The Beatles’ 50 best songs

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

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Help! album track, August 1965

AIMEE MANN: I’d heard that John was influenced by Bob Dylan. To me, that doesn’t sound like Bob Dylan. I always thought The Beatles were geniuses at taking in an influence but filtering it in this really beautiful way.


SEAN ROWLEY: The album that entered my life at a very early stage was Help! I would’ve been five. That was knocking around the house. “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” has got a real strong pull back to the Everlys and John starting to get the Dylan thing. That amazing shot of him in the film, where he’s sitting in the sunken bath when they all shared the house- that’s how I wanted to live my life, with mates, sitting around listening to music, being chased by girls.

Revolver album track, August 1966

WILL SERGEANT: A truly great tune. I made a tape of Sixties classics for parties at the Bunnyflat, and “She Said She Said” fitted in perfectly between “My White Bicycle” (Tomorrow) and “The Days Of Pearly Spencer” (David McWilliams).

JACKIE LEVEN: I love the confusion the song sets up, and the way the songwriter resolves it when he says “No, no, no, no, you’re wrong, when I was a boy…” I was intrigued by the complexity of emotion it expressed. I was in relationships then, and, to me, that’s what it was about, the way you hit zones in relationships and wonder why. You have to dig deeper and find out what the other person is about. It’s a tough thing to learn, and I really liked the sense of guidance this song gives.

MARK COLWILL: There’s just a way that Lennon had of putting words together- I wouldn’t say poetry, but the lyrics just seem to flow.



Single B-side, April 1969

MARTIN ROSSITER: I didn’t know how much about The Beatles until I was about 12 and bought one of those songbooks for playing on the piano, so I only ever knew my version of “Don’t Let Me Down”. I thought it was this quite slow, loving ballad. We were in rehearsal and the guys started playing it- “Oh, they’re doing a rocky version…” We recorded it for a BBC session. Then I heard the original and realised that they were right and I was wrong. So I’d recorded the song without ever actually hearing it. My reaction was, frankly, they did it better than us. They are The Beatles, so we’ll forgive them. But how dare they?

DAVEY RAY MOOR: The Beatles were my first feeling of sheer exhilaration that I can remember. They were immensely sophisticated, at times, ornate, but this was a very straight, soulful piece of communication, quite primal, essential. In an interview, Lennon once said, “When you’re drowning, you don’t say ‘Please mister, would you mind handing me that paddle?’ You say, ‘Help!’”

ED HAMELL: I love the way the two front guys harmonise. Like brothers.


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