Let’s Have a Look at Rolling Stones’ Top Ten Beatles Songs
As mentioned before, Rolling Stone is more or less an embarrassment to music magazines at this point. However, there must still be a few people working for the magazine who actually like music, because occasionally they’ll make a desperate attempt at promoting good music. These ol’ standbys usually include a Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Hendrix cover story that tells you absolutely nothing new about these bands or their music. Of course, no standby is worth more to a music magazine than The Beatles. For this reason, RS has decided to publish a “Special Collector’s Edition” issue of “The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs.” Of course, even I love lists, so let’s take a look at the top ten. Shall we?
1. “A Day in the Life”
Over recent years, this seems to have become the popular pick for “greatest Beatles song of all time.” RS itself listed this song as only the 6th best Beatles song in its laughable 2004 “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” issue. The fact that 40 year old songs can become better or worse over a 6 year span shows the silliness of these lists in general, but everyone loves a list. I love this song, but probably not #1. For me, Paul’s section just isn’t that great.
2. “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
No. No, no, no, no, no. This is not the 2nd greatest Beatles song of all time. It may not be one of the 20 greatest Beatles songs of all time. It’s not even better than its own B-side (“I Saw Her Standing There”). I understand that this song sparked Beatlemania, but Beatlemania was silly. Beatles best music didn’t come until Beatlemania was over. Ever meet one of those people who pretend to NOT like the Beatles. This is the song they always point to in their sad attempt to dismiss the Beatles as just another pop band. That’s because this song is just another pop song.
3. “Strawberry Fields Forever”
Ah, good choice. Maybe Lennon’s best lyrics……well until a little diddy called “Imagine.”
This is the easy answer to any “what is your favorite Beatles song?” question. Everyone knows this song. It’s almost the Beatles’ “Stairway to Heaven.” Almost. Still, a perfect song.
5. “In My Life”
Good song with good lyrics. Best part is the piano solo. Not enough to make it #5.
Easy answer to “what is the best George Harrison song?” Of course, it’s also the incorrect answer. This song is beautiful, and if you have never heard Sir Paul play it on the ukulele then do it now (here you go). However, it’s not Harrison’s best song, and probably not the best song written for Patti Boyd (you lucky, lucky gal).
7. “Hey Jude”
Quite a drop from that 2004 list I mentioned earlier, when it was the first Beatles song listed and 8th overall. This was one of Lennon’s favorite songs, and that’s good enough for me. Should be higher.
8. “Let It Be”
Some people dismiss this song as sappy. They are idiots; this isn’t “The Long and Winding Road” (now that song is sappy). “Let It Be” should probably be higher.
9. “Come Together”
This is the last song all of the Beatles recorded together, which gives it significance. Other than that, I never got into this song. Other than the fantastic bass riff, it’s really not that memorable.
10. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
This is the correct answer to “what is George Harrison’s best song?” I would probably listen to an argument that this is the greatest Beatles song of all time. I can’t agree with that argument, but I would listen. The main counter-argument is that this really isn’t a “Beatles song.” This a Harrison song with a strong Clapton assist. Greatest Harrison song? Yes. Greatest Beatles song? No.
Most lists like this are more notable for the songs left off the list than the songs included (where the f is “Eleanor Rigby? I don’t even really like that song, but I understand its greatness). With a band like the Beatles it’s nearly impossible to rank the “greatest songs.” If I were to sit down and list my 100 favorite songs of all time, the Beatles would probably fill 20-30 spots. My favorite Beatles song is “I’ve Got a Feeling,” but I wouldn’t put forth a strong argument that it’s their “best” song. Their best song is probably “Yesterday,” but it’s probably not in my top 5. That’s what makes lists fun to talk about…even if they do come from RS.
So, Beatles. Discuss.