52: Second Guessing The Beatles #2

May 5, 2016

Podcast, Podcasting

SATB 52In this episode, Richard and Robert revisit the theme they’d first explored on show 21 – recasting the Beatles’ mid-period albums (Help! – Rubber Soul – Revolver – Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)  in their own image. Songs include “Every Little Thing,” “Day Tripper” and “It’s All Too Much.”

Red = dropped tracks
Blue = added tracks

Rubber Soul


RevolverSgt Pepper
2016 is upon us and so are the Something About The Beatles 2016 calendars, featuring hundreds of Beatles history dates and 24 full color original illustrations – get one of the last remaining copies in stock here and specially priced!

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    32 Responses to “52: Second Guessing The Beatles #2”

    1. Trevor Beaumont Says:

      Don’t you just hate American arrogance? In a language he will understand…. What a jerk!! In my world….. he’s a ignorant cunt.


      • Us Says:

        That’s “an” ignorant cunt. (You’d think the nationality who invented the eponymous language would be better users of it.)


        • Trevor Beaumont Says:

          Thank you, sir! 🙂 It was my lack of typing, proof-reading and editing skills that let me down…..caused by my angry outburst! Peace, brother. 🙂


      • Luke Says:

        Go brush your tooth, Trevor.


      • RB Says:

        Relatively few Brits sink to Beaumont’s levels of stupidity and abuse. The vast majority would be embarrassed by it.


        • Trevor Beaumont Says:

          Today was the first time I’ve listened to a podcast from ‘Something About The Beatles’……. Because I generally feel that American Beatles fans were ripped off by Capitol Records’ compilation releases up to and including Magical Mystery Tour (with the exception of Sgt Pepper, of course) I thought it would be an interesting topic of discussion. The manner of the English guy in the debate was very reasonable – I thought he was by far the most knowledgeable of the two. However, the American really pissed me off. The arrogance of his ‘my opinion is the only one that matters’ – and an incredibly domineering attitude towards the Englishman – deserved my wrath. Maybe I was a tad harsh in my choice of language in reacting to his rudeness, but I stand by my opinion that one guy was very pleasant – and the other wasn’t.


          • Us Says:

            You’re allowed. But I would suggest that starting your listening to SATB with this particular episode is a bit like coming in during a film that’s already underway. When you’ve got a few more shows under your belt, you’ll understand that in offering up a show that’s as much informative as it is entertaining, a certain amount of schtick creeps in – and though we’re serious about the information, we’re not too serious about each other – or ourselves.


            • Trevor Beaumont Says:

              I’ve just listened to podcast #51 which was far less abrasive…… so I take your point! Now I’m looking forward to #53…….

            • J Neo Marvin Says:

              You can’t take it too seriously. Richard and Robert’s incessant quibbling on this episode had me laughing out loud several times.

      • John S Says:

        I usually find myself in accord with Rodriguez but this episode was rather annoying…the US albums are illegitimate and not defensible – only Americans defend them. They were NOT the Beatles vision, and Beatles fans can only truly go by the UK core catalogue. Quite frankly I wouldn’t have either of you in charge of sequence programming – even though I love the show!


    2. Plastic Q Band Says:

      Please don’t make us wait 30 more episodes for Second Guessing #3!! I really enjoy these episodes.

      For HELP! I would get rid of “Act Naturally” and “Dizzy;” replacing them with the b-sides “I’m Down” and “Yes It Is.” For RUBBER SOUL I’d nix “Michelle” and “Girl;” adding “We Can Work It Out” (side 1 closer) and “Day Tripper” (side 2 opener). For REVOLVER Side 1 would be “Taxman,” “I’m Only Sleeping,” “Love You To,” “Here, There and Everywhere,” “She Said, She Said,” “Good Day Sunshine,” “Rain.” Side 2 would be “Paperback Writer,” “And Your Bird Can Sing,” “For No One,” “Dr. Robert,” “I Want to Tell You,” “Got to Get You Into My Life,” “Tomorrow Never Knows.” For SGT. PEPPER I would take out “Fixing a Hole” and “She’s Leaving Home” replacing that spot with “It’s All Too Much.” I’d also take out “Within You Without You” and “When I’m 64” and replace it with “Strawberry Fields” (side 2 opener with no coda) and “Penny Lane.” Then I’d take off the inner groove noise and put in the “Strawberry Fields” coda at the end.

      ::mic drop::


    3. Dominic Says:

      Went back and played your first Second Guessing show where you said you’d sideline “What You’re Doing’ for Help. According to this show, a worthy McCartney track is cast to the four winds.

      As it proved on Beatles VI, What You’re Doing worked better as aside opener, much better than Bad Boy. That said, I like the idea of making side two of Help as close to Beatles VI as possible. Side two of Help is the possibly worst sequence of songs the Fabs and George Martin ever signed off on, terrible flow.

      I think robbing the world of two of the best double a-sides by sticking them on Rubber Soul and Pepper would have been a bigger blunder than self directing Magical Mystery Tour.

      Great show regardless!



    4. Paul T Says:

      Hugely entertaining, guys, and possibly a record number of lol moments for me – loved it.


    5. riddell Thomas Says:

      I’ve heard Mr Martin hint that lovely Rota was a song that he wasn’t very found of and from hearing him talk about within without you, I think he would have got rid of those 2 songs. And Mr Rodriguez what are you on, some dodgy choices. Mr kite!!!! She’s leaving home, strings and harp not great fair enough but a great song. But fixing a whole, come on. Great vocal, bass and after the solo the depending harmony 😊😊


    6. Maia Says:

      Is Within You Without You finally getting the appreciation it deserves? I think it’s held up extremely well over the years. I’m SO enjoying It’s All Too Much! Haven’t paid much attention to that song but I will now.


    7. Keith Moore Says:

      Nobody got rid of Miss Lizzy! Half hearted lifeless going through the motions rocker with a really annoying repeated ad nauseum guitar riff. I always skip that track
      As for Mr Kite. Robert, I dont think you should lay all the blame at John’s door as Paul has recently been saying (as you know) that it was 50’50 joint composition straight off the poster. Funny how I never ever heard John say that.
      Anyway…… great show as usual, funny and informative


    8. John S Says:

      I should add that the only real place in the Fabs catalogue for a real “second guessing” retrospective – is an early 1968 album – featuring the “Yellow Submarine” and other tracks – Across the Universe, The Inner Light et al from that period. The stuff the Fabs were thinking of making an EP out of before the Soundtrack became a reality.


    9. Gerry Keith Says:

      Pardon my ignorance… And though I’ve got a small collection of ‘alternate’ tracks, I’ve never heard the version of Isn’t It A Pity that you played. Without crossing any lines that might not want to be crossed, can anyone offer a clue as to where I might find it? Not the source per say, but an ‘alternate’ CD title perhaps?


      • Us Says:

        Hi Gerry,

        It was a demo recorded at Apple on January 26, 1969, after a Beatles session; the same day you see George and Ringo working on “Octopus’s Garden” in the Let It Be film.

        This take is a “bonus” track to the Let It Roll comp, available for download on iTunes.


    10. Bob B Says:

      Love your shows! I have to agree with Richard that the English Albums are Sacrament when discussing the Beatles recording career! It is apparent to me that our American cousins do not understand the Englishness of them! They were introduced to them after they established themselves and even if in terms of record sales in America was huge that has more to do with populous! Only America would release Here There and The Four Seasons V The Beatles…. And of course they put out that awful Beatles Cartoon series!Its a nice thought to discuss what could have been in terms of listings but the thing is its now taken as read and to any Beatle fan the tracks discussed to add are well known anyway ……


    11. Gary Says:

      Great thing you guys are doing, especially for beatles fans. Idea from me is how Mccartneys looks played a pivotal roles in their makeup. His good looks played a major role not only in Beatle domain but the social spectrum of the day. This may sound a bit weird or gay, but believe me me, it’s not. He was the coolest looking guy of our generation, and to me, the big reason why cultural Sociology changed in appearance. Am I alone? I don’t think so. He is so under appreciated. Dig?


    12. Ron Says:

      Nothing wrong with Run For Your Life at the end of Rubber Soul, it fits.

      The Capitol albums are there, millions owned them, it’s time to get over the purity test and accept them for what they are.

      You get used to RR vs. Richard, after so many shows it is getting a bit repetitive with the talking points though.


    13. Paul Dudley Says:

      I thought I was the only one who did this sort of thing. Anyway for what it is worth, here are my alternate Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt Peppers albums (I actually went to the trouble of burning these tracks in this order onto CD so I can play them like a “normal” CD). I restricted myself to adding tracks that were recorded around the same time as the album, and also restricted each side of each album to being no more than 20 minutes long.

      My Rubber Soul

      Side 1
      Drive My Car 2:25
      Norweigan Wood 2:01
      You Wont See Me 3:18
      Nowhere Man 2:40
      Think for yourself 2:16
      The Word 2:41
      We can work it out 2:15

      Side 2
      Day Tripper 2:50
      Girl 2:30
      I’m looking through you 2:23
      In My Life 2:24
      Wait 2:12
      If I needed someone 2:20
      Run for your life 2:18

      My Revolver

      Side 1
      Taxman 2:39
      Eleanor Rigby 2:06
      I’m only sleeping 3:00
      Love you to 2:59
      Here, There and Everywhere 2:25
      Rain 2:59
      She Said She Said 2:37

      Side 2
      Good Day Sunshine 2:08
      And your bird can sing 2:00
      For No One 2:00
      Paperback Writer 2:18
      I want to tell you 2:29
      Got to get you into my life 2:29
      Tomorrow never knows 2:57

      My Sgt Peppers

      Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band 2:02
      With a little help from my friends 2:44
      Lucy in the sky with diamonds 3:28
      Getting Better 2:48
      Penny Lane 3:03
      When I’m 64 2:37
      Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite 2:37

      Within You Without You 5:04
      She’s Leaving Home 3:35
      Strawberry Fields Forever 4:05
      Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band reprise 1:19
      A Day in the life 5:39


    14. BW Says:

      “It’s All Too Much” – yet another example of Paul going 150% on a George cut.


    15. J Neo Marvin Says:

      Wow. I thought I knew my late 60s Beach Boys, but I never heard that track “Where Is She” before. And I agree that would have been an interesting approach to “She’s Leaving Home”.


    16. Mike T Says:

      Great show, really enjoying these alternative takes on albums. Don’t always agree but that’s part of the fun. Can I ask is that full version of It’s All Too Much available anywhere? Always one of my favourites and I had no idea it had been truncated.

      By the way I’m a late starter with these podcasts, just discovered them at the Billy Bragg one and went back to the beginning. They are wonderful, thanks so much for them. Didn’t think I could love The Beatles more but I do!


    17. Jack Izzo Says:

      Short-time listener (two months), first-time kvetcher. These are my opinions on everything from this episode but Sgt. Pepper. (More on that album later.) Since the episode came out over 18 months ago, I’m sure this opinion will be read with the audience and critical eye it deserves.

      Help! – Rich
      Side 1
      “Help!” – Lennon – 2:18
      “The Night Before” – McCartney – 2:34
      “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” – Lennon – 2:09
      “I Need You” – Harrison – 2:28
      “Another Girl” – McCartney – 2:05
      “You’re Going to Lose That Girl” – Lennon – 2:18
      “Ticket to Ride” – Lennon – 3:09

      Side 2
      “Act Naturally” – Starr 2:30
      “Yes It Is” – Lennon – 2:41 (replacing “It’s Only Love”)
      Reason: “Yes It Is” is, in my opinion, the better tune.
      “I’m Down” – McCartney – 2:33 (replacing Dizzy Miss Lizzie and moved up)
      Reason: “I’m Down” is just too good to not be on the album, and “Yesterday” is too strong a track to be followed by a cover (or anything, for that matter.)
      “You Like Me Too Much” – Harrison – 2:36
      “Tell Me What You See” – McCartney w/ Lennon – 2:37
      “I’ve Just Seen a Face” – McCartney – 2:05
      “Yesterday – McCartney – 2:05

      Pulled – Dizzy Miss Lizzy, It’s Only Love
      Singles – I’d stand pat, but make “Yesterday” a UK single.

      ROBERT IS WRONG! Pulling “Yesterday” is sacrilege. Bad Beatles author! Bad!
      RICHARD IS WRONG! I’d limit side one to tunes from the movie.

      So here’s my Help!, side 2:
      Act Naturally – 2:30
      Yes It Is – 2:41
      I’m Down – 2:33
      You Like Me Too Much – 2:36
      Tell Me What You See – 2:37
      I’ve Just Seen a Face – 2:05
      Yesterday – 2:05

      Rubber Soul – Rich
      Side 1
      “Day Tripper” – Lennon w/ McCartney – 2:50 (replacing “Drive My Car”)
      Reason: The Beatles’ decision to begin their albums with a bang is a good one, but “Day Tripper” is the stronger bang. Also, in terms of sound, “Drive My Car” is a better companion to “We Can Work it Out.”
      “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” – Lennon – 2:01
      “Think for Yourself” – Harrison – 2:16
      Reason for move: Musically, the song is underrated, and its very modern sound (that fuzz!) makes it more sonically compatible between Wood & YWSM
      “You Won’t See Me” – McCartney – 3:18
      “The Word” – Lennon, McCartney and Harrison 2:41
      “What Goes On” – Starr 2:47
      Reason for move: It’s no “Day Tripper” – heck, it’s no “Yellow Submarine” – but it is a charming Ringo-sung tune and a good musical progression into “Michelle.”
      “Michelle” – McCartney – 2:40

      Side 2
      “Nowhere Man” – Lennon – 2:40
      Reason: It’s a good lead track for Side 2.
      “I’m Looking Through You” – McCartney – 2:23
      “Girl” – Lennon – 2:30
      “Wait” – Lennon & McCartney – 2:12
      “In My Life” – Lennon – 2:24
      Reason for switcheroos: “Nowhere Man” as the lead-in for side 2 damages the musical flow, thus the rearrangement.
      “If I Needed Someone” – Harrison – 2:20
      “We Can Work it Out” – McCartney w/ Lennon – 2:15 (replacing “Run for Your Life”)
      Reason: “Run For Your Life” is a terrible song. It’s also more a 1964 Beatles tune than 1965 and makes for a weak ending to an album very much ahead of its time in terms of pop music. Plop it onto Beatles VI. “WCWIO” makes for a much stronger closer.

      Singles: We Can Work it Out/Drive My Car; Nowhere Man/If I Needed Someone (Replacing “What Goes On”
      Reason: This change makes a far stronger single.

      Pulled: Drive My Car, Run For Your Life

      ROBERT IS WRONG! Robert’s additions, by adding older tracks (literally and stylistically) makes Rubber Soul sound more retrograde and less like the game-changer it was.

      RICHARD IS WRONG! Taking out the two of the weaker tunes and merely plopping in the single makes the songs on the album better, but the musical flow is thrown off.

      My Rubber Soul is this:
      Side 1:
      Day Tripper – 2:50
      Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) – 2:01
      Think for Yourself – 2:16
      You Won’t See Me – 3:18
      The Word – 2:41
      What Goes On – 2:47
      Michelle – 2:40

      Side 2:
      Nowhere Man – 2:40
      I’m Looking Through You – 2:23
      Girl – 2:30
      Wait – 2:12
      In My Life – 2:24
      If I Needed Someone – 2:20
      We Can Work It Out – 2:15

      Side 1
      “Eleanor Rigby” – McCartney – 2:11
      Reason: I think beginning with ER would give the album a startling beginning, an indication that this was going to be an album that progresses farther than pop had before. “Taxman” is a good song but not a great one. Give the liftoff to Ms. Rigby.
      “I’m Only Sleeping” – Lennon – 2:58
      “Love You To” – Harrison – 3:00
      “Here, There and Everywhere” – McCartney – 2:29
      “Taxman” – Harrison – 2:36
      Reason: song progression. HT&E, sweet; Taxman, grouchy; YS, fun and trippy; SSSS, just plain trippy.
      “Yellow Submarine” – Starr – 2:40
      “She Said She Said” – Lennon – 2:39

      Side 2
      “Paperback Writer” – McCartney – 2:18 (replacing “Good Day Sunshine”)
      Reason: PW is an example of what McCartney writes when he’s on all four cylinders. GDS is an example of what McCartney writes on his lesser days. Toss the latter onto Yesterday and Today.
      “And Your Bird Can Sing” – Lennon – 2:02
      “For No One” – McCartney – 2:03
      “I Want to Tell You” – Harrison – 2:30
      “Got to Get You into My Life” – McCartney – 2:31
      “Tomorrow Never Knows” – Lennon – 3:00

      Added: Paperback Writer
      Pulled: Doctor Robert, Good Day Sunshine
      Singles: same

      ROBERT IS WRONG! The US release of “Revolver” is an unholy mess. It does not need to be improved; it needs to be pitched into a dark hole.
      RICHARD IS WRONG! I understand the desire to double George’s contributions to the album, but I can’t see either “Isn’t It a Pity” or “Art of Dying” as more than filler in 1966. Maybe on the White Album later, but not Revolver.
      FINALLY: WHAT IS IT WITH YOU TWO AND RINGO? Did he steal your lunch money? “Mooommmmm, Ringo took our lunch money again!” “That’s okay, boys: just wait fifty years, and you can demote his songs in a counterfactual universe.” “YAY!”

      So here’s my Revolver:
      Side 1
      “Eleanor Rigby” – 2:11
      “I’m Only Sleeping” – 2:58
      “Love You To” – 3:00
      “Here, There and Everywhere” – 2:29
      “Taxman” – 2:36
      “Yellow Submarine” – 2:40
      “She Said She Said” – 2:39

      Side 2
      “Paperback Writer” – 2:18
      “And Your Bird Can Sing” – 2:02
      “For No One” – 2:03
      “I Want to Tell You” – 2:30
      “Got to Get You into My Life” – 2:31
      “Tomorrow Never Knows” – 3:00



    18. Jack Izzo Says:

      I just wasted four hours of my life with this crap. Here’s my Sgt. Pepper.

      Side 1
      “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” – McCartney – 2:02
      “With a Little Help from My Friends” – Starr – 2:44
      “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” – Lennon – 3:28
      “Getting Better” – McCartney – 2:48
      “Strawberry Fields Forever” (replacing “Fixing a Hole”) – Lennon – 4:05
      Reason: “Getting Better” and “Fixing a Hole” are similar in style, and GB is the better tune. Plus – let’s face it – Sgt. Pepper is very heavy on the Paul. We could replace with a John song and nobody would complain much… except Paul.
      “She’s Leaving Home” – McCartney w/Lennon – 3:35
      “Within You Without You” – Harrison – 5:04 (moved to side 1)
      Reason: with “It’s All Too Much” added to side 2 (and with three songs over five minutes on one side), I’m bumping WYWY up to the end of side 1. It also provides a better musical flow.

      Side 2
      “When I’m Sixty-Four” – McCartney – 2:37
      “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” – Lennon – 2:37
      Reason: I think having these two songs open up the second side makes the musical concept stronger. Why? Damned if I know. It just does to me.
      “Penny Lane” – McCartney – 3:03
      Reason: Should be on the album. This, IMHO, is the best placement.
      “Lovely Rita” – McCartney – 2:42
      “It’s All Too Much” – Harrison (replacing “Good Morning Good Morning”) – approx. 5:40
      Reason: GMGM is a weak song (although Ringo’s drumming is top-notch). George should have a second song on the album. I envision a slightly edited IATM (also with good Ringo drumming) with softening trumpets segueing into the reprise.
      “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” – McCartney – 1:19
      “A Day in the Life” – Lennon w/ McCartney – 5:39

      Added: Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, It’s All Too Much
      Pulled: Good Morning Good Morning, Fixing a Hole

      RICHARD AND ROBERT ARE…perfectly reasonable. I wouldn’t have considered “It’s All Too Much” had they not mentioned the possibility on the podcast. And their other suggestions make complete sense.

      My Sgt. Pepper looks like this:

      Side 1
      Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
      With a Little Help from My Friends
      Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
      Getting Better
      Strawberry Fields Forever
      She’s Leaving Home
      Within You Without You

      Side 2
      When I’m Sixty-Four
      Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
      Penny Lane
      Lovely Rita
      It’s All Too Much
      Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
      A Day in the Life


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