Top Fifty - Helter Skelter

As I sit here listening to the current crop of American Idol wannabes violently ass rape the entire Beatles catalog, it has occurred to me to pay tribute to my very favorite Fab Four song, Helter Skelter.

According to the almighty Songfacts, Paul McCartney wanted to write the "loudest, nastiest, sweatiest rock number we could" after reading a Pete Townshend interview describing a Who track (possibly "I Can See For Miles") as "The most raucous rock 'n' roll, the dirtiest thing they'd ever done." This was the result.

The song is named after a slide at a British amusement park. The first line is a joke about this: "When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide, where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride."

For the album version, recorded September 9, 1968, 21 takes of approximately 5 minutes each were recorded, and the last one is featured on the official LP. Poor Ringo's hands hurt so badly from all the drumming, he famously yelled out at the end of the last take, "I've got blisters on my fingers!"

I love all versions of Beatles - from happy, poppy Beatles to psychedelic sitar Beatles, but nothing gets me going more than the dirty lowdown Beatles that growled and riffed through Helter Skelter.


Bev said...

One of my favorite Beatles songs, EVER! And that's saying a lot because I'm a huge Beatles fan. :)

BeckEye said...

Hmm, I've never been a huge fan of that one. I always thought listening to it too often would make me go nuts and plan a bunch of murders.

Bob said...

I love that one because it really sounded un-Beatle-like.

Nej said...

I'm a Beatles fan, but I really REALLY like their sound in this one!!

Kari said...

Bev - Being a Beatles fan is just one of the grazillion things I adore about you, m'lady.

BeckEye - I understand. I feel like going nuts and planning murders when I listen to Avril Lavigne.

Bob - I know, right? It's amazing to think that the bobble headed dorks that sang "Please, Please Me" could get so down and dirty. Love it!

Nej - It's just so out of left field that you either love it or hate it. I obviously more than love it!