Tag Archives: 40 best songs

The Beatles 40 best songs: at 35 “I Am The Walrus”


“I am the Walrus is one of my favorite tracks – because I did it, of course, but also because it’s one of those that has enough little bitties going to keep you interested even a hundred years later”
– John Lennon (1974)

“‘Walrus’ is just saying a dream – the words don’t mean a lot. People draw so many conclusions and it’s ridiculous… What does it really mean, ‘I am the Eggman’? It could have been the pudding basin for all I care. It’s not that serious.”
– John Lennon (1980)


I Am the Walrus” is a 1967 song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song was featured in the Beatles’ 1967 television film, as a track on the associated double EP Magical Mystery Tour and its American counterpart LP, and was the b-side to the number 1 hit single “Hello, Goodbye.” Since the single and the double EP held at one time in December 1967 the top two slots on the British singles chart, the song had the distinction of being at number 1 and number 2 simultaneously.

It was done in 17 takes, on Sep 5, 6, 27 and 28.

Single by The Beatles
A-side “Hello, Goodbye”
Released 24 November 1967
Format 7″ single
Recorded 5 September 1967, EMI Studios, London
Genre Psychedelic rock
Length 4:33
Label Parlophone
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin

Basically the original songtrack of I am the Walrus set to video footage from MMT and Beatles Anthology. Sharp-eyed male viewers might notice a couple of (not so small) enhancements from elsewhere in the MMT footage, and even a guest appearance by that well-known English eccentric Vivien Stanshall:

Continue reading The Beatles 40 best songs: at 35 “I Am The Walrus”

The Beatles 40 best songs: at 36 “All My Loving”

Lennon expressed his esteem for the song in his 1980 Playboy interview:

“ LENNON:”All My Loving” is Paul, I regret to say. Ha ha ha.
LENNON: Because it’s a damn good piece of work. … But I play a pretty mean guitar in back.”

The complicated rhythm guitar is probably the reason that John left the deep singing part (in the last verse) to George, he simply couldn’t do both.
Cynthia Lennon believed John wrote it for her, but in fact Paul (the writer) probably had Jane Archer in mind when he wrote the lyrics.

We should also pay attention to Ringo’s great drumming, it has a very distinct and difficult to copy, latin style. It add a sophisticated rhythm to a song that without it would much more ordinary pop/rock, this is evident on the Live at the BBC  album were he plays an ordinary 4/4 rhythm. It gets a more rock’n roll feel but loses a bit of it’s uniqueness, I think.

Continue reading The Beatles 40 best songs: at 36 “All My Loving”

The Beatles 40 best songs: at 37 “I Want To Hold Your Hand”


“They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid.”
– Bob Dylan

“We wrote a lot of stuff together, one on one, eyeball to eyeball. Like in ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ I remember when we got the chord that made the song. We were in Jane Asher’s house, downstairs in the cellar playing on the piano at the same time. And we had, ‘Oh you-u-u/ got that something…’ And Paul hits this chord [E minor] and I turn to him and say, ‘That’s it!’ I said, ‘Do that again!’ In those days, we really used to absolutely write like that — both playing into each other’s noses.”
– John Lennon (Playboy)

“‘Eyeball to eyeball’ is a very good description of it. That’s exactly how it was. ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ was very co-written. It was our big number one; the one that would eventually break us in America.”
– Paul McCartney (Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles)

This is the song that made America pay attention, and kick-started the “British Invasion”. It is the essential Beatles -63 pop song (ok, along with She Loves You). When released in USA,  750,000 copies were sold in the first 3 days, 10,000 copies were sold each hour in New York!


Single by The Beatles
B-side “This Boy” (UK), “I Saw Her Standing There” (US)
Released 29 November 1963 (UK), 26 December 1963 (US)
Format 7″
Recorded 17 October 1963, EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock, pop
Length 2:24
Label Parlophone (UK), Capitol (US)
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin

I Want to Hold Your Hand” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded in October 1963, it was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment.

Continue reading The Beatles 40 best songs: at 37 “I Want To Hold Your Hand”

The Beatles 40 best songs: at 38 “Taxman”

taxman alt

“I had discovered I was paying a huge amount of money to the taxman. You are so happy that you’ve finally started earning money – and then you find out about tax.

In those days we paid 19 shillings and sixpence (96p) out of every pound, and with supertax and surtax and tax-tax it was ridiculous – a heavy penalty to pay for making money. That was a big turn-off for Britain. Anybody who ever made any money moved to America or somewhere else.”
– George Harrison (Anthology)


Song by the Beatles from the album Revolver
Released 5 August 1966
Recorded 20–22 April, 16 May
and 21 June 1966,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Hard rock, psychedelic
Length 2:39
Label Parlophone
Writer George Harrison
Producer George Martin

Taxman” is a song written by George Harrison released as the opening track on the Beatles’ 1966 album Revolver. Its lyrics attack the high levels of progressive tax taken by the British Labour government of Harold Wilson.

The Beatles – Taxman:

Continue reading The Beatles 40 best songs: at 38 “Taxman”

The Beatles 40 best songs: at 39 “Because”

abbey road above

“Because” is a ballad written by John Lennon and as usual credited to Lennon/McCartney. It features a 3-part harmony vocal performance between Lennon, McCartney and George Harrison, overdubbed three times to make nine voices in all. The results of this have been compared in sound to the Beach Boys. It appeared on the 1969 album Abbey Road, and is the song that precedes the extended medley that formed side two of the original LP record. George Martin plays the electronic harpsichord at the beginning of the song, and Ringo is nowhere to be heard. That said, Ringo kept the rhythm on a hi-hat, but only in the singers headphones, it was not recorded.

It was the last song recorded for Abbey Road.


Song by the Beatles from the album Abbey Road
Released 26 September 1969
Recorded 1–5 August 1969,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, art rock
Length 2:45
Label Apple Records
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin

The Beatles – Because:

According to Lennon, the song’s close musical resemblance to the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata was no coincidence:

“Yoko was playing Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ on the piano … I said, ‘Can you play those chords backwards?’, and wrote ‘Because’ around them. The lyrics speak for themselves … No imagery, no obscure references.”

It do contain some similarities to Beethoven, but it isn’t obvious, but it’s a good story. It actually sounds a lot like the song “Stay in bed” included in the song “Amsterdam” from John Lennon/Yoko Ono’s  Wedding Album. Listen to the acoustic guitar at about 22:16, it has a very similar melody to “Because”:

Continue reading The Beatles 40 best songs: at 39 “Because”