Top 30 Beatles Songs

For this week's Ranked!, we decided to compile a list of our thirty favorite Beatles tunes. Did your favorite make our list? Find out below!

30. "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"
29. "Strawberry Fields Forever"
28. "Dig A Pony"
27. "Helter Skelter"
26. "Here Comes The Sun"
25. "Michelle"
24. "The Continuing Story Of Buffalo Bill"
23. "The Long And Winding Road"
22. "Ob-La Di, Ob-La-Da"
21. "Paperback Writer"
20. "Hello Goodbye"
19. "With A Little Help From My Friends"
18. "Blackbird"
17. "Can't Buy Me Love"
16. "I Saw Her Standing There"
15. "Yellow Submarine"
14. "You Never Give Me Your Money / Sun King / Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam / She Came in Through the Bathroom Window / Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight"
13. "Back In The USSR"
12. "Come Together"
11. "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
10. "Norwegian Wood"
9. "Yesterday"
8. "A Day In The Life"
7. "Across The Universe"
6. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

5. "Revolution"

I can't tell you how old I was when I first heard The Beatles song "Revolution." What I can tell you is that I was relatively young (four? five?) and that I already knew--and was instinctively drawn to--'dangerous music' when I heard it. The good, messy analog sound of "Revolution" got up inside my ribcage from the opening crazy guitar-scream combo and clung there well beyond the last decisive, reverberating chord.

I love the song's steady swing-push rhythm, the purposely-flawed vocals (Lennon recorded a better part of the vox while lying on his back in the studio) and the tinny, over-the-top fuzz on the guitars. As an audiophile, I'm crazy-geeked about the pains that were taken with this song to push it up and out past what it otherwise might have been. John Lennon worked and re-worked it, in part, to satisfy a recalcitrant Paul McCartney.

Over time, The Beatles have come to be known as a band who aren't strangers to political statement, either on the stage or off it. "Revolution," ironically enough, is the song that is credited for their political 'coming out,' that work which marks the dividing line between the time where The Beatles kept mum on political matters and the one where they freely answered questions posed to them by media and fans. I think this fact gives the song just one more layer of profundity overall. Part of what I love so much about "Revolution"--and what sets it apart from other political rock of the late sixties and early seventies--is the fact that Lennon was saying, "If you want me to be a part of any radical movement, you have to have a plan and it has to make some sense; revolution for revolution's sake is silly."

I can't dismiss the fact, either, that this song appeals mightily to the optimist in me: in the end, Lennon assures us, everything's gonna be alright. His vocals gain intensity and fervor toward the close of the song, defiantly demanding that you hear his assurance that everything will work out as it should (and whatever 'should' turns out to be, it's okay). I think he earnestly believed that. I believe that, too.--Jett Superior

4. "In My Life"

I've never been a huge music fan per se. I like music, mind you, but I've never been one to just sit down and listen to it. It's always sort of a background thing for me. I've only got a handful of bands that you could say that I'm really "into" and, frankly, The Beatles aren't really one of them. I like a bunch of their songs but other than greatest hits collections, I don't own a single Beatles album.

All of that said, I am a very audio-oriented person. I tend to absorb music when it's in the background. Movie soundtracks are a great example. When I really like a movie and I listen to the music from its soundtrack, I can usually close my eyes and see what's going on based on the music cues. (I could probably recite the dialog of Empire Strikes Back and Wrath Of Khan to the music.) So, when a song is used in a movie or a television show, that song is often etched on my brain and forever associated with that movie or show.

One of my favorite shows in the '90s was The Wonder Years, and it was one of those shows that very effectively used music to paint an audio picture of the era in which it took place. It's actually that heavy use of music that has kept the show off of DVD for all these years It's a licensing nightmare, and whoever is in charge of the show knows that the music is too important to leave out, unlike Universal who just dubbed in crappy generic music when they released Quantum Leap on DVD.

Anyway, in a couple of episodes of The Wonder Years, they ended the show with a cover version of The Beatles' "In My Life." The lyrics to that song are perfect for the show--they encapsulate the whole theme of thinking back to the simpler times in your life when your friends were your life. As I recall, in the final episode of the show, "In My Life" was playing when Daniel Stern,the adult narrator voice of Kevin Arnold, the main character, summed up what happened to all of the main characters in the show in the years that followed. It was a bittersweet summation that left me with tears in my eyes, both for the characters who I had come to care about over the years and for the end of a show that I had enjoyed so thoroughly.

To this day, it's The Wonder Years that I think of when I hear "In My Life." And yeah, it still makes me a little misty. Every time.--Dave

3. "Eleanor Rigby"

When I was growing up, my parents had a good sized collection of vinyl from their college days. And like most kids going to college in the '60s, a good chunk of that music was by The Beatles. So growing up, in my mind, The Beatles = Old People Music. And it was fine, whatever, but it was no Thriller. Way to try to be cool, Paul McCartney.

And then in junior high, I had to take a music appreciation class. And like most 7th grade music appreciation classes, it started with Beethoven and Mozart and all the big classical heavies. But then as we progressed down the time line, we got into the '60s. And one day Mrs. B. brought in some Beatles albums. She started to tell us about the whole "Paul is dead" thing and the playing the records backwards thing and we actually got to do that. Suddenly, the Beatles were kinda cool. I mean, what 7th grader doesn't think secret hidden messages are cool, right? And then she started playing some of the songs, and she played "Eleanor Rigby." I thought I knew The Beatles' music pretty well, but it turns out my folks didn't have the Revolver album. They had Help!, A Hard Day's Night, and a hits album and some other, more up-tempo pop stuff, but none of the heavier, darker albums like Rubber Soul or Revolver. So I went to the library and checked out some tapes and you know, that's some good stuff!

"Eleanor Rigby" came up again in high school in my AP English class. I had a teacher who is kind of a noted poet and we were doing a poetry section and she brought up some songs as poetry and "Eleanor Rigby" was among them. We dissected the imagery in the song and so, for me, that song has always been THE Beatles song. I like a whole lot of their stuff, but "Eleanor Rigby" was the song that made the Beatles a band that *I* like rather than something that my parents like. Much like the simplicity of the melody, it's just the song that has always stuck with me.--Archphoenix

2. "Hey Jude"

When I first heard that we would be doing a Beatles Ranked!, my mind immediately began to defer to my husband who is a certified Beatles fanatic and my go to guy for all knowledge regarding the band. He sent me an email with information about how this song was supposed to have been penned for John Lennon's young son Julian after he and his wife Cynthia split and more on how the song's length made it a first for many radio stations used to the three minute pop song.

This is like the qualified brain surgeon who's about to pop your cranium open patting his assistant on the head and telling him he should give it a shot himself. I'm the assistant here, in case you couldn't tell.

To me, however, it has always stood out as a beautifully built pep talk that starts out encouraging someone when times are bleak and then morphs into a feel good crescendo as it peaks with the "na na na na na na na, na na na na, hey Jude."

By the end of song I feel elevated, like things will be better.

The speculation regarding the origin and subject of the song (is it about John, Julian, or the state of Paul's relationship with Jane Asher?) sometimes overpowers the simple beauty of a classic tune that seems to never get old. Like most Beatles classics, it always serves to remind me that nobody did, does, or will do it better.--Dufmanno

1. "Let It Be"

One of the things I love about The Beatles is how timeless their music is. I can play any number of Beatles songs to my 5 year old daughter and she'll immediately pick up the words and melodies, just as I did decades ago. They almost demand to be sung along to, and even my own parents--who have shown as much interest in post-Lawrence Welk music as they have kelp ecology--will find themselves humming along when one of their children forces them to listen. And that is more true of "Let it Be" than of any other song.

"Let It Be" was released as a single just a few short months before I was born. It was the final single the Beatles released before Paul announced he was leaving the band, and what a final statement it was. It starts with a few simple piano chords, and slowly builds to a majestic chorus that rises and fills the ears with an incredible mixture of longing, acceptance, triumph. What makes it is so marvelous is that as the band channeled their frustration, sadness, and love for each other into the song they did it in a way so universally understandable and relatable that each of us listeners know the feelings as if their rising from deep in our soul. With every listen to "Let It Be," I can close my eyes and simultaneously feel a longing for my childhood, the helplessness I sometimes feel, and the enduring hope I can and will overcome anything that's ahead of me. That's some heavy shit for a four-minute song, yet it always make me swell with joy.

That's why, when I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me. Speaking words of wisdom, she says, "Play 'Let It Be."--CroutonBoy

Dynasty Electric dropped by and shared their favorite Beatles tunes as well. Check them out here.

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