Gimme Five: Songs where the Beatles, well, sucked

There is much about the Beatles that’s easy to love. The ornate pop, the long-haired peaceability, the arguments over which one’s your favorite. Still, lend them your ear and you’ll discover a few duds.

Even a group as talented, and successful, as the Fab Four couldn’t help but round out a handful of albums with what could only charitably be called filler. Heck, they even had a few charttoppers that might qualify. (Yes, we’re looking at you “Hello, Goodbye.”)

[WORST OF THE BEATLES: This initial list of the worst-ever Beatles songs became SER's most popular item ever - and, of course, the most talked about, too. Now, we're back with more of our least fab picks.]

In compiling our list of the worst offenders, we tried to stay away from easy targets. So, none of their earliest stuff. No Ringo Starr, either. We also left off experimental verite-rock tracks like “Revolution No. 9,” “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)” and “What’s The New Mary Jane,” which weren’t really songs per se.

What remains is the stuff that didn’t quite make their hall-of-fame resume — the ones where they took a bad song … and made it worse. Our S. Victor Aaron and Nick DeRiso investigated:

No. 5
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD (LET IT BE, 1970)

Beatles songs themed on the word “long” are bad karma — but more on that in a minute. This syrupy ballad was a favorite for senior proms at least into the 1980s, sending everyone hurtling into morbidly depressive states — and thus permanently halting generations of young men at first base. (Damn you, DJ!) Even at three-and-a-half minutes, it seemed to be overly long and, yes, winding. (Heck, the Beatles damned near fell asleep playing it. Don’t believe us? Just look at the video.) Producer Phil Spector, in a move that McCartney said precipitated the breakup of the Fabs, later came in and added 18 violins, four violas, four cellos, three trumpets, three trombones, two guitars and a choir of 14 women to the song.

Nick DeRiso: McCartney’s showy complaints about the Spector-ization of this track are funny even now, considering how many of his later songs had armies of violins, trumpets, girls, and so on.

S. Victor Aaron: Spector should have gone to jail much sooner for the heavy-handed way he polished this turd of a song. Paul wanted to kick his ass for that, but it’s his own fault for laying this turd in the first place.

Nick DeRiso: Loved Phil’s comeback to this harrumphing: “Paul had no problem picking up the Academy Award for the Let It Be movie soundtrack, nor did he have any problem in using my arrangement of the string and horn and choir parts when he performed it during 25 years of touring on his own. If Paul wants to get into a pissing contest about it, he’s got me mixed up with someone who gives a shit.”

No. 4
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, 1967)

Composed for the first globally televised live event via satellite, “All You Need Is Love” has the wafer-thin depth and tinny feel of, well, a TV theme song. It’s perhaps of little surprise to learn that the Beatles didn’t sit down to work on the song until a scant 11 days before the broadcast. Falling back on his penchant for sloganeering, Lennon — who once said “I like slogans. I like advertising. I love the telly” — simply threw out a series of sayings, then gussied it up with effects, including snippets of the French national anthem and their early hit “She Loves You.”

S. Victor Aaron: Everyone tends to give songs from ’67 a pass for the hippy-trippy lyrics but we have to draw a line somewhere and John crossed it: “There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done/Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung. Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game/It’s easy.” Yes, it’s easy indeed … to write trite prose. He credited his then-four-year-old-son Julian for inspiring “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” but it wouldn’t have surprised me if young Jules also wrote the words for “All You Need Is Love,” too.

Nick DeRiso: This arrived amid a startlingly uneven period for Lennon, who was just as capable of kaleidoscope brilliance (“A Day In the Life,” “Strawberry Fields Forever”), as he was a number of under-cooked, cliche-riddled throwaways like “Good Morning, Good Morning,” “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” and this overplayed snoozer. Backed up against the wall by a deadline, Lennon followed more than he led — echoing the themes of that summer rather than coming up with something original.

S. Victor Aaron: And then as the song drifted off into lala land, who was being the ass clown mocking their earlier hits? Yeah, that’s right, Paul.

No. 3
LONG, LONG, LONG (WHITE ALBUM, 1968)

Inspired musically by “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands,” the final track on Bob Dylan’s celebrated Blonde On Blonde album, this one actually had potential — but the muddled production (was George Martin on a smoke break?) sunk the song. First, Ringo’s too-up-front fills disrupt what little flow the song has, then there’s Harrison’s faint, echoing vocal, and finally a rattling bottle of Blue Nun wine on top of a Leslie speaker cabinet to end things. Maybe this sounded more interesting while baked. It must have.

Nick DeRiso: A wet blanket of a record, it’s as if you’re trapped in a some place dark with a guy who won’t get to the point. Is he in love with some girl? Has he found God? Can he speak the hell up? Everything about it seems claustrophobic, save for Ringo’s smashingly out-of-place fills.

S. Victor Aaron: The tune goes straight to the bottom in the last 30 seconds as George gets freaky and emits “ahhhhhhhh” as the song comes to messy end. But I can relate to him. Every time I hear this song, I want to cover up my ears and yell “ahhhhh” so I can tune it out.

Nick DeRiso: When ever I think I’m completely sick of this song, I think about the interminable sessions. The odd waltz time here forced the self-taught Beatles to go through an astonishing 67 takes to complete the rhythm track. (Talk about long … long … LONG!) That’s about 60 more times than I’ve listened to this song.

No. 2
MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER (ABBEY ROAD, 1969)

Nothing like a jaunty little tune about a homicidal maniac to spark up an album, eh? Convinced somehow that this could be a hit anyway, McCartney, and a rotating group of his hapless bandmates, somehow spent three days — three days! — recording this track. “He did everything to make it into a single,” Lennon said years later, “and it never was — and it never could have been.” Bang bang!

S. Victor Aaron: Paul can get awfully damned silly at times but never more than he did here. The original meaning of the term “hammer time” was a story about … ah screw it, it’s not even worth getting into.

Nick DeRiso: When Paul sings the line “writing 50 times, ‘I must not be so-oh-oh-oh,’” he can be heard cracking up — reportedly, because Lennon had mooned him during the previous verse, which ends “so he waits behind.” All of that is funnier than anything that actually happens here. A pothole on the otherwise superlative Abbey Road.

S. Victor Aaron: Give it to Paul, though: This was the first recorded instance that a synthesizer was used in a cringe-inducing song. Awful prog rock owes a huge debt to Macca.

No. 1
BLUE JAY WAY (MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, 1967)

Another Harrison clusterfuck. Written while George was bored stiff waiting for his publicist to arrive at a house he was renting on Blue Jay Way in Los Angeles — and it shows. Befitting the times, the tune employs all manner of effects — copious flanging, vocal processing, backwards playbacks fading in and out. None of it distracts from the essential ennui of this deeply uninteresting jetlagged dirge.

S. Victor Aaron: The song is creepy and trippy but not at all in the right ways. George’s voice sounds like it was run through a Leslie speaker by way of a Hammond B-3 and the droning “please don’t be very long” is grating enough. But, no, this had to supplemented by a second droning voice repeating that insipid phrase out of tune.

Nick DeRiso: What bitter irony, the way George keeps repeating the phrase please … don’t … be … long. Too late. This song is the Energizer bunny of bad Beatles songs: It just keeps going and going and going. And going. You feel sorry for those poor bastards playing the cello.

S. Victor Aaron: Psychedelic music, like psychedelic drugs, had good trips and bad trips. This was a trip to musical hell.

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DISHONORABLE MENTIONS: “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da,” (la-la, how this song goes wrong); “Within You Without You” (mostly, without); “All Together Now” (Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, I hate you); “Run For You Life” (they just don’t make wife-beating songs like they used to); and “Only A Northern Song” (this one, alas, goes south quickly).

Something Else!

The Something Else! Reviews webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, is syndicated through Bing News, Topix and AllAboutJazz.com. The site has been featured in The New York Times, NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, the NoDepression.com Americana site, Popdose.com and JazzTimes, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com, Rock.com, Blues Revue Magazine and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • Edvado

    You are apparently warped by today’s standard as to what constitutes a “good” song. Try to write this article again in ten years and see if you feel the same about these marvelous songs.

    • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

      Oh, Edvado, let me assure you, we’ve lived with these songs for decades. They don’t get any better.

      • Francesca

        I so agree! It’s really comical to read these feeble attempts at taking down the Fab Four… lol

      • Moderoy

        First of all, you miss the point about “All You Need is Love.” It was intended as a commercial jingle that would instantly catch on with a global audience in a single viewing. It succeeded. Also gotta give Lennon credit for churning this one out in just a few hours (on short notice) for the Our World TV special, which was a first of its kind.

        Secondly, “Long Long Long” and “Long and Winding Road” are absolutely gorgeous songs in their own way. Like many songs, their greatness isn’t something even the hippest music critic can define in a few pithy words. And of course one can’t account for taste. You might not like Beethoven’s 9th Symphony either. It’s an opinion…just not an especially good one.

        • S. Victor Aaron

          He churned it out in just a few hours? I know, it shows.

          And an “especially good opinion” is one that lines up with yours, right? ;-)

          • Moderoy

            Yes Mr. S Victor Aaron, I see at least some room for objectivity in art criticism. So, do you think one of today’s bland, hipster alt rock bands could create something even close to “All You Need is Love” (in terms of how it resonated with an entire generation of people and helped to define the “summer of love”) given a few years, let alone hours?

            • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

              Nobody is comparing the lowest common denominator of today’s scene to that of the Beatles in their heyday almost half of a century ago. We’re talking about the times when they didn’t live up to their own lofty standards. And “All You Need Is Love” doesn’t.

            • S. Victor Aaron

              I don’t listen to hipster alt rock bands, bland or otherwise, so I can’t really answer that question.

              So “All You Need Is Love” resonated with a generation. I think that’s great. So did “You Light Up My Life.”

              Both of those songs have another thing in common: they suck.

          • Moderoy

            Again, “All You Need is Love” was never intended to be the next “A Day in the Life.” It was written with a specific purpose in mind: for the first global TV event. As such, the band wanted something very simple that could be understood by people all over the world. And they came up with something absolutely perfect for the occasion (e.g., Walrus would have been a miserable failure for this particular event, even though it’s a much better song.) The larger point is that there is a time for all things. Really not such a difficult concept to get Vic Aaron. Why can’t you get it?

            • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

              You seem to be under the misapprehension that this assignment fell to the Beatles late, and that they did all they could do with the time allotted. Moreover, you imply that we should all be thrilled with the results, feeble though they may be.

              Here’s the truth of the matter: The Beatles, both before and after being invited to contribute to the first world-wide satellite broadcast, wrote catchier, more smartly constructed, better remembered songs. Despite this grand occasion, and their supposed commitment to peace, love and so on, the Beatles didn’t convene to begin work on the backing track for this song until 11 days before the transmission date. Perhaps inevitably, what we got with “All You Need Is Love” was something dashed off at the very last minute — and the song is infinitely poorer for it.

              Legendary Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick, in Mark Lewisohn’s book ‘The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions,’ remembers: “I don’t know if they had prepared any ideas but they left it very late to write the song. John said, ‘Oh God, is it that close? I suppose we’d better write something.’”

              That says it all.

          • Moderoy

            One more thing: while you are certainly correct that “You Light Up My Life” sucks, the comparison is ridiculous. The 1960′s were a time of dramatic upheavals, and music played an integral role in the social revolutions of the time. Like it or not, “All You Need is Love” was one of the anthems of a revolutionary period. There is no parallel to today, and certainly not to Boone’s lifeless ballad, which was no more than a big chart topper, and no different than any of the corporate muzak that fills the airwaves today.

            • S. Victor Aaron

              The Debbie Boone song topped the charts for ten consecutive weeks, something no Beatles song ever did. Obviously, it had a lot of resonance.

              Which goes to show, “resonance” has no bearing on whether a song sucks.

      • Moderoy

        Nick, I read Lewisohn’s book, and many others about the Beatles. If you know much about the band, as it sounds like you do, you would agree that John often dashed songs off at the very last moment, masterpiece or not. In fact, he could rarely concentrate on writing or recording a song for more than a brief time. So I don’t think that point about this particular song adds any weight to your argument.

        • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

          If you have, in fact, read Lewisohn’s book, then it must have been since your first responses to this piece, which were: “Also gotta give Lennon credit for churning this one out in just a few hours (on short notice) for the Our World TV special, which was a first of its kind.”

          Then: “So, do you think one of today’s bland, hipster alt rock bands could create something even close to ‘All You Need is Love’ (in terms of how it resonated with an entire generation of people and helped to define the “summer of love”) given a few years, let alone hours?”

          I was addressing your comments, specifically.

          • Moderoy

            Timeline was slightly off on the composition deadline, though I remembered it was done in a short period. Revealingly, you and Vic Aaron fail to respond to the larger points, instead reverting to petty squabbles over weeks on the charts or how many days it took to write a song.

            One more time: John wanted to write an anthem. He did a great job. Huge crowds were singing “All You Need is Love” outside the Dakota in the days after his death, not “Tomorrow Never Knows.” The latter is a superior song in terms of music as art, the former is a superior song in terms of music as function.

            • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

              I’m not being petty. I’m responding, specifically, to something that you asserted over and over — until you decided to change your argument. To those points, both of which you’ve apparently now abandoned: I do not give them credit for writing something that I didn’t like because it was done on a short deadline (it wasn’t) — nor do I feel as if I should like it because others today couldn’t do as well (a false dichotomy). Those were, in fact, your points. At one time, anyway.

            • S. Victor Aaron

              What larger point is there than whether or not the song sucks?

              We explained in the article why we thought it does, while you’ve gone off into non-sequitur land with your sweeping statements about how it “resonated with a generation.” I guess it didn’t sit well with you that a song you didn’t like also resonated with a generation. Don’t hate me, hate the Billboard Top 100.

          • Tony Maxwell

            This article is just some really hilarious writing, and the debate about “All You Need Is Love” is some great reading, too. But Moderoy, you’re just being the straight man for Nick and Victor’s punchlines.

            To argue a song’s merits with a serious, highly-opinionated Critic who believes his/her ‘Worst List’ is the definitive List is one thing, and would be a noble effort – this article, however, shouldn’t offend even the most die-hard Beatle/Lennon fans.

            “..Love” is indeed a tinny-sounding recording, and almost exclusively a string-and-horns showcase. The lyrics are intentionally trite, John wasn’t attempting to “get away” with anything, whereas songs like “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da” and (my personal pick for the absolute worst) “Only A Northern Song” pretend to be both clever AND substantial, when they both just plain suck.

            Using the same exception rules as stated, I would have replaced “Blue Jay Way” and “Long, Long, Long” (another horribly-produced song) with the two mentioned above, and “All You Need Is Love” with “Run For Your Life.”

            But that’s just another subjective opinion, and, like the list as itself should be, “nothing to get hung about.”

      • Paul

        Yellow Submarine is horrible

      • Dave Allen

        It’s an “ear of the listener” thing but Long Long Long to me is a song that brings the feel of the sixties to mind every time and I have always loved that song.

  • http://bloggerhythms.blogspot.com Charlie

    How could you leave the ultimate psychedelic song off of the list, “I am the Walrus?” The song always gives me the creeps lyrically and musically.

  • Tom

    Yellow Submarine…

  • stevie

    album tracks are album tracks…what you should have done is separate the album tracks from the singles.
    worst 5 album tracks and worst 5 singles.

  • kurt

    And nothing from 1962 – ’66 comes to mind guys? Seems a bit disingenuous – not to mention simplistic – to discount the “blue” years efforts and not include something from the “red” years. I contend earlier duds must include these awful fillers: Komm gib mir deine Hand, Another Girl, Don’t Bother Me and I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party.

    • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

      As noted, we left out the early stuff. Too easy a target — in particular, I’d say, German-translated versions of “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” for chrissakes.

      • Rob

        Why too easy a target? Many of their earlier songs were brilliant! In fact, I have always preferred the Beatles of the “Red” period to the later “Blue” era…the lyrics may have covered a far narrower range of topics (predominantly boy/girl relationships), but their 1962-66 output today sounds much fresher and more vital to me than the often claustrophobic, dead sound of much of their studio years. And the lyrics of the early songs might be simplistic and somewhat limited, but at least they are not the bloated, pretentious non-poetry found in many of the Fabs’ later songs.

  • http://suckmybeatles.com/ das

    Great article. I’m very impressed that you could limit the results to only five songs.

    -Das

    @Edvardo: please open your eyes and ears and listen to this music honestly for once.

  • Sonny Crockett

    Wow….DAS….that makes a TON of sense! I think you were trying to impress us with the half-baked, semi-pseudo impression…..that there are lots more Beatles tunes that could be added to this list. Sit down and take a seat, missy, being a music critic obviously isn’t a strong point of yours. As for the list……All You Need etc. and Long And Winding etc. are classics and 99% of the world would agree.

    • http://suckmybeatles.com/ das

      @Sonny: Sorry if my comment was a little dense, what I was trying to say was the beatles have a lot more than five songs which could have been added to this list. I’ll try to avoid ‘fancy talk’ in the future.
      -Das

    • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

      The 1 Percent is apparently growing at a staggering rate, Sonny –

      Entertainment Weekly called “All You Need Is Love” the worst-ever Beatles song: http://stereogum.com/88501/ew_lists_best_worst_beatles_songs/list/.

      Meanwhile, Tom Child of the LA Weekly, in ranking it as the worst Beatles song ever, had this to say about “The Long and Winding Road”: “If this was indicative of the kind of future the Beatles had to look forward to, it was probably all for the best.” (More here: http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2011/06/the_top_five_worst_ever_beatle.php?page=3.)

  • John Smith

    You imply that it was Paul that was the “assclown” that was “mocking” their earlier hits.

    You mean, the “She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah…She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah…” in the coda?

    That was John.

    Look at the video closely.

    • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

      There’s a really, really — REALLY — long discussion about this, reposted from the rec.music.beatles newsgroup, to be found here: http://wgo.signal11.org.uk/html/extras/aynil.htm.

      Relevant passage: “One of the difficulties in going by the film to determine who sang what is the fact that they were singing over tape … not just an instrumental tape, but a previous pass, which also contained backing vocals. This means that during the “performance,” John and Paul, especially Paul, had the luxury of singing along or mouthing the words to lyrics previously sung by anyone.”

      Later, in talking about the single’s actual recording sessions, rather than the TV broadcast, there’s this — which seems to settle things: “Paul starts the “She Loves You” line and sings the first two words alone (“She loves …”). John jumps in on the third word (“you”) and continues on with Paul.”

      So, maybe you’re both right.

    • Vin

      it was john singing that

      • Veal Cutlet

        It was definitely John. I know this because it was Ron Nasty who sang the “Hold my hand, yeah yeah” refrain in the Rutles’ analogous song, “Love Life.”

  • Terry

    I think the top 3 are bad offenders but in a way that complements the band very well, because those songs at or near the bottom of a large catalog is really an endorsement of how much they did very well. But I’d have #5 at #1. “The Long and Winding Road” is easily the worst Beatles tune for me. It has the syrupy sap and rich creamery butter of 10 boring, sugary songs condensed into one. “All You Need Is Love” is bad for the reasons you gave, but considering the immediate contexts you mention as well it’s really not that bad. And of course there is the social and historical context of the late ’60s too. But now out of those contexts, the song comes off more as a ’60s parody than an anthemic declaration.

    • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

      Well said, Terry. “The Long and Winding Road” could have easily finished higher. It’s been decades since I’ve listened to anything more than the first three words of that song (“The lo-o-o-ong and –”) when it’s come on the radio. Bang. New station. Even stripped down for ‘Let It Be Naked,’ the song is insufferably funereal.

  • Pablo

    What an stupid list, my god. Those 5 songs are just incredible amazing in every single aspect and, like wine, they are getting better over time.

    • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

      I’m going to assume you are joking. In the event you are not, I can only say — wine goes bad. That’s to say nothing of wine that was no good in the first place.

  • Al

    I think you’re entirely wrong about Long and Winding Road. It’s one of Paul’s most moving and heartfelt lyrics and a gorgeous song — much better on the Let it Be Naked CD than on Spector’s mushy take. And Ian MacDonald agrees with me in his classic text, Revolution in the Head. Also Chuck D once said it was his favorite Beatles song.

    Gorgeous, gorgeous song.

  • Sara

    Part of the problem with most music criticism — including with this piece — is that it’s all written by men. And men tend to be uncomfortable with sentiment. They distrust it. They want to ridicule it. They simply don’t understand why a song like Long and Winding Road is not “syrupy.” That’s just a ridiculous, and pretty cold-blooded way to dismiss a song where the songwriter is obviously pouring his heart out.

    Paul has written some sickeningly saccharine songs. Ebony & Ivory is one of them. The Long and Winding Road is not. And you’re wearing blinders if you can’t see the difference between forced sentiment that comes off as trivial and a deeply felt lyric expressed by a man whose heart is breaking. But I suppose you’ll be rolling your eyes at that, too.

    • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

      Paul McCartney has written a number of ballads over the years that continue to resonate — even with uncaring, unfeeling man-beasts like me. I count among my very favorites: “For No One,” “Blackbird,” “You Never Give Me Your Money,” “Dear Friend,” “Arrow Through Me,” “One of These Days,” “Winedark Open Sea” and “Jenny Wren” — to name but the first few that came to mind. Each of them is skillfully constructed, and (yes) emotionally complex. “The Long and Winding Road” is not one of those songs.

      • Francesca

        Whatever you say, Nick. (rolls eyes)

    • Mark Saleski

      uncomfortable with sentiment? i’m one of the most sentimental people on the face of the earth….though i have some effeminate characteristics so maybe that explains it.
      ;-)

    • S. Victor Aaron

      I appreciate a good sentimental song just as much as the ladies, there are numerous examples on this site if you make the effort to peruse past this article. But there’s a line between sentimental and schmaltzy and Paul crossed it on TLAWR. It plods in such an agonizing way that the other Beatles were visibly bored playing it. No amount of sincerity in Macca’s intent can overcome that.

    • Jeff B.

      I can’t agree. *The Long And Winding Road* does, in fact, have an overblown, syrupy arrangement. I think it’s a good *song*, though. (Ditch the choir, the high strings, and the harp at the end.) Coming from another musical world, Arthur Honegger’s Symphony #4 deals with “sentiment” in exactly the right way. The first time I heard it I thought “What the heck kind of *Leave It To Beaver* crap is this?” Five or six listens later it was like being five years old again, in the best way–I’ll leave it to you to imagine the depths of “sentiment” such a thing might plumb. Give us dudes some credit–if you don’t we’ll be less likely to try.

  • Tom Johnson

    But the song doesn’t say anything other than “you left me, I’m sad, come back.” Not why she left, not why she should come back, nor how (well, I guess take the “long and winding road” back.) What you express as “deeply felt” is the melody that Paul is singing expressively, not the lyric. The lyric is nearly meaningless. He could have sung “the long and windy rope” and it would have felt as emotional. Heck, now THAT would have added an interesting twist to the song!

    • Sara

      She? Who ever said Paul was singing about a “she”? It’s obviously about John Lennon. “Why leave me standing here? Let me know the way.” He’s writing about losing his partnership with John. Someone mentioned Ian MacDonald’s book, which makes this clear. And MacDonald says something like “it’s too bad his partner wasn’t listening.”

      That personal meaning aside, many a simple lyric has become a standard — the kind of song that people can put themselves in and apply to their own lives. That’s why the song works.

      • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

        John Lennon wasn’t listening, because this track is as morbid and treacly as it is ordinary.

      • Michael K

        Well pointed out, Sara. But I think Lennon was listening alright and that ‘Beatles looking bored’ scene in the film ‘Let It Be’ isn’t them looking bored…it’s them listening to the actual funeral song not only for the band but for the whole of the sixties.

  • Tom Johnson

    I was going to say “maudlin,” but treacly is equally fitting. Both perhaps?

    • Sam

      Just noticed that NME just posted its choices for the Best 100 Songs of the 1970s, and there at No. 91 on the list is “The Long and Winding Road.” Just goes to show how subjective this thing we call musical taste is. You put it on your list of worst, and some other publication puts it on its list of the best.

      In this case, I agree with NME’s list. Long and Winding Road is a great heart-breaking song.

      • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

        Says a lot about how awful music could be in the 1970s, doesn’t it?

        • Rob

          And they got it wrong anyway, because The Long and Winding Road was recorded in the 1960s…

  • http://bit.ly/ooxhUL Jake

    I agree that Long, Long Long is poorly produced— even Spectorized— unusual for George Martin. He must’ve fallen asleep long, long before the 67th take. And Maxwell’s Silver Hammer is one I can’t take either though I’m a huge Beatles fan. But All You Need is Love is a classic. Yeah it’s simplistic lyrically but that was purposeful. Lennon was trying to write a song that would work in all languages. Also true that it was done in a hurry to make a deadline but so was almost every song they wrote prior to Revolver. The lyrics are like a Zen koan — appropriate for the “Peace and Love” era. The Long and Winding Road I also love. It has a beautiful lyric that winds back into itself perfectly. It’s the song Let It Be wants to be. Blue Jay Way is not Harrison’s best but it has a great raga-like feel to it that suits the theme of waiting through a foggy night. It beats the filling out of Savoy Truffle. The lamest song on Magical Mystery Tour is the title track though it rocks musically. That was probably their worst album with Your Mother Should Know and Hello Goodbye also weaker than Blue Jay Way. I would substitute any of these from the late period as the worst of the best— You Know My Name, Revolution 9 (obviously), Octopus’s Garden, Honey Pie, Dig a Pony or When I’m 64. (I don’t even consider Mean Mr. Mustard or Polythene Pam as songs.)

    • S. Victor Aaron

      We don’t entirely agree, obviously, but that was a well thought out reply. Thanks for the comment.

  • Denise Brown

    Um … why are you posting these songs? You are wrong, my dear(s). So wrong …

  • Francesca

    And may I humbly ask, what are S. Victor Aaron’s and Nick DeRiso’s qualifications as music critics?

    To talk about a “bad” Beatle song is hardly worth the breath, in my opinion. Even on a “bad” day, and they were precious few, the Beatles are still heads and tails above just about anybody.

    For one thing – where is it written that 11 days is “scanty” in terms of writing a song? That’s just ludicrous. But to diss “Long and Winding Road” and so many other standards, then give a plus sign to “Long Long Long”, is hardly convincing of the musical understanding of these two gentlemen. We are talking about songs that have stood the test of time; all Beatles records are still big sellers. Sure, you can reject the taste of the masses all you like. But among those masses are some highly intelligent folks who know a thing or two about music.

    What I am reading here says more about testosterone of a couple of nobodies (you should excuse the expression) than genuine knowledge or critical ability – much more embarrassing to Nick and S. Victor than the Beatles, together or separately!

    • S. Victor Aaron

      “And may I humbly ask, what are S. Victor Aaron’s and Nick DeRiso’s qualifications as music critics?”

      We got advanced degrees in music criticism, like all music critics, and then had to pass a poetic license exam. And then we interned under Lester Bangs. He’d lock us in a room and wouldn’t let us out until we’ve taken down a sacred cow. So mean ol’ Lester was to blame for this!

      “To talk about a “bad” Beatle song is hardly worth the breath, in my opinion.”

      Listen to “What’s The New Mary Jane” sometime. That might change your opinion. Just sayin’.

      “But to diss “Long and Winding Road” and so many other standards, then give a plus sign to “Long Long Long”, is hardly convincing of the musical understanding of these two gentlemen”

      What do you suppose is the musical understanding of the 3 lads alongside Paul nearly falling asleep playing this song?

      “Sure, you can reject the taste of the masses all you like. But among those masses are some highly intelligent folks who know a thing or two about music.”

      Absolutely true. And that’s why there’s nothing in our critique that ridiculed anyone who likes these songs. We just don’t the songs themselves and we explained why. All music is fair game for criticism just as all music is fair game for lofty praise (which we have done for many Beatles songs on this site).

      “What I am reading here says more about testosterone of a couple of nobodies (you should excuse the expression) than genuine knowledge or critical ability”

      Ah, there’s Sara’s ol’ theory for why we dislike TLAWR. It’s built into our chromosomes, folks! That surely explains why we don’t like wimpy acts Sinatra, James Taylor, Gino Vannelli, CSN, Paul Simon, Mchael McDonald, Chicago, and especially Paul’s new album “Kisses on the Bottom.”

      Oh, wait, I just checked what we’ve written about them on this site, we DO like all those acts! Darn, it can’t be the testorones, then. It must be some other personal failing that is causing us to not like these songs. I trust you will come up with another one.

      In all sincerity though, thanks for your comment, Franscesca. You wouldn’t have gotten riled up if you weren’t passionate about the music. We appreciate people who are passionate about music a lot more than whether or not they agreed with our opinions. We just wish they’d speak more to why they disagreed with us on the songs in question (like Jake did) than acting like we said something bad about their momma.

      • Perplexio

        I’m so disappointed that I somehow missed this whole exchange when it originally took place! Brilliant reply, Victor.

        I understand your dislike of “The Long and Winding Road” but I don’t think it would have made my top 5 list (a top 10 list of worst Beatles songs, however, it definitely would have made THAT list)… I think “Octopus Garden” or “Yellow Submarine” might have edged it off the list.

        • S. Victor Aaron

          I don’t get too fired up for “Octopus” and “Submarine,” either, but we decided to leave Ringo alone after causing such a ****storm for merely saying “he doesn’t suck.”

          • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

            Filling up a Bad Beatles list with Ringo songs just feels like piling on.

            • Barnaby Spittle

              “Boys” may be the best record the Beatles ever made.

      • Beatlestones

        So you interned under Lester “The Guess Who are better than The Who” Bangs. He was always very dismissive of The Beatles and therefore I couldn’t take him seriously as a music critic. If a guy says he’s a film critic, but says he hates “The Godfather”, I can’t trust his opinion. Also, the way Bangs pissed on John Lennon’s corpse after his assassination went way beyond “taking down a sacred cow” and made me wish instant karma would come his way too. Sadly, it did.

  • http://somethingelsereviews.com/ Mark Saleski

    Lester Bangs was a fraud!

  • icesurfer

    This article is, as Capote said, not writing, it’s typing. And damn fine typing at that. And that, ladies & gentlemen, is all it is.

    The great thing about the internet is everyone has the opportunity to make their voice heard. The bad thing about the internet is every damn fool has the opportunity to make their voice heard.

    Though it’s obvious to anyone with a modicum of intellectual sophistication I’ll point out that the glaring problem with the assertions made in this article is the unsupported subjective basis on which they were made.

    Lacking any real musical sensitivity the writers fall back on the tired, age-old bullet points of the incompetent music critic: they ***** and moan about lyrics and arrangements.

    Sigh, what makes sad, uninspired people like these silly gob*****s have to inflict on the rest of us their depressing lack of awareness? Misery loves company.

    All of the songs mentioned have some element of musical genius in the composition. This is particularly true of “All You Need Is Love” (which has artfully combined time signature changes) and “Hello, Goodbye”, which has a brilliant interplay between bass and piano.

    Well, I guess the writers just didn’t get enough from their mothers when they were children, so they have to squawk like inane crows on a wire about things they obviously have no real knowledge of just to get a bit of attention, but you can rest assured that they will never have the skill or inspiration to produce anything like the brilliant material they so callously malign in this, one of the most useless and ridiculous articles I have ever read.

    Remember: “Any ass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.”

    • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

      Your response brings to mind something else Truman Capote said: “The good thing about masturbation is that you don’t have to dress up for it.”

  • jc mosquito

    I tried a similar article on Blogcritics years ago, and years later, I still get the occasional reply telling me how wrong I am/was. I was looking for one song only – for 5 songs, you can expect to be hearing about this for another 30 years or so.

  • S. Victor Aaron

    Nick and I didn’t have enough room in our critique of “All You Need Is Love” to rip on George’s stiff guitar solo. Luckily, Guitar World did: http://www.guitarworld.com/100_worst_guitar_solos

    • Rob

      It says something that the solo in the Rutles’ parody of the song “Love Life” is 10x better than the original

  • ophu

    Pal, “All You Need is Love” started a revolution. You need your ears checked.

    (Never mind, it’s all opinion anyway. Even if your opinion, well, sucks)

  • S. Victor Aaron

    “All You Need Is Love” started a revolution? Nah, the whole hippie trippy peace/love thing was already in full bloom by the time that song came out. The BBC commissioned the song for pete’s sake. Network guys think about how to capitalize on cultural revolutions not start them.

    Facts can sometimes suck, too ;-)

  • Linn

    Was all set to get defensive and disagree, being a huge Beatle fan, but I have to admit…….you’re right on the money with these.

  • Art R

    I’ll give ‘Long And Winding Road’ a pass. It wasn’t a bad song, just over-produced. Check out the version of the song on ‘Let It Be… Naked’ where they stripped out the Spector. Sounds much better. The song did have a middle 8 and didn’t just end after 2 verses.

    Now for my additions to this list:
    6. Octopus’s Garden – In the year where King Crimson released ‘In The Court Of The Crimson King’ exacerbates the trite nothingness of this song.
    7. Yellow Submarine – Correct me please, they were supposed to be a rock band? I’d listen to ‘Boris The Spider’ on a tape loop rather than listen to this song!
    8. All Together Now – Yeah, pretty much the entire Yellow Submarine album!
    9. The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill – Yoko makes an appearance on this song!
    10. Rocky Racoon – Oh come on! War, protests, nuclear escalation are all happening and the Beatles putting so many trite songs on one album.

  • andy

    ‘Long Long Long’ is, in my opinion, one of the essential songs from The White Album and one of George’s greatest songs. Yer don’t know **** from ********s…..

    • S. Victor Aaron

      Trust me, I KNOW my asterisks.

    • steve

      Paul probably wrote or co-wrote 75 masterpieces in about a 5 year period as a Beatle…In the last 40 years he hasn’t written even 1…’Maybe I’m amazed’ is arguably his greatest post Beatle accomplishment & a handful of other decent songs….If “Amazed’ it were a Beatle tune it would have been above average at best…Why is this? Maybe John was his muse…On the other hand, John’s genius carried thru his solo career…For my money, Paul has been an absolute disappointment in his solo work…Even George has outdone Paul post Beatles & I never would have thought that was possible…My puzzlement is how could Paul go from writing like a gem a day to nothing substantial in the last 40 + years??

      • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

        I’ll leave aside the astonishing comments about McCartney’s post-breakup material — which, though spectacularly uneven, has included a number of transcendent moments. I’m not sure I could disagree more, however, when it comes to John Lennon’s output.

        He produced a stunning 1970 effort in ‘POB,’ which to my ears is undoubtedly the best of the Beatles’ recordings apart, and then issued a celebrated follow up in ‘Imagine.’ Elsewhere, though, Lennon’s solo era was consistently derailed first by a series of efforts I’d describe as sadly under-cooked (the unfinished music series, ‘Some Time in New York City,’ the posthumous ‘Milk and Honey’), drug-addled (‘Mind Games,’ ‘Walls and Bridges’) and over-produced (‘Mind,’ ‘Walls,’ ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’); then by his lengthy retirement; and then by his shocking murder. ‘Double Fantasy’ represented the first tentative steps back, but clearly didn’t begin to explore where Lennon could have gone.

        Taking all of that into account, along with the promise it once held, I’d say Lennon’s solo career was easily the most disappointing of the Beatles’ three principal songwriters. Not all of that, obviously, was his fault — and that’s why I take no pleasure in asking the question, but here it is: After 1971, did John Lennon ever put out another great album?

      • Rob

        And what did John do of any substance after he left the Beatles, other than Imagine? Most of his solo work is either tuneless, droney and downright boring, or facile embarrassing sloganeering a la the “Some Time In New York City” album. The only Lennon solo song I actually like is “#9 Dream”, but that sounds like a Beatles song anyway…

      • Terry

        Have you heard “New”?

  • Barry Lyons

    My list of the five worse Beatles songs would be different: “Mr. Moonlight “(wanted to include one cover song and this is easily the worst of their covers),”Run for Your Life”, “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?”, “Wild Honey Pie”, and, ending with what is perhaps the “best” song out of my five least-favorite songs, “Baby You’re a Rich Man” (not awful, but not good).

    • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Nick DeRiso

      Funny. For all of Lennon’s lyrical laziness on “Baby, You’re A Rich Man” (as noted above), even today I love the series of musical easter-egg moments that song provides: There’s swirling “spin-echo” feedback between each verse, trying to pick out Mick Jagger in the backing vocals, and — most of all — that Indian-sounding squiggle John made on the clavioline. I spent a long time thinking that was a backwards saxophone, or a backwards oboe, or a backwards *something.*

      • Tony Maxwell

        Thanks Nick, for allowing me to exhale- I was getting amped up to defend “…Rich Man” and you did the job perfectly. I LOVED that song growing up, and this was when the ‘MMT’ LP was only a year or so old!

        I must not have been paying attention, but I had also thought the ‘clavioline’ thingie you mention was a backwards *something.* Until I just read it here.

        And it was one of the very few Beatle songs recorded at a studio besides Abbey Road – all that stuff you describe, and one of the most spine-tingling piano fills in any rock music I’ve heard – it’s one of their finest-produced songs and still kicks *ss when blasting it in stereo on the sound system!

      • Steven Hufsteter

        I’m glad you plainly enjoy “Baby, You’re A Rich Man”, so I’m surprised you feel the need to disparage it as a weak or ‘lazy’ song.
        Perhaps it’s best appreciated as not such a casual song but a very ambitious ‘track’!
        Possibly the funkiest of all the Fab Four’s efforts.
        I think Lennon could have easily written it as descriptively specific as “Paperback Writer’ but that his feelings about the subject matter were so ambiguous that they could only be addressed musically. Which he proceeded to do with sheer genius in his use of mid-eastern modalities on the clavioline.

  • http://teach1history.wordpress.com/ Darren

    Great conversation, lotsa passion. I felt the need to defend a song that has yet to be defended. I got away from The Beatles for a while in the 80′s and due to my obsession with Springsteen it took me a while to get back (No pun intended). When I did return I listened to Maxwell’s Silver Hammer and had not previously listened close enough to realize it was about murder. I love the fact that is a “jaunty little tune about a homicidal maniac”. The jauntiness makes it funny, to me anyway. Then I love the juxtaposition of having a song about killing your loved one in between ‘Something’ and ‘Oh! Darling’ that’s comedy genius.

  • Paulie Cee

    People get so defensive – these are only opinions here. That being said, the defense of the reviewers opinions (are for the most part) pretty solid. As a song, “All You Need Is Love” is a bit half-baked and does indeed show a pronounced lack of effort. As a recording, well, it is John Lennon singing it, and I think most of the reaction to its inclusion on this list is probably based on that fact alone. On the other hand “Maxwell” was and still is a disaster and indicative of the major flaw that plagues McCartney’s songwriting in general.

  • Tommy

    How could you miss Yes It Is off the list? It’s worse than all of these except Blue Jay Way. This Boy is another I would have included.

  • Derek

    Are any of the contributors to this article musicians?

  • Angela

    I will agree with Maxwell’s Silver Hammer.

    The other four should be Rocky Raccoon, Girl, Doctor Robert, and The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill.

    Long, Long, Long is a great song, delicate and beautiful. His voice is haunting on it. Blue Jay Way is not great but it’s more listenable than the four tracks I just nominated, plus it gets bonus points for being creepy.

  • http://willgalison.com WILLIAM GALISON

    The measure of a song is not how long it took to write.

    “All You Need is Love” is a remarkable song in many ways.

    How many pop songs have two bars of 7/4 in the verse?
    That alone is brilliant and quite unique.

    I also think the lyrics of the verses are quite deep philosophically- akin to “Across the Universe” – and the chorus is far from obvious harmonically.

    • Nick DeRiso

      The measure of a song is not its meter, either. If it was, however, then “Jive Talkin’” by the Bee Gees and “Heart of Glass” by Blondie belong in the same Hall of 7/4 Fame — as does (eck) “Anyone Who Had a Heart” by Burt Bacharach.

      • http://willgalison.com WILLIAM GALISON

        What is the measure of a “good song”?

        As a songwriter, I find that the answer is very hard to answer.

        My favorite song writers include Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, John Prine, Leonard Bernstein, Victor Young, Neil Young ….. all for entirely different criteria.

        But one criteria is innovation, and the courage to break out of a mold, lyrically, melodically, rhythmically, harmonically, or in production.

        For example, the song “Yesterday” has a seven bar verse, and feels like it could not be otherwise. McCartney had the integrity to follow his muse without regard to convention, and this scores points for me.

        The seven/ four verse in “All You Need is Love” does not itself make it a great song, but it is an aesthetic choice that defied convention and works really well.

        I guess we disagree about the lyrics – I think they are quite profound, and great sounding, and nothing about the melody or harmony or production is hackneyed or derivative to me, so in no way does the song “suck” for me.

        I think Lennon was a very inconsistent writer and he did write many songs that were not great, but when he was on, he was truly inspired, and I think AYNIL is an example.

  • Gregg

    I must say, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this comment thread. Some really intersting perspectives on the lads.

    As others have said, The Long and Winding Road is one of my favorite Beatles songs. It has a truly beautiful melody and a great vocal performance by Paul. As others have also noted, the “Naked” version is far superior to the “Spectorized” one. The lyric is nothing special but, as Sara commented back in January, if the song is truly about Paul’s concern at the prospect of a break-up with John, then that is truly significant and nothing like the understanding most people have of the song. I live in Arizona and I have always subscribed to the local urban legend that the song is about Paul and Linda. She grew up on a ranch outside Tucson and you literally had to travel a long and winding road to get to her door. I will have to read MacDonald’s book for the more interesting interpretation (you would think Paul would have been asked about it over the years).

    Again, a great read, whether I agree with you or not.

  • JC Mosquito

    An “Ad Hominem” attack occurs when a claim or argument is rejected by attacking the person presenting the claim or position.

    It’s the claim or position that should be criticized, not the writer. Asking for a writer’s “qualifications,” or whether that writer is actually a musician has no bearing on the topic being discussed. I know people with music and journalism degrees who are very capable of analyzing a piece of music – and I know others with similar degrees that don’t know a drum roll from a Rolling Stone. As well, I know other very insightful writers who don’t need any degrees handed out by any institutions – because they became good writers through some natural talent and a lot of hard work: that is to say – they wrote a lot and learned their craft.

    Subjectively – you like what you like, and no one can take that away from you. But if you’re going to discuss the relative merits of a particular piece of music on a public online forum, you should do so in an objective, civil and rational way, or run the risk of not being taken seriously.

    Now – has anyone heard the Beatle’s Hot As Sun bootleg? There are a few stinkers there…….. and some surprising improvements. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer sounds much better as a mono bootleg demo. Go fig.

  • Des Burkinshaw

    Thanks for the read. Surprised at the venom though through the posts. They are only opinions from people who love the band! Personally I think LAWR is easily one of Paul’s best songs – especially with Spector’s arrangement. There arevplenty of dogs in the Beatles work I dont personally think it’s one of them but I can see why others dont like it. All You Need is Love fascinated me as a kid but leaves me cold now. Long, Long, Long is exquisite though.
    Others remark on Yellow Submarine which is clearly a genius production and one of the best kids songs ever written (it hadnt lost its power on tht front as anyone with a child will know). I love that diversity and that’s why they were the best band – would they have been better for another Tomorrow Never Comes on Revolver instead? Not in my eyes. I interview a lot of musicians for things and Robyn Hitchcock said “I went to Beatles college. We are all graduates. We received their lessons and then wenbon to develop what they taught us.” That’s certainly true in my music and many others. You actually need all the “suck” songs like you need the genius ones because they are part of the lesson. If I had to diss 5 Beatles songs Id pick filler/dumb stuff like I Dig a Pony, Run for your Life etc but I guess others like them so might as well stick with the Hitchcock argument and accept the whole is not just better than the parts but that the parts, good and bad, are what made them the inspiration they remain.

  • Des Burkinshaw

    Apologies for lame one fingered typing and yes I know It’s Tomorrow Never Knows!

  • Lance Pubis

    I personally like “All you need is love” especially when you break the song down to its individual components. The bass line is catchy and the string arrangement is even better.

    Also, if you happen to play the piano it is a really fun song to perform.

    It gets a little cheesy towards the end and the lyrics are little forced but, over all, it’s not nearly as bad as Sexy Sadie.

    I like the song and I don’t think it sucks a bit.

  • Ian

    I’m sorry, but none of these songs actually “suck” (apart from the tuneless Blue Jay Way). It would be more accurate to describe them as polarizing, due to the cheese factor. There is no way that anyone with a clue about music or songwriting would say that they suck, because they don’t. I am not surprised that some people hate these songs, but it is also true that many other people love them. All You Need Is Love is a big hit, and to this day remains one of the Beatles better known songs (even amongst kids today, which is pretty significant). Yes, the guitar solo sucks, but apart from that it is a very well written song. Not to mention the fact that it might be the only song in 7/4 meter to hit #1 in the charts, ever. The song sounds simplistic, but if you are actually paying attention you gain a true appreciation for how sophisticated the songwriting actually is.

    • Nick DeRiso

      I edited your comment, Ian, to delete a portion in which you used an insensitive and derogatory term for developmentally disabled people. If you do it again, you will be banned from making future comments on this site. Argue about the music all you want, but we don’t allow name calling.

      As for the rest of this comment: Other No. 1 songs that also are partially in 7/4, that also went to No. 1, and that also suck: “Jive Talkin’” by the Bee Gees and “Heart of Glass,” by Blondie. Being in septuple meter doesn’t, in and of itself, make for a great song, obviously. This has already discussed, earlier in the thread.

      • Ian

        Heart Of Glass sucks? Really? That’s ridiculous. Laughable, really. I’m no fan of Jive Talkin’ either, but it too doesn’t suck. Cheesy, yes, but not crap either.

        Oh, and I didn’t say that AYNIL is a great song because it’s in septuple meter. I was simply pointing out AYNIL sounds very simplistic, but in fact it’s musically sophisticated. Something about your approach tells me that you have never actually written a song…..have you?

        You would have alot more credibility is you called this list “5 Songs That Polarize Beatles Fans.” Like I said before, some fans turn their noses up at these songs because they are cheesy, but it is also true that many other fans love them and they have stood the test of time (because they are high quality songs). It is obvious that you purposely choose popular songs like AYNIL and TLAWR to be “provocative,” which is the blogging equivalent of jumping up and down, waving your arms and yelling “pay attention to me!”

        • Nick DeRiso

          Or it could have been because they suck.

  • Mark Saleski

    5 songs that polarize Beatles fans?? pick any five, because if you write about the Beatles without genuflecting properly, the nerds will get the vapors before getting to the end of the first paragraph. cripes.

  • JC Mosquito

    So, it’s a crime to call out John Lennon, but Lennon can call out who ever he wants:

    “I don’t believe in magic
    I don’t believe in I-ching
    I don’t believe in Bible
    I don’t believe in tarot
    I don’t believe in Hitler
    I don’t believe in Jesus
    I don’t believe in Kennedy
    I don’t believe in Buddha
    I don’t believe in Mantra
    I don’t believe in Gita
    I don’t believe in Yoga
    I don’t believe in kings
    I don’t believe in Elvis
    I don’t believe in Zimmerman
    I don’t believe in Beatles”

    And as a songwriter – he doesn’t have to explain why – artistic license and all that.

    Of course this is all in context of the song (“God”). Remember how Lennon spewed a lot in the press after the Beatles broke up? Again – this is all in context of his career as an artist who happened to be in the right place at the right time. Good for him. As for Lester Bangs – he got his credentials to be a rock critic from the same place Lennon got his credentials to be a rock musician: a perfect combination of some work, some talent, and some luck.

  • Bill

    I do think “Imagine” is total crap. But “Long And Winding Road” and “Hello Goodbye” are gems in my opinion. Stuff like “Nothing you can say that can’t be said” or “Expert textpert chocking smoker don’t you think the joker laughs at you?” are great examples of Eastern philosophy and stuff like that is quite enlightening to a young mind. When I was in my early teens I didn’t know it was possible to think like that until I came across this stuff. And don’t you dare knock “Across The Universe. ” :)

  • jsilva

    Ah, the critics..to paraphrase Lennon, show me some of your music, go ahead, show me one song. In the pantheon of Beatle songs, which there are innumerable super great songs, these songs may not have been their best, but they are far far better than anything on the market today. The only people that are qualified to criticize the Beatles are the Beatles themselves. Certainly not amateurs, or non musicians.

    • Jimmy Nelson

      Good thing so few people believe in this wrong-headed, and patently false, conundrum, Mr. jsilva. Sounds like an exhausting place to live.

      After all, if it were up to you, we wouldn’t be able to express ourselves about music unless we had been paid to play trumpet. Moreover, we wouldn’t be able to petition Congress — after all, we the people haven’t been elected — much less diss a movie (never been a director), send back a meal (never been a chef), complain about a slow internet connection (never ran cable wire), lament a loss in football (never played or coached professionally), return an ill-fitting shirt (never worked in textiles), switch off a TV show (never been an actor), cancel our subscription to a magazine (never ran a press), or … piss and moan on a music site (never wrote comment-form code).

      Of course, being as you swear by these forthright tenants of rigorous education and sweeping on-the-job training, I can only guess that you are quiet on these many issues. Either that, or you’ve been a very busy guy, what with all of the night-school learning and second-shift work you feel is required to join the rest of us in sharing simple opinions about things from our every-day world.

  • Mark Saleski

    i’m a musician, can i play?

    Maxwell’s Silver Hammer is better than anything today? puhleeze. i’d rather listen to “Gangnam Style” than that silly ditty.

  • JC Mosquito

    OK – I’ll bite:

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=463156&songID=11624323
    I have earned money for airplay and mechanical reproduction rights as well. I’ve written music for local TV shows & live dance ensemble performances. I’ve paid income tax on those earnings as well.

    Which apparently makes me qualified to discuss music.

  • http://www.georgegershwin.com George Gershwin

    Most of these comments must have been made by angry, Green Day fans. As a professional composer and producer, I must say that it’s quite easy to tear down someone else’s work, when one hasn’t created much of their own. “The Long And Winding Road” is a superb song, and it will stand the test of time. Not sure about what the fate of “American Idiot” will be in the long run.

    • Nick DeRiso

      That George Gershwin is listening to Green Day? I’m like, whoa. That George Gershwin is bringing up Green Day out of the blue in a discussion about the Beatles? I’m like, whatever.

  • http://www.georgegershwin.com George Gershwin

    “The Long And Winding Road” is not syrupy. It’s a masterpiece. You want syrupy? Listen to Dan Hill’s “Sometimes When We Touch”.

    • Nick DeRiso

      Being able to name things that are worse does not make another thing better. That’s called a false equivalency. Or, as you so famously wrote, “I’m preaching this sermon to show, it ain’t necessarily so.”

  • andy mclenon

    Sorry, I’m coming in a bit late here but I love these 5 songs that suck posts! When Uy was a rock-a-teen, I usually was adamantly against any such muzakish non rock songs, like, The Long And Winding Road, but to the surprise of many of my fellow rockers, I really liked it and ended up being the head apologists when people would say it sucked. Perhaps it was just the world weariness in McCartney’s vocal, (even though in real time he was still a young man), that resonated with my melancholy side, and as others have pointed out, it always felt like he was actually mourning the end of the Beatles and the end of the era that they represented and in many ways dominated. We too would soon be mourning it’s passing as well.
    I’ve always loved this lyric: ‘The wild and windy night that the rain washed away Has left a pool of tears crying for the day”

    I also felt sadness in Lennon’s voice when he sings “the dream is over, what can I say”

    It’s interesting that after all these years these kind of “arguments” which remind me of the debates we had of the serious issues of the day back in Junior High, “The Beatles or The Stones?”can still elicit such fury.
    I must say, that even though Nick and Victor can hit hard and annoy the heck out of me when they’re goring at my own personal sacred cows, I have to admit, they are dang good at defending their views!

  • Frank Martin

    Beatle songs that suck: or maybe they suck to me but someone likes them.

    1) Revolution #9
    2) Dig a Pony
    3) Maggie Mae
    4) Piggies
    5) cover tunes
    6) The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill

  • Pete Bogs

    Wrong on all counts, gents.

  • Frank Martin

    Is there really anything left to say about the Beatles that hasn’t been said already?

    “All You Need Is Love” is one of seven reasons to like The Magical Mystery Tour album and without it the album would seem lost.

    “The Long And Winding Road” might seem like another slow boring ballad but then again the world is so full of them and this isn’t the only boring Beatle song there is but it makes The Let It Be album a much better listen.

    Paul wrote this same kind of song with “My Love” in 1973 and they also called it syrupy.

    If “Long, Long,Long” wasn’t on the The White Album fans would be waiting in line to buy a copy of the song just because they want every Beatle song. One less song like this could have made that album a single disc.

    I like the “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” melody. Always prefer melody over lyric.

    Someone said “I Am The Walrus” wasn’t on the list and it was creepy. That’s what makes the song cool. STYX did this song live and they rocked with it. I don’t really dig The Beatles that much anymore but I’d have Walrus on a list of Beatle faves.

  • david peters

    Mr. Moonlight. duh!

  • Ken

    One correction: McCartney didn’t accept the Oscar for Let It Be–Quincy Jones did on the Beatles’ behalf. See YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A9WPx1qNkY

    • Nick DeRiso

      Spector must have had his wig on backwards that day.

  • Louis

    I never was a big Beatles fan as I preferred the more raw, blues and R&B influenced music from The Animals, The Kinks, and the Stones. With that said, the whole argument of judging good songs – bad songs is ridiculous as the enjoyment of music is a very subjective thing that differs greatly from person to person. I like chocolate – you like vanilla. I’ve never understood the point of the 50 greatest guitarists or the 20 worst drummers, etc. Music is art and its appreciation is subjective.

  • Rufus T. Firefly

    Blue Jay Way may be a crappy song to many but I just love listening to and getting lost in the trippiness of it all.

  • Leggy Mountbatten

    1) Revolution #9 (sorry, but there it is).
    2) Old brown shoe. Seriously, this song is about as pleasant as a dog puking on your sofa. The words are awful, the song goes nowhere, and we had to hear it all too often because it somehow made “The Blue Album”.
    3) I Call Your Name
    4) Mr. Kite
    5) Sweet Honey Pie

  • Dale Haskell

    Who wants to argue a thing like this? I can listen to the Beatles’ five songs that suck safely and at top volume in the privacy of my own home. Try it,it works.
    Plus,they suck less in mono.

  • Cynthia Giuliani

    Get “Long Long Long” off that list now!

  • http://culturefusionreviews.wordpress.com Eric Benac

    I’ve always been rather “meh” about “The Long and Winding Road” and “All You Need is Love” finding both rather banal. “Long Long Long” is rather rough but I’ve always dug “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and always will. Just a silly piece of dark humor. Largh people!

  • adam

    Long long Long is the only song I’ll disagree with being on this list. the rest I can understand although i’m a 100% beatles fan so I wouldn’t say that any of the songs “sucked”….. And baby you’re a rich man is a fantastic song

  • Lee Coulman

    1. You Know My Name, Look Up The Number
    2. Flying
    3. Only A Northern Song
    4. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
    5. Wild Honey Pie

  • Pete Seely

    I actually like “Blue Jay Way” and “Long Long Long” (though I often considered this to be the remotest song on the White Album). My other two candidates for the Top Five would be “Hello Goodbye” and “Honey Pie.”

  • Steve Steele

    You guys are so wrong about Long Long Long. It’s a mood piece, that is produced accordingly, and that comes right after Helter Skelter, and then peacefully ends side 3 of the vinyl album release. The production is supposed to be dark and mellow after a fairly raucous side 3, and before a slightly crazy side 4. The ending with the sirens hint at the underlying tension of the the entire White Album as a whole, and 1968 in general. After Helter Skelter, I need Long Long Long just as it’s produced to bring me back down, and ready for Revolution 1. Don’t people get that?

    I love this peaceful and muted song. And the way it works in the context of the flow of the album. It also follows the pattern of placing mellow songs as the last song on each side of this four-sided album.

    There are worse songs on the White Album, not to mention plenty of throw-aways before Rubber Soul. There are worse George Harrison songs.

    Maybe you guys are correct about the other four songs, but not Long Long Long. Try to not focus on particular songs as isolated moments, but as it fits in in the context of the album. That’s the way the Beatles were doing things at this point, as you should know.

  • TJDJ

    You guys crack me up. Only five songs? You’d have a smaller article to only put five good songs. The rest of their catalogue ranges from barely listenable to complete sonic slop.

  • Mick DeLeon

    I agree in part with the list, although I disagree that the topic be limited to middle- and late-period.

    That said, I like “The Long & Winding Road”, and am in the minority opinion that Phil Spectorization is what the song needed. “Maxwell” should be number one; “Wild Honey Pie” is a throwaway; the problem with “Long Long Long” is the production, rather than the song. The result is a snoozer recording; for me, both “Hello Goodbye” and “Don’t Let Me Down” are overrated and overplayed.

  • Terry

    “Long And Winding Road” is a bad song I’ll admit. “Maxwells Silver Hammer” should have been on a McCartney album, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a great composition and wonderfully produced. “All You Need Is Love”??? Are you freakin’ kidding me?? Who gives a crap how long it took John to write it?? It’s the anthem of the 1960′s. You try to write something that so fluently changes meters as that. Epic material. “Hello Goodbye” is brilliance in a pop song. “Long, Long, Long” and “Blue Jay Way” are masterpieces. The mood they set is as well thought out as Martha Stewerts Christmas banquet.

  • Jeff B

    What a joke! These are some of the Beatles highly regarded songs….

    When I think of 5 bad Beatles songs, I think of Mr Moonlight (which they didn’t write), Hold me Tight, (not very good), Savoy Truffle, Revolution #9, You know my name (look up the number)…

  • 1967superbee

    whomever thinks these songs sucks are really ignorant deaf and dumb!