In an alternate universe, the Fab Four would be our overall winners. They lost to Elvis Costello in the semi-finals after an influx of Costello votes from a fan site, and otherwise would likely have won. Had they advanced to the finals, I’d give them pretty good odds against Billy Joel.
And really, how could the Academy of Motion Pictures pass up the opportunity to invite John, Paul, George and Ringo to the ball?
But alas, not one song from my favorite Beatles album managed to score an Oscar nomination.
They were thoroughly depressing.
I know I’ve explored my penchant for the melancholy before, but this exercise really highlighted exactly how morose I really am.
The five songs featured this week will round out my top ten, and next week’s selections will earn honorable mentions.
This is a strong batch of songs. Any one of these — hell, all of them — could have been in the top five.
A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles (1964)
Today’s pick is very similar to yesterday’s in that both are early albums by artists who went on to create much more ambitious and ground-breaking work.
A Hard Day’s Night was the third Beatles album but the first to feature exclusively original material. Billed as the soundtrack to the film of the same name, the album featured all of the new songs in the movie plus additional material written for the film but unused in the final cut.
This is actually the second time I’ve featured ‘If I Fell’ on this blog. The first was back in April, when I chose Evan Rachel Wood’s version from the film Across the Universe as my 277th Song of the Day. I believe this song joins Ben Folds Five’s ‘Emaline’ (a live version and a cover) as the only songs to appear in two different Song of the Day posts.
I’ll go ahead and link up a third version of the song because I know Amy will if I don’t. 🙂 Here’s American Idol contestant Jason Castro’s version with the added benefit of clips from one of television’s very best shows, Friday Night Lights.
There’s a pretty clear divide between The Beatles early, poppy stuff and their later more experimental music. Rubber Soul is where that split started to happen, and Revolver saw the transformation completed. Those are two of my favorite Beatles albums (I imagine they’re two of everybody’s). They showed the world that this wasn’t just a pop band but a serious artistic force.
Still, when I rank all of the band’s albums in order, it’s inevitably A Hard Day’s Night — one of those early, uncomplicated albums — that rises to the top. It lacks the ahead-of-its-time production techniques of later albums, the mind-bending lyrics, the complex song construction, but it makes up for all that in unparalleled pop songcraft.