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?