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The Top Ten WORST Beatles songs Let me make it clear, I love The Beatles - always have, ever since I bought "I Feel Fine" in 1965 aged 10 - I have grown with them, never tiring of their story or their music, but...I pondered the other day, what are my least favourite Beatles tunes? Which could I do without?

I decided to find out. Now, to simplify things, I restricted my choices to the studio songs released between 1962 to 1970 - including all the b-sides, the 4 unique Yellow Submarine tracks, and the LP version of Magical Mystery Tour, but excluding the Polydor/Hamburg stuff, all the live stuff (Hollywood Bowl etc), the German language versions of "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand", and finally, all the post-break up Anthology series.

Browsing through the albums in order, it wasn't difficult to spot the potential duds - there were a couple that I jotted down quickly as I knew I disliked them without too much thought, but it was heartening to see that my "long list" only stretched to thirteen, which confirmed to me that, overall, their catalogue is without peer. So, (drum roll), here, in order of release, are my top ten WORST Beatles songs...

1) BOYS (FROM Please Please Me - 1963) A vehicle for Ringo, it's an energetic rocker, but if there's filler on their debut LP, it's this.

2) I WANNA BE YOUR MAN (from WITH THE BEATLES - 1963) Another Ringo vehicle (is there a pattern emerging here?) this was knocked off by John and Paul to give to The Rolling Stones, it's a repetitive, below-par rocker.

3) MICHELLE (from RUBBER SOUL - 1965) I expect some flak for this, but I have always thought little of this lachrymose dirge, I thought it would maybe grow on me over time, but from it's nonentity of a guitar break, to the French vocal lines, it falls flat.

4) WHAT GOES ON (from RUBBER SOUL - 1965) Sorry Ringo, it's not personal - I love Yellow Submarine and Octopus's Garden, and I even love the Carl Perkins style guitar picking from George, but beyond that...meh.

5) RUN FOR YOUR LIFE (from RUBBER SOUL - 1965) Most people point out the misogyny in Lennon's lyric as a reason to dislike this, but for me it's more the Beatles-by-numbers tune that screams "filler!"

6) Here There & Everywhere (from REVOLVER - 1966) Revolver is a classic album, and every track is superb - except this yawnfest which let's the album down big time.

7) BLUE JAY WAY (from MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR - 1967) This is my favourite of my ten least favourite, if you get my drift. I like it's dreamy psychedelic vibe, but it outstays it's welcome, and more often than not has me reaching for the skip button.

8) WILD HONEY PIE (from THE BEATLES (WHITE ALBUM) - 1968) On everyone's list.

9) DON'T PASS ME BY (from THE BEATLES (WHITE ALBUM) - 1968) Sorry again Ringo, but when people do the "What tracks would you leave out to make the White Album a single disc?" list, this appears on most of them.

10) OLD BROWN SHOE (b-side of "The Ballad Of John And Yoko" - 1969) For many years the White Album track "Long Long Long" would have easily made this list, but the recent remaster/remix by Giles Martin has made me warm to it's rustic charm, so I can conclude this list with George's awkward shuffle that falls well below the usual standard of the band's output.

So, there you have it - looking at the list it would appear that my least favourite Beatles album must be Rubber Soul, which is generally highly regarded amongst fans, and of course it has some killer tunes, but if I had to choose one LP it would have to be Rubber Soul. Oh, and if you are wondering which other three songs were on my “long list”, they were “Don't Bother Me”, “Little Child” and “I'll Cry Instead”.

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Many, many years ago I started writing a reference book that listed all the bands I could think of and explanations of how they came by their name. Now the internet has taken over as the font of all knowledge the tatty exercise book I had with "band names" scribbled on the front has gathered dust in my loft for decades. So for no reason in particular, here are five bands who took their name from the titles of other bands songs... 1) Deacon Blue - this underrated late 1980's Scottish pop/rock band took their name from STEELY DAN'S 6th studio album from 1977, "Aja" - although that actual song title was "Deacon Blues". https://open.spotify.com/track/61AK5ICbKk20h1dFS3mXuu?si=NvxZG8IQRGm455z2zkf0nw 2) Right Said Fred - This pop duo from the UK had a string of hits in the 1990's and their name originates from a 1962 top 10 hit by comedic actor Bernard Cribbins, singing about a gang of hapless removal men featuring Charlie and...Fred. https://open.spotify.com/track/6VFjmRXlio2SC641BMOgkv?si=LrvzoT7wQh-rK2TrFJymaw 3) Black Rose - Probably the most obscure on the list, they were a local band to me and actually released their debut single on my first record label, Teesbeat. They rode the surf on The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) in the early 1980's, and took their name from a Thin Lizzy tune. https://open.spotify.com/track/2C4LEfFY6oN77thGTfWrOQ?si=ojgjzavAR-m7XvjP3_xW5g 4) Stiff Little Fingers - The incendiary 1978 Northern Irish punks were inspired to take the stage as SLF thanks to another punk band, The Vibrators. https://open.spotify.com/track/73RUE4WBDyKp8jE2CL3eBc?si=AajHlrJ2RmKPG4QadFOl-g 5) The Rolling Stones - Legend has it that founder member Brian Jones gave the band their name whilst on the phone trying to hustle a gig, when asked by the promoter what the name of the band was, Jones glanced at an LP cover by blues artist Muddy Waters that was lying on the floor and saw the song title "Rollin' Stone". https://open.spotify.com/track/6uSBSTEnZJY0XI3IS69gBU?si=9dIsgxG6T4GV9CmGqPjLgA

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There are a million and one things that make listening to music an uplifting experience. For example a searing guitar riff, a pulsating drum fill, a mind blowing synth solo,or a heart-rending vocal harmony.

But sometimes something more visceral can hit you emotionally just as much as the obvious, I'm talking about those random screams, yelps and hollers that are dotted all over the musicial landscape like land mines, waiting to explode out of the speakers and take your breath away.

You will have your favourites, but to get you thinking, here are my 5 top picks for "screams in rock music" that take songs to the next level.

1) The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again (original album version)

Let's get the obvious one out of the way - probably the best known, and most scary scream in rock, from the terrific tonsils of Roger Daltrey, It happens at 7:44 in the album version of this legendary rocker:

https://open.spotify.com/track/0cJPLFrlV7TTCyPLupHzcH?si=0LRLZ7FZQ9a9zXss7hX0wA

2) Kate Bush - The Big Sky

I had to include this, it's no surprise that such a versatile vocalist as Kate Bush would have a memorable scream in her locker, and she delivers value for money here with no fewer than two fantastic lung-busting yelps, listen out for the first at 3:36 and then an even more impressive one at 3:53

https://open.spotify.com/track/50T7xShSIGpOKvpyVahSAx?si=sf1mSIHvT5yT5unZRIUd3Q

3) Prefab Sprout - Goodbye Lucille #1 (aka Johnny Johnny)

I didn't get The Prefabs back in the 80's, but over the years their tunes have infiltrated my brain cells so completely that they now rank as one of my favourite bands of all time. Singer Paddy McAloon has a reputation as a master songsmith, and that is completely justified, but his actual singing is mightily impressive also, and at 3:42 he let's out a blood curdling scream that give me the shivers - in a good way!

https://open.spotify.com/track/4cQy3GYjVNqF0iJLiXVGOT?si=rQ3X_CRXQqmjfbCOu8jnDw

4) Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love

Had to include one from Zep, bending the rules a little as he's actually singing the word "love" but we'll look the other way as he gives it all at 4:19

https://open.spotify.com/track/0hCB0YR03f6AmQaHbwWDe8?si=6ppNK6KBRkiwlSdEEEzFCg

5) Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends

One of my personal faves, this is one of those rare occasions where a cover version may well improve on the original (which will be the subject of a future blog), and the manic scream comes in at 3:48

https://open.spotify.com/track/0YZ3J8xzGwLOg4yEgST1YK?si=kUFYuVbHRfmZ89GYG4K5_Q

It didn't take me long to round up these five examples, I am sure there are many more. What are your favourites that I haven't mentioned? Let me know on twitter @vinylshrine

John Hodgson (June 2019)

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