The Beatles: Single By Single

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Bailes, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    Eleanor Rigby

    Great song and arrangement but it only made number 11 on Billboard. I think it should have been kept as an excellent album track.

    Imho, Got To Get You Into My Life would have been a surefire hit in the States.

    The coincidence of the name on the gravestone is incredible. The stone is in the graveyard of the church which organised the fete when John and Paul famously met. Having visited the cemetery, I can say that the gravestone is very easy to find. It's on a main alleyway near the church.Paul must at the very least have walked passed it several times.

    Paul's explanation is feasible, but I can't help thinking that maybe it was a cover-up to avoid having problems with the family.

  2. Tim 2


    Alberta Canada
  3. stushea

    stushea Well-Known Member

    Didn't Donovan say that Paul's original words for Eleanor Rigby were about "Ola Natunjee"? I always wondered if that was based on the amazing African drummer Babatunde Olatunji, who was sort of in vogue at the time...
  4. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Eleanor Rigby

    I was 12 when this came out and admit it kind of spooked me. The violins reminded me of Psycho style screeching and the sadness in the story didn't help. Still, an amazing piece and another signal that simply holding your hand was no longer on the agenda. I agree with another poster that Got to Get You Into My Life sounded like a killer single at least for American tastes. The flip was the bigger hit on Billboard but I'm guessing the low chart placement was fueled by the "We're bigger than Jesus" controversy which occurred just a matter of days after the single's release. The subsequent outcry and mass record burnings were frightening to watch on the news. This would also taint the Revolver album although history would eventually right that wrong.
    notesfrom likes this.
  5. kaztor

    kaztor Music is the Best

    Nowhere Man:
    It’s a classic, one of my favourite Lennon songs.
    Very, very forward looking and the folky backing really drives it. Great harmonies as well. A perfect 10 for me. Can’t believe it wasn’t a UK single!

    What Goes On:
    It gets wishy washy reviews, it being a Ringo tune and such, but I never had a problem with his Beatles contributions and also not with this one. It’s a logical successor to Act Naturally and this one in particular sounds very late-60’s.
  6. kaztor

    kaztor Music is the Best

    Paperback Writer:
    People love to pinpoint where exactly ‘Beatles Phase Two’ starts and I guess this is the one kicking off things on that front. I mean... no, I think -when you put em all next to each other- this is a very logical next step, just as much as where songs like She Loves You, A Hard Days’ Night, I Feel Fine, Help! or Day Tripper ‘kicked it up a notch’ next to their album companion pieces (in this case Revolver).
    I love this. Very reminiscent of Kinks with that unbeatable drive. Great tune and also thanks to Ringo for making me laugh with that video.
    Did he feel too proud to just pick up two twigs? :D

    The first potential ‘Beatles go psych’ song that could have been a Stones song. This got a lovely, airy atmosphere, one you get lost in. It also perfectly blends with today’s weather, if that counts for anything. This one again shows that they were simply ‘leading the pack’. Classic stuff here! :thumbsup:
  7. kaztor

    kaztor Music is the Best

    Eleanor Rigby:
    Love the orchestral work that would reign the airwaves for some time during the late 60’s/(early) 70’s (stand up, The Move and ELO). This is where Paul starts to master ‘layering’, toying around with different ideas and song snippets. An impressive piece of work!
    Brian Kelly likes this.
  8. Bruce M.

    Bruce M. Forum Resident

    Of course, over a decade later, Got To Get You Into My Life did crack the top 10 as the lead single from the "Rock 'n' Roll Music" compilation. As for Eleanor Rigby, it's a great song for all the reasons everyone knows and I don't need to repeat, and yes, kind of a surprising choice for single in a year the Billboard Hot 100 was dominated by songs like California Dreamin', Last Train to Clarksville, and These Boots Are Made for Walkin'. This is another song we kind of take for granted now, but was utterly revolutionary in its day: A song by a major rock band with no rock instruments at all -- no guitar, no bass, no piano, no drums -- just classical strings. We've almost forgotten how routinely the Beatles just blew up the commercial conventions and the boundaries between different musical forms and categories.
  9. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    Eleanor Rigby is a great song.
    Music and lyrics take the pop song to a new level.
    One of the 10 best Beatles songs.
    BZync likes this.
  10. John54

    John54 Senior Member

    I admit to not appreciating Eleanor Rigby when it came out, you know, string quartet and all that, and me being 11 years old. But eventually I came around and it's a top 20 Beatles song for me, and probably top 10 on some days.

    The contrast in the third verse is striking: the smooth strings behind the first line lull you into a false sense of security, then the choppy, staccato strings in the second line bring a sudden, incredible intensity to the song, and you're jarred awake. Pity it wraps up so quickly afterwards ...
  11. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    It was only a B side though wasn't it with Yellow Submarine being the A?
  12. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Double A sides. Debuted on the Hot 100 one week apart late in the summer of '66.
  13. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    If the two sides were combined as they did later with Come Together/Something it would have been a certain US number one
  14. J Alesait

    J Alesait Forum Resident

    Buenos Aires
    They released Child Of The Moon a couple of years later, which sounds quite a lot like Rain...
  15. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    NC USA
    'Yellow Submarine'/'Eleanor Rigby':

    The two songs couldn't be more different. One is a gothic novella, the other is a ditty that Donovan forgot to write (or did help with, anyway).

    ‘Eleanor Rigby’ entered the Billboard singles chart August 27, 1966 at #65, when ‘Yellow Submarine’ was #8 (it had jumped to #8 from its debut on the chart just the previous week at #52).

    The August 27 Top 10 looked like this:

    1 SUMMER IN THE CITY –•– The Lovin’ Spoonful (Kama Sutra)
    2 SUNNY –•– Bobby Hebb (Philips)
    3 SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER –•– The Happenings (B.T. Puppy)
    4 LIL’ RED RIDING HOOD –•– Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (MGM)
    5 SUNSHINE SUPERMAN –•– Donovan (Epic)
    6 WILD THING –•– The Troggs (Atco/Fontana)
    7 YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE –•– The Supremes (Motown)
    8 YELLOW SUBMARINE –•– The Beatles (Capitol)
    9 I COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOUR LOVE –•– Petula Clark (Warner Brothers)-
    10 SUMMERTIME –•– Billy Stewart (Chess)

    ‘Yellow Submarine’ would peak at #2 the week ending Sept. 17, kept from the top spot by ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’. ‘Eleanor Rigby’ would peak for the week ending Oct. 1, at #11 (for two weeks).

    Here’s the Billboard singles chart for the week ending Oct. 1, 1966.

    Manapua likes this.
  16. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    At least it was kept from the number one spot by a decent song unlike Penny Lane in the UK
  17. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur!

    Lotus Land
    You forgot "Nowhere Man."
  18. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter

    Poughkeepsie, NY
    I have to believe that the name Eleanor Rigby was at least trapped in Paul's subconscious from the fete 8 years earlier or other pre-fame visits to that cemetery. It's just too random a name to be coincidence and if he was indeed trying to duck a lawsuit from her survivors, then exactly WHEN did he go back to said graveyard to see the headstone in 65/66 and say "Yep! That's the ONE!" It's really a bizarre story when you think about it
    zipp and J Alesait like this.
  19. idleracer

    idleracer Forum Resident

    :D A couple of years later it did become a Stones song. Except the title was changed to "Child Of The Moon."
    stushea and J Alesait like this.
  20. Bailes

    Bailes Billy Shears Thread Starter

    Yellow Submarine

    A-side: Eleanor Rigby (Double A-side)
    Single Released: 5 August 1966

    In a joint interview in March 1967, McCartney and Lennon recalled that the song's melody was created by combining two different songs they had been working on separately. Lennon noted that McCartney brought in the chorus ("the submarine... the chorus bit") which Lennon suggested combining with a melody for the verses that he'd already written.[5] McCartney also noted: "It's a happy place, that's all. You know, it was just ... We were trying to write a children's song. That was the basic idea. And there's nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of any children's song."[6][7]

    In 1980, Lennon talked further about the song: "'Yellow Submarine' is Paul's baby. Donovan helped with the lyrics. I helped with the lyrics too. We virtually made the track come alive in the studio, but based on Paul's inspiration. Paul's idea. Paul's title ... written for Ringo."[6] Donovan added the words, "Sky of blue and sea of green".[8][9]

    In 1994, McCartney discussed his inspiration for the song's concept:[10] "I was laying in bed in the Ashers' garret ... I was thinking of it as a song for Ringo, which it eventually turned out to be, so I wrote it as not too rangey in the vocal, then started making a story, sort of an ancient mariner, telling the young kids where he'd lived. It was pretty much my song as I recall ... I think John helped out. The lyrics got more and more obscure as it goes on, but the chorus, melody and verses are mine."[6] The song began as being about different coloured submarines, but evolved to include only a yellow one.[11]

    The late comedian Bill Hicks incorrectly claimed that Ringo Starr wrote this song.

    References: Wikipedia
    Diego Lucas likes this.
  21. AFOS

    AFOS Forum Resident

    Interesting that in a joint interview less than a year after it was recorded both agreed it was Paul's chorus and John's verses but then both later recollections fourteen and twenty eight years later say something different. I'm inclined to go with the 1967 interview.

    Anyway seems many dislike this one but it's a favourite of mine. Love the child like whimsy. Probably my favourite Ringo song with the exception of Good Night
  22. Manapua

    Manapua Forum Resident

    Yellow Submarine

    I don't get the vitriol towards this one either. I think it's pretty genius and tailor-made to be a fan favorite for kids of all ages. A simple singalong and absolute earworm of a tune that probably played a big part in helping them calm the choppy waters they were in following the interview. It said to the world, "Relax, no need to go overboard here. Hop in our vessel and come along for a most colorful journey. And a journey it was.
  23. Skywheel

    Skywheel Forum Resident

    southern USA
    I was at my daughter's Friday visiting her and my 3 year old grandchild, Jane.
    The little one told me she had a surprise for me.
    She went over to her new little Karaoke machine, as my daughter programmed the music for my surprise.
    And little Jane started, um, yelling, "mum mum em oom er ah … we all live in a yellow submarine"
    Okay, they were playing the song for me, the Beatlenut ice cream man,
    but what tickled me was Jane couldn't take her eyes off the computer monitor.
    It was playing the video for the tune from the animated movie.

    If anybody doesn't like a rock band writing an occasional children's song well poop on 'em.

    It reminded me of her mother at the about the same age singing along to a song with head phones on.
    She was hilarious singing along to a song I couldn't hear.
    Singing the same "mum mum em oom er ah' interspersed with the occasional "Love potion #9".
    I decided I needed to send that in to Americas Funniest Home Video,
    but by the time I got around to it (no phone vids 30 years ago) she had learned it well enough the humor was gone.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
  24. zipp

    zipp Forum Resident

    Yellow Submarine

    The obviously more commercial side of the single and, for me, the reason it went to number one in the UK.

    A great song in its own right. Appeals to children from 1 to 99 with eclectic instrumentation and playful lyrics.

    Now, as far as double A-side status is concerned, this only worked for the Beatles in the UK where both sides were deemed to be number one (or number two etc.) at the same time. In the US each side of a Beatles single charted separately so double A-sides effectively didn't exist.

    As for Something/Come Together, this single was not a double A-side in either country. In the UK only Something charted. You can check this from charts of the time and it's been confirmed as recently as the White Album anniversary set that Come Together was a B-side.

    In the US both sides charted, as was pretty normal for a Beatle single, but Billboard took the unusual decison to combine both songs' record sales to put them at the top of the chart together. This was a sensible decision because the two songs were also dominating airplay. But it doesn't mean it was a double A-side single.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
    AFOS likes this.
  25. pablo fanques

    pablo fanques Somebody's Bad Handwroter

    Poughkeepsie, NY
    My daughter was probably 10 months old or so when I introduced her to The Yellow Submarine film and it was one of the first songs she started singing along to. It doesn't hurt that I have an entire bookcase stocked with memorabilia from the 1999 rerelease and she's been taking baths with one of the submarines since that age as well. It's been a joy to watch her advance from only being ably to say "...rine" at first to nailing most of the song now. The cutest thing is that any of the recognizable songs from the movie inspires her to yell out "Yellow Submarine!" wherever we may be. I'm planning to take her to see Ringo this summer and can only imagine her excitement at seeing him perform it live.

Share This Page