The Don Draper Revolver Power Rankings

Categories: Fiesta!

Revolver.jpg
Pete's not wearing shoes on the cover, which is how you can tell he's going to kill himself this year.
As a fan of Mad Men, great music cues in TV shows and movies, and every Wings album, I was more than a little disappointed when second wife and hip-things enthusiast Megan was foolish enough to suggest Don Draper, TV's least psychedelic man, start off the Beatles' Revolver by listening to "Tomorrow Never Knows," the least accessible song on the album.

Look: I know uncool, because I am uncool. I live it so deep that my favorite Beatles album is still Help! I may not be able to perform a burlesque routine in French Canadian or save the Heinz account by making myself available for women's-room-gossip (at least not since the judge refused to expunge that charge from my criminal record [come on, there was a couch in there, it's institutionalized misandry], but I do know how to make Revolver appealing to someone who is trapped permanently as the coolest human being in the year 1960. Play it to them like so, and hope they fall asleep by the time the Indian-inspired tracks come on.

Honorable Mention: I'm Only Sleeping, And Your Bird Can Sing, Doctor Robert. John Lennon's least oh-god-everything's-changing contributions to Revolver were cut out of the American version Don dismisses because they'd already appeared on the American-only Frankenstein album "Yesterday" ... and Today, which is actually pretty great.

The great "And Your Bird Can Sing" is the only real Don Draper Revolver Power Rankings contender here, though lord help them if he hears that early, janglier take where everyone's giggling like they just watched Roger Sterling drop acid and listen to Pet Sounds. The equally great "I'm Only Sleeping" is too weird and doesn't sound like a theme song for a guy who enjoys nothing but work and rough, antagonistic sex, and "Doctor Robert" sucks and is boring and it sucks. (And Band on the Run is way better than Imagine. I'm sorry if there's too much truth-telling going on for you in this blog entry.)

11. Tomorrow Never Knows Come on Megan, what's your game, here? Are the Mad Men writers paying you to accelerate Don's decline into premature middle-age-uncoolness with thematically appropriate album tracks? Spoiler alert: Don Draper will go to his grave before enjoying any song whose Wikipedia entry includes the phrase "Indian-inspired modal backing."

10. Love You To "The Song is in the key of C and emulates North Indian Khyal music.[5] Harrison begins by twice stroking his sitar's resonating strings (a common technique before the opening alap segment of a raga).[5] In the alap section (lasting 35 seconds) the melody is previewed, before the tabla, tamboura and percussion commence a Madhya laya (medium tempo) Bandish or gat. [5]" - Wikipedia

9. She Said She Said I love this song, but it took me several years to get there. And I wasn't a forty-year-old ad executive who couldn't tell the Beatles from a song that sounds kind-of-a-little like the Beatles circa season one of Mad Men.

8. Yellow Submarine At this point in the show I'm convinced Sally Draper is too hardheadedly serious-adult to enjoy "Yellow Submarine," especially when it's handed to her as the pinnacle of modern art.

7. I Want To Tell You I can't see Don Draper going for the weird dissonance of that piano at the end of each verse. On the positive side of the ledger, "I'll make you maybe next time around" seems to be the guiding principle of Don Draper's relationship with every woman except Peggy Olson.



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4 comments
Jpowell
Jpowell

Revolver is my favorite Beatles album, and I was elated that they integrated it into the latest Mad Men episode.  "Tomorrow Never Knows" is the right song to play because Don can't "turn off his (your) mind, relax, and float downstream..."  He is always in his existential anguish, and so that's why he abruptly takes the needle off the record.  Dan--Help! is a great album (the British one).  I don't agree with all your conclusions here but I enjoyed the essay.   

Kit Kellison
Kit Kellison

I think she really wants Don to know her, not The Beatles. This episode shows where their souls do not mate.

dawhizz
dawhizz

No kidding. Looking forward to the next episode where she tries to get him into Dylan by playing him Rainy Day Women #12 & 35.

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