I’ve been thinking about doing this post for a while, but it’s taken me some time to come up with Beatles songs that are truly underrated. Since the Beatles have so many famous songs, there aren’t too many that I think are truly underrated or unknown. For this list, I’m not including any covers the Beatles did like Twist and Shout, and I’m also not including songs that are really well known like Hey Jude or She Loves You, because while I don’t think they’re overrated, they are definitely not underrated. So, with that in mind, we begin!
10. I’ll Be Back
This song is kind of similar to If I Fell, which is also on the A Hard Day’s Night album, but it’s not as well known. However, I think it’s just as good. The harmonies here, like those on If I Fell, are spot on and beautiful, and the song is a sign of the growing musical maturity that the Beatles showed on this album. It’s a really lovely song that definitely does not get enough credit within the Beatles’ catalog.
9. I’m Down
This is one of my favorite up-tempo rockers by the Beatles, but once again, it is probably one of the lesser-known Beatles songs. I think that Paul’s vocals on this are fantastic and John’s keyboard playing is lively and fun. I just love this song!!!
8. Not A Second Time
This song is buried on With The Beatles, which is a shame because I think it’s an absolutely great song. I’m totally in love with John’s vocals here and the song has a different, more pleading vibe than most other early Beatles songs. It’s definitely a hidden gem.
7. Cry Baby Cry
I don’t think this song is completely unknown, but it’s certainly not one of the more popular cuts from the White Album. Nonetheless, this is a beautiful song by John, and it’s one of those songs that I always seem to find myself singing around the house.
6. Dig A Pony
An absolutely great song that unfortunately was on the Let It Be album, so it probably didn’t and still doesn’t get the credit it deserves. This is one of my favorite songs to sing on Beatles Rock Band, and while the lyrics might not be the most inspired words that John ever wrote, they are clever and worth a listen.
5. Don’t Bother Me
I was obsessed with this song when I first discovered it, mostly because it’s George’s songwriting debut on a Beatles album. While he basically dismissed it as a bad song, I think it’s a great first attempt. Apparently he wrote this while he was sick in bed in a hotel room. No wonder it’s called Don’t Bother Me!
4. I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party
This is one of those songs that instantly puts a smile on my face whenever I hear it. I don’t know why, it just makes me really happy! The harmonies here from Paul and John are absolutely gorgeous and the rockabilly-influenced guitar by George is wonderful. Again, this is one of those songs that I love inexplicably and I wish it was more well known!
3. I’m Only Sleeping
An absolute hypnotizing song written by John that once I hear once, I cannot stop singing! Since it’s on Revolver, which is one of the most critically acclaimed Beatles albums, some people might not consider it that underrated, but I think that it’s definitely not as highly regarded as it should be. The backwards guitar on this song is incredible and the song is just amazing.
2. Old Brown Shoe
Yet another George song that no one seems to care about. Sigh… Well, I love this song! The lyrics to this song are so clever and well thought-out, typical of a George song. Also, it was George and not Paul who played bass here, which is funny because it’s such a Paul-ish bassline. George never fails to surprise/amaze me…
1. Yes It Is
This is to me THE most underrated Beatles song simply because no one I know has heard of it, yet it’s possibly one of the most beautiful and emotional Beatles songs in existence. It was the B-side to the Ticket to Ride single and seems to have gotten pushed to the bottom of the Beatles barrel over time. However, the lush harmonies here are absolutely gorgeous and they really make the song great. I always tear up for no reason when I hear this song because it’s so beautiful. Anyone who doesn’t know this song, check it out and you will be amazed!
You may notice that most of the songs on this list are from the earlier period of the Beatles’ career. That’s not by accident; I firmly believe that while they do differ from their later output, the early Beatles songs are just as good in their own way as the later ones. I hope that you check out these songs that casual Beatles fans may not know, because they really are fantastic and deserve a listen!
If you have any suggestions for more underrated Beatles songs, please comment with your thoughts! Thanks!