The sweet, simple Beatles classic that John Lennon declared “lousy”

The sweet, simple Beatles classic that John Lennon declared “lousy”

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week: Songs by Paul McCartney

I have a bunch of older siblings who cursed me with merciless teasing, but blessed me with abundant, diverse record collections that I could pick at. I remember listening to Pink Floyd’s The Wall and the Heavy Metal soundtrack (different siblings), and staring very intently at the back cover of Scorpions’ Lovedrive. (At least it wasn’t Virgin Killer.) I also distinctly remember the first time I heard a Beatles song, or at least the first time a Beatles song registered for me: It was “Eight Days A Week,” which—besides “Help” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand”—might be the easiest point of entry for a young mind. I don’t consider myself a huge Beatles fan in general; I think I own all the biggies, but I mostly stick to the “red” and “blue” collections, depending on whether I’m up for bowl cuts or bowl-smoking (them, not me). And really, nine times out of 10, it’s bowl cuts. “Eight Days A Week” was part of a transitional period for the band, though its chiming guitar and sweet chorus put it musically in the earlier, poppier camp. It couldn’t get much simpler than “Love you every day, girl / Always on my mind / One thing I can say, girl / Love you all the time,” and that was fine for both my young brain and my older one. The song’s chiming intro is instantly recognizable, and its chorus couldn’t be easier to sing along with. John Lennon wasn’t a huge fan of the song, which actually originated with Paul McCartney. In one of his last interviews, Lennon told Playboy that “Eight Days A Week” was “the running title for Help! before they came up with Help! It was Paul’s effort at getting a single for the movie… ‘Eight Days A Week’ was never a good song… It was his initial effort, but I think we both worked on it. I’m not sure. But it was lousy anyway.” I guess he’s entitled to his opinion, but I’ll keep enjoying it.