My Top Ten – Beatles tracks

I’m editing my book on music at the moment; and yesterday, I went through a piece on The Beatles. At the end of the piece I reflect on the Paul v John debate – who was your favourite? Received wisdom had it that John was the more edgy, the more challenging of the two, while Paul wrote the sweet melodies. There was, of course, a lot more to it than that; but it has tended to mean that the music critics, ever the cool ones, go with John. I’ve always taken the contrary view and been a Paul fan, partly because, in my view, he made better music after The Beatles, give or take the odd lapse, like the Frogs’ Chorus!

Anyway, at the end of my section on The Beatles, I listed what I thought were my ten favourite Beatles tracks, just to see who came out top. I did this sometime in 2011. The ten would no doubt be different now – in fact they probably would have been different the day after I did it! And really, how do you pick ten from the countless brilliant songs, which shaped our pop and rock music forever? Well, I gave it a whirl, just for fun. These were the ten.

A Day In The Life – John
Strawberry Fields Forever – John
I Am The Walrus – John
The Night Before – Paul
Hey Jude – Paul
Taxman – George (let us not forget him – or Ringo)
I’m Only Sleeping – John
And I Love Her – Paul
Michelle – Paul
Here, There And Everywhere – Paul

That made it George 1, John 4 and Paul 5. But really, all it confirms is that they were a team. Between Paul and John, especially, there was a bond, a synergy, that inspired them to write many of the greatest pop songs of all time. Neither were anywhere near as good on their own.

So readers out there, what are your top ten Beatles songs?

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love outside work: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. And anything else that I happen to think is worth writing about!
This entry was posted in Music - Top Tens and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to My Top Ten – Beatles tracks

  1. TheSameTwin says:

    John. Definitely. I even named my dog after him.

  2. Dood says:

    George. Cool, thoughtful, gifted, serious, charismatic, cerebral, curious. (And precocious – 22 years old when they made Rubber Soul!) John always a bit shouty and up himself, Paul too cute and schmaltzy. Having said that, John and Paul were complete geniuses. Of course.

    Top Ten singles to follow. Sorry! Couldn’t resist.

  3. Dood says:

    My Top Ten. Four of them are also yours, John:

    A Day in the Life (John, but with a bit of Paul)
    I Am the Walrus (John)
    Strawberry Fields Forever (John)
    Hey Jude (Paul)

    and then

    While My Guitar Gently Weeps (George)
    In My Life (John)
    Eleanor Rigby (Paul)
    The Long and Winding Road (Paul)
    I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (John)
    Let it Be (Paul)

    I completely love them to pieces. Though Rubber Soul (In My Life, Norwegian Wood, Michelle) had its major moments, the magic really began with Revolver. After that, Sergeant Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour totally blew me away, The White Album left me a bit cold (gently weeping guitar excepted), but the final phase of Get Back, Let it Be and Abbey Road was riveting, ground-breaking, and of course incredibly poignant. The ancient compilation album The Beatles, 1967 – 70 remains a favourite.

    And I love the fact that I could sit down every night for a week and draw up a different Top Ten.

    Surely the greatest of them all.

    • John S says:

      Yes indeed. Can’t take issue with any of your ten. I’d say that Revolver, Sgt Pepper and Abbey Road are the great three, with Magical Mystery Tour a great sweep up of the tracks that were brilliant but weren’t on other albums. But I’ve listened quite a lot to Rubber Soul and Help! recently, and they are right up there.

  4. Rick says:

    Good ones all

  5. tonystower says:

    What a great list John!
    Although I’m surprised there is no room for While My Guitar, Eleanor Rigby or Here Comes the Sun!
    Or Yellow Submarine (joke!)

    I probably wouldn’t have included Day in the Life or Taxman in my own top ten. But I’m Only Sleeping is a great track.

    • John S says:

      I used to sing Yellow Submarine to my kids when they were little. Accompanied by rudimentary guitar. The girls especially loved it, changing the words, like singing about a Pink Submarine. Simple pleasures!

  6. dc says:

    agree with some of the others above, eleanor rigby has to be in and taxman is relegated.
    something was probably george’s best toon (second most covered beatles song after yesterday)
    all you need is love, penny lane, help…all personal faves.

  7. Only 10 is tough. But it’s a nice set you have in there.

    I’ve always been partial to Come Together and I think a lot of it has to do with some incredible cover jams of that song that I’ve heard by bands here in India. Very trippy!

  8. Resa says:

    In no particular order….and I know there is at least 1 they did not write… but the track is awesome.

    Sun King
    Darling
    The Long & Winding Road
    While My Guitar Gently Weeps
    A Day in the Life
    You’re Going to Lose That Girl
    In My Life
    You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
    Til There was You
    Devil in Her Heart

  9. My thoughts on both Lennon and McCartney as artists are many, but at gunpoint I would say Paul just wrote better tunes, despite John being the always-fascinating one to study and to analyze. Here’s my top, in no particular order:

    Tomorrow Never Knows
    A Day in the Life
    Here, There and Everywhere
    You Never Give Me Your Money
    Something

    Strawberry Fields Forever
    A Hard Day’s Night
    She’s Leaving Home
    Within You Without You
    Helter Skelter

  10. Vassilis says:

    Tomorrow Never Knows
    A Day in the Life
    Strawberry Fields Forever
    Penny Lane
    Revolution (single version)
    Hey Jude
    I saw her standing there
    We can work it out
    Don’t let me down
    Yer blues

    • John S says:

      Nice selection. Interesting to see Yer Blues in there. I’ve been listening to The Beatles quite a lot recently and getting more into Help! and Rubber Soul than ever before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s