I have realised that no one really agrees on what the worst Beatles song is.
I have not yet been able to study the whole of Andrew Hickey’s The Beatles in Mono, but so far I see he is not a fan of “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” (which I have always loved) and “Long and Winding Road” (Ditto).
Googling “Worst Beatles Songs” brings up a wide variety of choices:
Ugo says “Yellow Submarine” (a childhood favourite of mine and one of the few British Number Ones featuring a brass band (“She’s a lady” by Peter Skellern also did).
LA Weekly blogs reckons “Long and Winding Road”.
NME journalists reckon “Long and Winding road”, “Taxman”, “Octopus’ Garden”, “Lady Madonna”, “While my guitar gently weeps” and “Revolution #9”.
And so the list goes on. “Honey Pie” doesn’t do very well. This blog even reckons “Hey Jude” is their worst song! Heresy!
So I think this subject is fascinating because the Beatles made such a wealth of fantastic records over a huge variety of musical genres. No one can really agree on their worst record because they were so good. It boils down to a question of taste.
Andrew Hickey rates “Being for the benefit of Mr Kite” highly, particularly the lyrics. Well I am sorry, but there is something about this song which drives me round the twist. I think it’s the sterile, annoyingly twangy John Lennon vocal which even (in this case) beats Ringo Starr’s voice for annoyingness. The whole piece makes me want to push red hot needles into my eyeballs.
Yes, “Being for the benefit of Mr Kite” is my least favourite Beatles song. I won’t say “worst” because the Beatles are so good the word “worst” isn’t right for them, not in terms of records they deliberately released before they broke up, that is.
And my favourite? It varies from time to time. “Hey Jude” and “A Day in the life” are normally up there in my mind. I also have a soft spot for the second side of “Abbey Road”, particularly “Golden Slumbers” and “The End”. But at the moment, after being re-introduced to its charms by Andrew Hickey, my favourite is “Please please me”.