We’re Number Eleven: 1966 – “My Girl”, Otis Redding

It seems fairly obvious to start off an article about Otis Redding by pointing out that he has one of the best voices in all of popular music, but here we are anyway. The King Of Soul had a voice that few could match, that few could even try to match. If you’re going to cover a song like “My Girl” you need the pipes for it, and it’s not exactly controversial to point out that Redding had them. And with talent to spare. Yet the truth is, for all that it’s an excellent recording – and it really is an excellent recording – this is, at best, minor Otis Redding. It’s not “Sitting On The Dock The Bay”. It’s not “Try A Little Tenderness”. In fact, it’s so minor it doesn’t even feature on Redding’s Wikipedia page, nor is it on The Very Best Of Otis Redding. And there’s a good reason for that. It’s not the very best of Otis Redding. And yet… it’s bloody Otis Redding singing bloody “My Girl”. It’s great! The fact that a cover this good, and which peaked at our all-important position of Number 11 on the charts, barely even warrants a footnote says something about the strength of the material that does actually warrant inclusion.

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We’re Number Eleven, Introduction

Greetings! And welcome to We’re Number Eleven, a follow-up series of articles to the award-winning, genre-defining, penetratingly-observed We’re Number Two (cough). There’s something perennially fascinating about songs which are slightly (excuse the pun) unsung — the ones which almost made it to whatever marker we choose, but not quite. In this case that’s songs which came close to cracking the Top Ten but never quite got across the line. Very much a case of so near, and yet so far.

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Beatles Stuffology Podcast – Episode 10: Baby It’s You

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JG and Andrew continue through Side Two of Please Please Me with “Baby It’s You”. How does the second Shirelle’s cover go (and does the album really call for two of them)? How many sha-la-la-la-la’s are strictly necessary? And just how seriously should those backing vocals be taken?

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Beatles Stuffology Podcast – Episode 9: Please Please Me

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We reach the title track of the first album this time as JG and Andrew tackle “Please Please Me”. Is the track mighty enough to deserve having the album named after it? How impressive is George Martin this time out? And can the conversation actually remain on track? (surprisingly, yes!). 

Since this is posting on 25th December I would also be remiss if I didn’t turn to face you, break the fourth wall speaker and say, “Incidentally, a happy Christmas to all of you at home!”

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Beatles Stuffology Podcast – Episode 8: Ask Me Why

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For this episode JG and Andrew tackle “Ask Me Why”, which given the fairly muted reaction seems like an entirely valid question. How’s Lennon doing on the old lead vocals? Is there much going on anywhere else? And just how long can two people string out a conversation that clearly isn’t going anywhere?

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The Beatles, Get Back

What’s The… Movie? TV Show? Documentary? Er, Thing: Get Back

What’s It All About, JG? Back in the dim and distant days of *checks notes* 2020? Really? That feels ages ago. Anyway, back then, Peter Jackson started to assemble footage from the apparently-near-infinite amount of film shot for what was originally Get Back, but ultimately became Let It Be. Let It Be as a movie had one rare distinction – it managed to make arguably the most important band of all time seem boring. The rooftop concert is amazing, that goes without saying, but the rest is tedious drag of frazzled band members, myth repeated so endlessly it’s become fact, and a gloomy, depressing and doom-laden atmosphere.

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Beatles Stuffology Podcast – Episode 7: Boys

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We delve into Ringo’s first vocal for this episode as we discuss “Boys”. Is it a decent cover version? Does Ringo manage to make a good impression? And how long will it take before we inevitably get round to mentioning Thomas The Tank Engine?

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Beatles Stuffology Podcast – Episode 5: Chains

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This week JG and Andrew find themselves in Chains as another song on Please Please Me gets the Stuffology treatment. Is is any better or worse than the last track? Why was it so popular at the time? And how does George get on?

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Beatles Stuffology Podcast: Episode 4 – Anna (Go To Him)

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Shuffling right along through Please Please Me we come to this, the first cover. How do the Beatles manage with material not of their own making? How does Lennon’s first lead vocal (well, that we’re talking about anyway) come off? And is it better than Misery (and perhaps more relevantly, could it be worse?)

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