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  • My Top Twenty Beatles Songs

    Jun 9 2009, 9h22

    In chronological order.

    1. All I've Got to Do
    From the opening chord to the on-again-off-again drumming to the glorious backing vocals during the choruses, this song is a standout.

    2. All My Loving
    Any personal meaning this track may have aside, this is a quintessential "I love you and I'll miss you" pop song. Great harmonies.

    3. Please Mister Postman
    John's vocals are amazing throughout, but it's when the "Wait a minute"s kick in that the song really starts to tug at the heartstrings... and becomes irresistible to sing along to.

    4. Komm, gib mir Deine Hand
    I took German class for a couple of weeks a few years back. It was too hard for me, so I quit. I wish I hadn't when I listen to this song, because then I could do some translating instead of laughing - lightheartedly and jokingly, of course - at the overall absurdity of it.

    5. I Should Have Known Better
    I'm a sucker for harmonica. But I didn't really think that "Beatles" and "harmonica" went together until I heard this song. Gotta love the falsetto in the chorus too.

    6. If I Fell
    Soft and gentle, but with a hint of vengeance. Wonderful harmonies throughout. The drums make the song. One of the only ballads I've ever loved at first listen. "If I Fell Over", indeed.

    7. Any Time at All
    The verses and choruses are interesting departures from each other, but they work together surprisingly well. From the opening drum hit to the final chords, a wonderful listen.

    8. I'll Follow the Sun
    Mellow, calming, somewhat sad, somewhat hopeful, and with a lovely guitar melody and refrain. The standout from Beatles for Sale.

    9. Help!
    Help! is one of my favorite Beatles albums (along with With the Beatles, Rubber Soul, and A Hard Day's Night), and its title track is one of the standouts from it. I love the repeat of the first verse with sparse instrumentation.

    10. I Need You
    A George song, and one of his best. I didn't care much for it until I heard Tom Petty sing it on Concert for George, and then I decided to give the original another chance. I'm glad I did. Wonderful cowbell work from Ringo.

    11. I've Just Seen a Face
    The first Beatles song I really fell in love with. The fancy-pants intro transforming abruptly into relentless vocals and an almost country-feeling guitar still takes me by surprise every now and then.

    12. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
    Ah, George. Bless you and your sitar. For a while I couldn't work out why there was an Indian instrument in a British song about Norwegian wood, but once I let go of my confusion, I found the song to be 2 minutes and 3 seconds of perfection.

    13. You Won't See Me
    The first few times I listened to this, I thought it was a George song that was, for some reason, being sung by Paul. It was the bridge that got me confused - it sounds very George. But that bridge is the reason I put this song on repeat so often. Pity Lennon and George sound as if they're losing their voices here.

    14. I'm Looking Through You
    Just love the transitions from smooth harmonies and subtle instrumentation to harsh vocals and scorching guitar, and then back again. This track keeps me on my toes.

    15. In My Life
    Fake harpsichord solo! Reminiscent yet hopeful lyrics! Addictive repeating guitar motif! This song has everything, and it all works together extremely well.

    16. We Can Work It Out
    One thing I can't work out is why this was never on an album. Past Masters doesn't count. Paul's voice is top-notch here, and there's an interesting contrast between Paul's optimistic lyrics and John's "oh-get-on-with-it" philosophizing.

    17. And Your Bird Can Sing
    I love the Revolver version for its crispness and clearness, but I love the Anthology 2 version for always putting a smile on my face. I can't help but cackle along with Paul and John, although I do wonder what on earth made them laugh so hard.

    18. Helter Skelter
    My mother let Charles Manson ruin this song for her. I refuse to. Manson's inspiration, the first heavy metal song, the first punk rock song, who cares what it was the first of? It's awesome. Relentless, maddening, and heavy all around.

    19. Here Comes the Sun
    Probably one of George's defining songs, and nothing short of perfection. I can never decide whether it fills me with hope or with sadness. Maybe it's both.

    20. Carry That Weight
    The ending always takes me by surprise. It's such a short song, but it takes me all of two seconds to get into it, and then I'm transfixed until it ends and snaps me back into reality. Abbey Road had lots of these sorts of songs, actually.