Don’s Top 10: The Beatles All-Time Top 10 Singles
Based on the local surveys, here’s how they ranked originally!
(1969) Cleverly put-together video. Hard to believe, but the BBC banned the song because of the line “he shott Coca-Cola” to be product placement. And you wonder why there were “pirate” radio stations on boats in international waters?
(1969) The single (credited to “The Beatles with Billy Preston”) version of “Get Back” was not released on an album until the 1988 compilation “Past Masters”. The shorter album version (“with John’s “hope we passed the audition” ending) was the last song on the Beatles last album released when they were still a group, “Hey Jude”, in 1970. In the U.S., “Get Back” was the first Beatles single in “true” stereo.
(1967) What the heck does this song mean? According to Paul, “The answer to everything is simple. It’s a song about everything and nothing. If you have black you have to have white. That’s the amazing thing about life”.
“We Can Work It Out”
(1966) Released as a “Double-A” sided 45, with “Day Tripper” on the flip. The reason it was marketed as such was mollify John, who was the only one of the four to argue for “Day Tripper” as the “A”.
“A Hard Day’s Night”
(1964) Most don’t even remember what the “B” side of this was. It was “Things We Said Today”, a classic that would have been an “A” aside for any other artist….The title, “A Hard Day’s Night”, originated as a malapropism of Ringo’s.
(1965) John explained his inspiration for this song in a “Playboy” interview: ” The whole Beatles thing was just beyond comprehension. I was subconsciously crying out for help”. “I was fat and depressed and I was crying out for ‘Help’.
“Let It Be”
(1970) McCartney hated Phil Spector’s overdubbing of this, preferring the “naked” version that finally did get released in the 90s. But the other Beatles liked the job Spector was doing, adding his usual theatrical flourishes to their music.
“I Want To Hold Your Hand”
(1964) This was the first Beatles song to be made using four-track equipment. “I Saw Her Standing There” was the American B-side, but in the U.K., it was “This Boy”. John & Paul composed this in the basement of Paul’s girlfriend Jane Asher. Recorded October 17, 1963 & released Nov. 29 in England, December 26 here (released two weeks earlier than planned because Carroll James of WWDC/Washington got an import copy & broke the record in D.C.). It replaced “She Loves You” at #1 in the U.K., while the reverse happened here in the U.S. as we caught up to Beatlemania.
“She Loves You”
(1964) When this came out in the U.S. on September 16, 1963, it got a positive review in Billboard, but almost no airplay. Murray The K played a snippet on his WINS “Rate-A-Record” bit, but it only came in third of 5. Capitol had refused to release it here, so Swan was granted the master, for a short period. But in Canada, Capitol Of Canada had no problem with it & released it at the beginning of December. It reached #1 a full month before it even charted in the U.S.
(1968) Originally, this was “Hey Jules”, Paul attempt to comfort John’s son Julian as John & Cynthia Lennon were divorcing. Cynthia Lennon recalled, “I was truly surprised when, one afternoon, Paul arrived on his own. I was touched by his obvious concern for our welfare … On the journey down he composed ‘Hey Jude’ in the car. I will never forget Paul’s gesture of care and concern in coming to see us”. At one point, Julian recalled feeling closer to “Uncle” Paul than to his dad. McCartney changed the title to “Hey Jude” because the name Jude was easier to sing.