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Opinion

With the correct suggestions, everyone can enjoy The Beatles

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April 7, 2010

I don’t know about you, but when I can’t focus on something, whether it be prepping for an exam or writing a paper, I usually turn on some tunes to get focused.

Three out of four times I do this, I turn to John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Everyone knows tunes like “Hey Jude,” “Let It Be” and “Yellow Submarine,” but few people, I feel, have the chance to really experience their music. 

Now, I personally believe that The Beatles have created some of the most amazing music that could ever fall upon human ears, but I understand that many people don’t share my view on this.  I want to give my list of ten Beatles songs that I think once all packaged together, a person can’t honestly say that they don’t at least appreciate The Beatles. 

So, here it is my friends, ten Beatles songs you, if you haven’t already, need to check out.

1) “Because”:

Off of the masterpiece known as “Abbey Road,” this song is a perfect lesson in harmony.

The song features three-part harmony, but each voice is overdubbed three times. Now, since we’re all mathematicians, we can calculate that creates, yes, nine voices in all, and it sounds amazing.

The harpsichord (electric), guitar, and chords used in the song are incredibly entrancing.  Something that is pretty cool is that the song was apparently inspired by Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.”

2) “Good Day Sunshine”

Coming from the album “Revolver,” this is an ultimate “feel good” song. Quite literally, it makes me want to grab a cane and skip down the street, in a very masculine way of course. The song is simply about how genuinely happy being in love can make you feel, because as Paul says, “I feel good, in a special way. I’m in love and it’s a sunny day.”

The piano track really anchors the song in my opinion, especially the brief, but upbeat, solo. 

3) “In My Life”

This, from the album “Rubber Soul,” is truly one of the most beautiful, melodic and well-rounded songs I have ever heard. The song was originally written by John Lennon as a sort of “reflection on my childhood” type of song, but McCartney reworked the lyrics with Lennon to create the song that we have today.

One notable attribute of this song is the piano solo, written by the “fifth Beatle” George Martin. The piano solo was recorded at half speed, and then doubled to fit the track after the solo written by Martin was apparently too slow for the song. 

Overall, this song says, in a perfect way, how much one appreciates anyone and everything that has come and gone in their life, among other things.

4) “I’ve Just Seen a Face”

This song comes from the “Help!” album. The intro guitar track for this song is simply fantastic, and propels you into a magnificent work by The Beatles. This is the perfect song to describe that “love at first sight” feeling you may or may not have had.

5) “Day Tripper”

Though this song never appeared on an “official” album, it was released as a “Double-A side” single with the song “We Can Work It Out.” I love this song just because, well, it’s simply awesome. The opening guitar riff immediately gets the listener jacked, and the rest of the song follows through on keeping everything upbeat.

6)  “I Will”

Off of “The White Album,” this is a very simple and short piece. I love this song simply because I feel that it is the perfect way to tell a woman how much you love them, and what extremes you would go to show that love. “Who knows how long I’ve loved you, you know I love you still. Will I wait a lonely lifetime? If you want me to, I will.”

7) “Eleanor Rigby”

Off of “Revolver”, this is a song that most people know. This song, I feel, is a genuine masterpiece, lyrically and musically.

The string quartets, arranged once again by George Martin, give this song a deep, moody, and majestic sound. “Eleanor Rigby” is said to be one of the first steps that sent the band into more serious territory.

This song deals with the feeling of loneliness, and how truly devastating it can be.

8) “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”/ “With a Little Help From My Friends”

Now, I know the two songs are separate, but they make up, in my opinion, the greatest album introduction I have ever heard.

The whole “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” album uncovers a part of The Beatles that arguably changed music at the time.

9) “Goodnight”

From the end of “The White Album”, this song reminds me a song straight from a Disney movie.

This movie can truly be called a lullaby, and if you want a song to send goose bumps every which direction, listen to this song before you fall asleep.

10) “Golden Slumbers” (All four songs at the end of Abbey Road)

The last four songs from “Abbey Road” will put you in a trance. All four songs are different in their own way, but the way they transition from one to the next is simply wonderful. 

“Golden Slumbers” is my personal favorite of the four, but coupled together, the end of “Abbey Road” can truly be labeled as epic.

Now if I had my way, I’d get you to buy every Beatles’ album ever made and give them a listen straight through, but since that’s not plausible, check these tunes out; you’ll be glad you did. 

Comments

john lopez on 13 Apr 2010: The Beatles were the greatest rock band of all time.No one can even come close to them when it comes to writing music.I have all there albums and most of their songs. There is still a few albums and songs I don't have in my collection.

Martoon on 13 Apr 2010: Great Job Matt!Your choices are terrific yet I agree with the others that Goodnight is underated & often overlooked. However,Strawberry Fields was John's masterpiece and I would have chosen that song instead.I agree with David "Let Me Take You Down..."

Ken on 12 Apr 2010: Good Night has always been a very underated song in my opinion,great white album closer and glad it made your list.Hard to come up with a ten best list (since I feel darn near every beatles song is mastrpiece in it's own right),lets see,Hey Jude, A day in the life,She loves you,While my guitar gently weeps,Yesterday,Let it be,I feel fine...I could go on and on.

jhboob on 12 Apr 2010: Matt, I really admire you being ballsy enough to do a top 10 Beatle list. It made me start to think of the list I made years ago and to then compare it to what I would put on it now. As I get older,losing my hair.. oops sorry, I find that I put more mid tempo songs on the list than my older rebellious era list. Still though, my 3 all time favs are the same: Strawberry Fields, A Hard Day's Night and I Call Your Name( just to listen to all the different takes to see where the cowbell comes in! Great) A just a general question to all; Has anyone EVER heard the 18 minute version of Helter Skelter? Paul admits to it but EMI has never released anything. Any takers on that one? Thanks for the chance to inquire. JH Boob.

Online Editor on 12 Apr 2010: Hey matt, this article has inspired me to listen to the Beatles more! Keep up the good work.

Mark on 12 Apr 2010: I'd have to agree with some of the comments made regarding your list. If I was trying to get someone to give the Beatles a chance my list would be as follows: Girl She's Leaving Home While My Guitar Gently Weeps Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds A Day in the Life And Your Bird Can Sing Tell Me What You See If I Needed Someone Dear Prudence We Can Work It Out However, as others have stated, this list could change from day to day. It's truly amazing that a group that was only around 8 years could have a catalog of music that is more diverse and better than long time bands like the Stones, the Who, U2, Aerosmith etc. Many people argue that the Stones or even Zeppelin were better than the Beatles but I think most are unaware of how few bad songs the Beatles ever made. They are simply the greatest band ever.

Online Editor on 11 Apr 2010: Congrats Matt! I think you have officially broken some kind of record. Great job!

Spacetrader on 11 Apr 2010: Please, you have many alternatives to "Goodnight"...

joenamherst on 11 Apr 2010: Because is probably the most underrated Beatles song. I was very glad to see that it made your list.

Nick on 10 Apr 2010: With your list leaning heavily toward love songs, I'm surprised you didn't include "Something" (particularly since George is nowhere to be found in your list). I, too, would've skipped "Goodnight", but appreciated your observations nonetheless.

Moondog on 11 Apr 2010: "Goodnight" is a beautiful song written by John for Julian...as "Beautiful Boy" was written by John for Sean. Maybe the 'angelic' chorus and orchestration in "Goodnight" is different from The Beatles normal way of doing business but a great song remains underneath...

Ole Stramer on 11 Apr 2010: Most a McCartney-list (and not some of the best McCartney-songs). And that is not enough. Where are the songs of George Harrison, e.g.: If I needed someone, Taxman .. and probably three of the best Beatles-songs ever: While my guitar gently weeps, Something, Here comes the sun ...? Harrison is underrated! McCartney overrated!

juan aulet on 11 Apr 2010: Here's my list of beatles songs they don't play on the radio and even some unrelease ones that are not on their albums:"for no one", "tell me what you see","rain", "for you blue", "it's all to much", "cats walk", "she's leaving home", "the love of the love", "september in the rain", "hold me tight", "i'll be on my way", "a shot at rythum and blues", "hello little girl", "the savouy truffle", "# bar 12", "crying waiting hoping", "carnival of lights","honey pie", "teddey boy", "too much monkey business","free as a bird", "real love" and of hundreds more the is too long!..............

juan aulet on 11 Apr 2010: Goodnight is a beauitiful llulabye sohg for kids.I use yo put my kids to aleep with ths song and now my grandkids, they love it! Each one of my kids and grandkids adore the Beatles!

Brad on 11 Apr 2010: I too am a big Beatles fan and I recommend others who have long listened to Beatles albums to give the Beatles "Love" album a chance. The mixtures of the classic Beatles songs are a masterpiece!

Dr Winston on 11 Apr 2010: A very good list Matt. I wish everyone could sit down and listen to these songs, then they would know what all the fuss was about. Goodnight is one of the most underrated Beatles songs. A real gem.

Pearl on 11 Apr 2010: Pat is right. If I was trying to convince someone to like the Beatles, I'd keep Goodnight under wraps. I also find I Will silly, not that potent a song and a little pretentious on Paul's part... For me, that song was Paul trying to recapture the days of PS I Love You. With the exception of Because and Eleanor Rigby, I disagree with most of the writer's top choices. Day Tripper is a great song, but I'm sure it's been heard by most folks. If you're going to set up a list for non-believers pick some obscure, songs that have had no radio air play in years. Like: And Your Bird Can Sing, Savoy Truffle, I Am The Walrus, I'll Be Back, A Day In The Life, or This Boy and You're Gonna Lose That Girl to highlight their extraordinary harmony. I mean one can dig deep into tracks amazingly ignored. Gems exist on every LP from Meet The Beatles to Abbey Road. Beauty and taste are of course in the eyes and ears of every beholder, but come on, If once is trying to convince a novice who's heard nothing but the top 40, be more selective than trite.

bill on 10 Apr 2010: I've been a gigantic Beatles fan since the first time I heard the opening salvo of "I Want To Hold Your Hand". I also would have a different list,(probably everyone would), but the point remains the same. To me, if someone says they don't like the Beatles, they just can't truly appreciate music, because the band covered every nook and cranny of rock and roll. I do have to say though, I think "Goodnight" is pure beauty!!

Vladimir on 10 Apr 2010: The Beatles are a part of our musical consciousness Their songs are not subject to a rating It is ocean of melodies and moods

Joe on 11 Apr 2010: I understand that it wasn't your intention to showcase individual composers in the group, but your list is a bit Paul-heavy in the songwriting department. Perhaps a bit of "Something" or "Here Comes The Sun," two of Harrison's most universally revered titles, would redress this imbalance. While a bit treacly, "Goodnight" gives Ringo a shout-out. And by the way, the sped-up piano in "In My Life" was recorded that way to simulate a harpsichord; EMI didn't keep this instrument on-hand in the studios at Abbey Road, and the band would've had to hire (rent) one for the session. Producer George Martin recommended recording him playing the solo on piano at a slower speed, then speeding the tape up to the proper pitch to match the key, effectively reproducing the timbre of the harpsichord. Funny that this great instrumental passage was born of the Beatles' pragmatically cost-effective approach to recording, all of which was about to be thrown out the window with the baroque ostentation of the sessions for "Sgt. Pepper's..."

Dave on 10 Apr 2010: I agree with Matt on all his choices! Goodnight is a high quality song that's very emotionally mesmerizing and full of love. I'm old enough so that I became a Beatles fan when I saw them live on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. I can't choose favorite Beatles songs because I love so many of them. Matt is right on.

Dave on 11 Apr 2010: While some of your choices are quite good ("I Will" is one of my favorite Beatles songs), I feel that your list contains primarily melody-heavy songs. And most melody-inclined people tend to already appreciate the Beatles. A more appropriate list might focus on songs that would interest people who tend to write the Beatles off for being a little too mainstream. I would include songs like "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"; "She Said, She Said"; "Taxman"; "Back in the USSR"; "Girl"; "Across the Universe", to name a few. These songs showcase the range of their songwriting talents in both melody and lyrics as well as the diversity of their music style.

M C on 11 Apr 2010: great selection, but it could change daily, because the Beatles never sounded the same twice

david on 10 Apr 2010: Im a Huge Fan,but in my opinion thats not a fantastic list,I would go for only 4 songs on the list,here is my list which I think everyone(almost) would like something from it,okay IN MY LIFE (Yes great lyrics and Melody very underplayed on Radio in my mind. BECAUSE(great harmony) DAYTRIPPER(classic riff) ELEANOR RIGBY(wow!) STRAWBERRY FIELDS(Lennons best in my opinion,very deep) BLACKBIRD(Mccartneys white Album masterpiece) JULIA(Lennons white Album masterpiece) MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS(Harrisons white Album masterstroke) I AM THE WALRUS(Ive met people who cant stand the Beatles,but like this.) SOMETHING(as Sinatra said.....)

Joel G. on 10 Apr 2010: Matt, You are one of the honest members of your generation. While risking a "10 best" type of list you persevere and admit that Beatles tunes can get you thru the day or night or any time at all. The last 4 songs of Abbey Road must be acknowledged and glad you include them as "one selection".. Good luck in your writing and U of W work.

mitch on 11 Apr 2010: It's impossible to come up with a top 10 list that is perfect. For example, you did not include Strawberry Fields, one of the most interesting songs and confusing for fans back in 1967, (you can see that on recording of American Bandstand when dick clark played it)... too many people try to come up with a list, but for years I have gone threw changes in favorites. There is no definative list.

John on 10 Apr 2010: There's a lot of great music in the world but you'll never, ever go wrong listening to the boys from Liverpool.

Becky on 10 Apr 2010: I have been a Beatles fan for over 40 years (46 to be exact), and the thing that blows me away is that young people, who not even alive when this music was released, love it! The Beatles are truly timeless!! I would find it very difficult to choose my favorites, but I do agree with the songs you chose.

Matt on 10 Apr 2010: I just wanted to clarify something, Pat. You realize that this isn't my top ten favorite Beatles songs of all time? Pretty close, but this is a list more so collaborated to get an appreciation for The Beatles. A lot of people don't like "Goodnight"....fair enough, but yet again a lot of people don't like "The White Album." I, however, thoroughly enjoy it.

Sophie on 10 Apr 2010: Interesting list, I have to say. I don't think I agree though really. If I was trying to show somebody their magic, I would chopse thier 10 most versatile yet spectacular songs. Of course, in my view, you could choose ANY Beatles song and it will turn someone on. But there we go. I've yet to meet someone who doesn't respect them. But if I did, my list would probably be something like... 1. Eleanor Rigby 2. Helter Skelter 3. Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band 4. Happiness is a Warm Gun 5. Paperback Writer 6. Strawberry Fields Forever 7. Penny Lane 8. Blackbird 9. Because 10. Something

john on 10 Apr 2010: If you're not from England, it's shameful you would state 'I've Just Seen a Face' is from Help!

urchin on 09 Apr 2010: Good Choices. I can't imagine anyone not liking the Beatles... but alas, there are. There's got to be 10 Beatles songs that everyone would love if given a chance.

Moon on 10 Apr 2010: @Pat OMG I know Goodnight is not one of the best Beatles song but it ain't embarrassing! I admit I wouldn't have chosen the song either but it's a good song. I know it's your opinion but that comment was just offensive! Plus I know there will be somebody who will love that song. Don't be rude (: (My opinion)

Pat on 09 Apr 2010: I'm a huge Beatles fan, and while I wouldn't have chosen the same songs as you (since we all have different opinions), I would never have chosen "Goodnight", one of the worst of The Beatles. I find that song embarrassing, and would never want somebody's first opinion of them to be based on that song. Again, we all have different opinions, but "Goodnight" is cheesy drek.