2021 Song Draft- Round 4 Pick 9- Hanspostcard selects ‘In My Life’- The Beatles.
A week ago I started writing this review- and my opening line was ‘Stop The Insanity!’- we were in round 4 of the draft and not one single Beatles song had been taken. Then a few days ago A Sound Day selected ‘Something’- so I am now jumping on board with the second Beatles song taken. I guess I am totally blowing up the identity of the #1 choice on my Hans Hot 100 Beatles Song countdown- by taking ‘In My Life’- but it is my favorite Beatles song- and is a strong strong contender for my favorite song ever by anyone. Mojo Magazine in 2000 named “In My Life’ -‘The Best Song Of All Time.”
John Lennon considered this song -from The Beatles groundbreaking album- Rubber Soul- ‘his first real major work’ because the lyrics dealt with his life. When John started writing the song it was very long- based on the bus route he used to take in Liverpool. Lennon would wisely discard the original lyrics and make it more generalized. But John and Paul would later pick up that theme- of childhood memories with the greatest single ever released the Double A sided ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’/ ‘Penny Lane.’
I love everything about this song- to me John Lennon’s voice never sounded better than on this song- and the music is perfect. There has over the years been some dispute over the music- John credited Paul with the harmony and bridge, Paul claims he wrote the entire musical structure. Producer George Martin’s piano bridge part- a very memorable part of the song was sped up to sound like a harpsichord.
John would claim the idea for the song originated with a remark that English journalist Kenneth Allsop made to him- that he should write a song about his childhood. The original lyrics John claimed he hated- he said it sounded like a “What I Did On My Holidays Bus Trip’ kind of song and he discarded most of it to make it more generalized. Lennon’s childhood friend Pete Shotton would say that the line ‘some are dead and some are living’ referred to himself and John’s close friend and Beatles bassist and artist Stuart Sutcliffe- who tragically died in 1962.
‘In My Life’ was never released as a single. What does that say about the ammunition The Beatles had to throw out there? This would easily have topped the charts.
Fantastic choice! One of my favorite Beatles songs, too. Hard to believe that this was never released as a single. I agree….a chart topper!!
This one is really high on my list of favorite songs ever. It has everything…introspective lyrics and a great melody.
Still can’t believe it wasn’t a single. This would make other bands careers. Great choice Hans.
Thanks- I agree with you- it is amazing to me that this wasn’t released as a single- but they had tough decisions to make back then….
Definitely a great song in every respect – lyrics, composition, playing. If the Beatles songs were a “billboard” chart , for me this one is moving up the list and is probably in the top5. “Rubber Soul” has also overtaken “Revolver” on my personal list behind SPLHCB and in an almost tie with Magical Mystery Tour. A great selection.
Thanks- I think Revolver and Rubber Soul run a close 1-2 to me still but they are far and away my two favorites.
I’ve heard this a few times. I just listened to it, again and noticed that the drum beat reminds me of Ticket To Ride in some places. Love the sped up piano bridge.
Man do I hear the Everly’s in this one.
Speaking of Everly, we just lost Don on the 21st and now we’ve lost Charlie Watts.
Hans and I were talking about that a couple days ago plus about Charlie in a Hiatt song.
“Banging like Charlie Watts…” Yeah. I was listening to Slow Turning, too.
We are losing so many.
I don’t know about number one – it’s pretty sophisticated and introspective.
It’s an irreconcilable dilemma to choose a favorite Beatles anything (except for favorite Beatle) but your pick is right up there towards the top of the heap. I also love “She’s Leaving Home” which I see in the same light as this one. It really is amazing it wasn’t released as a single but a lot of them weren’t iirc.
Aaaahhh, lovely choice! It was odd to see Nick Lowe with an early lead on the Beatles. I had a feeling the tide would turn. How could anyone not love this song?
Great pick, Hans. I completely agree, this tune is an absolute gem – and another song that admittedly has made me well up. Johnny Cash did an incredible cover of it.
Given I’m still somewhat in disbelief and sad about the death of Charlie Watts (even though it didn’t come entirely as a surprise, given the recent official statement by The Rolling Stones that he would miss the upcoming “No Filter” tour because he needed to undergo a medical procedure), I’m not going to listen to “In My Life” now. It would definitely push me over the edge!
One of the most poignant and beautiful of the Beatles many great songs. A superb choice Hans.