The Beatles 100 Best Songs, according to me (11-20)

6 09 2010

As I said in the earlier post on this subject — assuming you’ve seen it — I am listing my top 100 Beatles songs. The order I assign isn’t, in my mind, terrificly important.

11. Here, There and Everywhere — It’s clean, sweet and nice. The melody’s brilliant. It’s yet another great example of the Beatles as a second-to-none vocal group.

12. Revolution — The fast version (B-Side to Hey Jude), which John never particularly cared for, is one of the best rock songs ever. It’s timeless.

13. Revolution No. 1 — I’ve never been able to pick between the single and the album cuts. Too bad Revolution Take 20 didn’t make the album in place of Revolution No. 9 and No. 1.

14. Something — It might be the best love song of the rock era. George’s best work was as good as anything the other guys wrote and better than most of it. My favorite thing about “Something” is McCartney’s bass work, especially under the guitar solo. There’s not been a better bass performance than that.

15. Strawberry Fields Forever — SFF came to be the sound of the psychedelic 60’s but it transcends its own time. It sounds fresh 44 years hence.

16. While My Guitar Gently Weeps — Everyone knows that Clapton played lead guitar. Undoubtedly he infused the song with a power it would not have had with George or John playing lead. Even so, I probably prefer the acoustic demo version that found its way onto Anthology 3 and Love.

17. Penny Lane — A masterful example of what one musical genius can do when spurred on to outdo another musical genius. McCartney, taking John’s cue, painted a slightly “surreal” (Paul’s word) picture of life in Liverpool. Strawberry Fields Forever had a tinge of darkness, a hint of sadness. It’s double A-side was more upbeat and optimistic; Paul making “clean” pop to surpass Pet Sounds.

18. Helter Skelter — One of the loudest rock songs of the 60’s. If you break the performances down by instrument, it’s actually not that great of a song. But the song as a whole is a monster. It’s gritty and dirty. The lyrics do no more and no less than necessary.

19. Rain — Other lists would put this one much lower, but its one of the favorites of my favorites. It’s the quintessential psychedelic rock track. It’s very powerful and a lot of fun, with just enough weirdness to be a tad artsy and interesting. Pay attention to the bass and drums. It’s maybe Ringo’s best work on the skins.

20. Paperback Writer — Just like Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane are great points/counter-points, Paperback Writer and Rain really sort of answer each other, mostly in the sound. It’s a great rock track, one of Paul’s best high energy numbers.

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9 09 2010

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