Compulsive List Disorder Explained

You may not realize this (…of course you don’t, I haven’t told you yet) but this blog started because of a list. You know the type. “Top ____ of All Time!!1!” Insert snarky comments and controversial picks and you’ve got enough conversation material and angry comments to keep the post alive for days. We knew the drill going in.  The list we came across was “Beatles Songs Worst to First,” sadly lost to an expired domain.

Well, we promised ourselves that we would not get sucked in by this transparent attention-seeking device. But that site had “She’s Leaving Home” at #3? I mean it’s pretty and all, but #3? And how could they undervalue “Yer Blues” like that and place it near the bottom? That’s just a travesty of justice, that is.

Pretty soon we were arguing amongst ourselves and coming up with our own “Best of” list. Mission accomplished for the author of that piece. We realized that the presence of these lists in magazines, online and on television (E! should just rename itself “The List Channel”) was inescapable, so we decided to have some fun with the genre ourselves and set out to create a blog. At the very least, we thought, they get people thinking about what they feel passionate about. For nothing gets another human being more passionate than tearing down another human being’s list of favorite “anything” and replacing it with his or her own.

Our lists will not be intended to enflame our audience in an effort to accumulate comments. These will be our real opinions. But in all likelihood we will be bound to rub some folks the wrong way and will almost certainly annoy each other.  The way we see it, with these lists we are feeding the habit that all people share as a result of severe Compulsive List Disorder.

So now, without further ado, we present “Worst Beatles Songs of All Time!!!1!”

Songs ranked in order of suckitude

1. Revolution 9 – How original. Revolution 9 as worst Beatles song. That’s the one everyone picks as the worst one. For those of you who have never heard the track we can only tell you that there’s a very good reason for this. First of all, it’s not even a song. It is a painfully long collection of sound effects and spoken word gibberish. John intended the sound collage to represent the sound of a real revolution playing out. In that, he was 100% correct. If we were trying to force a large number of people out of a building and into a neighboring country, this is the song that we would play them.

2-3. The Honey Pies – We prefer to combine “Honey Pie” and “Wild Honey Pie” from The White Album into one entry as we are unable to determine which one of these two tracks we dislike more. Gripweed is more of a “Wild Honey Pie” hater, while “Honey Pie” just makes Drae queasy. A combined 3 minutes and 33 seconds of misery.

4. The Long and Winding Road – I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Wasn’t that one of The Beatles’ best songs? And it was Number One, wasn’t it?”

Our answers:

1. No it wasn’t
2. So was “Disco Duck”

The Vermont woods do not contain as much sap as this song. Beatles fans can blame Phil Spector’s overproduction all they want, but “The Long and Boring Song” couldn’t be made exciting if it were recorded as hardcore German metal.

5. Misery – Lives up to its name.

6. Tell Me What You See – I see myself skipping over this track.

7. Ob La Di – Ob La Da – It was 1968. The world was in chaos (Vietnam, MLK, Kennedy) The Beatles were already fighting in the studio during the recording of the White Album (Ringo had already quit and rejoined a few weeks later). John was using heroin and George Martin, tiring of the atmosphere, abandoned the sessions for an extended holiday. So what the hell was there to be so cheerful about? This song is “Musical Splenda”. Sweet, sugary and totally artificial.

8. Doctor Robert – On an album (Revolver) renowned for being ahead of its time, The Beatles certainly didn’t break any new ground with this song. I really can’t imagine that there is anyone out there that gets legitimately excited by this song. It just kind of there for awhile, and then it’s not. The Beatles don’t even seem enthusiastic about playing it while they’re recording it. It is the sonic equivalent of the expression “meh”.

9. There’s a Place – We try not to be too hard on the boys for their earlier material. I mean, how many songs did you write when you were 20 that bloggers will be talking about 47 years after the fact? They were young and still learning. This track is the songwriting equivalent of being held back in the first grade. Sorry guys.

10. Only a Northern Song – The sound of boredom. Perhaps it was all part of an elaborate ruse on George Harrison’s part. Perhaps what he was really doing was making a comment to John and Paul that it didn’t really matter what he sings or writes since it’s just a George song, after all. Or perhaps he was reacting to the fact that a song was needed for the Yellow Submarine film project and it didn’t matter what it was as long as it was a Beatles song. Or maybe it’s just making use of studio tricks to make an eerie sounding, out of tune song. Or maybe the song just isn’t very good. We vote D.

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6 Responses to Compulsive List Disorder Explained

  1. Katydid says:

    Enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

  2. Will says:

    Er- Maxwell’s Silver Hammer? It might just be the worst song I’ve ever heard. I can get behind their earlier albums much more than Revolver onwards to be honest. At least it sounded like they were trying

  3. Lou says:

    I love both Honey songs. They’re both positioned well on the White album. A little burst of fresh air. And while Long and Winding Road isn’t my favorite Beatles song by any stretch it doesn’t deserve to be on this list. The Let it Be Naked version is very good (without all Spector’s orchestral garbage) and the lyrics on this song are among the most heartfelt and revealing that McCartney ever wrote. It’s too bad, as Ian MacDonald wrote in his great book about Beatles songs, that Lennon wasn’t listening by that point.

  4. marcusbacus says:

    It’s said that the first piano chords of Obladi are louder and “aggressive” (as agressive they could be at that point) because Lennon hated the song.

  5. JJ Noble says:

    I used to hate obli di….. but…. it clicked for me, and I’d put it in the top 20 for sure! And… I think its pretty shallow to put Long and Winding Road on here… Its pretty easy to jump on the bandwagon….huh..?

    • Drae says:

      What bandwagon? We can’t help it if other people likewise find the long and winding road a snooze-fest.

      And I think it would be more shallow for us to be dishonest in presenting our thoughts and opinions. But we’ll try harder in the future to not upset your delicate feelings.

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