Favourite Music Reads of the ’00s: #18 (Jerkin’ Knee)

“The jerk of the knee always short-circuits critical engagement. I detest cabaret and Broadway nearly as much as Marsh does; yet I treasure those two Beatle recordings. I don’t care for the songs themselves — versions by others bore me stiff — but I love what the Beatles do with them. Their wintry ‘Taste of Honey’ tastes more like quicksilver, with its minor key, bitter guitar, and eerie third-person backing vocals. ‘Till There Was You’ has not only a vocal of surpassing freshness from Paul, but one of George’s loveliest guitar solos. Both are expressions of Beatle identity and cultural affinity as integral and unphony, I would argue, as anything they recorded in the early days. The fact that Marsh’s hatred of the songs’ generic origins precludes any consideration of them as Beatle performances points to one of his limits as a critic: to him, the mere entertaining of non-rock material proves the sin of inauthenticity.”
– Devin McKinney, “Dullblog Book Report: The Beatles’ Second Album by Dave Marsh,” hey dullblog, 2008


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