Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

What Is the Most Under-appreciated Beatles Song?

And what do you think of the Yellow Submarine film? Has it aged like wine or vinegar?

PJ Lifestyle Pop Culture Debates!


May 15, 2014 - 3:30 pm

In partnership with the new fiction publishing platform Liberty Island, PJ Lifestyle is going to begin promoting and co-hosting a series of debates and discussions about popular culture. The goal is to figure out what works and what doesn’t so that in the future we can promote and create better fiction and culture of our own. These are public brainstorming sessions for writers and culture advocates interested in developing a more vibrant popular culture. You’re invited to submit your answers to any of these questions — or a related one of your own! — that interest you:

A) in the comments

B) Via email to PJ Lifestyle editor Dave Swindle.

C) at your blog, then let us know in the comments or via email. 

The most interesting answers may be linked, crossposted, or published at PJ Lifestyle. Also check out Monday’s question “How Did Your Music Tastes Change As You Grew Older?,” Tuesday’s provocation  ”What Are the Most Overrated Beatles Songs?,” yesterday’s “Which Classical Music Recordings Do You Listen to The Most? and last week’s writing prompts: 5 Geek Questions To Provoke Debates About the Future of Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

Could it be that the Beatles’ greatest works are actually hidden between their big hits? What are the gems hidden in their canon? What are the eccentrics that deserve new consideration?

Susan L.M. Goldberg: A Day in the Life of the Fest for Beatles Fans 2014

More Beatles Covers By Request: Spooky Tooth, ‘I Am The Walrus’

Susan L.M. Goldberg: Paul, George, Ringo & the Prophet John

What pop culture questions do you want to debate and discuss? Leave your suggestions for upcoming Pop Culture debates also.

Susan L.M. Goldberg: Fifth Beatle Brian Epstein’s Unsung Revolution

Vs today’s Silly Symphony cartoon at noon.

Is Yellow Submarine actually much better than it’s given credit?

PJ Lifestyle Pop Culture Debates Features a new prompt each weekday to weigh the good, the bad, the overrated, the unbelievable, and the amazing throughout the worlds of books, film, and TV. We can't figure out how to build a greater pop culture until we dissect the mess we already have. Want to contribute your perspective to the debate? Email PJ Lifestyle editor Dave Swindle with your take: DaveSwindlePJM [@] Image via shutterstock/ DarkGeometryStudios

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Norwegian Wood.

Musicians and lyricists love it, but fans overlook it generally.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (37)
All Comments   (37)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"I'll Get You" from '63 is great. The lyrics are rather pedestrian and the songwriting seems simplistic, but it is an early example of that undefinable something the Beatles gave to every song they did that made them immortal.
Especially the refrain:
"It's not like me
To pretend
But I'll get you
I'll get you in the end.
Yes I will
I'll get you in the end
Oh yeah
Oh yeah."

Oh yeah.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
For underrated songs, I like "I've Just Seen a Face", "When I'm Sixty-Four", and "Oh Darling!"
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I love "Dear Prudence." I love the finger picking, John's vocal, the bass that slips in later and how the arrangement builds so simply throughout the tune.

"Yellow Submarine" is still great. It is definitely of its time, but it still has a lot of charm. Love the scene near the beginning with Ringo walking around to "Eleanor Rigby."
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
But to answer your question, the most unappreciated song by the Beatles comes at the end of Abbey Road. "And in the end / The love you take / Is equal to the love / You make."

As for what I thought about the Yellow Submarine film, I haven't seen it since I was a kid. At the time I thought it was funny. How has it aged? That's a sort of you had to be there at the time question.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Again with the Beatles, what are they your singular obsession for defining how music influences popular culture? There were several other bands from Britain that had enormous influence as well. The Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath come to mind. How come you don't write about them?

And before you assume that Black Sabbath is satanic music, did you know that all the original members were middle-class Catholics? In fact, the bass player and primary lyricist, Terrence Butler, had been studying in a seminary to become a priest before he decided to become a musician, which is why their music has overtly religious themes. Their greatest hit and most recognizable song, "Iron Man," is actually about the Second Coming of Christ. It's apocalyptic rock, hence name of the band; it's the judgment day.

On his last day of work at a steel factory, Tony Iommi accidentally sawed off the tips of his fingers. He had been trained in classical guitar and was planning on forming a band, so he made these plastic caps for his fingertips in order for him to play. In a loft in Birmingham, he invented an entirely new form of music. People call it heavy metal, but actually it's heavy jazz. Once he teamed up with Terrence Butler and Bill Ward, the drummer, then their music became apocalyptic rock, but they needed a vocalist and along came Ozzy Osbourne. They recorded their first album in twelve hours and changed the music world forever.

Unnoticed, underground and misunderstood, they spawned thousands of copy cat bands, although most of them didn't clearly know what Black Sabbath's music was really about, and created the heavy metal craze. I would say they influenced popular music and culture tremendously. Their best and most unappreciated song is "Spiral Architect" on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, by the way; it's about the Creation--"I look inside myself and see my world / And know that it is good."

The Rolling Stone were equally if not more influential. They were the original bad boys of rock and roll. How many copy cat bands did they spawn, and how much did that influence popular culture?

In America, of course Elvis started it all. How many bands did he spawn, and how much did that influence popular culture?

But he wasn't the only one. Buddy Holly changed music, when he basically invented overdubbing. He didn't have too many imitators, but he did change sound engineering.

If you want to write about American popular culture, why don't you ask questions about country and western music? That's the most popular and influential music in this country. I could run off a list of names, but Lynyrd Skynyrd comes to mind first. They defined southern rock, but they were country through and through, and they changed country music. How much influence did they have and how did it change popular culture?

Other bands include the Eagles and Kiss. Talk about two sides of the spectrum, but both enormously influential. Alice Cooper as well. And AC/DC, except they were from Australia. The Who and Led Zepplin also come to mind.

This single minded obsession with the Beatles is getting boring. You want to write about how popular music influences culture? There are lots of other bands to write about and more interesting questions to pose than what is the most overrated and what is the most unappreciated song by the Beatles.

If you want to write about music and popular culture, you really need to broaden your horizon.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Again with the Beatles, what are they your singular obsession for defining how music influences popular culture?"
I mostly posed this question because I was accused of having an editorial bias against the Beatles. I don't. They're one of the greatest bands of all time and I was raised on them from birth just like the rest of us. My critique is more of the over-the-top fandom of some who make the Beatles their religion. They're just a band that put out some wonderful music.

I appreciate your suggestions. Debates about country music, heavy metal, etc. are all forthcoming too.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gawainsghost accuses Swindle of having a "singular obsession" with the Beatles. This is because Gawainsghost's obsession is with Black Sabbath, who I personally find to be an abomination.

Swindle Swindle Swindle.....I don't really know that people make the Beatles their "religion," but they are very devoted to them, for many reasons, and some of the reasons are not musical.

For many people, they associate the band with what was probably the last really carefree time of their life, a time when youth seemed eternal. I was nearly 18 when they appeared on the American scene, and , let's face it, there was no one like them before or after. They hit like a giant thunderclap, and took the culture by storm. I'm 68 years old now, and I still listen to them quite a bit to this day, because their music is superior to most of the rest.

Those of us who were young in that era will be gone in the not too distant future, and then people can argue about something else.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The White Album was my favorite along with Revolver.
Just waiting for the release of the WA was an event.
Finally getting it home and opening it was like finding
the Holy Grail...But for the absolute most under-appreciated Beatles
tunes was George Martin's instrumental music from Yellow Submarine.
Although it was included in the vinyl album it had been replaced when the CD was released in the nineties. Maybe not Beatles music in the strictest sense but it was a significant part of the Yellow Submarine movie and original soundtrack.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's got to be She Said She Said no doubt. A superb drums job by Ringo. Every time a drummer sneers Ringo I make him hear this and ask him to come with four BETTER bars. So far, no takers.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are quite a few. Not that there are many not to like. But among those that don't get the credit they deserve: I Don't Want to Spoil the Party; I Should Have Known Better; Norwegian Wood; I've Got a Feeling; Yes It Is; Lady Madonna; Please Please Me; For No One; Dr. Robert; I'm a Loser. BTW, Mark Lewisohn's first volume of All These Years - Tune In, is remarkable.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Blackbird, especially when performed as counterpoint to the old standard Bye, Bye, Blackbird.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 Next View All