Friday, August 7, 2015

Your Least Favorite Beatles Song (and Why I Disagree)

Well, the votes are in. As I expected, a consensus has emerged for the Beatles "Revolution 9" as the Internet's least favorite Beatles song. I used this track as a writing prompt for my novel JIHADI: A LOVE STORY.

Although the track does tend to tax the patience of first-time listeners -- and, let's be honest, repel many from even the idea of listening to it a second time -- I stand by my view that it is both important and beautiful. A complex, multi-layered, carefully structured composition that produces something like a liminal ("dream state") experience when approached without prejudice, "Revolution 9" also -- this is the fun part -- stands up to close analytical scrutiny. I have listened to it dozens, probably hundreds of times now. It rewards each new encounter. It conveys a deep, raw power and illuminates countless intricate emotional states.

That's my experience, I know -- not that of the majority. Yet it's worth pointing out that the majority seems willing to grant the importance of an album like Radiohead's KID A, which owes a great deal to this work.

I might ask skeptics to consider that John Lennon put a lot of time into this. For a brilliant second-by-second deconstruction from Ian Hammond revealing the complexity of the piece, click here.

For the Village Voice's defense of this track, click here.

For one interpretation of the lyrics (if that's what you can call them) click here.

For my longer-than-this-post meditation on why the song doesn't suck, click here.

Lennon's (and Ono's) masterpiece, in my humble opinion. Horses for courses.