Top 10 Beatles Songs of All Time
10) “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
The lyrics for George Harrison’s first truly great Beatles song began with him choosing the phrase “gently weeps” from a random book. It wasn’t until Harrison pulled Eric Clapton in to play guitar that the arrangement was finished.
9) “Come Together”
Originally intended by Lennon as a campaign song for LSD guru Timothy Leary when he ran for California governor in 1970, this became the last song all four Beatles cut in the studio together.
8) “Let It Be”
McCartney channeled Aretha Franklin’s soul in “Let It Be,” recorded during the peak of the Beatles’ troubled times. A month after its 1970 release, McCartney announced the band had broken up.
7) “Hey Jude”
McCartney’s lyrics for “Hey Jude” were inspired by John and Cynthia Lennon’s five-year-old son, Julian — but Lennon first thought McCartney was singing to him about his relationship with Yoko Ono.
Before it became the second-most-covered Beatles song behind “Yesterday,” Lennon said this unexpected Harrison track was “the best track on [Abbey Road]” and McCartney called it “the best song [Harrison has] written.”
5) “In My Life”
“In My Life,” featuring Lennon’s most personal lyrics up until that time, is one of only a handful of Lennon-McCartney songs where the two strongly disagreed over who wrote what.
The most covered song in history began as something called “Scrambled Eggs.” It also began in a dream of Paul McCartney’s.
3) “Strawberry Fields Forever”
Lennon once said growing up “was scary because there was nobody to relate to.” Strawberry Field, a Liverpool youth’s home near where Lennon grew up, represented those haunting childhood visions. With this song, Lennon conquered them forever.
2) “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was the first exposure most American had to the songwriting magic of Lennon and McCartney. It set off Beatlemania, and represented what producer George Martin calls “the apex of Phase One of the Beatles’ development.”
1) “A Day in the Life”
The ultimate Lennon-McCartney collaboration, “A Day in the Life” wasn’t recognized as the band’s masterwork until the Eighties, after Lennon’s death. It pairs lyrics inspired by the newspapers and Lennon’s own life with McCartney’s idea to have classical musicians perform what producer George Martin called an “orchestral orgasm.”
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