10 OF THE BEST BEATLES TUNES – SELECTED BY A NON-BEATLES FAN

Growing up as the youngest of seven siblings, my earliest individual enjoyment of music came in the mid-to-late 70’s (everything from Carole King to Elton John to Earth, Wind & Fire). I knew of the Beatles, but my only experience had been my older brother playing the “Red” and “Blue” double albums constantly (along with “Hot August Night” by Neil Diamond).

As blasphemous as it seems, I always thought their lyrics seemed both juvenile and silly (McCartney’s “Silly Love Songs” later proved me right):

Help! I need somebody
Help! Not just anybody
Help! You know I need someone
Help!

Throwing Yoko Ono into the mix only cemented my indifference to the original “super” group.

So now, in 2021, I think I’ve reached a point where I can appreciate the brilliance of their songwriting, and yet not quite grasp the insanity that ensued with their rabid fans.

With that in mind, I wanted to share the ten Beatles songs (in no particular order) I appreciate the most (I’m sure there are non-singles that I would love but am totally unaware of – feel free to share those suggestions within the comments!):

COME TOGETHER (1969)

This 1969 single is a stunning lead track from the “Abbey Road”. John Lennon wrote it and later called it “gobbledygook”, noting he wrote it as a campaign song at the request of Timothy Leary, who was attempting to beat Ronald Reagan for office of Governor in California. 8/10

Peak Position in the US: #1

YESTERDAY (1965)

A McCartney composition (credited to Lennon-McCartney), this single was lifted from the “Help!” album, and is one of the most covered songs in history to date. Subconsciously thought to be inspired by “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles. 9/10

Peak Position in the US: #1

LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS (1967)

Primarily composed by Lennon and included on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, this track was inspired by a drawing from Julien Lennon’s nursery school days…one in which he captioned “Lucy – In the Sky with Diamonds”. Because the letters LSD featured prominently in the title, speculation ensued that it was actually a song referencing drug usage. Lennon denied the allegations and instead referenced “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” as an additional inspiration. 7/10

Peak Position in the US: #1 by Elton John in 1974 (from his “Caribou Ranch” album)

PENNY LANE (1967)

Released as a double A-side single (with “Strawberry Fields Forever”), “Penny Lane” was originally planned as part of the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album, but due to record company demand for a single, was released without a parent album. Written by McCartney, it references a street in Liverpool and heavily references sights and sounds of his upbringing as a child in the city. 6/10

Peak Position in the US: #1

HEY JUDE (1968)

A McCartney-penned tune, this was written to comfort Julien following John Lennon’s split from his wife and subsequent relationship with Yoko Ono. A nine-week stint at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 put this non-album single in a tie for the longest running #1 song at the time. Who can resist singing along to that amazing ending (na-na-na-na…)? 9/10

Peak Position in the US: #1

HERE COMES THE SUN (1969)

Another outstanding track from “Abbey Road”, this track was written by George Harrison, and the mixing session to finalize the track marked the last time all four Beatles were in the recording studio together. As of September, 2019, this song was the most streamed Beatles song globally on Spotify. 7/10

Peak Position in the US: #3 (Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs – 2019)

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD (1970)

Another McCartney track, this one taken from the “Let It Be” album. Issued just a month after the break-up of the band, this marked the final #1 single from the Beatles. Written in the Scottish highlands, the song reflected Paul’s state of mind at the time, anguish personally with a nostalgic look at the road the Beatles had taken personally and professionally. 7/10

Peak Position in the US: #1

GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE (1966)

McCartney again. Taken from “Revolver”, GTGYIMY was inspired by the Motown sound (along with marijuana), and is often remembered by the success of its cover versions (Earth, Wind & Fire, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers). 8/10

Peak Position in the US: #7

SOMETHING (1969)

George Harrison composed with single coupled with “Come Together” as a release from “Abbey Road”. Considered a love song to Harrison’s first wife, Pattie Boyd, Lennon himself considers this track to be the best on the album. It is the second-most covered Beatles song next to “Yesterday”. 7/10

Peak Position in the US: #1

LET IT BE (1970)

Written by Paul McCartney (again credited to Lennon-McCartney), the title track set the record for the highest debut (at the time) of a single, bowing at #6 on Billboard’s Hot 100. This was the band’s final single release prior to their break-up as a group. 9/10

Peak Position in the US: #1

So there you have it. What are your thoughts on my favorite 10 Beatles songs? What others do you recommend? What solo songs are your favorites? Leave your thoughts via a comment on the page!

Just a taste of the hysteria that surrounded the Beatles in the 60’s

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