mach schau indeed! Thanx for the comment, though – gotta luv people’s passion for good music!


  • Bill

    “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” is pure genius!!! I don’t get you guys. A lot of people hate that song, but I’ve always loved it. None of the songs anyone has mentioned here is truly awful.

    You mean to tell me that all of you feel that “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”, “Ballad of John and Yoko”, “Yellow Submarine”, “Revolution # 9″, “All Together Now” and “You Know My Name” are all worse to you than “You’ll Be Mine” from the album ANTHOLOGY 1?

  • Temple Stark

    It’s a damning self-indictment to say “Anyone who knows me well knows I prefer to avoid opening the proverbial can o’ worms if I can help it … ” and then use that as if a person is “forced” to write a piece to try and rationalize it. Self-indulgent, maybe. It’s a sad tactic which “usually” preceeds the most idiotic blather about swimming against the tide as can possibly be imagined.

    Luckily, you weren’t going for needless shock value and simply drawing attention to yourself or saying you were right and everyone else can go F themselves. Your intro to get to the point was slightly long-winded, though, as I am breathlessly reenacting here BTW).

    I’d disagree with you but you didn’t couch the whole question in demeaning and absolutist terms so it makes the discussion over something that’s not at all important in any case, more pleasurable.

    I love that “Christ, you know it ain’t easy” line. It just comes out as the most sincere line in the whole song. Self-indulgent as you say, sure, but honest. It was a far broader group than fundamentalists who were offended back then about the “Bigger than Jesus” line. They shouldn’t have been, but think how kinda POed we get today when people say they’re the best evah.

    I’m in complete agreement with John Comment #9 (no . 9 no. 9). Yellow Sumbarine is sing songy ugly. The other songs mentioned here can and easily are considered experiments (which are also self-indulgent, but you’re not taking them apart for this reason) but Yellow Submarine is an over-produced unpleasantness. The fact that it’s a great kid’s song is not a mitigating factor for the simple reason that I’m not a kid anymore.

    “Day in the Life” and “Something” are two songs I enjoy.

  • Christopher Rose

    What about the inane drivel that is “Blackbird”? Sometimes I just want to give McCartney a right good kicking for some of the dreck he’s produced.

  • JC Mosquito

    Thanx for the pointers on style, Temple – really – no sarcasm here. I should’ve given it a couple more edits – I sometimes forget there’re people out there who take their rock and roll even more seriously than I do.

    Like I said, though, there are other contenders for the title here, but fortunately, most of the Beatles’ catalog has aged very well indeed. Even if you take out all of the songs mentioned above, it’s a very small portion of their total output as writers. As I’ve mentioned in others posts elsewhere, a hot baseball player might be batting .400, which means he hits four out of ten but misses six. What are the Beatles’ batting – .900 or more? Pretty good, really, I can forgive the occasional dud, and even the duddest, whatever it might be.

    Thanx for the gentle nudgeola, be seein’ ya ’round maybe,


  • Lynn McKenzie

    I don’t agree with you, JC, but I understand where you’re coming from.

    I feel the same way about “Don’t Let Me Down”. It plods, and it’s repetitious. I want to scream at them to speed it up, for crying out loud.

    The version on Let It Be…Naked is much better, though, and made it worth buying the whole lousy album.

  • JC Mosquito

    Interesting… some people like the cleaned up Let It Be, others don’t, but I agree with you – I like it just fine. That’s a whole other discussion – probably already been done on bc.

    Thanx for your comment!


  • John

    While I agree wuth Temple on Yellow Sub, I also feel you’re a little hatsh on JC. I don’t feel he was being self-indulgent or long-winded. But, then again, given the subject matter we’re discussing, how can anyone refrain from being biased? I mean, the Beatles evoke all the emotions and sentiments you/we all grew up with. I’ve realized that it’s not possible to NOT be passionate about your feelings for “the band” if you grew up to their soundtrack. And everybody differs, and everybody takes away something different. Isn’t that the beauty of the Beatles? Everyone mostly has a different perspective, but, God, how they’ve influenced us all!

    I know that I’m glad to have found this forum, and to hear other folk’s views. In my mind, these four guys have been the greatest cultural influence of the last 4 decades, and it’s great to interact with others who realize that importance. Thanks!


  • T. G.

    Can’t believe anyone would put down “Mr. Moonlight”! It’s totally great! Right from the very beginning with John’s opening bluesy wail and all the way to the final fade out! Riveting and completely original! And it wasn’t their song. Only a cover version.
    If you ask me what I think is weak, it would be another cover version called “Matchbox” by Carl Perkins. (Don’t get me wrong. Carl is still great! And love the Beatles cover of “Honey Don’t”}

  • Joseph Myers

    Why has nobody yet slammed “The Inner Light”? The song is wretched!

  • Bill


    No one has slammed “The Inner Light” because it is fantastic!!! It’s one of my all time favorite Beatles recordings. I love its use of the sitar.

    Maybe what we should be discussing is songs vs. recordings. There is a huge difference. The Beatles were able to take an average song and record it using such inventive ideas and instrumentation (string quartets, orchestration, sitars, sound effects, tape loops and vocal effects) that it became an absolute masterpiece! That’s why most cover versions of their music is pretty lame. They were so good they could make ANYTHING sound great.

    Still, no one has picked a song that Pete Best drummed on. I see a lot of Ringo tunes being slammed though.

  • John

    Having re-read Temple’s post on JC’s comments, I have to apologize. I do believe I mis-read what you we’re actually saying. Mea culpa!


  • Doug

    “Dig A Pony.” Especially the line “I roll a stoney.” Yeesh.

  • Doug

    Let’s just end this thread now and admit there is no such thing as a bad Beatles song or recording. Even their out takes are great! No one has come up with a truly bad song yet. Any one of the above mentioned “bad” songs would be considered the very best song by any band out today. Look at the current top 40. Wretched! It’s full of American Idols, bad country and bad Hip Hop. There’s nobody that comes anywhere near the music of Johhny Cash, Hank Williams, The Beatles, The Rollingstones, Run-DMC, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra or Elvis Presley anymore.

  • Chris

    The best Beatles songs are the ones that Pete Best drummed on. Without Pete the Beatles were never quite as good.

  • Doug

    The Inner Groove at the end of Sgt.Pepper. That’s about all. Anything else they recorded was genius!

  • Jennifer

    I don’t know about the worst song, but the best Beatles album of all time is BEST OF THE BEATLES released on Savage Records in 1966. That album had their best work. It has been re-released on CD by Cherry Red Records under the name THE PETE BEST COMBO-BEYOND THE BEATLES-1964-1966. Great stuff!

  • Doug

    Are Pete Best and his family posting all these comments? Every other one is pro-Pete/anti-Ringo.

  • JC Mosquito

    If I remember correctly, all of the songs mentioned as bad DIDN’T have Stu Sutcliffe on them either. Maybe we’re about to rewrite history here.

  • JC Mosquito

    If I remember correctly, all the songs mentioned as bad DIDN’T have Stu Sutcliffe on them either.

    And so it it – the true geniuses of the Beatles are revealed.

  • James


    I doubt that it’s Pete Best’s family posting. The posts don’t surprise me because Pete has always been pretty popular. Most casual fans that I have talked to over the years all seem to agree that he was a far better drummer than Ringo. I like Pete and Ringo equally. However, I do agree with one of the previous posts; most of the songs that are being picked for the worst Beatles song of all time are ones in which Ringo sings or drums on. No one has picked a Pete Best era Beatles song yet. If he was such a horrible drummer you would think SOMEONE would pick a song he participated on as there least favorite.

    I find that interesting.

  • Jennifer

    I never like “Cayenne'” from Antholgy 1.
    That one was pretty bad.

  • Sam

    If you ask me, the whole thread is ant-Ringo. “Don’t Pass Me By?” “Yellow Submarine?” Nobody likes those songs?!!!! They are two of my all time favorites!!!! Ringo rocks. Pete was great too though.

  • James

    Oops! I meant to write “their least favorite.”

  • Glen Boyd

    I’m a little surprised at all the votes for Yellow Submarine. To me that song was always pretty harmless fun. It had a nice, catchy chorus (the kind that locks itself into your head, which is the hallmark of any great hook). And trivial as the song itself was, the “submerged” vocal effects fit right in with the trippy experimentation the boys were doing in the studio around that time.

    And whats up with all the Pete Best comments?


  • Garen

    Why hasn’t anyone picked a song from THE LOVE ALBUM. All I read from hardcore Beatle fans when that album came out last year was what a travesty it was. Beatle fans generally lambasted “Gnik Nus” (“Sun King” backwards) as the single worst piece of Beatles music ever released! I personally loved it along with the entire album, but now everything BUT that song is picked as a horrible Beatles song.

    I also don’t recall reading a kind word from too many fans concerning “Free as a Bird” when it was released either. The BBC hardly played it and they banned “Real Love.” Personally, I thought that both of those songs were well done.

    Forget the Pete Best comments, what’s up with the inconsistency with Beatle fans? I mean, “The Ballad of John and Yoko” is suddenly garbage?

    Do Beatle fans have short term memory loss?

  • Chris


    People are mentioning Pete Best because he was a member of The Beatles. We are posting in a forum discussing The Beatles aren’t we?


  • Glen Boyd

    Well yes Chris, he certainly was. As was Stuart Sutcliffe. I just found the “volume” of Pete’s fans weighing in here a little surprising thats all. I mean we are talking about songs from records made once the band became a worldwide household name aren’t we? Please forgive me, if I misunderstood that.


  • Travis


    I have to agree with you. “Yellow Submarine” is catchy and well executed! The sound effects alone make it for me. I also love Ringo’s vocals. Anything he sang on gave that song a certain charm.

    And what’s up with all the John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr comments?

  • Glen Boyd

    Maybe we should open up the Yoko can of worms Travis.

    I mean wasn’t she the defacto “fifth Beatle” there for awhile? She even had a bed installed in the studio during Beatles sessions.

    …Then again, maybe we shouldn’t.


  • Chris

    Why are we only “talking about songs from records made once the band became a worldwide household name?” I thought that the forum was about “the worst Beatles’ song of all time.” I just assumed that meant everything they ever recorded. Pete was on a lot of recordings with the band. I know that Stuart Sutcliffe was a member, but he’s only on one or two Anthology tracks. He barely counts as part of their recorded output.

    If I have to pick a song released after The Beatles became famous then it would be “The Beatles’ Movie Medley” released in the 70s. That wasn’t too good.

    By the way, I’m not a Pete Best fan, I’m a Beatle fan. Pete just happens to be my favorite member of the group. Everyone has a favorite.

  • Anne

    “Pete forever, Ringo Never!”

  • Travis


    I wouldn’t compare Yoko to Pete Best. That doesn’t make sense. Pete Best was an official member of The Beatles. Yoko was never the “fifth” Beatle. Yoko has never been considered the “fifth” anything. Don’t get me wrong, I love Yoko. She is her own person and an extremely talented artist. But, a member of The Beatles? I don’t think so.


  • Don

    Everybody knows that Pete Best was the better drummer. That’s all I ever heard growing up. All you have to do is listen to any of his many solo albums for proof. It’s pretty much common knowledge.

    Worst Beatles song? Paul McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs.” Yeah, I know it’s a solo song, but as Pete Best once said, “Once a Beatle always a Beatle.”

    And what’s up with all of the anti-Ringo posts?

  • Rodney Welch

    Not only is “Ballad of John and Yoko” NOT the worst Beatles song, it’s a damned good song. However, your reasons for disliking it surely make the short list for the crappiest music criticism I’ve ever read.

    So what if it’s “self-referential” — lots of great songs are. Look at Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks or “Bob Dylan’s Dream” or “Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” (to cite only the most obvious examples from the Dylan canon) or Neil Young’s Tonight’s the Night or The Pretenders’ “Back on the Chain Gang” or Mott the Hoople’s “The Ballad of Mott the Hoople” or the Jefferson Airplane’s “Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil” or the Mamas and the Papas’ “Creeque Alley” or Willie Nelson’s “Me and Paul” or God knows how many of Lou Reed’s songs or Eminem’s or the purely autobiographical rants of most rappers? Take away “self-referential” and you take away most music ever written.

    Second, John and Yoko’s life WAS interesting and, I’m sorry to say, probably more interesting than yours or mine, which is why we’re even bothering to write about him in the first place. And why in the world should “a good song … be universal enough for the fans to identify with it on some level”? I can’t identify with lots and lots and lots of what I read, see and hear everyday. I don’t turn to music to reflect my experience — I want to hear how well someone else can express his own.

    The song may not aim all that high musically, but that’s part of it’s charm; the song is a easy little knockoff, dominated by a simple, distinct riff, with lyrics that show the famous couple basically enjoying a laugh at their own expense — “Made a lightning trip to Vienna/Eating chocolate cake in a bag/The newspapers said/She’s gone to his head/They look just like two gurus in drag.”

    Say what you will, but that’s a funny line, maybe because it’s true. That’s one of the things I always loved about Lennon. He was the band’s great wit.

  • Bill

    Rodney Welch,

    Your post is THE single most intelligent post yet on this forum! I agree 100% with everything that you wrote. I love that you pointed out Eminem and rap music to help make your point. Most great songs are self reverential and “The Ballad of John and Yoko” is right up there with the best of them. That is why we love that kind of music. They present a window into the artist’s life. Eminem, probably along with the Notorious B.I.G, 2 Pac and Chuck D, is one of the greatest rappers that has ever lived! All of his and their songs are nothing BUT self reverential. They are GREAT storytellers in the same way John Lennon was.

    You are right on the nose and should be a music critic yourself. Thank you for bringing some sense to this forum with your well written and accurate critique of JC Mosquitos flawed argument for not liking “The Ballad of John and Yoko.” He is more than entitled to his opinion, but his reasons for not liking the song are beyond ludicrous.

    Oh yeah, one more thing: Pete Best rocks!!!!!!!!

  • JC Mosquito

    Interesting critique of a critique, and some good points there, RW. But I’m sticking with this one about the self referential songwriting. And it’s the self referential points tied in with a certain amount of ego and arrogance, whether conscious or subconscious, that thinks it’s a given that the audience will accept a hastily written knock off of a song because it’s written about me, the superstar, the writer.

    Your point about not turning to music to reflect your experience, but to see how someone expresses his or her own – fine, but to me it’s voyeristic and perhaps in some cases it could be seen as a refusal to be self-analytical. Not that I’m saying you personally are like that – you write like a sane & intelligent enough person to be fairly balanced, so you probably self analyse in different ways. But think of the people who live through the lives of their heroes – heroes whose interesting lives become a surrogate for the fans, most who only know how to demand more. It just burns out the art in the artists until they’ve no art left to consume them, and are consumed instead by their own celebrity. And we all have heroes – Lennon, Dylan, whoever – neither you nor I would be writing about them if they weren’t important to us. You may see it as charming and having a laugh at oneself – I say that I expected more from that in any Lennon piece. I expected wit as opposed to the sledgehammer. Maybe I expected too much, but how does the mind who wrote Jealous Guy, or Strawberry Fields Forever or Norwegian Wood write BJY and release it as a single? Maybe I wouldn’t have minded it so much if it was buried as an album track, but I’ve tried to get around that and listen to the song as a song – and it still doesn’t do it for me for the reasons cited in the article.

    Let me give you an example – Neil Young’s Old Man – who was it written about? His father? The caretaker at his ranch? Any and all old men? Neil imagining himself in the future? Me? You?
    The correct answer – all of the above and none of the above. I’ve heard that song for 30 plus years and it never fails to reach deep inside of me and make me wonder about my life & everyone else’s. So it doesn’t matter WHO the song is about. And the older I get, the more I wonder about life, and why that songs continues to be ageless & timeless for me. THAT’s how a song appeals on more levels than just the literal one – and has a unviersal apppeal.

    Thanx for giving me that opening to expand, RW. And I reiterate two points: 1) the worst song of the Beatles (whatever it is) is likely better than 90% of everyone else’s; and 2) nobody can write a great song all the time.


  • JC Mosquito

    I’ve been trying to reply to posts for days and my computer keeps disappearing them. test Comment .

  • Temple Stark

    mic 1, 2, 3

    (we are writing a song line by line aren’t we?)

    So far we have

    test comment
    test comment
    mic 1, 2, 3

    I think the next line / comment should be something with “free”

  • Christopher Rose

    JC, Apologies for any distress but the anti-spam software has little brainfarts from time to time and wrongly delivers false positives. Please keep posting as much as you can and I will free up your words. Akismet will learn eventually, bless its pointed little head!

  • Rodney Welch

    Bill — You’re too kind and very encouraging. Thanks.

    JC — I was thinking about this after I posted and I suspect you may not have meant “self-referential” (since just about everybody is guilty of that) as much as “self-indulgent,” when an artist is writing a song that only has meaning to him.

    I can certainly see where someone might see this song in that way. However, it is perfectly okay to be self-indulgent (or stupid or anything) so long as you are also interesting and witty and you have a good tune. You don’t see these things in this song, and that’s fine; I on the other hand bought this single as soon as it came out (yes, I am that old) later downloaded it some years ago (which I only mention to indicate that I’m not saddled with it as part of an album, and that I actually sought it out in particular) and that I turn it up every time it’s on the radio or playing in a coffee shop. I sing along, too. (Roll of thunder, hear me mumble: “Last night, the wife said/Oh boy, when you’re dead/You don’t take nothing with you but your soul — THINK!”)

    So, for me, it really, really works as a song, and I think I may even like it a little more than a number of other Beatles singles because it’s never quite become over-familiar in the way maybe “Yesterday” has. It still catches me a little off-guard.

    I’d have to look at the list of Beatles hits to pick out the one I like least. I’m not sure they really had a really bad single, just some I like less than others.

  • JC Mosquito

    Self indulgent it is – thanx for the correction. I had spent some time composing a post that was much better executed than the one I eventually got out there and it was late and poorly edited and I was frustrated with the loss of the original. C’est la vie. See you in the forums,


  • JC Mosquito

    I got an error 20: banned word message (and lost another comment). It seems to do this when I insert my URL.

  • Christopher Rose

    20 is “.free” Skeeter, which isn’t part of your url.

    By the way, could you please stick “http://” at the beginning of your url in the comments window. The link isn’t active otherwise.

  • Bill


    I feel the need to apologize for my last post. I was pretty harsh concerning your article. Your response to Rodney woke me up to what an intelligent writer you truly are. You make some well thought out and interesting points. “The Ballad of John and Yoko” just isn’t your favorite song and as you said, ” the worst song of the Beatles (whatever it is) is likely better than 90% of everyone else’s.”

    While I still love “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” I must admit that it has always felt more like a Lennon solo song than a Beatles tune. It has more of a tone and attitude similar to songs from the IMAGINE LP than most of his work with The Beatles. It does not sound like anything off of Sgt.Pepper or a song like “Strawberry Fields.”

    It’s funny when you re-read what you wrote the next morning. I definitely came across a bit mean spirited towards you.

    Anyhow, your article has opened up a fun debate amongst all of us Beatle fetishists lurking on the web. You unabashedly and with no apologies, picked a song that most people wouldn’t have necessarily chosen and you haven’t backed down. I like when a writer does that.


    Oh yeah, one more thing; Pete Best was the better drummer. ( I’m sorry I just had to add that in again. )

  • JC Mosquito

    Thanx for your consideration, gentlemen. The world’s a smaller place because of the internet (amongst other things), and as long as people are willing to exchange ideas freely & without malice, the world must surely become a better place, too.


    Mr. Rose – thanx for trying to straighten out my posts. I pasted the http thing in the URL box – man, I’m still getting the hang of this stuff. Do I put my URL in as well?

  • Christopher Rose

    Skeeter, Under the “Name:” box is the “URL:” box. In there, put the full url of your site, starting with http and up to and including the /jcmosquito part. Then, when someone clicks on the [URL] after your name, they will go to your site. Try mine if you want to see it work and then click on yours as it currently is now to see how it doesn’t work without it.

  • JC Mosquito

    That’s what I thought I was doing… didn’t seem to be a problem until last night… well, we’ll try this.

    Test comment.

  • Alex

    No one has picked a song that Pete Best has drummed on. I always KNEW that he was way more popular than Ringo!

  • Paul the K

    Have to agree with those citing “Mr Moonlght” as the worst Fabs track. Truly horrid.

    As for the “Pete Forever, Ringo Never” crowd who seem to be congregating here, you are quite simply all mad. Ringo was a true innovator and is still a brilliant drummer (go listen to “Instant Amnesia from the recent “Ringorama” if you don’t believe me). Pete’s drumming, as displayed on the Sheridan/Decca/Anth 1 tracks is truly dire. Compare it to the Star Club album (with Ringo sitting in) & it’s case closed. Ringo rocks. Sheila E helps out with the All-Stars as Ringo needs to step up to the mike for half the show – when they play together they work together brilliantly; check out any of the live DVDs for proof of this. Pete, in contrast, needs half-brother Roag to play with him these days as he seems incapable of playing anything except a straight 4/4 beat – Pete actually stops playing, lifts his sticks and points at Roag whenever a break comes along! Are you still wondering why the Beatles sacked this guy? Come on!!

    I for one can’t wait for “Liverpool 8″ later this year – a new Ringo album full of great rock n’ roll drumming; happy days! 😎

  • John

    “It certainly wasn’t Best’s drumming that got him sacked from The Beatles. Kasim Sulton, Meat Loaf’s musical director and a former member of Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, said this: “It is generally acknowledged among musicians that Pete was the best drummer on the Liverpool scene.”

    First of all, Pete Best’s drumming was far superior to Ringos. Just take a listen to “Besame Mucho” on “Anthology 1″, The Beatles Polydor recordings featuring Tony Sheridan or any of the tracks from “The Pete Best Combo: Beyond the Beatles” CD for solid evidence of that fact.

    Before Ringo joined, Beatlemania was already in full bloom in Liverpool. Pete was THE most popular member at that time which helped them get noticed by Brian Epstein and subsequently signed to EMI. All Ringo did was join an enormously popular band and ride the gravy train to fame and fortune. The Beatles were already signed without any contribution from him.

    Ringo Starr is one of the luckiest people in show business.

    I find it interesting that the prevailing attitude for so many hardcore Beatle fans is that Pete Best was a failure and unsuccessful. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    He was a member of arguably the biggest band of all time. He contributed to a number one album in 1995 (“The Beatles Anthology 1″) which sold millions and made him a millionaire. He has authored or co-authored several books (“Beatle! The Pete Best Story”,”The Beatles: The True Beginnings”, etc.) All of these books sold relatively well. His own production company produced an excellent documentary (“Pete Best of The Beatles.”) which aired on PBS and sold considerably well on DVD. His excellent sixties recordings are still in print (“The Pete Best Combo: Beyond The Beatles”) He also contributed to TWO Beatles hit singles,”Ain’t She Sweet/Nobody’s Child”(#19 July 18, 1964) and “My Bonnie/The Saints”(#26 February 8 1964.) And Bear Family Records released an amazing two disc set containing all of his Polydor recordings with the Beatles featuring Tony Sheridan.

  • John

    “Our best work was never recorded….Because we were performers… in Liverpool, Hamburg and other dance halls. What we generated was fantastic when we played straight rock, and there was nobody to touch us in Britain. As soon as we made it, we made it, but the edges were knocked off. You know, Brian put us in suits and all that, and we made it very, very big. But we sold out, you know.” John Lennon from the Rolling Stone interview in 1971.

    John is talking about the Pete Best era in that quote. Here’s another quote from Lennon:

    Interviewer to Lennon: “Is Ringo the best drummer in the world?”
    Lennon: “No, he’s not even the best drummer in the band.”

    John’s referring to the Beatles when he says “band.”

    “If you didn’t see the Beatles at the Cavern Club with Pete Best, you haven’t seen the Beatles.” This quote is from a musician on the “Best of The Beatles” documentary.

  • John

    “Klaus Voorman, yet another extra Beatle, who was their mate in Hamburg, played on a few of their albums and did the “Revolver” cover, complimented Pete’s musicianship in the “Best Of The Beatles” biography, as well.”

  • John

    Paul the K,

    “Pete Best was a great drummer, but Ringo was a great Beatle”.
    -John Lennon.

    I can’t find the exact quote, but I know that Paul McCartney has gone on record on the Wingspan DVD and admitted that Pete was a great drummer.

    So, if the Pete Best contingent who are posting on this forum are all mad, then so are John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Kasim Sulten and Klaus Voorman. They were all pretty good musicians wouldn’t you agree? I’m sure that they would know what they were talking about.

    As for Ringo’s album RINGORAMA, I bought that album based on glowing reviews only to end up donating it to the public library. It was abysmal. The production is like most modern recordings, very over produced and poorly mixed. The sound is just way too cluttered. Rick Rubin should produce for Ringo and strip down the sound to something you can actually listen to. The Beatles albums always had much better production.

    Some of Ringo’s early albums are classics. I love RINGO, SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY and BLAST FROM YOUR PAST. Anything recent that he has produced is not even close to what he recorded in the 70s.

    The Pete Best Band recorded a pretty good album in the 90s called ONCE A BEATLE ALWAYS. It’s much better than any of Ringo’s recent efforts.


  • Anne

    If Pete Best is considered to be such a horrible drummer, then could somebody with some musical expertise please explain to me what it is that is so bad about his performances on “My Bonnie”, “Ain’t She Sweet,” or “Besame Mucho?” To my ears his drumming sounds fantastic on those tracks! I absolutely love them. I’m talking about the un-dubbed masters and not any versions that were overdubbed from Atco records.


  • J.J. Hunsecker

    If Pete was such a great drummer, why did he do nothing after The Beatles, and don’t try to give me The Pete Best Band.

  • zingzing

    as stated somewhere by somebody: “Most casual fans that I have talked to over the years all seem to agree that he was a far better drummer than Ringo.”

    casual beatles fans don’t know who pete best is. even some hardcore fans have yet to hear any beatles tracks with pete best drumming on them. most hardcore beatles fans have never heard the pete best combo.

    to say best was a better drummer than starr is an opinion that may or may not be true, but it doesn’t really matter. the beatles were not THE beatles until starr joined. who knows what would have happened with best as their drummer. it certainly would have been different. i wouldn’t change a thing about the beatles recording career.

    and i vote for “yellow submarine,” not because it is a truly horrible song, but because the damn thing gets stuck in my head for days at a time and i get so fucking sick of it. i don’t even want to think about for the fear. the sound effects are nice, however.

  • Suzanne

    “Klaus Voorman, yet another extra Beatle, who was their mate in Hamburg, played on a few of their albums and did the “Revolver” cover, complimented Pete’s musicianship in the “Best Of The Beatles” biography, as well.”

    Hi! Hey, it’s Voormann with 2 N’s!

    If you want to know what Klaus has to say about Ringo’s drumming, check out this interview from just a week ago: Click on the link that says: Beluister het interview.

  • Andrew

    Zing Zang,

    I disagree. Casual fans have all heard of Pete Best. I’m a hardcore fan and anytime I have ever brought him up to someone they always ask, without exception, “What ever happened to him?” They ALL are familiar with the story about how he was kicked out of the group on the verge of stardom. They always are aware of the various theories, such as “The others were jealous of him”, “He was the most popular” and “Wasn’t he a better drummer?”

    Perhaps this is a generational thing. I’m probably older than you and maybe today’s generation is unaware of him. But, my generation ALL know his name. I’m sure that it didn’t help that his face was torn off the group photo on the cover of THE ANTHOLOGY CD. APPLE has not been very good at keeping the public aware of Pete Best. Unless a younger fan were to carefully read the liner notes, they probably wouldn’t even know that Pete Best is heard on a number of songs from that album.

    As for your statement that “The Beatles were not The Beatles until Starr joined”, that is just plain false. They were called The Beatles the entire 2 and 1/2 years that Pete was in the group.

    Plenty of bands have had a revolving door containing various group members. Were The Rollig Stones not The Rolling Stones until Ron Wood joined the band? Was N.W.A. not N.W.A. without Ice Cube? What about Public Enemy, D-12, Digital Underground, The Eagles, The Who, The Monkees, The Supremes, The Beach Boys, Van Halen, Guns and Roses, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney and Wings, The Plastic Ono Band, The Jacksons , Genesis and on and on and on? These bands have ALL changed lineups over the years.

    The marketing of The Beatles was so powerful and effective that many fans will ONLY except John, Paul, George and Ringo as The Beatles. For some people this is set in stone. The truth is that The Beatles, like every other band on the planet, never had only one line up. There have always been 6 official Beatles; John, Paul, George, Pete, Ringo and Stu.

  • Andrew

    J.J. Hunsecker,

    Pete Best continued to record plenty of music through out the 60s. He recorded with The Lee Curtis All-Stars, The Pete Best Four, The Pete Best Combo and under the name Peter Best. He stopped recording after 1968 because his various groups had very little success. This doesn’t mean that what he recorded wasn’t any good, in fact a lot of it was exceptional!

    Pete’s story is similar to that of Florence Ballard, one of the original Supremes. The movie Dreamgirls was loosely based on her experience. Neither Pete or Florence’s later failures in the music industry had anything to do with how talented they were.

    “The popular story is that Flo (who coined the name Supremes) had the better singing voice but was less aesthetically pleasing than Diane Ross. Eventually the name of the group was changed to “Diana Ross and the Supremes.” Flo was a proud girl, and resented the attention heaped on Diana and (literally) being shoved to the background. Motown fired her and replaced her with Cindy Birdsong.”

    So, making it in the music industry is not just about talent. Pete Best, like Florence Ballard was given the shaft and never got the same breaks again.

    The Beatles also didn’t do anything to help Pete’s career in the 60s. In fact, they hindered it by saying a lot of untrue things such as, “he was addicted to pills” or “he was late and unreliable” in the press. Pete won a lawsuit over the false accusations. I’m sure the things they said did nothing to get anyone excited about working with him.

    The music industry is littered with stories of talented people who missed making it big at some point and never recovered.

    I hope that clears things up for you.


  • John


    Sorry for the misspelling of Klaus’s name. Of course I know that it is Voormann with two N’s! Haven’t you ever typed so fast that you’ve made a mistake before? I’ll be careful to proof read my posts a little closer for you.

    Yes, I know that Klaus Voormann has the utmost respect for Ringo’s drumming, I never said that he didn’t! He also likes Pete Best’s drumming. He is entitled to like both.

  • Anne

    If Ringo Starr is such a great drummer, then how come he hasn’t made a decent record since his RINGO album recorded way back in 1972? And why did he NOT drum at all on most of his solo albums recorded in the 70s?

  • Dan

    What’s wrong with you people? Both Pete AND Ringo were GREAT drummers! Why can’t someone like both? They are complete equals, just different!!!!!!!

  • John


    If Ringo is such a great drummer, then how come he didn’t drum on the album version of “Love Me Do”, “Back in The U.S.S.R”, “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road” and “The Ballad of John and Yoko?” And don’t give me; he quit the group during the White Album or John was impatient to record “The Ballad of John and Yoko ” and couldn’t wait for Ringo to come back from his holiday or George Martin had already lined up Andy White for the “Love Me Do” session.

    If Ringo were so scary talented as everyone in this forum wants to believe, then The Beatles would wait to make sure he was always available to record on any song they were working on. They wouldn’t just go ahead without him.

    And I’m almost certain that there are other Beatles tracks that Paul drummed on when Ringo wasn’t available.

  • Jason

    According to Lewisohn’s book, McCartney also drummed on “Dear Prudence”, “Wild Honey Pie”, and he came up with the drum pattern for “Ticket to Ride”, although Ringo played it on the record. Paul played the timpani on “Mother Nature’s Son” as well.

  • William

    I know that there have been disputes over who played the drums on “Here Comes the Sun.” Some people say it is Paul and some people say it is Ringo.

  • William

    “From the stories I’ve read, Ringo actually laid drum tracks during the day and Paul redid them later that night. It was a tense situation when everyone came in the next day and was listening to the takes, and it was quite obvious that the drum tracks were not the ones Ringo had recorded the day before, but nobody would say anything.

    Paul has never said anything about it on record, but “sources close to the band” have said that Paul did not feel that Ringo was getting the right feel for the song, and Paul would play the drum track he wanted for Ringo, who would then go back and do it the way he had been doing it before.”

    It was during the recording of the White Album that Ringo quit the band for a few days.”

  • Ben

    Session drummer Andy White also drummed on “P.S. I Love You.”

  • Jason

    Zing Zang,

    I just got done watching some of the extras for the 1993 film “Backbeat”. Stephen Dorff is interviewed and talks about when he was making the film he would describe to people that it was a movie about one of the forgotten Beatles. Their response would be,” Oh, you mean Pete Best?” He would reply and say, “No, Stuart Sutcliffe.” He said that people had never heard of Stu.

    So, that kind proves that most people know who Pete Best is, it’s Stuart Sutcliffe that they are un-familiar with. I assume Stephen Dorff was not talking to hardcore Beatle nerds when he brought up the subject of his latest film.

  • Ronald Hawkins

    Nothing the Beatles ever recorded was as close to being as bad as “Yes It Is.” Oh my, awful.

  • Jason


    I love “Yes It Is.” That’s one of The Beatles best efforts! Genius!

  • Jason

    Zing Zang,

    I meant to write, “that KINDA proves” not “that kind proves.”

  • Bill

    ALL of John Lennon’s PLASTIC ONO BAND album is horrendous! Especially “Working Class Hero.” I know that critics LOVE that album, but it is just sooooo depressing. Talk about self indulgent. YUCK!

    Paul and John on their own rarely came up with anything good. As The Beatles they helped balance each other out. Left to their own devices the worst aspects of their song writing came out unfiltered. They really needed each other.

    I think that Paul faired better than John with albums like McCARTNEY and RAM. BAND ON THE RUN is highly overrated. The song, not the album “Imagine” was pretty good. After that song John jumped the shark for good. Actually George’s first solo album ALL THINGS MUST PASS was the best of the lot. George never produced another good album after that one.

  • Rodney Welch

    Plastic Ono Band is a masterpiece from start to finish, especially “Working Class Hero,” although I give major props as well to “Mother,” “I Found Out,” “Love,” and “Well Well Well.”

  • Belle

    Andrew, well, I’m 42 and I’ve never heard of Pete Best until this thread. I have always thought the Fab Four were just that, four, John, Paul, George and Ringo. So you can’t say “all” anymore.

  • JC Mosquito

    I kinda left this thread alone for a few days… fascinating. It seems obvious to me that not all Beatles’ fans enjoy the same qualities. Some people think Pete Best was a good drummer – others say he couldn’t keep time well enoughh to keep his job in the band and his footnote in history is more than deserving. And people who like Plastic Ono Band probably have little in common with those who hate it.

    Who ever thought a can of worms could go forth and multiply so quickly?


  • Andrew


    Well okay, maybe not ALL people have heard of Pete Best but MOST people have.

    Haven’t you seen the 1994 movie BACKBEAT which covered the Pete Best era? You mean you’ve never watched THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY on television or DVD ? Pete Best was mentioned quite a bit in the episode covering the early years. You haven’t read the liner notes to THE ANTHOLOGY 1 CD? Maybe you don’t own it. When you’ve purchased a Beatles CD you’ve never come across the CD entitled THE BEATLES IN THE BEGINNING? It has a photo of Pete Best with the other Beatles right on the cover. It is sold at most major record stores right along side all of the other Beatles back catalogue.

    I believe you if you say that you have never heard of Pete Best, but you must have some how avoided all of these things, none of which are obscure or rare. Even casual fans had to of watched THE BEATLES ANTHOLGY back in 1995. The documentary series had huge ratings that could not have possibly been generated by hardcore fans alone. There’s not THAT many Beatle nerds out there. At least I wouldn’t think so.

    I believe you, but I’m very surprised.

  • Bill

    I just don’t care for PLASTIC ONO BAND. “Mother” is such a sad and depressing song. “Working Class Hero” is plodding and sounds like a Bob Dylan knock off. I’ve never liked anything Dylan ever recorded. I know, I know, he’s considered a genius and I don’t pretend to know music, but I just can’t get past his horrible voice.

    John Lennon’s solo work has never thrilled me the way his work with The Beatles did. I would much rather listen to “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, “Strawberry Fields” or “Rain.” Those songs are so much more inventive and fun to listen to. John also got meaner when he went solo. “How Do You Sleep” from the IMAGINE LP is just a mean spirited cheap shot at a former friend. In this case McCartney. “All You Need Is Love” indeed!

    I only own John Lennon’s IMAGINE LP and I probably will end up donating that one to charity. When I was younger I liked some of it, but I’ve long grown tired of it. It doesn’t hold up like The Beatles music.

    I think that RINGO had better solo albums than John did. At least his first couple were great anyway.

  • Rodney Welch

    Bill, I agree Ringo had a great first album. Other than that, I completely reject every word you write in the above post. I’m glad you mentioned Plastic Ono Band, because I haven’t listened to it in a while. I think I’ll burn a fresh copy to listen to in the car.

  • Bill


    That’s okay with me that we disagree. I just don’t get John Lennon as a solo artist and I know that most people do. I’m sure that I am definitely in the minority when it comes to that opinion. So many music fans and critics would agree with you.

    I must say, this forum is great. I feel like it is well monitored because only people who treat others nicely get their posts printed. I like having a dialogue that doesn’t devolve into hateful personal attacks. I’ve been in on other Beatles discussions over at Topix and it’s just all out war for anyone with an unusual viewpoint. I’ve read more personal attacks directed at people for a simple opinion than I ever care to read again in my life.

    Anyhow, thank you for respectfully disagreeing with me.

  • Bill

    JC Mosquito,

    I commend you for starting off such an interesting discussion among Beatle fans. It has been interesting to read all of the vastly different opinions between fans of the same group!

    By picking “The Ballad of John and Yoko”, a song that is usually considered a classic, as the worst Beatles song of all time, I think that you inspired other fans to reveal their own quirky likes and dislikes.

    If you had gone with a more obvious song, I’m not so sure that this thread would still be going.

  • JC Mosquito

    Thanx, Bill. Now if I could just get the security filter to let me post my comments, I’d be in bidness again. Oh well….

  • Belle

    Andrew, thanks, your comment made me laugh out loud. It is possible that I have stretched your definition of casual fan!!! Since you were so nice, I’m going to have to admit that I do not own one single Beatle’s cd. Therefore, all of the Pete Best references you mentioned were non-exsistent to me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t live in a cave, it’s just the Beatles, for me, have only been enjoyed via the radio. Although, as a teen I did attempt to play their songs from a John Brimhall Beatle Songs Easy Piano Series book. My favorites were, Dear Prudence, Hey Jude, Let It Be and When I’m Sixty Four. The point is maybe I’m less than a casual fan and should not have said anything in the first place!!

    JC, you are amazing for your ability to pull out the best in everyone!! I sincerely hope you hold a position on some type of government council!!! Society could use more intelligent, open and fair minded people making decisions.

    Can’t wait to see what you are going to write about next.

  • Andrew


    I’m glad you enjoyed my post. It was meant to be all in fun! I guess I’m not a casual fan at all. I’m so out of touch that I never imagined that there are people out there who have only listened to the Beatles on the radio. You would think that that would be obvious to me! Not everyone has obsessed over every detail of The Beatles like some of us.

    I’m the same way with the Stones. I don’t own a single CD, but every time that they’re on the radio I can’t turn it off.

    Thanks for your more than friendly reply!

    Take care!

  • JC Mosquito

    Awww gee, Belle, thanx kindly. But don’t let it go to my head.

    My next article? Unfortunately, I’m biz biz bizzy the first half of this week, but at least I already know what it’s about… time travel. Remember that movie Bill & Ted, where they meet themselves time travelling, and say, “If you’re us, what number are we thinking of?” and they get the answer right (“Sixty nine, dudes!”)?

    Something like that.


  • Bill

    I’ve never been very fond of George Harrison’s CLOUD NINE album. Jeff Lynne’s production makes everything sound like E.L.O. Not my favorite band.

    I wish that George Martin had produced The Beatles reunion tracks in the 90s. They would have sounded MUCH better.

  • JC Mosquito

    And there you go, Bill – that’s something we agree on – George Martin should’ve taken a shot at those Anthology tunes, for sure!

  • Bill


    Yeah! Some common ground.

    By the way, does anyone know the real reason why George Martin didn’t produce the reunion tracks? He said that it was because of his hearing, but he later went on to produce Lennon’s “Grow Old With Me” and the LOVE soundtrack.

  • Diane Selwyn

    I read all the way thru to see if anyone would put What Goes On. That’s my pick, though Long Long Long is a close second, or maybe even a first; I’d have to listen to them again to judge and just can’t do it.

    I had never cared for Ballad of J&Y much until one night at a party, it came on, and for some reason a friend and I both shouted out at the same time “It’s good to have the both of you back!” I’ve been very fond of it ever since.

  • HazMatCFO

    I think Jeff Lynne did an excellent job on Cloud Nine and Anthology. Obviously George and Paul thought so too because they had Jeff return for work on subsequent albums.

  • Sue

    Well–all that Pete Best stuff–I don’t know. When I listen to Love Me Do on Anthology w/Pete drumming–it sounds–well TERRIBLE! Out of time really bad–sounds like a small child trying to play the drums. Listen to the Beatles live tracks and it really shows how good Ringo was (and IS!)

  • Ronald Hawkins

    If I recall, I seem to remember reading somewhere Lennon referring to “Yes It Is” as one of the Beatles’ worst.
    It is so awfully whiny.

  • Belle

    Hey, JC, where’s the new article on Time Travel? The seriousness of some of the other threads is really getting me down. I would enjoy reading something new by you. Thanks.


  • Glen Boyd

    Hey Skeeter,

    If I didn’t know better I’d say that your article has triggered a tidal wave, an avalanche, an…well you get the idea.

    Now thats what good writing is supposed to do. Congrats on a job well done mate.


  • JC Mosquito

    Ah, yes.. .the time travel piece is taking its… time.

    An avalache of what, though? Something to consider – would there have been as much response if the article had been about the Yardbirds and somebody out of context started arguing over who was the best lead guitarist, Clapton, Beck or Page?

    … and we all know the answer to that one, right?

  • Serge

    One of my favorite Beatles songs ever. Clever lyrics. Great rockabilly music (heavily influenced by Johnny and Dorsey Burnette), great little guitar licks by John, fantastic vocals as usual by John, very clever, likeable song. One of their bests. And let’s face it, as much as I love George — love While My Guitar, Here Comes the Sun, Something, Taxman — the essence of the Beatles was John and Paul. Ringo? Sure, he was a great guy, very funny, and made some musical contributions by way of clever fills, but as mean as it was, John’s sarcastic comments when asked whether Ringo was the best drummer in the world (“Best drummer in the world? He’s not even the best drummer in the band.”) was 100% true. Listen to this cut, Dear Prudence, or Back in the USSR without knowing it was Paul on drums, and you are highly unlikely to have missed him. (I love Octopus’s Garden, With a Little Help from My Friends, and Yellow Submarine, by the way.) So enjoy your crack. This song rocks.

  • John


    I don’t think that the Pete Best take of “Love Me Do” is a fair representation of his drumming. Every single one of the Beatles sounds dreadful on that take. Just listen to McCartney’s vocals. They are atrocious!

    Usually people point to “Love Me Do” as definitive proof of Pete’s incompetence as a drummer. Yet, the track that proceeds it on Anthology 1 is “Besame Mucho” where he sounds great! Is there something wrong with that track? Is there something wrong with any of his other Beatle tracks? He sounds pretty darn good on “My Bonnie.” How does one bad take like “Love Me Do” cancel out the complete body of his work.

    His single with the Pete Best Four “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” / ” Why Did I fall In Love With You” is also quite good.

    It would be like saying the out take of “Gotta Get You Into My Life” from Anthology 2 proves that Paul McCartney is a horrible singer. He sounds downright awful on that take. Look at some of the out takes that have been released since Elvis passed away. There’s an early take of “That’s All Right Mama” where Elvis’ voice cracks in the beginning and he sounds pretty bad the rest of the song. But, I don’t think that anyone would argue that he was nothing less than the greatest vocalist of the 20th century.

    I guess people just want to hate Pete Best. There is something about the guy that fans just don’t like. In a recent poll I saw on the internet Stuat Sutcliffe rated highest, far above anyone else, for favorite 5th Beatle. Even Yoko got way more votes than Pete. Pete was the lowest at about 6 votes. Stuart Sutcliffe contributed NOTHING to the musical evolution of the Beatles. I always thought that everyone couldn’t stand Yoko either.

    Pete Best; more unpopular than Yoko? What did the poor guy do to inspire so much hatred in Beatle fans?

  • Lashawna

    I’ve always been partial to Billy J. Kramer and The Dakotas. I like their music even more than The Beatles. They did a lot of Lennon/McCartney songs and performed them BETTER than The Beatles did. Their version of “Do You Want To Know A Secret” is much stronger than The Beatles version.

    As far as worst Beatles song goes, I would have to say their entire solo output is pretty dreadful. Especially anything put out by Paul McCartney and Wings. John and Yoko’s DOUBLE FANTASY LP has got to be an extreme low point for any artist. This is the same guy who wrote “Strawberry Fields?” The entire album sounds dated and is unlistenable. The production is very 80s does not come close to the heights of George Martin’s superb innovation.

  • gary

    I don’t understand the whole Best/Starr comparison here. Ringo participated in FAR MORE hit songs than Pete, so based on the logic of an earlier writer, he is the superior drummer??? Who cares? I think it is well documented by fellow musicians that Ringo is an underrated drummer. So what if Paul drummed on some songs. They were his songs and he wanted too. He also played lead on Georges taxman. John played bass on Back in the USSR. SO WHAT?

  • JC Mosquito

    Hi, gary…. shhhhhhhhh……. don’t wake them up – let it go for now…… I didn’t understand it either.

  • Bob

    Paul McCartney a terrible vocalist?? Hmmm… I don’t thinks so!

  • William

    The worst Beatles song has to be “Imagine.” From its pedantic dirge like opening cords to its simplistic lyrics, it grates from sart to finish. It’s a godawful yawn. So much for McCartney writing the slop and Lennon writing the shocking rockers!

  • zingzing

    imagine is a beatles song?


    then plastic ono band is the best beatles album!


    and lennon wrote his share of slop… especially once is quality control was turned off.

  • John


    Who said that Paul McCartney was a terrible singer? I believe Sue was saying that on that particular take of “Love Me Do” that McCartney’s vocals were atrocious. She just said that Paul had a bad day. He was nervous. She never said that Paul was a bad singer. Where did you get that?

  • William

    Zing Zang,

    Of course “Imagine” isn’t technically a Beatles’ song, but once a Beatle always a Beatle in my book.

    As far as PLASTIC ONO BAND goes, I really don’t want to slag off yet another Lennon effort, but the guy has left me no choice. The album quite simply sucks on ice. God knows that Lennon hit some musical troughs in his time but this hideous offering shuts down even “Double Fantasy” as John’s worst album.

  • JC Mosquito

    Wow – William, if this thread doesn’t disappear off the sidebar quickly (why is it back up anyways?) you might be in for some heat 😉

    Woo hoo! – even though Oasis got Zak Starkey to drum on their last album, even they can’t be as controversial as the Beatles!

    As Groucho said, ” This is more fun than you can shake a stick at (if that’s your idea of a good time)!”

  • zingzing

    ahh, william… william, william, william. willy-boy.

    plastic ono band is the only solo album that john did with any significant amount of balls. and it’s a fucking wreck. love it. such a brutal album. and then lovely, and then brutal again. lovely.

  • JC Mosquito

    Zing: best two line review of that album EVER. If you could make it rhyme, it could go into an anthology of epigrams. Or very short record reviews…. that…. rhymed.

  • William

    Well, I still don’t like PLASTIC ONO BAND. I know that it is the darling of music critics but it is just sooooo depressing to me.

    I’m much more into the Monkees. I know, I know, I’ll get chastised for that too. MORE OF THE MONKEES was a far better album than a lot of Beatles solo efforts. I love “Steppin’ Stone” and think that Micky Dolenz is one of the most under rated vocalists in rock history!

    Of course, I’m sure that this opinion will not be popular either. Oh well, to each his own.

  • JC Mosquito

    Join the club, Will. You’re right: More of the Monkees was better than some of the Beatles’ solo efforts – better than a lot of records that came out in ’67 in retrospect. It was a solid pop album, fer shure.

    And you’re also right about Plastic Ono Band being depressing, but after you give it a few spins and get into it, it’s got it’s own vibe, and it ends on a positive note, if you realize Lennon’s come to terms with some personal issues here. Give it a chance – you might be surprised.

    Thanx for hanging in there with the comments!


  • William

    I’m speechless. I thought for sure that no one would agree with my view of the Monkees! Aren’t they the most hated make believe band in the world?

    I’ve always loved them, but I can’t find too many people that do.

  • JC Mosquito

    Naaah… they weren’t make believe, they were two actors (Jones & Dolenz) and two musicians (Tork & Nesmith), which made them half qualifed to act or half qualified to play music, depending on how you see it.

    But their record producers used some of the best pop songwriters and studio pros on those records – and some of them are brilliant. I’ll have to review a Monkees’ album & start a thread there.

    Once again – hunt around – there’s lots of newly reissued CD product out there by the Monkees with bonus tracks & cool liner notes.

  • William


    I agree with you 100%. Michael Nesmith is a genius. I love his song writing. Micky Dolenz wrote a few good songs as well. I just remember that in the 60s when people discovered that they didn’t play their instruments on their first two albums they got a lot of flack.

  • John

    I read in an article once that said Paul basically played drums from Rubber Soul onwards. Is that true? I find it very hard to believe.

  • John

    All right, now I don’t know what to believe! I just read this on the web:

    “While it’s true that Purdie’s name appears on hundreds of albums released during the past 40 years, he has never been officially credited for his work with The Beatles. In fact, the only known source for this astonishing bit of music trivia is Bernard Purdie himself!

    In a number of published interviews — beginning in the mid-70’s and continuing to the present day — Purdie claims to have substituted for Ringo, or enhanced Ringo’s drumming, on as many as twenty-one Beatle recordings!”

    JC, can you help us out? Here is the link with Bernard Purdie’s interview.

  • John


    Never mind, I read the rest of the article. I think that Ringo’s reputation is safe.

  • JC Mosquito

    No… Purdie’s stringing a line… no one with any semi decent knowledge of the Beatles acknowledges this.

    However, with an aside back to the Monkees, it’s a little known fact that Neil Young played on some of the Monkees’ Head soundtrack album. I think it’s in the credits of their multi CD greatest hits package.

  • William

    I bought Paul McCartney’s new album yesterday and it is by far one of the best he’s ever produced!

    Of course, everyone will hate it. They always do. Next to Pete Best, Paul McCartney is the second most despised Beatle of all time. I’m not sure why.

  • JC Mosquito

    Cool – check out the reviews on bc of the McCartney album – there are at least two or three.

  • zingzing

    “Paul McCartney is the second most despised Beatle of all time. I’m not sure why.”

    you wanna know why?:
    john is dead.
    george is dead.
    ringo is ringo.

    mccartney has put out some really bad music and said some really stupid things over the years. he was also the most businessman-like of the beatles, so he catches the flak for any business-related beatles stupidity.

  • Douglas Mays

    Least favorite song, I don’t know. But what I don’t understand is all this Ringo trashing. He, in a way was the most important Beatle personality. Everyone liked Ringo. The little kids to the grandmas. They knew who he was…Grandma couldn’t name any other Beatle..

    Plus, the guy could play drums. He had some of the quickest hands around and his ability to fluidly flow with some of the complex time changes in Beatles music are to be noted.

    And he puts on a great live show to this day. Pete Best? Is he any good? the Beatles knew more than anyone else, Ringo was definately a better move.

  • William

    People have hated Paul McCartney long before John or George passed away. Paul hasn’t put out music any worse than John, George or Ringo have at their lowest points. He also hasn’t said anything dumber than anyone else in the Beatles.

    Mark my words, the second Paul McCartney passes away everyone who can’t stand him now will be singing his praises. You’re only appreciated after you’re gone.

    As it stands now, Beatle fans would love nothing more than to erase Paul’s contribution to the Beatles forever. With the inevitable release of the Beatles back catalogue for digital consumption they will finally have the opportunity to do just that. The haters can purchase only the Lennon, Harrison and Starr Beatles songs and pretend that Macca never existed.

    Maybe then, they will all be happy.

  • zingzing

    “People have hated Paul McCartney long before John or George passed away.”

    true. although people criticized john and george during their lives as well. especially john, as george was a little dull.

    “Paul hasn’t put out music any worse than John, George or Ringo have at their lowest points.”

    not going to argue against that. he just put out more of it.

    “He also hasn’t said anything dumber than anyone else in the Beatles.”

    not going to argue against that. he just said more of it. of course, if john were still alive, i’m sure he would have said some pretty dumb things by now.

    “Mark my words, the second Paul McCartney passes away everyone who can’t stand him now will be singing his praises.”

    of course. but that just means they’ll forget all the silly, inconsequential music he released and all the silly, inconsequential shit the tabloids said about him.

    “As it stands now, Beatle fans would love nothing more than to erase Paul’s contribution to the Beatles forever.”

    you really don’t believe that do you?

    “With the inevitable release of the Beatles back catalogue for digital consumption they will finally have the opportunity to do just that. The haters can purchase only the Lennon, Harrison and Starr Beatles songs…”

    ish! i could imagine putting together a best of lennon. but then i would have to have the best of mccartney as well. but then, i would rather just have the albums as they were released. one of the best things about the beatles was the fact that they had two equally talented, artistically opposed songwriters who could play off each other and keep each other in check.

    “…and pretend that Macca never existed.”

    there may be a few who would want to do that… but the beatles were always more than the four talents involved. i think you may be going overboard here.

  • El Bicho

    “Paul hasn’t put out music any worse than John, George or Ringo have at their lowest points.”

    Sorry, but if we are looking at solo material. That “Freedom” song is far and away the worst any of them or anyone else has ever put out.

    “As it stands now, Beatle fans would love nothing more than to erase Paul’s contribution to the Beatles forever.”

    Then they don’t sound like Beatles fans, although I am not willing to believe your statement.

  • Douglas Mays

    What is the worst of the Beatle’s songs? I don’t know. But what is all this fuss about Ringo Starr?

    He was a very good decision for the Beatle’s. He was the one that everyone knew. Little kids or grandmothers. My grandma back in the 60s didn’t know any Beatle names except for Ringo. That is something that cannot be bought in the world of pop marketing.

    Guess what? He was also a good drummer. He had the quickest hands around, His ability to be so fluid in the complex timing arrangements the Beatles came up with were like no other.

    the rest of the Beatles sure knew that Richard Starkey was the drummer to keep.

  • Douglas Mays

    HEY EVERYBODY!!!!! Let’s get into a fight about THE BEATLES!!!!!!! mob rule!!!!! start tipping over cars and looting! Set fire to dumpsters!!!!

    One side of the street yelling “Pete Best!!” the other side yelling “Ringo Starr”. Then rocks and bottles are thrown and chaos abounds. Screams of “McCartney can’t sing” and such are heard wailing out from the battle.

    I thought Yoko Ono wrecked the Beatle’s.

  • zingzing

    it’s “beatles.” and no, it wasn’t yoko ono. she wasn’t a beatle. they got into a fight about money. that’s basically what happened.

  • Pico

    Yup, this was all Yoko’s fault. Even the Beatles’ worse song has her name on it, nuff said.

  • William

    “Paul hasn’t put out music any worse than John, George or Ringo have at their lowest points.”

    not going to argue against that. he just put out more of it.

    “He also hasn’t said anything dumber than anyone else in the Beatles.”

    not going to argue against that. he just said more of it. of course, if john were still alive, i’m sure he would have said some pretty dumb things by now.”

    So, Paul McCartney is vilified because he has lived longer than John and George?


  • William

    “HEY EVERYBODY!!!!! Let’s get into a fight about THE BEATLES!!!!!!!”

    Who’s fighting? I think people are just voicing their opinions.

  • zingzing

    william: “So, Paul McCartney is vilified because he has lived longer than John and George?”

    first of all, paul is not villified, he’s criticized. the only reason for that is that he has consistently put out music (thereby opening himself up for criticism) and fueded publicly with yoko and his ex-wife (tabloid material)…

    yes, the reason that paul (a very famous man) is criticized is because he is alive. if john were alive, he would face criticism. if george were alive (and a little less hermetic,) he would also face criticism. ringo’s ringo, so no one cares.

  • William

    Zing Zang,

    Thank you for your explanation. You make a lot of sense and for the first time I see why people criticize Paul.

    Paul has certainly put out his share of rotten music. “The Girl is Mine”, “Biker Like an Icon” or “Peace in The Neighborhood” are pretty horrendous, especially in light of such past highs as “Maybe I’m Amazed”, “Uncle Albert” or “Live and Let Die.”

    Did I just criticize Paul?!!! I guess he does make it too easy.


    P.S. However, people DO care about Ringo, but only when someone says that Pete Best is a better drummer. Other then that, you’re right, no one cares.

  • JC Mosquito

    1. They got into a fight about money, sure.

    2. They grew apart, as people do sometimes as they grow up / grow older / mature / whatever term you like here.

    3. Their approach to their art was no longer compatible.

    Which of these choices is most romantic, however one comes to define the word? And that’s often how the world likes to remember it – romantic, not mundane. Realistic? Not usually.

  • zingzing

    now, back to plastic ono band. best album of 1970. heh. i don’t want to push my luck.

  • JC Mosquito

    You may be right – but I’m gonna sleep on this before I say anything.

  • William

    Zing Zang,

    Don’t get me wrong, I still think that Paul is a genius. He could write a million more “Biker Like an Icon’s” and it would never take away from the best of his past achievements. His place in history is forever secure in my book.

    I like to compare him to any number of African American performers such as James Brown for example. James Brown jumped the shark a long time ago. Decades before his death it did not matter in the least whether or not his newer music was any good. And it wasn’t. But, African Americans seem to have much more forgiveness when it comes to this sort of thing. James Brown’s past works are considered so revolutionary and held in such high regard (much like the Beatles) that he forever will be given a free pass for his later music.

    When it comes to Paul McCartney people are not so forgiving. It’s almost as if with every bad song he writes it slowly erases his best work. It’s gotten to the point that people refuse to acknowledge anything he’s ever done! Even when he puts out an exceptional album, in the case of his current one, it is immediately dismissed by most fans. I suppose to them that McCartney has squandered too much good will over the years. A lot of fans just don’t think that he deserves any respect.

    I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or what. As I said before, African Americans seem to be far more forgiving towards African American performers. I prefer to do the same to someone like Paul McCartney. The guy gets a free pass for life in my book.

    And on that note, I will give PLASTIC ONO BAND another chance. I haven’t heard it in years and I was very young then. Maybe it’s time I gave John a free pass as well. I mean, the guy was a bloody Beatle for chris’ sake!!!!!!


  • Al Barger

    But Paul McCartney’s work has not deteriorated that badly. He’s had a few lesser albums in the 80s and 90s, but almost all of them have at least one or two outstanding songs. There are only maybe a couple of real total stinkers.

  • William


    I agree. Even some of Paul’s lesser albums have proven to be pretty darn good in hindsight. McCARTNEY and RAM are two that easily come to mind. Both of those LPs were savagely reviewed at the time and are now held up as masterpieces.

  • William

    Speaking of James Brown, if you compare Ringo Starr or Pete Best to Clyde Stublefield I think that both Ringo and Pete fall short. On the 1970 song “Funky Drummer” Clyde performed what might be the most sampled and imitated drum beat in history.

    Here’s a quote:

    “It’s been estimated that samples of JB’s beats, screams, and exclamations have appeared on two or three thousand recordings, from cuts by Public Enemy and En Vogue to Fine Young Cannibals and George Michael. That alone would be cause for some serious investigation. But there’s more to the story. The rhythm itself-sampled or merely imitated on the kit-is the basis for the hip-hop and Manchester beats, the two most pervasive dance grooves on the two sides of the Atlantic. That slinky, syncopated, irresistible funk literally defines the genres.”

    -Modern Drummer

    Just something to think about.


  • zingzing

    “On the 1970 song “Funky Drummer” Clyde performed what might be the most sampled and imitated drum beat in history.”

    the “amen break” on “Amen, Brother” by the winstons is the most heavily sampled drum beat in history. 1969, b-side of “Color Him Father.” just so you know. funky drummer is, as you say, probably the most imitated drum beat. also, comparing james brown’s drummer to the beatles’ drummer is… not going to work out in any white man’s favor.

    as for your james brown vs. paul mccartney idea… i don’t think it’s got anything to do with race. it might have something to do with the level of adulation that that artist attained… many white artists still make a killing doing live work (as brown had been doing for the last 20 years of his life) while not having put out anything of note for decades at a time.

    “It’s almost as if with every bad song he writes it slowly erases his best work. It’s gotten to the point that people refuse to acknowledge anything he’s ever done!”

    that’s simply not true. his recent stuff obviously doesn’t hold a candle to his beatles stuff… but the man is 64 years old. it’s not expected anymore. he was an innovator, but his time has passed. it doesn’t mean he once wasn’t a musical god. it’s just that he’s all sorts of mortal now…

  • William

    Zing Zang,

    Well, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people tell me how much they hate “Yesterday”, “Hey Jude”, ” “Yellow Submarine”, “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road”, “When I’m 64″, “All Together Now,” and “Hello/Good-Bye”. These are all songs Paul either wrote by himself or had a huge hand in. They are some of my favorite tracks.

    “His recent stuff obviously doesn’t hold a candle to his Beatles stuff.”

    I disagree. Paul has been on a roll in recent years. His last two albums have plenty of songs that hold up to the stuff he did with the Beatles. Many of the tracks on “CHAOS AND CREATION could have been pulled from REVOLVER. The only thing that may hold them back slightly would be the age of Paul’s vocal and the lack of George Martin’s production. If some of the songs from CHAOS AND CREATION or MEMORY ALMOST FULL had been recorded in the sixties they would easily fit in with the Beatles songs of that day.

    But, what do I know. I’m not much of a musician. I just know what I like.

  • zingzing

    “Many of the tracks on “CHAOS AND CREATION could have been pulled from REVOLVER.”

    that’s a mighty bold statement. but, you are entitled to it.

    anyone who hates “Yesterday,” “Hey Jude,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road,” “When I’m 64,” “All Together Now” and “Hello/Good-Bye” just doesn’t like the beatles. although yellow sub is annoying as hell and all together now is rather dumb. other than yesterday and hey jude, those songs certainly wouldn’t make my best of… but lots and lots of paul songs would.

    “But, what do I know. I’m not much of a musician. I just know what I like.”

    don’t sell yourself short with that. i hate that “only musicians know what makes good music” argument.

    “If some of the songs from CHAOS AND CREATION or MEMORY ALMOST FULL had been recorded in the sixties they would easily fit in with the Beatles songs of that day.”

    well… it’s good that you think so. i’m glad you like the new stuff so much. i haven’t been so struck, but i’ll keep an open mind.

  • William

    “It’s almost as if with every bad song he writes it slowly erases his best work. It’s gotten to the point that people refuse to acknowledge anything he’s ever done!”

    In regards to the above quote: What about the prevailing attitude that John Lennon was the genius behind the Beatles and the superior songwriter? Doesn’t it seem that because of some of Paul’s inferior solo albums that people now make the assumption that he didn’t contribute very much to the Beatles?

    That’s what I mean when I say, “It’s gotten to the point that people refuse to acknowledge anything he’s ever done!” With every bad song he releases his previous accomplishments become more and more marginalized.

    At least it appears to be that way judging from the angry reviews for every new Paul McCartney release. If you look at Amazon or iTunes, people are divided right down the middle. For every 4 star review of MEMORY ALMOST FULL comes a 1 star review slamming Paul for even existing.

    What I don’t understand is why the fans, who hate each new release, bother buying and listening to Paul’s new work. If they hate everything the guy does then why not just ignore it and not waste the time posting a bad review.

    I don’t get it.

  • zingzing

    “What about the prevailing attitude that John Lennon was the genius behind the Beatles and the superior songwriter?”

    in many ways, john was the superior songwriter. paul’s were certainly created with more craft and were more perfect. i don’t think anyone is going to argue against the fact that sgt pepper was pretty much paul’s and that he was the defacto leader of the beatles post-’66. but john, instead of perfecting pop songwriting as the world knew it–and i’m only speaking of songwriting; paul changed the SOUND of pop as much as john did–wrote in a new language. musically, nothing he ever did was particularily complicated, with the exception of a few collage like elements in 66-67. paul wrote the more complex music, and did so perfectly. but john wrote something that really hit people at the core, while paul rarely reached to those spots.

    paul’s appeal as a songwriter is very different from john’s, especially later on. that’s what makes the beatles so special. they had a unbelievably perfect pop craftsman and an angry iconic writer in the same group, and they were able to hold them together for several years.

    “Doesn’t it seem that because of some of Paul’s inferior solo albums that people now make the assumption that he didn’t contribute very much to the Beatles?”

    that would be silly. that’s like saying james brown never lived because now he’s dead. well, not quite. but it’s the same sort of logic. brian wilson hasn’t done anything new of any real interest since about 1972 or 73, but it doesn’t change what he did in the past. some people may think that way… but we’d all do best to dismiss them.

    “With every bad song he releases his previous accomplishments become more and more marginalized.”

    but that’s simply not true. he’s as famous as he’s ever been, his music (old and new) is being heard by more people every day, and his contributions to the beatles are being explored in greater and greater depth. in 1981, i have no doubt that john was seen as the “genius behind the beatles,” but these days, that’s no longer the case.

    “If they hate everything the guy does then why not just ignore it and not waste the time posting a bad review.”

    because it’s their right. obviously, they are big enough fans to listen to it… so, if they hate it, that’s their opinion and they’re entitled to it. just as much as you are. you really wouldn’t have a ban on adverse criticism would you? not very democratic…

  • William

    Zing Zang,

    Of course it is their right to buy every Paul McCartney album that comes out. I never meant to imply that people don’t have that right. I just meant that I don’t understand why they would continue wasting their money if each new album is disappointing to them. Doesn’t that seem silly? I would think that at some point they would give up and not buy something that continually does not deliver for them. How can someone be a big fan of Paul’s new music if they dislike most of what he has put out in the last 20 years.

    By all means, they should buy as many of Paul’s albums as they want. It’s just surprising to me that they would hang on year after year. Year after year their frustration escalates.

    I do agree with you that Paul’s worst albums do not cancel out what he has done in the past. You will get no arguments from me.

  • Brad

    This Pete Best talk is insane. No one mentioned any songs he drummed on because he was justly fired before the Beatles started writing important music. The Decca recordings that he drummed on are all worse than anything that came after. Pete Best was a mediocre drummer, a prick by all accounts, and these days, he’s nothing if not pathetic.

  • JC Mosquito

    Hey, zing – I was reviewing the best albums of 1970 – didn’t the Stooges Funhouse come out in 1970? I think I like it better than Plastic Ono Band. For different reasons, of course, but over all, I’d listen to Funhouse before POB.

    Same with the Who Live at Leeds.

    And CSNY Deja Vu.

    And Stephen Stills’ s/t Atlantic solo album.

    I imagine you’ll still go with Ono Band. It’s a great album, a real milestone for Lennon. But it’s too much of a good thing for my liking. Instead of trying to relate his experience to my own, I just can’t help but focus on Lennon and his problems. The other artists mentioned may be less intense, but their art is more accessible.

    But it’s not in stone -I’m still open to suggestion by anyone.

  • zingzing

    yeah, funhouse is 1970…

    so was

    moondance by van
    loaded by vu
    soundtracks by can
    plastic ono band by yoko
    sunflower by the beach boys

    but i still think john’s pob would be my favorite. don’t forget let it be came out that year as well.

  • William

    Zing and JC,

    What about

    Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
    All Things Must Pass – George Harrison
    Led Zeppelin III – Led Zeppelin
    Psychedelic Shack – The Temptations
    Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs – Derek & The Dominos
    McCartney – Paul McCartney

    And not necessarily in that order. Or am I way off base again? I mean, what the hell do I know? I don’t think that Pete Best is pathetic at all.

  • William

    I also like ( and not from 1970)

    What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
    Headquarters -The Monkees
    Public Enemy -It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
    The Marshall Mathers LP – Eminem
    The Grey Album – DJ Dangermouse
    Straight Outta Compton – NWA
    Paul’s Boutique – The Beastie Boys
    Fear Of A Black Planet – Public Enemy
    Rap Phenomenon (Mix Tape) – 2Pac
    The Chronic – Dr. Dre
    2001 – Dr. Dre
    Amerikka’s Most Wanted – Ice Cube,

    as much as Sgt. Pepper.

    I’m sure that no one will agree with me, but those are all some pretty damn good albums as far as I’m concerned!

  • zingzing

    i think that paul’s boutique is one of the most creative albums ever made.

    and of course, the bomb squad are the greatest producers of the 1980s.

  • William


    I agree 100%. The original Bomb Squad was phenomenal! PAUL’S BOUTIQUE never gets old. It’s a shame that sampling laws changed Hip Hop forever. Chuck-D and Hank Shocklee both said that FEAR and NATION would be virtually impossible to make today. Well, they could be made, but it would cost a fortune and that’s only if they could get the sample clearances for a lot of the songs.

    PAUL”S BOUTIQUE even sample’s the Beatles. Ringo’s drum from Sgt. Pepper’s reprise is used and sounds incredibly funky!

    “Time and money for girls covered with honey
    You lie and aspire to be as cunning
    Reeling and rockin’ and rollin’ B size D cup
    Order the quarter deluxe why don’t you wake up.”

    Now that’s just dope, I don’t care what musical genre you’re into!

  • William


    You got me thinking. The Beatles should allow the original Bomb Squad to create a “new” Beatles album similar to LOVE. While I did enjoy LOVE very much, I felt that it was far too safe. Hank and Keith Shocklee could really create something amazing. DJ Dangermouse did a superb job with THE GREY ALBUM. The Martin’s could have been far more adventurous.

  • zingzing

    agreed–if bomb squad could do to the beatles what they did to james brown, (what is “welcome to the terrordome”–greatest rap song of all time, i say–but a james brown “love”?) i’m sure many domes would crumble.

    i’m just completely amazed that no rock bands took advantage of the bomb squad’s talents… i just want to hear what it would sound like…

  • William

    Okay, so we’ve been writing about Beatles songs we don’t like, whose the better Beatle and what non-Beatles albums we do like. Now it’s time for me to stir up more controversy (cue Pete Best drum roll if he can manage one) by posting my top ten favorite Beatles albums! (I can tell by your stunned silence that you’re all glued to your computer screens in abject terror at the mere thought of what I’m about to type.) Because like so many of my other lame opinions I have some dumb ideas about what constitutes great music. But, what the hell! I’m on vacation, bored and if you don’t like my stupid list make your own stupid list. (Besides, I’m going for the record on this thread.) Can we keep posting for the next year and a half, JC? Just kidding.

    I’ll bet you regret ever initiating this ridiculous discussion. “Ballad of John and Yoko”, why I never!!!

    Top Ten Favorite Beatles Albums

    1) Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Mono)
    June 1, 1967   Parlophone Records
    2) Revolver
    August 28, 1966   Capitol Records
    3) Rubber Soul
    December 3, 1965   Parlophone Records
    4) Past Masters vol. 2
    March 8, 1988   Parlophone Records
    5) Abbey Road
    September 26, 1969   Apple Records
    6) The Beatles (The White Album)
    November 22, 1968   Apple Records
    7) Meet The Beatles
    January 20, 1964   Capitol Records
    8) A Hard Day’s Night
    November 22, 1963   Parlophone Records
    9) Beatles Bop: Hamburg Days
    November 29, 2001 Bear Family Records

    Since I will never be able to defend the inclusion of Beatles Bop (That’s right. I bypassed Magical Mystery Tour) I am presenting Thom Jurek’s review from AMG. He gives Beatles Bop 4 out of 5 stars. Summing up my exact sentiments about the Sheridan tapes, he may lend some credibility to my choice. ‘Cause I know there is no way in Hell anyone else will put this album on their list!

    “No matter what everyone once thought of these recordings — I had a full LP’s worth of them when I was a kid bought at a Spartan’s or Arlan’s Department store from the bargain bin and felt ripped off — they hold more value and mystery now than they ever could have when they were originally issued. Part of it is the mythology of the Beatles, but the rest is in the raw, live, sexual energy that these recordings themselves project. It’s also an indisputable fact that the Beatles never, ever rocked harder than on these sessions with Tony Sheridan and then-drummer Pete Best from 1961-1962. While Tony Sheridan may never have been the singer either Paul McCartney or John Lennon was, he was a solid rock and roll singer, and the Beatles had never thought much about playing pop music at this point — as these recordings truly attest. The wildness in all six versions of “My Bonnie” (three mono, three stereo), “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “The Saints,” “Take out some Insurance on me Baby,” “Nobody’s Child,” “Ain’t She Sweet,” and “Cry for a Shadow,” in all their mono, stereo, and medley versions, tell a story of risk, innocence, and raw nerve on the part of the Beatles, and until this Bear Family edition of the complete German studio sessions, it had never been told before. The package contains two CDs, 38 selections, and pristine sound. There is also a booklet with every single session note obtainable as well as many photographs and even a reproduction of the contract between the Beatles and Bert Kaempfert as administered by the late Brian Epstein. This is an amazing document, one that opens another dimension into the world that the Beatles entered and then changed.”
    – Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

    10) The Grey Album – DJ Dangermouse
    February 3, 2004 (self released)

    I know. The Grey Album is not really a Beatles album and it has no endorsement from the Beatles. However, it is a masterful Beatles sound collage paired with one of the greatest emcees of all time. I jus’ HAD to get me some Hip Hop on the list. “H to the Izz-O, V to the Izz-A.”

    Honorable Mention:

    11) Love
    November 20, 2006   Apple Records

    Well, there it is. If you enjoy wasting precious time bothering with this sort of nonsense, I’d love to know what YOUR favorites are. (Ahhh, the internet; a whole new way to say something stupid.)


  • JC Mosquito

    Ach – William – I can’t let this one slip by – Sgt. P over Revolver?!?!? Nope!

    First, though, I acknowledge the best Beatles song is either Strawberry Fields (from the same Sgt. p sessions) or Day in the Life (depending on my mood) And the album Sgt, P is (perhaps) the most influential in pop/rock music history.

    However, the songs on Revolver are better written both individually and collectively – each one is not only a meisterwerk in its own right, but each one supports the other songs on the album, all without excessive studio trickery. Tack on the Paperback Writer/Rain single from the same era and you have the Beatles at their finest.

  • William


    I hear where you’re coming from. Revolver and Sgt.Pepper trade places in my top spot depending on what mood I’m in and which day you catch me on. I just have a soft spot for Sgt. Pepper because I heard it at a very young and impressionable age. I also heard the mono Pepper for the first time recently and it is like hearing the album for the very first time. It is far superior to the stereo mix. Absolutely amazing!!!! It’s almost an entirely different album. (Notice that I put the mono version at the top? The official stereo CD doesn’t even come close.) So, I am coming off of the joy of rediscovering Sgt.Pepper like I’ve never heard it before. I will no doubt feel the same way when I eventually experience Revolver in mono.

    I didn’t hear Revolver until I was in college. I loved it and still do! The song writing is superior on it for sure. “Tomorrow Never Knows” still blows me away! It doesn’t sound dated.

    I agree with you on “Strawberry Fields” and “Day In The Life.” They are two of the greatest Beatles songs of all time! Definitely my all time favorites. I think that “Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane” is THE best single that the Beatles ever released. Although, I would put “Rain” and ” I Am The Walrus” pretty high on the list too.

    I’m surprised that my choice of Sgt. Pepper in the number one spot would be the first thing you addressed. I thought for sure that Beatles Bop, The Grey Album and Love would be the most controversial. Or are those picks so far out there that they’re not even worth discussing?

    Take care!

  • zingzing

    favorite (note that) beatles songs (silly version):
    1. twist and shout
    2. no reply
    3. revolution #9
    4. happiness is a warm gun
    5. you never give me your money
    6. it won’t be long
    7. help!
    8. dig a pony
    9. i’ve got a feeling
    10. a day in the life (cause i can’t lie)

    as for the sgt pepper vs. revolver debate… totally depends on mood i say. i put white album and hard day’s night ahead of both. a personal favorite has to be beatles for sale, just because it is so unjustly maligned. fuckers.

  • Pico

    so sez William:
    “Since I will never be able to defend the inclusion of Beatles Bop (That’s right. I bypassed Magical Mystery Tour) I am presenting Thom Jurek’s review from AMG. He gives Beatles Bop 4 out of 5 stars. Summing up my exact sentiments about the Sheridan tapes, he may lend some credibility to my choice. ”

    I think you’d be hard pressed to find many records Jurek rates below 4 stars. He pretty much loves everything.

  • William


    Love your list. Revolution #9 is one of my favorites as well! I know that most people hate it though.

  • zingzing

    thom jurek is michael j. west’s favorite (read: least favorite) writer on amg! he blathers.

    rev #9, i think, is as good as anything by cage or reich, etc. in the rock world, only can’s “unfinished” stands up as a collage. fuckin wonderful stuff.

  • William

    So sez Pico:
    “Think you’d be hard pressed to find many records Jurek rates below 4 stars. He pretty much loves everything.”

    Well, this the rare case in which Jurek got it right. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    Anyhow, my list is not the BEST Beatles albums but my FAVORITE Beatles albums. In my mind those are two entirely different things. CITIZEN KANE is considered probably the greatest film of all time. I acknowledge that, but I don’t ever want to watch it again. I’d rather sit down to “Goldfinger”, “Star Wars”, “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” or “Zelig” any day. Each of those films is great in their own right but they wouldn’t be at the top of most critics lists.

  • William

    RollingStone gave Beatles Bop 4 stars out of 5 – “…Even in their rugged infancy, playing for strippers and sailors on the Reeperbahn, the Beatles were the beginning of everything. Bolts of imminent greatness shoot through these bizarre rave-ups of mom-and-pop corn…”

    But what the hell do they know?

  • zingzing

    what’s banned word 12269?

  • zingzing

    rolling stone? depends on when that review was written. (and by whom…)

    rolling stone has, for nearly my entire life, been a ghost of its former self. it’s pathetic.

    did you know that spin was originally conceived because rolling stone was sucking so bad? in the first issue, they had a nice big article on jandek, probably the most self-obscuring obscuro artist out there. it was actually an interesting magazine! (and was started by the publishers of penthouse or something.)

    but now it sucks just as bad, maybe even worse, than rolling stone. the news articles (about anything BUT music) are actually the best parts of that magazine these days. fuck rolling stone. fuck spin too. shit, fuck most damn magazines.

  • zingzing

    the banned words are fucking random. hust-ler?

  • William

    O.k. habe ich meine Meinung geändert. Ich mag »A Hard Day’s Night«. Die Aufzeichnung ist jetzt an der Oberseite von meiner Liste. Auf dem gleichnamigen Soundtrack zu ihrem ersten Film »A Hard Day’s Night« präsentierte sich das Songwriter-Duo Lennon / McCartney erstmals auf kompletter Album-Länge. Damit schüttelten die Beatles endgültig ihre Rock ‘n’ Roll-Wurzeln ab und fanden zu eigenem Stil. Insbesondere die Mischung aus gefühlvollen Balladen und rockigen Songs spricht für sich und sucht im Jahre 1964 seinesgleichen.

    Es ist so schwierig zu entscheiden, was mein Lieblingsalbum von Beatles ist. Heute bin ich in der Stimmung dafür »A Hard Day’s Night«. Morgen könnte ich in der Stimmung dafür sein »Beatles Bop-Hamburg Days«.

    Wollen wir ihm gegenüberstehen Pete Best war der bessere Drummer. Ringo war der glücklichste Mann auf dem Planeten. Schade, aber alle von Ihnen Kerle haben es falsch.

    Es ist Zeit für mich, um diese Diskussion für immer zu verlassen. Es gibt nichts in mir, ganze meine Zeit vergeudend. Ich werde mit meinem Urlaub getan, und ich gehe zurück, um zu arbeiten, wo ich anfangen werde, mit echten Leuten zu sprechen. Es hat Spaß gemacht! Ich wünsche Ihnen alles Gute!!!

    Auf Wiedersehen.
    – William

    Ich werde nicht zurück sein, um zu lesen, welchen Quatsch alle von Ihnen sagen müssen. So gehen Sie voran und machen Sie sich über mich alles lustig, dass Sie wollen. Wenn Sie deutsch, zu schlecht nicht lesen können!!!

  • JC Mosquito

    Guten tag, Vilhelm, mein freund. If you don’t come back that’s ok – hope you enjoyed your vacation. I enjoyed it too.


  • Brie

    I wouldn’t say that Paul is the most hated Beatle… at all. In the early days he was clearly one of the absolute most loved because of his good looks, and today he’s STILL thought of as the cute Beatle. He doesn’t take NEARLY as much criticism as Ringo does. Just look through this page – people have been criticising Ringo left and right!

  • Shannon

    The only Beatle song I could ever come close to hating would be “Baby it’s you” but that’s it, even though alot of the songs you guys mentioned took me a while to like, i warmed up to them eventually and now I love them, Beatles just do that to you lol.

  • Janessa

    I really don’t care for some of Paul’s songs like Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da, Maxwells Silver Hammer, and Hello Goodbye. It’s not that I hate them I just prefer the other songs.


  • K

    Everyone on this post has clearly forgotten the real reason why Pete did not remain with the Beatles. When George Martin agreed to record with the Beatles, he told them that pete was no good, he could not keep time. He couldn’t care less if they wanted to take him on the road, but he would not be playing in the studio. When they got Ringo, George had already arranged a studio drummer (andy White) to play. So ringo did not get to play on that first recording.
    But the point is that Pete best was not good enough!!! I realize that Ringo is no superstar, but apparently he was good enough.

  • JC Mosquito

    K – not everyone forgot the point, but I think we just got tired of responding to something we thought was so obvious – thank you for stating it outright, and I hope that puts an end to people trying to make the case for someone who I’m sure is a nice enough guy whose place in r’n’r history will surely remain a footnote.

  • beatlepaul

    this could quite possibly be the ‘worst blog’ of all time…

    but here’s my cup of gasoline for this senseless fire…

    the worst Beatle song of all time is…
    Anything by the Rolling Stones!

  • http://ww beourn fuyrd

    Taxman. I don’t want to hear rich kids who play guitars for a living complaining about *their* tax burden. Everybody hates paying taxes but nobody is less burdened than the rich. So suck it up and play your sitar, mophead. Baby Can You Drive My car is actually a worse tune and is the lyrics more inane, but at least is devoid of self pity.

  • JC Mosquito

    BF – thank you. Every couple of weeks, someone digs up this thread, and yours is one of the few intelligent comments in a long time. Yeah, you’re right about the social implcations of Taxman, but that’s a pretty cool riff chugging underneath it.

  • Edvado

    Do you have ANY idea what the tax burdon was in England at the time? I don’t care how much money you’re making, keeping only one out of every twenty dollars you make is a bit steep.

  • http://jconver John

    Pete Best better than Ringo? Well…..I can think
    of four people who would disagreee with that:
    John Lennon
    Paul McCartney
    George Harrison
    and George Martin

  • Gillian

    Taxman is an excellent song. It is the first Beatles song that is obviously a social commentary, even pointing out the Prime Minister of England, and the leader of the opposition who had contributed to rising taxes. At the time, The Beatles were paying 19 shillings and 3 pence out of every 20 shillings.

    In my opinion, I really do not like Glass Onion. It just gets on my nerves, but I still appreciate what the message that John was trying to convey.

  • General Jabbo

    Wild Honey Pie is pretty bad. Honey Pie isn’t much better. This coming from someone who LOVES the White Album.

  • Johnny

    You can’t really call a number 1 song their worst.

  • Roadie Nicknamed Rory

    I think Cry baby Cry’ gonna have the Rotten Apple

  • Pico

    Then again, Lennon’s “What’s The New Mary Jane” was so bad that the other Beatles refused to let it on the White Album.

  • Steve

    ‘Mr. Moonlight’ is the worst Beatles song, bar none! I am a huge fan of the boys, and John’s singing is bad and it is just a terrible number. It’s on ‘The Beatles ’65’ in the USA.

  • Conor

    Personally, “All You Need Is Love”. Now this is partly because I don’t like the hippie message of it, but the song tiptoes the line of self indulgence, which Sgt. Peppers never did. Most people love it, but I hate it

  • Matt

    I think your mother should know, and the video for it, and some of the other shlock of Paul may be the worst. Paul could belt with anyone in the world when he wanted to, but always seemed more interested in ebony and ivory, than actually writing rock and roll songs by the end.

  • Chuck

    I’ll Get You, for me, is the worst Beatles song. “OHHH YEAAAH…OHHH YEAAAH!” …need I say more? It’s like your ears are being gouged by barbed-wired pencils.

    I’m surprised more haven’t mentioned Maxwell’s Silver Hammer…terrible faux-music hall jaunt, even if the contrast between the lyrics and the music is amusing at first.

    Also, though they’re not Beatles songs, I have to express my hatred for all McCartney solo songs besides Live and Let Die, Jet, Let Me Roll It, Band on the Run, Maybe I’m Amazed and Here Today. I’m quite familiar with Macca’s solo catalogue, and I really think it’s awful. And I’ll be the first to tell you–he was brilliant while he was in the Beatles. Not sure why it fell apart, maybe the lack of a creative environment, people he was in legitimate competition with, and peers who weren’t afraid to tell him when he was producing shit…I dunno…but it’s worth mentioning.

  • JC Mosquito

    This article was written 21 months ago, and it’s getting comments. Go fig.

  • vic

    there’s only one song I’ve known in which the Beatles seems to suddenly or for a brief moment lose their artistic side. that song is none other than..dirty maggie may

  • Jim

    How come no one has said anything about “Piggies”

    I hate that song

  • Cronaldo9

    Yellow Submarine and Long and Winding Road. Yes, the latter too. I really despise some of Macca’s ‘granny’ music. However all 4 of them are my idols, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Here Comes the Sun and Eleanor are my favorite. Oh I wish JL and GH were still alive..

  • Brooke

    I have to say ‘The Long and Winding Road’. It’s overproduced and I never really liked it.

    I disagree with ‘John And Yoko’. It’s a good song, not their best but good nonetheless.

  • jim

    Ok dumb people. Why is everyone so down on Ringo? The reason a Pete Best era song hasnt been chosen is because most of these songs are unknown to most people! Most people only know the songs from when the beatles became extremely popular.

  • PCL

    I’d pick two; Mr. Moonlight, which is pretty much un-listenable and “Eight Days a Week” which has a monotonous melody and embarrassingly trite lyrics. They tended to be good at making teen jingles bearable (She loves you., I want to hold your hand.), but “Eight Days a Week” was a glaring exception to that pattern.

  • Bad Apple

    Within Without You is by far the worst Beatle song.

  • Jon Bolduc

    I like The Ballad of John and Yoko, it has a good beat and enjoy dancing around my room too it when ever it comes on my playlists. I enjoy the song, but if you think it’s bad, I don’t really care, because, you know, its your own perogative. I don’t really know how it fits in with the whole Beatles history, and I don’t really care because I love the song. As for songs I don’t like by the beatles, I don’t like I Got To Get you Into my Life, or Good Day Sunshine, to much horns and sappiness, in my opinion. I like Paul, but sometimes his constant peppy love songs can get a bit tiresome.

  • Bob

    Wild Honey Pie is the worst. Terrible.

  • Wayner

    Spot on Doug!
    Music today is in crisis.
    I just wish these ‘artistes’ today would take note of how the Beatles crafted their songs. As for ‘Idol I wish they’d pull it off air…….like NOW!
    They are promoting entertainers instead of rock/pop. It’s ultra-conservative in fact. That’s the problem with music today it’s conservative and square. Like a backlash against the spirit of rock and roll and anything progressive or intelligent. Bring back quality music ASAP!! And the Beatles music was the highest quality of all. Give me the worst Beatles track over any gump released today.
    Let’s reinvent GOOD MUSIC because this new century needs quality music as its soundtrack not the junk it’s lumbered with.

  • JC Mosquito

    Well, this 2 1/2 year old article is still getting comments – who’d’ve thought so many people would want to have their say about what was intended to be simply one listener’s opinion on a single track by a band that had so many other great ones?

    As a matter of non interest to many, I haven’t changed my mind about BOJ&Y, although Maxwell’s Silver Hammer is starting to inch closer bit my bit to the top baddie spot. Those of you who suggested that are right about something – it’s pretty awful too.

    And Wayner – sounds like you feel it’s time to start a musical revolution – but to paraphrase the Monkees, what if they gave a music war and nobody came?

  • Christopher Rose

    The Beatles were a decent enough pop group but made a whole slew of bad songs in addition to some fine ones.

  • craig

    While I’m a huge Beatles fan I’m not impressed with the Yellow Submarine LP or the White Album, I thought they were horrible. The White Album would have been a better record if all the good songs on it were put on a single disc rather than a double LP.

    Since the subject is about the worst Beatles song I would say one of them has to be the Hippie Hippie Shake from Live at the BBC CD’s. I found that they butchered a great Swinging Blue Jeans tune.

  • Todd

    I don’t see bad songs by the Beatles, I just see songs that I may not be in the mood for sometimes. No songwriting team has a catalogue of songs as varied as the Beatles’ songs. Their content and styles run the gamut, so it’s amazing they pleased as many people as they did.

  • Paolo

    We all have been pampered by the Beatles. Therefore I agree: BoJY is the worst Beatles’ tune because I can’t accept a trivial blues tune by John Lennon in 1969. I am more prone to accept an experimental attempt gone bad.
    Pete-Ringo debate: the fifth Beatle was actually George Best.

  • Reverend Flash

    Bill – What is your deal with putting down Ringo? Nowhere has it been “obvious from this thread that everyone likes (Pete Best) far better than Ringo”. No one is suggesting any Pete Best songs because most people don’t consider the Decca Sessions or the Tony Sheridan recordings as true Beatles recordings. They were all recorded before The Beatles actual first album, and none really had a major release until after The Beatles had success with their REAL songs. We might as well say that Paul McCartney sucks as a bassist because only songs with HIM are getting picked as opposed to his ‘superior’ predecessor Stu Sutcliffe. But okay, I’ll tell you what Beatles recording sucks because of Pete – the ‘Love Me Do’ version from Anthology. He tries to go for some kind of alternate beat in the middle, but never fully commits, resulting in a really sloppy-sounding performance (just about as sloppy as his vocal ‘contribution’ on the Pete Best Band track ‘More Than I Need Myself’).

  • Wards

    What no Maxwell’s Silver Hammer? Absolutely dire.

  • JC Mosquito

    Despite some attempts to spam the topic, the fact is almost 4 years and over 200 comments later, people are still weighing in on this topic – which in itself is quite interesting. But I wonder if anyone remembers if the Beatles themselves ever picked there own embarrassing moments?

  • beatledude

    I think everyone should stop smashing ringo he is a great drummer and the beatles are not the beatles without him. By the way, worst song i would have to say is: Wild Honey Pie, i also dont like Baby’s in black

  • beatledude

    I also strongly dislike The Inner Light i dont know who would like it it is quite horrible, but i will say the beat is not all bad. A few other clunkers are Revolution 9,and Love You too. My favorite beatles songs are: Fixing A Hole, Michelle, P.s. I love you, and Till there was you although that last one isnt technically a beatles song

  • Beatledude

    And of course we all have to remember Pete best was a good drummer but he just did not fit the bill for the beatles drummer, where as ringo did. if ringo hadn’t joined, each of the beetles would not be as famous and where they are now.someone please respond!

  • Michael Fontana

    Can anyone even remotely justify putting “Wild Honey Pie” on the white album, and then leaving off “Not Guilty”, which will later prove to be one of George’s best Beatle songs?

  • JC Mosquito

    Re: #222 – I know it’s a typo, but I wonder what “Fixing AHole” would’ve sounded like.

    The Pete Best discussion was over way back in whatever year he got axed in the early 1960s. If he was so good, he should’ve easily picked up a successful gig with someone else – there were other successful band of the Beatles contemporaries that would have loved to say they had an ex-Beatle in their band. History has examined that particular hypothetical angle and overwhelmingly given the thumbs up to Ringo on a very consistent basis.

  • El Bicho

    Skeeter, how are things? haven’t seen you around in a while. Keep rockin’!

  • zingzing

    come back to us, jc mosquito.

  • JC Mosquito

    Hi, EB – Hi Zing. Y’know – I keep looking for a way back into the BC thing – it’s funny how life gets in the way. I just got through a lengthy period of sleeping 2-3 hours a night….. so I’m catching up on six years’ worth of weirdness. And the BC’s format has changed, so I gotta figure that out……. but when I find the right place to (re)start, you’ll hear from me.

    Hope you’re all well,


  • Beatledude

    Jc mosquito- I didn’t mess up fixing a hole so why did u send it

  • jcmosquito

    Sorry b-dude – it’s a sight gag that maybe you can’t see on your display screen. On my screen, it looked like “Fixing-AHole” (short for “Fixing an A$$h01e”) more than “Fixing-A-Hole,” which I thought would make a funny Beatles’ tune – written by John most likely.

    An so we all roll along.

  • Beatledude

    Oh ok sorry for my misinterpretation, the topic I would like to look more into are the anthologies, if anyone cares to vent

  • Beatledude

    Anyone Out there?

  • JC Mosquito

    Wow. Four and a half years. I’m curious as to how this article keeps popping up every couple of months.

  • Beatledude

    Because this article is awesome! We want u back mosquito!

  • Beatledude

    Anyone still out there?

  • Beatledude

    Someone answer I’m getting desperate!!!

  • Bassmanbob

    I’m here. Although I’m not a fan of BJ&Y Mr. Moonlight alawys makes me cringe.

  • Beatledude

    Idk why many people dislike mr moonlight I think it’s a great song. Who’s up to vent about this?

  • Bassmanbob

    Beatledude, what is it about Mr. Moonlight that you like?

  • Beatledude

    The lyrics, melody, tone, it’s just a good song overall.

  • Bassmanbob

    I do like the lyrics but IMHO John does a terrible job singing the lead & Paul & George butcher the boackup vocals. Everything sound off key to me. The song actually makes me cringe when I hear it.

  • JC Mosquito

    Archives didn’t save any of the comments here – but the last I looked (before the blogcritics’ format change) there were about 250: some were interesting and insightful, and a lot were just written by wacknuts.