The story of The Beatles is truly epic. Not only did they create some of the most popular music in the history of rock 'n' roll, but when Rolling Stone magazine compiled its 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, The Beatles beat out everyone else with a whopping 23 songs on the list.
For a week in 1964, John, Paul, George, and Ringo had 12 songs on Billboard's Hot 100, including the number one, two, three, four, and five songs. Nobody before or since has accomplished that feat. The following list is a sampling of the Fab Four's music arsenal with 10 of their biggest hits.
John would later claim that he penned the lyrics to "Help!" after dealing with the pressures of being part of a group that was, as he so notoriously put it, "bigger than Jesus." He said that he wished the song could've been recorded at a slower tempo, but fans liked it just fine, making it another chart-topper for the band.
The meaning behind this song is unclear -- it could be about a prostitute, John getting his driver's license, or a girl walking out the door. Whatever the subject, it's a catchy tune that reached number one in both the U.K. and the U.S.
The title of this song was again based on a Ringo-ism; the drummer claimed that he had worked so hard, he had added another day to the week. Even though the song reached number one in the States, it wasn't a band favorite, and they seldom performed it live.
This song came out of some downtime between John and Ringo, who were playing with a riff John had come up with while working on "Eight Days a Week." "I Feel Fine" eventually went to number one in every major market. The song featured reverb -- Jimi Hendrix and The Who were using feedback in their concerts at the time, but The Beatles were the first to commit the sound to vinyl.
This malapropism was uttered by Ringo, who often got American words and phrases mixed up. He was stating that the band had had a hard day, but then realized it was already evening. "A Hard Day's Night" became another number one for the band and served as the title for their documentary released the same year.
Pressure to create another huge hit after "I Want to Hold Your Hand" didn't phase The Beatles. This tune is one of the first songs ever to start with the chorus. The formula worked like a charm, creating another U.K. and U.S. number one.
If you've ever rocked out to The Beatles' version of this Isley Brothers tune, you know that John's vocals are scratchy, growly, and decidedly different from other songs by the group.
During the recording session for their album Please, Please Me, John started to lose his voice. Producer Brian Epstein saved the recording for "Twist and Shout" until the very end. By then, John's voice was nearly shot and sounded strained -- in fact, he shouted most of the song.
The classic tune was recorded in one take not just because that was all John had left, but because it was pretty much perfect from the start.
The first number one for The Beatles in the U.K., this song didn't make much of a splash in the States, reaching only number 41 upon its second release in 1964. However, across the pond it would mark the first of 11 number-one singles, so they didn't have time to sulk about this tune, written by John and Paul while on a tour bus.
When this peppy song made its debut in America in September 1963, it didn't get much attention. But it was rereleased in January 1964 after the success of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and this time it spent 15 weeks on U.S. charts, hitting number one on March 21.
This song, which started the "British invasion," became The Beatles' first number-one tune in the States. It did pretty well elsewhere, too -- it was their all-time best-selling single worldwide.
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