Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

My latest Naked Skeptic column is up at the CSI site.  It’s about John Lennon’s claim that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”.

Beatlemania has reared its head again this week, with the release of the remastered catalog and The Beatles: Rock Band.

A few years ago I visited Liverpool. Standing outside Strawberry Fields I had the strange experience of being interviewed by a Japanese TV host. Asked to name my favorite Beatles’ song, and I answered “Penny Lane“. I love the charmingly nostalgic yet dirty lyrics (“fish and finger pie”) and the pretty piccolo trumpet pieces.

What’s your favorite Beatles’ song?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET


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  1. Well my favorite album of theirs is Help! Pretty much nobody agrees with me on that though. I think my favorite song of theirs is You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away. I’m sure i’ll change my mind several times before the day is over.

    Also, am i the only one that wishes they’d written more instrumentals? As far as I know they only did 2. It’s a little hard to find but Cry For A Shadow is an awesome instrumental and is at least as good as anything by The Shadows or The Ventures.

  2. Woah! That’s a toughy indeed. Perhaps Across the Universe. No, wait, Tomorrow Never Knows. No, I know, I’ve Just Seen a Face. Maybe For No One.

    Or maybe … it’s just kind of endless for me. Far too many to choose from.

    I am really looking forward to picking up this new remaster — both versions. It is supposedly nothing short of fantastic.

  3. I don’t want to be the guy who says, “I can’t answer too many choices” but I honestly can’t answer because I love so many songs and love them all for different reasons. All you need is love and Golden Slumbers.

    @SicPreFix I did pick up one of the remastered (abbey road), while I noticed the sound quality is better, I’m honestly debating if it’s worth the money. The added pictures in the bootlets are nice but many if not all have been previous released, most in the Anthology book. BTW I haven’t watched the video decumentary on the disc yet but It seems that the remasters don’t offer alot of new stuff for the die hard fans. I would suggest picking 1 up and judging for yourself. I believe alot of people buying the set are going to feel ripped off.

  4. Hmmm…. Too hard to pick a favourite, so I’ll pick five. Across the Universe, Tomorrow Never Knows, Rain, Something, and I’ll take the entire Abbey Road medley.

    Revolver and Abbey Road would be my favourite albums.

  5. @Brian’s A Wild Downer: There’s three instrumentals on the Anthology. Cry for a Shadow and Cayenne (a demo recording featuring Stuart Sutcliffe) are on Anthology One and 12 Bar Original is on Anthology 2. 12 Bar Original is the best of the three in my opinion. I suppose Flying is almost an instrumental, having wordless vocals.

    @magicdude20: I got the Revolver remaster the other day, and could notice a difference, especially when listened to on headphones. Seems a lot “cleaner”. All reviews seem to agree that Abbey Road is the one that’s benefited the most.

  6. I’m of the generation, so my favorite changed from time to time and probably always will. I like esp. some of the less known ones, like Old Brown Shoes or Every Little Thing. And You Know My Name.

    The record burning business produced one of the best of many Beatles’ quips when George Harrison was asked about it: “They’ve gotta buy ’em before they can burn ’em”.

  7. Rather than pick something obscure, I’m going to be the guy who just comes right out and says that his favorite Beatles song is the one that’s probably the most popular.

    Hey Jude.

    There, I said it.

  8. @Bevans:
    If you love Hey Jude, you have to hear it live, there really is no better moment in a McCartney concert than the Hey Jude sing along. Ringo does something simular with Yellow Submarine.

  9. I’m happy so many people mentioned You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away. I always had the feeling I was the only one who dug that song. A few of my other lesser-played faves come off the White Album: Rocky Raccoon, Why Don’t We Do It In The Road, and Mother Nature’s Son.

  10. Yesterday

    Open, simple melody, F Major to D Minor progression, in the words of Nigal Tufnel of ‘Tap, the saddest key of all, good musical argument, a once-in-a-lifetime tune and the lyrics are excellent as well.

    A great break-up song.

    McCartney’s best work in my opinion

  11. I Am The Walrus or Come Together, depending on the phase of the moon. Two songs which suggest strongly that John, like myself, was a Goon Show fan.

  12. “I’ve Just Seen a Face”

    Honestly, I’ve listened to George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass more times than most of the Beatles songs I know.

  13. “In My Life”

    Nice and introspective, plus the sped up piano bits are cool.

    It’s hard to pick just one, though! I used “Something” for the first dance at my wedding… I love The Beatles.

  14. I actually don’t much care for the Beatles. I respect their innovation and their place in musical history, but I’m just not wild about them. Most songs I like by the Beatles I didn’t know were done (or originally done, like “Come Together” or “Drive My Car” or “Helter Shelter”)) by them, like “Here Comes the Sun.”
    Man, I am a bad child of the 70s.

  15. “Eleanor Rigby” I like this song but it is not there best. I love it because it reminds me of my childhood. I would make model airplanes as a kid and listen to AM radio in the 60’s. I was probably 8 or 9 then. That song takes me there.

  16. Piggies for sure. It is a scathing critisizm of the conservative crowd that still works for me to this day.
    Also, I really like Get Back and the 3 song set of
    Mean Mr Mustard, Polythene Pam, and She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.
    Paperback Writer, Day Tripper…there is just too many great songs to pick one favorite. They were a class act that in my opinion only improved with age.

  17. My favorite Beatles song changes with time. I’d love to choose all of side 2 of the Abbey Road album. But as for a single, I guess tonight I like Revolution. Tomorrow it might be Ticket to Ride or While My Guitar Gently Weeps (which is always my favorite George Harrison song) or Yesterday or Eleanor Rigby….. I think there’s only one Beatles song that I actually dislike – Revolution #9.

  18. They played Eleanor Rigby on the radio at the weekend and I can’t get it out of my head. So as of this moment that’s my favourite Beatles song. Has anyone ever better captured the tragedy of a life wasted than the Beatles did here? Can you hear it and not weep, just a little, for Eleanor and Father MacKenzie – for all the Eleanor’s and MacKenzie’s who might have found friends, happiness and love, but never did?

  19. i am gradually getting to the point where i can once again hear the beatles without becoming homicidal.

    see, i was working at a barnes and noble when the number ones album came out, and i was subjected to it, nonstop, 40 hours a week. this instilled in me a loathing for all things beatles which has only recently begun to soften.

    maybe in a few more years i’ll start thinking about having a favorite beatles song.

  20. The Beatles? Are they some kind of rock band? Like the Spice Girls but boys instead?

    Actually, I’m with Phlebas, but would also like to add “Angie” and “Satisfaction”.

  21. Octopus’s Garden.

    Simply beautiful – who would not like to “rest their head on the seabed”…… I can almost feel the waves every time I listen to that song.


  22. I … think I might be the only one who was never able to really get into the Beatles. I mean, I get and understand their significance in the pop music world, but I never understood the, “Best band EVER!” To me, there are a million other better bands, and a million other better songs.

    I am always so alone in this lol.

  23. Sorry for the Rolling Stones misdirection.

    I like the Beatles for the same reason I like most bands: they are not the B-52s.

    I never really had a favorite Beatles song until I saw the Across the Universe movie and fell for “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” noticeably absent from the Rock Band game. I wonder how Evan Rachel Wood felt about having that sung to her after living with Marilyn Manson.

  24. @carr2d2: I can completely relate to that. My brother only ever listened to three albums all through high school. One was the 1st Boston album, and two Beatles albums. It took many long years before I could listen to either group without wanting to wail like a crazed maniac.

  25. Sorry, guys. I did mean to put in a caveat question for those who aren’t Beatles’ fans, but I kinda knew you’d make yourselves known. I also assumed the Beatles/Stones rivalry would arise!

    @carr2d2 I sympathise. My equivalent was the incessant Christmas music played in Target. Christmas cheer, my arse!

    @phlebas Report to my office immediately!

  26. I also assumed the Beatles/Stones rivalry would arise!

    Tiger Beat lives!

    So let’s add in The Dave Clark Five. I liked their movie, Having a Wild Weekend, and a lot of their stuff. For the Stones, my fave is the second side of Their Satanic Majesty’s Request.

  27. @Brian’s A Wild Downer: I’m with you. “Help” is in my top 5 albums of all time. First Beatles album with two, count em’ two George Harrison songs! Plus, three songs mentioned as favorites are on that record*: “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”, “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “Yesterday”; plus “Ticket to Ride” and “Help!” just for good measure.

    As far as favorite song goes I’d have to break it down like this:

    Lennon McCartney: “A Day in the Life”
    George Harrison: “Here Comes the Sun”

    *Or “LP.” A large black plastic disc with a small whole in the middle, played on a “record player.” Ask your parents.

  28. @Garrison22: I’ll note that I just turned eighteen and have been listening to vinyl my whole life – we have a turntable/8track player/radio and a huge collection of records. (Most of my generation IS that clueless, though.)

  29. @Shiyiya: Cool to know somebody born in the 90’s is rockin’ the LP. You are truly one of the few.

    Irony is that I no longer have a turntable and now have most of my collection in the form of mp3’s. Kinda sad, really.

  30. Great article, Karen!

    Lots of great choices here. I have to agree with what others are saying; my favorite Beatles song will change from day to day, hour to hour. But I currently favor “It Won’t Be Long”, a great and underrated album opener.

    Other rotating favorites include, but are not limited to, “For No One”, “And Your Bird Can Sing”, and “Dear Prudence”.

  31. I’ve love “I’ve just seen a face”, and several others mentioned, but just to add one I didn’t spot on my brief read through: “Only a northern song” if only some of the ‘music’ on that track didn’t hurt my ears.

  32. I don’t consider myself a _fan_ of the Beatles. I was born in 1964 and had two older sisters who listened to their new-fangled transistor radios all the time, so Beatles songs were just part of the furniture of my childhood. For me, being a fan of the Beatles would be like being a fan of the grass or sky.

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