Freshly Pressed and Posted by Sticks As Playthings
The Beatles get a lot of credit. They are generally considered to be the greatest musical entity of the 20th Century. This makes sense, because they were. Much has been written by individuals more qualified than myself about how The Fab Four revolutionized not just an entire music industry, but an entire generation of youth. This makes sense, because they did.
Within the hallowed realm of Rock and Roll, The Beatles were progenitors, spokespeople, influencers, or inventors of a wide swath of musical stylings, from straight-ahead 50′s-style rock n’ roll (“Twist and Shout”) to psychedelic (“I Am the Walrus”) to punk (the feedback opening to “I Feel Fine”, the entire post-1967 attitude of John Lennon) to heavy metal (“Helter Skelter”) to acoustic folk (“Norwegian Wood”) to protest rock (“Revolution”) to alt-freak free associative statement art (“Revoltuion 9″) to, of course, pop music (everything they ever wrote). Their music was the stated foundation for acts as diverse as The Beach Boys and The Beastie Boys; Kurt Cobain and Katy Perry; Coldplay and The Clash. Whatever music you are listening to right now- The Beatles influenced that sound. Unless you are listening to Chuck Berry, JS Bach, or Gregorian chanting. I don’t think I’m exaggerating.
The Beatles get a lot of credit.
But here’s a place where they are perhaps not as well-recognized as they could be: Liverpool’s finest could write some spine-tingling, dread-stirring, dark, twisted and disturbing material. They were weird, they were imaginative, they had an occasionally morbid sense of humor, and they were way into hallucinogenic drugs: all of this translated into random spurts of darkness from the group most famous for wanting to hold our hand and only needing love. To wit: this sunny little album cover of the boys in butcher gear, covered in raw meat. Holding baby doll parts.
Therefore, for no apparent reason at all, I present to you…
“The Ten Most Frightening Beatles Songs (according to my definition of fear, dread, and/or strong sense of discomfort) Of All Time”
10. “Eleanor Rigby”, Revolver (1966)
Sometimes, the greatest fears are existential ones. Is my life meaningful? Do my actions have any significance? Am I missing out on genuine human connection? Is my ministry actively saving those around me from eternal damnation? Is this mason jar large enough to contain my face? All these questions are pondered by our two lonely protagonists, Eleanor Rigby and Father MacKenzie. And for the most part, it seems their greatest existential fears have indeed been realized. (At least her face fits in the jar by the door, though.)
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