Friday, February 24, 2012

You Like Me Too Much

Richard Furnstein: Beatles history is full of moments when George Harrison was treated as a second class Beatles citizen. His darkness, youth, and support role meant he often had to take a backseat to the raging egos of John and Paul and the finely pressed shirts of George Martin. It's a revelation to listen to George's 1969 demo of "All Things Must Pass" and realize that it didn't make it onto an album. It was mostly an issue of quality and quantity, but I would argue that the alpha males in The Beatles probably discounted much of George's songwriting efforts after a series of early period stinkers. "You Like Me Too Much" is one of the worst offenders: George delivers a bland melody over an aimless backing track. Young George was offering tales of high school love while John and Paul were off at college, writing songs about hash and one night stands. It's a shame. You can almost imagine Ringo heard this song and thought, "Man, even I'd be bummed out to bring this song to these guys."

It's a train wreck from the saloon meanderings of the song's introduction.
Robert Bunter: Yeah. Even if you give him the benefit of the doubt and the hindsight knowledge that he'd go on to much greater things ("Old Brown Shoe"), this is a shambles. The chord changes at the end of the bridge are just insanely bad. John and Paul had the Bacharach-like gift of moving their songs to striking, unusual harmonic modulations, then cleverly bringing the listener back home with a few adept, economical strokes. George gets himself into the same sort of quagmire, but instead of landing gracefully on his feet, he stumbles through the chords that accompany the words "...if you leave me."

Richard Furnstein: It's a train wreck from the saloon meanderings of the song's introduction, but the resolution of the bridge is almost criminal. You can almost hear the fear in George's voice as he reaches that point. I imagine he's giving Paul and Ringo a helpful nod as they suffer their way through their little buddy's worst song. Sure, George would write perhaps the best turnaround in Beatles history in "Here Comes The Sun," but it's going to be hard for him to live that one down.

Robert Bunter: These lyrics are just unforgivably clumsy and lazy. "You like me too much and I like you" makes zero sense. I am literally sitting here trying to understand what this song is about, and I can't do it. He's giving the kiss-off to an over-affectionate girlfriend. He sounds alternately angry ("you haven't got the nerve") and self-deprecating ("which is all that I deserve"). Is he trying to get rid of her or convince her come back? And it's not one of those things where it's all about the ambiguousness of young love. Harrison stinks.

 Richard Furnstein: That's why they called him the Dank Horse!

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