"What Goes On" is the sole song in the entire Beatle Canon to bear the signatures Lennon/McCartney/Starkey — though, by his own confession, the Starkey contribution had been "about five words". Hmmm... It would be a tad cynical to congratulate 'Harrison' for keeping well out of it, I suppose? He does, mind you, throw in some tasty tangent licks and a very nifty little solo.
Although seemingly a direct follow-on from "Act Naturally"
, reinforced by their mutual appearance on "Yesterday"... And Today"
in America, it had actually been festering away for considerably longer: since the days of The Quarrymen, in fact. That a couple of greasy teenage rockers had come up with it is, perhaps, excusable. That, having subsequently established themselves as the greatest group in the world, they should consider recycling it — even for Ringo to sing — is rather less so.
They'd even thought about recording the song as the follow-up to "Please Please Me"
, apparently. What was
going on in their minds? Thank the lord for studio schedules — can you honestly imagine this one having had the same kind of impact as "From Me To You"
George's aforementioned guitar-work is the only real redeeming feature as "What Goes On" goes on and on (the second longest track on the whole damn album...) It even made 45 status, on the back of "Nowhere Man"
in America.Tell me why!!!