Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top 25 Beatles songs

The other day I was listening to the radio and a Beatles song came on. I turned it up and tweeted that it was probably in my top 15 favorite Beatles tracks. That got me thinking of what my favorite songs were, and I gave me the idea to present you with this list.

It's a very subjective list. If I made it a month from now, things would probably look different. I just went through all of their songs on my iTunes and picked out 25 that caught my eye. Then I loosely ranked them. So, take it for what it is: me feeling a certain way about a group of songs on a certain day. Let me know if you agree or disagree.

Hey Jude ... I'm basing this song on how it makes me feel when it comes on. I smile and turn up the volume and hum along to the na-na-na-na-na-na's. It's a feel-good song.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps ... The opening guitar riff is probably the coolest thing Eric Clapton has ever done. And that's the word that personifies this song - "cool." This is just a cool song that is mellow and kind of heavy at the same time. My favorite track from the bootleg "Grey Album," the mashup of the Beatles White Album and Jay-Z's Black Album, is "What More Can I Say," which includes this music over Jay's lyrics.

Oh! Darling ... Paul McCartney loves to write these doo-wop ballads and sing really loud, and that's what he does here. It's a sad song about a failed relationship, but it's sort of a upbeat musically.

Come Together ... With such profound lyrics as "one and one and one is three," it's a philosophical song about the intricacies of life. Or, it's just some ramblings that John Lennon wrote.

A Day In The Life ... I feel like "epic" is one of the most overused words in our lexicon. With that said, though, if there ever was an epic Beatles song, it would be this one. Lennon and McCartney both had half of a song and didn't know what to do with it, so they combined them together and the result was wonderful.

I Saw Her Standing There ... One of my favorites from the group's early days. It's a fun song about seeing a girl at a dance and wanting to be with her. It's one of Paul McCartney's favorite Beatles songs and he still performs it to this day. A couple years ago he sang it at the Grammys with Dave Grohl on drums.

Revolution ... Lennon and McCartney both set out to write the loudest songs they could imagine for the White Album. This is Lennon's. They recorded an electric and acoustic version and wound up putting the acoustic one on the album. The louder version is better.

Rain ... A nice song about being happy. Other people get upset when it rains, but not them. The first Beatles track to feature back-tracking, taking words and playing them backward to make weird sounds. Also one of the few songs to prominently feature the drums. Ringo usually fades into the background, but not here.

Get Back ... The last song that the Beatles ever performed live, it is included in their "Let It Be" album and documentary. After the impromptou concert on the roof of their recording studio, Lennon jokingly asks the audience if the band "passed the audition." Probably the most mainstream song to feature references to both marijuana and transexuals.

And Your Bird Can Sing ... Upbeat song from the middle of the Beatles lifespan, as they started experimenting more with different song styles. "Bird" was slang for a whore back then. I've read that this song was written as a diss to Mick Jagger and his then-girlfriend, but I don't know if that's 100-percent true.

When I Get Home ... It has some almost embarrassingly bad lyrics in it, but it's catchy. It's fun to listen to, even if Lennon sings that he's gonna "love her 'till the cows come home."

Can't Buy Me Love ... The first time I ever heard a Beatles song was in an episode of The Simpsons. It was this one. One of their more popular songs among casual fans.

Ticket To Ride ... Another possible song about casual sex. A little deeper than most of the early Beatles songs.

Magical Mystery Tour ... Title track from the followup to the popular White Album. Also made a movie of the same name. Possible subtle drug reference in the opening of the song - "roll up, roll up for the magical mystery tour." Good song and good album. The movie has been out of print for decades, so I haven't seen it. The band apparently wasn't pleased with the finished product.

Good Day Sunshine ... This song just makes you want to smile and bop your head along. Feel-good music will never go out of style.

Helter Skelter ... This is Paul McCartney's effort to make the loudest song possible for the White Album. Apparently it's about a carnival ride. Over the years it has become more closely associated with the Charles Manson Family murders, as Manson was obsessed with the White Album and its alleged hidden messages.

She's A Woman ... Nice song about appreciating the fairer sex. In the early days especially, McCartney tried to mimic Little Richard's musical style, and this is an example of that.

I Me Mine ... George Harrison's subtle dig at his spot in the band and the egos that existed among others. One of the best parts of the "Let It Be" movie is when this song is played for the first time and John Lennon and Yoko Ono dance to it.

Baby's In Black ... Song about a woman in mourning and how it affects them - "Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue." One of the first songs released by the band that wasn't happy and about young love.

Drive My Car ... Yet another possible casual sex reference. Fantasy song about getting famous and how you can drive my car. Ends with going back to reality - "I got no car and it's breaking my heart, but I've got a driver and that's a start." One of the first Beatles songs that I ever heard.

You've Got To Hide Your Love ... If you're ever on Jeopardy and the answer given to you is "The song John Lennon wrote to try and sound like Bob Dylan," you would buzz in and say "What is 'You've Got To Hide Your Love?'" It's stripped down musically and vocally. It's a nice song. Eddie Vedder recorded a cover that's pretty good as well.

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) ... First Beatles song to feature the sitar. Tale about a woman rebuffing Lennon's advances, so he burns her house down.

She Said She Said ... Trippy song. Lennon said he wrote it based on an experience he had dropping acid.

Your Mother Should Know ... Instrumentation is very bare in this song. The voices really take charge here for a neat effect.

Two Of Us ... I prefer the stripped-down version from the "Let It Be (Naked)" album that was released in 2003. It takes away most of the post-production on the songs and leaves them in their more natural state. A nice little love song.

And, there's that.

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