The Beatles: You Can’t Do That

February 21, 2008

This song started looping in my brain tonight, so I gave in and posted it. Wow! So many blue thirds in this song. I love Lennon’s bratty attitude. He’s naughty. His blue thirds are naughty, his tone is naughty, and the distortion in his voice when he sings “Oh [ya can’t do that]” foreshadowing his primal scream period [“Mama don’t gooooooo!..] is also naughty.

There are certain people where the timbre of their nasal resonance is part of their sound: Rufus Wainwright, John Lennon, Roger McGuinn, Tom Petty, Rudy Vallee, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Barbra Streisand, Jimmy Durante, and so on. Listen to the amazing nasal resonance when he sings “Oh.” That formant structure could only be John Lennon.

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