In Defense of the Beatles' Much-Loathed "Revolution 9"

Categories: The Beatles

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Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons
The Beatles Arrive at Kennedy Airport
Yesterday marked 50 years since the Beatles played The Ed Sullivan Show, an (DUH) historic moment that changed the course of music history forever. Yes, there's been much hullabaloo and hoopla over a half-century of the Fab Four this week, and rightfully so: their music has united generations of listeners and has arguably influenced everyone who recorded sound in their wake, at least to some degree. That said, as universally heralded as the Beatles are, love has a tendency to beget hate, and it's safe to say that the band are responsible for one of the most universally hated songs of all time, "Revolution 9."

See also: Beatles vs. Stones: Rivalry or PR Stunt?

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Paul McCartney - Barclays Center - 6/10/13

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Paul McCartney
Barclays Center
6/10/13

Better Than: YEEZUS. Also bigger than Yeezus. (See what I did there?)

In high school, a friend of mine met Paul McCartney. She worked at an amphitheater near where we lived and went to school and Paul had passed through on one of his seemingly never-ending tours. My friend didn't know who he was. After loosely identifying that he was "some old guy from the Beatles," process of elimination, and the close eye I had kept on the tickets for months put a name to a general body and made me jealous and confused for some time.

See also: Live: Paul McCartney Has More Hits Than Derek Jeter

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"Yellow Submarine" Sends Beatles Fanatic Into Childhood Rage Fit

Categories: The Beatles

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This month, to celebrate the Internet's unbridled love for wallowing in nostalgia and even greater relishing of talking about why certain cultural artifacts are horrible, Sound of the City presents First Worsts, a series in which our writers remember the first time... they ever hated a song enough to call it The Worst. (And to be fair, we're also going to see how these songs have stood the test of time.)

THE SONG: The Beatles, "Yellow Submarine."
THE YEAR: 1997-ish.
THE REASON: Fuckin' Ringo, man.

Pitchfork's editor-in-chief Mark Richardson recently noted that roughly 98 percent of the Beatles obsessives he's known have been male, which I'd say holds true for roughly 98 percent of people. A few friends brought my attention to the tweet, because I'm pretty forthcoming about the fact that, if absolutely pressed to name a favorite band, I'll lean on nostalgia every time and blurt out my childhood obsession, The Beatles.

I know people say that shit like, "I've been listening to [insert classic band here] since I was in the womb," so I won't say it. But just imagine a five-year-old in pink and pigtails acting out the exceedingly violent lyrics to The Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" with her brother, a chubby bunny stuffed into a Bugle Boy pocket tee (hey, it was the early '90s). Just imagine your pride-and-joy baby girl pretending to murder her own kin with a giant smile painted on her face, just because The Beatles told her to. My burden to bear was that I was born 35 years too late to share my Beatles obsession with anyone my own age, save for one weirdo (yes, male) who once wore a Beatles tie in a yearbook picture.

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The Beastles And Let It Beast, dj BC's Beastie Boys-Beatles Mashups, Are Back Online

The Beastles, Boston-based dj BC's well-received (but ultimately unauthorized and subsequently yanked offline) Beatles-Beastie Boys mash-up, is now fully available online. In memory of Adam Yauch, Bob Cronin (dj BC's alter ego) has decided to face any potential legal wrath from publishing companies and repost The Beastles and its 2006 followup, Let It Beast.

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100 & Single: Is It Okay For Katy Perry To Bum-Rush Her Way Into The History Books?

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Chart fandom makes strange bedfellows. Six months ago, if you'd asked me what act I'd root for in a head-to-head chart battle between pop princess Katy Perry and electrodance goofballs LMFAO, I'd probably have picked Perry, whose song catalog includes at least one or two gems. Her current hit, "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)," isn't one of her best—it's nowhere near as well-crafted as "Teenage Dream" or "Hot N Cold"—but it's a charming, goodtime trifle, and marginally less stupid than LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."

Now? I'm rooting for the goofballs over the princess all the way.

LMFAO's single (which, to be honest, has kinda grown on me) is the last firewall standing between Perry and her fifth Hot 100 No. 1 from Teenage Dream. Were "Friday" to hit that mark, Teenage Dream would tie a record that has so far only been reached by one album: Michael Jackson's Bad. Perry and her people are trying to hit that mark by cheating... or, to be fair, by taking advantage of a legal but shady tactic.

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100 & Single: Lady Gaga Gets Ready To Join The Million-Weeker Club

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The phrase "the calm before the storm" appears in virtually every chart-related story this week. That's because the latest edition of the Billboard 200, which covers sales from the week ending May 22, is topped by Adele's 21. That album is No. 1 for the ninth and (presumably) final week before Lady Gaga's monster Born This Way makes its foregone chart-crushing debut.

But, come on now... "calm"? For chart-watchers, industryites and Gaga fans, I'd say the storm is already happening.

A meta-discussion has been raging all week around just how many copies Gaga's album will sell in week one, and whether all of the downloads she's racking up should count. Amazon's jaw-dropping decision to sell Born This Way for the unprecedented full-album price of 99 cents has not only engendered controversy—so much that Billboard's editor felt compelled to respond to some angry Britney Spears fans—it's rocket-fueled Gaga's sales.

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100 & Single: How Adele, Not the Beatles, Is The Music Biz's 2011 Redeemer

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The music business spikes the football over its gradually improving sales the same week a certain U.K. chanteuse completes her conquering of the U.S. pop charts. Coincidence? Maybe not.

The omnipresent Adele takes control of Billboard's Hot 100 this week; "Rolling in the Deep" finally evicts Katy Perry and Kanye West's five-week chart-topper "E.T." from the penthouse. Digital sales of 294,000 (not her best week, but off only 2% from her prior high), plus big jumps at radio that make "Rolling" the third-most-played song in America, give Adele the Hot 100 win. That's matched by Adele's continued dominance on the Billboard 200, where 21 spends its seventh week atop the list. She easily fended off another two weeks of challengers. Her Mother's Day-week sales total of 155,000 tops the No. 2 debut of the Beastie Boys' Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two by more than 27,000 copies.

No doubt, it's been a good week for Adele: Her move on the Hot 100 makes her the first British lass to top the premier U.S. song chart since Leona Lewis's "Bleeding Love" in 2008; her performance on Tuesday's Dancing with the Stars was widely praised; and Glee covered "Rolling in the Deep."

But it has been perhaps an even better week for the music business in general. Across the mainstream press, the headline of the week was: "U.S. Music Sales Actually Up for Once (Thanks to Digital Bump)."


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Remembering John Lennon, 30 Years On: The Voice's 1980 Eulogy

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Today is the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death. His senseless murder on December 8th, 1980 was hard to sort out at the time--"the anonymous eating the famous like a cannibal feasting on testicles," as Robert Christgau wrote in these pages--and not much easier to parse now. In memory of the world's most loved Beatle, we're reprinting below the eulogy that ran in the Voice just days after Lennon's death. "I've never been one to hobnob with the stars," Christgau wrote then, "but who could resist John Lennon?" Good question.

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The Best Of The #beatlesasMP3s Hashtag

So Beatles-on-iTunes day is almost over. We all survived. No sales records were broken -- in fact, Dr. Luke would like to point out that Ke$ha remains atop the charts. And yet the day was a rousing success in terms of Twitter Comedy -- join us now as we survey the best of the #beatlesasMP3s hashtag, a pun-filled wonderland concocted by friend-of-SOTC Eric Harvey and propped up by friends old and new. There can only be one winner, of course, but here are your finalists:


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Top Five Beatles Songs Guaranteed Not To Top The iTunes Singles Chart Today

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So the Beatles catalog is now available on iTunes. This is, contrary to your attempts to be contrary, A Big Deal. You may naturally (and not unreasonably) assume that everyone in the world already owns all the Beatles songs they'd ever care to own. You are mistaken. The iTunes chart run destined to result will probably not take on Michael Jackson proportions, but we can hope at least that Ke$ha will be conceding to "In My Life" for the foreseeable future. Let us pause for a moment, though, to consider the lesser lights of the Beatles catalog -- those tunes that will probably not set the charts aflame $1.30 at a time. We can safely assume that Katy Perry has nothing to fear from the following:

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