In terms of which song gets the boot, I think this is a no-brainer. Don’t get me wrong. George is my favourite Beatle, but I think most fans and even first-time listeners of the set wonder what in the world “Old Brown Shoe” is doing there. The only explanation I can come up with is that it was a rarity to attract fans and/or perhaps it was agreed that Harrison have at least 4 songs represented in the series (the equivalent of at least one song per record, like during their recording career). But why not include “Taxman”—arguably George’s 4th-popular Beatles song—to the already-running-low-in-Revolver-tracks 1962-1966 compilation, and add another track from The White Album, or at least one track from Yellow Submarine in its place?
Well, that’s what I’m going to do. I am tempted to go with “Hey Bulldog,” just to represent Yellow Submarine somehow, but I suppose you could make the argument that the title track and “All You Need Is Love” already show up in the compilations. Plus, there are at least 10 White Album songs that are more essential than “Hey Bulldog.”
So which White Album song do I choose? Should I go with the irresistible “Dear Prudence” to tie-in with “Back in the USSR”? Of course not. The latter track finally has a clean fade-out, and we want to keep it that way for collectors. “Helter Skelter,” “Happiness Is a Warm Gun,” and “Birthday” are all strong contenders, but I’m going to go with “Blackbird” (even if there are already 2 Paul songs from the album, and 0 John songs)