The Ultimate Guide to Beatles Deep Cuts
  • FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 2017

  • Posted by: Robert Steiner

Let's be honest: If you've ever listened to music at any point in your life, you've definitely heard of The Beatles. They're one of the greatest bands of all time, if not the greatest, their influence on popular music and culture can still be heard to this day, they're still topping the charts in 2017, and over their brief tenure together, they recorded, in terms of scientific measurements, a shit-ton of hits. The Fab Four's impressive list of classics really speaks for itself at this point; literally everyone and their mothers have heard "She Loves You" and "Eight Days A Week" millions upon millions of times. But what about the deep cuts? You know, the songs that would've been smashes for any other band, but because The Beatles were the freaking Beatles, they flew under the radar. It's about time we give some of these hidden gems the spotlight they so deserve, because when it comes to The Beatles, even the album filler tends to be pretty damn good (Except "Revolution 9." That song is very, very bad).

And in case you were wondering: Yes, there will be plenty of "Harrisongs" on this guide. No Starr songs though - Sorry Ringo. Only so much can be said about "Octopus's Garden."

PART 1: 1961-1965


Since there are so many deep cuts to choose from, we broke them down into two playlists going in chronological order. This first part covers the first half of the band's existence, from their way early days in Hamburg to the pinnacle of Beatlemania. There are some of the earliest surviving recordings of the band (as in "Pete Best on drums" early), like "Ain't She Sweet," "My Bonnie," and "Take Out Some Insurance On Me," the latter two they recorded as singer Tony Sheridan's backing band. There are also the wonderfully odd recordings of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" sung in German, which was EMI's blatant attempt to appeal to Germany, since Hamburg's club circuit was the band's old stomping ground. Predictably, the English versions were still more popular in Germany, but at least "Sie Liebt Dich" kept the "yeah, yeah, yeahs" in there. Other personal favorites include the massively catchy "Not A Second Time," George Harrison's second original song "I Need You," and arguably one of John Lennon's best, "Girl," a melancholy ballad only out-shined by the similar-sounding Rubber Soul track, "Michelle."

PART 2: 1966-1970


The second half of the Beatles' career definitely saw the band expanding their creative horizons to their limits, which elevated their music on the whole to new, more ambitious heights. In other words, the band got weird, which made for some of the biggest hits of all time, but that also meant their non-hits are pretty stunning as well. Take the drowsy and druggy "I'm Only Sleeping," featuring an impressive backwards guitar solo, or the haunting "Blue Jay Way," showcasing the band at their most uncharacteristically ominous. This was also the period when the band really started exploring their own individual styles, a fact especially evident on the songs that weren't front and center. Paul McCartney proved himself as one of the greatest storytellers in popular music with songs like the heart-exploding "For No One" and the world's saddest Western, "Rocky Raccoon," and John went for the experimental on songs like paranoia-inducing "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" and perhaps the most criminally overlooked "White Album" track, "Cry Baby Cry." Speaking of which, the "White Album" period was also when George really came into his own as a songwriter, best shown in the flawless demos of "Something" and "All Things Must Pass," (the latter of which he'd save for his solo career). Also, for those who noticed: Yes, there are in fact no Abbey Road tracks on this list, simply because every song on that record is a goddamn masterpiece. Calling any of them underrated would've been a lie, so I didn't even bother. That said, go listen to Abbey Road if you haven't already. Seriously, stop reading and go do it right now.

Anyway, these songs should hopefully fill in any gaps in the Beatles' catalog you may have, or at the very least gave you something good to listen to for 90 minutes. If you're left wondering how these songs could have possibly been overlooked, remember which band we're talking about here. These are only just a taste of the Fab Four's deep collection, and I can assure you there are plenty more treasures where these came from.

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