Tag Archives: beatles

My 25 Favorite Beatles Songs

Standard

I can’t count the number of times people have asked me my favorite Beatles songs – a question which usually leaves me stymied because….hello, y’all, have you ever met me? I do not deal in black & white; I deal in no less than eight hundred-fifty shades of gray. Ask me to pick a favorite song and my response is something along the lines of, “Do you mean when I’m sad? Happy? The one whose bass line I like the best? The one I’m gladdest to hear on Sundays after 5 pm during a waning gibbous moon?” In other words, I can’t pick just one. Or two. In fact, I was hard-pressed to pick twenty-five. But I did. It was not easy.

The method I used to compile this list was as follows: I sat down with a list of all the songs the Beatles recorded either for albums or for release as a single or B-side. With pen and paper at hand I jotted down every song that jumped off the page at me as one I especially favor for whatever reason. That gave me a working list of 36 songs. Then I went down my list and circled all the songs that absolutely, unquestionably must stay on the list (there were 10). I agonized over the remaining 26, trying to pick 11 to trim. It was painful to cross out any of them but eventually I whittled it down. I’m pretty happy with the results. Are there surprises? A few, I think. Of course there are standards that one might expect to see but there are certainly a few that are a little off the beaten path.

Without further ado, in chronological (release) order, I give you my 25 favorite Beatles songs:

  1. She Loves You
  2. This Boy
  3. If I Fell
  4. I Should’ve Known Better
  5. I’ll Cry Instead
  6. I’ve Just Seen a Face
  7. Girl
  8. In My Life
  9. Here, There & Everywhere
  10. Within You Without You
  11. A Day in the Life
  12. All You Need is Love
  13. Your Mother Should Know
  14. Hey Jude
  15. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  16. Blackbird
  17. Rocky Raccoon
  18. I Will
  19. Yer Blues
  20. The Ballad of John and Yoko
  21. Something
  22. Here Comes the Sun
  23. The End
  24. Let it Be
  25. The Long and Winding Road

And, for the record, the songs that were on the original list of 36 that just barely missed the cut:

  • Please Please Me
  • It Won’t be Long
  • No Reply
  • Act Naturally (the only cover song I picked)
  • Back in the USSR
  • Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey
  • Helter Skelter
  • Hey Bulldog
  • Because (I eliminated this one because it’s not the original version I love but the voices-only version on Anthology 3 and LOVE.)
  • I’ve Got a Feeling

And now, in true Mary fashion, now that I see it all written out I’m second-guessing my picks and wondering if I made my decisions too hastily. Honestly, it really is like trying to pick a favorite amongst your children. I’m just going to go with this list for now unless inspiration strikes. Cut, print, that’s a wrap.

Advertisements

All you need is…

Standard

I wonder how many times over the course of my lifetime I will fall in love with John Lennon.

It happens a lot.

I am the ultimate Beatles/Lennon fan. But sometimes real life overtakes me. I never entirely stop listening to the lads but they are, occasionally, pushed to the back burner. Once in a while it’s because I’m listening to something new that grabs my attention but, most often, I’ve pulled away from music, in general, while I deal with that bloody nuisance people call “reality”. The Beatles are still there, cropping up on my iPod, peering at me in some form in just about every room in my house, but the hippie-dippy spiritual connection-type stuff fades away. It isn’t lost – more like forgotten. I reach a saturation point, I think, where I have heard the songs so many times that I cease to really listen and they simply become noise. Well-loved noise….but noise, nonetheless.

But then, one day, a song of theirs will come on and, out of the blue, suddenly: I remember. I remember how and why all this started in the first place. I recognize, afresh, their genius. I notice subtle nuances I had begun to overlook. And I fall in love all over again.

Tonight was one of those nights. I’ve been in a phase where John has been removed from my immediate thoughts for quite some time. I went out to run an errand and queued up my iPod in the car. The first song up was “I Feel Fine” and as I heard John singing….it clicked. I have been feeling very blue the past week and, as a result, very tense. Listening to John’s voice I felt the tension draining away. I could wax philosophical about it but probably never do it justice. It’s oh, so much more than just “listening to music I enjoy.” His voice is the missing piece in my dysfunctional jigsaw puzzle of a soul. I hate that I forget that sometimes but I think I have to in order to truly appreciate what he/they mean to me when I come back to them. And I always come back to them.