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The Most Soothing Beatles Songs
2010 Nov 17, Update: Christmas time (is here again)! This Christmas season is a good time to be a Beatles fan as Apple's iTunes has Apple Corps' (the Beatles' record label) Beatles digital catalogue available exclusively on iTunes. In response to that, Amazon has dropped prices for all Beatles recordings across the board. If you have you heart set on The Beatles Stereo Box Set this Christmas, it has gone down to US 129.99 (-find it on this page!). Get it before sanity resumes and prices come back to normal levels. Amazon is probably giving huge discounts to reduce their massive Beatles stash at their warehouses, fearing a sales slow down due to competition from Apple.
Number 9, Number 9, Number 9, Number 9, Number 9 ...
Ahhh, music to calm the spirit and mind. If you were asked to compile all the most gorgeous sounding Beatles tunes together into one album, what would you put in it? Your list may differ from mine, but hey, I dare say that you will include most of the slow and calming songs in my list here.
If you have been a long time follower of The Beatles or lucky to be part of the generation that grew up with Beatle music, then you must have realized that this has got to be biased towards Paul McCartney as we are now in his songwriting territory rather than John's. We'll do another list to even things out later. ;)
So turn off your mind, relax and float downstream ... and imagine John Lennon introducing this list with the calming intro from his favorite piece of avant-garde music:
Number 9, Number 9, Number 9, Number 9, Number 9 ... [Ok, that's enough, we're not going into the rest of that! ;D]
Here they come: ...drum roll...
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The Most Soothing Beatles songs
Comes The Sun (sung and written by Harrison; from Abbey Road
This gorgeous song evokes visions of the sun slowly shining through on a cloudy day. Harrison wrote this at Eric Clapton's garden at a time of much Beatle stress. Out of this stress, came a song about seeing a glimpse of the light at the other end of the tunnel. As the song went on, the melody became more and more positive. Just brilliant!
"Here Comes The Sun" is one of Harrison's coolest songs and it showcased his talent as a songwriter capable of taking on Lennon and McCartney at their prime.
And I Love Her (sung and written by McCartney; from A Hard Day's Night album, 1964)
This song was inspired by actress Jane Asher, whom Paul was dating at the time.
McCartney's soft singing voice is simply sublime in this one. Right from the beginning, the beautiful melody and bass will pull you into the song and get you to sing along. When this song first came out, it surprised a lot of people because pop artistes were not supposed to come up with brilliant masterpieces such as this one. Like a lot of people, I rank this song higher than Yesterday, another great song from him.
Claim To Fame:
-This is the 2nd most covered Beatles song, with 372 versions recorded by 1972. "Yesterday", the most covered song ever, has 3000 + versions!
Here, There And Everywhere (sung and written by McCartney; from Revolver, 1966)
This song features a much loved Baroque keyboard solo cooked up by part-time Beatle George Martin. ;)
Alas, I can find no other Beatles song like this one, this has got to be one of their most unique and soothing ever. And I am not the only one totally smitten with this song. In a 1980 Playboy interview, Lennon named this as one of his favorite Beatles songs. Coming from someone who was extremely bitter at McCartney after The Beatles broke up, this has got to be very high praise. Also, in 2005, McCartney said this is his favorite of all the songs he has ever written.
If I Fell (sung by Lennon and McCartney, written by Lennon; from A Hard Day's Night album, 1964)
A song that features the brilliant harmonies of the Beatles, sung at such a way that at times it was difficult to separate the voices. A memorable song and a favorite of many, this song is actually a B-side number, from the single "And I Love Her".
Life (sung by Lennon and McCartney, written mainly by
from Rubber Soul album, 1965)
If John Lennon's Imagine (from his solo career) implores you to ponder an ideal in the future, his In My Life reminisces about a bittersweet past. Lennon called this song "my first attempt at a ballad ... it's semi autobiographical, but not consciously." The friends in the lyrics refer to Stu Sutcliffe, a Beatle who had died before they became famous and another friend of John who had also died early.
According to "John Lennon: The Life and Legend" in "The Sunday Times: A Special Tribute 1980", Lennon began writing this in 1964 and polished it one year later, with lyrics about friends and people from his younger years. In John's original handwritten lyrics, he made reference to his favorite places in Liverpool:
one I'm missing,
Up Church Road to the clock tower,
In the circle of the abbey,
I have seen some happy hours.
Past the tram sheds with no trams,
On the 5 bus into town,
Past the Dutch and St Columbus,
To the Dockers Umbrella that they pilled down."
make this song kind of like THE "Penny Lane" before McCartney ever
of "Penny Lane". ;)
Guess this will bring a whole new dimension to the "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" debate. ;)
Claim To Fame:
-In the Rolling Stone article "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", this song is ranked 23rd.
-Ranked 2nd on CBC's 50 Tracks.
-Mojo magazine named it the best song of all time in 2000.
-But this song was never released as a single!
-This song was played at Kurt Cobain's funeral. John Lennon is Cobain's idol as was revealed in his journals.
Let It Be (sung and written by McCartney; from Let It Be album, 1970)
A concert sing-a-long favorite of McCartney's. What a genius! He had probably conceived this as an easy-to-sing song at a time when the Beatles were at each other's throats so that his future concert goers can easily sing along with him in his concerts after The Beatles had broken up.
It is also a song that saddens many people as it is the title song for the last album by The Beatles.
This song was inspired by his mother, Mary, who had died earlier when he was 14. She came to Paul in a dream and gave him advice, hence the song. Many people had thought that "Mother Mary" was a biblical reference when they heard it including rebel John Lennon who hated it. He mocked the song by introducing it with: "And now we'd like to do 'Hark The Angels Come!'" in the Let It Be album.
Claim To Fame:
-With 3.7 million advance orders, the album had the largest pre-release sales in US record history up to that point in time.
-The first Beatles song released in The Soviet Union, in 1972.
-In 2001, this song closed a McCartney organized "Concert For New York" for the victims of the 9-11 disaster.
-This song was a funeral song at Linda McCartney's funeral. -_-
Michelle (sung and written by McCartney; Rubber Soul album 1965)
"Michelle" is a traditional French girls' name, which began to gain popularity outside of France in the middle of the last decade. It is also the female form of Michel, the French equivalent of Michael.
"Michelle", the song, is a lovely ballad,
When I was just into Beatles - long after they broke up and before the time of the Internet - there was a time when I was crazy enough to pause the cassette player to write down the lyrics of their songs everyday after school. And this was a favorite of mind then - had a hard time wondering why McCartney was mumbling about "Some day Morky won't play 'gain our song". It's only a few years later when I got hold of the lyrics that I know that that particular line is in French. :D
the words were "sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble" - a
translation of "these are words that go together well". The translation
was done by the wife of a friend of The Beatles as none of The Beatles
spoke French. They picked up some German from their work as a club band
in Hamburg from 1960-62, but this was the closest they had ever come to
Claim To Fame:
-This beautiful song won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1966 at a time when Grammys were rarely won by pop music artistes.
-In 1999, BMI named "Michelle" as the 42nd most performed song of the 20th century.
-In 2009, McCartney performed this song in a concert in Washington, DC, in honor of Michelle Obama.
More To Come ...
The reason why your favorite song is not in this list is probably because this is in alphabetical order, and I haven't got to them yet. :)
Please come back later for more additions ... ;)
In the mean time, feel free to check out my other Beatles hub: Beatles Christmas Tree Ornaments, Miniature Drum Sets And Decorations 2010.