Counting Crows' Adam Duritz tells us why 'Happiness...' is his top choice
The January issue of UNCUT is on sale now, featuring an all-star panel of musicians selecting their favourite song by the late [b]Beatle[/b] [b]John Lennon[/b].
Which Lennon song “flipped out” [b]Brian Wilson[/b] when he first heard it?
Which one reminds [b]Arctic Monkey[/b] [b]Alex Turner[/b] of his mum and dad?
And when we asked [b]The Who[/b]’s [b]Roger Daltrey[/b] for his favourite, what on earth led him to conclude: “I can see why people go completely mad in this business.”?
And there’s many, many brilliant contributions from the likes of [b]Yoko Ono[/b], [b]John Cale[/b], [b]John Lydon[/b], [b]Jarvis Cocker[/b] and [b]Liam Gallagher[/b].
Meanwhile, Uncut.co.uk will be running online exclusives throughout the month, today is The Gossip’s [b]Beth Ditto[/b]’s pick.
Coming up: [b]Richmond Fontaine[/b]’s Willy Vlautin, [b]Josh Ritter[/b], [b]Bat For Lashes[/b], [b]Roy Wood[/b] and more will be picking out their favourite tracks.
[b]HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN
From The Beatles album, The Beatles (November 1968)[/b]
[b]Adam Duritz, Counting Crows:[/b]
I mean, objectively, “Ticket To Ride” is the greatest pop song ever written, but “Happiness…” is really interesting – the time signature keeps changing, the rhythm’s constantly mutating. That’s a very hard thing to do as a writer, it’s very weird. Y’know, people forget how fucked up some of the later Beatles songs were. They’d write these great songs, but underneath the bass parts or the guitar parts were incredibly complex. They turned rock’n’roll inside out while still retaining the sheer impact of plain old rock‘n’roll.
This is a dark track. I mean, not only in the obvious sense that it’s lyrically dark, but the whole musical structure, which is so strange and bizarre. It’s like this twisted James Bond theme, or like a Phil Spector wall-of-sound girl-group backdrop, like The Ronettes gone askew.
I think there’s an over-large obsession with Lennon though; I will say that. I know I’m supposed to be the dark, depressed guy in our band but I love Paul – the greatest singer ever. Everyone credits the Beatles to John, and his being shot made it a cause. Don’t get me wrong: they’re both musical geniuses, but The Beatles couldn’t have worked without the combination of the two. Hey, but then the best post-Beatles pop singles were Ringo’s. And the best post-Beatles album was George’s All Things Must Pass. Well, with Band On The Run or Ram giving it a run for its money. I’m not afraid to stick up for Paul. There’s more than one road.
Plus! What do you think Lennon’s greatest song is? You can vote for your choice, and tell us why, by clicking here for the special poll. We’ll be publishing your choices in a future issue of Uncut, along with a reader Top 10. VOTE HERE!