This song has a rather notorious reputation, and is generally regarded as the Beatles’ one major misstep. And I will admit that it is a strange and rather terrifying collage of sound, insane enough to make all the greatest excesses of the forthcoming Progressive Rock era look paltry by comparison. But it deserves a certain measure of respect for its sheer ambition and creativity. Yes, it requires you to completely redefine your definition of ‘music’ in order to enjoy it, but one could argue that’s a good thing…after all, challenging preconceived notions of logical limits has always been how the great musical innovators have advanced the form. And since plenty of works that make far more exacting demands (such as Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music) are acknowledged as having been vindicated by history, maybe its time we re-evaluated our position on this first great example of noise being turned into music. I’d argue that this is actually one of the Beatles’ most impressive and forward-looking moments, and it proves that Yoko Ono’s crazy avant-garde ideas about music did at least have some degree of merit in the beginning.
Verdict: Good. No, I’m not kidding.