The Beatles were the greatest band ever – in their time anyway. They broke rock music ground and changed it forever. When I checked Apple Music, I found all their songs sold individually for $1.29 each! How can any self-respecting Millennial or aging hippie afford that?
by Peter McCarthy
for Assorted Ideas, Large & Small
Realistically, the common sense thing is joining Apple Music for around ten bucks a month and stream anything, Beatles, Bon Jovi, Wu-Tang Clan, Mozart Piano Quartets, Mary J. Blige or Bon Jovi. And there’s a ton of jazz, classical and virtually every other genre.
But I digress…
If you scroll through a library of music and see the Beatles icon, you’ll some songs you’ve overlooked for years. Maybe it’s time to give them another chance… maybe a first chance, depending on your age.
Here are ten great songs by these musical geniuses that you should check out again.
1. Don’t Bother Me
One of my favorite songs by the Beatles! It’s a great song, and it’s one of those that’ll always be remembered in their collection. For one thing, it was the first George Harrison song included on one of their albums This is a song from their second British album, With The Beatles, released in 1963. It was later released in America on Meet the Beatle.
2. No Reply
This is a great song from Beatles for Sale in 1964. This time John Lennon plays lead guitar and also does the vocals. The lyrics are about a guy who can’t get a response from his girlfriend, although he knows she is home. Here’s something special about No Reply. Ringo was sick, and the substitute drummer was none other than Paul McCartney.
3. Come Together
This song is from the album Abbey Road, released in 1969. It’s a really great one, and it’s also a bit controversial since Lennon kind of swiped the intro from Chuck Berry’s You Can’t Catch Me. But come on! How can you not like this song? The lyrics were inspired by Timothy Leary’s campaign slogan, “Come together, join the party.”
4. Drive My Car
This is another one from the British version of Rubber Soul, released in 1965. It’s a great rock n’ roll tune with an awesome riff played on acoustic guitar. It went through a difficult writing process with Lennon helping Paul and the lyrics and Harrison helping with the music. That very year, I gave my girlfriend this album for Christmas, being a huge Beatles fan. But to no avail. The Beatles couldn’t stick together, and neither could Jeanne and me.
This is one of those songs that you just have to hear for yourself! It was recorded during the Revolver recording sessions but did not make the album. Lennon, who mostly got credit for writing it said it was “…about people moaning about the weather all the time” But some fans see psychedelic meanings in it. I don’t. As a single, it was the flip side of the hit Paperback Writer.
6. Love You To
This is one of my favorite songs by the Beatles! It was released on their album Revolver in 1966, and it’s very different since it features Indian music (specifically, an Indian tabla player who goes by the name of Anil Bhagwat). The song is credited for being an early influence on raga rock, or psychedelic rock featuring elements of Eastern music. The track was originally written as a potential song for George Harrison to sing but was eventually given to Lennon.
7. All My Loving
This is a song from their first album, With the Beatles, recorded in 1963. It’s all McCartney as songwriter, and the first and one very few he wrote lyrics first. It started out as poetry for Lydia Kelly, his girlfriend at the time. In its day, it was the song sending kids home after teen dances.
8. She Said, She Said
Another one from Revolver in 1966! This song was inspired by an anecdote John Lennon told George Harrison about a conversation he had with Peter Fonda while they were both tripping on LSD. Although credited to Lennon McCartney, it was really written by John and George. Paul got pissed off during the recording session, walked out, and is not heard on the song. George played bass instead.
9. I’ll Be Back
This is from the American album Beatles ’65. Lennon wrote it for the Hard Day’s Night soundtrack, but it didn’t make the cut. Lennon repurposed chords from Del Shannon’s big hit Runaway. It’s a great song that deserves more play.
10. And Your Bird Can Sing
This is another one from their album Revolver. Although Lennon disparaged the song as “another of my throwaways … fancy paper around an empty box,” it was very popular. A rarity, Lennon never explained the source of the song, but speculation swarmed around its target. Top candidates: Frank Sinatra, Cynthia Lennon and Mick Jagger. All that aside, it’s a great song I’ve always loved. Try it. You will too.
Remember: these songs were released in the early and mid-1960s, so they sound a little different from what you’re used to hearing. But give them a shot anyway; the Beatles genius shines through as much as in the songs that have stayed popular.
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