The Beatles - Songs


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The Beatles

Beatle songs have taken an indelible spot at the top of the pop charts and remained there for nearly 50 years without stopping. From their origins as fresh-faced teenagers in Liverpool, England to their emergence as arguably the most influential rock band in history, this is truly a group whose music changed the world. Formed in 1960 by then sixteen-year-old John Lennon and his fifteen-year-old friend Paul McCartney, The Beatles started out as a teenybopper rock band, emulating their musical influences such as Buddy Holly and the Crickets, who also inspired their name. Early songs Beatles fans would come to love included "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me."

Within a few short years, the band had unprecedented success in Great Britain. Their third single, "From Me To You" (1963), began a long string of Beatle songs that would top the charts. From 1963 to 1970, eleven of the twelve studio albums they released in the UK hit number one. No group before or since has had anywhere near that kind of success.

In 1964, the Beatles took their act across the Atlantic to the US, beginning a movement that would become known as the "British Invasion." Their first television appearance, on the Ed Sullivan Show, was viewed by some 73 million Americans, including a group of hysterical teenage girls in the live studio audience who screamed so loudly they practically drowned out the band.

As the 1960s progressed, the group began to experiment with different sounds and musical influences, incorporating everything from classical orchestras to the Indian sitar into their sound. The end result was some of the most innovative and mind-expanding songs Beatles fans had ever heard. Songs such as "Ticket To Ride" and "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" took the group into a whole new dimension, and rabid fans enjoyed every step of the ride. In 1967, they reached their zenith with "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band." Containing some of the most critically acclaimed rock songs of all time, including "Within You Without You" and "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite," it is still ranked by Rolling Stone as the greatest rock album of all time. Over the next few years, Beatle songs took on a decidedly psychedelic flavor, mirroring the changing times. Their later albums, including "Yellow Submarine," "Magical Mystery Tour," and the epic White Album all reflected this. Each of the band members was flexing his own song writing muscle by then, contributing to an ever-evolving and more complex sound.

By 1969, when the Beatles began recording "Let It Be," there was tension between the group members, and both John Lennon and Paul McCartney had already begun to branch out with solo efforts. Nevertheless, they managed to put together one more album that included some of their best work, such as McCartney’s gospel-tinged title track. In 1970, the band publically announced their separation, ending what had been a brief, shining moment in music history and leaving behind a legacy untouched to this day.

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The song(s) featured on this page are on:

VIDEO CLIP

Available on the following DVDs: The 4 Complete Ed Sullivan Shows Starring The Beatles (more)

SONGS

To listen to a song clip, click any song title that has a speaker icon. This will take you to a list of links to CD and/or MP3 product pages from one or more online merchants that have sound samples.

The Beatles With Tony Sheridan

  • My Bonnie (My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean)     1964
    (This song is based on the traditional folk tune of the same title.)

  • Why     1964

The Beatles With Billy Preston

  • Don't Let Me Down     1969

  • Get Back     1969
    (This song topped the charts and later also became a hit for Billy Preston (1978).)

Die Beatles

The Beatles

  • Act Naturally     1965

  • Ain't She Sweet     1964

  • All My Loving     1964
    (This song also became a hit for the Hollyridge Strings (1964).)

  • All You Need Is Love     1967
    (This chart-topping song starts off famously with a short excerpt from the French national anthem, "La Marseillaise" played in the style of a fanfare. The Beatles can also be heard singing the refrain of "She Love You" during the coda.)

  • And I Love Her     1964
    (This song later also became a hit for Esther Phillips (1965, as "And I Love Him").)

  • Baby You're A Rich Man     1967

  • The Ballad Of John And Yoko     1969

  • Can't Buy Me Love     1964
    (This song topped the charts.)

  • Come Together     1969
    (This song, which topped the charts, later also became a hit for Ike & Tina Turner (1970) and Aerosmith (1978). "Come Together" is listed in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.)

  • Day Tripper     1965
    (This song later also became a hit for the Vontastics (1966), Ramsey Lewis (1966), and Anne Murray (1974).)

  • Do You Want To Know A Secret     1964

  • Eight Days A Week     1965
    (This song topped the charts.)

  • Eleanor Rigby     1966
    (This song later also became a hit for Ray Charles (1968) and Aretha Franklin (1969).)

  • For You Blue     1970

  • From Me To You     1964
    (This song was previously a hit for Del Shannon (1963).)

  • A Hard Day's Night     1964
    (This song, which topped the charts, was the title theme for the 1964 comedy movie in which the Beatles starred. An instrumental version of "A Hard Day's Night" later also became a hit for the Ramsey Lewis Trio (1966).)

  • Hello Goodbye     1967
    (This song, which topped the charts, features vocal echo effects throughout and also has an unusual coda with a repeating "hela, hela hello" and tom-toms playing loudly in the background. )

  • Help!     1965
    (This song, which topped the charts, was the title theme from the 1965 comedy adventure movie in which the Beatles starred.)

  • Hey Jude     1968
    (This soothing ballad, which was written to comfort Julian Lennon during his parents' divorce, topped the charts and later also became a hit for Wilson Pickett (1969). "Hey Jude" has received many awards and accolades over the years. It is ranked at #8 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.)

  • I Am The Walrus     1967

  • I Don't Want To Spoil The Party     1965

  • I Feel Fine     1964
    (This song topped the charts.)

  • I Saw Her Standing There     1964
    (This song later also became a hit for Tiffany (1988, as "I Saw Him Standing There").)

  • I Should Have Known Better     1964

  • I Want To Hold Your Hand     1964
    (This song topped the charts in 1964 and also became a hit for the Boston Pops Orchestra that same year. "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was one of the songs that took the nation by storm when the Beatles made their first historic appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.)

  • If I Fell     1964

  • I'll Cry Instead     1964

  • I'm Happy Just To Dance With You     1964
    (This song later also became a hit for Anne Murray (1980).)

  • The Inner Light     1968

  • Lady Madonna     1968
    (This song also became a hit for Fats Domino (1968).)

  • Let It Be     1970
    (This song topped both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts and later also became a hit for Joan Baez (1971). In 1971, "Let It Be" won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score as a part of the soundtrack for the Beatles documentary film of the same title. It also won a Grammy that same year for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special.)

  • The Long And Winding Road     1970
    (This somber ballad, which topped the charts, was the last in a long string of #1 hits for the Fab Four.)

  • Love Me Do     1964
    (This upbeat song, which makes heavy use of the harmonica, topped the charts.)

  • Matchbox     1964
    (This song was originally written and recorded by Carl Perkins in 1956.)

  • Nowhere Man     1966

  • P.S. I Love You     1964

  • Paperback Writer     1966
    (According to the late British deejay Jimmy Savile, Paul McCartney wrote "Paperback Writer" in response to a request from an aunt who asked if he could "write a single that wasn't about love." In this chart-topping song, which is in the form of a letter, an aspiring paperback novelist is seeking work from a publisher.)

  • Penny Lane     1967
    (This chart-topping song, named after a street near John Lennon's childhood home, is included in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.)

  • Please Please Me     1964

  • Rain     1966
    ("Rain" by the Beatles is included in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time. This upbeat song makes use of backwards vocals and other effects.)

  • Revolution     1968

  • Roll Over Beethoven     1964
    (This song was previously a hit for Chuck Berry (1956) and the Velaires (1961) and later also became a hit for the Electric Light Orchestra (1973).)

  • She Loves You     1964
    (This song topped the charts in 1964, and a German version of this song ("Sie Liebt Dich") also became a hit for the Beatles that same year. "She Loves You" was among the first set of songs performed by the Beatles during their historic debut on the Ed Sullivan show. It is included in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.)

  • She's A Woman     1964

  • Slow Down     1964

  • Something     1969
    (This song later also became a hit for Shirley Bassey (1970), Booker T. & the MG's (1970), and Johnny Rodriguez (1974).)

  • Strawberry Fields Forever     1967

  • Thank You Girl     1964

  • There's A Place     1964

  • Ticket To Ride     1965
    (This upbeat breakup song topped the charts, and the Carpenters later had a hit with a more somber balladic version of this song (1970). "Ticket To Ride" is one of many Beatles' songs included in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.)

  • Twist And Shout     1964
    (This song was previously a hit for the Isley Brothers (1962). The Beatles' version recharted in 1986 after being featured in a number of movies, including "Back To School.")

  • We Can Work It Out     1965
    (This song topped the charts and later also became a hit for Stevie Wonder (1971). In the middle of "We Can Work It Out" there are a couple of brief changes of meter to a waltz rhythm (3/4 time).)

  • What Goes On     1966

  • Yellow Submarine     1966

  • Yes It Is     1965

  • Yesterday     1965
    (This classic ballad topped the charts and later also became a hit for Ray Charles (1967) and En Vogue (1992). With over 2,200 cover versions, "Yesterday" is one of the most covered pop songs to date.)

  • You Can't Do That     1964

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