Nightmare Fuel: The Beatles
Um... "All You Need Is Love"?
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
The White Album
- Those "electronic seagulls" on "Tomorrow Never Knows". It's a heavily distorted clip of Paul laughing.
- "Eleanor Rigby". Where to start... First, there's the haunting instrumentals featuring several strings instruments. Then there's the lyrics, which are about a two very lonely people: The title character and a lonely priest named Father Mackenzie. Their story is very disturbing on its own, considering that they never had the chance to meet. Eleanor Rigby died lonely with Father Mackenzie being the only one at her funeral.
Died in a church and was buried along with her name;
Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from her grave;
No one was saved.
All the lonely people;
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people;
Where do they all belong?
- The entire album in general can be seen as this. It's a strangely random record, which, like their self-titled double album released two years later, never sticks to a constant theme, going from a dark opening rocker to a sad ballad with cellos, an eerie psychedelic song about extreme tiredness to a sitar-heavy raga song, a pleasant love ballad to an oddball kiddie song, an edgy hard rock song with a high-pitched sound to a deliberately cheesy piano pop track about the summer, a somewhat unfinished rocker with cryptic lyrics to another sad ballad, another rocker to a dissonant pop rock track with surreal vocals, and then finally two of the least family-friendly Beatles songs - a loud jazz fusion number about an addiction to marijuana and the finale, a demonic experimental piece designed to terrify anyone not already disturbed by the eclecticism.
- The White Album in general has plenty of odd, dissonant chord progressions, textures and voicings throughout, and a loose, disjointed, ramshackle feel, that create a tense atmosphere through most of the songs. There's also a distant, thin, eerie, often distorted or lo-fi tone to how it was recorded, which doesn't help matters.
- Potentially made even scarier by reading the lyrics to "Helter Skelter". The album is infamous for being associated with Charles Manson. Ringo's scream of "I got blisters on mah fingers" at the end of "Helter Skelter" also has an unsettling, deranged quality.
- The ending of "Long, Long, Long" when everything starts shaking and rattling (achieved by placing an empty bottle on top of a Leslie speaker) and George starts howling into the night.
- "Revolution 1": John shouting "all right" over and over and over.
- In 2009, an audio tape of an almost 9 (!) minute unreleased take of the song, titled "Take 20" leaked to the internet. It descends from a blues anthem into a deranged, psychedelic jam, and at the same time, it showed what scary influence Yoko Ono had on the Beatles. Not that her Fluxus work was confusing enough already...
- "Cry Baby Cry", where Lennon sings about "seances in the dark" and a group of children that are always mentioned, but never seen, make one's imagination fear the worst about their fate. Where are they? Are they still alive?
- "Can you take me back where I came from, brother can you take me back?" The song has a very unsettling feel and Paul sounds like he's desperate for help.
- "Revolution 9". God, "Revolution 9".
- "Piggies": In which "bigger piggies" whack the smaller "piggies" to death and eat them afterwards! Its nursery rhyme style makes it a shocking Lyrical Dissonance with a Twist Ending.
- Even more disturbing is the fact that Charles Manson took this song literally. He orderded his cult members to start killing random people. On the wall of Sharon Tate's apartment the word "pig" was found being smeared in her own blood.
- "Glass Onion" ends rather abruptly on a discordant, depressing string section that doesn't so much "end" as it just dies out... going directly into the super-cheery "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". Early mixes of the song featured a different ending; the sound of glass shattering out nowhere, and someone repeating the sentence "It's a goal!".
- "Rocky Raccoon", anyone? A bright, happy and cheerful little ditty about a young boy murdering his love interest's new boyfriend... only for the antagonist to end up winning. One must wonder what the boys' stance on relationships were by this song alone... -shudder-...
The Beatles Anthology
- The way "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" just cuts off abruptly.
- It is said that John had this done intentionally during the final edit. The Beatles: Rock Band does a fine job putting a visual to the increasing volume and distortion before the cutoff.
- After listening to the strings fade out on "The End" in Abbey Road, you sit there letting the musical food digest in your brain. All is quiet, until DUNNNN! "Her Majesty", ladies and gentlemen. Of course, this is a subversion, since "Her Majesty" turns out to be a cheerful little ditty.
- The Scare Chord is what would have been the end of "Mean Mr. Mustard". That's where "Her Majesty" was originally supposed to go, but Paul thought it didn't sound well in the medley, so it was taken out, though it ended up being tacked on to the end of the album.
- "Gnik Nus" sounds spooky thanks to the backmasking.
- John is actually chanting "Shoot me" in the background of the song "Come Together" (according to Bob Spitz's biography) - Paul was supposedly so disturbed by it that he covered up the end of the phrase with a loud cymbal hit, so that it sounds like "shooook!"
- Five words make that even more disturbing: "I just shot John Lennon".
- "Maxwell's Silver Hammer". MY GOD, talk about Lyrical Dissonance. A very cheerful and happy tune about some guy who kills other people with his hammer. So, yeah.
- To put it bluntly, it has the same lyrical theme as Hammer Smashed Face.
- Crosses the Line Twice: Gets to ridiculous proportions when Maxwell kills the judge at his own trial while people were previously demanding he be set free.
- The "Butcher Cover" (see image) which at least was nightmare fuel in its time.
- The "Paul is dead" urban legend.
- Many of these examples involve the name "Paul" usually in the context of a misheard lyric or line being played backwards. In 1969, a rumor circulated that band member Paul McCartney had been killed in a car accident and replaced with a double, while the rest of the Beatles supposedly put clues in the album covers or the lyrics. Most people would agree that this was a complete invention of obsessed fans (or perhaps a publicity stunt by the band), but it has found new life in the internet age.
- The LOVE mash-up album is filled with a bunch of strange transitions that make heavy use of stuff like clips of the boys laughing, Paul's aforementioned "seagull" noises, and other elements from the more psychedelic tracks. Due to the way song elements are combined, sometimes it's hard to make out what songs are used, rendering the final product unfamiliar and difficult to place, often making you doubt whether they really are Beatles-sourced elements...
- The version of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" on LOVE proceeds as normal for about a minute and a half, right up until the line "And tonight Mr. Kite is topping the bill!", at which point it segues not into the circus music you're expecting, but rather the riff from "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", with various sounds - including the vocals from "Helter Skelter" - laced through it. Also a major case of Mood Whiplash.
- The fact that the creepiest parts of two of the most unsettling Beatles songs are combined is pretty freaking in it of itself.