It would be a shame if younger or future Beatles fans only knew The Beatles through their album of #1 singles…1.
It’s obviously a very good collection of their songs that were #1 in America or England, with 21 of them topping Billboard in the U.S. (although “Something” lost it’s #1 designation when Billboard later altered their methodology.) The problem is…The Beatles didn’t release many of their best songs as singles.
Another option is to purchase the Red and Blue albums 1962-1966 and 1967-1970. They’re also good collections, but at 26 songs and 28 songs respectively, they could be priced like Beatles 1, which has 27 songs. Instead, they’re priced higher, as double-albums. And really, are “Old Brown Shoe” and “Octopus’s Garden” among their best songs? Those were included just to help George and Ringo with royalties.
An interesting analysis of those two collections shows Rubber Soul provided the most songs…8 (6 album cuts + the 2 singles released the same day). Using that same basic method, Revolver, surprisingly, has only 3 (2 +1), Sgt. Pepper has 6 (4 +2), The White Album has 5 (3 + 2), Abbey Road 4, and Let It Be 3.
Maybe Apple Records could simply release a companion album for 1…called 2. The playlist would be something like this:
- I Saw Her Standing There
- All My Loving
- Twist And Shout
- And I Love Her
- If I Fell
- Things We Said Today
- I’ll Follow The Sun
- You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
- Norwegian Wood
- Nowhere Man
- In My Life
- Good Day Sunshine
- For No One
- Here, There, And Everywhere
- Strawberry Fields Forever
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
- With A Little Help From My Friends
- Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
- She’s Leaving Home
- A Day In The Life
- Magical Mystery Tour
- The Fool On The Hill
- Back In The U.S.S.R.
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps
- Here Comes The Sun
It’s more likely people would buy a single album to add as a supplement to 1…so 2 could be an option for Apple Records, and great for new fans. Twenty-one of these songs were not singles. Do you know all 28 songs anyway?
Why is it important for future fans to get to know more than The Beatles’ number one hits? This 2 list has John Lennon’s three most critically praised songs…”A Day In The Life”, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, and “In My Life”, plus one of his best rockers “Revolution”. It has some of Paul McCartney’s best love songs, including…”And I Love Her”, “Michelle”, and “Here, There, And Everywhere”, his innovative rocker “Sgt. Pepper”, and his beloved “Blackbird”. George Harrison only had “Something” on 1, so this list would add two more of his very best songs…”While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Here Comes The Sun”. For Ringo Starr, it’s simply his best-ever performance…”With A Little Help From My Friends”. And, the list has many more excellent songs that deserve to be heard by future generations.
Although album sales are disappearing, an album like this would be a good guide for future listeners. They’d be likely to stream these songs if they were in a single album. It might be hard to convince them to listen to all The Beatles’ albums, but 1 + 2 would go a long way in conveying the musical importance and uniqueness of The Beatles.