ew-beatles-best-worst.jpg

In the September 11th issue of Entertainment Weekly the magazine looks at “The 50 Best Songs The World’s Greatest Band Ever Wrote.” No, not Grizzly Bear, the Beatles. Yes, they are a band your parents know about, too. So why now? As EW puts it:

With The Beatles: Rock Band and [remastered] reissues of all their albums hitting stores, it’s time for another Beatles revolution. This week’s Entertainment Weekly offers fans our guide to what’s new — and to the 50 best songs the world’s greatest band ever wrote as well as a gallery of rare behind-the-scenes candid photographs.

That’s right, The Beatles: Rock Band’s out next week on 09/09/09. Because it’s that monumental. According to EW, even Paul McCartney thinks “It’s very cool.” (Hopefully the 45 songs on it don’t include any of the ones EW pans. That would not be very cool.) We’ll have to wait until we get a hold of the actual magazine (on stands today) to see everything, but for now we do have EW’s Top 20 best Beatles songs as well as the top five worst. (UPDATE: All 50 are now listed.) One thing we’ve concluded after spending a little time with these: The magazine hates The White Album and Magical Mystery Tour. EW’s worst song made Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs Of All Time” back in 2004, which hints at something we already knew: Yes, there will be arguments. But what else are you gonna do over a holiday weekend? Also, EW forgot to list song 19 in their blast, so you’ll just have to fill that one in yourself.

50 “All You Need Is Love”
49 “I’m So Tired”
48 “Here Comes The Sun”
47 “Helter Skelter”
46 “Ticket To Ride”
45 “Lovely Rita”
44 “Come Together”
43 “I Want To Hold Your Hand”
42 “I’m Down”
41 “Day Tripper”
40 “With a Little Help From My Friends”
39 “Taxman”
38 “You Won’t See Me”
37 “She Said She Said”
36 “Dear Prudence”
35 “Nowhere Man”
34 “I’ve Got a Feeling”
33 “I Should Have Known Better”
32 “I Am The Walrus”
31 “All My Loving”
30 “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”
29 “I Saw Her Standing There”
28 “Rain”
27 “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”
26 “Paperback Writer”
25 “I’m A Loser”
24 “I’m Only Sleeping”
23 “We Can Work It Out”
22 “If I Fell”
21 “Revolution” (single version)
20 “Can’t Buy Me Love”
19 “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End”
18 “Blackbird”
17 “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love”
16 “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
15 “In My Life”
14 “Hey Jude”
13 “Help”
12 “Penny Lane”
11 “Eleanor Rigby”
10 “Across The Universe”
09 “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”
08 “Tomorrow Never Knows”
07 “Let It Be”
06 “She Loves You”
05 “Something”
04 “Strawberry Fields Forever”
03 “Yesterday”
02 “A Day in the Life”
01 “A Hard Day’s Night”

This is how they explain the choice of “A Hard Day’s Night”:

Forty-five years after this single hit the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s still nearly impossible to get any two people to agree on what chord that famous opening clang! actually is. But with one majestic, mysterious Rickenbacker distress call, the Beatles as we first met them on The Ed Sullivan Show four months earlier were gone. They’d grown up. The lads had become unwitting passengers on a manic locomotive they’d never be able to disembark from, and the song’s title hints at that weariness. It’s right there in the opening scene of the 1964 film that bears the same name, as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr are chased by a mob of screaming, ravenous fans. This isn’t just a pop song, it’s a cathartic cry for Help!

Nice of George and Ringo to get a mention since they don’t appear on the cover. The worst Beatles songs according to EW:

05 “Flying”
04 “Don’t Pass Me By”
03 “Dig It”
02 “Wild Honey Pie”
01 “All You Need Is Love”

You’ll find more Beatles-related words over at EW.

Tags:  
Comments (169)
  1. Bob  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Don’t do it! Do not discuss the merits of this list.

    • Pete Best  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

      I’m not familiar with “Missing”. Is that on the White Album?

    • justsayin  |   Posted on Sep 6th, 2009 0

      i would like to agree with the man who posted first which seems to be about a bajillion posts ago. bob you are a genius….honestly discussing the merits of this post is a waste of time. if EW is too lazy to find a photo of all the beatles on the cover think about how much time they spent putting together this list…

    • Gunvard  |   Posted on Sep 7th, 2009 0

      fifty places for Bearles ten best. ok. But where is obla di obla dah. and Helter Skelter almost at bottom. Bollocks

  2. Benson  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Fuck it. Seriously, flying is fine. Dig it, isn’t a song. Wild Honey Pie isn’t really a song either, and still managed to be more entertaining than The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill. All you need is love seems to be a pulled out of nowhere, I am sure the explanation is something “controversial” and “against type” for such an insidious publication. Fuck. Balls.

  3. “Don’t Pass Me By” is better than “A Hard day’s Night”

    • When I was I kid I was in a car crash and I lost all of my hair. “Don’t Pass Me By” felt like it was written especially for me, and really got me through a tough time. Now I have beautiful long hair and do landscaping for cephalopods. Thanks Ringo!

  4. RAIN, fucking RAINNNN! come on, not even in the top 20. for shame!

  5. some terrible beatles songs:
    long and winding choad
    alltogethernowalltogethernowalltogethernowalltogethernow
    oh blah fuckin di lah di dah

  6. Victor Johnson  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Only one song from Abby Road?

  7. This list is total garbage. I can’t even begin to enumerate the glaring flaws and omissions here. I am so seriously sick of ‘best of’ track lists that ignore the obvious album content gold and shoot straight for the singles, one right after the other. Both number ones are painfully, tragically misguided.

    Where are “If I Fell,” “Golden Slumbers,” “I’ve Just Seen A Face,” “I Am The Walrus,” “She Said She Said,” “Fixing A Hole,” “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds?”

  8. I’ve read the full list at this point and what upsets me is that “Here Comes the Sun” is at number 48 in the top 50. Also, I like A Day in the Life more than A Hard Day’s Night, personally.

  9. JBizarre  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    “Don’t Pass Me By” is waaaaaaaaay better than “A Hard Day’s Night”

  10. I’ve always hated Long and Winding Road. It’s my least favorite by far, but whenever I state this fact, I seem to do it the presence of people who inexplicably love the song.

  11. I have a very soft spot for “Love Me To” from Revolver.

  12. Joker's Lady  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    okay, She loves you? I love that song, it’s a great song, I love to dance to it myself, but it’s not groundbreaking. “Lady Madonna” is groundbreaking, “I am the Walrus”, GODDAMN that is groundbreaking, where any other band, it would have been a novelty song of the 60s, but because it’s the beatles and they put so much thought into it, it’s a warped up classic.

    As for worst, the guys at EW, are they pessimistic or something? Every hardcore beatle fan knows that the WORST song by the beatles is “Revolution No. 9″. It’s just john going “number 9, number 9, number 9…”

    • Revolution 9 isn’t even the worst song on the White Album. That dubious honor belongs to “Honey Pie”, another glaring omission.

      • beatleclawed  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2009 0

        You must mean “Wild Honey PIe” because “Honey Pie” is a great little jazz number.

  13. Marko  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Well it’s nice to know that they see the artistic merit of “Revolution 9″ to not put it on the worst song list like some “Beatles fans” might.

    Or they just forgot of the song’s existence/confused it with the other Revolutions.

  14. The Beatles are my gods. True Story.

  15. Ryan C  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Worst Beatles song: ALL OF THEM!

  16. My FAVORITE Beatles songs are
    -Martha My Dear
    -Dear Prudenace
    -Baby You’re a Rich Man
    -Rocky Raccoon
    -Lovely Rita

    All deserving a little more recognition.

    • My Best 5 in no particular order:

      Here, There and Everywhere
      Dear Prudence
      Dig A Pony
      Hello Goodbye
      When I’m Sixty-Four (tie w/Tomorrow Never Knows cuz only 5 is IMPOSSIBLE)

    • Jack  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2009 0

      Rocky Racoon is my favorite Beatles song.

  17. Sorry for the “a” that found its way into Dear Prudence!

  18. jeff bowers  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Helter Skelter.

  19. yomomma  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 +1

    Omission on best list: Get Back

    Omission on worst list: Yellow Submarine

    Waaaay too many songs on the best list from the early poppy stuff.

  20. eatitsg  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Leaving comments on Stereogum takes longer than download porn on broadband in the 90′s.

  21. back in the u.s.s.r., ob-la-di, ob-la-da, and glass onion are clearly three of their worst post-help! songs. i mean, glass onion is a song about the songs that make up magical mystery tour.

    and your mother should know is one of their more underrated songs. it’s quite lovely.

  22. The best Beatles, ahem, THE Beatles, song is ‘She Said, She Said.” There. I said it.

    • the human rug  |   Posted on Sep 6th, 2009 0

      “The best The Beatles song”? Not grammatically correct. Even so, great song choice.

  23. i’ve always loved “flying”…
    bonus: secret machines cover of it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BywXhFZkaI

  24. tommy  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    ignoring the fact that its essentially a lennon song, i really think “julia” should be on the list. one of the beatles’ most lovely and understated songs.

    and ive always had soft spots for “paperback writer” and “baby youre a rich man.” id like to see where they rank on the full list of 50, if at all.

    it also seems a tad ridiculous to me that “penny lane” is higher than “hey jude,” but theyre both excellent, so i guess i can let it slide.

  25. Nice to see some appreciation for “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”.

  26. Number 19 is not omitted in the list…it is at the top of the page, with a picture…
    It’s “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End.”

  27. susie dillingswoth  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    wow, if their “journalists” who compiled this list did a little fucking RESEARCH they would know a maths professer figured out the beginning of a hard day’s night is just guitar chords mixed in with piano
    overall, a shite list, but wht did one expect?

  28. megaindiedouche  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    What a lazy way to sell magazines.

    Also, I’m pretty sure George said it’s a C with a G on top.

  29. That’s a horrible cover. Why did they pick the picture of John and Paul looking so drab, let a lone without George and Ringo?

  30. I think that list failed to realize we’re talking about The Beatles. Also, “All You Need Is Love” cannot be the worst song, especially since it so captured the allure of the time. If you want an honest fan-made list of the Best to Worst Beatles sounds I suggest going here: http://magazine.jamsbio.com/2009/01/05/playing-the-beatles-backwards-the-ultimate-countdown/
    Not only is the list done very nicely, but he gives a reason for picking each and every song. Sure its a bit long, but better than giving some off-handed logic that “A Hard Day’s Night” is the band’s “growing up” point.

  31. In the Flowers  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Maybe only the VU can match the Beatles in having strange unique gems that are worlds in the selves even way down at the bottom of the barrel…would Fellini give his vision to Cloudbusting?

  32. No ‘Hey Bulldog”? Or ‘And your bird can sing’?

    amateurs..

  33. Brandon, explain how did this one avoid the S–t list tagging?

  34. I love the Beatles, but is there any good reason to make another freaking list about them. And this one is terrible by the way. She Loves You and A Hard Day’s Night better than Tomorrow Never Knows and Hey Jude? I think not.

  35. A Hard Day’s Night is not a cry for help or some kind of revolution in music. It’s about working and then going to see your girlfriend. And people figured out that chord a long time ago.

  36. I don’t care what they say, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da or Why Don’t We Do It In The Road are the worst fucking Beatles song. Flying kicks the living crap out of those two.

    Something is the best (glad to see it at, 5).

  37. Bob  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    That’s easy: the worst song is “Within Without You”. Horrible

  38. This list sucks. I could shuffle the Beatles albums and come up with a more accurate top 20 than this garbage. A Hard Day’s Night? Piss off.

  39. Bob K.  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    “All You Need Is Love” is one of my favorites. It’s hokey psuedo-psychedlia but in a good way.

    • jay  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2009 0

      uuuhh. “pseudo” psychedelia? really? the beatles were right at the forefront of psych. there’s nothing pseudo about it.

  40. tamara12  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Waay too much early (pre-RS) stuff. The following songs are missing, in my opinion:
    -Girl
    -I’m Only Sleeping
    -Rain
    -Norwegian Wood
    -I Am The Walrus
    -Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
    -Here There and Everywhere
    -Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite
    -Nowhere Man
    -For No One (this song is amazing and underrated)

  41. alison wonderland  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    within you without you??/ i am the walrus?

  42. WW85  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Lou Reed when asked if he thought that Sgt. Peppers was the best album of all time said something like “Mr. Kite? What the fuck is that shit?” I’m with Lou…

    But Lucy in the Sky, Dear Prudence and I am the Walrus should be in the top 20. All You Need is Love is best list stuff, not worst…

  43. Jordan Beard  |   Posted on Sep 4th, 2009 0

    Even though “A Hard Day’s Night” clearly isn’t the Beatles best song, the rest of their best list is understandable (although it wouldn’t look ANYTHING like mine)
    “Come Together” is easily the worst Beatles song! (musically, anyway..)
    “Flying” and “All You Need Is Love” are great though!

  44. what happened to 1oclock rock?

  45. jjazznola  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2009 0

    “No, not Grizzly Bear, the Beatles.” Huh? I hardly think of GB as a great band. I’m not even sure if they written a great song yet. Overhype is the norm these days.

  46. My favorite Beatles songs in no particular order would be: Martha My Dear, Im Looking Through You, She Said She Said, You Wont See Me, Getting Better, Taxman, And Your Bird Can Sing, Happiness is a Warm Gun, I Want You (She’s So Heavy), and Get Back.
    That is all

  47. Maverick  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2009 0

    #19 come together

    weird that it hasn’t been mentioned yet…

  48. lux  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2009 0

    That’s not The Beatles on the cover, that’s just John and Paul.

  49. pube  |   Posted on Sep 5th, 2009 0

    DIG IT is like my fave beatles song

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.

%s1 / %s2