Beatles 12/23/21

The editors at NME took a long, hard look at the 185 self-written Beatles tracks and rated each and every one of them. The band’s 1966 Revolver closer, “Tomorrow Never Knows” topped the chart, with 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club finale “A Day In the Life” coming in second, Paul McCartney‘s 1968 tour-de-force and nine-week chart-topper, “Hey Jude” following at Number Three.

Coming in at Number Four was John Lennon‘s “Strawberry Fields Forever,” with the Top Five rounded out by George Harrison‘s sole Number One hit for the band — 1969’s “Something.”

Incidentally, the Beatles song that came in dead last at Number 185 was McCartney’s 1968 one-man-band snippet from the “White Album” — “Wild Honey Pie.” The runner up — at Number 184 — was the equally short “Dig It” from 1970’s Let It Be.

Paul McCartney says that after all these years, he’s quite comfortable looking back and discussing the Beatles’ career: [“Y’know, I’m very proud of everything that we did with the Beatles. In truth looking back, I kinda can’t believe it. Y’know, we were just working, each day year-in, year-out making records. Now that it’s over, the Beatles is a body of work now, so I can look back on it, kind of dispassionately and judge it for what it is.”] SOUNDCUE (:23 OC: . . . what it is)

It was at John Lennon’s urging that George Harrison receive his first original Beatles A-side with 1969’s “Something” — which shared double A-side status with Lennon’s own Abbey Road classic “Come Together.” Prior to the album’s release in September 1969, Lennon was full of praise for “Something”: [“I think we’ll probably put ’Something’ out as a single out there (in the U.S.) I think that’s about the best track on the album, actually — George’s track. And they had it. . . Y’know how they always get our records before they’re out over there, somehow, and they were playing ‘Something’ so much. They had an advance thing of it. They’re red hot for it over there, so we’ll probably release it over there as a single. I don’t know what’ll happen here.”] SOUNDCUE (:22 OC: . . . what’ll happen here)

George Harrison explained that creating a new musical and aural template was the reason for the Beatles’ long hours in Abbey Road studios during the Sgt Pepper album — which engineer Geoff Emerick scored a Grammy Award for: [“A lot of the time was spent, actually, just trying to get sounds and trying to find sounds — invent them. Nowadays it’s pretty easy; in fact it’s too easy. There’s so many sounds available just by hittin’ a button. And all of these machines — because of some of those records in the ’60s — they invented machinery where you just switch it on and you instantly get an effect.”] SOUNDCUE (:21 OC: . . . get an effect)

The Top 20 ‘Greatest Beatles Songs’ – according to NME:

1. “Tomorrow Never Knows” – Revolver, 1966
2. “A Day In The Life” – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967
3. “Hey Jude” – single, 1968
4. “Strawberry Fields Forever” – single, 1967
5. “Something” – Abbey Road, 1969
6. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – The Beatles, 1968
7. “Blackbird” – The Beatles, 1968
8. “Paperback Writer” – single, 1966
9. “All My Loving” – With The Beatles, 1963
10. “We Can Work It Out” – single, 1966
11. “Here Comes The Sun” – Abbey Road, 1969
12. “Eleanor Rigby” – Revolver, 1966
13. “And Your Bird Can Sing” – Revolver, 1966
14. “Yesterday” – Help!, 1965
15. “Golden Slumbers” – Abbey Road, 1969
16. “In My Life” – Rubber Soul, 1965
17. “Martha My Dear” – The Beatles, 1968
19. “Got To Get You Into My Life”  Revolver, 1966
20. “All You Need Is Love” – single, 1967