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475 Plays
The Beatles
Paperback Writer

The Ben 500-Ben Eisen’s Favourite 500 songs.

331. The Beatles - “Paperback Writer” (1966)

 BEN: “Paperback Writer” was The Beatles’ first single of 1966, and signaled a new sound for the lads. According to legend, John became upset, wondering aloud why the bass on a certain Wilson Pickett record sounded better than the bass on their own records. Producer Sir George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick worked to get that gorgeous bass tone that you hear. Paul’s fluid and warm bass line was inspired by James Jamerson’s Motown output and George’s jangly guitar part was influenced by The Byrds. Lyrically, this song is pretty lightweight. Paul sings about being a writer looking for a break and a deal on his book “based on a novel by a man named Lear”. The thing that I love about this song, besides Paul’s wicked bass line and the head bobbing groove, is the amazing harmonies that accompany each chorus. Once again, the boys are showing off. Also, listen closely and you will hear a little bit of “Frere Jaques” in the 3rd verse. With the upcoming release Revolver (and “Paperback Writer’s” own B-side “Rain”), The Beatles were inching ever closer to the full on psychedelic masterwork that is Sgt. Pepper. In the meantime, “Paperback Writer” is pure ear candy.

Here is the lads’ promo video for “Paperback Writer”, one of the first music videos ever!

MARK:  All their songs are crafted so well.  This kind of starts like nowhere man and goes right into the riff.  The guitar sounds in this song are some of the crunchiest in all of the Beatles catalog.  The lyrics aren’t anything special, but all the backing vocals almost distract you from the fast paced lyrics and somehow they just seem cool.  The bass line is great and the tone is strong.  There is some really cool delay or reverb that they enhance at the end of Paul singing  the hook.  I love all their punctuated stops in this song.  It’s a jam!

Claudias Review:  It’s too early she isn’t awake… she would probably not like it too much.  She is Beatles-ed out at the moment.  

Filed under Beatles Paperback Writer 1966 331 Ben 500

0 notes &

Help. Coferized. | markcofer

I always loved this song of The Beatles, but the lyrics never matched the music (is that called ‘prosody?’) It’s a very sad song and I was originally just going to do it acoustically, but I added a few instruments and I couldn’t stop.  I put in the string quintet and a weird little synth lead.  The synth I wanted to sound like a ‘theremin' which are so cool sounding, but I don't have one so I made a sound as close as I could to it.  I think this is my best cover yet!  I called it 'Help.' because it's not as exciting and fast as 'Help!'

Filed under Beatles cover Help Cofer Cofers the classics

15 notes &

30 Plays
Mark Cofer & The Simpler Times


Come Together - Mark Cofer 

This one was made with a little help from my friends… (Beatles joke intended) The awesome Shannon Hurley lent her talents for the keyboard and Ben Eisen (yes of the Ben 500 and Lovers & Poets) played the bass.  Thank you guys for the help!  

I left most of the song just like the recording.  I played an acoustic guitar and played the lead parts with a slide.  I don’t know how much I made this song my own, but all the parts that make up this song are so great and why mess with perfection?

Filed under Come Together cover Beatles Mark Cofer song Shannon Hurley Ben Eisen

27 notes &

527 Plays
The Beatles
Here Comes The Sun

The Beatles Top 10

Ben’s #3 (Mark’s #7). “Here Comes The Sun” (1969)

BEN:  My favorite George Harrison song is as peaceful and breezy as it’s message. When he sings “It’s all right”, you really believe it. George was always big into meditation and spirituality. “Here Comes The Sun” is his thank you letter to the universe. In his mind, as long as the sun comes out, there’s nothing that can’t be dealt with. This song has one of the most gorgeous melodies ever written, and the arrangement is tasteful and understated. A perfect pop song.

MARK:  This one belongs on every early morning roadtrip mix… this song is so simple, yet has so much going on.  The guitar part is so peaceful, but what really is cool in this song is that synth or wurlitzer (not sure exactly… anybody know?) It just comes in and out doubling melodies and playing counter melodies.  This is the kind of song you play when you just want to forget everything and just have 3 minutes of joy.  

Filed under Here Comes The Sun George Harrison Beatles Top 10

5 notes &

51 Plays
The Beatles
While My Guitar Gently Weeps

The Beatles Top 10

Ben’s #8 (Mark’s #4) “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (1968)

BEN:  Another George classic from The White Album, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” benefits greatly from a guest appearance by guitar god Eric Clapton, playing the psychedelic lead parts that appear throughout the song. I also love the Hammond organ (played by Paul) and the driving beat. The lyrics are cryptic and philisophical, George apparently wrote them after reading the I Ching. Whatever their meaning, this song is creepy and haunting, but still finds room to rock. 

MARK:  This is another classic… it’s a song that is timeless and whenever it comes on, it have to listen.  I love the haunting melody answered by Clapton’s slide guitar.  This is a song that shows you how tight of a band they were.  There is so much going on, but yet it sounds so simple.  The lyrics are so great and I love when the hook is followed by that slide guitar that’s weeping.  Cool chord changes and a groove that could go on forever.  

Filed under Beatles While my guitar gently weeps White Album Top 10

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11 Plays
The Beatles
Strawberry Fields Forever

Top 10 Beatles

Mark’s #9 (Ben’s #4) - Strawberry Fields Forever (1967) - The Beatles

MARK: This song is probably the most ‘modern’ sounding The Beatles ever got.  The thing I love about this song is that it’s not a typical chord change, but somehow, it still becomes such a catchy song… how do you do it Beatles!  You can hear in the second verse that the voices sound a bit deeper.  It is because John liked the first take of one of the takes, then the second half of another take, so George Martin had the task of combining the two, so he lowered the pitch of the second take to match the first… amazing considering that they didn’t have protools!  This song is has so much going on and all of it works together to make a very interesting recording.  

BEN:  John plays the philosopher and guru in this psychedelic epic. “Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see”. When he sings lines like “I think I know I mean oh yes but it’s all wrong, that is I think I disagree”, it shows that John himself is struggling with his own viewpoint on the universe, but the fact that he’s questioning his surroundings is what’s important. George Martin once again contributes a heroic effort to bring John’s vision to life. The mellotron, orchestral arrangement and psychedelic flourishes like the backwards guitars and drums really make the song stand out.

Filed under beatles strawberry fields forever top 10

13 notes &

50 Plays
The Beatles
Happiness Is A Warm Gun

The Beatles Top 10 -

Ben’s #10. “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” (1968)

From The White Album, “Happiness” is one of the first songs John wrote after meeting Yoko (in The Beatles Anthology version John improvises a few lines - “Yoko oh no, oh no, Yoko oh no, oh yes…”). The song’s violent tempo and style shifts personify the random chaos in the lyrics, and the music is some of the heaviest of The Beatles’ catalog. This song is funny, scary, weird, amazing.

Filed under beatles top 10 happiness is a warm gun