Top Five Wednesday: The Beatles’ Best Songs

That’s right. Every Wednesday you’re going to get a top five list from me. These are all subject to debate; most of the reasons these lists are created is so that people can argue about them. Without further adieu, a top five.

Top Five Beatles Songs

With the re-issues out and Rock Band: Beatles currently sucking people’s productivity right out of them, it’s only right that this list be made. And to cut it to five is simply a travesty. But you gotta work within the confines of the genre, right?

1. “Eleanor Rigby” – This is a perfect song. The music was groundbreaking and is still brilliant today. The lyrics are passionate and heartbreaking. The melody will stick in your head for long periods of time. The overall effect of the song is powerful. There’s just no better song in the Beatles’ catalog in terms of sheer quality.

2. “I’ve Just Seen a Face” – In stark contrast to the seriousness of “Eleanor Rigby,” “I’ve Just Seen a Face” is an expression of jubilance. This is one of the most out-of-control, giddy love songs ever, and that’s why it’s awesome. The country-esque feel to it with the brushed drums doesn’t appear in a lot of their tunes and adds a special quality to this track. The melody is inventive and rhythmically interesting in addition to being catchy. Both are not always accomplished; how many Tool songs do you hum, despite their rhythmic prowess? Bonus points also go to “I’ve Just Seen a Face” for being pretty much the only interesting part of Across the Universe.

3. “In My Life” – Lyrically, this is my favorite Beatles love song. It isn’t one of those patently dishonest “you’re the only one I’ve ever loved” songs; it plainly states that the narrator has loved other people, but he loves his his current lover most. The honest sentiment in the song is given power by the fact that they don’t try to jazz up the lyrics with neat turns of phrases. They just sing it like it is: “But of all these friends and lovers, there is no one who compares to you.” Bonus: the keys solo is tight.

4. “Help!” – There’s a reason that this is the title song of an album and a movie. It’s freakin’ great. It’s got melodies, harmonies and even counterpoint. This song screams (literally) for you to sing along with it. This might, in fact, be the best pop song ever that doesn’t go verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus (the best one that does? “Move Along” by All-American Rejects.). This, to me, is the quintessential early Beatles song; even more so than “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” which is above it on this list. “I’ve Just Seen a Face” is primarily emotional, and thus more in tune with their later works. “Help!” is primarily fun, and boy, does it accomplish that.

5.”Blackbird” – This is one of the most beautiful ballads ever put to paper. And it doesn’t get as overplayed as “Yesterday” or contain an annoying loud section like “Hey Jude.” Seriously, you have to have a great voice to make this song work, which is why I feel bad for anyone on American Idol who tries it. I could listen to this song on repeat for a very long time.

Honorable Mentions: “Penny Lane,” “Come Together,” “Daytripper,” “A Day in the Life,” “Hello Goodbye”

Disagree? I’d like to see you try.

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No Comments on "Top Five Wednesday: The Beatles’ Best Songs"

  1. pantone175c
    23/09/2009 at 7:42 am Permalink

    Considering 95% of all Beatles songs are amazing, this is no easy feat. Props for thinking about it enough to come up with a top 5!

    It really is impossible for me… Some of my favorites, that you missed, are: Dear Prudence, Here Comes the Sun, Happiness is a Warm Gun, Lovely Rita, Norwegian Wood.

  2. Libby
    23/09/2009 at 8:32 am Permalink

    Good list. Mine would look like this:
    Yesterday, Blackbird, When I’m 64, Hey Bulldog, Her Majesty

  3. Jo
    23/09/2009 at 10:39 am Permalink

    It’s impossible for me to pick my favorite Beatles songs. I might pick a few, but then keep thinking of others that are just as worthy for the top spots. I adore all the songs you chose, though!

  4. Kyle
    23/09/2009 at 1:50 pm Permalink

    My top 5 Beatles songs are:

    1. A Day in the Life (Sgt. Peppers)
    2. Strawberry Fields Forever (Magical Mystery Tour)
    3. Happiness is a Warm Gun (White Album)
    4. I’m Only Sleeping (Revolver)
    5. Something (Abbey Road)

    This is a hard list though – the Beatles are one of the greatest bands of all time, in not THE greatest.

  5. Alex
    23/09/2009 at 1:58 pm Permalink

    Not to be a nitpicker (I do enough of that on my own blog), but the game is Rock Band: The Beatles. The two franchises, while similar in style, are effectively mortal enemies, and shouldn’t be used interchangeably.

  6. Chris
    23/09/2009 at 10:13 pm Permalink

    Rigby – great music – moving lyrics. Love it. It does not get old. A “depthy” song.

  7. Kasey C
    24/09/2009 at 2:19 pm Permalink

    Not a music specialist but I know what I like:

    1. The Long & Winding Road (Because to a friend’s house, the road is never long)
    2. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Back when life was innocent and easy)
    3. Eleanor Rigby (But I actually like how David Cook did it even better!)
    4. Penny Lane (I like the horns!)
    5. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends (I like them together & the feel of being at a concert of this make-believe band!)

  8. abner
    10/10/2009 at 12:46 am Permalink

    Yeah. Great. Top five songs of a band that produced nothing but garbage.

    Backstreet Boys of the 60s.


  9. marvin
    16/11/2009 at 12:48 am Permalink

    abner, are you joking? if you’re seriously equating The Beatles to the backstreet boys then…you know absolutely nothing about music. nothing.

    on topic. it’s almost impossible for me to choose just five songs from The Beatles but if I must it’d go something like this

    1. A Day in the Life
    2. I Am The Walrus
    3. Hey Jude
    4. Here, There, & Everywhere
    5. Strawberry Fields Forever

    That’s really just … the five that stood out most to me at this very moment. In my opinion the entire Beatles catalog deserves a close listen.

  10. emily
    01/12/2009 at 2:10 pm Permalink

    I hate to see blatant disregard of Happiness Is A Warm Gun!

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