Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What do you Think are the Beatles Best US Singles?

The Beatles Best US Singles (On Both Sides) by Johnny Moon

The Beatles released a number of singles where both sides of the record (the "A Side" & the "B Side") were excellent songs. The following are the best of those singles released in the United States. The release date and the peak chart ranking for each song is included.

December 26, 1963: "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (#1) / "I Saw Her Standing There" (#14)

This single launched Beatlemania in the US and for good reason. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is one of the early Beatles most famous songs (right there with "She Loves You") and "I Saw Her Standing There" is considered by quite a few Beatles fans to be the best song on their debut UK album, Please Please Me.

July 20, 1964: "And I Love Her" (#12) / "If I Fell" (#53)

While these songs didn't do particularly well on the charts (probably mostly it was competing for attention with the many other Beatles singles being released at that time) I do think it's a remarkable single as it showcases two of the very best early Beatles ballads, one by Paul McCartney ("And I Love Her") and one by John Lennon ("If I Fell.")

November 23, 1964: "I Feel Fine" (#1) / "She's A Woman" (#4)

"I Feel Fine" was already a big step forward for The Beatles musically from what they were releasing less than a year earlier (which is an amazing bit of evidence for just how quickly the band was progressing as songwriters.) "She's A Woman" was more of a throwback (Paul McCartney doing his best Little Richard impression) but a very good one. How many B-sides chart at #4?

December 6, 1965: "We Can Work It Out" (#1) / "Day Tripper" (#5)

This was one of the more obvious singles to include. Two excellent songs that really both should have been #1. It's amazing to me that "Day Tripper" only reached #5 on the charts. Amazingly these two songs were not included on any Beatles album (of course they were included on compilations but not an actual album.)

May 30, 1966: "Paperback Writer (#1) / "Rain" #23

Another exceedingly easy choice. This single was huge as it showcased another big step forward for the band musically. This gave a hint of things to come on their upcoming album, Revolver. Again neither of these songs were ever included on a Beatles album. It's amazing how many great songs The Beatles released only as singles.

February 13, 1967: "Penny Lane" (#1) / "Strawberry Fields Forever" (#8)

These amazing songs were the first indication of the direction The Beatles were going prior to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band being released. Neither of these songs ended up being included on the album, although they were later included on Magical Mystery Tour.

November 27, 1967: "Hello, Goodbye" (#1) / "I Am the Walrus" (#56)

"I Am the Walrus" may have been too out there to be a radio hit but it's among The Beatles greatest recordings. "Hello, Goodbye" isn't really among The Beatles best hits but it is catchy and the ending is pretty great.

November 26, 1968: "Hey Jude" (#1) / "Revolution" (#12)

Now that's a Double-A side. It's only surprising to me that "Revolution" only charted at #12 but I guess when you are competing with another single by your band (the absolutely epic "Hey Jude" in this case) it's harder to do well.

October 6, 1969: "Come Together" (#1) / "Something" (#1)

This was the last single the band released before they broke up and it was the only single by The Beatles where both sides of the record hit #1. They were also the first two tracks of Abbey Road. These two songs were also actually the latest two songs The Beatles recorded that were on a single, although they would go on to release singles from Let It Be later, that album recorded before Abbey Road. So you could argue that they went out with a double #1 single.

The Beatles: "Strawberry Fields Forever" Watch the music video made for "Strawberry Fields Forever."

The Beatles: "Rain" Watch the music video made for "Rain."

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