Archive for February 9th, 2014

Beatles with Ed SullivanIt was on a Sunday evening on this date  fifty years ago that a touchstone event took place here in the States, one that dramatically altered pop and rock music as well as popular culture.  If you watch television or read newspapers, it has been hard recently to avoid seeing something about this 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on this date back in 1964.  For some, especially those later generations, this is probably a puzzlement as they have no context to put this event in any sort of historical context.  They have no idea what a big moment this was or how it dramatically affected music and popular culture.

It’s always hard to describe something to someone who has only known the resulting change.  I used to try to convince those nay-sayers, usually people born in the aftermath of the Beatles’ reign which would be post-1970, of the importance of the Beatles emergence and their music but it became too tiring.  So now I just enjoy the music and marvel at their evolution over their short lifespan as a band.  What an arc of creativity!

Their listeners might have mourned when they disbanded in 1970 but, realistically, they had completed their journey together, had strung together album after album of memorable and constantly evolving and growing sounds.  They were at a peak with nothing more in front of them.  Each went on to highly successful solo careers but none matched the true power of their combined efforts as the Beatles.

The legacy of their music has been so evident in the past few weeks.  I’ve seen a number of lists from critics and other musicians of their favorite Beatles songs and each is so different from another.  There is no consensus of which are their best songs and each list is truly valid as each contains a group, usually ten, of songs that are quite memorable.  Even the list of the top ten underrated Beatles songs would qualify as someone’s best of the Beatles list.   I sat down and tried to make a list of my Top Ten Beatles songs and had such a hard time.  Just when I thought I had it I would remember another and couldn’t imagine it not being on the list.  It is remarkable that they had so many songs that bound themselves so deeply into the fabric of ourselves.

Here’s what I came up with for my Top Ten, in no particular order:

A Day In the Life

Paperback Writer

Day Tripper

In My Life

Hello Goodbye

Norwegian Wood


Tomorrow Never Knows

You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

Baby You’re a Rich Man

Sitting here now, I can think of twenty ( or forty or fifty) other songs that would fit seamlessly into this list, all songs that are my favorites when I am listening to them.  Oh, well, there are no hard and fast rules here and this is not a very terrible problem to consider so I’ll just put lists aside and enjoy.  Here’s one of my faves from the Fab Four.

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