Saturday Side Trip: The Beatles FrankenAlbums, Track #2

Last week I started with the concept of a Beatles “FrankenAlbum”, an album made up of parts of other albums. I went through the first tracks on all of the original Beatles albums picked what I think is the best track and allowed you to vote on your own Track #1.

The winner of last week’s poll for Track #1 was “A Hard Days Night”, which took 40% of the votes.  You may remember that “A Hard Day’s Night” was one of my finalists, but I went with “Help”.

In this post we’ll be running through Track #2, and you’ll be voting again (if you want to, of course).  I’m also upping the ante with something I thought of shortly after the first post… more on that later.

As with last week, I’m doing this in tournament format, starting with a play-in to see which track will represent the “White Album”. I’m also giving this post a visual element by inserting images from the 1993 River Group “The Beatles Collection” set.

White Album play-in round:
“Dear Prudence” (Disk 1) vs. “Yer Blues” (Disk 2)
Do I pick the song John wrote about Mia Farrow’s sister, or the song John wrote which kicks ass and name-drops Bob Dylan?  Decisions… decisions… But I think Mia edges out Bob.
WINNER: “Dear Prudence”

First Round
“Misery” (Please Please Me) vs. “Dig A Pony” (Let It Be)
‘I Dig A Pygmy’, by Charles Hawtrey on the deaf-aids! (ha ha ha)  Phase one, in which Doris gets her oats.
“Dig A Pony” is just a better song.
WINNER: “Dig A Pony”

“All I’ve Got To Do” (With The Beatles) vs. “Something” (Abbey Road)
Do I even need to justify this one? This is even with “Something” wearing thin for me over the years.
WINNER: “Something”

“I Should Have Known Better” (Hard Day’s Night) vs. “Dear Prudence” (White Album)
The hand-wringing over the White Album track was for naught, because neither track stands a chance against one of my favorite Beatles songs. “I Should Have Known Better” may prove to be a tough track to beat.
WINNER: “I Should Have Known Better”

“I’m A Loser” (Beatles For Sale) vs. “Fool On The Hill” (Magical Mystery Tour)
Can an album track beat a well-known song? You betcha.
WINNER: “I’m A Loser”

“The Night Before” (Help) vs. “With A Little Help From My Friends” (Sgt. Pepper)
Another tough battle, but “The Night Before”, while a favorite, isn’t particularly notable in any way and I’ve got to give Ringo some love.
WINNER: “With A Little Help From My Friends”

“Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” (Rubber Soul) vs. “Eleanor Rigby” (Revolver)
Both songs were very experimental for their time, (sitar for “Norwegian Wood”, a string quartet for “Eleanor Rigby”). If you don’t care for my “Norwegian Wood is just a better song” argument, then I’ll fall back on “Eleanor Rigby only has one Beatle on it” argument. Maybe it’s because I’ve heard the song countless times over the years, but I almost prefer the Anthology version of “Eleanor Rigby” which has the quartet but no Paul vocals.
WINNER: “Norwegian Wood”

Round Two:
“Dig A Pony” vs. “Norwegian Wood”
“Dig A Pony” is cool, but…
WINNER: “Norwegian Wood”

“Something” vs. “With A Little Help From My Friends”
Ooh, an epic knock-down drag-out battle between George and Ringo! If I could use cover versions, I’d go with the Joe Cocker version of “With A Little Help”… but never fear, Ringo, you get the upper hand anyway.
WINNER: “With A Little Help From My Friends

“I Should Have Known Better” vs. “I’m A Loser”
Remember what I said before about “I Should Have Known Better”? It still stands.
WINNER: “I Should Have Known Better”

Final Round: “Norwegian Wood”; “With A Little Help From My Friends”; “I Should Have Known Better”
I knew going in to the FrankenAlbum concept that the final round was going to be tough through all 14 tracks, but maaaaan…. I’d probably have a different answer if I did this again next week, but I have to go with Norwegian Wood.

So… I lit a fire.  Isn’t it good?


What?  A THIRD FrankenAlbum?

After the first post, I had an idea for another FrankenAlbum, one made up of my favorite cover versions of Beatles songs.  For me to get through all 14 tracks, I’m counting on the fact that there are huge numbers of Beatles covers out there… I’ve yet to give thought to this past the first two tracks, so I don’t know for sure that we’ll have a palatable Beatles cover for every track. I’m telling you right now, I will pull the plug on this third FrankenAlbum before using something like “A Taste Of Honey” by the Ray Conniff Singers.  If you’re not familiar with Ray Conniff a) consider yourself fortunate and b) ask your parents/grandparents.

Since I had the idea after the first post, I’ll go back and do the first track.

Track #1 on the Covers FrankenAlbum is “Come Together” by Aerosmith… A song which, within the context of the awful, awful “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” movie of 1976, is meant to be loud and discordant… but is possibly the best song on the soundtrack (or maybe the best soundtrack song is Earth Wind And Fire’s “Got To Get You Into My Life”…?)

And Track #2 on the Covers FrankenAlbum is “A Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker (which I’ve come to enjoy more than the original).

These two are pretty conventional choices, but I promise you that it will stray further afield than these two choices.

Poll time!  Make sure to vote on your choice for Track #2 on the Readers’ FrankenAlbum:

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5 thoughts on “Saturday Side Trip: The Beatles FrankenAlbums, Track #2

  1. For the second week in a row, I will pick a Paul rocker: “The Night Before”. Although I’m not sure I like the flow of them back to back.

    Love the idea of the covers Frankenalbum. I don’t have a big favorite for the first cut, but I think I’ll choose Chubby Checker’s minor hit version of “Back in the USSR” over Evan Rachel Wood doing “It Won’t Be Long” from the Across The Universe movie. Track 2 is an easy one: I love, love, love PM Dawn’s version of “Norwegian Wood”–more than the original, as sacrilegious as that may seem.

  2. OK…I missed last saturday’s post somehow but I’ll rectify that in a minute. Having lived through Beatlemania I’ve never really gotten it out of my system. Since SiriusXM signed on their Beatles channel a couple of months ago I haven’t listened to much else. Lots of memories, the best of which is listening to my albums with my father who declared the ‘The Beatles Second Album’ as his favorite. It and ‘Rubber Soul’ will always be my two favorites. My father stood in line in Manhattan to pick up a copy of Rubber Soul the day it was released so I’d get it for my birthday the next day.

  3. If I were saddled with the impossible task of picking just ONE, I might well say that “I Should Have Known Better” is likely my favorite Beatles song. Gotta go with that one here, though “The Night Before” and “Something” are upper-echelon songs in the catalog for me as well.

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