Ask Billboard: Readers’ Favorite Beatles Songs
On the 50th anniversary of the band's U.S. breakthrough, readers share favorite Fab Four songs, covers, solo hits and more.
As always, submit your questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to email@example.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, Tweet questions to Gary Trust: @gthot20
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READERS’ FAVORITE BEATLES SONGS
On Thursday, “Ask Billboard” asked you: What are your favorite Beatles songs? What are your favorite Beatles cover songs? And, What are your favorite solo Beatles songs?
On the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s first television performance in the U.S., on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (Feb. 9, 1964), Beatlemania takes the spotlight, thanks to tonight’s special on CBS … and, clearly, via your responses.
Billboard’s Phil Gallo recaps the star-studded tribute here, with a reunited Eurythmics, Dave Grohl, Maroon 5, John Mayer, Katy Perry, Pharrell and Stevie Wonder among those joining Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr for performances of Beatles classics. (Seeing that Grohl, Gary Clark Jr. and the Eagles’ Joe Walsh cover “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” reminds me of another great remake to add to my list of favorites: Santana’s version, featuring India.Arie and Yo-Yo Ma, from 2010. And, one more: Ben Taylor’s “I Will,” from 1995.)
@gthot20 Hi Gary. My Beatles faves: song – “Blackbird” / Solo – “Blow Away,” George Harrison / Cover – this
Sam Yunono @SamYunono
‘Here Comes The Sun’ covered by Demi Lovato & Naya Rivera on Glee!
I Should’ve Known Better
Slayty Perry @SlaytyKaty
Easy one for me @annemurray “You Won’t See Me” #favoriteBeatleCover
Could you ask a more difficult question?! Yesterday! Eleanor Rigby! Can’t Buy Me Love! I’ll Follow the Sun! Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that both Lennon and McCartney had exceptional Xmas records each
Elizabeth Chan @lizchanmusic
Elizabeth, I see what you’re doing. By mentioning Christmas songs – Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” – you think I’ll just happen to note that YOU hit the AC top 10 in December with YOUR OWN holiday song, the fun, original “Fa La La.” Nice try, Elizabeth, but it won’t work! I’m not mentioning that catchy song! I won’t do it!
I also won’t plug that you just “had an amazing few days in Europe and (are) really proud of the work accomplished.” Nope, if anyone wants to know what you’re up to, they’re just going to have to go your official website …
(Maybe next time, Elizabeth …)
And, this next email reinforces just how much impact music can have, especially in one’s formative years. As Howard Stern recently said in our exclusive Q&A, “Music saved my life. I wasn’t a particularly happy kid. I was a lonely kid. I can remember every album I bought, when I bought it, and sitting in my room and listening to it. Music meant everything to me. I wrote a paper in high school about George Harrison and the rest of the Beatles being prophets. To me, that was religion.”
Per this email, too, it’s so evident how important Beatles music has been for more than half a century.
I was born in 1967 at the end of the “Summer of Love,” when “Sgt. Pepper” dominated the radio waves. I discovered the Beatles as a youth in 1980, when I was going through my Dad’s record collection. I fell in love with their music and became quite the Beatlemaniac.
When John Lennon was gunned down in December 1980, it came as quite a shock since I had just discovered his music, with the Beatles and as a solo artist. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was one of those kids with ADHD and had trouble in school. If I was interested in a subject, I would get an A in the class. But, if the subject bored me, I would get Cs, Ds and Fs. I was the class clown and wondered what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I focus?
The music of the Beatles really helped to ground me and keep me sane. I found listening to the Beatles to be very therapeutic. Since 1980, the Beatles have always been with me as my favorite band. I’ve enjoyed other bands and I have pretty eclectic tastes in music, but I always come back to the Beatles.
It’s difficult to nail down what I consider to be my favorite Beatles songs, because it really is based on my mood at that moment. But, I’ll try. In (almost) no particular order …
“A Hard Day’s Night”
“In My Life”
“Tomorrow Never Knows”
“Strawberry Fields Forever”
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
“Two of Us”
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”
“Let It Be”
I can, however, say for sure that my No. 1 Beatles song will always be “A Day in the Life.” It never fails to blow my mind.
Toad the Wet Sprocket, “Hey Bulldog”
U2, “Helter Skelter”
Johnny Cash “In My Life”
Todd Rundgren, “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Rain”
Jeff Healey Band, “Yer Blues,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
Oingo Boingo, “I Am the Walrus”
Ben Folds, “Golden Slumbers”
Joe Cocker, “With a Little Help From My Friends”
Gomez, “Getting Better”
Aimee Mann & Michael Penn, “Two of Us”
Elliott Smith, “Because”
Fiona Apple, “Across the Universe”
Dana Fuchs, “Helter Skelter”
Halestorm, “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”
The Carpenters, “Ticket to Ride”
Cheap Trick, “Day Tripper”
Phil Collins, “Tomorrow Never Knows”
Crosby, Stills & Nash, “Blackbird”
Godhead, “Eleanor Rigby”
Motley Crue, “Helter Skelter”
No Doubt, “Ob-La-Di, Ob- La- Da”
P.M. Dawn, “Norwegian Wood”
Spineshank, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
Stereophonics, “I’m Only Sleeping”
XTC, “I Am the Walrus”
Jim James (Yim Yames), “Long, Long, Long”
Beatles Solo Work:
Ringo Starr: “Snookeroo,” “Only You (And You Alone),” “You’re Sixteen,” “Photograph,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Early 1970,” “I Am the Greatest,” “The No No Song,” “Goodnight Vienna,” “Back off Boogaloo”
George Harrison: “Cheer Down,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “The Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll),” “Living in the Material World,” “Art of Dying,” “When We Was Fab,” “Got My Mind Set on You,” “All Things Must Pass,” “Crackerbox Palace,” “This Song,” “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth),” “All Those Years Ago,” “My Sweet Lord (2000)”
Paul McCartney: Most of his songs
John Lennon: Pretty much everything …
I know one thing for sure: there will never be another Beatles!
New Orleans, Louisiana