Well…it had to be done didn’t it? You didn’t seriously think that I’d make it to the last Legend Slot post of 2020 without featuring The Beatles did you? What kind of Scouser would I be if I didn’t! This is the twelfth post in my ongoing music blog series The Legend Slot. For each post in the series I listen to ALL of the studio albums of a specific legendary musician or band. Then I put together a playlist of what I think are their best songs, along with some information about the artist and an insight into my favourite tracks, as well as new discoveries that I found through my listening. If you’re new to the series then you can head on back to artist number 1 here and work your way through. And if you’re all up to date then let’s get started…
The Beatles: A Brief History
Formed in Liverpool, UK in 1960, The Beatles were an English rock band made up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Bringing together rock and roll with elements of classical music and pop, The Beatles were (and still very much are) considered as a band who revolutionised the music industry. Originally consisting of a line up of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, The Beatles had a series of different drummers, including Pete Best, before having Starr join them in 1962.
‘Beatles For Sale’ (1964) – The Beatles.
Throughout their career, the band received a record number of number-one albums on the UK album charts as well as gaining the most number-one hits on the Billboard 100. In 1988, the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and between 1994 and 2015 each of the four were individually inducted as well. They were even awarded Grammys, Brit Awards, and an Academy Award (for the film Let It Be). To this day they are the best-selling music act of all time.
Despite their huge success, the band broke up in 1970 after a series of events and arguments that led up to the moment. All four members then went on to release solo albums that year. They all continued to have success as soloists in the years to follow. Sadly, in 1980, John Lennon was shot dead outside his apartment in New York City. In 2001, George Harrison died of lung cancer. Both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr continue to be active in the music industry.
If you want to learn a little bit more about The Beatles you can check out their full Wiki page here.
The Legend Slot: The Beatles
What I’m always both surprised and impressed by is just how influential The Beatles were in such a short amount of time. With their first album coming out in 1963 and their break-up happening in 1970, they actually only had a 7 year career as a group. When you think of how much they achieved within that short time and how iconic their music is to this day, it’s a pretty incredible thing isn’t it. Anyway, 13 UK studio albums later I’ve picked out 58 of my favourite tracks of theirs.
A Few Of My Favourites…
Okay so I say it was 13 UK studio albums but I actually also listened to one of their compilation albums, which was 1 (2000). The reason I ended up listening to that one as well was simply because I couldn’t cope with not having Hey Jude on the playlist. And since it isn’t on any of their studio albums I had to go ahead and include 1 (2000) in my listening as well. Anyway, with that cleared up shall we get onto my favourites?
Something that I noticed when I was listening to The Beatles was that I’m all about their slower ballads. Like yeah sure Twist and Shout, Can’t Buy Me Love and She Loves You are all absolute tunes. But Something, Yesterday and Blackbird? *chefs kiss*. The Beatles ballads are by far my favourites. Here Comes The Sun from Abbey Road (1969) is another long time favourite song of mine. I think I’ve featured that track on every Summer/Road Trip/Good Vibes playlist for the last I-don’t-even-know how many years. It’s just too good.
‘Revolver’ (1966) – The Beatles.
In terms of new discoveries that made it onto this playlist, I have to say there weren’t that many. Turns out I actually knew way more of The Beatles’ songs than I realised. So there are only 7 songs in the playlist that were new to me. I won’t go through all 7, but I will say that my favourite of the new tracks was Do You Want To Know A Secret from Please Please Me (1963). I also had a great time discovering Taxman from Revolver (1966). I’d never heard the song before but the bassline for it was SO familiar to me. I did a quick search and ended up finding out that The Jam sampled it in their song Start! which must’ve been where I knew it from. Pretty cool.
As well as the complete new discoveries, there were a few tracks that I didn’t know the name of but knew the tune. I found myself say ‘ohhh! so THAT’S what it’s called!’ so many times while I was listening to their albums. And I’m glad to be coming out of a month of listening with the new-found knowledge. A couple of the tracks that I rediscovered were What You’re Doing from Beatles For Sale (1964), Here, There And Everywhere from Revolver (1966), and Two Of Us and Across The Universe both from Let It Be (1970). Another fun discovery for me was learning that The Beatles wrote Getting Better from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). In my head that was a Smash Mouth original, specifically for the film The Cat In The Hat. Oh how I was wrong haha!
‘Abbey Road’ (1969) – The Beatles.
New Discoveries: A Little Extra
Also for any of you The Simpsons fans out there…I very much enjoyed discovering which of The Beatles’ songs it was that inspired the Barney Gumble ‘number 8, *BURP*’ moment in the series. Revolution 9 from The Beatles “The White Album” (1968) for anyone wondering. I was not so thrilled to have to sit and listen to 8 minutes and 22 seconds of the track though. Don’t get me wrong I love a good experimental tune but there’s only so much time I can spend listening to ‘number nine, number nine, number nine’ on repeat…and 8 minutes and 22 seconds is most definitely my limit.
So that’s number 12! I can’t believe I’ve been running this series for a whole year. Have you listened to The Beatles much before? What are your thoughts on their music? Let me know what some of your favourite tracks are by them in the comments. And don’t forget to comment who you’d like to see featured in a future post in The Legend Slot.
Read next: The Legend Slot: Elton John.
*Photography taken from Discogs.