Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Beatles, "Act Naturally" (1965)


This is another Beatles charmer from the mid-'60s, a Buck Owens cover—his first #1 on the country charts, in fact—which the lads in their blithely winning manner turn into a nice little vehicle for Ringo. An absolutely perfect one, as it happens. Twangy guitar and all he has to do is ... act naturally. It was the flip of "Yesterday," and as far as I'm concerned that song needed one. And it got one. In this. They road-tested it on Ed Sullivan in 1965, saw it was good, and so it was. I think it really does bring out all that earthbound teddy bear charm of Ringo, the oldest Beatle, the cult drummer, the sad sack face and the steady tidy hand at the drum kit. There was never anything fancy about him, and there's nothing fancy about this song (I mentioned it was a Buck Owens cover, didn't I?) and that's exactly what I love about it. All we have to do is all we have to sing is: act naturally. Because, as always, I am amazed at the way this band had with a song to get in and do their job so efficiently and leave, I will also mention that I have this clocking in at about 2:33. Like this: "They're gonna put me in the movies / They're gonna make a big star out of me / We'll make a film about a man that's sad and lonely /And all I have to do is act naturally." I don't even know what else there is to say. This is just so fine. Huzzah! Again!

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