All Together Now: Ranking All The Beatles Songs: #202- #201. Began this list the other day with #204- “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and #203- “Mr. Moonlight”
#202- “Wild Honey Pie”- from The Beatles- The White Album. Credited to Lennon-McCartney but written by Paul McCartney. There are thirty songs on The Beatles self-titled The Beatles -commonly known as The White Album. One of the things that I really like about The White Album is the diversity of the songs and also The Beatles pretty much gave you everything they were working on at the time -including a .52 second scrap that was lying around called “Wild Honey Pie.” While the would could have done without it- and I don’t see any value in it- it’s there and that is fine with me. One another album it wouldn’t fit but on this album I guess it isn’t as noticed -again with thirty songs. The album as a whole doesn’t sound like a band but of four individuals under the umbrella of The Beatles name- coming in and performing the songs they individually came up with. “Wild Honey Pie”- is Paul chanting the song title over and over for the length of the song while playing a rough acoustic guitar and percussion. Paul is the only Beatle playing on this recording. Paul once said “Wild Honey Pie” most likely wouldn’t have appeared on The White Album- but that it was included because George Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd liked it so much they decided to include it.
Author Mark Hertsgaard referring to Lennon’s distaste for “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, writes: “But at least ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ had a real melody. ‘Wild Honey Pie,’ which followed it, simply assaulted the ear; it sounded like someone had taken a hammer to a giant pocket watch until the springs inside collapsed in heavy, discordant agony.” Herstgaard says it was “perhaps the most extreme case of self-indulgence on the album”
It is easily the worst song of the 30 on The White Album- and gets my vote as the third worst Beatles song ever. No redeeming value in this song.
201. “Chains” from The Beatles debut album- Please Please Me. A song written by the then husband-wife team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, the girl group The Cookies had a hit with it in 1962 and The Beatles who were big fans of the American girl group scene- recorded it for their debut album in 1963. The general practice of everyone in the band getting at least one song started with the debut album. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were of course writing songs but they didn’t have enough quality songs at the beginning to fill and album and since George had yet to begin contributing songs the first song he sang on the album- on side 1- was this cover. His vocal doesn’t sound all that confident and the band sounds somewhat out of tune. Not a strong performance. No Beatle though would grow as much as George over The Beatles years together. He would soon begin writing his own songs- and while his first efforts would have so-so results by Abbey Road in 1969 George’s songwriting would have reached the point where the two best songs on Abbey Road- were George Harrison songs. George’s singing would also drastically improve from “Chains” which is a howler.