Here is a list of my personal top eight favorite Beatles songs in no particular order.
While picking “Hey Jude” might come off as slightly cliché, I believe it a true artistic achievement, a sweeping ballad indicative of The Beatles’ respect and prodigal talent for their craft. With Paul tenderly cooing some of music’s most beloved lyrics, the song begins as a warm tune of reassurance and optimism. It eventually erupts into its renowned and seemingly everlasting finale chorus for nearly four minutes, with the Fab Four vocally interjecting at random moments and just having fun. To me the repetitive “Hey Jude” chorus represents The Beatles’ musical legacy, continuing onward for an infinite amount of time, showcasing their influence and memory for eternity. “Hey Jude” is one of those rare songs many bands could only dream of writing, and has a special place in my heart.
Warm and utterly delightful, “Penny Lane” is a nostalgic glimpse back into the daily occurrences of a cozy English town. It contains an upbeat and rollicking tempo, joyously celebrating the memories of the actions of several individuals residing along Penny Lane. It chronicles the often intertwining lives of a barber, banker, nurse and fireman, vaguely describing their actions and emotions on a rainy day buried in the past. The song honors and remembers Penny Lane’s “blue suburban skies” and declaring it “is in my ears and my eyes.” Penned by Paul, “Penny Lane” is a nice slice of sweet pop music nostalgia, and the warmth and admiration he feels for the place is evident in the glowing tone of his vocal recordings.
Simple yet profound. Elementary yet utterly significant. “Nowhere Man” can be understood on two different levels. It can be regarded as an examination of an enigmatic man , or a searing portrait of an individual lacking in virtually every aspect of human life and communication, residing in a world devoid of significance or vitality. John is able to infuse the song with a universal importance by questioning “isn’t he a bit like you and me?” The harmonies are beautiful and effortlessly smooth, and Lennon’s vocals contain a sort of ethereal droning quality to them. I believe the most remarkable part about “Nowhere Man” is how Lennon managed to cram myriad themes concerning life and human existence into a piece that clocks in at a mere 2:44.
She Said She Said
Kicking off with the twang of electric guitar chords, “She Said She Said” is a sublime auditory experience showcasing The Beatles at the height of their creativity. Lennon’s voice is pure electricity, running on a current of amplified sound that rises and falls with the notes of the song. The electric guitar is a constant background entity, echoing the melodies and harmonies of the lyrics, creating a metallic-sounding experience that is both surreal and timeless. Some songs can be accurately described via the written word, but “She Said She Said” is really a piece one must listen to in order to truly appreciate its quality.
Back in the U.S.S.R.
“Back in the U.S.S.R.” is a hectic song, a rock-and-roll ballad featuring Paul singing with as much gusto as he can muster. The comedic tune follows a protagonist who recently returned to Russia for the first time in a while and is simply overjoyed to be home. Fast-paced from the opening, “Back in the U.S.S.R” represents vintage rock, displaying classic wailing guitar solos and Beach Boys inspired harmonizing/ vocalizations to great effect.
Yet another warm and nostalgic song from Paul, “Hello Goodbye” is entrancing and compelling. Its simplistic lyrical structure and atmospheric reverberations perfectly complement its tragic elements, and the inclusion of the viola injects addition flair into the piece. The rollicking and seemingly impromptu finale is nothing but pure fun, a harmonious cacophony of sound showcasing the Fab Four rocking their way to the finish.
The Abbey Road Medley
Technically comprised of nine separate songs, the “Abbey Road Medley” is over 16 minutes worth of pure auditory bliss. Starting off with the eclectic and tender “You Never Give Me Your Money,” it transitions to the surreal sunlit environment of the “Sun King,” then torridly moves through “Mean Mr. Mustard,” “Polythene Pam,” and “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.” The final third of the medley consists of “Golden Slumbers,” the anthem “Carry That Weight,” and then ends with the thunderous and fitting conclusion “The End.” The nine-second song “Her Majesty” is tacked on at the end after a lengthy delay. What truly makes the “Abbey Road Medley” so remarkable is how its tightly interconnected songs seamlessly transition into one another and resembling a unified whole. Highlights include Paul exploring his entire vocal range; Ringo Starr drumming like there is no tomorrow, and the final and only lines featured in “The End” that state “ in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
In My Life
“In My Life” is an incredibly mature and profound reflection on one’s existence and the fates of companions from the past. It is a song that every individual on Earth can instantly relate with, and its beauty is once again found within its simplicity. I believe the most remarkable aspect of “In My Life” is how it initially recollects life on a grand scale, and then narrows down its scope to one specific individual. The finale is eerie and chilling, a most suitable ending to such a powerful song.
- Why I love The Beatles (rappler.com)
- Part 4: “I’m Only Sleeping” – A Tribute to John Lennon & George Harrison (fionawlodarek.wordpress.com)