In this article, we have created a ranking of the Beatles.
This band could be considered a genre in itself.
There are many listeners who are like researchers.
I have tried to select songs with a beginner in mind.
I have tried to select only songs that are current and relevant.
This blog is an automatic translation of a Japanese blog into English.
Please understand that it may be difficult to read.
- 1 No.1「Let It Be」(Album:Let It Be)
- 2 No.2「Across the Universe」(Album:Let It Be)
- 3 No.3「Strawberry Fields Forever」(Album:Magical Mystery Tour)
- 4 No.4「Something」(Album:Abbey Road)
- 5 No.5「A Day In The Life」(Album:Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)
- 6 No.6「We Can Work It Out」(Album:The Beatles / 1962-1966)
- 7 No.7「All You Need Is Love」(Album:Yellow Submarine)
- 8 No.8「Eleanor Rigby」(Album:Revolver)
- 9 No.9「In My Life」(Album:Rubber Soul)
- 10 No.10「Two of Us」(Album:Let It Be)
- 11 No.11「Yesterday」(Album:Help!)
- 12 No.12「Tomorrow Never Knows」(Album:Revolver)
- 13 No.13「While My Guitar Gently Weeps」(Album:The Beatles（The White Album）)
- 14 No.14「Nowhere Man」(Album:Rubber Soul)
- 15 No.15「Yellow Submarine」(Album:Yellow Submarine)
- 16 No.16「Taxman」(Album:Revolver)
- 17 No.17「Here Comes The Sun」(Album:Abbey Road)
- 18 No.18「Hey Jude」(Album:The Beatles (1967-1970))
- 19 No.19「Blackbird」(Album:The Beatles（The White Album）)
- 20 No.20「Help!」(Album:Help!)
- 21 No.21「The Long and Winding Road」(Album:Let It Be… Naked)
No.1「Let It Be」(Album:Let It Be)
■Song Title：Let It Be
■Album Name：Let It Be
■Video link：「Let It Be」
At the time, the relationships within the band were deteriorating, and it was almost at its end.
However, Paul Mccartney was somehow trying to keep the band going.
There is a famous episode in this song.
He said he wrote the song based on a whisper from his late mother Mary McCartney when she appeared to him in a dream while he was pessimistic that the Beatles were splitting up.
However, Paul’s departure the following month led to the breakup of the Beatles.
From various records and testimonies, it seems that even when Paul proposed touring and recording, the other members did not agree.
It could be said that the breakup was a foregone conclusion.
When Paul wrote this song, he may have thought that only what would happen would happen.
No.2「Across the Universe」(Album:Let It Be)
■Song Title：Across the Universe
■Album Name：Let It Be
■Video link：「Across the Universe」
When you are a band as big as the Beatles, it is difficult to decide on the number one song.
The song has to have charisma.
I know many of you will disagree, but in my opinion, there are three songs that I thought deserved to be number one.
After some hesitation, I chose “Let It Be” as number one, but any of the top three songs could have been number one.
This song was written by John Lennon and has been covered by many people since 1990, including Fiona Apple and Rufus Wainwright.
It may be one of their songs that has gained more presence with the passage of time.
This song was not a single cut at the time.
No.3「Strawberry Fields Forever」(Album:Magical Mystery Tour)
■Song Title：Strawberry Fields Forever
■Album Name：Magical Mystery Tour
■Video link：「Strawberry Fields Forever」
I once read an article about what the best single in the history of rock music was.
In that article, someone mentioned this single.
The more dedicated Beatles fans tend to talk about how great the single is.
Perhaps this song should be rated as a set with its coupling “Penny Lane”.
Strawbrry Fields Forever” was a double A-side single by John and “Penny Lane” by Paul.
This song may represent the charm of the single record.
■Album Name：Abbey Road
At that time, George Harrison’s talent was about to blossom rapidly.
I have chosen two songs from this album, both of which are George’s songs.
The song “Something” was written by George and was the first single to become an A-side.
The song was praised by other Beatles members and producer George Martin, and John Lennon described it as “the best song on ‘Abbey Road. (Omitted)
By the late 1970s, the song had been covered by over 150 artists, making it the second most covered Beatles song after “Yesterday.
George’s talent blossomed in the latter years of the Beatles, and he did well in his solo career.
It is said that he was the Beatle who benefited the most from the breakup of the band.
No.5「A Day In The Life」(Album:Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)
■Song Title：A Day In The Life
■Album Name：Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
■Video link：「A Day In The Life」
The Beatles have a songwriting team, Lennon-McCartney, that writes many of their songs.
In fact, many of the songs were written separately by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, but there are exceptions.
Originally this song was written by John alone, but he couldn’t decide what to do with the middle part.
I added a melody written by Paul to it, and the song was finally completed.
Both John and Paul’s parts are great.
This album is a concept album in the form of a show of a fictional rock band.
This song was played as an encore by the fictional rock band.
No.6「We Can Work It Out」(Album:The Beatles / 1962-1966)
■Song Title：We Can Work It Out
■Album Name：The Beatles / 1962-1966
■Video link：「We Can Work It Out」
This album is an early best-of album, and is called “red disc” in Japan.
The sequel, the later best-of album “The Beatles / 1967-1970” is called “blue disc” in Japan.
Even if you have all the original albums, you should listen to these two albums because they contain singles that are not included on the albums.
Incidentally, when I was a kid, I used to collect my favorite songs that were not included in the “Red” and “Blue” albums and call them “Yellow” albums.
I remember that “Rain” from “Past Masters Vol.2” was included in the “Yellow Disc”.
Now, “We Can Work It Out” has been my favorite song since I was a kid.
It seems to me that songs that I liked as a child are often the ones that I still like as an adult.
No.7「All You Need Is Love」(Album:Yellow Submarine)
■Song Title：All You Need Is Love
■Album Name：Yellow Submarine
■Video link：「All You Need Is Love」
They were a band that spoke of love and peace.
On May 18, 1967, the Beatles signed a contract to represent the United Kingdom in “Our World” (broadcast on June 25), a special space broadcast program that was simultaneously broadcast in 24 countries using the world’s first communications satellite.
John Lennon wrote “Love is Everything” and Paul McCartney wrote “Your Mother Shud Know” as songs for the program.
In this song, they claim that all they need is love.
At that time, they were not only a rock band, but also the protagonists of a social phenomenon.
The number of viewers of this satellite broadcast is said to be 350 million.
The response after the broadcast was so great that it is said to have influenced the anti-war movement of the Vietnam War.
■Song Title：Eleanor Rigby
■Video link：「Eleanor Rigby」
All of the Beatles can write songs and all of them can do vocals.
But on the other hand, there are some songs that are not performed by the members.
The performance of this song is by a string octet arranged by George Martin, the “fifth Beatle”.
When the term “Beatlesque” is often used, it can mean a variety of things.
In many cases, a George Martin-like arrangement is called that.
George Martin was their producer on most of their albums, with a few exceptions.
He also made a contribution to this song, which deserves to be called “The Fifth Beatle”.
No.9「In My Life」(Album:Rubber Soul)
■Song Title：In My Life
■Album Name：Rubber Soul
■Video link：「In My Life」
This time, there are fewer songs from the early period.
If I were to include all the songs from the entire period, I would end up with more than 20 choices.
After all, even “Norwegian Wood” was not selected.
So I couldn’t introduce you to the early songs.
This song is from “Rubber Soul”.
I think this album marked the beginning of their middle period.
The baroque piano in the interlude is very impressive.
No.10「Two of Us」(Album:Let It Be)
■Song TitleTwo of Us
■Album Name：Let It Be
■Video link：「Two of Us」
At this time, Paul McCartney was trying to keep the band going.
In order to unite the disintegrating Beatles, Paul McCartney held a “Get Back Session” with the concept of “Let’s go back to our roots = Get back”.
However, once the recording started, conflicts among the members surfaced and the recording was finally cancelled.
The remaining sound sources were compiled into a work by producer Phil Spector.
This album became the Beatles’ last album.
This song was featured in the movie “I am Sam,” which effectively uses Beatles’ cover songs, and the version covered by Aimee Mann and Michael Penn is also excellent.
I can recommend the soundtrack with the song above, as well as many other great Beatles covers.
At that time, the Beatles had two excellent songwriters, John and Paul.
However, John Lennon seemed to have the upper hand in the early days.
The debut song “Love Me Do” was Paul’s song, but it was only a small hit.
After that, they had their breakthrough with “Please Please Me”, which was John’s song.
However, Paul’s talent has blossomed greatly since then, and he finally wrote the definitive song on this album.
That was this song.
By the way, this song is registered in the Guinness Book of World Records as the song covered by the most number of people.
No.12「Tomorrow Never Knows」(Album:Revolver)
■Song Title：Tomorrow Never Knows
■Video link：「Tomorrow Never Knows」
This song is very inspiring.
As you can hear, this song has a psychedelic sound.
The lyrics were inspired by “The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Psychedelic Version” co-authored by Timothy Leary and others.
The tambura (English version) is played from the introduction throughout the piece to represent the drone.
The tape loop (English version), which is a feature of this work, was overdubbed while playing the rhythm track.
Some of Lennon’s vocals were given a Doppler effect using leslie speakers for Hammond organ.
The innovation of this song is still relevant today.
It is probably still being played at club events all over the world.
The Beatles were rock innovators.
The innovation was mainly due to John, who wrote the song.
But Paul also wrote a song called “Helter Skelter,” which is considered to be the world’s first hard rock song.
No.13「While My Guitar Gently Weeps」(Album:The Beatles（The White Album）)
■Song Title：While My Guitar Gently Weeps
■Album Name：The Beatles（The White Album）
■Video link：「While My Guitar Gently Weeps」
This album is titled “The Beatles”, but it is not called by that name.
It is commonly known as “The White Album”.
They established their own label, Apple Records, and released this album.
It gave them the opportunity to create freely.
This album is their first double disc album and contains 45 songs.
More than the number of songs, however, what I would like to focus on may be the fact that various songs are included in an unorganized manner.
I’ve often heard other artists refer to their work as “white album-like.
It is a term that refers to a work that is not coherent, but that is not a flaw, but rather an attraction.
I think they were just cramming the songs in as they pleased, but as a result, they were appreciated later on.
No.14「Nowhere Man」(Album:Rubber Soul)
■Song Title：Nowhere Man
■Album Name：Rubber Soul
■Video link：「Nowhere Man」
I mentioned earlier that they made it big with this album.
They moved away from the idol-like hit songs and became more of an artist.
There were fewer pop songs that sounded like hits, and more songs with a sense of authorship.
This could be called a departure from Liverpool Sound and Mersey Beat.
This change is also reflected in the lyrics.
The protagonist of this song is a person who has retreated into his shell and has nowhere to stay.
The ironic lyrics may sound a little harsh.
However, this song suggests that it is not someone else’s problem.
From this time on, they started to write more songs other than love songs.
No.15「Yellow Submarine」(Album:Yellow Submarine)
■Song Title：Yellow Submarine
■Album Name：Yellow Submarine
■Video link：「Yellow Submarine」
This song was used as the theme song for the animated film of the same name.
The A-side of the Album is a Beatles song, and the B-side is an orchestral performance by George Martin.
The vocalist for this song is Ringo Starr.
Ringo was loved by many fans for his humorous personality.
His sense of humor may be well expressed in his vocals.
Apart from this song, “Octopus’s Garden” is another unforgettable masterpiece.
Incidentally, there is a cover of “Yellow Submarine” as follows.
This is the song that taught the elderly in Japan about the appeal of Beatles songs.
A friend and I once talked about the song “Drive My Car” by the Beatles.
In an article where people who like the Beatles were announcing their top ten songs, there was a guy who had “Drive My Car” as one of his top ten songs.
After reading that, my friend and I talked about how it’s not a bad song, but could it be?
I remember concluding that it was out of the ordinary, with apologies to those who liked it.
I believe I said something along the lines of “Taxman” would be understandable.
People remember unimportant things, don’t they?
What I’m trying to say is that I like the song “Taxman” that much.
No.17「Here Comes The Sun」(Album:Abbey Road)
■Song Title：Here Comes The Sun
■Album Name：Abbey Road
■Video link：「Here Comes The Sun」
On this album, George contributed two great songs that became the highlights of the album.
At that time, George’s position in the band was weak, and even if he wrote a good song, it was sometimes rejected.
Paul, in particular, underestimated George’s talent.
The feud between Paul and George continued even after the breakup, and was said to be the biggest obstacle to the reunion of the Beatles.
In this album, George showed his talent.
George showed his talent in this album, and this song and “Something” are included in this album.
Paul’s medley in the latter half of the album is also wonderful, but the star of the album may have been George.
I think George had a charm that John and Paul did not have.
No.18「Hey Jude」(Album:The Beatles (1967-1970))
■Song Title：Hey Jude
■Album Name：The Beatles (1967-1970)
■Video link：「Hey Jude」
The “Jude” in “Hey Jude” is John Lennon’s son, Julian Lennon.
At the time, John was having an affair with Yoko Ono and was separated from his wife Cynthia Lennon.
This song is said to have been written by Paul to encourage Julian.
Regarding the lyrics, McCartney said, “This song started with the title ‘Hey Jules.
In other words, to tell Julian, ‘Even though it’s hard, you’ve got to work hard to get through it.
Because it was supposed to be hard for him.”
Since a while ago I have been writing a lot about how Paul did not get along with the other members.
Paul had a stubborn streak, or to put it better, he was a perfectionist and a stickler.
He was also a man of leadership and a strong sense of responsibility, although he was ridiculed as a show-off in his later years.
Strengths may become weaknesses in other situations.
Even in this song, I might not normally write a song to encourage other people’s children.
But it was clear that he was acting out of good intentions, and in fact Julian was very encouraged.
No.19「Blackbird」(Album:The Beatles（The White Album）)
■Album Name：The Beatles（The White Album）
Nowadays, the connection between rock and politics is not as strong as it used to be.
Of course, there are artists who have political messages.
However, during the Beatles’ era, I think the connection between rock and politics was stronger than it is now.
Rock music was closely tied to the Vietnam anti-war movement and the civil rights movement.
This song was born out of the following background.
Regarding the lyrics, McCartney said, “In the 1960s, there were a lot of issues going on around civil rights, and we were all enthusiastic supporters.
This song was actually written for a black woman who had suffered discrimination and segregation in the Little Rock High School incident.
This album also contains a song called “Revolution” written by John.
In the song, he appeals, “Let’s make a revolution.
At that time, they were trying to change the world with their music.
The early songs have a straightforward appeal.
There are many songs that give you a sense of momentum, and you can simply enjoy them.
For example, please listen to this song.
This album is the soundtrack of a movie.
At that time, they were seen as idols.
Their debut was in 1962, and this song was released in 1965.
During that time, they had released five albums and two movies.
It seems that they were very busy.
It was during this time that John wrote this song.
In later years, John said that the message of this song, “Help me,” was a cry from the heart.
No.21「The Long and Winding Road」(Album:Let It Be… Naked)
■Song Title：The Long and Winding Road
■Album Name：Let It Be… Naked
■Video link：「The Long and Winding Road」
This album was put together by Phil Spector from unfinished recordings.
John and George praised his work, but Paul protested and sued to stop the release.
However, Paul’s appeal was not accepted, and the album was released in its original form.
It is said that Paul disliked Phil Spector’s arrangements.
When the album was made, Paul’s biggest displeasure was the strings on this song.
The version introduced here is the one without the strings that Paul hated.
This album is a version of “Let It Be” without the extra arrangement, hence the addition of the word “Naked”.
If you are interested in listening to the Beatles, listen to the original album first.
After that, you can listen to this album and “The Beatles Anthology” to enjoy the differences from the original songs.