Thursday, March 19, 2009


It's been a long time, kids. A long time since I started this blog. Which I did as an outlet, or as a distraction from the rest of the stupid crap going on with me (don't ask), or something-- and I can now vouch for Beatles music doing wonders for a girl's mental health. It's true. But just Wait, right? More good stuff is sure to be on its way.

Honestly, I don't think "Wait" turns up in anyone's list of favorite Beatles songs. Even the Beatles themselves didn't love it-- they originally recorded it for inclusion on the Help! album, but decided that such non-favorites as "Tell Me What You See" and "It's Only Love" were stronger, so dropped it off the final LP. But when they had space on Rubber Soul, out came "Wait" again-- they just beefed up the percussion in those later sessions to make it sound more like the other Rubber Soul songs.

Maybe that's why it sounds to me like Ringo is having the most fun on this. It's one of those songs in which the tambourine somehow reaches epic greatness-- it's practically the most important instrument in this arrangement. The tambourine's shimmy as the beat slows down at the end is the closest this song gets to something profound. And that's Ringo. His drumming is pretty infectious too-- check out that cool fill he does as they go into the chorus and you can just hear how much he's digging this. (Or faking it super well.)

Though it's not one of the really famous ones, "Wait" is a half-Lennon, half-McCartney hybrid. The verse and chorus are John's, and the bridge ("I feel as though you ought to know") is all Paul. Certainly the tense downward chromatic motion on the verse is something it sounds like John would have come up with. But otherwise, "Wait" feels a little unremarkable, a little slight. I don't know. It sounds like a bridge between Help! and Rubber Soul-- a love song just sophisticated enough to be interesting thanks to some excellent percussion and some weirdo harmonic action, just waiting for that special touch of something or other to bring it into the realm of rock psychedelia. Just me? Maybe. I don't know-- something about the guitar work anticipates "And Your Bird Can Sing" to me, though of course it's not quite there yet. But they're very much on their way. In the meantime, we can enjoy this pleasant diversion of a song. After all, nothing is wrong with "Wait," except that, to the Beatles, it was clearly just another song.

Speaking of being on one's way, as of tomorrow I'm in Chicago for work for a while. I'll be at a pretty gigantic trade show trying to get all the people to buy what my company's selling. Trade shows in general, and this show specifically, always EXHAUST me-- it's all standing on one's feet in uncomfortable shoes and remaining cheery while living on nutritionless convention center catering and reading people's badges to try to figure out who to flag down. So though I expect to keep listening, I might be posting later in the day, or in an abbreviated fashion, or not at all-- though I'm hoping it doesn't come to that. Apologies in advance if I seem off in any way in the next several days.

"Wait," released in the U.K. side B track 5 of Rubber Soul, November 30, 1965; in the U.S. side B track 5 of the bastardized Capitol Rubber Soul, December 6, 1965.
I am indebted for all discography information to the tremendous


  1. Don't forget the awesome shaker part!

  2. Touche! You're absolutely right-- points to "Wait" for its epic maracas.