The Best Beatles Songs Of All TimeSep 8, 2005 Write an essay on this topic.
The Bottom Line The Beatles are one of the greatest bands of all time, and here is a list of what I feel to be their 20 best songs.
Alexdg1 came up with the idea of a Beatles write-off to come up with the best 20 Beatles songs of all time. Being a Beatles fan all my life, this was one that I just couldn't pass up on. For those interested in taking a crack at this one, the main page is located here: Beatles Write-Off
The Beatles though a prototypical 'boy-band' when they first started out, ended up being one of the most influential groups of all time. Though the life of the band together didn't last all that long in the scheme of things, their music has lived far past even what they could have seen. It's rare where a group can make as big of an impact 40 years after they started, but the Beatles do fall under that category in my opinion. Song after song, smash hit after smash hit, for the less than 10 years that the Beatles were around, they evolved from their 'poppy' start to become a rock group to be reckoned with. Much as Madonna now does, The Beatles were constantly reinventing themselves, and led to some great albums including Revolver and Sgt. Pepper later on.
To really look at what made the Beatles great, you have to get past some of the earlier, catchy-lyrics filled songs, and look at their whole body of work. Blending a mix of extensive harmonies, beautiful lyrics, and the soulful singing of the very talented Paul McCartney and John Lennon, The Beatles really set a standard that will be measured against until something better comes along. Will there ever be something better? Well that is a debate that lover's of music will be discussing for as long as music is around. The impact is definitely there, that is not a debate topic, and I don't feel that it can ever be overstated, because rather than having a few hits, and a bunch of filler songs, they put out entire albums that you could listen to over and over again. In addition, there aren't many artists to have 2 sides of a single go to #1, or to have an entire album of #1 hits that spans a career. Some musicians wait years and years to get a hit song that will just get played on the radio, whereas the Beatles cranked out hit after hit after hit.
I am pretty young (at 27), so of course I wasn't around when the Beatles were the hot ticket, but my parents were into them big time. I got into the Beatles because of my Dad, who has first editions of the records they put out, and then bought the first CD's that were made for the group. So, I got to hear the group when I was young, and the taste developed into me being a fan today. Some of the albums I really took a liking to, including Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour. They had an eclectic sound to them that I always found myself singing along to, and they soon became, and still are, my two favorite albums by the group. Even when I didn't know what the group members names were, I was learning the songs that would stay with me. I too became a big Beatles fan, and still pop their albums into my CD player or turn up the radio if I hear one of their songs come on. A truly great rock & roll group from our time, the Beatles put out a ton of songs that I love and concocting any list of their tops or my favorites is hard, but I will attempt to do just that.
Here are what I feel to be the 20 best Beatles songs of all time:
Eleanor Rigby (Revolver 1966) -- One of my favorites by The Beatles, Rigby is a slower song that tells the story of an old lonely woman. Is has some really great lyrics, and the way the song was constructed and played helps this one stand out on its own.
Strawberry Fields Forever (Magical Mystery Tour 1967) -- This was one of the first songs to use a Mellotron, which was an early synthesizer that Lennon used for some cool sounds. Strawberry Fields was actually a song about an area where Lennon grew up, and he wanted to put down in words feelings that he had about it.
All You Need Is Love (Yellow Submarine 1967) -- You could see this song as a Beatles attempt to infuse a nation at war with itself. A part of the Summer of Love (or maybe a catalyst), the song caught on quick, and was performed live on television before it even made it to an album.
Let It Be (Let It Be 1970) -- Let It Be could be a statement about life, and what needs to be left behind in order for people to move on. Its a slow, beautiful song that Paul wrote about the loss of his mother, and ended up being one of the last hits that the Beatles would release.
Hey Jude (Hey Jude 1968) -- Another one of their slower songs, this was an effort from Paul about Lennon's son Julian. This song redefined what could be played on the radio, clocking in at 7 minutes and 11 seconds. Far longer than a normal single, and proving that listeners were willing to give songs of this length a chance on the radio. It is probably one of the best songs ever written.
I Am The Walrus (Magical Mystery Tour 1967) -- If any song showed of their talent of writing while on drugs, you could point at this song. It is crazy, it makes no sense, and you can place as much meaning, or as little as you want, depending on your state of mind at the time. It is a fun song though, and another one of my favorites.
Come Together (Abbey Road 1969) -- Actually written for political purposes the song still is strong now, and actually has made its way into commercials. So, come together, right now, and like this song. ;)
She Loves You (Please, Please Me 1963) -- As poppy as they got, this was one of the songs that made the Beatles huge in the United States. It is a quick (less than 3 minutes) song not so strong on lyrics, but simply fun to listen to.
Eight Days A Week (Beatles for Sale 1964) -- Never released as a single, I really find this to be a great song, simply because of the catchy lyrics, and how much I like listening to it. It has a great message of never having enough time to show how much a person cares.
Drive My Car (Rubber Soul 1965) -- Silly as they get when it comes to Beatles songs, who doesn't like hearing the "Beep, Beep". Drive My Car is one of those songs that each listener can decide for themselves what the lyrics mean, but I like it :)
Here Comes The Sun (Abbey Road 1969) -- Written by George Harrison, it shows, in my opinion, how good Harrison actually was at writing songs. Never really getting to show off all of his talents because of his bandmates this in my opinion shows he could have done so much more for them.
With A Little Help From My Friends (Sgt. Pepper 1967) -- Another Harrison tune, this is another one of the fun songs that gives a message of being able to do anything if you have the support of the people around you. Besides, I can get by with a little help from my friends, and I can get high (emotionally).
Hello, Good-Bye (Magical Mystery Tour 1967) -- The funny part about this song is how Paul wrote it, and John absolutely hated it. A song entirely about contradictions in terms, it was simple in writing, but its the presentation that made it something I have always loved.
A Day In The Life (Sgt. Pepper 1967) -- A great story song that ends the Sgt. Pepper album, this is one of those that has a great introduction, and the fade out that has defined what people remember about The Beatles. The final chord, is in fact one of the things that stands out in rock & roll history to me, and ties the entire album together from front to back. I absolutely love this song and could listen to it 5 or 6 times in a row.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise (Sgt. Pepper 1967) -- The title track from the album, redone on the same album. This could be seen as the first 'remix' put out, because it was a better version of the first song on the album. Very short in presentation, I really like it, and that is why it makes my list, because it combines the real song with some great new sounds.
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (Sgt. Pepper 1967) -- What's the song about? A woman or drugs? One of the debates that will never die, but it was very clear at the time that The Beatles were doing a lot of LSD, so it could be pretty obvious to some what they are singing about here. No matter what the topic was though, this song is a great one with some great chords backing it up.
Yesterday (Magical Mystery Tour 1967) -- One of the most re-done songs that The Beatles put out, it is a mournful song about the past. It is one of those songs that can make you sad or give you strength all at the same time. "Yesterday, Love was such an easy game to play", is a golden lyric that tells all about maturity and how as life progresses you actually realize what love really is.
All My Loving (With The Beatles 1963) -- This is what made the Ed Sullivan performance so great, as they kicked off with this song from the pop filled early days. It's a song that has defined their early years of music, and one that is so easy to sing along to if just brings a smile to my face each time I hear it.
In My Life (Rubber Soul 1965) -- John Lennon wrote this song about his own life, and it talks about deaths that he has had to deal with, and could be considered one of the best written songs of his life. It is a deeply soulful song, and one of the more serious endeavors that started Lennon towards a different type of song-writing.
The Long and Winding Road (Let It Be 1970) -- This was actually written about the tough times the Beatles were going through, and turned out to be one of their final releases. The funny part is that McCartney wrote the song, but hated how it was produced and put together for the last album. I still like it, even though it wasn't what McCartney would call his best.
The Beatles Album List
Please, Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
Collection Of Beatles Oldies (But Goldies)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles (White Album)
Let It Be
....and of course the albums issued after the group had parted ways
The Beatles 1962-1966 (Red Album)
The Beatles 1967-1970 (Blue Album)
Rock 'n' Roll Music
The Beatles At Hollywood Bowl
The Beatles Ballads
20 Greatest Hits
Past Masters Volume 1
Past Masters Volume 2
Live At The BBC
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