The Beatles 1…Is Not Enough

It would be a shame if younger or future Beatles fans only knew The Beatles through their album of #1 singles…1.

(Photos can be enlarged with a click.)

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 4 (3 + 1).

Update October, 2023:  The Red & Blue albums have been expanded and remixed.  There’s also a better balance of tracks from their best albums.  There’s a full article on this site.

Maybe Apple Records could simply release a companion album for 1…called 2.  The playlist would be something like this:

  1. I Saw Her Standing There
  2. All My Loving
  3. Twist And Shout
  4. And I Love Her
  5. If I Fell
  6. Things We Said Today
  7. I’ll Follow The Sun
  8. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away
  9. Norwegian Wood
  10. Nowhere Man
  11. Michelle
  12. In My Life
  13. Good Day Sunshine
  14. For No One
  15. Here, There, And Everywhere
  16. Strawberry Fields Forever
  17. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  18. With A Little Help From My Friends
  19. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  20. When I’m Sixty-Four
  21. A Day In The Life
  22. The Fool On The Hill
  23. Revolution
  24. Back In The U.S.S.R.
  25. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  26. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  27. Blackbird
  28. 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.  Only 7 of these songs were singles.  Do you know all or most of these 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 vocal performance…”With A Little Help From My Friends”.  And, the list has many more excellent songs that deserve to be heard by future generations.

Note:  The newly expanded Red & Blue albums have all of the songs in the above paragraph, and 24 of the 28 songs on the 2 list.

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   would go a long way in conveying the musical importance and uniqueness of The Beatles.

5 Replies to “The Beatles 1…Is Not Enough”

  1. I was amazed to find out that I could sing a snipit of every one of the Beatles songs you listed! The earlier songs i must assume had a bit to do with having an older brother and three older sisters! I lived the rest of their hits by listening to them on my own.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane Bro….

  2. Where is “Got To Get You Into My Life”? Ha! And many others that belong on “2”. Or “3”. Or…

    Editor: Yes, The Beatles have a lot of songs that are deserving.

  3. OK, here is my understanding! The Beatles sold 1.4 Billion Units around the world. Elvis Presley sold 1 Billion Units around the world.
    Where do The Rolling Stones fit in?

    Editor: Sales figures vary wildly, but it looks like the Stones have sold about 240-million records.

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