Sunday, August 23, 2015

Max Martin: Top 40 Songs

image from

More than any other individual, Max Martin may be responsible for the sound of pop music in the 21st century. As a producer and songwriter, he made a name for himself in the late ‘90s as the man behind hits by Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and N Sync. He went on to helm songs by Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Pink, and Taylor Swift. He has co-written 21 #1 songs (noted below) on the Billboard Hot 100, putting him third behind Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26). He’s been behind 54 top-ten hits, putting him ahead of Madonna, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles. He has produced 19 #1 hits, putting him second only to George Martin (23).

So, in celebration of Martin’s accomplisments, here are his top songs of all time according to Dave’s Music Database:

  1. Britney Spears…Baby One More Time (1998) #1
  2. Katy Perry…Roar (2013) #1
  3. Katy Perry with Juicy J…Dark Horse (2013) #1
  4. Taylor Swift…Shake It Off (2014) #1
  5. Katy Perry…I Kissed a Girl (2008) #1
  6. Taylor Swift…Blank Space (2014) #1
  7. Katy Perry with Snoop Dogg…California Gurls (2010) #1
  8. Taylor Swift…We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (2012) #1
  9. Kelly Clarkson…Since U Been Gone (2004)
  10. Katy Perry…Hot N Cold (2008)

  11. Maroon 5…One More Night (2012) #1
  12. Backstreet Boys…I Want It That Way (1999)
  13. Taio Cruz…Dymamite (2010)
  14. Katy Perry with Kanye West…E.T. (2011) #1
  15. Pink…So What (2008) #1
  16. Taylor Swift…I Knew You Were Trouble (2012)
  17. Katy Perry….Teenage Dream (2010) #1
  18. Ariana Grande with Izzy Azalea…Problem (2014)
  19. Britney Spears…Oops! I Did It Again (2000)
  20. Ellie Goulding…Love Me Like You Do (2015)

  21. Usher with Pitbull…DJ Got Us Falling in Love (2010)
  22. Katy Perry…Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.) (2010) #1
  23. Katy Perry…Wide Awake (2012)
  24. Pink…Raise Your Glass (2010) #1
  25. Taylor Swift…Bad Blood (2015) #1
  26. Kelly Clarkson…My Life Would Suck Without You (2009) #1
  27. Katy Perry…The One That Got Away (2011)
  28. Jessie J with Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj…Bang Bang (2014)
  29. Jessie J…Domino (2011)
  30. Pink…Fuckin’ Perfect (2010)

  31. Taylor Swift…22 (2013)
  32. Katy Perry…Part of Me (2012) #1
  33. Pink…Who Knew (2006)
  34. Kelly Clarkson…Behind These Hazel Eyes (2005)
  35. Britney Spears with Nicki Minaj & Ke$ha…Till the World Ends (2011)
  36. Taylor Swift…Style (2015)
  37. The Weeknd…Can’t Feel My Face (2015) #1
  38. Avril Lavigne…What the Hell (2011)
  39. Pink…U + Ur Hand (2006)
  40. Backstreet Boys…Quit Playing Games with My Heart (1996)

Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Weeknd hit #1 with “Can’t Feel My Face”

Last updated 4/23/2020.

Can’t Feel My Face

The Weeknd

Writer(s): Ali Payami, Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Abel Tesfaye, Peter Svensson (see lyrics here)

Released: June 8, 2015

First Charted: June 14, 2015

Peak: 13 US, 14 RR, 13 AC, 2 A40, 111 RB, 3 UK, 11 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 0.6 UK, 9.09 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1134.3 video, 1012.0 streaming


About the Song:

There seems to be some controversy over what this song is actually about. The line “I can’t feel my face” is taken from the 2001 movie Blow; Bobcat Goldthwait’s character utters it after taking cocaine. SF This led to speculation that the song is about cocaine. The idea isn’t without merit, considering Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd, is “clearly out of sorts over something that he knows isn’t good for him, but he can’t resist.” SF Musically, the unpredictable nature of the song simulates the erratic feeling cocaine induces. SF

The Weeknd himself seemed to confirm this when he marveled about winning an award at a kids show for a song about “a face-numbing off a bag of blow.” WK However, The Weeknd could just as easily be singing about “a passionate affair with a woman that he knows is no good for him, but is enjoying too much to stop.” SF He sings “she’ll always get the best of me, the worst is yet to come.” SF Rolling Stone magazine suggested that he is “cleverly disguising his obsession with drugs beneath a metaphor about a dangerously hot fling.” SF

This was the first #1 song for The Weeknd and the twenty-first with Swedish songwriter/producer Max Martin in the credits. However, his previous efforts had all been by groups or solo female artists. This was his first by a male solo artist. SF The song also reached #1 in Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa and went top 10 in Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom. WK

Billboard magazine critics voted this the best song of 2015, saing “There are enough hooks in this one single for a dozen chart-toppers.” SF Rolling Stone also ranked it the song of the year, saying The Weeknd’s “showstopping vocal performance is what makes it an instant classic.” SF Spin magazine’s Brennan Carley called the song “a thoroughly definitive, all-in jam.” WK Pitchfork’s Renato Pagnani acknowledged the Michael Jackson-esque nature of the song, saying it “could have come from an alternate-dimension Thriller produced by New Age composer Vangelis instead of Quincy Jones.” WK

The song was nominated for Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Songs Which Hit #1 More Than Once

In the history of the Billboard charts, 81 songs have reached number one in the hands of more than one artist. It was a common practice in the pre-rock era for multiple artists to record a song and for those versions to chart simultaneously. In the rock era, the occasional remake of a former #1 would find its way to the top. The most recent example is Christina Aguilera and company’s 2001 remake of LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade.”

Also worthy of note: a handful of songs have hit #1 more than twice. “In the Good Old Summertime,” “The Glow-Worm,” and “To Each His Own” each topped the chart with three versions. Four different acts took “Peg O’ My Heart,” “Over There,” and “Till We Meet Again” to the top.

What follows is a ranking of the 81 songs to top the chart by more than one act. The list is ordered by total weeks spent at #1. After a song title, each chart-topping version is listed with the act, year it first charted, and weeks each version topped the chart.

25 weeks:

  1. Peg O’ My Heart (Charles Harrison, 1913, 7 wks; The Harmonicats, 1947, 8 wks; Buddy Clark, 1947, 6 wks; The Three Suns, 1947, 4 wks)
    22 weeks:

  2. The Third Man Theme (Anton Karas, 1950, 11 wks; Guy Lombardo, 1950, 11 wks)
    21 weeks:

  3. The Gypsy (The Ink Spots, 1946, 13 wks; Dinah Shore, 1946, 8 wks)
  4. Oh What It Seemed to Be (Frankie Carle & Marjorie Hughes, 1946, 11 wks; Frank Sinatra, 1946, 8 wks)
    17 weeks:

  5. Over There (American Quarter, 1917, 9 wks; Nora Bayes, 1917, 3 wks; Peerless Quartet, 1917, 2 wks; Enrico Caruso, 1918, 3 wks)
  6. In the Good Old Summertime (J.W. Myers, 1902, 7 wks; Haydn Quartet, 1903, 6 wks; Sousa’s Band, 1903, 4 wks)
    15 weeks:

  7. It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary (American Quartet, 1914, 7 wks; John McCormack, 1915, 8 wks)
    14 weeks:

  8. Cruising Down the River on a Sunday Afternoon (Blue Barron & His Orchestra, 1949, 7 wks; Rus Morgan & the Skylarks, 1949, 7 wks)
  9. My Blue Heaven (Gene Austin, 1927, 13 wks; Paul Whiteman, 1927, 1 wk)
  10. On the Banks of the Wabash (George J. Gaskin, 1897, 10 wks; Steve Porter, 1898, 4 wks)
  11. Shine on, Harvest Moon (Harry MacDonough & Elise Stevenson, 1909, 9 wks; Ada Jones & Billy Murray, 1909, 5 wks)
    13 weeks:

  12. Till We Meet Again (Henry Burr & Albert Campbell, 1919, 9 wks; Nicholas Orlando’s Orcestra with Harry MacDonough, 1919; 2 wks; Charles Hart with Lewis James, 1919, 1 wk; Lewis James & Charles Hart, 1919, 1 wk)
  13. The Glow-Worm (Victor Orchestra, 1908, 5 wks; Lucy Isabelle Marsh, 1908, 5 wks; The Mills Brothers, 1952, 3 wks)
  14. The Sidewalks of New York (Dan Quinn, 1895, 9 wks; J.W. Myers, 1895, 4 wks)
  15. Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart) (Haydn Quartet, 1904, 10 wks; Columbia Male Quartet, 1904, 3 wks)
  16. When You Were Sweet Sixteen (George J. Gaskin, 1900, 8 wks; Jere Mahoney, 1900, 5 wks)
    12 weeks:

  17. Alexander’s Ragtime Band (Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan, 1911, 10 wks; Bing Crosby & Connee Boswell, 1938, 2 wks)
  18. The Last Round-Up (George Olsen, 1933, 9 wks; Guy Lombardo & Carmen Lombardo, 1933, 3 wks)
    11 weeks:

  19. To Each His Own (Eddy Howard, 1946, 8 wks; Freddy Martin & Stuart Wade, 1946, 2 wks; The Ink Spots, 1946, 1 wk)
  20. A Bird in a Gilded Cage (Steve Porter, 1900, 6 wks; Jere Mahoney, 1900, 5 wks)
  21. Ramona (Gene Austin, 1928, 8 wks; Paul Whiteman, 1928, 3 wks)
  22. The Stars and Stripes Forever (John Philip Sousa, 1897, 8 wks; Sousa’s Band, 1901, 3 wks)
  23. Stormy Weather (Keeps Raining All the Time) (Leo Reisman, 1933, 8 wks; Ethel Waters, 1933, 3 wks)
    10 weeks:

  24. Beautiful Ohio (Henry Burr, 1919, 9 wks; Waldorf-Astoria Dance Orchestra, 1919, 1 wk)
  25. Bedelia (Haydn Quartet, 1904, 7 wks; Billy Muray, 1904, 3 wks)
  26. Deep Purple (Larry Clinton & Bea Wain, 1939, 9 wks; Nino Tempo & April Stevens, 1963, 1 wk)
  27. Hello Ma Baby (Len Spencer, 1899, 6 wks; Arthur Collins, 1899, 4 wks)
  28. A Hot Time in the Old Town (Dan Quinn, 1896, 7 wks; Len Spencer, 1897, 3 wks)
  29. Love Me and the World Is Mine (Henry Burr, 1906, 7 wks; Albert Campbell, 1906, 3 wks)
  30. Tell Me Pretty Maiden (Harry MacDonough & Grace Spencer, 1901, 7 wks; Byron Harlan with Frank Stanley, Joe Belmont, & Florodora Girls, 1901, 3 wks)
  31. There! I’ve Said It Again (Vaughn Monroe, 1945, 6 wks; Bobby Vinton, 1963, 4 wks)
  32. Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (Byron Harlan, 1906, 9 wks; Harry Tally, 1906, 1 wk)
    9 weeks:

  33. Come Down Ma Evening Star (Mina Hickman, 1903, 5 wks; Henry Burr, 1903, 4 wks)
  34. Goodnight Sweetheart (Wayne King, 1931, 7 wks; Guy Lombardo & Carmen Lombardo, 1931, 2 wks)
  35. My Wild Irish Rose (Albert Campbell, 1899, 6 wks; George J. Gaskin, 1899, 3 wks)
  36. Scatter-Brain (Frankie Masters, 1939, 8 wks; Freddy Martin & Glenn Hughes, 1939, 1 wk)
  37. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Paul Whieman, 1933, 6 wks; The Platters, 1959, 3 wks)
  38. The Washington Post March (U.S. Marin Band, 1890, 6 wks; Sousa’s Band, 1895, 3 wks)
    8 weeks:

  39. By the Beautiful Sea (Heidelberg Quintet, 1914, 6 wks; Ada Jones & Billy Watkins, 1914, 2 wks)
  40. Down by the Old Mill Stream (Harry MacDonough, 1911, 7 wks; Arthur Clough & the Brunswick Quartet, 1911, 1 wk)
  41. Mr. Gallagher & Mr. Shean (Ed Gallagher & Al Shean, 1922, 6 wks; Ernest Hare & Billy Jones, 1922, 2 wks)
  42. The Music Goes ‘Round and ‘Round (Tommy Dorsey, 1935, 5 wks; Riley-Farley Orchestra, 1935, 3 wks)
    7 weeks:

  43. Blue Bell (Byron Harlan & Frank Stanley, 1904, 4 wks; Haydn Quartet & Harry MacDonough, 1904, 3 wks)
  44. I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier (Peerless Quartet, 1915, 4 wks; Morton Harvey, 1915, 3 wks)
  45. I’ll Be There (The Jackson 5, 1970, 5 wks; Mariah Carey, 1992, 2 wks)
  46. The Mansion of Aching Hearts (Harry MacDonough, 1902, 4 wks; Byron Harlan, 1902, 3 wks)
  47. Mother Machree (John McCormack, 1911, 5 wks; Will Oakland, 1911, 2 wks)
  48. This Year’s Kisses (Hal Kemp with Skinnay Ennis, 1937, 4 wks; Benny Goodman, 1937, 3 wks)
  49. Yes! We Have No Bananas (Billy Jones, 1923, 5 wks; Ben Selvin with Irving Kaufman, 1923, 2 wks)
  50. Young Love (Tab Hunter, 1956, 6 wks; Sonny James, 1956, 1 wk)
    6 weeks:

  51. Blue Moon (Glen Gray with Kenny Sargent, 1935, 3 wks; The Marcels, 1961, 3 wks)
  52. I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles (Ben Selvin, 1919, 4 wks; Henry Burr & Albert Campbell, 1919, 2 wks)
  53. I’ve Got a Pocketful of Dreams (Bing Crosby, 1938, 4 wks; Russ Morgan, 1938, 2 wks)
  54. I’ve Got Rings on My Fingers (Ada Jones, 1909, 4 wks; Blanche Ring, 1909, 2 wks)
  55. Lady Marmalade (LaBelle, 1974, 1 wk; Christina Aguilera with Lil’ Kim, Mya, & Pink, 2001, 5 wks)
  56. The Love Nest (John Steel, 1920, 4 wks; Art Hickman, 1920, 2 wks)
  57. Red Sails in the Sunset (Guy Lombardo & Carmen Lombardo, 1935, 4 wks; Bing Crosby, 1935, 2 wks)
  58. Tiger Rag (The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, 1918, 2 wks; The Mills Brothers, 1931, 4 wks)
    5 weeks:

  59. All Alone (Paul Whiteman, 1925, 3 wks; John McCormack, 1925, 2 wks)
  60. All of Me (Paul Whiteman, 1932, 3 wks; Louis Armstrong, 1932, 2 wks)
  61. Always (George Olsen, 1926, 3 wks; Vincent Lopez, 1926, 2 wks)
  62. Butterfly (Andy Williams, 1957, 3 wks; Charlie Gracie, 1957, 2 wks)
  63. Come Josephine in My Flying Machine (Ada Jones with Billy Murray & the American Quartet, 1911, 3 wks; Blanche Ring, 1911, 2 wks)
  64. Go Away Little Girl (Steve Lawrence, 1962, 2 wks; Donny Osmond, 1971, 3 wks)
  65. Happy Days Are Here Again (Benny Meroff with Dusty Rhodes, 1930, 3 wks; Ben Selvin, 1930, 2 wks)
  66. It’s Been a Long, Long Time (Harry James with Kitty Kallen, 1945, 3 wks; Bing Crosby with the Les Brown Trio, 1945, 2 wks)
  67. Lean on Me (Bill Withers, 1972, 3 wks; Club Nouveau, 1987, 2 wks)
  68. The Star-Spangled Banner (Prince’s Orchestra, 1916, 2 wks; John McCormack, 1917, 3 wks)
  69. When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge, 1966, 2 wks; Michael Bolton, 1991, 3 wks)
  70. When It’s Springtime in the Rockies (Ben Selvin, 1930, 3 wks; Hilo Hawaiian Orchestra, 1930, 2 wks)
    4 weeks:

  71. Change Partners (Fred Astair, 1938, 2 wks; Jimmy Dorsey, 1938, 2 wks)
  72. Managua, Nicaraga (Freddy Martin, 1947, 3 wks; Guy Lomardo, 1947, 1 wk)
  73. The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down (Russ Morgan, 1937, 2 wks; Shep Fields, 1937, 2 wks)
  74. Mr. Five by Five (Freddie Slack, 1942, 2 wks; Harry James, 1942, 2 wks)
  75. The Object of My Affection (Jimmy Grier, 1934, 2 wks: Boswell Sisters, 1935, 2 wks)
    3 weeks:

  76. The Loco-Motion (Grand Funk Railroad, 1974, 2 wks; Little Eva, 1962, 1 wk)
  77. Mam’selle (Art Lund, 1947, 2 wks; Frank Sinatra, 1947, 1 wk)
  78. You Keep Me Hangin’ On (The Supremes, 1966, 2 wks; Kim Wilde, 1986, 1 wk)
    2 weeks:

  79. Open the Door, Richard (Count Basie, 1947, 1 wk; The Three Flames, 1947, 1 wk)
  80. Please Mr. Postman (The Marvelettes, 1961, 1 wk; Carpenters, 1974, 1 wk)
  81. Venus (Shocking Blue, 1969, 1 wk; Bananarama, 1986, 1 wk)

Monday, August 10, 2015

“Cheek to Cheek” hit #1 for first of 11 weeks 80 years ago (8/10/1935)

First posted 7/30/2014; updated 4/12/2020.

Cheek to Cheek

Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman’s Orchestra

Writer(s): Irving Berlin (see lyrics here)

First Charted: August 3, 1935

Peak: 111 US, 15 HP, 11 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 4.81 video, -- streaming


About the Song:

Many of the era’s top songwriters worked with Astaire, smitten by “his debonair touch with a song” TM and dance numbers, usually with Ginger Rogers, which rank “among the most powerful expressions of courtship, love and loss in screen history.” TM Over the years, composer Irving Berlin crafted thirteen songs which landed in Astaire movies – all of which peaked at #15 or higher. “Cheek to Cheek,” which Berlin wrote in a day, was one of three to hit #1. TM It wasn’t just any #1, though; it “became one of Berlin’s greatest commercial successes,” TY spending more weeks atop the pop charts than any other song from 1935. .WHC

Berlin used Astaire’s “frail-but-convincing tenor” TM to his advantage writing lines like “And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak” to accompany a melody which jumped up to a note Astaire could barely sing. TM

The dance sequence for the song became the duo’s “most famous romantic duet,” but it was not without problems. SB When Astaire sang and danced to it in the 1935 film Top Hat, partner Ginger Rogers wore a gown covered with ostrich feathers which, to Astaire’s horror, shed with every dance movement.” SB He later said, “It was like a chicken attacked by a coyote, I never saw so many feathers in my life.” SB

Despite Astaire’s reaction, Rogers was determined to wear the dress. Seamstresses were able to largely resolve the problem in time for another shoot the next day, but some hard feelings lingered. Astaire and Hermes Pan, the film’s choreographer, “serenaded Rogers with a parody of the song: ‘Feathers – I hate feathers/ And I hate them so that I can hardly speak/ And I never find the happiness I seek/ With those chicken feathers dancing/ Cheek to Cheek.’” SB Astaire later gave Rogers a small gold feather for her charm bracelet as well as a note saying, “Dear Feathers, I love ya! Fred.” SB

“Cheek to Cheek” garnered an Academy Award nomination for best song. Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett, and Doris Day recorded the song as well. MM

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8, 1965: The Beatles hit #1 in the UK with Help!

Originally posted March 3, 2010. Last updated September 2, 2018.

Help! (soundtrack)

The Beatles


  • Aug. 6, 1965 UK
  • Aug. 13, 1965 US

Sales (in millions):
US: 3.0
UK: 0.9
IFPI: --
World (estimated): 10.3

US: 1 9
UK: 19
Canada: --
Australia: 111

Quotable: “Reflects the toll [of] the most popular band…but…The Beatles turn their pain into some of their finest work.” – Lori Latimer, Ink Blot Magazine

Genre: pop/rock

Album Tracks/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.

UK Album:

  1. Help! [2:21] (7/19/65) #1 UK, #1 US
  2. The Night Before [2:36]
  3. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away [2:11]
  4. I Need You (Harrison) [ 2:31]
  5. Another Girl [2:08]
  6. You're Gonna Lose That Girl [2:20]
  7. Ticket to Ride [3:12] (4/9/65) #1 UK, #1 US
  8. Act Naturally (Morrison/Russell) [2:33] (9/13/65) #47 US
  9. It's Only Love [1:58]
  10. You Like Me Too Much (Harrison) [2:38]
  11. Tell Me What You See (Harrison/Lennon/McCartney) [2:39]
  12. I've Just Seen a Face [2:07]
  13. Yesterday [2:07] (9/13/65) #1 US, #8 UK
  14. Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Williams) [2:54]
All songs written by Lennon/McCartney unless otherwise noted.

US soundtrack:

  1. Help!
  2. The Night Before
  3. From Me to You Fantasy (instrumental) *
  4. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
  5. I Need You
  6. In the Tyrol (instrumental) *
  7. Another Girl
  8. Another Hard Day’s Night (instrumental) *
  9. Ticket to Ride
  10. The Bitter End *
  11. You’re Gonna Lose That Girl
  12. The Chase (instrumental) *
* Songs not featured on UK album.

Check out the DMDB Beatles’ singles page for a complete singles discography.


“Like almost everything that the Beatles did from this record on, [this album is] not merely good, but groundbreaking.” JA “The harmonies [are] stellar [and] the individual vocal performances are…solid.” MU However, despite “those fantastic melodies and ringing guitars that keep up the light-hearted pop facade, [the album also] reflects the toll that being the most popular band in the world was taking on The Beatles. But in the fashion of all the great ones, The Beatles turn their pain into some of their finest work.” LL

The album kicks off with the instantly classic title track, “where the brash arrangement disguises Lennon's desperation” STE in “one of his most earnest and painful pleas for emotional salvation.” LL “It’s Lennon’s desperate state of mind that drives this album.” LL It’s also strange that ”John Lennon's confessional song became the title for a silly James Bond spoof…The funny thing is, it works both ways--as a young man's personal statement about learning to open up to others, and as the frantic theme for an exotic espionage chase comedy starring those lovable mop-tops.” JE

”Driven by an indelible 12-string guitar, Ticket to Ride is another masterpiece” STE from Lennon; indeed, it is “the best pop song The Beatles had written at this stage.” AD “Instrumentally, [the] off-beat rhythm was Ringo's masterpiece.” CDU “The dragging beat…adds perfectly to the lyrics’ tortured confusion.” LL

”The jaunty The Night Before and Another Girl,” STE the latter of which features “a great guitar solo by Paul,” DBW are “two very fine tunes that simply update his melodic signature.” STE They might both be “unremarkable without…George’s killer guitar work.” LL

”George is writing again” STE and “starting to contribute quality compositions [like] I Need You.” DBW “It's a very simple song, but…sounds nice.” AD George’s other song, “You Like Me Too Much, re-introduces piano into a Beatles album and works as a very nice unassumingly enjoyable track.” AD Even if George’s “two contributions don't touch Lennon and McCartney's originals, they hold their own against much of their British pop peers.” STE

“Like the previous album's ‘Im a Loser,’ You've Got to Hide Your Love Away was Lennon's nod to the influence of Bob Dylan.” CDU The simultaneously ”plaintive” STE and “charmingly ramshackle” AD song was “supposedly written about Beatle manager Brian Epstein’s homosexuality. It is an acoustic number so tender, it hurts just to think about it.” LL

“John is absolutely vicious in his delivery of You're Going to Lose That Girl,” MU “the kind of song McCartney effortlessly tosses off.” STE It demonstrates that “John's lyrics are advancing rapidly.” JA “if not quite a classic [it] is at least hugely charming and enjoyable, with some fine Beatles harmonies and playful vocals all round.” AD “You’re Going to Lose That Girl”

”The Bakersfield bounce” STE of ”the superfluous country number Act NaturallyJA “adds new flavor [and is] an ideal showcase for Ringo's amiable vocals.” STE

Among the six songs Lennon contributed are ”a pair of minor numbers,” STE but even these have moments. “It's Only Love has some haunting guitar sounds and a beautiful John vocal” AD while “even a…filler tune like Tell Me What You See is totally redeemed by the incredible harmony on the refrain line.” MU

“McCartney's gift for melody was obvious in I've Just Seen a Face,” CDU “a frighteningly modern-sounding semi-acoustic number,” JA which is “an irresistible folk-rock gem.” STE

Paul’s “widely imitated and covered” JA Yesterday is “a simple, beautiful ballad whose arrangement” STE is ”a startling, wildly successful experiment dispensing with the normal four-piece rock band backing track in favor of a string quartet.” JA The composition “was the start of a stellar series of McCartney ballads with strings (‘Eleanor Rigby,’ ‘She's Leaving Home’)” CDU and also “suggested much more sophisticated and adventurous musical territory, which the group immediately began exploring with Rubber Soul.” STE

”The rocking…Dizzy Miss Lizzie,” JA “seemingly included for the hell of it,” AD is “one of their best covers.” DBW It is a full-fledged “vocal scorcher” AD that “gives John an opportunity to flex his rock & roll muscle.” STE It “sounds like John’s raucous answer to Paul's ‘Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey’ vocal on Beatles for Sale.” JE In closing out the album, this song also closed the book on another of the group’s chapters; “Help! was the last Beatles album to feature a cover version.” CDU

“Of course, it's essential – as are…all the Beatles' albums.” JE “Every Beatles album could be a greatest hits record. They all have songs that you absolutely need. Help! is no exception.” LL

Review Source(s):


Related DMDB Link(s):