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Top 50 Best Beatles Songs

Phenomenon is not an adequate word. There had been nothing like them before. There has been nothing like them since. I doubt there ever will be.

From humble beginnings, they arrived like a breath of fresh air. To a world whose mainstream Pop had included such inspiring gems as “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window,” things changed.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…

Formed in 1960, the hit records arrived in 1963, and it was all over by 1970. In those seven years of recording, we got some of the best music we have ever heard. Innovations we had never seen before, creativity that was at times “off the dial.”

They dragged plenty of other bands and singers with them as well, of course. But not only from Liverpool. In London, Manchester, and Birmingham, things were happening.


Times Don’t Change

Best Beatles Songs

Only the death of Stuart Sutcliffe, the original bass player, and bringing in Ringo saw any changes to the line-up. No supergroup egos here. At the start, anyway. 

By 1968, one member of the band began to consider himself superior to the others. He wasn’t, of course. But, there is usually one, isn’t there?

They occasionally brought in extra musicians, Billy Preston; a good example was one. And Sir George Martin tickled the ivories at times.

The best Beatles songs? 

Where on earth do you start with that one? But I am going to try. There will be a lot of potential favorites missed out. Necessity forces that one. 

Back To The Beginning

Let’s work our way through seven of the best years music has ever seen. We will be looking at it from a UK perspective. It was there that it all began. 

The American market was flooded with mashups and compilations. Also, singles that were dragged out years after their initial release. Presumably an attempt by greedy record companies to make a quick buck. That makes the American market hard to follow in any time frame. 

So, from the Quarrymen and Woolton Parish Church in Liverpool to the Cavern. To Hamburg a couple of times and back to the Cavern. Where did it all start to arrive in the consciousness of the record-buying public?

Top 50 Best The Beatles Songs

1 I Saw Her Standing There

When The Beatles’ first album came out to an unsuspecting public, it was a fairly low-key affair. There weren’t radio stations like we have them today and music exposure was low-key, to say the least. However, this song from the first album, Please Please Me, did attract some attention.

“I Saw Her Standing There” was a typical early Beatles song and remained a popular inclusion in their stage show for years. And, when you listen to it now, there is so much in it that they became known for in the next few years.

2 Twist and Shout

If any song can be called The Beatles’ big breakthrough song into the mass market, it was probably this. A cover of a song previously recorded by the Isley Brothers and quite a few others. It was pure, raw, Rock n Roll in the hands, or should I say the voice, of John Lennon.

It made headlines for many reasons. One of which was that they closed their set with it at the Royal Command performance in front of the British Royal family in 1963. A normally sedate and very stiff upper lip occasion.

Rattle Your What?

In introducing “Twist and Shout,” John asked the audience to clap along. And added that the people in the Royal Box and the posh seats could rattle their jewelry. Shock and horror. But, it brought a laugh and firmly established Mr. Lennon as a British icon.

Of all the songs in the early days, this is the song that resonated with the young people. It was a throwback to their days in Hamburg, where they learned to turn on the rock n roll when they wanted.

3 She Loves You

After “Love Me Do,” “Please Please Me,” and “From Me To You,” this was the fourth single released in 1963. It was a busy year as manager Brian Epstein sought to maximize their growing popularity.

“She Loves You” set records for sales that have still not been beaten sixty years later. It was the top-selling single in the 60s by any artist. By then, The Beatles were international, and they could do no wrong. 

I saw them live twice in this period and still couldn’t tell you what they sounded like. The screaming was a lot louder than their mic’d up amps. Listening to it today, this song does sound a bit dated compared with some of the others. So should I have included it? Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

4 If I Fell

The year 1964 saw them go to greater heights. Their first film, “A Hard Day’s Night,” was an incredible achievement. How they managed to fit it all in with touring, TV, and writing the songs for the album is incredible.

For the first time… 

All of the songs were written by Lennon and McCartney. And one thing that comes across from this album is the joy of working together. It was fun, and the songs were good.

“If I Fell” was a ballad from John. Not something that was often heard. But there were other great ballads on this album as well. “And I Love Her” was one. Also, a wonderful song, “I’ll Be Back,” to close the album demonstrated the new songwriting skills that they were learning.

I have chosen “If I Fell” as one of the best Beatles songs because I think it is. Simple as that.

5 I’ll Follow The Sun

The difference between A Hard Day’s Night and the next album, Beatles for Sale, where this track came from was quite obvious. A Hard Day’s Night was full of enjoyment, but Beatles for Sale wasn’t.

Ringo coined the album title. To him and the others, that is what it felt like. They were for sale to the highest bidder. Just pieces of meat. The album had other people’s songs on there because they had no time to write a full album. The year 1964 might have been pivotal.

Ironically they dragged “I’ll Follow The Sun” up from the days before “Love Me Do.” An old song they had written in Paul’s house in 1959 before the band had been formed. It turned out to be one of the best tracks on the album.

Becoming unstoppable…

This was a year that, as it drew to a close, also included more hit records that are not among the best songs they ever did. They were all #1, of course, just about everywhere.

“Can’t Buy Me Love” was successful, as was “I Feel Fine.” Number one records on charts all over the world, as I said. But, at that time, if they had recorded “Three Blind Mice” backward, that would have been a hit as well.

6 Yesterday

In some ways, the beginning of 1965 brought more of the same. It had a new film, “Help!” This inevitably produced a new single from the title track of the film, “Help!” And, of course, an album to go with it.

There had been a step up in quality from Beatles for Sale and especially in a song that left a lasting impression. Paul McCartney’s composition and delivery of the song “Yesterday” turned the tide again. It took The Beatles to another level again.

An eternal tearjerker ever since… 

And, I might say, the scourge of the karaoke bar. It is still one of the Top 10 requested Beatles songs. In 1965, we also had another successful single in “Day Tripper” coupled with “We Can Work It Out.”

However, the music of Help! was a watershed for the band. They were already working on their next album, and the new one would be the first of The Beatles’ greatest albumsRubber Soul pushed the boundaries a bit further.

7 Norwegian Wood

John and Paul were now writing separately more than they were together. George was ‘allowed’ two of his compositions, and Sir George Martin was producing close to the top of his game. The result was Rubber Soul, a great album.

John’s “Norwegian Wood” was one of the highlights of this album. It was a track that included the Bob Dylan style of dialogue that played a big part. It was also the first Beatles song to include a sitar.

The inspiration… 

It came from a brief affair Lennon had conducted in London. After John’s death, McCartney claimed that he had written a reasonable amount of the song. The song leaves us wondering whether he burned the girl’s house down without saying it.

“So, I lit a fire – Isn’t it good? – Norwegian wood.” It is left very much up to the person listening to decide.

The hits keep on coming…

“Norwegian Wood” wasn’t the only good song on this album as they experimented. A fuzz on the bass for the George Harrison composition, “Think For Yourself.” George also had another song that he had written included, “If I Needed Someone.”

And then, of course, two fine gentle songs, “Michelle,” which was mainly written by Paul with John contributing on the middle 8. And “Girl,” written by John.

In 1966 came the second of the great Beatles albums, Revolver. More great productions, more experimentation, and more classic songs. And, from this album, there was “Here, There And Everywhere.” Paul wrote this inspired by Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows.”

Of all the ballads… 

Specifically, the ones Paul wrote for The Beatles, and there were many, “Here, There, and Everywhere” has always been my favorite. Great lyrics, great melody. It says a lot about how far they had come in such a short time.

But there were other great tracks on Revolver. Eleanor Rigby, which I shall deal with later, was on this album, and George had his excellent song Taxman included.

Likewise, there was a whiff of Soul with a heavy brass section on “Got To Get You Into My Life.” But then there was this.

8 Tomorrow Never Knows

A huge risk and a step toward the future. This was psychedelia Beatles style. The chord of C from start to finish, guitars going backward, and some lyrics to make you think. 

The highlight, though, was Ringo’s excellent drumming. He took some stick over the years. But, there were times when his drumming made the song. “Ticket To Ride” was one. “Tomorrow Never Knows” was another.

As the year moved towards its middle and end… 

There were two further single releases of note. “Paperback Writer” had an interesting almost Rock guitar riff from George and some much heavier drumming by Ringo.

And, of course, “Penny Lane” that was coupled with “Strawberry Fields Forever.” That one we will look at a bit later. We will also take a look at one of John’s anthems released in 1967, but which one?

Some would say that 1967 was the year… 

But, it was also the year that tragedy struck with the death of Brian Epstein. However, there was a decent single in “Hello, Goodbye.”

A short film that included some good music is “Magical Mystery Tour.” But, in terms of The Beatles, 1967 will forever be remembered as the year of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The third of the four great albums.

Their finest hour? 

I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that. I thought their best album was the one that followed ‘Pepper.’ But, this was special, with some special music. “She’s Leaving Home” was one of those special tracks. And, of course, the song that spawned a thousand conspiracy theories, “A Day In The Life.”

A brilliantly written piece from John and Paul, it contained two orchestral glissandos. It also had the longest single chord fade-out ever heard, forty seconds.

But, despite the brilliance of the music, the cracks were now very evident. They continued to produce good singles, “Lady Madonna” being a good example.

But then, out of nowhere… 

They introduced the world to The White Album. A double album that, in many people’s eyes, was where they got it all together, in one place at one time. 

The fourth great Beatles album and possibly the best of them all. Some of the tracks we will deal with at the end, but this one was always a special Beatles song.

9 Cry Baby Cry

Written by John, it has elements of ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ included and was taken from The White Album.

A simple enough song with Sir George Martin playing the harmonium. He had started to compose it when he was in India and finished it in the UK. John had become friendly with British folk singer Donovan, and some of the ideas in the song were inspired by him.

But, there were other great tracks as well, for example, “Mother Nature’s Son” and “Revolution 1”. Too many to name. As we moved into 1969, we all knew it was all but over. They had a couple more good singles in them, “Get Back” and “Let It Be.” But we also had this little gem.

10 Here Comes The Sun

Taken from the last album they recorded, Abbey Road, this was George in a philosophical mood. He is talking about their dark days. The arguments internally within the band and his frustrations. 

But, he can see the end. And, in the end, the sun is coming and will shine through. It did for him in so many ways.

But, the content of the last two albums told the story. It was the end of “The Long And Winding Road.” However, we can’t close off this list of the best Beatles songs without mention of some of the tracks I have left until the end.

The Best Of The Best

Let’s move on to what, in my opinion, were The Beatles’ best songs ever.

11 Hey Jude

One of the most memorable Beatles songs of them all. Written by Paul, it was his song written for John’s son, Julian. At the time, John was going through a messy divorce from Cynthia, and five-year-old Julian was struggling.

It became one of The Beatles’ most popular songs and, needless to say, hit the number one spot just about everywhere.

12 The Long And Winding Road

By the time Let It Be had finally been released, some members of the band weren’t even speaking with each other. This single was taken from that album.

It was, by their standards, a relatively uneventful album. The “Let It Be” track itself was made better by George’s guitar work and Billy Preston’s organ. The rest of the album is quite ordinary. Having said that, even a below-par Beatles album is usually better than most other albums around at the time.

There have been some very quiet inquiries as to what this song is about. The cracks were there for all to see, but when they got into the studio, there was still a certain work ethic.

Arguments Turn To Lawsuits

And this song was at the center of one of them. McCartney used it in the High Court to get the band officially disbanded. He was furious at what Phil Spector had done with this song and others on the album.

Spector had been brought in by the hated Allen Klein, who had taken over the managing of their affairs. Like that was a good idea! It turned out to be the straw that broke the camels’ back for the band.

Spector wasn’t up to the job. The Beatles were not The Ronettes. And Klein didn’t have a clue either.

A Moving Song

It is a very moving song that portrays the subject of walking almost mournfully down a “long and winding road to where someone he loves lives.”

He says that the road will never disappear and that he’d walked that road before. Paul says he wrote the song about a road in Scotland near a house he had bought. 

I wonder…

John had just bought a large house in Tittenhurst Park in Ascot. John recorded the video for “Imagine” there. There is a shot of him and Yoko walking to their front door down a long and winding road’. 

Was Paul trying a belated reconciliation? Or maybe just wanted to let John know his inner feelings before they went their separate ways. It was written by Paul and remains one of the best ten.

13 Eleanor Rigby

John and Paul might have been writing more as individuals by this time, but it didn’t hinder the quality. In some ways, it improved it. This is a monumental track taken from the excellent album, Revolver. And it is easily one of the best Beatles songs ever recorded.

Rubber Soul was the album that turned the tide creatively and showed what they were going to be capable of. Revolver was the next step. This album produced some magic, and “Eleanor Rigby” was just a part of that magic.

The Setting?

Possibly post-second world war Britain. Eleanor is spoken of as doing what many wives, mothers, and girlfriends at the time were doing. Waiting for their men to come home at the window, “Waits at the window – Wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door.”

Of course, it could be just a lonely lady desperately waiting for a visitor.

And The Church?

That was in decline from before the war. Father McKenzie is portrayed as a lonely clergyman with very few in his congregation. Living alone, he “Writes the words of a sermon that no one will hear.”

It is a tragic song in many ways, but a clear indication of the quality of the writing coming from the band. They were moving away from “boy meets girl” to more serious social issues. It was a risk, of course. But it paid off.

Are You Going To Pay A Visit To Liverpool?

Maybe you are going to visit the excellent Beatles Museum or the site of the original Cavern. Ride the bus down “Penny Lane,” or pop over and remember John in “Strawberry Fields.”

If you are, make sure you visit St. Peter’s Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool. That is where John and Paul first met on the grounds at that Quarrymen gig. While you are there, take a walk around the graveyard, you might see something that is rather strange.

Just yards from each other are the graves of a lady by the name of Eleanor Rigby and one of the previous Clergymen, Father McKenzie.

14 Blackbird

A track from The White Album and what can only be described as a major contributor. It was written by Paul McCartney and played and sung by him using a Martin D28 guitar

Listening to this song, it is only two minutes long but full of great guitar work and its creative, progressive chord structure. It is hard to imagine it was only six years after “Love Me Do.” 

I suppose it demonstrated, if indeed it needed to be demonstrated, how far ahead of the rest they were.

Varied Reasons

He has given a couple of inspirations for the song. One is hearing a blackbird in India. The other is a song about racial tensions in America. The second seems to be more likely. He uses the idea of a bird with broken wings as a description of America’s broken society. The symbolism he uses is quite pronounced as he portrays the racial tension that exists.

But, there is more to this short song than that. It portrays a situation of hope about creating a future even when all appears lost.

Did He Play It?

Questions have been asked about whether McCartney played the guitar part. The answer is he did. He is an accomplished finger-style guitarist, who was helped a little by using his fingers, not a pick style on his bass. He played it live on TV to settle any arguments.

15 All You Need Is Love

If you ask most people for the greatest John Lennon song, this might be one they answer you with. This was released as a single in 1987 coupled with “Baby You’re a Rich Man.” “All You Need Is Love” was used as Britain’s contribution to the “One World” live global television link.

The Criticisms

There were plenty, usually from people with a vested interest in alternative aims. The American President himself, Johnson, had a desire to keep the war going and even to expand activity. He had a vested interest, and he wasn’t the only one. 

This was the Summer of Love. It was the height of the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, and so the importance of the impact of the song must be placed into context.

The First of Lennon’s Anthems

John was able to write songs that lyrically touched people. His previous songwriting partner, with some exceptions, was still into the “boy meets girl” idea. It sold records. “All You Need Is Love” was the first of these. The other two arrived ‘post-Beatles,’ “Give Peace A Chance,” and “Imagine.”

“All You Need Is Love” starts with a portion of the French national anthem and closes with sections of Bach and a few choruses of “She Loves You.” Brian Epstein called it the “Beatles’ Finest Moment” as it went out to the One World global audience.

16 Something

It came about too late in most people’s eyes. This song and his other contribution, “Here Comes The Sun,” elevated George within The Beatles as a credible songwriter. They were both included on the Abbey Road album from 1969. The last album they recorded as a band.

It not only elevated his songwriting abilities, though. His guitar solo on this song is rated as probably his best. The thought was that it was written about his then-wife, Pattie Boyd. Although, George never admitted to that, sometimes offering alternative explanations.

Praise indeed

Sir George Martin and John Lennon both publicly stated it was easily the best song on Abbey Road. Much to the disappointment of at least one other member. But, when you get the likes of Frank Sinatra and Shirley Bassey doing covers, you know you’ve done something right.

Furthermore, Sinatra is quoted as saying that, in his opinion, it was “the greatest love song of the last 50 years.” As a single, it reached #4 in the UK and #1 in America. Certainly, George had come up with “something” very special.

17 While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Let’s stay with George and a track included on The White Album. George wrote the song after the band visited the Maharishi in India. After concentrating his efforts on learning the sitar for a couple of years, George returned to working and writing on guitar.

The words “gently weeps” came from a text he studied in “The Book of Changes.” It is a book that expands the theories of relativism and that everything is related to everything else. The song also represents the disharmony that existed within The Beatles at the time. 

This had been growing for a couple of years. It wasn’t helped by George intimating that his spiritual journey was more important to him than the current career path of The Beatles.


In many ways, it is a song that speaks volumes about the differences that had emerged between them as musicians. Even the choice of instruments that they used veered away from the norm. 

George played a Gibson Les Paul, and McCartney played a Fender Jazz bass instead of his Hofner or Rickenbacker. The bass was overdubbed by John playing a six-string bass along with the original McCartney bass line.

Not Well Received As A Song

There was at least one member of the band who did not like the song. They thought it was out of context and too different from the rest of the album. Quite a strange argument when “Revolution 9” was on the same album as “Honey Pie.”

The finished, mixed work was one of the stand-out tracks on an already brilliant album. It appeared George had come of age.

18 Strawberry Fields Forever

Released in 1967, this was something very new for an audience probably expecting something quite different. It was written by John as a somewhat sentimental love letter to a place he played as a child.

The Sally Army

Strawberry Fields was a Salvation Army orphanage for young girls. He admitted that he loved it there and always felt happy on the grounds. John was, of course, effectively in the same position as the girls. 

He did not have either parent in his life and was living with his aunt. So, he may have felt some emotional affinity with those girls.

More Demands

Revolver had been finished and was a huge success. This was the next song they recorded when they went back into the studio to lay down material for the next album. “Strawberry Fields” was earmarked for that next album which was to be Sergeant Pepper.

However, Beatles for Sale was still controlling everything, and EMI was demanding new material. They wanted Sergeant Pepper finished as soon as possible, but they also wanted a new single.

And they wanted a single. So, they got “Strawberry Fields,” coupled with another great track, “Penny Lane.” They marketed the release as a “Double A-side.”

But, the band had a “set in stone” policy… 

Singles were never included on albums. “Strawberry Fields” was lost from Sergeant Pepper. Maybe this was one of the occurrences where the idea of controlling their destiny became more than an idea. Maybe Apple Corp was on the horizon in their minds.

The Important Thing

It may have been lost from ‘Pepper,’ but we still got to hear it and appreciate John’s work. The song, and not forgetting Sir George Martin’s production, opened up a new era for the band. Certainly one of their finest tracks and one of John’s finest moments.

After John’s murder by a loony with a gun in New York, a part of Central Park was named after the song.

19 Dear Prudence

So many stories associated with this song. It was taken from their masterful White Album. The song had been written about Prudence Farrow, Mia’s sister. She had accompanied them on one of their trips to India and had struggled with the whole thing.

“Dear Prudence” was written by John and was one of the songs that were demoed and changed around at Kinfauns, George’s home, in May 1968. Quite a lot of The White Album was developed at his house.

The Atmosphere

For the demos, it was good, creative, and appreciative of people’s input. McCartney wasn’t there for the demo at Kinfauns, he was elsewhere, and a bass line was added in his absence. He expanded on that and overdubbed it at Trident studios later.

But, the atmosphere between the four was not happy. Ringo had walked out at one stage but had been persuaded back. George added some guitar tracks on his new Fender Telecaster, and John used his new Fender Twin for the first time.

The sound they ended up with was sensational. Somehow, in the midst of it all, it clicked. And produced one of the greatest tracks by The Beatles.

20 In My Life

And so, to almost the very last song. It is almost impossible to pick just one of the best Beatles songs to go out on, but I have chosen this. John wrote it, and it expresses some very personal emotions. He is often remembered as a Rock n Roller, but then he comes up with music and lyrics like this.

Rubber Soul, where this song was taken from, as I have already mentioned, was a major turning point in their careers. The first of the great albums.

I don’t need to go into a lengthy discourse about this song. Just sit back and listen to it. For me, one of the finest songs they ever recorded.

21 A Hard Day’s Night

22 Can’t Buy Me Love

23 Help!

24 All My Loving

25 Eight Days A Week

26 Drive My Car

27 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

28 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

29 Don’t Let Me Down

30 Something

31 Get Back

32 Hello, Goodbye

33 Penny Lane

34 Across The Universe

35 Golden Slumbers

36 Carry That Weight

37 Love Me Do

38 From Me To You

39 Please Please Me

40 She’s A Woman

41 The Fool On The Hill

42 Day Tripper

43 Michelle

44 The Night Before

45 Here, There and Everywhere

46 We Can Work It Out

47 You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away

48 You Won’t See Me

49 Baby You’re A Rich Man

50 The Ballad of John and Yoko

Looking for More Great Songs b Amazing Artists?

We can help. Take a look at our detailed articles on the Best Fleetwood Mac Songs, the Best Cat Stevens Songs of All Time, the Best Chicago Songs of All Time, the Best Traveling Wilburys Songs of All Time, and the Best Grateful Dead Songs of All Time for more great song selections.

And, you’ll need to hear those tunes. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, the Most Comfortable Earbuds, the Best Noise Isolating Earbuds, the Best Headphones for Music, and the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music you can buy in 2023.

Best Beatles Songs – Final Thoughts

A song that never ends. That might be the best way to describe and remember them. We’ve lost two in John and George, and Ringo and Paul are not spring chickens either. But, we have the music from seven glorious years.

They all went on and produced music on their own. Doing what they wanted to do. No “Beatles For Sale” now. Well, in three of their cases. 

John produced probably the best music of the four after the split, with George just behind him. Ironic that George had struggled to get some of his songs on albums and released as singles at all.

A magical period… 

And, for those of us who lived through it, something that will never be forgotten. The music will never end. Perhaps one more to wish you all goodnight from John. Thanks, fellas.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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