Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Beatles

It's easy to forget that The Beatles were once a boy band. This photo shows us that nothing is new and boy bands have always done the obligatory 'leap in the air' photo shoot.

I am having something of a personal Beatles revival. I've always loved them and simply can't understand people who don't like The Beatles - there is such a wealth of songs to choose from. How can anybody profess to not like any of them? I actually get quite emotional when I listen to Beatles songs because they were so brilliant. For my money, they were the greatest band and I can't imagine anything better than In My Life being written.

I believe you go through a Beatles appreciation circle. You start with Love Me Do, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Help, She Loves You etc and then you discover the ballads: Yesterday, Eleanor Rigby, Hey Jude, The Long and Winding Road, Something. Then you discover The White Album (usually when you are about 19 and deeply pretentious) and claim it's your favourite Beatles album. Then you listen to Abbey Road, Revolver and Rubber Soul and say those are your favourites. Then you come full circle and realise those early joyous songs are wonderful and nowhere near as easy and effortless as they look. In between this you listen to John Lennon's solo efforts and think they are deep and wonderful and then realise, they are good but still not as good as The Beatles.

That's my theory anyway. And I have completed my circle. I am back thinking I Wanna Hold Your Hand is a work of complete genius. I have nothing new and clever to say about The Beatles. However  if I had to listen to one band only for the rest of my life, then it would be them.

Without any further ado, I present you my eight desert island discs. This is hard. This is much much harder than Abba. In no order and with no YouTube links because everyone knows all Beatles songs:

Eleanor Rigby. Genius lyrics. Pure poetry. This song is jaw droppingly sad but still wonderful. The opening alone gets it on the list: Look at all the lonely people.

Something. Frank Sinatra called this the greatest love song ever written. I live in hope that someone writes a song for me like this. A girl can dream! Also, George Harrison is my favourite Beatle and I love that he wrote this.

I Want To Hold Your Hand. This is such a joyful, happy song. More fabulous lyrics and great arrangement, if you listen to this closely you realise how complex it is.

In My Life. This is one of those songs that appears quite chirpy but is very melancholic. It's beautiful.

When I'm Sixty Four. This is such a sweet and simple song. Listen to it again and notice the instruments, they are very spare. I read that McCartney wrote it when he was 16. Imagine being that talented at 16...

Help. I think this is the best Lennon song. It's honest and again, very sad. I love it.

Hey Jude. A bit of an obvious choice but I love the emotion in this.

I am at my last choice - oh my god. So many I could pick: Strawberry Fields Forever, Paperback Writer, Blackbird, Love Me Do, Lady Madonna, Hello Goodbye, Penny Lane, I Feel Fine, Ticket To Ride, Sergeant Pepper, A Day In The Life, Get Back, Day Tripper. It's all too difficult but I am going to go with Here Comes The Sun. I have realised by doing this list that I have a biased towards the simple arrangements. This is such an optimistic song.

I leave you with my favourite photo of them and a reminder that life is never bad when you can listen to Beatles songs. What would be your eight?


  1. You have to be joking? How can I possibly pick just 8?

  2. Ok - I'm giving this a shot. It will probably put me in a very bad mood as inevitably I won't manage to narrow it down to 8.

    In no particular order:

    Hello Goodbye
    Ticket to Ride
    She Loves You
    Paperback Writer
    We Can Work It Out
    Twist and Shout

    Dammit! How can I be at 8 already. That's it! I am now in a VERY VERY bad mood.

    Honorable mentions to:
    Paperback Writer, Eleanor Rigby, Hey Jude, Get Back, It's Been a Hard Day's Night, Love Love Me Do and Here Come The Sun

  3. It's so hard isn't it? I am sorry to have put you through such emotional turmoil.

  4. Yesterday
    She Loves You
    Twist & Shout
    While My Guitar Gently Weeps
    Please Please Me
    Nowhere Man
    I Want To Hold Your Hand
    Let It Be

    Blimey that was a tough task. I learned SO MANY of these songs as a young child - I forgot we sang so many Beatles songs at school.

    I had a music/jewellery box when I was 7. It said 'Disco Lady' on the top. Instead of the usual ballerina type thing it had a disco ball. It played Yesterday. At that age it just didn't occur to me how bizarre that was. But that is why Yesterday is my favourite.

  5. Yesterday is one of my least faves! Thanks for your list Diff. :o)

  6. I love the sound of the jewellery box, Diff. I want one!


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