Brad: Shame

Now that I’m swamped with parenthood and work (who does that?), I think I’m going to spend some time with my existing collection.  Since I’m not coming to these albums anew, these reviews will be less formal and shorter than my other reviews.  Without further ado, let’s kick things off with this 1993 release by Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard’s side project with honey-voiced Shawn Smith, also of Pigeonhed and Satchel.

Actually Brad is an awful lot like both Pigeonhed and Satchel.  Pigeonhed’s the funkiest of the three, but they’ve all got plenty of groove in them.  Anyway, Brad’s the only one Gossard’s in.  And that’s pretty much all I needed to buy this CD back in the day.

I didn’t take this with me to my summer exchange in Norway, but even just the thought of it sustained me through some lonely times.  Just knowing that there was a band that made beautiful music out there that was adored pretty much only by my friends and me made it feel like I had a girlfriend to come back home to at the end of the summer.  It wouldn’t be the last time my CD collection gave me more affection than the fairer sex.  Or that I shared a girlfriend with my friends.

The band is a great side project for Gossard.  Pearl Jam’s other guitarist, Mike McCready, is the more virtuosic of the two, and gets all or most of the solos there.  But in my opinion, Gossard’s the more soulful one, and many of the songs here showcase his style well.

But it is a side project, and many of the songs feel kind of unfinished.  And at this stage in life, I’m much more sensitive and critical to an album’s or band’s weak points and flaws than I was as a teenager.  As such, I’m liking this quite a bit less than I did then.  It’s still a great disc, but it’s not quite pedstal-worthy.  I really dig “Screen,” but the timbres and harmonies really make me uncomfortable.  I’m also merely in like with a good portion of the second half of the record, where the unfinished nature of things is the strongest.  And finally, I can’t ignore the very end where there’s a spoken word track with evil effects on the voice while the orator takes on a fictional role (I hope) as an abusive man and yells at significant other.  I never liked it, but worldly wisdom has only made the minute or so seem even darker.

I’m not sure I noticed in 1993 how open and spacious these songs were.  Like “Nadine” has this great space between all the instruments.  Everything’s nicely placed, sounds fantastic.  It’s warm, open, and rich.  I probably did notice it then, but I just noticed me liking it, not why I was liking it.

Rating:
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Mix:
“Buttercup”
Keep:
“My Fingers,” “Nadine,” “Screen,” “20th Century,” “Good News,” “Raise Love”
Like:
“Bad For The Soul,” “Down,” “Rockstar,” “We”
Filed Between: BR5-49 (Coast To Coast Live) and Brad’s Interiors

  1. Buttercup – Love it.  So slow.  So well constructed.
  2. My Fingers – Excellent.
  3. Nadine – There are some sounds in here that make me feel really uncomfortable.  Like nauseous in a way.  But I don’t remember having that sensation back in 1993…just liking the sonics and the songs.
  4. Screen – Here the bass and piano lay down a very rich bed even though it’s just the two instruments.  Well vox and drums, too, though the drums might even come in a little bit later.  Guitar doesn’t come in until the chorus.  Again, there are some notes in here that really make me uncomfortable.  Such a great start.  Piano sounds an awful like the Mother Love Bone song “Man Of Golden Words.”
  5. 20th Century – Starts off with that great groove.
  6. Good News – Great.
  7. Raise Love – The chorus gets a little old.
  8. Bad For The Soul – Only 1:11.  Transitional.
  9. Down – So slow and languid.
  10. Rockstar – The weakest point on the album.  It’s really just kind of a mood piece that sounds like it came out of playing around in the studio.  It finds a little groove and stays there.  Not bad, but not anything that grabs you, either.
  11. We – The song part of this is one of the best tracks on here.  I’d love to be able to keep it, but that ending, where he’s got the evil voice and is doing a verbally abusive thing to, I assume, a fictional wife, is just impossible to listen to without literally getting nauseous.

The Airborne Toxic Event: All I Ever Wanted: The Airborne Toxic Event – Live From Walt Disney Concert Hall featuring The Calder Quartet

Sometimes it’s impossible to top what Wikipedia has to say about a CD.  By way of introduction, let me quote liberally from the entry there.

On December 4, 2009, the Airborne Toxic Event played its final show in support of its debut album, giving a sold-out performance at the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. The show was presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and was the last of 354 shows performed by the band on its debut album cycle. The group was accompanied by the Calder Quartet, the Lalo Guerrero Children’s choir, the The Belmont High School marching band, Mexican Baile Folklorico dancers, and a number of guest musicians, including horn players and an accordionist.

As I start off the review with a lengthy quote, so The Airborne Toxic Event also starts off this performance with a long quote: the beginning of the second movement of Ravel’s string quartet.  It’s a great piece, a great way to start off a rock concert, and flows really well into “Wishing Well,” giving a nice initial start to the show.  But who let the band plan the next part of the set list:  two of their songs only available as bonus tracks, the second of which is a slow ballad, and then an even slower ballad that’s a cover?  How are the fans supposed to engage with this?

The band’s sole album at the point in time of this concert had ten tracks on it, but this performance ends up with 17, and only eight of the songs off of The Airborne Toxic Event.  For the most part those songs are better on the record.  I heard (I think from WNYC’s John Schaefer who I think was himself quoting somebody else) that an album is like a love letter and a concert is like a hot date.  Which makes a live album a love letter about somebody else’s hot date.  That feels about right, where the hugeness of the event doesn’t come through to your home listening.

The Airborne Toxic Event does not do things like other bands.  They are relentless workaholics and always seem to be in ridiculously good cheer, belying the youthful angst of their lyrics, many of them so painfully publicly lived by lead singer Mikel Jollet.  The deluxe edition of their second album, All At Once, came with a DVD that featured a video for every song, each one recorded in an unconventional live setting.  For this concert they included a string quartet (the ensemble as well as the piece), a marching band, Mexican folk dancers, and a children’s choir.

Those new sounds pretty all add positively to the songs.  And violist Anna Bulbrook’s voice is way more prominent here than it is on either album, making me long for its gorgeous qualities more in the studio.  I bet it was a grand show, with even the classiness of an intermission thrown into the mix.  It might even make a great DVD.  With just audio, however, it comes through as kind of disjointed and overflowing, not tight.  As I said, the performances from the studio are usually the better ones.  In concert there’s too much applause and banter and attempting to add something grand to the song that ends up taking away from the punch that I loved so much on their debut.  Jollet’s emotions come through, but he can’t sing as well live as he does with the studio magic.

The band’s big hit, “Sometime Around Midnight,” is probably one of the best, in more than one sense of that word, example of the aggrandizing phenomenon.  Knowing it’s their epic emotional and accessible tune, it opens with an overwrought, slow opening riff on the band’s viola.  It’s a little much to take, but by the end things have picked up enough and it comes close to rivaling the original, even causing me to hear new meaning in the lyrics.

The new songs are a mixed bag.  On the plus side you’ve got the excellent “All I Ever Wanted,” which would appear on All At Once, but suffered there from horrid production qualities, making this the preferred version.  “Goodbye Horses” is the other best new song and was apparently in The Silence Of The Lambs.  There’s also a handful of B-sides from the band, the best of which is “This Losing,” which falls just shy of keep status.  Then there are a few more covers, of songs by The Magnetic Fields and Ramones, neither of which is head-turning.

There’s a lot to like here, but it’s also pretty bloated, with long stretches of wandering leaving the good parts disconnected from each other.  It’s fun to spend some time with, if you’re a fan, but I’m fine just taking the good parts and leaving the rest.

Rating:
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Keep:
“String Quartet: II – Assez Vif: Très Rythmé,” “Wishing Well,” “Something New,” “Goodbye Horses,” “Sometime Around Midnight,” “All I Ever Wanted,” “Innocence”
Like:
“This Losing,” “A Letter To Georgia,” “Duet,” “Gasoline,” “Happiness Is Overrated,” “Intermission,” “Does This Mean You’re Moving On?, “Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio?,” “Missy”

Song notes:

  1. String Quartet: II – Assez Vif: Très Rythmé – Modern.  Flows right into next one.  That piece itself is pretty awesome, but this seems a bit more muddled.  Well the hall’s just so darn big and it’s recorded in that way, so you lose a lot of the crispness of a good studio recording recorded in a smaller room.  And the audience applause gets in the way (I’m assuming that’s when the rockers walk out on stage).  I like it a lot, though, so I guess I’ll keep it, though if I ever get a copy of a more traditional version I’ll probably drop this to like.
  2. Wishing Well – From The Airborne Toxic Event. Would have been a great transition if not for the bit of silence Zune Music Pass puts in there.  Strings are sweet.  His singing just isn’t as good live as it is on record.  This is done well enough that I want to keep it.
  3. This Losing – It’s listed as a European Bonus Track on The Airborne Toxic Event on Wikipedia.  This is an okay song.  Mostly inoffensive.  Props for not putting it on the main album; I’m always saying bands should leave off their non-killer stuff.
  4. A Letter To Georgia – Slow ballad.  Mournful.  Not very good.
  5. The Book Of Love – Dedicates to his grandma who had died a week earlier.  It is by The Magnetic Fields and it seems Peter Gabriel covered it, too.  Has its moments as a song, but I don’t like his imitation of his grandma’s voice at the beginning.  I’m glad I listened to the original; that’s quite a good song.  This, though.  I wish he would have made more his own.  His voice can’t carry that slow mourning thing that the original does, so it just comes off weird.  Plus by adding in so much instrumentation and making it a bit longer, grander it distracts from how well the lyrics cohere across the song and change in minor ways from verse to verse and chorus to chorus a la Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.”  Ditch.
  6. Something New – Man, the violist (Anna Bulbrook) is nailing the vocals this night.  Gorgeous here.  Features accordion, which adds some nice color.  Really not crazy about his voice, and I like the uptempo version better.  Still, I love her vocals.
  7. Duet – This show is really quiet, slow.  Really taking a while to get going.
  8. Gasoline – Is this where the pace is going to start picking up?  Female backing vox are so sexy, pretty.  Totes feel the rush of blood.  This is a bit of a sloppy version.  It’s faster and just not tight.  But gawd do I love those backing vocals.  They almost make it keep, but like.
  9. Happiness Is Overrated – “I’m so sorry/I really lost my head”.  Definitely loses its mix status right off and probably its keep status due to the banter-y stuff at the beginning.  Plus it kind of seems like a country version.  Ends with banter into intermission.  This is nice with a very strong end, even maybe a bit more powerful than the original, but the silly banter keeps it down at like.
  10. Intermission – It’s the marching band playing some intermission-y music while the crowd claps along.  Like.
  11. Does This Mean You’re Moving On? – Horns throughout.  That’s a nice touch, but the studio version, a mix, is still superior.  Like.
  12. Do You Remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio? – I guess it was by The Ramones.  Pretty typical Ramones stuff.
  13. Sometime Around Midnight – From The Airborne Toxic Event.  This is so obviously about an ex.  How did I never get that?  Why did I think it was about a stranger-cum-object-of-desire?  This is too slow/epic at the beginning–they’re really playing up it’s big hitness–but it’s very good.  Keep.
  14. Goodbye Horses – I’m digging this.  Apparently, this is by Q Lazzarus and was in The Silence Of The Lambs.
  15. All I Ever Wanted – From All At Once.  At least like…this song is just so good.  Actually, this may end up being my better version of this song.  It is.  The studio version was keep, but it sounds like ass, particularly at the huge end where the dynamic compression gets to be way too much.  This performance isn’t as nice or as clean (in areas other than dynamic compression), but it sure is nice to have a version that doesn’t run off the tracks at the end.  Man, that album’s sound is a tragedy.
  16. Innocence – This version is over ten minutes long.  Banter up top.  Super slow at start where they tack on a completely new part that seems to be about suicide.  I really like this, though.  Found myself rockin’ out to the end pretty hard, so we’ll keep it.
  17. Missy – I remember them ending at least the first of the two shows I saw them do with this song.  A children’s choir.  The marching band plus the choir are freaking awesome.  But there’s like a minute where there’s just a vamp and then there’s all the introductions of the band members, so it stays at like.

King Sunny Adé: Rhapsody Artist Sampler

I always get this guy mixed up with Sun Ra.  Probably because I learned about both of them in the same world music class in high school.  His Wikipedia page begins:

King Sunny Adé (Sunday Adeniyi, born September 22, 1946) is a popular performer of Yoruba Nigerian Jùjú music and a pioneer of modern world music. He has been classed as one of the most influential musicians of all time.

Also according to Wikipedia, his discography consists of 123(!) items.  So obviously these seven tracks taken from two albums (E Dide (Get Up) and Juju Music) can’t really do justice to his output, but I really like what I hear.  It’s guitar- and synth-driven dance-pop, and it’s light on the bass and crunch we are familiar with in our music.  He actually covers a lot of stylistic ground, even kind of going Sun Ra with weird spacey tripped out sections sometimes.  At other times, though, he stays in a groove a little too long, rendering it moldy.

If anybody knows where else to attack this discography from, let me know.  It’s awfully daunting as it is.

  1. E Dide E Mujo – Cool.  Faster, kinda quiet.  “Let your feelings show/Let your body move/Juju music is so nice/…”  A fun dancey tune.  Totally loveable.  Keep.
  2. Eje Nio Gba Ara Mi – Has some cool spacey effects.  Slow, very chill.  Seems like it might get bogged down in the middle.  Even a little bit funky in parts.  Just a really interesting track.  Keep.
  3. Ose, Ose – Really like this.  The beginning is awesome with a great riff and some seemingly added beats that kind of knock you off of what you’re expecting.  The middle’s meh enough not to mix, so keep.
  4. Yoruba – Very sweet arpeggiated guitar melody to start.  Then fairly meh throughout.  Like.
  5. Ja Funmi – Another great start, but a bit too long and static to keep.  Like.
  6. Alashe L’Aiye – Starts off kinda hyper.  This is my least favorite of the bunch.  I’m not sure the freneticism works here.  Or it may just be the tune that’s not pulling me in.  Like.
  7. 365 Is My Number / The Message – Pretty cool.  Another long one with all kinds of spacey effects in “The Message.”  “Call me Danny(?) That’s my number.”  Is that the Jùjú version of “Rikki don’t you lose that number?”  Keep.

Smashing Pumpkins: “Drown 8-Track Demo”

Smashing Pumpkins Record Club (SPRC) gave this away for free (well, if you give them your e-mail address).  And It’s not hard to figure out why it was free: this is a just demo version of the band’s contribution to the Singles soundtrack.  It’s pretty much the same thing but not as polished.  In addition to the general lack of production, the biggest giveaway that this is not a final product is the too-heavy bass that rattles earbuds.  I know, earbuds…but, still….  Good song, but I’ve got a better one.  Like.

Various Artists: 23 This Year: The Sub Pop Amazon Sampler

A sampler album from Sub Pop given away free on Amazon MP3.  Not bad; there’s a lot that’s like and above, but there’s also a lot that’s like or worse.  Plus I expect to come away from a collection of 23 songs absolutely head over heels about at least three or four tracks.  Here, the only song that really gets to me is Low’s “Especially Me.”

  1. Fleet Foxes: Helplessness Blues – The “men in dimly lit halls” line definitely echoes Simon and Garfunkel’s “words of the prophets are written on the subway walls” from “The Sound Of Silence.”  This is good, no doubt, but I’m again left shaking my head at how passionately so many people love this band.  “If I had an orchard/I’d work till I’m sore”…I don’t believe him.  Have you seen Robin Pecknold?  Like.
  2. Washed Out: Amor Fati – 80’s-type synths dream pop stuff.  I wouldn’t mind hearing more of this band, so I’ll keep an otherwise likeable track.
  3. Vetiver: Wonder Why – This is okay mild pop with a bit of jangle.  If you just can’t get enough adult contemporary, I guess.  Like.
  4. The Head And The Heart: Lost In My Mind – I know I’ve heard this somewhere.  Probably a song of the day podcast or something.  It’s really good, but it’s generally keep-level quality, not super uplifting.  However, I think my sisters-in-law, the traditional recipients of my year-end mixes, would really like this song, so it’s getting mixed.
  5. Fruit Bats: Tangie And Ray – This starts a really bad stretch from here through track 11, with three ditches and four likes.  Something about this track really rubs me the wrong way.  That first line about Tangie and Ray leaving Columbia, Maryland gets stuck in my head at the slightest provocation.  It probably doesn’t help that that melody is repeated for the entirety of the verses.  This drives me freaking nuts.  Ditch.
  6. Aurelio: Tio Sam – A world thing (Honduran).  I always feel liberal guilt over not liking super hard the world music one.  This is insanely quiet.  Really grew on me.  Like.
  7. Niki & The Dove: The Fox – Niki and Dove both make me think of Purple Rain.  Sure enough, this is like “The Beautiful Ones” and “Computer Blue” crossed with vocalizations and synths that could come straight out of a Björk song.  The Björk parts are the best.  Like.
  8. Mogwai: Rano Pano – This is so boring and dumb.  For all I’ve heard of Mogwai I can’t believe this is the best thing Sub Pop could come up with for this recording.  Ditch.
  9. Shabazz Palaces: Swerve… the reeping of all that is worthwhile (Noir not withstanding) (clean) – [sic].  Of course I also feel white liberal guilt over not liking the hip-hop track in the collection.  Compounding the guilt is shame that I’m not worthy since this artist is so freaking buzzed.  This is fine, but it hasn’t really grabbed me.  It’s one of my common complaints about hip-hop: the sample and the chorus are just too repetitive.  Ditch.
  10. Still Corners: “Endless Summer” – Very breathy, fey stuff.  Starts off so that you could sing the start to “Tangie And Ray” over it, just adding to how much I have that song in my head.  That almost pushes it into ditch territory, but since I hate to write off a band on one song if I don’t have to, I’ll make this like.
  11. Chad VanGallen: Peace On The Rise – Reminds me of Pavement with its out-of-tune jangle and laid-back singing.  Like.
  12. J Mascis: Not Enough – A voice so immediately recognizable as J Mascis.  This starts a really good stretch.  I guess maybe just Side 2 of this album is better than Side 1, but the very start is pretty good, too.  Mix.
  13. Sebadoh: Rebound (Remastered) – Sebadoh?  Really?  This is pretty cool.  Keep.
  14. Obits: You Gotta Lose – I like a little syncopation in my punk.  This is great.  Keep.
  15. Dum Dum Girls: He Gets Me High – Didn’t think I liked Dum Dum Girls’ gauzy punk pop, but I like this.  Keep.
  16. Handsome Furs: Repatriated – Meh.  The blips and bleeps are the best part of this otherwise too-straightforward song.  Weren’t these guys a band like forever ago?  Or am I just mixing them up with the Psychedelic Furs?  I think so, but this sounds like it could have been some near hit back in the mid-80’s.  Like.
  17. The Twilight Singers: On The Corner – I feel like I’ve heard this before.  Maybe it was a song of the day or something?  Deliberate, driving rock with a slow build at the top.  Very cool.  Keep.
  18. Papercuts: Do You Really Wanna Know – More breathy fey stuff.  But, oddly, with a male singer.  The dreamy, gauzy thing works here.  More like a like but gets kept since it’s all I have of this band and I’m intrigued enough.
  19. Mister Heavenly: Bronx Sniper – Who does this remind me of?  Neil Young?  “No one gets out of here alive” but it’s not The Doors song.  Is this a cover?  Wow he sounds like Colin Meloy.  Keep.
  20. Male Bonding: Bones – Funny how I just had this one on that SPIN playlist.  I guess it’s destined for like.
  21. Avi Buffalo: How Come? – Another breathy, fey thing.  This one’s done in a falsetto, so you can’t tell if it’s a man or woman.  Based on the Sub Pop bio I think the lead singer is a guy.  But he doesn’t need to sing like that.  Like.
  22. Low: Especially Me – So awesome.  Why do I not have more Low?  Easily the best track here.  Mix.
  23. Daniel Martin Moore: O My Soul – Slow and quiet.  Nice, very personal, like it’s Jeff Buckley without the angelic voice.  Keep.

Rating:
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Mix:
“Lost In My Mind” (The Head And The Heart), “Not Enough” (J Mascis), “Especially Me” (Low)
Keep:
“Amor Fati” (Washed Out), “Rebound” (Sebadoh), “You Gotta Lose” (The Obits), “He Gets Me High” (Dum Dum Girls), “On The Corner” (The Twilight Singers), “Do You Really Wanna Know” (Papercuts), “Bronx Sniper” (Mister Heavenly) “O My Soul” (Daniel Martin Moore)
Like:
“Helplessness Blues” (Fleet Foxes), “Wonder Why” (Vetiver), “Tio Sam” (Aurelio), “The Fox” (Niki & The Dove), “Endless Summer” (Still Corners), “Peace On The Rise” (Chad VanGaalen), “Repatriated” (Handsome Furs), Bones” (Male Bonding), “How Come” (Avi Buffalo)

The Beatles: The Beatles

I don’t have a lot to say about one of the most famous albums of all time.  At least, I don’t have a lot to say about the album as a whole.  I have more to say about the individual songs, which I’ll just leave in my song notes.  This is fitting.  The Beatles were famously not getting along at this point, writing and even recording many of these songs apart from each other.  And that shows.  The album feels more like a collection of songs than a cohesive whole.  That’s not necessarily a criticism, as most of these songs are excellent.  It’s just there and doesn’t give me a lot to write about.

The other part that makes this album so hard to write about is that we already know how great the great songs are.  “Back In The U.S.S.R.,” “Birthday,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and “Helter Skelter” are all part of the definition of rock and roll, even over forty years later.  So coming to the album now you just take those songs for granted and the clunkers and near-clunkers end up dominating your opinion that much more.  So maybe my rating doesn’t reflect just how great the great song are.

In the interest of making this review a little bit longer, I’ll either contribute to an ongoing argument that already exists or start one that should exist.  The best side of this double album is Side Three.  It’s only got one mixer, “Birthday,” and it ends with the worst song in the collection, “Long, Long, Long,” but in between those two it has five strong keepers, including probably my favorite Beatles song, “Helter Skelter,” that doesn’t get mixed pretty much only because of it’s fade-out and face-back-in thing at the end.  After that the quality of sides, in descending order, are Sides Two, Four, and One.  But I haven’t thought really hard about that last part, and in fact Side One’s first four tracks are phenomenal.

Finally, this is the remastered (2009) version, and so there’s a five minute mini-documentary included with the CD.  It’s about what you’d expect.  It’s got each of The Beatles plus George Martin providing commentary over stills and video of them in India and recording the album.  Fine.  Not earth shattering.

Rating:
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Mix: “Back In The USSR,” “Glass Onion,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “Blackbird,” “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?,” “Birthday,” “Savoy Truffle”
Keep:
“Dear Prudence,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Happiness Is A Warm Gun,” “Martha My Dear,” “I’m So Tired,” “Rocky Raccoon,” “Don’t Pass Me By,” “Yer Blues,” “Mother Nature’s Son,” “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey,” “Sexy Sadie,” “Helter Skelter,” “Cry Baby Cry,” “Revolution 9”
Like:
“Wild Honey Pie,” “The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill,” “Piggies,” “I Will,” “Julia,” “Revolution 1,” “Honey Pie,” “Good Night”
Filed Between: The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road

Song Notes:
Disc 1:

  1. Back In The USSR – That high, sustained guitar note when Paul sings “Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out” is one of my favorite moments in rock.
  2. Dear Prudence –
  3. Glass Onion – One of my faves on this disc.
  4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da – I made this a mix on my review of 1967-1970, so I guess I’ll keep it as that, no pun intended.
  5. Wild Honey Pie – Much better than “Honey Pie,” even though I think this is just supposed to be some jokey version.
  6. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill – Wow this sounds terrible.  Is this an anti-hunting song?  This might be ditch.  It got liked, but barely.  Can be annoying.
  7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps – Kind of surprised this was only keep when I reviewed 1967-1970, but there you go.
  8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun – Lennon does some stuff on this album where he pastes together sections that wouldn’t seem to go together into one song.
  9. Martha My Dear – Start of side 2.
  10. I’m So Tired – Here’s another one where Lennon does that pasting thing.  I do not like the A section at all, but when this picks up it’s awesome.
  11. Blackbird –
  12. Piggies –
  13. Rocky Raccoon –
  14. Don’t Pass Me By – Ringo.  Beginning keeps it from being mixed.  Fantastic fiddle part, another reason Ringo’s the best Beatle.
  15. Why Don’t We Do It In The Road? – Who is that singing so low?  It’s Paul.  Awesome.
  16. I Will –
  17. Julia –

Disc 2:

  1. Birthday –
  2. Yer Blues – My take on this is like The Beatles saying, “Yeah, the blues?  It’s a tired, limited genre, but let’s knock the s**t out of it” and then doing just that.  Awesome.
  3. Mother Nature’s Son –
  4. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey – about Michael Jackson?
  5. Sexy Sadie –
  6. Helter Skelter – This might be the best song ever.  But it gets funky at the end making a mix harder.  One of the things I really like about this is that it’s Paul doing a song in the style of John…and totally killing it.
  7. Long, Long, Long – The worst thing The Beatles have ever done?  Completely forgettable and regrettable.  The only ditch on the album.
  8. Revolution 1 – Start of side 4.  This seems so different from the version I think I know.  It is.  The rocker, titled just “Revolution,” is the single.  This is much slower with the shoo be doo wop thing going on.  Wikipedia seems to describe this at length, I think this may have been the first version, but the history is hard to parse.
  9. Honey Pie – Kind of a vaudeville show thing going on.
  10. Savoy Truffle – Probably my favorite of the songs I didn’t know coming in.  I love this.
  11. Cry Baby Cry –
  12. Revolution 9 – Wow, this is like 8:20 long.  Maybe a minute or so long, but I really think this is a great piece.  And not just because it was novel.  I think it’s really enjoyable.  It may be a minute or so long, but Lennon really did some great work on this.
  13. Good Night –