Friday, May 12, 2006

Hey Bulldog

Hey Bulldog is an unjustly obscure Beatles track. It made its only appearance on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack, which itself only featured six Beatles songs, two of which were not new to the release (Yellow Submarine and All You Need is Love). Of the four originals, two were Harrisongs (It's All Too Much and Only a Northern Song), one was a mostly McCartney track - All Together Now, and one was Lennon's Hey Bulldog. Unlike All Together Now, Hey Bulldog's Yellow Submarine movie sequence did not make in into US cuts of the movie until the recent rerelease, so this song's been pretty much damned to obscurity - released on the only really inessential Beatles record and cut from the movie.

A film crew shot the Beatles as they recorded Hey Bulldog. That footage would then go on to form the basis of a video. That video, for Lady Madonna of all things, doesn't feature a whole of lip synching - the band's playing a different song. Hey Bulldog finally got its deserved respect, though, when that film was cut together to form a video to promote the Anthology releases. That's the video that's linked up above.

Lennon didn't like the song. He took Yoko into the studio that day - it was her first visit to the studio, and Lennon later said that he thought she deserved better than Hey Bulldog. Me, I think the song's fucking awesome. Wonderful scary James Bond chorus, and the line, "What makes you think you're something special when you smile?" has got to be one of the better Lennon lyrics, nasty division. Check out how, at the end, John and Paul just start shouting and fooling around. Apparently, this was common for them to do when recording long outros to be faded out. Only this time, they kept the outro nonsense in and unfaded.

I hadn't heard Hey Bulldog until well after the Anthology releases, which means that I'd heard virtually the entire Lennon canon, particularly his work with the Beatles, by the time I heard Hey Bulldog. It was like a new Beatles song to me, and it's become one of my favorites.

1 comment:

Brody the Bulldog said...

Nice little write-up!
Obviously, that sone is one of my favorites too.