The Beatles’ 50 best songs

Roll up! The Fab Four's greatest songs chosen by famous fans

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White Album track, November 1968

PAPA CRAZEE: Ringo propels the boys through their best rave-up. Insipid lyrics, party chants, ringing bells, thumpin’ bass, and jagged Chuck Berry riffs, all riding atop Ringo driving it home. This song is audio crack. It only lasts a couple of minutes, but it makes you feel so damn good.


BOB STANLEY: It’s hard to believe that the band were disintegrating during the White Album sessions when you hear this. Most extensive use of “Come on!” since “Twist and Shout” or “Please Please Me”. It’s akin to the finest party you could imagine.

DAVE BIELANKO: Simple lyrics simply done but recorded impeccably, and in such a cool fashion. If it comes on at a party in 2050, chicks are still going to dance to it.


Single, January 1963

DEREK HATTON: I’ve got my 1963 Cavern card, still. And something else I’ve found out as well- looking at a bit of paper from The Mirror in 1968. There was a list of the most sought-after records, and one of them was the first, don’t-know-how-many-hundred of the Please Please Me album. They had a gold and black label and they were worth £1,250 – and mine’s gold and black. All of this to say my favourites were the early Beatles.


BOB STANLEY: Their first single had aspired to sound like Bruce Chanel’s “Hey Baby”, and, sure enough, it sounded like an emasculated English attempt. Three months later they had another go, throwing in a Del Shannon growl and a Roy Orbison climax-chorus for good measure, and here was the first indicator of greatness. A total pop rush.

Single, April 1969

RAT SCABIES: It’s a good, old-fashioned tapalong, an up song, with a brilliant Elmore James slide solo that Lennon plays. And, of course, there’s Ringo’s groove. You knew it was the end. That was one of the things that actually makes “Get Back” really good. They didn’t give a fuck anymore. All the stress had suddenly been released. It was coming back out again with this energy. There’s also a very bizarre sexual message in the lyrics- “Jo Jo was a man who thought he was a loner…” Then, all of a sudden, it gets into this thing about Lauretta who was a woman who thought she was a man. We don’t know what’s happened to Jo Jo, so we assume he took Paul’s advice and fucked off back to where he came from, which leaves Paul keeping on about “Lauretta, Lauretta, Lauretta”. If she thought she was a man, why does it piss off other women? Maybe something happened to Jo Jo along the way…

HOWE GLEB: Well, hell, Paul actually mentions Tuscon, Arizona. When we would ride by his place, we would wonder what the hell is he doing way out here, when he could have been anywhere in the world.


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