Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Number 489 - Beatles

Number 489

The Beatles

"In My Life"

art by feti
The new Firefox is pretty awesome. I was one of those people who downloaded it on their "Download Day" to get into the Guinness Book Of World Records for the most downloads in one calendar day and to be honest ... It was the only way I was ever gonna get into that book! While the V3 new browser is great, I still cannot use it for for writing, it just wont work properly. Probably has something to do with Zone alarm, but at least theres always ole Explorer to fall back on. But who cares, I'm in the wretched book. [until firefox 4 is out]
"In My Life" by the Beatles is a big deal, if not just for the fact the album "Rubber Soul" was such a different sound for the Beatles after their candy pop album "Help" in 1965 [and anything before it]. Even Rolling Stone noticed The Beatles music was more provocative and artistically grown up ~ In fact, they [RS] deemed it to be Rolling Stone's Number 5 Album of all Time just to prove it [and they really have to]. Also fact, Rolling Stone got so gushy over the song "In My Life" they named it their Number 23 Song of all Time, obviously they forgot the songs off "Revolver", "Sgt Pepper" & the "White Album" and lets face it, were probably a hell of a lot more important & arguably better. Look, whatever the case, if its Number 23 or Number 489, it definitely deserves to be in the top 500 .... somewhere ~ crowbarred.
art by Sparkus
While the Beatles still largely stuck to love songs on Rubber Soul, the lyrics represented a quantum leap in terms of thoughtfulness, maturity, and complex ambiguities. Musically, too, it was a substantial leap forward, with intricate folk-rock arrangements that reflected the increasing influence of Dylan and the Byrds. The group and George Martin were also beginning to expand the conventional instrumental parameters of the rock group, using a sitar on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)," Greek-like guitar lines on "Michelle" and "Girl," fuzz bass on "Think for Yourself," and a piano made to sound like a harpsichord on the instrumental break of "In My Life." While John and Paul were beginning to carve separate songwriting identities at this point, the album is full of great tunes, from "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and "Michelle" to "Girl," "I'm Looking Through You," "You Won't See Me," "Drive My Car," and "Nowhere Man" (the last of which was the first Beatle song to move beyond romantic themes entirely). George Harrison was also developing into a fine songwriter with his two contributions, "Think for Yourself" and the Byrds-ish "If I Needed Someone." ~ [Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide]
In My Life?
art by berjack
John Lennon wrote the song in the form of a long poem reminiscing on his childhood/teenage years. The original version of the lyrics was based on a bus route he used to take in Liverpool, naming various sites seen along the way, including Penny Lane and Strawberry Field. However, Lennon found it to be more "ridiculous" and called it "the most boring sort of 'What I Did On My Holidays Bus Trip' song" and reworked the words with Paul McCartney, replacing the specific memories with a generalized meditation on his past. "Very few lines" of the original version remain in the finished song.
Stuart Sutcliffe
Lennon's friend and biographer Peter Shotton related in his book (titled John Lennon "In My Life") that Lennon told him the lines "Some [friends] are dead and some are living/In my life I've loved them all" referred to Stuart Sutcliffe (who died in 1962) and to Shotton. As for the music though, Lennon claimed in 1980 that McCartney's contribution was supplying the harmony and the "middle eight" or bridge section of the song (there is no middle eight in this song, though there is a bridge section). Describing "If I Fell", which he had written, Lennon said it was more a precursor to "In My Life" and used the same chord sequences. (Although, McCartney also claims to have co-written 'If I Fell' with Lennon.) McCartney claimed he set Lennon's lyrics to music from beginning to end, claiming that he wrote the whole melody, but taking inspiration from songs by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles. Of the disagreement, McCartney said, "I find it very gratifying that out of everything we wrote, we only appear to disagree over two songs." (The other song in question is "Eleanor Rigby".)
For more Beatles see Number 587, #894 & #947
For Bob Dylan see Number 491, #841 & #929
For John Lennon see Number 492 & #639
For Paul McCartney see Number 583
For George Harrison see Number 806
For Smokey Robinson see Number 565
What does Polling Stoned think of Beatles?
Released in December 1965 -- and capping a year that had been defined by groundbreaking singles such as Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" and the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" -- Rubber Soul finds the Beatles rising to meet the challenge their peers had set. Characteristically, they achieved a new musical sophistication and a greater thematic depth without sacrificing a whit of pop appeal. Producer George Martin described Rubber Soul as "the first album to present a new, growing Beatles to the world," and so it was. The band's development expressed itself in a variety of overlapping ways. On the U.K. version (the only one available on CD), "Drive My Car" presents a comic character study of a sort that had not previously been in the Beatles' repertoire. More profoundly, however, Dylan's influence suffuses the album, accounting for the tart emotional tone of "Norwegian Wood," "I'm Looking Through You," "You Won't See Me" and "If I Needed Someone." (Dylan would return the compliment the following year, when he offered his own version of "Norwegian Wood" -- titled "4th Time Around" -- on Blonde on Blonde, and consequently made Lennon "Paranoid.") Lennon's "Nowhere Man," which he later acknowledged as a depressed self-portrait, and the beautifully reminiscent "In My Life" both reflect the more serious and personal style of songwriting that Dylan had suddenly made possible.
Musically speaking, George Harrison's sitar on "Norwegian Wood" -- the first time the instrument was used in a pop song -- and Paul McCartney's fuzz bass on "Think for Yourself" document the band's increasing awareness that the studio could be more than a pit stop between tours. From this point on, a fascination with the sonic possibilities of recording would inspire the Beatles' greatest work. Harrison called Rubber Soul "the best one we made," because "we were suddenly hearing sounds that we weren't able to hear before." And as for why the band's hearing had grown so acute, well, that was another aspect of the times. "There was a lot of experimentation on Rubber Soul," said Ringo Starr, "influenced, I think, by the substances." [Source:RS]
For Rolling Stones see Number 689 & #767
For Ringo Starr see Number 901
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '489th Song of all Time' was "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gayner. Gloria Gaynor has not appeared in The Definitive 1000.
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number 23 the Album ranked at Number 5
This song has a crowbarred rating of 75.7 out of 108

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