Rolling Stone is about to release a special issue counting down the magazine's choices for the 100 best Beatles songs of all time, and previewed the list by posting the Top 10 on rollingstone.com. Maybe it's just that Rocks Off doesn't have quite the encyclopedic knowledge of the Fab Four as the RS staff, but 100 songs seems excessive to us.
Although we would hardly be the first to shout John, Paul, George and Ringo's praises from the mountaintop, most of the people here at Rocks Off - although not quite everyone - count themselves about as big of a Beatles fan as they come. Short of blowing rent money on a bunch of live bootlegs from the Cavern Club or Reeperbahn or trolling eBay for a matching set of Yellow Submarine coffee mugs, that is.
Still, the Beatles weren't perfect. Any band has its share of bum notes and filler tracks, and like so many other things, the Fabs were first among equals here as well. We suspect Paul McCartney or Ringo would agree, and we'd be glad to pick their brains for their lists of songs they wish they could take back if they'd care to ring us up.
Until then, here are Rocks Off's choices for the worst Beatles songs of all time, in alphabetical order.
"Back In the USSR" (The Beatles)
This would have fit better on Beatles album in the '80s, provided they reunited by that decade. It just oozes that period in that decade when the Stones were wearing neon. It could have been an awful single, not unlike Macca's "Spies Like Us" built for the Cold War era.
It doesn't fit on the White Album one bit and it disrupts the flow of the album. At best it should have been a throwaway B-side. This song, along with "Ob-La-Di," makes us mourn for two songs were never heard that were thrown on the cutting room to make room for these, these "things." Like "What's the New Mary Jane," for one. Craig Hlavaty
"Birthday" (The Beatles)
Da-da-da-da-da-da! Arrgh. If we want to cue up some thrashy riffage and ur-metal howling from the White Album, we'll take "Helter Skelter" or "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey," thanks. One too many bad covers and morning radio celebrity-birthday beds has ruined "Birthday" for us. Chris Gray
"Drive My Car" (Rubber Soul)
They couldn't leave the car songs to the other dredges of bands floating around at the time, could they? Then the beep-beep-beeps come in and we wanna crack our copy of Rubber Soul in half. We understand that the album was a stepping stone to Revolver and everything after, but this is torture. C.H.
"Fixing a Hole" (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)
This is the worst of all Beatles songs to get stuck in your head. When Rocks Off was little, around eight or so, we knew this. We had got a cassette copy of Sgt. Pepper and we used to fast forward through this one each time. It sounds like a parody of the Beatles. C.H.
"Good Day Sunshine" (Revolver)
This is a pleasant enough song, we guess, if a little tra-la-la for Rocks Off's own personal tastes. Thing is, when you stack it up against almost every other song on Revolver - especially "And Your Bird Can Sing," "Eleanor Rigby," "Doctor Robert," "I'm Only Sleeping" and "Here, There and Everywhere" - "pleasant enough" doesn't quite cut it. Hell, we'll even go to bat for "Taxman" before this, although "Yellow Submarine" is a very close second for the exact same reasons. C.G.
"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" (The Beatles)
We knew this song sucked before we even heard the Beatles version, when it was sung by the cast of Life Goes On in the late '80s. Sometimes we wish we had a time machine so we could walk into Abbey Road Studios and just stand there for five minutes and slap Paul on the back of the head and say, "The fuck?" Then we would give John Lennon a Stooges record. C.H.
For some reason the Beatles wrote a handful of songs that sound like the old-school Batman theme song. Maybe it was the drugs or the booze, but this and "Taxman" both sound oddly bat-like. But we will give the song credit for having some of McCartney's grimier bass parts. This was also one of the easier songs to play on Beatles Rock Band last year too, so there is also that. C.H.
"Revolution 9" (The Beatles)
Even though its experimentation is daring by the standards of the day, it's grating as hell to listen to, and seems to have been included just to pad the already-bloated White Album out even more. The backwards-masked version is cool, though, for nightmare-inducing purposes. John Seaborn Gray
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"She Loves You" (The Beatles' Second Album)
Just for the fact that we can't hear this song in our heads without adding Eddie Murphy's "man" backup vocals from that Saturday Night Live "Fifth Beatle" sketch - even though the song they were actually on was "I Want To Hold Your Hand." Plus, for one of the band's biggest early hits, it always seemed like kind of a throwaway. C.G.
"Strawberry Fields Forever" (Magical Mystery Tour)
It may get us permanently excommunicated the Church of the Fab Four, but honestly, we've always preferred the Elton John version we could have sworn we heard somewhere but he apparently never recorded. (Thanks, commenters.) Which doesn't speak terribly well of the one that actually exists. C.G.