Welcome to part 2 of the epic slug-fest between Britain’s greatest musical exports, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Part 1 was a close contest, in which we found the Beatles barely squeaking by in a battle as to who could rock “I Wanna Be Your Man,” more proficiently. That was just kid stuff however, as today we break out the real dynamite. Today we have the Beatles “Day Tripper,” vs. the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction.” I’ll just spoil it right now, the Rolling Stones win. Ok? Bored yet? Don’t be! Well, if you want ok, but lets go through it anyway. First lets watch the immaculate hit of genius proportions that is “Day Tripper.”
Holy shit, go go girls dancing to Beatles music with the Beatles standing right there! I’ve never seen the Beatles in that kind of situation before…pretty awesome! Well, that was highly satisfying…onto the Rolling Stones…
My favorite anecdote from Keith Richard’s autobiography, Life, was recalling how before the 1970s, Mick Jagger just danced, and it was fucking great. Later on in the 70s and 80s Mick got a coach, which Keith thought was rightfully bullshit. In this video you see Mick pulling off some righteous footwork, also his pants seem to be glowing. Amazing. Onto the RESULTS!
BEST DRUMMING: TIE! Actually, its not that exciting, the drums are the last thing I pay attention to when enjoying these two songs. Both Charlie and Ringo take a back seat to the more interesting stuff going on in these songs, which brings us to….
BEST BASS PLAYING: TIE! Dammit…again? The only thing really going on in bass in these songs mirroring the dynamic riffs that altered the course of rock and roll forever.
BEST RHYTHM PLAYING: TIE! WHAT THE FUCK! The more I keep playing these songs back to back, the more I realize how identical they are in many ways. In both bands, you have Lennon and Jones just sort of filling out shuffly little chords underneath the riffs with nary a notice.
BEST LEAD GUITAR: Stones, no question. At last, somebody scores. What else can you say, Keith Richards is incredible. He wrote the riff in his sleep, had it on tape along with his snoring the next day, and rock and roll collectively rocked and rolled another ten thousand light years down the cosmic super highway. Now, the Day Tripper riff is nothing to sneeze at, in fact I’ve always been curious just how the international jet setting, stadium touring, movie making, TV appearing, center of Beatlemania most famous people in the world being, Beatles, just pulled this riff of diamonds out of their butts, but they had access to magics few can understand. Still, in many ways “Day Tripper” was written as a response to groundbreaking work in riffage that the Rolling Stones were exploring, and it is a mighty response, but the Stones got there first.
BEST GROUP SINGING: The Beatles. What’s cool about “Day Tripper” is that Paul McCartney is singing lead on a John Lennon song for the most part, and that they cram in the best part of “Twist and Shout” into the bridge, somehow making it original again. It’s fantastic. “Satisfaction,” on the other hand is mainly just Mick, which brings us to…
BEST LEAD SINGING: The Rolling Stones. This is Mick Jagger’s ultimate song. It stuffs all his dangerous, swarthy, bluesy, teenagey, rebellious, sexually frustrated, radicalness into one glorious package. “Day Tripper,” as discussed, doesn’t even have a lead singer really.
BEST SONGWRITING: Ahh…a new category, it would have been pointless to include this in the last post, but the winner here is the Rolling Stones. Keith came up with the riff and the “I Can’t Get No, Satisfaction” melody, while Mick put his stamp on the lyrics and the rest of the song. It was a team effort of historic proportions that really illustrated the magic of the Jagger/Richards songwriting duo. “Day Tripper” has proto-”in your face”-psychedelic lyrics, “a drug song” in John Lennon’s words, and it is a basket of rock and roll fun, but “Satisfaction” is a milestone, while “Day Tripper” is…ummm…also a milestone, but one of many the Beatles churned out.
WINNER: The Rolling Stones by a score of 3-1. I didn’t lie when I told you the Stones would win. I hadn’t worked out the math before I delved into it, but I knew that scientifically there was no way they would lose this contest. You’ll never guess what battle awaits tomorrow, but if you happen to be a mellotron, don’t say I didn’t warn you.