My good friend Anis, who some of you will know as Oldlawyer, has a similar passion for music but he hasn't developed a love for those four lads from Liverpool. Today, I'm going to help him.
Twist & Shout - 1963
Unlike the talent show karaoke singers of today, The Beatles learned their craft long before they became famous. The demanding environment of the Hamburg clubs was where the Fab Four honed both their musicianship and their showmanship. On the first album, this cover of an Isley Brothers' hit reflects everything they learned in the seedy dives on the Reeperbahn.
And I Love Her - 1964
Although rock 'n' roll was the catalyst for the band being formed, they were never afraid to dip into other musical styles. This song has a Bossa Nova rhythm and a beautiful simplicity which began to hint at the songwriting treasures that were to follow.
Possibly one of the greatest melancholy love songs ever written, Yesterday is among the most covered songs on the planet. Paul McCartney woke one morning with the melody in his head and it had a working title of 'Scrambled Eggs'. Two years after their initial album release they were beginning to leave simple pop songs behind and produce music that transcends generations.
Tomorrow Never Knows - 1966
In 1966, Revolver was released to critical acclaim and public amazement. The loveable mop tops were gone, replaced with four by musical artists pushing the boundaries of what popular music could be. If you listen to this track now it is almost impossible to believe it is over 45 years old. The looped instrumental sounds are what you would expect from a modern studio using multi-track recording and computers. The song is written in a single chord, which was a first, according to Paul McCartney. Despite all the amazing experimentation, John Lennon still delivers a tune that haunts and inspires musicians to this very day.
A Day In The Life - 1967
Almost any track on Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is a classic but 'A Day In The Life' is my personal favourite. It begins with John's reflections on newspaper stories then flows into Paul's domestic daydream before returning to social commentary. Ringo's loose rolling drum sound underpins the song with layers of instrumentation that build to a crescendo and a dramatic final chord. Simply wonderful.
I Am The Walrus - 1967
The Magical Mystery Tour may be one of the worst movies ever made but the album of the same name has some of the band's finest moments. This song is John at his most lyrically experimental and contains lines of grotesque poetry that showcases his black sense of humour.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps - 1968
To have two songwriters of genuine quality in the same band is unusual, to have three is almost unheard of. George had felt frustrated that his songs were not getting the same exposure as John and Paul but on the White Album his talent begins to shine through. Just listen to this song and you will know why I love it.
Come Together - 1969
As the band began to fall apart without the steadying hand of Brian Epstein to guide them, they sought to make their final recordings together into a classic album. Abbey Road was the result and it is filled with creativity and songs that most bands could only dream of recording. It opens with this track, a song with a bluesy feel and some brilliant guitar from George. This is also a very good modern video.
Here Comes The Sun - 1969
More of George's brilliance in this uplifting and positive song. Considering the background of backbiting and infighting, this is all the more remarkable.
Get Back - 1970
Although Abbey Road was their last sessions, Let It Be was the last album released. It's an album which many critics dismiss but can you real dismiss tracks like 'Let It Be'; 'Across The Universe'; 'The Long And Winding Road' and this classic piece of rock history. Paul thought that going back on the road as a band would stop them falling apart. This song was that hope expressed in music. It wasn't to be, but their legacy of fantastic music is untouchable.
I hope, Anis, and everyone else reading this, that these ten songs help you to understand why I hold The Beatles in such high esteem. In truth, I could easily have filled a list of fifty songs, such is my admiration. The Beatles produced in just eight years, music which still be inspiring people in eighty. They were indeed 'Four lads that shook world.'