Ann Powers commemorates the availability of The Beatles on iTunes by listing her 15 favorite tracks by the Liverpudlians. Alex Ross responds with his own list, and thus a meme is born. Here are my 15 favorite Beatles tracks, as least as of right now:

15. "Back in the USSR" (The Beatles). Beach Boys-influenced rock 'n' roll, with clever and darkly ironic lyrics.

14. "All You Need is Love" (Magical Mystery Tour). With its quotations and trippy, layered texture, this prescriptive anthem is almost a pop Hymnen.

13. "Getting Better" (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band). The texture thins for most of the last verse of this plea for undertanding from a guy who's trying to change. After a list of transgressions, the band (led by Paul McCartney's driving bass) storms back in, arguing for redemption.

12. "For No One" (Revolver). Intense emotion and rigorous technique. Sounds like art to me.

11.. "I'm Down" (Past Masters, Vol, 1). Old school rock 'n' roll screamer, which McCartney does almost as well as John Lennon in

10. "Rock and Roll Music" (Beatles for Sale).

9. "Yes It Is" (Past Masters, Vol, 1). Gorgeous vocal harmonies in a song about the inability to move on.

8. "Julia" (The Beatles). Simple, direct, haunting.

7. "A Hard Day's Night" (A Hard Day's Night). As Alex said, there's that chord. Not only that, but an energetic song about being out of energy.

6. "Let It Be" (Let It Be). This entire project has been criticized for overproduction, but I really dig the prominent roles given to three very dixtinct keyboards. Make sure hear this version, because in some versions the fine guitar solos are buried in the mix.

5. "Help!" (Help!). Rounding out the trio of movie themes with Lennon's call for assistance.

4. "Something" (Abbey Road). It's always seemed to me that neither Lennon nor McCartney were half the songwriter alone as they were together. On the other hand, George Harrison.

3. "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" (Beatles for Sale). I've always loved this song; can't give a rational defense. Note, however, the wonderful vocal harmonies.

2. "She Loves You" (Past Masters, Vol, 1). An ebullient expression of pure joy. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

1. "Ticket to Ride" (Help!). The percussionist in a musical organization is often the best musician therein. Ringo Starr makes his case herein. Note the different fills in front of the last two occurances of the tagline ("And she don't care") as well as how he recomposes the groove behind different verses. Also, again, the vocal harmonies.

Feel free to post your own lists in the comments (or links, if you have already posted somewhere else). Better still, some commentary on why The Beatles don't deserve the attentio would be very interesting.

1 comment:

  1. I don't have any comments other than the list, which I had to consult an internet list for, and I could only find 12 that I liked. In no particular order, although the first is probably my favorite.

    Norwegian Wood


    Don't You Want to Know a Secret?

    And I Love Her


    Got to Get You Into My Life

    Here Comes the Sun

    I Saw Her Standing There

    I'm Happy Just To Dance With You

    In My Life

    Till There Was You

    I'll Follow the Sun