Beatle Bests

I just put together an iTunes playlist of my favourite Beatles songs.  I thought the list might be of interest. I arranged it in order of the recording date, and have put its source next to the title. Here’s the list, with some observations at the bottom:

Please Please Me (single)
There’s A Place (Please Please Me)
I Saw Her Standing There (Please Please Me)
Twist and Shout (Please Please Me)
She Loves You (single)
You Really Got A Hold On Me (With The Beatles)
It Won’t Be Long (With The Beatles)
All My Loving (With The Beatles)
This Boy (b/side to “I Want To Hold Your Hand”)
Can’t Buy Me Love (single)
And I Love Her (A Hard Day’s Night)
A Hard Day’s Night (A Hard Day’s Night)
Things We Said Today (A Hard Day’s Night)
Every Little Thing (Beatles For Sale)
No Reply (Beatles For Sale)
Eight Days A Week (Beatles For Sale)
Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey (Beatles For Sale)
I Feel Fine (single)
I’ll Follow the Sun (Beatles For Sale)
Ticket To Ride (single)
The Night Before Help! (Help!)
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away (Help!)
Help! (Help!)
I’ve Just Seen A Face (Help!)
Yesterday (Help!)
Norwegian Wood (The Bird Has Flown) (Rubber Soul)
Drive My Car (Rubber Soul)
Day Tripper (single)
In My Life (Rubber Soul)
We Can Work It Out (single)
The Word (Rubber Soul)
Tomorrow Never Knows (Revolver)
Love You To (Revolver)
Rain (b/side to “Paperback Writer”)
Taxman (Revolver)
I’m Only Sleeping (Revolver)
Eleanor Rigby (Revolver)
For No One (Revolver)
Good Day Sunshine (Revolver)
She Said She Said (Revolver)
Strawberry Fields Forever (single)
When I’m Sixty-Four (Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band)
Penny Lane (single)
A Day In The Life (Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band)
Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite! (Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band)
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band)
Getting Better (Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band)
Within You Without You (Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band)
With A Little Help From My Friends (Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band)
I Am the Walrus (b/side to “Hello Goodbye”)
Flying (Magical Mystery Tour)
The Inner Light (b/side to “Lady Madonna”)
Revolution 1 (The Beatles)
Don’t Pass Me By (The Beatles)
Revolution 9 (The Beatles)
Blackbird (The Beatles)
Good Night (The Beatles)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles)
Cry Baby Cry (The Beatles)
Hey Jude (single)
Dear Prudence (The Beatles)
I Will (The Beatles)
Happiness Is A Warm Gun (The Beatles)
Martha My Dear (The Beatles)
Long, Long, Long (The Beatles)
I’m So Tired (The Beatles)
I’ve Got A Feeling (Let It Be… Naked)
Don’t Let Me Down (Let It Be… Naked)
Get Back (Let It Be… Naked)
Two of Us (Let It Be… Naked)
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Abbey Road)
Something (Abbey Road)
Here Comes the Sun (Abbey Road)
Come Together (Abbey Road)
Because (Abbey Road)
You Never Give Me Your Money (Abbey Road)
Sun King (Abbey Road)
Mean Mr. Mustard (Abbey Road)
Polythene Pam (Abbey Road)
She Came in Through the Bathroom Window (Abbey Road)
Golden Slumbers  (Abbey Road)
Carry That Weight (Abbey Road)
The End (Abbey Road)
Her Majesty (Abbey Road)

A couple of points and observations:

  • I went with Let It Be… Naked rather than Let It Be, as I prefer the production on that (no Spector mush!). Also, for Abbey Road, I kept the Long Medley together – it would be a wrench to split all those songs up, as I feel that side 2 is the greatest side of any album ever recorded.
  • Abbey Road is the most featured album, with 14/17. (The White Album is close at thirteen, but is only 13/30).
  • My “favourites” consist of 85 out of a total of 186 recorded songs. That’s an astonishing consistency!
  • Even within what is obviously a cream-of-the-crop selection, there are some incredible hot streaks and leaps in development. Consider the leap from “The Word” to “Tomorrow Never Knows”, or “I’ll Follow The Sun” to “Ticket To Ride”.
  • A few times I prefer the b/side to the a/side: I’d take George’s gorgeous “The Inner Light” over “Lady Madonna” any day, and “Rain” over “Paperback Writer” too.
  • Not one tune from Yellow Submarine. Yeah. Just the one from Magical Mystery Tour, too, if you exclude singles like “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am The Walrus”.
  • If I was to include songs from the Anthologies and Live At The BBC, about the only thing I’d add is Take 1 of “Tomorrow Never Knows”. But if I included bootlegs, I’d probably have a bunch from the White Albums demos – several of which are quite different. “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide (Except For Me And My Monkey)” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” both seem to me better in their original accoustic versions.
  • Early albums have a lower proportion of great songs – then after Revolver, say, they were an album band.
  • Hard to say who of Lennon or Macca gets most. Pretty even. George gets a good representation (as a proportion of his total Beatle songs). I’m not that keen on that Joe Schmuck early tunes they padded out for Ringo (e.g. “Act Naturally”), but I do like “Don’t Pass Me By” a lot.
  • Any you feel I’m crazy to have missed? “I Want To Hold Your Hand” or “Paperback Writer” or “Back In The USSR”?

One thought on “Beatle Bests

  1. Pingback: More Beatles Bests: Albums | booksandmusicandstuff

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