The 50 greatest Beatles songs
Though the band was only together for a little less than a decade, their catalog is arguably the most influential collection of popular music since the advent of rock ‘n’roll. They took their cues from Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Carl Perkins, Motown and, of course, Elvis Presley, and gifted us with some of the greatest songs ever recorded. With that in mind, let’s riffle through The Beatles songbook and single out their best work.

“In My Life”
It’s one of the band’s loveliest songs (heightened by a sped-up piano bridge that sounds like a harpsichord), and also one of the most disputed in terms of authorship. Lennon claims he wrote the melody, but McCartney recalls sitting down with his bandmate’s lyrics at a Mellotron and crafting the tune with inspiration from The Miracles. It certainly sounds more Lennon-ish (he sings it after all), but it has a sentimental quality that suggests there was at least some input from McCartney. That’s what makes it their best song. Regardless of who wrote the music, it sounds like a true, 50-50 collaboration. It’s Lennon-McCartney at the peak of their song craft.

Paul McCartney claims he rolled out of bed, and the entire melody spilled out of his subconscious onto a piano. What he didn’t have initially were the lyrics (the working title was “Scrambled Eggs”), but once those got sorted out he came away with a song for the ages, one that expanded the Beatles audience to adult radio and, via George Martin, brought a symphonic quality to their music. It is the most important song in their catalog and close to their very best.