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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: July 9, 1969

It's not considered one of the Beatles' most notable tunes. It even came close to making our list of their worst songs. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is nonetheless important for other reasons.

On July 9, 1969, they began recording the track with one of the most famous stories in Beatles lore -- and a memorably old-fashioned sound to boot. The Beatles were rock n' rollers, but except for the Kinks, no other major British rock band was as influenced by British music hall as they were. The style -- not dissimilar from American vaudeville -- infused their wit, and several other late-period songs: "Penny Lane," "Honey Pie" and "Your Mother Should Know" owe a debt to the genre.

Those tracks, as with "Maxwell's Silver Hammer," were all written by Paul McCartney, whose perfectionist and domineering ways had alienated the other three members throughout attempts earlier in the year to record the LP that would become Let It Be. The story of this song, in fact, stretches across two albums: A clip of them rehearsing it -- complete with Paul calling out the chords -- is in the documentary from those prior sessions. And while most of the recording for Abbey Road went far more smoothly, the other Beatles were none too happy when McCartney returned to this jaunty little ditty about a man who seduces and kills women.

Source: ultimateclassicrock.com

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