Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Beatles Top 100 Songs - Introduction


If you could only listen to the work of one artist/band for the rest of your life from here on out, what artist/band would it be? I'll let you think about it for a minute....The answer is easy for me, The Beatles. My guess is that you aren't surprised at that, given the title of this post. When I consider the breadth and depth of their work, there isn't an artist/band who compares. Not only great performers, The Beatles are also excellent musicians and songwriters. Their work spans not only multiple genres of music, but it pioneers them. When it comes to the superlatives, I think I will stop there. I'm not a music critic nor a historian of music, so it will become pretty obvious pretty quickly that my knowledge in that area only runs so deep (remember, I'm only a part-time critic). Besides, If you continue reading into the commentary and listings then you will hear me say enough about how great I think their stuff is, so lets move on to more important matters shall we? 

I think the first thing you should know about this top 100, is that it's really not an attempt to ascertain an objective top 100 (whatever that means). In other words, I'm not Rolling Stone trying to rank and analyze the contribution that The Beatles have made to music. Essentially, if I was told that I could only have 100 Beatles songs to listen to for the rest of my life, then these would be the 100. I have also ordered them along that principle as well. So, if I only had one song of The Beatles, then it would be my number one. If ten, then my top ten. I operated with that principle throughout the whole listing. Thus, my list isn't just a compilation of my favorite 100 songs, or the ones that I think are the 'best', it's an interesting mixture that exposes something deeper I think, the importance of the song to me.

With the principle stated above, another element imposes itself upon the list, diversity. For instance, my top ten is extremely diversified between ballads, uptempo, early Beatles, late Beatles, etc. This is because if I really only had 10 Beatles songs for the rest of my life, then I wouldn't want them to all be the same early uptempo Beatles stuff. I would want the best song that represented the different sounds that I really liked. Thus, I think I came up with a very eclectic and meaningful list that balances personal popularity, personal importance, and objective quality. 

One other thing should be noted, I'm not a Beatles expert. Sorry to burst your bubbles. I've done a lot of listening to their music, and some outside reading, but I would not consider myself ready to challenge anyone who considers themselves a 'True Beatles Fan' to any sort of trivia contest. The only thing I own of The Beatles outside of their music is a Revolver coffee mug. I also didn't grow up listening to a lot of The Beatles, unlike most Beatles fans. It wasn't until about 8 years ago that I really began to listen to and really enjoy thier work. That being said, I did grow up with my father listening to the Beatles. In fact, there are several songs on this list that have risen in their ranking simply because they remind me of my father playing it for us on the guitar. 

In the postings to follow I'll provide commentary for my picks and I'll include the stories, thoughts, and personal memories that I've enjoyed and experienced alongside of their songs; but if I screw something up, like saying McCartney sang something when Lennon did, please cut me a little slack. I'm doing 100 songs here! Did I mention that I was just a part-time critic? Alrighty, now that all my excuses and conditionals have been thrown out there, you should be ready. I hope you enjoy the list and feel free to leave comments and share your thoughts.


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