Sunday, February 1, 2009

Think for Yourself

Well, February is upon us-- the shortest and yet the longest month, no one's favorite month. But it's here and we all have to suffer through it. Luckily we have the Beatles to keep us sane.

My own February is starting out surprisingly OK. There is coffee, there is apple strudel from Athan's, and Blade is on TV. Later there's a gringa taco date and choir practice, both of which are convenient excuses to skip out on Superbowl-related festivities, which I can't help but find boring. Best of all, there is Rubber Soul to listen to.  Since this is a HarriSunday, let's listen to "Think for Yourself."

I'm pretty sure that this is the Beatles' first use of fuzz bass, and probably one of their only uses of it, so here it really stands out. It makes the song seem that much angrier-- although the lyrics are certainly pissed off about something, George's vocal sounds more laconic and dismissive than actually rage-filled to me. The fuzz bass hints at deeper levels of rage. I like this song best at the chorus, beginning with the drum roll, when George goes into that low growl and the melody hovers right around the tonic seemingly forever, allowing the guitars to take over the really compelling melodic stuff. The real good stuff is in the details, as always-- love Ringo's brief move into triplets after "go where you're going to"-- it's the musical equivalent of a kiss-off.

I don't believe I've ever read who this song was written about, but I suspect it was no one in particular, which is most effective that way anyway. With the crunch of the fuzz bass and the groovy minor-key stuff, it's the perfect song to sing us into a month like February. I feel totally ready to kick everyone's ass now.

"Think for Yourself," released in the U.K. side A track 5 of Rubber Soul, December 3, 1965; in the U.S. side A track 4 of Rubber Soul, December 6, 1965.
I am indebted for all discography information to the tremendous

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