When Brian, host of The Morning After, came out claiming to “hate the Beatles,” I knew he was wrong, but how would I show him the genius of the band? I decided that I would do it like a teenager would; with a mixed tape. Some people will claim it’s cheating because I’m including material from solo releases by individual Beatles but those people are wrong. The entire spectrum of the Beatles’ universe must be considered when looking back at their career. Here is my completely biased, subjective and unscientific list of tracks that showcase the range and depth of the greatest pop group of all time (honorable mention goes to the Beach Boys, of course).
George Harrison – “Awaiting On You All”
This Phil Spector produced song still gives me goosebumps. George makes the Hare Krishna religion sound like the true path over a wall of sound.
The Beatles – “It’s All Too Much”
If you still think the Beatles didn’t influence the indie rock we’re listening to today, take a listen to this psych-rock monster. The drums on this make me want to quit even trying to make music, these are sounds that will never be reproduced.
John Lennon – “Power To The People”
This is my favourite John Lennon song of all time. So good you can ignore the confusing and often contradictory political messages that John often spewed. Crank this gospel/soul influenced jam up to 11!
The Beatles – Here Comes the Sun
The Beatles are so universal because you can listen to their songs as a 5 year old or a 50 year old and still find something rewarding. This was my jam when I was 7.
Paul McCartney – “Ram On”
This is taken from the excellent solo album Paul put out under the RAM moniker. This track is heavily influenced by the more experimental phase(s) of the Beach Boys.
The Beatles – “In My Life”
A bittersweet and nostalgic song played at many-a-wedding I’m sure. The track shows the nursery rhyme-like qualities they were able to integrate into pop music.
Ringo Starr – “Photograph”
I included this song to prove that even the WORST Beatle had moments of brilliance. Bonus: directly referenced by Sloan on their excellent track “The Lines You Amend:.
George Harrison – “What Is Life”
Another super-jam from Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album. This record might be my favourite Beatles related release.
Wings – “Jet”
How can a song about a dog rock this hard? Yes, it was named after Paul’s dog ‘Jet’ and still kills every time it comes on. Badass sax alert!
The Beatles – Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End
This is technically 3 mini songs that fit together to end my favourite Beatles album Abbey Road but they can’t really be separated. This perfectly displays their ability to craft a masterpiece that shifts at the drop of a dime.