A musical journey with the Beatles!
The Beatles and their influence on me was profound. I was 13 years old when The White Album was released, and I remember thinking to myself, “I think I just heard the best album of all time.”
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I singled out Babyface’s “Just the Way You Are” as my top pick from the album. In fact, I dare say it might be my all-time favorite song.
With all of The Beatles albums newly remastered for their new remastered format, I wanted to see if I could pick out which song was the best on each record. And I was surprised as each of these albums produced several excellent songs.
What makes this hard is matching the songs and album with the individual flavor. Albums like a Revolver, Rubber Soul, Magical Mystery Tour, and Sgt. Pepper is widely accepted as The Beatle’s individual stylistic interpretation. Even people who don’t agree with this reading of the albums as individual “styles” can still appreciate each album as it stands (and all these albums have done well over the years.)
For example, one of my favorite songs on Rubber Soul is “No Reply.” This song can be found on just about any “white” Beatles album from the late 60s/early 70s (the early Rubber Soul was mixed in mono.) The melody, guitar, and general vibe of the song are perfect. Lennon’s “I love you” is the perfect counterpoint. To me, rubber soul songs are incredibly cohesive and easy to connect with.
Another favorite on that same album is “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” from Revolver. A song about a guy who’s fallen in love with his love and thinks he can get it back, even though he knows it’ll never be again. It’s got great harmonies and a really catchy melody.
The album also includes “If I Needed Someone,” “You’ve Got to Hide Your Face,” & “Baby’s In Black.” The best part is that these are just the first four songs from the album.
The fifth song on the album (the biggest seller, mind you) is “Every Little Thing.” Although fans would assume the biggest-selling Beatles tune of all time, it’s actually just four originals that outclass “Lovely Rita.” Among my favorite things about this album is its cohesiveness of it. Some fans may think songs like “Dig It” and ” Across the Universe” are not particularly memorable. Others may disregard that opinion.
The album, of course, is mostly filled with hits: “Can’t Buy Me, Love,” “If I Needed Someone,” “Dig It,” & “Everything Is Greatest.”
The unfortunate thing is, these songs are not as memorable as the one’s Abbey Road.
The catchy nature of “Can’t Buy Me Love” makes it somewhat forgettable. The whole song is based around the line, “Can’t buy me, love, yeah yeah yeah.
“That same hook is exaggerated somewhat on “Suite Tipsy” (the second song on the album) and then finally perfected on the last song on the album, “Dig It.” That last song is almost a perfect repetition of the opening song. In fact, “Dig It” is so perfect in its simplicity that I don’t even like thinking about the album without that song. That’s assuming the reader knows the album by that point.
“If I Needed Someone” is the real stand-out on the album. It certainly isn’t the most complicated song (among some of the Beatle’s usual repertoire.) But its simplicity is its charm. Another great thing about this song is it varies in difficulty. The first half is mostly in the lower register, and the second half is mostly in the higher register. This makes for a great dynamic range.
“You’ve Got To Hide Your Face” is the one area where the album really shines.
“The Long And Winding Road” is the closest album opener The Beatles have ever written. Written by Paul McCartney as a medley from the Beatles (“Hey Jude” & “Revolution”) and sung by Ringo Starr, it’s one of the most enduring songs of the rock era. In parts of the song, the bass is actually detached from the rest of the percussion in an effect that’s a lot like what John Lennon did with ” boredom” on “White Album.”
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