The Beatles, eh? What to say? Well to be honest it took me a long time to *get* them. They’ve always been around, always been part of my conciousness. Even if I didn’t know they were “The Beatles” those songs were – for someone growing up in the seventies – something that was kind-of taken for granted. They were just there.
It was only a couple of years ago that I dug beyond the obvious starting point (the 1962-1966 – Red – and 1967-1970 – Blue – compilations). And I must admit to being pleasantly surprised. The rawness and simplicity of the earlier recordings was a revelation, as was the sheer diversity of their later records. For me the transition between those two eras is probably my favourite – particularly the Rubber Soul and Revolver albums. Branching out from those early roots, experimenting and diversifying, but still keeping things tight and concise.
Dear Prudence is a John Lennon Beatles song – written by and sung by him, apparently written in India about Mia Farrow’s sister. It comes from the sprawling White Album. And to be honest it’s not my favourite. The Beatles version – for me – feels a bit thin, feels like it could do with a bit more “oomph”, a bit more substance. I’m guessing that is in part because my first exposure to the song was through the 1983 version by post-punk pioneers Siouxsie and the Banshees. A much more driven, rock version, with a maybe more obvious psychedelic feel to it, and with – to be honest – a far stronger vocal performance than on the original, it is always this version that is in my head when I think of or play this song.
The song sheet (below) was a bit of a faff! I found a number of guitar chord sheets for the song online, and also in my Beatles Songbook, most of which – to my ears – never did the song justice. Eventually I came across this, and used it as the basis for this version. What I really like is the repeating chord progression through the verses. I really don’t know what most of those chords are called – I’m sure that C/Bb, C/A and C/Ab aren’t right(!) but they are basically a C with a Bb/A/Ab on the E string. Just follow the chord diagrams on the sheet and you’ll get the feel. It sounds good to me. Enjoy!