I’m very happy to have Paul Fitzpatrick from Once Upon A Time In The 70’s guest host my blog today.
Colin Jackson and Paul Fitzpatrick who both run Once Upon A Time In The 70’s grew up in Bearsden, a northern suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. They were school friends from the age of five until in 1974, aged sixteen, Paul left school to start a career working with fashion and sportswear brands. Their paths would not cross again for forty-four years, during which time Colin pursued a career in Banking.
First off thank you to Max for inviting us to contribute to his great blog.
His choice of topic – ‘Choose your favourite Beatle song’, sounded like fun until I tried to narrow it down to just one!
You may have noticed that there’s a trend nay a feeding frenzy of corporations acquiring the rights to the song catalogues of heritage artists.
The life’s work of Bruce Springsteen was snapped up recently for $550 million, a record amount, beating the $350 million paid to Dylan for his catalogue in 2020.
In contrast, the estimated worth of the Beatles back catalogue is valued conservatively at $2 billion, although it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon as the ownership is acrimoniously shared between McCartney and Universal Music.
So, while it’s remarkable that a band who were at their peak seven decades ago are still recognised as the most treasured asset in popular music, it’s probably no great surprise, even if you aren’t the worlds biggest Beatles fan.
I guess that’s what happens when you are the most influential band of the 20th (and 21st) century, with an unrivalled catalogue of songs, hailed by critics and peers alike (if you discount Keith Richards!).
Choosing a favourite Beatles song is no easy feat then, firstly, there are so many to choose from, secondly, it depends what kind of Beatles mood you’re in…
A McCartney mood? Maybe a melodic “Hey Jude” or something more poppy like “Penny Lane”?
A Lennon mood? Something psychedelic like a “Day in the Life” or perhaps a bit more soulful like “Don’t Let Me Down”?
To be honest I found it an impossible task, a Sophie’s choice, so I gave up and approached it from a different angle….
What is my favourite Beatles song that they never released (at their peak).
Now that narrowed it down a tad, and for me there was only one winner –
“Come and Get it” by Badfinger.
I was eleven when Badfinger released it as a single on December 5th 1969, so of course I had no idea that there was any sort of Beatles connection – written & produced by McCartney, released on Apple records, etc.
I just thought it was a fantastic pop song, the kind you can’t get out of your head, the kind you hear other people singing or whistling along to, so uncomplicated with the piano intro and the catchy chorus – two and a half minutes of musical joy.
It’s probably no surprise to learn that the prolific Macca completed his Beatles version in under 60 minutes on arriving an hour early for a recording session for Abbey Road. Most people would probably have read the paper or had a cup of tea to kill a bit of time, but Paul thought he’d use the time to knock out a classic pop song.
The Beatles – Come and Get it
McCartney has subsequently said that Lennon who was present, failed to engage or leave the control room to contribute a harmony vocal. Paul took this as a sign of indifference to his song, so instead of featuring on Abbey Road as Paul intended, it was offered to Badfinger, who recorded it nine days later.
In his book Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald speculates that McCartney’s decision to gift this obvious hit to someone other than the Beatles may have been a loaded gesture, although he denied that there was any hidden meaning in the songs title…. mmm!
Despite the fact that Badfinger’s interpretation is an exact take of McCartney’s demo (as per Paul’s instructions) it’s still my favourite version, due chiefly to the harmonised vocals – if only Lennon had shifted his arse out of that control room!
Badfinger – Come and Get it
Paul Fitzpatrick – onceuponatimeinthe70s.com