The Beatles’ 50 best songs

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

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43 IT’S ALL TOO MUCH
Yellow Submarine album track, January 1969

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5M2GtNpPE4

RICHARD WARREN: That’s the ultimate psychedelic thing that they did. The actual sound of it is just mindblowing, completely ahead of its time. It takes you somewhere else. It’s quintessentially English psychedelia, really. It’s just a journey- you don’t know where it’s going next. The trumpet fanfares in it…completely blissed-out, over the top.
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42 SEXY SADIE
White Album track, November 1968

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1RSdbC-XlA

STEVEN SEVERIN: I named my daughter after it- Sadie. She’s nearly four. When you know that it’s about the Maharishi, it makes perfect sense. I love coded things in songs. It’s one of the reasons I suggested doing “Dear Prudence” in the first place- because we heard that it was about Prudence Farrow, Mia Farrow’s sister, after an alleged, attempted rape. These are the things that make it so interesting, when you delve behind the songs. It’s very subtle, but millions of people didn’t get to know about the seedier side of the Maharishi.

PAUL DRAPER: The way it turns around and evolves is so stunning, it captures for me why The Beatles are head and shoulders above any other songwriters ever.

FRANK BLACK: There’s something about the chord progression, the melody, and the delay on the piano…I just get total goosebumps, almost teary. I’ve felt that way from the first time I heard it, when I was 8 years old. There’s a lot of Beatles songs that do that for me but it’s right up there. It instantly soothes me.
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41 BACK IN THE USSR
White Album track, November 1968

NORMAN BLAKE: It’s a pastiche of The Beach Boys, who’d already ripped off Chuck Berry. The “Georgia’s always on my mind…” reference is brilliant. The imagery- “Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out…” You get this sound of the jet engine taking off and, of course, the first line, “Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC, didn’t get to bed last night,” is amazing. It’s total punk rock with a sense of humour.

LES McKEOWN: Just love this for its groovy and fun attitude. It’s the only song I can think of that made me want to pack my bags and live in the USSR.

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