Friday, March 17, 2017

Episode 296: Track by Track: The Beatles

Episode 296: Track by Track: The Beatles
Pat and Mike go track by track with two of the most beloved Beatles albums... "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver." Kyle produces and cracks wise.
From March 16, 2017

With your hosts:

Pat Francis

Mike Siegel

00:00:00 Pat, Mike, and Kyle welcome us to the show. Backstage scuttlebutt: Stephen Pearcy no-showed for the third time, so Mike (who was just here to take the photo) stepped in as Pat's substitute tag team partner. This is TNA Turning Point 2007 all over again. The trio get into 80s metalhead wig talk. Icons such as the late Kevin DuBrow and David Lee Roth known to don the weave every now and then.
00:05:00 After bemoaning the CD pig troughs of Walmart, Pat and Mike get into today's topic. They are going to go track by track and discuss two albums by The Beatles. First it will be 1965's Rubber Soul, then the discussion will turn to 1966's Revolver. Rubber Soul is up first. Mike describes the saying that Rubber Soul is the album where The Beatles discovered weed, Revolver is when they discovered acid. We will be hearing the definitive original versions of the albums, not the US-only versions. Pat used to rip The Beatles' albums from his friends before he owned them, then he bought all the albums when he got older because he felt he owed it to the band. "They're doing fine," says Mike.
00:10:00 All songs written by Lennon and McCartney except when noted. The first track from Rubber Soul is "Drive My Car". Kicking it off strong with a classic. Mike read The Beatles wanted to stop making their love songs sound so bubblegum, so they came up with that. Track two is "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)". A John song, definitely, about a one night stand. "I want to hold your hand... for one night," jokes Kyle. The debut of the sitar too, before they went all sitar-crazy.
00:15:00 Track three is "You Won't See Me". A lot of tambourine on the album, though that may be because of the mix. None of the first three songs are singles, yet we all know them. Perhaps because singles from previous albums were still coming out, plus non-album singles. Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison sing lead on track four, "Nowhere Man". Mike says that you can hear the band burning out from the road and all the constant SCREAMING from the audience. They couldn't hear themselves, the technology stunk, the songs they were doing weren't translating well live. The Beatles wanted out and this album is the last one they played songs from live when they toured.
00:20:00 Track five is a George Harrison composition called "Think for Yourself". George is starting to come into his own as a songwriter, although Paul and John still only gave him one song per side. Mike went to a Beatles convention once and he was amazed that there were people of all ages, races, and genders. Pat says that's the beauty of the Beatles, people of all ages can enjoy them. You can't say the same about the Stones.
00:25:00 Speaking of Mick and the boys, Pat brings up the new Stones album that is all blues covers. He has no opinion on blues, so he can't comment on whether he likes the album or not. Mike says that people would argue that if you like rock, you should like the blues because that's where it came from. "You like cookies, but you're not gonna put a cup of flour in your mouth," counters Kyle. Brilliant. Track six is the song "The Word". It's still good, Mike thinks it seems more of a throwaway compared to the rest. Track seven is a single from Rubber Soul, "Michelle". Look at Mr. Smarty Pants speaking French over here. A Grammy Award winner too. Track eight begins side two and it features Ringo on lead vocals. The song is "What Goes On". Kyle is not a fan. "It's always dicey when Ringo sings one," says Mike.
00:30:00 Strange how "What Goes On," the most countrified of the songs, is not on the American release. The gang point out the muddled differences between the UK and US releases. Track nine is Lennon's "Girl". Lennon has the most lead vocals on this album. Track ten is "I'm Looking Through You". Pat can't get over the band stopping touring. "All that tail," he whines. Mike rattles off the different relationships that The Beatles were in during this time period.
00:35:00 Track eleven is another John song, "In My Life". Classic. Pat gets the urge to play the tambourine, an instrument he can actually learn (but will probably still collect dust). "Imagine trying to play 'In My Life' at Shea Stadium," ponders Mike. Track twelve is the song "Wait".
00:40:00 Ringo is a tambourine machine all over this album. Track thirteen was played on the "Sound Alike Songs" episode. It's another George song, "If I Needed Someone". Just for fun Pat plays the Cheap Trick song "When You Need Someone" first to show Mike. Mike points out that the song shows how much The Beatles were influenced by The Byrds. "If You Needed Someone" is one of the songs the band played live. Mike brings up a Budokan concert that was taped where you can actually hear the band because the Japanese audience was so polite. Except for Yoko, who was screaming "over a bowl of pudding," as Kyle puts it.
00:45:00 Track fourteen is the last song on the album, "Run for Your Life". Fourteen songs, just one track that the guys were not high on. 9/10 is the score. Kyle was but a mere twinkle in his father's eye when the album came out and he knew almost every song. Eight months after Rubber Soul, the band puts out Revolver. They played none of the songs on this album live during their final tour. And if you hear it, you know why. Track one is George's breakthrough "Taxman".
00:50:00 The Beatles were allowed a lot more studio time than they were before, which is why there is much more orchestration and guest musicians. They're also in 1966 London where EVERYTHING is happening. Why would the band go to Reno to play for some screaming strangers when they can just stay in London and make music? Track two is "Eleanor Rigby". One of the greatest songs ever and it was only a B-side. So innovative as well. Mike: "How many pop singers were making songs about a lonely woman and the priest who buries her?"
00:55:00 Track three is a John song, "I'm Only Sleeping". One of the longest songs on the album... at three minutes. Track four is another George song, "Love You To". Sitars up the wazoo. The gang still prefer this to "Within You Without You." They also chat about the puniness of the band's name. Track four is "Here, There and Everywhere". Paul wrote the song when he drove to John's house and waited for him to wake up. Just wrote that beautiful piece of art while waiting for John to get up from his snooze.
01:00:00 Track seven is, well, yes. Ringo's lead vocal song "Yellow Submarine". "Acid, folks, acid," warns Mike. THAT WAS THE A-SIDE TO ELEANOR RIGBY! AND IT WENT TO #2!!! *siiiiigh* Anyway, track eight is "She Said She Said". The song came from Lennon hearing Peter Fonda speak about taking acid and seeing some crazy shit. Pat is baffled about acid because he's a straight shooter and keeps his temple clean. Kyle and Mike teach Pat about the basics of LSD.
01:05:00 Pat gives side one a 6/7, Mike gives it a 7/7 because it's his favorite Beatles album. Pat and Mike chat about meditation and sleeping. Pat is tired all the time. "Why don't I sleep more?" He is both a morning person and night person. Age, baby, it's all age. Mike remembers being on the road and sleeping until noon. Pat remembers doing a stand up show, eating a whole pizza by himself, watching TV in the room, and zonking out for hours. Pat reveals he would bring an exercise bike with him on the road, which comes as a surprise to Mike. WE move on to side two and track eight "Good Day Sunshine".
01:10:00 Paul was influenced by The Lovin' Spoonful on that one. Track nine is "And Your Bird Can Sing". Love it. Another Paul song is up next, track ten "For No One". Two minutes of perfection. We didn't get to the French horn section, so Pat lovingly recreates it all by himself.
01:15:00 Track eleven is John's "Doctor Robert". Doctor Robert was indeed based on an actual doctor who showed up at your door if you needed a little pick-me-up, if you know what I mean. The boys talk about Elvis during this time period who was just making awful movies. "Worst management ever," says Mike. George gets a third track on the album, track twelve "I Want to Tell You". Then we move on to track thirteen "Got to Get You into My Life".
01:20:00 The song was released as a single in 1976, six years after the band split up. Earth, Wind & Fire had a big hit with their version of it as well. And Joe Pesci did a cover too... let's not bring that up. Track fourteen is the final track, "Tomorrow Never Knows". Now THIS is the acid trip. Mike says that the album sequencing is smart because when you take the acid tab at the start of the album, when it's kicked in thirty minutes later, you get "Tomorrow Never Knows." Mike also brings up Ray Davies' review of the album at the time when Revolver came out; he called it a "load of rubbish." He also described "Taxman" as a cross between "The Who and Batman."
01:25:00 We go around the horn. Pat likes individual songs better on Revolver, but as an album he likes Rubber Soul better. Kyle agrees. Mike thinks it's because the band was starting to drift with Revolver. When you get to The White Album, the band is just four guys off in their own worlds. Pat relistened to The White Album and enjoyed it more than he had previously. Revolver is Mike's favorite Beatles album. Abbey Road is still Pat's.
01:30:00 Plugs time. Mike's podcast Travel Tales is still rocking and rolling. Bacon Is Magic (yes, that is a real website) listed it as one of 17 Travel Podcasts to Inspire You in 2017. Good on ya, Snowman. We end the show with the album that followed Revolver, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". But wait... this is the Bill Cosby version off the album Bill Cosby Sings Hooray for the Salvation Army Band! OH NO!!!

EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!!! I have a podcast! Yes, I am now one of the millions of people who forces their voice upon the huddled masses. The podcast is Music of the Mat and it's about wrestling music. I co-host it with my good friend Chris. Check it out HERE.
Time Song Album Artist Who
00:10:00 Drive My Car Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:10:00 Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:15:00 You Won’t See Me Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:15:00 Nowhere Man Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:20:00 Think for Yourself Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:25:00 The Word Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:25:00 Michelle Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:25:00 What Goes On Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:30:00 Girl Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:30:00 I’m Looking Through You Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:35:00 In My Life Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:35:00 Wait Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:40:00 If I Needed Someone Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:40:00 Run for Your Life Rubber Soul The Beatles N/A
00:45:00 Taxman Revolver The Beatles N/A
00:50:00 Eleanor Rigby Revolver The Beatles N/A
00:55:00 I’m Only Sleeping Revolver The Beatles N/A
00:55:00 Love You To Revolver The Beatles N/A
00:55:00 Here, There and Everywhere Revolver The Beatles N/A
01:00:00 Yellow Submarine Revolver The Beatles N/A
01:00:00 She Said She Said Revolver The Beatles N/A
01:05:00 Good Day Sunshine Revolver The Beatles N/A
01:10:00 And Your Bird Can Sing Revolver The Beatles N/A
01:10:00 For No One Revolver The Beatles N/A
01:15:00 Doctor Robert Revolver The Beatles N/A
01:15:00 I Want to Tell You Revolver The Beatles N/A
01:15:00 Got to Get You into My Life Revolver The Beatles N/A
01:20:00 Tomorrow Never Knows Revolver The Beatles N/A
01:30:00 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Bill Cosby Sings Hooray for the Salvation Army Band! Bill Cosby N/A

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