As my wife and I sat in front of the computer last night, realizing just how much money we’d have to pay in taxes this year, somewhere in the back of my mind was the idea that this song and the Billy Bragg album title Talking to The Taxman About Poetry were the only two good things to ever come from taxes, at least when it comes to pop culture.
(For what it’s worth: I know about all the wonderful things that I support that are funded by my taxes, and I’m happy to have my money go towards said things. I was just in a bad mood because of how the annual taxes calculations were going, really.)
But “Taxman” by the Beatles is one of those classic, perfect pop songs that changed everything. Whether it’s the bouncy, amazing bassline, the guitars that cut into the song instead of provide the kind of easier-on-the-ear melody of pop music before this, the tumbling-over-itself guitar solo or the wonderful, wonderful backing vocals (“Yea-eah, I’m the Tax-mah-ahn” indeed), this is one of those things that just sounds so correct and complete that you can’t really imagine it in any other stage – or, for that matter, by any other band. Sure, lots of people have covered this song, or outright stolen from it (Hi, the Jam!), but it’s never, ever sounded as right as it does in the original Beatles version. All pop music came from this, in so many ways, and I love that about it.