August 20, 2013

Top Fives - The Best of The Beatles

According to John Lennon, the Beatle who sang lead vocal on a song was usually the main songwriter. So, here are my favorite Beatle songs determined by who I believe is the main songwriter of the tune. The Beatles started song writing right from the beginning. Their first album included a mixture of original tunes such as Love Me Do, Do You Want to Know a Secret, PS I Love You along with cover songs ranging from girl groups, R & B, pop classics and good old Rock 'n' Roll.

Choosing favorite songs from so many diverse and classic tunes is definitely a difficult task, since the band went through several stages during their six plus years together on the international stage. It's kind of like choosing between the early rocker Elvis and the later Vegas Elvis. The early Beatles covers were great, but can't really be counted in the Top Five if the song wasn't written by John, Paul or George. As the band matured, the arrangements became more complex to the point where the band, along with producer George Martin, succeeded in changing the face of rock music from a limited range to an anything goes approach.

So here's my Top Five list (plus a few extras).

Overall Favorite:

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

We all have out favorite Beatle song, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps is the one that haunts me to this day.  While My Guitar Gently Weeps has been covered by many different artists, from Jeff Healey to Santana and it remains one of my favorite rock songs of all time. We have meaningful lyrics, a haunting beat and an luscious Eric Clapton solo that is hard to beat. George had become a very talented songwriter as The Beatles' music matured, but he was only allowed one or two songs per album. With the release of the double White album, George had more opportunities to shine and came up with some great tunes.

George Harrison

While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Here Comes The Sun
I Need You

John Lennon

Come Together
If I Fell
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
In My Life

Paul McCartney

Gotta Get You Into My Life
Oh! Darling
Lady Madonna
She's a Woman

Most over rated songs

Hey Jude
Let It Be

Best Ringo Starr vocal

With a Little Help From My Friends

Worst Song

Why Don't We Do It in the Road

Lennon & McCartney

A Day in the Life

This is the definitive collaboration of Lennon & McCartney and George Martin, and a major innovation in rock music at the time. For many years it topped the greatest rock song of all time on many lists and is masterful in its concept and execution. The Beatles had evolved from I Want to Hold Your Hand to I Want To Turn You On, and it was as if we all woke up to a much more expansive world of Rock 'n' Roll. The question is: Is A Day in the Life really a Rock song?

One final note. When I shared my list with my brother, he scolded me for leaving out Norwegian Wood, You're Gonna Lose That Girl, Fool on The Hill and a dozen other songs. Sorry Dennis, I did my best with this list. If I did the list on another day, it very well might come out a lot different. Bottom line: While My Guitar Gently Weeps will always be my favorite no matter how many times I do this list.

So what are your favorite Beatle songs?

A Day In The Life video:



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