And now, a post dedicated to what amounts to my favorite song of all time. It’s The Beatles, and it’s also epically unorthodox… maybe that’s why.
A Day In The Life is the culmination of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which is often referred to as a concept album. Let’s just say it was a great concept; it sold in excess of 32 million copies. Sgt. Pepper was also the symbolic point at which Paul McCartney’s genius began to publicly outweigh John Lennon’s genius, though I would suggest that Paul’s contributions clearly validated this even before Revolver took shape.
But enough of the John-Paul nonsense. Some of their best work materialized in tandem, and A Day In The Life is either Exhibit A or 1a, depending on your empathy with The Beatles’ early library (I don’t listen to much before Rubber Soul, personally). Certainly, they wouldn’t have made it anywhere near as big without one another.
Many claim that A Day In The Life is John’s song, and I guess that makes sense if you’re only listening to the three “I read the news today” verses. If you think that’s all there is to the song, then try listening to this studio take and arguing that it would’ve been half as groundbreaking as it really was.
Take Paul out of the equation on this song, and you lose the middle eight (with that astounding voice, no less), the intoxicating bass line, most of the piano, and the orchestral crescendos. Without that, you’re just left with a guy strumming his guitar in a dimly lit coffee shop.
Add that back in, and you’ve got a redonkulous song. The first 1:30 of this video is that studio take, but the remainder of the clip gives you both the album version of the song (bonus, it sure sounds like the 09-09-09 remaster) and the closest thing to a “music video” that existed in The Beatles’ hay-day.
I’m also a big fan of this video as taken from The Beatles: Rock Band video game. They say that reconstructing history takes imagination, right?
So, there you have it. My favorite song of The Beatles’ library (at the moment), and one of the most epic songs of all time. And that’s only because the Abbey Road Medley isn’t considered a single song.