Monday, June 04, 2007

Most Underrated Beatles Songs

I found this post, which was actually from a few years ago, with a list of the top ten underrated Beatles songs. I thought – that's a cool idea – I'll make my own list and so I did. Here it is. I used the same criteria as the other poster – no singles or cover versions. Basically, these are songs that the casual fan probably doesn't know. It turns out that a disproportionate number of them come from the White Album. As I made the list I had 17 on it originally and I pared it down to ten not thinking about which albums songs came from at all. Six out of the seven I didn't use ("Taxman," "Long, Long, Long," "Things We Said Today," "I've Just Seen a Face," "It's Only Love," I've Got a Feeling," and "I'm Down") came from other albums.

I encourage comments and quibbles.

My list

  1. Rain – The flip side to the Paperback Writer single featuring a killer bass line, great drumming from Ringo and great Lennon backward vocals
  2. Martha My Dear – A great piano-based song from the White Album. I've always wanted to be able to play this on the piano but was never able.
  3. I Will – A delightful McCartney guitar song from the White Album.
  4. Dear Prudence – Another White Album song – this time one of Lennon's – with a great guitar figure.
  5. Mother Nature's Son – Yet another McCartney ballad from the White Album. The Beatles wrote a lot when they spent some weeks in India in 1968 and a lot of them are wonderful gentle songs. Composing in India was a good thing for them.
  6. Two of Us – a nice tune from the Let It Be sessions. Again, acoustic guitars to the fore.
  7. Birthday – I play this loudly every time someone in our family has a birthday. It's corny but I can't help it. Yet another White Album song. Not a great great song but certainly the best birthday song out there so it gets on my list for sentimental reasons.
  8. Drive My Car – The Rubber Soul opener. Fun lyrics with fun harmonies and a great "beep beep" hook.
  9. And your Bird Can Sing – One of the many fabulous tracks from Revolver featuring a double-tracked great guitar duet from George. Plus, if memory serves me, it was used as the theme music for the Bealtes cartoon show.
  10. Doctor Robert – Another Revolver song. For reasons that are perhaps obvious I find this song irresistible.

So, there it is. If I did it tomorrow I'm sure it would be different because there are just so many good songs. Over two years ago I wrote this post in which I considered just how cool the White Album is. I guess, based on this list, I still think so. For my all-time favorite Beatles songs you can go to this post where I have my top ten.


Ron H said...

Would "Hey, Bulldog" be considered underrated? One of the greatest R&R songs John ever wrote, and it seems so unnoticed. It has always bugged me that whenever the media brings up John in any context, they always play "Imagine," which I feel is a really limp song on many levels. I would rather John be remembered for "Bulldog." Great bass line, piano, lead, and drums; fun lyrics, and a song I would play if I were in a band!

Bob K said...

"Hey Bulldog" is definitely a great underrated song. It could easily have gotten on my list. Good addition, Ron.

Superduper said...

A few songs I think are underrated:

1) If I Needed Someone -- shimmering guitar work and nice harmonies
2) It's All Too Much -- a great phsycadelic song with a strong melody and good lyrics
3) Octopus's Garden -- this is an absolutely fantastic kids song and once it lodges in your head, it stays -- my kids and I love it
4) Fixing a Hole -- the guitar line is tops
5) For No One -- a perfect sad song, with fabulous descending piano chords and poignant horn

henrietta said...

I DEFINATELY agree with you on Rain. It's my favorite song of John's, and deserves a lot more attention. If I made a list, it would be very similar. Hey Bulldog would have been a good addition too.