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Thursday, September 17, 2020

1+1+1 = More Than Three

Even though I've listened endlessly and carefully to the Beatles music for more than half a century, their magic still charms me. I suspect it always will.

Recently, for whatever reason, I've found myself paying closer attention to how well those three distinct singing voices meshed, no matter the combination. Do you have a favorite mix? If yes, which one? Paul singing lead with John & George supporting? Or do you prefer John or George in the lead with the remaining two on background vocals? If you think this is trivial, best not to tell me - could signal the end of future communication between us. Full disclosure: I don't have a favorite mix; there are treasures aplenty with each of the three combinations. 

For the record, this post started out as part of my long-running Mt. Rushmore series. But I quickly abandoned the notion upon realizing that picking just four Beatles songs featuring all three of those voices - in any combination - was a fool's errand. So let me start with Because from Abbey Road. If you can name another song with end-to-end three part harmony that tops this gem, please tell me. I promise to respectfully consider your opinion.

Paul on lead vocal with the other two lads in support? Today, I'm going with Paperback Writer. John up front with Paul & George? Got to be Wait from Rubber Soul, at least, right this moment. George stepping up with J&P on background vocals? Wait a minute: Should my selection for that mix be George singing one of his own, a Lennon/McCartney tune, or a cover? No matter, I've got all three covered: Think For Yourself, also from Rubber Soul, I'm Happy Just To Dance With You from A Hard Day's Night, and Devil in Her Heart from With the Beatles. Extra points to any reader who can name the original artist who recorded that last song. Googling is cheating.

OK, your turn. Bring on at least one Beatles tune for each of the three combinations. Remember: We need to hear all three voices. The mixing of just two voices is for another day, although it's a criminal offense to let any post about the Fab Four go by without mentioning the exquisite If I Fell. Ringo's vocals? Less said the better.         


  1. My choices .. In no particular order, for 3 part harmony:
    1. This Boy
    2. Yes It Is
    3. Because (although an argument can be made that its more than 3 part)
    4. Free As A Bird .. I know I could have very easily gone with a number of others for the ones that I've listed, but Free As A Bird has a special meaning. One last time for 'The Boys' ...

    1. Anonymous; Thanks for comment. Both "This Boy" and "Yes It Is" could have very easily taken the place of "Wait" in today's post for my choice of John on lead with the other two in support; two great choices - thanks for reminding me of those two wonderful songs.