Beatles music: Picks and Pans

I’m an unabashed Beatles fan as are, I’m sure, many of you out there. But even I have to agree that there have been what I consider to be a few “misses” as well. Here are a few of my picks and pans: I’d be interested to know what yours are.


In my life
Here, there and everywhere
Eleanor Rigby
A day in the life
Strawberry fields
Because (the a capella version on Anthology)
Let it be

Eight days a week
Why don’t we do it in the road?
You know my name (Look up the number)
Several of the songs on the Let It Be album

Me too.

Yay: In My Life
Across the Universe
Two of Us
And I Love Her
(Among many others)

Nay:Helter Skelter
Revolution #9
Why Don’t We do It In the Road
She’s So Heavy
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer

God, how could I have forgotten Revolution #9?? It would definitely have topped the list! OTOH, I like Helter Skelter, but so did Manson (a little TOO much).

I played “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” at a med school talent show. I introduced it as “my favorite song about a homicidal medical student”.

Dr. J

One of my all time favorite Beatles songs is Dr. Robert…not one of their more well known ones.

A pan for me is “Blue Jay Way” BORING!

“Any major dude with half a heart surely will tell you, my friend–
Any minor world that breaks apart falls together again…”
-Steely Dan

Thumbs up:
Norwegian Wood
Eleanor Rigby

Thumbs down:
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
Little Piggies

I’m a big Beatles fan, but have to agree that even the Fab Four could misfire on occasion.

Here Comes the Sun (IMHO one of the greatest pop songs ever written)

Back in the USSR (proof that the Beatles could rock if they wanted to)

Twist and Shout (not an original but killer nonetheless)

Within You Without You (sorry George, but the annoying mosquito machine is not a favorite of mine)

Got to Get You Into My Life (fine example of Paul over the top)

I’m not a big fan of the Beatles, but my husband is and owns most of their CD’s, so I’ve heard my share of their songs.

My picks would be:
Let It Be
Hey Jude
Back in the USSR
Rocky Raccoon
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (somebody listed this as a song they hate, but I love this song)

Songs I hate:
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road (same verse, sung over and over, UGH!)
Revolution 9 (Number nine, number nine, how boring)
Little Piggies

There are many others, which I cannot think of their names at the moment.


As a long time Beatles fan (since the early 60’s) my picks: Soldier Of Love (BBC '63), Things We Said Today, In My Life, Strawberry Fields Forever, While My Guitar Gently Weeps (accoustic version on Anthology 3), A Day In The Life and It’s All Too Much. My Pans: You Know My Name, Revolution #9 and Mr. Moonlight…“Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”-John Lennon 1980

Favorites (in NP order):
Hey Bulldog
Abbey Road Medley (starting "You Never Give Me Your Money and ending with “Her Majesty”)
Back in the USSR
I Am The Walrus
When I’m 64

Least favorite:
Revolution #9 (though for what it was intended to be – something to fill out the side of an album – it’s OK).

And Your Bird Can Sing
She Said She Said
For No One
Here, There, and Everywhere
(Revolver is absolute favorite)
It’s All Too Much
I Am The Walrus
Across the Universe
The Long and Winding Road

She’s Leaving Home
Love To You
Yellow Submarine (did they let Ringo sing on purpose?)
Within You Without You


I can think of no more stirring symbol of man’s humanity to man than a fire engine - Kurt Vonnegut

I think “Why don’t we do it in the road?” has to be the most universally abhorred Beatles’ song.

I never cared for “Girl”, withe the air sucking thru teeth and all.

I like to make tapes. Under plan is a tape to include the less orchestral parts of Sgt Pepper (1st song, A Little Help, getting Better, fixing a hole, Lovely Rita, Good Morning, pepper reprise), the original 4-5 songs from Yellow Submarine, Ballad of John and Yoko(John on guitar),Abbey Road side B material.
The idea is to highlight the fact that George, Paul and John (less often)could play a nice tight electric guitar lead, if they wanted.
I’ve gotten tired of most of the lyrics, well at least less interested, so I look for other “stuff” in these recordings. I like all the Billy Preston material on Let It Be. Great band sound.Such as Don’t let me Down.

As a Beatles fan since age 13 (so 17 years’ worth), I can’t think of any songs I genuinely dislike. As a contrarian, I actually like both “Revolution #9” and “Mr. Moonlight”; the former because I find it interesting and relaxing, the latter because I think it treads a fine line between complete parody and complete seriousness. And I like the Beatles for Sale album, too, better than I like the Magical Mystery Tour EP.

Absolute faves:

Hey Bulldog
Sexy Sadie (That chromatic descending chorus progression, then the ascending verse progression-so simple yet so clever.)
No Reply
Good Morning Good Morning
I’ve Got A Feeling
I’ll Get You
Slow Down (OK, it’s a cover, but still. FYI, the Beatles covered Larry Williams on record more than any other artist.)
Old Brown Shoe

Least Faves:

The Inner Light (Way too long, otherwise OK.)
Run For Your Life (Boring!)
Wild Honey Pie (Save it for the outtakes, Paul.)

I really can’t abide “Michelle.” Everything else is at least OK, although “Revolution #9” is grating.

I way overdosed on Beatles albums as a mid-1970s teenager, when I should have been listening to the Ramones and the Sex Pistols instead…to the extent that I can pretty much play anything from their oeuvre in my head whenever I want.

That said, I still consider “Norwegian Wood,” “Julia,” and “Strawberry Fields” to be top examples of popular music craftsmanship; haven’t gotten tired of them yet, and hope I never will. Yes, I’m Lennon-centric.

I’m also fond of a number of what are generally considered their lesser efforts: “Eight Days a Week,” “And Your Bird Can Sing,” “Hello Goodbye,” for example.

I’ve also noticed that I’m leaning heavily toward mid-period Beatles as my era of choice, 1965-early '68. The white album NEVER gets played any more, and I didn’t even bother to get ABBEY ROAD or LET IT BE on CD.


Dig a Pony
A Day in the Life

Birthday Song or You Say It’s Your Birthday or whatever that crap is titled
Long and Winding Road (the Long and Winding song)

Mr.Moonlight is a cover(Composer:Johnson). One of my least favorites, besides Till There was You.