Friday, August 4, 2017

TRACK TWELVE: "You Can't Do That" VS. "Wait"

"When I Get Home"- 2
"In My Life"- 41

I'm feeling a bit bad for "When I Get Home." Next time, little buddy.

This round, at least for me personally, feels like the last round. "Wait" is one my least favorite Beatles tracks. It feels beneath them, a song better suited for the Dave Clark 5, or some other British beat group of the 60's. Second rate. And those awful tambourine hits! No sir.

 "You Can't Do That," on the other hand, rocks like a MoFo. I have been playing (and singing) this in bands for years and I never tire of it. From the opening riff, to Ringo's energy, to John's balls out vocal, to the call and answer harmonies, this track has everything going for it. Hell, I'm getting all worked up just writing about it.

1. A Hard Day's Night
2. Norwegian Wood
3. If I Fell
4. Nowhere Man
5. And I Love Her
6. Tell Me Why
7. Can't Buy Me Love
8. Anytime At All
9. Girl
10. Things We Said Today
11. In My Life

Previously on Album Battle:













Rodger Stroup said...

"You Can't Do That" would match up well against any Rubber Soul tune. That it lines up against "Wait," makes the latter tune look that much worse.
"You Can't Do That" gets my vote.

Sal, you may have to invoke a mercy rule for this battle.

Brett Alan said...

I like "Wait" more than you do, and it would beat a fair number of songs from AHDN for me. But not this one. "You Can't Do That" might make my Beatles top ten, and it gets my vote.

buzzbabyjesus said...

"You Can't Do That" gets my vote.

I like "Wait" a lot better than "Think For Yourself", "The Word", "Girl", "What Goes On", and "Michelle".

Shriner said...

"Wait" gets my vote -- specifically because of the maracas/tambourine which are FRONT AND CENTER in the recent remasters. And the harmonies. And the better "middle 8". And the return of the volume-pedal manipulated guitar chords from "I Need You".

I don't think you give this one enough credit.

But, I won't feel bad if I'm on the losing end of this one, though. Both are "middle of the pack/album track" Beatles songs for me.

Anonymous said...

I think "Wait" is the better-written song here, and it gets my vote. I do love "You Can't Do That," but it's kinda clunky and hangs on a fairly lame guitar riff.

Jeff in Denton TX said...

I prefer "Wait" over "You Can't Do That." Lennon's better irrational possessive jealousy song is the last track on RS, which I believe will be uncontested due to AHDN being one track shorter.

Tumblingdice70 said...

"You Can't Do That" is my vote

rick said...

I like 'Wait'. The lyrics to You Can't Do That are a little creepy ("If I catch you talking to that boy again, I'm gonna let you down"--is 'talk' codespeak for a different four letter word?) but not nearly as creepy as Run For Your Life, as Jeff referenced above.

richeye said...

"You Can't Do That" gets my vote, but not by that wide a margin.

I think if the lyrics to "Wait" were better, this would have been a much tougher decision. I like the song as written, but the lyrics are forced (for them) and don't have a natural cadence. "You Can't Do That" was the first song of theirs I ever heard when it aired on the Jack Paar show several weeks before their Ed Sullivan appearance and it has remained strong in me ever since.

Charlie Messing said...

It's true about the lyrics being full of the John Jealousy thing, But even though Wait is great, You Can't Do That is one of the first that made me say, "Hey, these guys are actually amazing, despite the hype!" So I am duty-bound to Do That Which You Can't. Do.

Michael Giltz said...

At least this one is a fair fight as opposed to the last two rounds. But going with my heart and my mind, I'm voting for that reject from the "Help!" soundtrack, "Wait."

I enjoy "You Can't Do That" and appreciate its appeal as a live cover (Sal, post one of yours!) and any song that gets so wonderfully covered by Harry Nilsson is fine in my book. I really dig the burst of punkish guitar towards the end, the brief squalls of noise by George? John? It's pure John lyrically, too. He's really pissed that his girlfriend is talking to another guy. But not because he's crazy about her and she's breaking his heart but because he's embarrassed! Everyone will see you flirting with that dude and laugh at me! Stop it!

But "Wait" was my immediate emotional winner and like the best of these album tracks, the more I listen the more intrigued I become by what's actually going on here. It's a strange, strange song. To me it sounds like a woozy organ or keyboard but maybe it's a guitar creating that drunken, wah-waaah sort of sound that punctuates the tune? And I was just about to hail the tambourine as the rock n roll instrument I least appreciated (it always makes me picture The Partridge Family) when in fact it's all over the place on these two albums and gives me a kick every time. And the minor key/chord ending! Where the heck does that weird denouement of an ending come from with its ominous feel? Yeah, it echoes the final image of "alone" but still.

Yet it's the lyrics that throw me. What the heck is going on in this tune? Like "You Can't Do that" it's very much an anti-love song, belying the Fab Four's once cuddly image. He says, "Im coming home! Wait! But you know, if you can't wait, that's cool too. Just send me packing. On the other hand, stiffen your spine! I'm, heading home." Then Paul chimes in on the bridge, "I feel as though/ You ought to know/ That I've been good/ As good as I can be." So he's the choir boy Beatle and I assume the fans probably heard this in a straightforward, "Ive been really really good while I've been away" sort of meaning. But he could also be saying, "I've been good! (Well, as good as I can be. I'm no saint and we've been apart for quite a while so what do you expect? A man has needs, love!" Then he says, trust me!And just wait! In other words, wait for me. Or don't. I've been faithful. Or at least as faithful as is reasonable to expect. Trust me and wait and I'll be back. Soon."

The song is so contradictory and weird with its wheezing sort of melody and that funereal ending -- all in a tune that is nominally saying, "Be a good girl! I'll be home soon." As said paramour of the singer, I would not be terribly comforted. The more I played it, the more I liked it. "You Can't Do That" is durable but not as interesting.

I'll wait no more and cast my vote for "Wait."

Joe said...

I had to go back and revisit these two songs. Wait wins. Joe

Dave said...

I'm starting to remember why, during the days of vinyl, side two of Rubber Soul got more play in my house: "Wait."

Dave F.

Michael Giltz said...

What's the meaning of Facebook going almost entirely with You Can't Do That and the blog being evenly split? What does this reveal about your audiences on each platform? Fascinating!

A guy called Tak said...

I like "You Can't Do That" but it sounds like a variation of AHDN. I do like how the song ends.
"Wait" is not a signature song on RS but not a song you would lift a tonearm on your turntable. Great intro and outro.I love the way Ringo does just before they sing 'Wait'.
"Wait" gets my vote.

David said...

yes indeed, my vote, "You Can't Do That"

Lesley said...

You Can't Do That, for John's vocal and all the vocal harmonies, especially in the chorus—so satisfying. I don't mind Wait but it feels like a fragment rather than a whole song, imho.

Anonymous said...

"You Can't Do That". It's one of my all time favorite Beatles tracks.

Captain Al

dogbreath said...

Been at carnivals all weekend! Are the polls still open? I plump for "You can't do that"