#78: Any Time at All

When pressed to name my top five Beatles albums, the list is fairly standard, minus the absence of the overrated Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. At the top is the White Album, perhaps for sheer volume more than pound-for-pound quality. The next three, in order, are Abbey RoadRevolver, and Rubber Soul. These four constitute perhaps the band’s most experimental, risk-taking works, so naturally rounding out the top five is A Hard Day’s Night, in all its “if Beatlemania ain’t broke, don’t fix it” glory.

For their third album, the Beatles were in no mood to rewrite the rulebook that had led to such incredible international success. But in between the release of predecessor With the Beatles and recording its follow-up, something happened: Continue reading “#78: Any Time at All”

#78: Any Time at All

#83: I’m Happy Just to Dance with You

America fell in love with the Beatles via the purest of requests in December 1963: “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” But just six months later, they made it clear that that was no longer enough to satisfy their insatiable lust.

“I don’t want to kiss or hold your hand,” George Harrison plainly stated as parents undoubtedly rushed to Continue reading “#83: I’m Happy Just to Dance with You”

#83: I’m Happy Just to Dance with You

#146: I’ll Be Back

Man, this track was such a surprise to me when I first heard it for so many reasons. It was the closing song on the Beatles’ third album, and given that the first two concluded with “Twist and Shout” and “Money,” I was all set for another intense rocker to wrap up A Hard Day’s Night.

That is not this song.

Also, like every person on the planet since 1984, I Continue reading “#146: I’ll Be Back”

#146: I’ll Be Back

#175: You Can’t Do That

Much like with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” my reason for ranking “You Can’t Do That” so low is a bit unfair. Simply put, it reminds me too much of a similar and superior song released that same year. Had “Magical Mystery Tour” and “I Call Your Name” gone unrecorded, “Sgt. Pepper” and “You Can’t Do That” would almost definitely be a lot higher. But this list is about my favorite Beatles songs, not like those purportedly objective “best” lists, since that’s been done to death, and my list is objectively better than any of those.

beatlesrollingstone
You know it’s true, editors of Rolling Stone.

 

“You Can’t Do That” does have one edge over “I Call Your Name” though, and that is Continue reading “#175: You Can’t Do That”

#175: You Can’t Do That

#201: Tell Me Why

Ladies and gentlemen, we have hit a landmark with this one. “Tell Me Why” is the first original Beatles composition on the countdown that was not tossed off and given to Ringo like a bag of moldy tangerines. In his later years, John Lennon was notorious for denouncing many of his Beatles songs as throwaways, but he was spot-on in this case. “They needed another upbeat song [for the movie A Hard Day’s Night] and I just knocked it off,” he remarked in 1980.

Some speculate Continue reading “#201: Tell Me Why”

#201: Tell Me Why