Monday, April 4, 2011

Till There Was You

Robert Bunter: Okay, I guess we've got to deal with this one now. Paul puts on his cutie-pie mask for pretty much the first time here. The Beatles were a gang of rough-and-rowdy Liverpool street toughs, swigging ale and pep pills as they slugged their way to the toppermost of the poppermost. But at least one of them was eager to make sure every listener knew that they were all-round family entertainers. Four charming lads who could schmaltz it up with the best of the smarmy lounge lizards. That one was Paul McCartney.

Richard Furnstein: Yeah, thank goddess for the sweet puppy breathed Paul. Don't get me wrong, I love the rock n' roll side of things. I want the Beatles to be a street gang, cutting throats of promoters and catching exotic sexual diseases from foreign prostitutes. I'm sure Paul had his fair share of uncomfortable drips.

But listen: this song plays a crucial role on the Beatles' finest album. It's the moment in Act II where Paul opens a door in the back of the Cavern Club. Instead of a utility closet or another dank passageway, he is suddenly in a world of beautiful music, fragrant meadows (!), and gentle bongos. Imagine light, jasmine, and butterflies entering the staid (yet iconic) cover shoot for With The Beatles. Don't look at "Till There Was You" as drippy soft serve in a land of rock perfection. Instead, view it as a necessary palette cleanser in the most delicious multiple-course meal. Thank you for the relief and sweet gentle tones, Paul.

Robert Bunter:
"Hey, fellas, let's do this saccharine pop tune from 'The Music Man'! It'll be a hilarious goof! Plus, we've got to show that we're versatile entertainers! Won't it be great to mix this one in with all the Little Richard screamers? Plus, the moms will love it! This will be a great chance to win their hearts, right! Plus ..."

Richard Furnstein: "Great idea, Paul. George, Ringo, and I agree that you are the greatest Beatle and you come up with great ideas for our rock albums. Maybe someday we should try that quiet storm classic that you've been kicking around for years, 'I'll Follow The Sun.' It can play the same role on a future triumph, smoothing out our rockin' bandit facial acne and inviting a blizzard of panties on stage. Thanks for everything you do, Paul."

Robert Bunter: Yeah, it's pretty gross. Even if you're inclined to cut Paul some slack and enjoy this one on its own terms, it's hard not to puke a little bit from his affected cuteness. The one redeeming factor is a completely advanced guitar solo. Who taught George how to play like that? He didn't learn those riffs at the Reeperbahn, I'll wager! Not bad, man.

Richard Furnstein: Good point, George gets credit for roughly 43% of those tossed panties.

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