It’s nearly impossible to pick the “best” Beatles song, but by nearly every measurement– sales, chart success, cultural impact– it’s hard to beat “Hey Jude”. Author James Campion‘s new book, Take A Sad Song, is an in-depth look at the history and legacy of “Hey Jude”. He joins us on this episode for a deep dive into this legendary, iconic song. A true classic.

John Lennon & Paul McCartney Copyright 1968 Northern Songs Copyright 1968 Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

If you enjoyed this episode, please check out these other Beatles-related episodes:

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Nothing came easy for Badfinger. Though they had success with their first few albums (all of them are must-have classics), they soon had a tough time, thanks to terrible management, record label indifference and bad timing. In 1974, worn-down & exhausted from the non-stop touring/recording/touring again grind, they dragged themselves into the studio… and, with help from producer Chris Thomas, made one of their best albums. Many fans say it IS their best. Unfortunately, few people heard it as it was withdrawn from stores shortly after its release, thanks to legal shenanigans. Things only got worse after that. But this record is a masterpiece; let’s celebrate it with a look at the song “In the Meantime/Some Other Time”.

“In the Meantime/Some Other Time” (Mike Gibbins, Joey Molland) Copyright 1974 WB Music Group ASCAP

If you liked this episode on Badfinger, then check out our previous show on “Day After Day”:
https://lovethatsongpodcast.com/badfinger-day-after-day/

— This show is one of many great music-related podcasts on the Pantheon network. Give ’em a listen! And remember to follow this show, so you never miss an episode.

After 50 years locked away in a vault, the world finally got to see and hear some of the abandoned footage from the Beatles “Let It Be” sessions. The new documentary “Get Back” gives us almost 8 hours of never-before seen film and an unprecedented look at The Beatles at work. It was worth the wait. On this Special Edition of the podcast, we’re joined by 3 of the biggest Beatle fans I know– Ken Mills, Craig Smith and Brian Jacobs— to discuss this fascinating look at the most important band in rock history.

— This show is one of many great music-related podcasts on the Pantheon network. You should check them out! And remember to follow this show, so you never miss an episode

George Harrison emerged from the rubble of The Beatles breakup with all cylinders firing. After years of working in John & Paul’s shadow, George had amassed a stockpile of great songs. It all burst out in 1970 on his triple-album set, All Things Must Pass. One of the standout tracks was “Beware Of Darkness”, a warning to everyone (including himself) to be wary of corrupting influences. Featuring an all-star band, wall-of-sound production, and the introduction of George’s slide guitar playing, which would define his sound for the rest of his career. Let’s listen to the song many consider George’s masterpiece.

“Beware Of Darkness” (George Harrison) Copyright 1970 Harrisongs Ltd

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It’s been 40 years since the death of John Lennon, a senseless loss that still stings. Here’s one of my personal favorite Lennon tracks. We’ll follow it from its early stages through to the final album version.

“Nobody Loves You (When You’re Down And Out)” (John Lennon) Copyright 1974 Lenono Music (BMI) All rights controlled and administered by EMI Blackwood Music Inc

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Emitt Rhodes had an extraordinary gift as a songwriter, a fantastic voice and was a remarkable musician– he was one of the first artists to record by himself, playing every instrument on his albums. He passed away in July 2020, leaving behind a small but significant collection of albums. In tribute to this under-appreciated talent, I’ve selected a song from his most successful band, The Merry-Go-Round, a song that itself is a celebration of great music & great bands. Psychedelic ’60’s pop never got better than this.

“Listen Listen!” (Emitt Rhodes) Copyright 1968 Thirty Four Music/La Brea Music Inc (ASCAP)

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A Todd Rundgren album can vary between pure pop to bossa nova, guitar rock to wild experimentation; like the proverbial box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get with the next Rundgren album. Released in 1989, the Nearly Human album is Todd at his best, a pop masterpiece of well-crafted songs performed impeccably, live-in-the-studio. “Parallel Lines” is one of the strongest cuts, initially written for an off-Broadway musical based on the script for a never-produced 3rd Beatles movie.

“Parallel Lines” (Todd Rundgren) Copyright 1989 Fiction Music, Inc./Todd Rundgren BMI

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For the 50th episode of the podcast, we’re mixing it up a bit. I just finished reading a fascinating book by Andrew Grant Jackson where he lays out his opinion that 1965 was “The Most Revolutionary Year In Music”. Let’s have a listen to some of the sounds from ’65 and see if we agree. The Beatles, the Stones, the Byrds, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Motown… it’s all here in 1965.

You can find a copy of his book here (and no, I don’t get any $$ for recommending it– I just like the book!):
1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music (macmillan.com)

— This show is just one of many great music-related podcasts on the Pantheon network. Check them all out!

“Rain” was the first glimpse of The Beatles exploration of psychedelia. Perhaps more than any other Beatles track, this song highlights the rhythm section with brilliant performances by Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Add Lennon’s lyrics and great vocals, and you’ve got one of the best songs to come out of the trippy, mind-expanding ’60’s. On this episode, we take a closer look at the individual performances and studio trickery– backwards, forwards, sped up & slowed down– that went into this classic track. 

“Rain” (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) Copyright 1966 Northern Songs

When Brian Wilson heard The Beatles Rubber Soul album, it inspired and challenged him to create an album of his own that would stand as an equal.  And he pulled it off.  Universally considered one of the greatest albums of all time, Pet Sounds is a testament to Brian’s genius as a songwriter, arranger & producer.  

The album includes some all-time classics like “God Only Knows” and “Wouldn’t it Be Nice”, but on this episode, I’d like to focus on one of my favorites on the record– “You Still Believe in Me”.  

Like most of the songs on Pet Sounds, this is a very personal song, a confession of a young man who knows he’s failing as a husband, but can’t help himself.  Brian’s vocal is pure, honest, and perfect.  And when those harmonies come in… I melt.  Let’s listen together.

“You Still Believe In Me” (Brian Wilson & Tony Asher) Copyright 1966 Sea Of Tunes Publishing Company/Irving Music Incorporates, USA, Rondor Music International