Category Archives: Greatest Songs Ever Recorded

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles!!!

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Theme Attic,”  is on Wednesdays 2PM-4PM ET.

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey!

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How can I possibly write anything about “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles that hasn’t been written before?

It’s probably one of the most written about pieces of music that’s ever been analyzed, right up there with Beehtoven’s Ninth Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, and several Bach and Mozart works.

I understand the historical significance of it.

It is the “big bang” of rock music from which almost any bit of classic rock derives, good or bad.

It was the opening salvo of the first wave of The British Invasion!

But some of the commentary about “I Want to Hold Your Hand” can make someone nauseated by its content.

I’m referring to the pablum where the viewpoint is that other artists wanted to violate or “have intercourse” with the U.S., while The Beatles just wanted to innocently hold the nation’s hand.

If that works for you as a fan, fine. I don’t want to ruin your memories.

Others often write about how vulnerable or damaged the collective American psyche was after the Kennedy assassination.

There may be some relevance in that thinking, but it sure seems like a strange reason to listen to, let alone like a different style of music. I’ll cite the popularity of songs like “Sentimental Journey” and “I’ll Be seeing You” as examples that hit the right nerve during World War II.

However, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was a calculatedly deliberate attempt to break the American market by a British band for the first time!

I am fascinated by studio dialogue where Paul is coaching Ringo on what he wants on the song!

He wanted him to really punch the opening accents so the listener would be instantly attracted to it!

The idea was to make the whole song “pop!”

So, why wasn’t I initially attracted to this initial offer of musical friendship?

For at least the first ten years after its release, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was not a Beatle favorite of mine.

Dear me!!!!!!

Don’t get me wrong.

I liked the song, but I didn’t like the song.

It certainly wasn’t the song that cemented my love affair with the band.

I wish I could say that, like so many of my Beatle loving friends do, however, it wouldn’t be true.

I’ve recently been giving this some thought.

For the past thirty years or so–like most everyone else, I usually listen to the Parlophone versions of The Beatle’s catalog.

That means that the version I usually listen to is the mono version, just like the one I grew up with on “Meet The Beatles.”

The first three Beatle albums I owned were also in mono.

Lately, I’ve been listening to a U.S. stereo version of the album, and it made me think about the song and why it didn’t first attract me like my other Beatle fans and friends.

I appreciate it and love it now!

Why not at the beginning, and when did the transformation take place?

I came to the conclusion that I didn’t make the change until I bought a replacement–in stereo, on the Apple label in the mid 70’s.

And I don’t mean one of those stereo versions where the voices are on one side and the instruments are on the other.

I mean the one where there is some separation of sound so I can hear what’s going on.

Where I can hear the simple yet complicated nature of “I Want to Hold Your Hand!”

It doesn’t matter to me that other audiophiles often consider these stereo versions as bastardizations of the band’s sound.

That’s what allowed me to appreciate a song that, to my ears, sounded all smooshed together in mono!

In stereo, I can hear the sizzle and splash of Ringo’s cymbals, the percussive hand claps, John’s grinding rhythm guitar, and George’s signature guitar line!

And I feel that when Paul adds the harmony line the second time through the middle eight:

“And when I touch you I feel happy inside!

It’s such a feeling that my love, I can’t hide!”,

it just may be one of the most beautiful harmony lines ever recorded!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles!!!

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If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#IWanttoHoldYourHand #MeetTheBeatles #TheBeatles  #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “Don’t Bother Me” by The Beatles!!!

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Prime Time Theme Attic,”  is on Monday nights 8PM-10PM ET but is on hiatus because of the pandemic.

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey…at least sometimes!

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The first album I ever owned was “Meet The Beatles” in mono!

It was given to me as a present from my oldest brother.

At that moment in time, I couldn’t say that I was a fan of The Beatles, nor anyone else for that matter.

I did already own one 45 which I detailed last year when I wrote about “There’s a Place!” (I left a link in case you missed it.)

After I opened the present and saw what it was, I couldn’t say I was excited to now have a copy of “Meet The Beatles.” I mean, it wasn’t a new baseball or bat–what I was into at the time. If I had to get an album as a present, I would have rather it be one by Alvin and The Chipmunks!

But my brother either never noticed my veiled unexcitement, or chose to ignore my response as he demonstrated how I should slide the album out of the wrapper from the cover. I was told to hold the album on the sides suspended between the palms of my hands when I placed the LP on the record player. And even though every device we had in the house at the time had a spindle for an album to drop onto the platter, he advised me not to do that, but to lay the album flat on the turntable so it wouldn’t get scratches or lose sound quality.

That was quite possibly the best advice my brother ever gave me!

So, I took my new possession into my older sister’s bedroom because she had an RCA phonograph given to her by a different older brother of mine. She let me use it after I demonstrated I knew what I was doing.

Placing the needle gently on my new album, I sat on the floor to listen to the music. I recognized a few of the songs from hearing them on the radio. However, there were several I didn’t know.

I sat there looking at the album cover, front and back.

I started to read the liner notes. I really didn’t make much sense out of them, but eventually, I would.

Not really knowing John’s voice from Paul’s voice… yet (I certainly wasn’t alone there. I still run into people who can’t distinguish their voices.), one song in particular began to stand out: “Don’t Bother Me.”

The lead voice sounded different than the other ones.

I noticed that George Harrison had written the song.

It made sense to me that he probably sang it, too.

Speaking directly to me, the chorus lyrics were similar to something that I said often in my life back then:

So go away/ leave me alone/
Don’t bother me.”

How could he know how I felt?

Yeah. He didn’t. Harrison was singing about a broken relationship. I disregarded all of the girl references and focused on what mattered to me.

But that’s how music works!

“I’ve got no time for you right now/
Don’t bother me.”

I may not have been crazy about The Beatles before I owned “Meet The Beatles,” but I bonded with the band right then and there!

And George Harrison instantly became my first favorite Beatle!

Besides the lyrics, the dense, busy rhythm track caught my young novice music listening ears.

There’s claves cracking out Latin accents, a noticeable hi-hat sound as well as Ringo riding on the cymbal, and some engine room sounding “thuds” on every beat that the band also plays on.

The minor chords and that rhythm: so strange, so unusual!

It still is!

And a tight Harrison guitar solo as a bonus!

It turns out that “Don’t Bother Me” was George‘s first fully written song.

I would watch for others by him because he had a different slant than Lennon-McCartney.

And as much as I tried to keep “Meet The Beatles” free from defects, the truth is it was the only album that I ever owned that skipped. “Little Child” had one as well as “Don’t Bother Me.”

“Don’t” was the first track on the Side 2 and the needle went straight from “Since she’s been gone I want…me” leaving out “no one to talk to.”

I used to be bothered by that, but I did play the album a lot! I replaced it several times over the years on vinyl as well as CD.

“So go away/leave me alone/
Don’t bother me.”

Beautiful!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “Don’t Bother Me” by The Beatles!!!

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If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#DontBotherMe #MeetTheBeatles #TheBeatles #GeorgeHarrison #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “Little Child” by The Beatles!!!

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For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Prime Time Theme Attic,”  is on Monday nights 8PM-10PM ET but is on hiatus because of the pandemic.

Here’s the link for when the show returns: http://rdo.fm/r/4qntu )

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey…at least sometimes!

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The only song on “With the Beatles,” or “Meet The Beatles” that features John Lennon on harp, harmonica, or mouth organ to use his words, “Little Child” is also one that Lennon and Paul McCartney themselves refer to as “filler.”

Being also the shortest venture clocking in at 1:46, it also arguably captures the band at their most raw and truest form!

And “Little Child” is a wall to wall harmonica romp!

Starting with Lennon’s sedate two chord harmonica intro, the song quickly kicks into gear as soon as McCartney’s piano joins in followed by Ringo Starr‘s cymbal crash and drums, along with Paul’s bass! George Harrison takes a back seat to the rest of the guys.

Lyrically, it’s not Lennon and McCartney at their best, however “Little Child” does contain a lot of one Beatlemania phrase: “come on” is used eight times!

My favorite part of the song is the instrumental harmonica solo where the band gets to jam, joyously unrestrained for twelve bars!

The section sounds totally improvised and is possibly the best example of what The Beatles may have sounded like all of the times they were playing live and not being recorded!

It’s that time in a band where everyone is tapping into a “collective brain” and experiencing the same feelings!

“Meet The Beatles!” is the first album that I ever owned!

I received it as a birthday present from my oldest brother and sister-in-law.

As a little kid, one thing my brother did teach me was how to handle records so that I wouldn’t damage or scratch them.

However, I played that first album so much that it did develop a couple of skips. Sadly, one of them was on “Little Child.”

Even though that album has been replaced many times over the years, that skip is ingrained in my brain, and I still expect to hear it!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “Little Child” by The Beatles!!!

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If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#LittleChild #WithTheBeatles #MeetTheBeatles #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded: “Jealous Guy” by John Lennon!!!

For as long as I’ve been on the radio, and definitely for as long as I’ve been writing a blog, I will occasionally make a reference to a song being “One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded!” (GSER)

I would usually follow that by saying that I would eventually start a category for it, but then never get around to it.

Well, now I’m getting around to it!

It will pretty much follow the pattern of The Most Awesomest Song of the Day.

I’ll select a song to celebrate and then give my thoughts about it. Nothing really brand new here that hasn’t been done before. But since I have a website, I can collect them and lay out what my own greatest songs are.

My radio show, “Prime Time Theme Attic,”  is on Monday nights 8PM-10PM ET but is on hiatus because of the pandemic.

Here’s the link for when the show returns: http://rdo.fm/r/4qntu )

Even though I always emphasize new music and artists, it’s always fun to take a short drive through the legendary artists, since they influenced those other artists!

But a song doesn’t have to be old or done by a legendary Theme Attic Hall of Fame member to be thus honored.

I can think of several songs that are only a few years old or less that I could identify as One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded.

This will be fun, and hopefully you will join me on my journey…at least sometimes!

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I’d like to go back in time a bit.

Back to a time just after The Beatles broke up.

The overwhelming opinion amongst Beatle fans, was that John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison would be able to handle the transition and continue to put out quality music.

It was presumed that Ringo Starr probably wouldn’t have much of a solo career because he wasn’t part of The Beatles writing process.

That theory went by the wayside when Ringo released a couple of solid singles.

McCartney had released two quality post Beatle albums and a few mediocre singles at this time.

Surprising everybody but his fans, Harrison promptly set the bar for his former bandmates with the multi-album set “All Things Must Pass!”

Lennon had a spotty post Beatles resume’ of quality singles, but his albums weren’t quite as accessible as his earlier work.

The masses were waiting for that special album that would match or exceed how brilliant he was with The Beatles.

That changed with “Imagine.”

The single knocked the breath out of me the first time I heard the single!

It often still does.

My first listen to my vinyl copy of “Imagine” was just as breathtaking!

“Imagine” moved on to “Crippled Inside,”–another amazing song!

But the music went to another level with Track #3.

The other worldly haunting piano intro played by Nicky Hopkins, along with the beautiful string arrangement provided by “The Flux Fiddlers,” let me know that it would be possible to make music on a par as The Beatles, post breakup!

In fact, the “Jealous Guy” intro sounds so light and airy, that it seems like the groove can’t possibly contain it and it will float away up to the ionosphere!

That’s what did it to me!

I knew from that point on, that amazing music by my heroes would continue to be made, and would affect not only my life, but millions of others!

An unassuming little song–not even a single!, would do all of that!

Interestingly enough, a quick look at the credits had a couple little surprises:

Joey Molland and Tom Evans from Badfinger played acoustic guitar.

Mike Pinder of The Moody Blues played tambourine (?)!

Happy Birthday, John! We will always miss you!

One of the Greatest Songs Ever Recorded is “Jealous Guy” by John Lennon!!!

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If you like what you see, don’t forget to spread the word by hitting the “like” button on my Facebook page, Phil Maq!

#JealousGuy  #HappyBirthdayJohnLennon #ImagineAlbum #PhilMaq #OneoftheGreatestSongsEverRecorded #GSER