I know, too much of the YouTube. But as has been said, the damn thing’s like crack.
Except that this isn’t anything like crack. Really, this is what passes for second- or maybe even third-rate by the standards of the Beatles. And yet, damn, what a great tune. And seeing the two of them standing next to each other singing into the same microphone…jeez louise, I get goosebumps just thinking about it. Actually watching it? I thought my arms were actually going to freeze and shatter.
Hard to believe John never liked his voice. The way it harshens slightly on the word “can” in the choruses? Amazing. The way Paul goes up on the second “Hey bulldog” line? Phenomenal. Fantastic bass, perfectly in-the-pocket drums, tasty guitar solo, great rock and roll pounding piano.
In other words, pretty much boilerplate Beatles. The kind of thing they could knock out in a couple of hours. (cf “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Birthday” and “The Ballad of John and Yoko”) And still somehow come up with a classic.
[And yet they spent years on “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number).” Sometimes life isn’t straightforward.]
It’s fun to talk about All-Time Greatest Bands Ever. But everyone else is competing for runner-up. And the gap between the boys at the top and whoever’s got second place is enormous and unbreachable. They’re so much greater than everyone else that it’s tough to really give them their due. You start thinking, well, I’m just being sentimental. Or I’m misremembering. Or I’m buying into the hype of an overinflated rep. They can’t really be that great.
And then you listen.
And you realize, oh, yeah, they really were that great. No matter how great you think they were, they were even better.