100 Greatest Beatles Songs

From 'Helter Skelter' to 'Sgt. Pepper's,' ranking of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison's output

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'Hey Bulldog'

81. 'Hey Bulldog'

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: February 11, 1968
Released: January 13, 1969
Not released as a single

What could have been a novelty song turned into one of the Beatles' heaviest pieces of music. Since they were being filmed at Abbey Road for a promotional video for their single "Lady Madonna," the band decided they may as well record the extra song needed for the Yellow Submarine soundtrack. "Paul said we should do a real song in the studio," Lennon said. "Could I whip one off? I had a few words at home, so I brought them in." A few days earlier, McCartney had played drums on a Paul Jones rocker called "The Dog Presides," which had featured barking sound effects. During the Beatles' session, McCartney and Lennon ended up woofing and howling, and the title became "Hey Bulldog." For all its playfulness, "Hey Bulldog" was a biting, aggressive piece of music: Harrison ran his guitar through a fuzz box and then turned up his amp extra loud, resulting in a particularly ferocious solo. "I helped [Lennon] finish it off in the studio," McCartney said of the song, "but it's mainly his vibe." Lennon himself called it "a good-sounding record that means nothing."

Appears On: Yellow Submarine

Photos: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Beatles Exhibit
Rolling Stone's 1999 Review of the Beatles' 'Yellow Submarine'
Disney Kills 'Yellow Submarine' Remake

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