The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

13 March 2008

Being for the benefit of Mr Wenner

You'll occasionally hear the term "critical darling" applied to a performer who gets rave reviews yet no attention from the audience as a whole. This is, suggests Mark Edwards in the Sunday Times, due to a basic difference in philosophy:

[I]n the unlikely event that someone, one day, bets you a large amount of money that you won't be able to identify which person in a crowd of strangers is a music journalist — without asking them directly what they do for a living — here's how you win the bet. Go up to each person in turn and ask them to name their favourite Beatles track. The music journalist is the one who chooses "Tomorrow Never Knows."

You can be sure of two things. First, nobody who doesn't listen to music for a living will choose the final track on Revolver. An early pop gem such as "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," perhaps, or a psychedelic masterpiece such as "Strawberry Fields Forever," or a late-period sing-along such as "Hey Jude," but not "Tomorrow Never Knows." Second, the music critic has to say "Tomorrow Never Knows." It's the law. If they choose "Penny Lane" or "Let It Be," they'll be drummed out of the union.

There follows a list of critically-adored albums which the public shuns, and then a list of big hits which the critics abhor. In defense of the public taste, I insist that when Genesis titled an album We Can't Dance, they were merely being truthful.

Add to "to-do" list: Ask Dawn Eden about her favorite Beatles song.

Update: She's answered, and it's "There's a Place."

Posted at 7:47 PM to Tongue and Groove

For me the best part of "Tomorrow Never Knows" was the Beatles TV cartoon featuring that song.

Posted by: McGehee at 11:03 AM on 14 March 2008