Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ticket To Ride

Richard Furnstein: Fat Elvis period John starts to shake his blues on this track. While he is certainly plenty bummed out, confusion is his primary emotion here. The girl in his life may be leaving him but he's not completely sure. Hell, she's not even sure. He thinks he's gonna be sad; that old feeling creeps in again. Despite the impending sense of doom, John's voice has a different tone from his previous lady anguish numbers. He's noticeably more laid back now; his baby doesn't care, so why should he. The bales of weed probably helped him reach this plateau, and the impact of (non-upper) drugs is rarely more evident in John's vocals. He's not going to cry over this one, he's not even sure if he likes her. Pass the gravity bong and what's on the telly, love?

Robert Bunter: It's great to have the chance to listen to these wonderful tracks with you. This song is so heavy, Richard! Listen: the lurching, stop-start beat sounds like a bulldozer with triangular wheels climbing up the stairs of a Roman amphitheatre. A hard-hat bedecked Lennon is seated in the operator's deck of this rugged contraption, looking young and strong as he pulls the drive levers back and forth with an impassive air. The rest of the crew (Paul, George, Ringo and the studio engineers) look on with grim approval as he rumbles ahead, leaving the twisted wreckage of crumbled ampitheatre steps behind him.

Richard Furnstein: Musically, the song is notable for it's gorgeous chime, hanging like lovely byrds over pristine fields of snow. Ringo opens up his drumming on this one, pointing to future triumphs in "Rain" and the deconstructed percussion of the Sgt Pepper's era. If you ever have the distinct pleasure of listening to this song with me, get ready for me to point out the perfection of John's "awww" before he dips into the chorus. His vulnerability that he shows in that one syllable makes up for his audible indifference on the rest of the track.
Robert Bunter: The monolithic tension is only broken in two places. The beat starts to normalize a bit on the bridge ("I don't know why she's riding so high"), only to lurch back into first gear at 1:26. Then, the ridiculous double-time "My baby don't care" coda. It sounds like John just leaped off the bulldozer and started wildly dancing up the remaining steps in a merry, spastic gospel frenzy while the other Beatles shake tambourines and clap and hoot.

Richard Furnstein: I have to once again mention the lovely Karen Carpenter, who turns this weed rocker into a funereal weeper. Sorry for all the sadness and suffering, Karen, but take it elsewhere. We're having a Beatles gospel party in here.


  1. in the 90's i read in some guitar magazine that this tune is the "first heavy metal tune". i found this on it's wiki

    "Lennon proudly claimed that it was the first heavy metal song given the droning bassline, repeating drums, and loaded guitar lines."

    hmmm, why not?

  2. Yeah, that "first heavy metal song" rap is such baloney. I'm not going there.