Every workday I try to make sure I'm sitting at my desk at exactly 12:00noon. Because that's when WAXQ 104.3 does their annual Beatles Block, in tribute to the late, legendary New York DJ Scott Muni, who would play four songs by the Fab Four at the start of his one-hour daily show. It's a nice little way to break up my morning. It's also amazing how long they can go without playing the samse song twice. The Beatles really are best appreciated in depth. They have inarguably the deepest bench of all rock bands. If you asked music fans to name their favorite song by a particular artist or group, most of the time there are really only so many realistic answers you're going to get, unless you bump into a bunch of Pitchfork Media writers. Not so with the Beatles. There are probably over a hundred songs by The Beatles that could easily be someone's favorite.
That thought lead me to compile this list of my 25 favorite Beatles songs. This was not an easy task. My initial jotting down of songs that might make the cut ran to 60 tracks before I started culling. For the sake of my sanity I decided to wholly exclude any solo projects or side releases, otherwise there would be a lot more George Harrison on the list as well as McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed" and Lennon's "Just Like Starting Over". I thought about making a no-covers rule, but it's my list and there are only two covers on the list below (Anna (Go to Him) and Act Naturally).
Looking at the list I notice a few trends. More Ringo than you would think, a bias toward catchiness instead of lyrical complexity, and a bit of a downer perspective on love (with the notable exceptions of "Something" and "I've Just Seen a Face").
Here it is, although I'm sure I've left out some songs that should really be on here, just another testament to the greatness of The Beatles.
1. Something (Harrison is definitely my favorite Beatle.)
2. Let it Be (This has to be one of the most frequently listed "favorites")
3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Only GH could get away with "I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping.")
4. And Your Bird Can Sing ("When you're prize possessions/Start to weigh you down/Look in my direction/I'll be round, I'll be round."
5. Here, There, and Everywhere (Just beautiful from beginning to end. "To lead a better life.../I need my love to be here.")
6. I Will ("Will I wait a lonely lifetime?/If you want me to, I will.")
7. I’m Looking Through You ("You don't look different/But you have changed/I'm looking through you/You're not the same.")
8. I’ve Just Seen a Face (Probably the most upbeat song on the list)
9. Baby You’re a Rich Man (Used to great effect at the end of The Social Network)
10. If You’ve Got Trouble (The Beatles recorded this in 1968 and threw it out! It was only released in 1996!)
11. Norwegian Wood (Then I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair.)
12. Paperback Writer (For obvious reasons.)
13. Act Naturally (Originally by Buck Owens.)
14. Rocky Raccoon (Her name was McGill/And she called herself Lil/But everyone knew her as Nancy)
15. Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came in Through the Bathroom Window (Mostly for the last third. "She could steal, but she could not rob.")
16. Here Comes the Sun (Little Darlin' it's been a long cold lonely winter.)
17. You Never Give Me Your Money (Mostly for this refrain: Out of college money spent/See no future pay no rent/All the money's gone nowhere to go.)
18. Hey Bulldog (Delightfully strange little song.)
19. The Long and Winding Road (Great, sad song)
20. We Can Work It Out (My favorite earlier-Beatles song.)
21. Don’t Pass Me By (What can I say, I like Ringo's vocals.)
22. Two of Us (You and I have memories/Longer than the road that stretches out ahead.)
23. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away (Gather round all you clowns, let me hear you say...)
24. Anna (Go to Him)(Mostly for the third verse: "All of my life.../I've been searching, for a girl/To love me, like I love you. But every girl I've ever had/Breaks my heart and leaves me sad/What am I, what am I supposed to do?")
25. Happiness is a Warm Gun (She's well acquainted with the touch of a velvet hand/Like a lizard on a windowpane.)