Friday, June 07, 2013

Beatles Top Ten

I have a new scheme in mind for music Fridays - once a month (we'll make it the first Friday of the month, for simplicity's sake), I will post a list - the 10 best songs by one of my favorite bands. Simple enough, though setting out to do it raises all kinds of new questions - never mind the difficulty of picking just 10 Beatles songs - what order should I post these lists in? Count down the bands? or count up the bands, starting at #1? or alphabetically? or, look for monthly themes? I don't know. I know I can't do some kind of countdown - it's enough trouble coming up with an arbitrary order for songs - for bands? No - that's too much anxiety for one post - I need a different scheme.

I think instead I will try for a loose kind of autobiography - what I listened to over the years. The bands I loved, and love, in the order (roughly) that I came to love them so. This has many merits - it allows me to acknowledge the changes in my tastes, and to hold on to some of the values I've held more at other times. Though my musical tastes haven't changed all that much, at least not since late high school - or rather I should say, while there have been a couple rather dramatic swerves in emphasis over the years, I have never quite abandoned the things I used to like. Rather - hearing new, different (more different than new, since much of it was discovering things that had been around for decades) music sometimes added substantial new types of music to what I liked, I didn't really stop liking what I liked before. Does that make sense? I don't know. Maybe it will make sense as I make my way through this series.

And so to start - starting at the beginning means we are going to start at the top. At the top because to this day, I don't think any band can really measure up to the Beatles, and at the beginning because, even when I was very young and did not listen to the radio on purpose, the Beatles were the one rock group that was an inescapable part of my experience. Ads were on TV all through the 60s when I was too young to know anything about it - I liked them, could sing bunches of their songs ("I wanna hold your ha-a-a-a-and, I wanna hold your hand...."), my parents marveled that such things could exist, but still thought little tykes singing Beatles songs were terribly cute. In the 70s, when I started to listen to the radio deliberately, on my own, the Beatles weren't around - but Paul McCartney and Wings were (and John Lennon, Ringo Starr - some George Harrison), and I suppose like a lot of kids, I was amazed to discover that was the same guy who did Hey Jude... but still, it didn't take that much time to get to know the Beatles as such, and like them - and realize that they were the real deal, that the more you heard of them, the more amazing they got. And by the time I was a more or less complete music lover (which, in its earliest days, meant, I'm a bit sorry to say, a confirmed Kiss fan), I loved the Beatles - and continued to do so through every stage of my education and development as a fan, every step of which, somehow, made them seem a bit deeper and better, and usually, to have gotten there first. So - they are the place to start, I guess. Here goes - I give you - my 10 favorite Beatles songs:

1. A Day in the Life
2. Norwegian Wood
3. Hey Jude
4. Revolution
5. Dear Prudence
6. Tomorrow Never Knows
7. Everybody’s Got Something to Hide But Me and My Monkey
8. A Hard Day’s Night
9. Help!
10. She Said She Said

A completely hopeless exercise, obviously, but there it is. And video? IN the studio...

And on TV...


Sam Juliano said...

What an absolutely fabulous post! Class! They are my #1 band of all-time, and of course I grew up loving them with incomparable obsession. Now one of my kids, my 13 son Danny has become fanatical, listening to all the songs, reading books, drawing pictures, the whole thing.

Great list!

Here's mine:

1. Across the Universe
2. Eleanor Rigby
3. Penny Lane
4. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
5. And I Love Her
6. Because
7. I Am the Walrus
8. Here Comes the Sun
9. Strawberry Fields Forever
10. A Day in the Life

Norwegian Wood, Hey Jude, Come Together, Revolution, Dear Prudence, Rocky Racoon, Get Back, The Fool on the Hill, The Long and Winding Road, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, Yellow Submarine, Ticket to Ride, She's Leaving Home, Happiness is a Warm Gun and others have no right missing the Top Ten though! Ha!

weepingsam said...

There's no real way to choose 10 Beatles songs.. I could have said, oh -
Come Together
Helter Skelter
In My Life
I Wanna Hold Your Hand
Get Back
Yellow Submarine
Let It Be
Paperback Writer
And any or all of the medley on side two of Abbey Road...
... as good a list as mine or yours with no overlap.... There are lots of groups that a top 10 feels ridiculously inadequate, but there aren't many that would defy a top 40 like that. Mick and Keef may pose a similar challenge, though.

Sam Juliano said...

Aye Weeping Sam, I agree on all counts. A Best of song list for THE WHO would be divine as well.

Anonymous said...

1. Happiness Is A Warm Gun
2. Tomorrow Never Knows
3. A Day In The Life
4. Strawberry Fields Forever
5. We Can Work It Out
6. The Ballad Of John And Yoko
7. Don't Let Me Down
8. In My Life
9. Something
10. Sexy Sadie

Maurizio Roca