Friday, September 17, 2010

The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs: #99 “Yes It Is”

Wow. What a hauntingly beautiful song.

“Yes It Is” was definitely a Beatles composition I was a latecomer on, not until well into the band’s CD era of the Eighties and Nineties, thanks in large part to Past Masters Vol. 1.

I have to say that when I think about it now, this somehow became a song that to this day has been mostly ignored by mainstream radio, though lord knows why. Granted it was a B-side that failed to crack the Top 40, and Lennon himself dismissed it as a weak follow-up to “This Boy,” (a song, by the way, that Rolling Stone chose not to recognize), it’s a prime display of the Beatles’ excellence at harmonization. Funny too, I’d give the nod to #99 big time over the more schmaltzy-in-a-barber-shop-quartet-way “This Boy.” Rolling Stone clearly did too. Not that it’s processor sucked, not at all, but this one works simultaneously as sorrowful and hopeful. And George Harrison’s gentle pedal guitar work captured a sound uncharacteristic for the band circa Help! while displaying their talent and versatility.

“Yes It Is” probably stuck with me for good back in 1996 thanks to its inclusion in Anthology 2. The Powers That Be, in their infinite wisdom, chose to fuse an early vocal demo of John Lennon’s with the final version via a nifty transition at the song’s bridge. An ingenious way to display the song’s development from start to finish, in fact it’s one of my favorites from that ’96 outtakes collection.


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