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The 50 Best Beatles Songs

I received in the mail today my Entertainment Weekly featuring my all-time favorite band The Beatles on the cover.  This is in honor of the Rock Band Beatles edition set to hit stores next week (can't wait!).  As part of the issue, EW lists its version of the Top 50 Beatles songs.  Well, I love lists, and of course I disagree with EW's.  They got a lot right, and a majority of the songs on my list are probably on the EW list (I didn't count).  But EW says Here Comes the Sun is only the 48th best Beatles song.  I've got it in the top 5.  And EW's number one pick, A Hard Day's Night, is a joke.  It comes in a respectable 13th on my list, but a far cry from the top spot.  Here is my list:


  1. A Day in the Life
  2. Hey Jude 
  3. The Long and Winding Road 
  4. Penny Lane 
  5. Here Comes the Sun 
  6. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 
  7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps 
  8. Eleanor Rigby 
  9. Norwegian Wood 
  10. Yesterday 
  11. Let it Be 
  12. Something 
  13. A Hard Day's Night 
  14. Blackbird 
  15. Across the Universe 
  16. Help 
  17. I Wanna Hold Your Hand 
  18. From Me to You 
  19. When I'm Sixty-Four 
  20. Revolution 
  21. Strawberry Fields Forever 
  22. I Am the Walrus 
  23. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away 
  24. Can't Buy Me Love 
  25. Day Tripper 
  26. Ticket to Ride 
  27. Eight Days a Week 
  28. Paperback Writer 
  29. Getting Better
  30. Good Day Sunshine 
  31. I Feel Fine 
  32. I Saw Her Standing There 
  33. I'm Down 
  34. Lady Madonna 
  35. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds 
  36. Magical Mystery Tour 
  37. Ballad of John and Yoko 
  38. Back in the U.S.S.R. 
  39. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da 
  40. We Can Work it Out 
  41. Michelle 
  42. All My Loving 
  43. Please Please Me 
  44. Love Me Do 
  45. Nowhere Man 
  46. Got to Get You into My Life 
  47. Yellow Submarine 
  48. Golden Slumbers 
  49. Carry that Weight 
  50. The End 
I actually think the last three songs should be ranked higher, but when I play this mix in iTunes, I like to end with that phenomenal medley from Abbey Road.  So, take that, EW!  Readers may notice that my list is top-heavy with later Beatles tunes, and that I am partial to McCartney's songs.  It is also a testament, though, the George Harrison's often underrated impact on the band that I've got three of his songs in the Top 12, and he didn't get writing credit for very many Beatles songs.   

Comments

Frank

"Hard Day's Night" as #1? Not what I'd pick either.

My tastes are very similar to yours--when I asked myself what I'd pick as my favorite Beatles song, "A Day in the Life" was the first thing that came to mind. "Something" is the other serious contender. Like you, I'm also partial to McCartney and to the later Beatles albums, and I really like Harrison's work. I find it interesting that I love what Paul and George did as solo artists, but don't care a bit for John's solo work.

M

You know, there's not much here to quibble about. Personal preference, very personal, puts "You Never Give Me Your Money" high on the list, followed immedately by Golden Slumbers/et al medely. Just the "can't turn back now" bitter-sweetness and nothing beats that line from the mind of this Mormon apostate: "One sweet dream. Pick up the bags, get in the limosine. Soon we'll be away from here. Step on the gas and wipe that tear away."

Thanks, Equality.

M (aka: Lola-Cola)

Clare Fraser

Looks good to me. I am glad to see that Ob-la-Di is fairly far down the list, or I may not have continued to read your blog!

Ben

Well, pretty good list... I personally couldn't have a list without "Two Of Us" and "Don't Let Me Down" but to each their own. That's credence to the Beatles, the list just goes on and on and on.. :)

Equality

I imagine if I were to make the list again without consulting this one, probably ten of the songs would be different. I look at the list and see some glaring omissions that I might include if I were to do it again. But then I think, what would I cut?

John Malloy

Hey Jude is terrible

Equality

"Hey Jude is terrible"

Yes, in the same way that the Mona Lisa, Casablanca, and To Kill a Mockingbird are terrible.

Jennifer

Less than 2 weeks until we can play Beatles Rock Band til our fingers bleed! WOOHOO!

weston

Something should have made the top ten.

jordy

Let it be should have made top five!

mike

What about Here, There and Everywhere?, and I Should Have Known Better?, Happiness is a Warm Gun?, Dr. Robert?, Tomorrow Never Knows?-.

Jake

Don't Let me down should be ranked. great song but every song by the Beatles is good so hard to choose. Yer Blues, Glass onion, Come together, You never give your money. just to name a few more.

Joe

this is complete shit. three quarters of this is paul mccartney, where are all the John songs?

Magic Kenny

I wouldn't go so far as to say "complete shit," but I strongly agree with the post lamenting the lack of JL songs. Seriously - where's "Julia," "In My Life," "Dear Prudence," "Tomorrow Never Knows," etc.? Putting "When I'm Sixty-Four" above any of those shows an alarming lack of knowledge when it comes to the Beatles. You labeled this list the "Beatles Top 50 Songs," not "My Favorite 50 Beatles Songs." Using that criteria, you're not in the ballpark.

Equality

"You labeled this list the 'Beatles Top 50 Songs,' not 'My Favorite 50 Beatles Songs.'"

I thought I made it clear that this was MY list of Top 50 Beatles Songs as opposed to the Top 50 list that Entertainment Weekly published. Are you suggesting, Magic Kenny, that there is an objective list of the Top 50 Beatles songs available somewhere that does not implicate the subjective tastes of those who compiled the list? If you think "Julia" belongs among the Top 50 and you despise When I'm Sixty-Four, good for you. Make your own damn list.

Dave Whitaker

I'm fascinated by music lists, as evidenced by my website (http://www.davesmusicdatabase.com) and Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/davesmusicdatabase). Sorry about the shameful advertisting, but I mention my pages as a courtesy to those who've posted comments in regards to the lists I post. I am constantly impressed with the maturity (for the most part) of people's responses to my posts. They may have differing opinions, but are able to recognize that theirs are personal opinions which are no better or worse than anyone elses. Kudos to those here who have posted their comments in that kind of spirit.

Also - Rolling Stone magazine is releasing a special issue Aug. 27 devoted to the top 100 Beatles songs. See you at the newstand!

Johnny

Where is She Loves You?

rose

there is no Real Love?? WTF!

lacoste protect

I thought I made it clear that this was MY list of Top 50 Beatles Songs as opposed to the Top 50 list that Entertainment Weekly published. Are you suggesting, Magic Kenny, that there is an objective list of the Top 50 Beatles songs available somewhere that does not implicate the subjective tastes of those who compiled the list? If you think "Julia" belongs among the Top 50 and you despise When I'm Sixty-Four, good for you. Make your own damn list.

Simon Marshall

A lot of songs here actually made my top ten list: http://extrove.com/top-ten-beatles-songs-ever/

My number 1 is "Strawberry Fields Forever."

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