WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2016|
Posted by: Barbara Saas
With the news today that Netflix has announced a Beatles themed animated children's show which will feature contemporary artists, including Pearl Jam, performing covers of the band's beloved songs, we thought we'd put together a list of some of the best and most underrated cuts in the library of a band whose tracks just made their way to all of the major streaming services.
"I've Just Seen a Face" - Help
Sure, the Beatles have a lot of great love songs. I would argue that "Something" is one of the best love songs ever written. But this songs gets overlooked. Maybe because it's about the beginning of love and meeting someone who captivates you instantly? What's a better feeling than falling for someone and getting the butterflies every time you see them? The excitement of wanting to see and learn everything about them? The Beatles capture this feeling in a two minute song in a simple way.
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" - The White Album
Maybe I am partial to this song because George Harrison is my favorite. Poor George...he seems to always be the forgotten Beatle. Paul and George are remembered of course. Ringo is remembered because he is the butt of all Beatle jokes. However, George was a great guitarist and lyricist and this song was the ultimate showcase of this.
"Black Bird" - The White Album
I know what you are thinking, "Isn't this a popular Beatles song?" Yes, but people rarely seem to know what is about. When I saw Paul McCartney at Bonnaroo, he talked about how he wrote it during the civil rights movement because of the horrors he was hearing and seeing on the news. He even made the point of saying most people don't know the meaning behind the song.
"Ob-la-Di Ob-la-Dah" - The White Album
There are two great things about this song. First, like many of their best tracks, it tells a story. I just happen to think that this song is more fun than their other popular story songs like "Yellow Submarine," but for some reason, people tend to forget it. How could you though? It's so catchy and I like the sentiment; life really does go on. Second, this song is a great example of how the Beatles incorporated many different styles of music into their songs. It's sounds kinda eastern-European. Like a song I would have heard a street performer doing when I visited Prague, not a British rock band from the 60s.
"Drive My Car" - Rubber Soul
The Beatles are known for their pop rock songs..."Hard Days Night" and "Ticket to Ride"...that kind of stuff. And those tracks are great. However, "Drive My Car" is also a really fun song. I hear it when I am driving down the interstate and I just want to dance a little in my seat. But time and time again I get asked, "Who sings this?" "Uh, only the best rock band ever?" This is just an underappreciated fun sing along song that doesn't get enough respect. Sometimes a song doesn't have to be deep to good, and this song proves it.
"In My Life" - Rubber Soul
I know...another love song but this deserves to be on here. I know this is an unpopular opinion but John Lennon isn't my favorite Beatle, or even my second...heck I might even like Ringo more (see what I mean about being the butt of jokes), but I can't deny he was killer song writer. And he was on point with this song. As we get older and find "our person," our friends and past, while still important and meant to be cherished, take a backseat. As John simply put it "In my life I love you more". It's actually kind of a sad song as well as being a love song which is why it's so beautiful.
"Dear Prudence" - The White Album
One of the great things about the Beatles is that their lyrics didn't always have to be overly complex to be meaningful. They were masters of writing simple songs that still made you feel something. "Dear Prudence" is a great example of that. You want to see Prudence smile just like John. It's songs like this and "In My Life" that make you feel melancholy about life and love but not necessarily in a bad way.
"Lovely Rita" - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Paul wrote a different type of love song (and slightly dirtier type..."I took her homeI nearly made it"...we know what that means Paul) with "Lovely Rita." It's not about great love but just wanting to get a girl to go out with you. I understand that it is not one of their best songs but the only time I even see mention of this song is in crossword puzzles. It should be impossible to have an underappreciated Beatles song but this song (and all the others) show that it is.
"Hey Bulldog" - Yellow Submarine
When I first heard this song (as with a lot of their later, psychedelic tracks) I thought to myself, "What did I just listen to?" but in a really good way. That's the main thing I love about their music. Half the time we might know what it means, but we still know it's great. However, usually if you listen to it enough times, you start to get the point of it. A lot of people don't like their songs like this or "I Am the Walrus" or "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" because of that reason, but their versatily and eccentricity was what made them one of the best bands ever.
"All Together Now" - Yellow Submarine
Only a band like the Beatles could get away with some of their songs. "Piggies?" "Rocky Raccoon?" Weird nonsense, but weird nonsense that works. "All Together Now" is one of these songs. Paul McCartney wrote this mainly as a children's song, but even for adults, it's the kind of song you'd want to sing along to drunk and loudly at the pub with everyone joining in. It barely has lyrics in it but is still underrated.