Top 10 Beatles songs to listen to in the car

I got the idea for this post while listening to Breakfast with the Beatles in the car this morning, and I thought it might be helpful if any readers are looking to make a Beatles driving playlist. The songs here don’t necessarily have to do with driving subject-wise, but I think that the vibes of all these songs are conducive to driving (or passenging). Feel free to disagree or come up with your own list. Here we go!

10. I Want To Hold Your Hand

I’m not going to say a ton about each song on this list, but the opening riff to this is just so good. It’s a great song to sing along to and it’s always a crowd pleaser. If it comes on the radio, crank it up and enjoy!

9. If I Needed Someone

Again, it’s really the riff here that makes this a “car song” for me. The relaxing, slightly lazy pace makes it perfect for any drive, any time. This is one I would listen to with the windows open, unless it’s snowing. Then, definitely close the windows. 🙂

8. A Hard Day’s Night

This is a great car song mostly because the opening chord is so instantly recognizable. It’s nice to know exactly what song is playing in the car without having to take your eyes off the road (or if you’re passenging, your phone, most likely), so this song is a great candidate for any Beatlemaniac’s car playlist.

7. I Am The Walrus

I’m going to assume that no one driving will be tripping on LSD (which would be very dangerous indeed), so I don’t think listening to this in the car will blow your mind TOO much… Anyway, I’m not exactly sure why I chose this song for this list. Once again, the opening is very famous, but aside from that, I just like it a lot. Not that I ever really do this, but if I were driving around with friends late at night and the car windows were open, this is the song I would want to bother the neighborhood with.

6. Day Tripper

For anyone who thinks this song is literally about taking day trips to the countryside, you’re wrong. It’s slightly more metaphorical (and naughtier) than that. But anyway, this riff combined with the awesome harmonies and the chorus makes it a fantastic song to listen to in the car. As I’ve said before, this is definitely one of my top 5 favorite Beatles songs. For a brief time, you can at least imagine that it’s about day trips. 🙂

5. Help!

Once again, the instantly recognizable opening makes it a good car song. I also think that the layered, call and-response harmonies throughout have a sort of Beach Boys-ish vibe that makes me think of driving cars in California. (again, I am clearly not a Californian…)

4. Get Back

This song is literally about going back to somewhere, and it mentions California and Arizona (two states 3,000 miles from me), so I thought it would be a good addition to this list. I think I’ve said this before, but I really like the drums on this song for some reason. Even after everything they had already accomplished musically in such a short time, the Beatles still found ways to innovate on this album.

3. One After 909

This isn’t a hugely popular Beatles song, but it REALLY makes me think of cruising along a highway on a nice day. I love the keyboards and guitar on this track. A relatively unknown Beatley tidbit is that this was actually one of the first songs the Beatles wrote, way back in the late 1950s. There’s a couple of versions of this on Anthology 1, but I definitely prefer this faster Let It Be version to any of the earlier ones.

2. Back in the USSR

This is a classic, and the plane sound effect at the beginning gets me every time. Again, I love listening to this in the car because it’s so upbeat and has a fantastic guitar solo. Many of you may know that Ringo quit the band for a bit while they were making the White Album, so who do you suppose plays drums on this song? That’s right, it’s the multi-instrumentally talented Paul!

Annnnd…

1. Drive My Car

So it might be a bit of a cop-out to have this as #1, but I honestly could not think of a better choice. The “driving cars” in this song may be metaphorical (I bet you can guess what it refers to…), but it’s still a great song to listen to in the car! And come on, who doesn’t love the “Beep beep, beep beep, yeah!” part? Just don’t honk the horn along with that part, as you may get some Looks of Doom from neighboring drivers. 🙂

So, that’s it for this list. On my list of “future posts,” in case you’re interested: Top 10 non-Beatles songs to listen to in the car, reviews of Phillip Phillips’ “Behind the Light” and U2’s “Songs of Innocence,” my thoughts on Conan’s George Harrison Week, and much more. Stay tuned folks!

My Top 10 Favorite Beatles Song Lyrics

Thought this was cute. :)

Thought this was cute. 🙂

I was hemming and hawing over what to post today, when this idea popped into my head. We all know that musically the Beatles were brilliant, but their song lyrics are just as extraordinary. Sure, many of their earlier songs have a lot of “cheesy” lyrics, which I will not deny. However, whenever I listen to one of their later albums like Rubber Soul or Abbey Road, I’m amazed at just how insightful and clever the words to their songs are. Sometimes I listen to a Beatles album only to pay attention to the lyrics, which helps me see it in a whole new light. So, without further ado, here we go!

10. I Saw Her Standing There- “Well she was just seventeen, you know what I mean.”
According to The Beatles Anthology, the original opening line for this song was, “Well she was just seventeen, she’d never been a beauty queen.” When John saw that’s what Paul had written, he supposedly said, “You’re joking, right?” and they changed it. Good move, in my opinion. There isn’t that much to dissect with this one, I just like how it flows. And that it’s vaguely suggestive. 🙂

9. Revolution- “But when you talk about destruction/Don’t you know that you can count me out”
When the Beatles sang this live on David Frost in 1968, John actually said, “Don’t you know that you can count me out, in” because he wasn’t sure what he believed. One thing I love about this song in general is that from the very first note, it makes a statement, and every line in the song, like this one, lives up to the boldness of those opening guitar chords.

8. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away- “If she’s gone I can’t go on/Feeling two-foot small.”
The actual line for this song had “two-foot tall” instead, but when John accidentally sang “two-foot small” in the studio once, Paul suggested he keep it that way. I like that this line doesn’t make logical sense initially, but really, it does. It’s sort of like a glass half empty vs. glass half full situation. Just another example of clever wordplay from the Beatles. 🙂

7. The Long and Winding Road- “Many times I’ve been alone and many times I’ve cried/Anyway you’ll never know the many ways I’ve tried”
Paul is clearly a master at rhymes, but this line in particular just hits me in a deep emotional place. The song itself is sad, but hopeful. This might be lyrically one of Paul’s best songs ever, actually, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

6. Think for Yourself- “Although your mind’s opaque/Try thinking more if just for your own sake.”
While this was far from George’s first song, I think is the first time his lyrics were truly on par with Lennon and McCartney. The lyrics to this entire song are great, but I chose this line in particular as an example of the growing songwriting aptitude that George demonstrated on Rubber Soul. Way to go George!

5. Old Brown Shoe- “I want a love that’s right but right is only half of what’s wrong.”
More George for you! He has said in interviews that he intended for the lyrics of this song to juxtapose each other, with words like right and wrong and early and late. The lyrics to this entire song are clever and so very George. As I’ve said before, this song is extremely underrated.

4. I’ve Just Seen a Face- The entire song
While the lyrics for this song might not be the deepest, most philosophical in the Beatles’ catalog, I really have a special place in my heart for this song because of them. The whole song flows in a really interesting way because of how the lyrics are structured, and for that reason I didn’t single one line out in particular.

3. I Am The Walrus- “Expert textpert choking smokers/Don’t you think the joker laughs at you?”
I am happy to report that I typed that line entirely from memory. I guess I’ve listened to it too many times. 🙂
But seriously, every line in this song is just nuts. I suppose that’s what happens when John Lennon writes a song purposely to confuse people who read too much into the Beatles’ lyrics.

2. The End- “And in the end the love you take/Is equal to the love you make.”
This might be one of the single best known lyrics in the Beatles’ catalog, so this might not be that original a choice, but it is truly a beautiful, poignant line. I don’t think Abbey Road and the Beatles’ career could end any better than with this line. It sums up their entire essence in one simple line.

1. Across the Universe- “Limitless undying love that shines around me like a million suns/It calls me on and on, across the universe”, but basically the entire song
I firmly believe that the lyrics to this song are some of the most beautiful words ever written. I highlighted this line in particular because it’s the one that always sticks out in my mind, but really the entire song is a beautiful fountain of poetry. John is usually known as “the lyrical one” between himself and Paul, and I think that John really makes the case for best lyric writer in the Beatles with this song. It’s definitely a masterpiece.

Wow, for coming up with this idea on a whim, I really like how this turned out! I think I’ll try to do a “top 10 lines from Monty Python” in the near future as an expansion of this post.
Have a great weekend!

And I Love Polls

So here’s another poll I came up with. I think this is a pretty interesting one, because I was curious to see what is the one Beatles song that most people can’t live without. I tried to pick a list of Beatles songs that basically everyone, even non-Beatles fans, would know.
If you would choose another song that’s not on this list, feel free to comment about it!
For me personally, out of this list of songs, I’d have a hard time choosing between Hey Jude and Here Comes The Sun. It’s pretty much a toss up between those two, although While My Guitar Gently Weeps is my #1 favorite Beatles song.
Enjoy the week!

My Top 10 Favorite Music Videos

I realize that I haven’t done a list-type post in a while, and so I’ve decided to post my all-time favorite music videos today. Truthfully, I’m not really that into music videos, and I haven’t watched that many at all. In fact, I might be the only person in the last 30 years who has never bothered to watch the music video for “Thriller”. I know, I’m so out of it, but I really only watch videos from artists that I listen to A LOT, and that’s why every video in this list is of a song by the Beatles, George Harrison, Elton John, or Paul McCartney. But anyway, here’s my list of music videos that I love. Enjoy!

10. I Am The Walrus- The Beatles

This is quite possibly the trippiest music video ever made. I mean, the song is basically nonsense lyrics written by John solely to confuse people who were reading too much in to the Beatles’ lyrics, and the video is in the same psychedelic vein as the movie it accompanies, Magical Mystery Tour. Nevertheless, this is one of my favorite Beatles songs, and likewise the video is one of my favorite videos. I love it precisely because it’s so weird and strange. Becoming a Beatles fan has made me accept the weird and absurd things in life much more easily, and this video is definitely weird and absurd. But it’s just so artsy and cool at the same time!

9. Junior’s Farm- Paul McCartney and Wings

I know I’ve posted this before, and it’s really more of a promo than it is a traditional music video, but I love it so much that I had to post it here! Mostly I love it because Paul is such a cutie here, but the song is also awesome. Still, not too much going on here. Just sit back and enjoy the view of Paul McCartney’s adorable face for 4 and a half minutes… 🙂

8. I’m Still Standing- Elton John

This video is a classic! One of the judges from Dancing with the Stars, Bruno Tonioli, actually directed and choreographed it, and he appears in various costumes throughout the video. I love how Elton is basically just strutting around the entire time, being fabulous. The video is definitely a little odd, but since it was the 1980s, I’ll give it a pass. It’s fun and the song is great, and really, that’s all that matters!

7. This Song- George Harrison

George’s quirky sense of humor is definitely showcased in this hilarious, Monty Python-esque video! (which I think was directed by Eric Idle) The song itself is mocking the court case in which George was sued for plagiarism over “My Sweet Lord”, and the video makes a complete mockery of the court system itself. Georgie looks gorgeous in this video with his long, wavy hair, and I love his cute dance moves and expressions that he makes throughout the video. This video is pretty much a party, and it rocks!

6. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word- Elton John

I’ll admit that along with Junior’s Farm, this is the most superficial choice on this list. Why? Because the only reason why I love this video, other than the beautiful song itself, is the fact that Elton John just looks so darn attractive here! I do love him with the glasses too, of course, but seeing his beautiful eyes is always nice. And that is all I have to say about that. 🙂

5. Say Say Say- Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson

See, even without Thriller, Michael Jackson did make it on this list, but not without a little help from his friend Paul McCartney! I think this video is just hilarious. It’s so goofy and fun, and it’s nice to see Paul and Michael together before Michael bought, excuse me, STOLE the rights to all of the Beatles songs!!! 🙂

4. Free as a Bird- The Beatles

I know this isn’t my #1 favorite music video, but it is hands down in my opinion the most brilliant music video ever made. It actually won the Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video in 1997, and rightfully so. It’s just amazing how so many aspects of the Beatles’ lives and career are so beautifully melded together in this one video. There are a lot of subtle references to various lyrics in various Beatles songs hidden throughout the video, and I think it’s fun to try to find all of them! If you can’t be bothered, just sit back and enjoy a wonderful video and a beautiful song from the best band ever.

3. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart- Elton John and Kiki Dee

After searching for this video on Youtube for weeks, I finally found it! (but not on Youtube)
I actually could not stop squealing with delight as I watched this video, for many reasons. First, I think it’s the cutest, yet most awkward music video I’ve ever seen. Without his piano, Elton looks like he has no idea what to do with his arms, and I love how he just keeps moving them randomly. Apparently this was a spur-of-the-moment video and was filmed in one take, which definitely shows in the occasional missed cues. Still, I just love this! It’s so cute! The “dance break” is hilarious, but my favorite part comes at about 2:30 in the video, where Elton kisses the little flap on the front of Kiki’s overalls and then makes a really funny, “Did I do that?” face! How I wish I could have been in her place… Elton is such a cutie pie. Ahhh, this song is so catchy and this video is wonderful!!!

2. Crackerbox Palace- George Harrison

Another goofy, Python-esque video from the lovely George Harrison! This one is also directed by Eric Idle, which definitely shows because there are many random things in this video, like elves, that wouldn’t really make sense outside of a Python/Harrison environment. This videos always cheers me up and makes me smile. Once again, George’s hairstyle here is one of my favorites of his, and I love how relaxed and happy he looks. Happy George = Happy me!!!

1. Ever Present Past- Paul McCartney

This, folks, is my #1 favorite music video. Why? Well, it’s Paul McCartney, in a suit and Converse, dancing adorably in his old age to a wonderful and catchy song. That really should be enough. But seriously, this video is just awesome. Paulie is still so cute! As proven years before in Magical Mystery Tour, out of the four Beatles, Paul is by far the best dancer. He has a great sense of rhythm and actually looks graceful doing the moves. The brilliance of this video is rather self-explanatory, and Paul is a musical genius. The end. 🙂

Honorable mentions for this include my entire “Hilarious Beatle Promos” post. Check it out if you haven’t already!
Have a great week!

My Top 10 Favorite Beatles Songs

Casual Beatles... And Then There's Paul in a Suit.

Casual Beatles… And Then There’s Paul in a Suit.

I thought it was about time that I posted my favorite Beatles songs, because I feel like you can’t be a true Beatlemaniac without at least a semi-definitive list. But, my favorites do change, sometimes weekly, sometimes daily, depending on what period of the Beatles I feel in the mood for. One day I need my Rubber Soul fix, other days I like to jam to some earlier stuff, and sometimes I enjoy a little psychadelic road trip through Magical Mystery Tour or Sgt. Pepper. Still, there are certain songs that I always feel particularly connected to. These aren’t necessarily my opinion of the 10 best Beatles songs, just my personal favorites, to avoid any major, “BUT HOW COULD YOU LEAVE OFF (insert name of influential Beatles song here)?!?!?!?!” issues. Let’s get rolling!

10. And I Love Her

I just love how calm this song makes me feel. I have it in a playlist of “relaxing Beatles songs” that I put on while I’m doing work or when I just need to relax, and it always does the trick. Also, George does some great guitar work here that only adds to the lovely aura of the song. Paul is such an extrordinarily talented songwriter that his more understated compositions such as this one tend to get overlooked, but I think that it is one of his most sincere love songs. I sometimes pretend that he’s singing this to me… 🙂

9. Getting Better

This is one of my favorite songs to play on Beatles Rock Band! The guitar part in this song is fantastic, and “Getting Better” is definitely my favorite song on the Sgt. Pepper album, if I had to choose. Also, it’s so optimistic and uplifting that you can’t help but feel like things really will get better once you hear it.

8. I Am The Walrus

I once read that John Lennon wrote this song to purposely confuse people who were studying the Beatles’ lyrics. He probably succeeded in confusing many people with it, and I love it all the more for its hilarious insanity. The line “expert texpert choking smokers, don’t you think the joker laughs at you” is definitely my favorite line in the song. Finally, for anyone who was wondering, yes, they are saying “Everybody smokes pot” at the end of the song. This was confirmed for me after I saw a Beatle tribute perform this song live, and they enunciated those words VERY clearly!

7. I’ve Got A Feeling

This is another one I enjoy belting out on Beatles Rock Band. It’s probably one of the last true Lennon/McCartney collaborations written. Not too much else to say, just a great rock song. I was pleasantly surprised and happy when Paul performed this at 12/12/12, which I watched from the comfort of my couch. I wish I’d been there. That would have been epic.

6. Ticket to Ride

First, this video is my favorite part of the movie Help! Second, everything about this song rocks; from the harmonies to the drums to the guitar riff, it’s all there. John and Paul always sound magical singing together, and this song is no exception.

5. Day Tripper

Ahhh, I love this song! Words can’t describe how happy I feel when I hear it! It contains my favorite guitar riff throughout the song, and once again, it rocks in a way that can’t be recreated by anyone else. I also love how the beginning of this video shows George doing what he does best, and smiling while he does it! My heart fluttered a bit when he came on the screen. I think that every music video by any artist, ever, should start with a 10 second close up of George Harrison. But Macca Maniacs, Lennon Lovers, and Starrfish, feel free to disagree.

4. Something

This is one of the most listened-to songs on my iPod, probably because I listened to it every single night before I went to sleep for about a month straight. I’ve listened to it so many times that I’ve probably memorized every note of every instrument throughout the whole song. This is definitely George’s most beautiful love song, and maybe one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded. Either way, it’s wonderful. Also, this video features pictures of George with his lovely first wife, Pattie Boyd. And if I ever had to answer the question, “Name the person you are most jealous of,” it would probably be her. Yeah, I wonder why…

3. She Loves You

This is by far my favorite pre-Rubber Soul Beatles song, because it’s so ridiculously catchy. I dare anyone to listen to it and not start dancing or singing along. You’ll have a tough go at it, I’m sure. I love it, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!!!

2. Hey Jude

This is one of those songs that I knew most of the words to before I even knew who the Beatles were. There’s a reason why it’s so popular; everyone loves hearing it, whether they admit it or not. No matter where this song comes on, people will start singing along. If it went on forever, I’d sing along the whole time and not get tired. It’s uplifting, infectious, and a classic in every sense of the word. This was also my favorite Beatles song for a while. Until I discovered THIS one…

1. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

The only way to properly listen to and experience the power of this song is to listen to it late at night on your iPod with good quality headphones, in complete darkness, while sitting on your bed, clutching a pillow, and swaying to the beat of the song. I guarantee, you have not fully heard this song until you’ve done that. I could stay in that position for hours. The effect is truly mindblowing, and the song is hauntingly beautiful and hypnotic. And THAT is why it’s my favorite Beatles song!

Other “Honorable Mention” Beatles songs that would round out my Top 20 list: Sexy Sadie, Yesterday, Your Mother Should Know, Don’t Bother Me, I Feel Fine, This Boy, The Fool On The Hill, Within You Without You, Taxman, And Your Bird Can Sing.