The Beatles As Innovators (and my Top Ten Favourite Beatles Songs)

This site is one I rediscovered looking back through my MetaFilter comments.  The author makes excellent use of brief MP3 clips to illustrate the various points.  (Make sure you click through to Part Two linked at the top of the page as well.)

And here's a list I compiled a long time ago as the basis for a mix tape.  I'd come across an article that ranked the Top 101 Beatles songs so I decided to rank my own favourites (with the article's rating in brackets.)

10. Please Please Me (24)
– their first #1 is also one of their most exhuberant
9. Inner Light (-)
– the best sitar song I've ever heard!
8. In My Life (6)
– heartbreaking.  And I love that piano solo.
7. A Day In The Life (1)
– the top choice in this magazine's (and most) polls, it's definitely great and the story behind its creation is even better (and Wikipedia also makes me realise it was probably Mojo magazine where I first saw the article ranking the Beatles songs)
6. All You Need Is Love (28)
– the ultimate musical message set to a universal nursery rhyme melody
5. If I Fell (43)
– I love the obvious maturing when Lennon cites his earlier work “…and I found that love was more/Than just holding hands”
4. And Your Bird Can Sing (40)
– a musical head rush, criminally underrated
3. Strawberry Fields Forever (2)
– mystic artistic memory, haunting
2. Don't Let Me Down (-)
– pure lust, love and naked neediness
1. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (19)
– great sitar intro, get acoustic guitar, great cryptic story, great first line, great!

(Edit: Found a link to the complete list.)

Comments 4

  1. Anonymous wrote:

    I had this discussion with my sister over the holidays actually, I love Strawberry Fields Forever, Eleanor Rigby (which she claims is 'odd') and Hey Jude (of course). One of her faves is Revolution.
    And as for the Mojo list, “Michelle” is 93, pfftt…ah well, at least it made the chart. 😛

    Posted 10 Jan 2007 at 3:27 am
  2. Anonymous wrote:

    My list, sort of off the top of my head, would be (in no real order, except probably #1):
    1. In My Life – I wrote a post about how this was the best song ever written, so I should probably stick with it. It makes me misty.
    2. She's Leaving Home – I just really like this song.
    3. Because – Kind of a creepy song, but I like it a lot. The acapella version on the new CD is pretty neat-o.
    4. Something – George was pretty underrated.
    5. Lady Madonna – I like the piano.
    6. Norwegian Wood – Catchy, kind of odd. In three. All good.
    7. Martha My Dear – I like the horns and the weird time signatures.
    8. Run for your Life/Maxwell's Silver Hammer – twisted/violent beatles. Good times.
    9. You Never Give Me Your Money – I like the different parts. And it's kind of jazzy.
    10. I've Just Seen A Face – just a nice tune. And whenever I hear it, it gets stuck in my head for days.
    I do like All You Need is Love, and Strawberry Fields and A Day in the Life (and I almost put Eleanor Rigby on my list too, Michelle)…it's just hard to narrow it down!

    Posted 10 Jan 2007 at 5:56 am
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    Eleanor Rigby is odd. Very “un-Paul”. But definitely a minor masterpiece. Great lyrics which is a rarity for McCartney too. Useless trivia: he originally wanted to call the priest “Father McCartney”. If it wasn't already, that definitely would've made it “odd”. I love them both but to me, “Let It Be” and “Hey Jude” are sort of the same song – or am I way out on that?

    Posted 11 Jan 2007 at 8:24 am
  4. Anonymous wrote:

    Here's a link to Kath's “In My Life” entry: http://linguistigeek.blogspot.com/2006_03_01_archive.html#114322750366766542
    Some random thoughts in response to your post…
    To me, “Because” isn't creepy but it seems that way because the vocal harmonies are so ethereal (especially the Anthology version without any musical accompaniment which is the same one on “Love” I think.)
    Run For Your Life/Maxwell's Silver Hammer are two of my least favourite Beatles songs exactly for the reason you like them – too twisted and violent. Well I don't mind twisted but violent bugs me. I mean, Lennon can do twisted as well as anyone (see “I Am The Walrus”) but the violence, especially with “Run For Your Life”, recorded early in their career when he was noted for his horrid attitude towards women is just too “real” to me. “I'd rather see you dead little girl/Than to be with another guy”. Yikes! I think my problem with “Maxwell's” is less with the violence of the lyric than the fact that it's McCartney putting yet another half-assed lyric on a great melody.
    “You Never Give Me Your Money” – I had “Polythene Pam” as “10.5” on my list. But really, if you look at the whole of the Abbey Road long medley, that's a contender for best Beatles “song” of all-time – what an accomplishment.
    “All My Loving” is my equivalent of “I've Just Seen A Face” – always sticks in my brain.

    Posted 11 Jan 2007 at 8:43 am

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