The Beatles song John Lennon found embarrassing

John Lennon

Artists eventually begin to critique their earlier work after they have been in the industry for a while. No matter how much potential they had in their early years, now that they have more experience under their belt and have produced their masterpieces, it is always simpler to criticize their shortcomings. The Beatles’ records are generally regarded as having very few flaws, but John Lennon considered their early singles’ harmonica era to be one of their least appealing features.

However, in the early days of the group, there was nothing inherently wrong with the harmonica player. It, if anything, made them more unique. No matter how many people are content to just play loud rock music on guitars. Listening to Lennon blow away on his mouth organ made people’s ears perk up. When they heard songs like ‘Love Me Do’ for the first time.

Not that it didn’t have any disadvantages, though. When Lennon was phoning it in, as on the breakdown of “Little Child,” where he just blows into it without any real rhyme or reason, it was obvious even though he was far from John Popper on the harmonica. Playing a mediocre harmonica part over the bridge doesn’t automatically make a song good. Even if that was done to hide an otherwise weak song, it still doesn’t guarantee its quality.

Lennon eventually said in Rolling Stone that he could no longer stand to hear that sound, stating, “The harmonica was the first gimmick.” Because we used to make arrangements, we started using it on “Love Me Do” exclusively for arrangements. After that, we placed it on “Please Please Me” and then “From Me To You,” in that order. We abandoned it because it became tedious and unnecessary. It became awkward.

However, any musician looking to take their craft further would undoubtedly feel a little self-conscious about it as well. Hearing “From Me To You” right after replicated the same formula. It made them appear like a one-trick pony to those who had never heard them before. Even though “Love Me Do” had made them famous.

On the real album, that kind of schtick got even worse. If they hadn’t taken more chances on songs like ‘A Taste of Honey‘ or ‘Ask Me Why‘, listening to the hits and then hearing them cover a song like ‘Chains‘ with the same thing might have given the impression that they were a cheap version of a pub band, even though not every song on the record had a bluesy harmonica thrown on for fun.

In his later years, Lennon didn’t have as much time to play the harmonica, but it still occasionally surfaced. Paul McCartney composed “Rocky Raccoon” as an Americanized folk song, but Lennon’s rendition works much better for the occasion. Hearing it as the album’s closing track on “Oh Yoko!” feels more like an emotional outlet than anything flashy.

But perhaps Lennon was beginning to see the value of the harmonica by then. While it makes sense that at first, he wanted to avoid the instrument as much as possible, restricting your instrument selection will eventually kill the song’s flow.

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