(This was originally posted August 2015)
A pretty routine observation I make is that, unlike most artists, you can take any Beatles album and find an abundance of classic songs not released as a single. The sort of songs lesser artists would kill to have. Such was the embarrassment of riches within the Beatles, songs would just stack up and be used as album fodder. Which is why listening to any Beatles album is also such a joy. It’s never a couple of hits bulked out with fillers. With very few exceptions, all of the Beatles output is a consistently high standard, even when they were innovating.
So I thought, I'd compile a list of The Beatles' stinkers. There aren't many. One per album.
The Worst Beatles Tracks
Abbey Road – Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. Sorry Paul, it’s drivel.
*Beatles For Sale – Honey Don't. The Ringo badge of quality is added to this borefest. Carl Perkins also managed to write the second worst song too - Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby.
Hard Day’s Night – I’m Happy Just to Dance With You. Paul and John did George no favours here by writing this dirge for him. Bizarrely, I covered this in my infamous Great Eastern solo gig in 1992. Knickers were not thrown.
Help! – You Like Me Too Much. Not a classic. George also wrote I Need You on the same album. Also crap.
Let It Be – For You Blue. George donated this derivative toss off to the Get Back project to protect better songs – Something, Here Comes The Sun – from a substandard album. Wise move.
Magical Mystery Tour – Yes, I know not a proper album. Flying, obviously. The Beatles do lounge music for the MMT film. Aural wallpaper.
Please Please Me – Boys. A Ringo filler. Pair an average singer with an average song and you get a sub average track. Probably worked better live at The Cavern. Or at weddings.
Revolver – Love You To. George and Indian music. Mordant vocals and cod philosophical lyrics to a raga beat. Same album as his fiery and brilliant Taxman.
Rubber Soul – What Goes On. Ringo got a writing credit for this Country and Western song. He should have held out and asked for the rights to Paperback Writer instead.
Sgt Pepper – Within In Without You. Yeah. I don’t really like George’s Indian influenced songs. This one goes on for over five minutes. It feels like it.
White Album – Revolution 9. Of course. John and Yoko's avant garde crap. Unlistenable.
With The Beatles. No weak tracks. Not one.
Yellow Submarine – Only A Northern Song. Sorry George, you again. Trying too hard to be different it just comes across as gauche and dissonant.
[Looking through the list now, it appears I’m overly critical of some of George Harrison’s contributions. Of all the Beatles, it was fair to say he got better as he got older. His voice, monosyllabic and nasal in 1963, matured by 1969 into a fine instrument. His song writing talents, sometimes okay, sometimes poor, had developed so much that by 1969 that he was able to go toe to toe with John and Paul. And win.]
Dirty work but someone's got to do it. Best album tracks next to cheer me up.
*Beatles For Sale - Most critics say 'Mr Moonlight' is not only the worst song on the album but in the Beatles entire recording career. A bit harsh, I think. It's not a classic admittedly and the cheesy organ that George Martin adds doesn't help, and yet, and yet, I'm a fan of John Lennon's shouty voice going for big notes (Anna, Baby It's You, Happiness is a Warm Gun). Ironically Lennon's vocals were best demonstrated on the track they left off Beatles For Sale 'Leave My Kitten Alone' - now available on Anthology 1.