The Beatles


It almost feels wrong to mention the Beatles here. That as a musician (or otherwise), you’d need to explain the reasons why you were including them in your favourites. But to not include them would be the greater wrong. Where do you begin with the Beatles? I tried in my teens and twenties to write pop songs and failed utterly. These guys wrote hundreds of them. Like others in my faves list, they could create music that was at once accessible, hugely popular, unforgettable and yet still incredibly sophisticated. And do it time after time after time. A friend lent me his Beatle’s collection once and I sat down to listen to it one day, not having listened to any of their music directly since I was very young, and I was deeply moved. As each song started and I listened with adult ears and mind, I couldn’t believe the artistry they had and that EVERY damn song, one after the other was a massive hit and they just kept coming. And not the same style or formula either, there were all kinds of wonderful things. I kept imagining bands like the Stones sitting in a room together getting their first listen to a new Beatles album like the “White Album” or “Sgt Peppers” and looking at each other in disbelief. It would have been completely demoralising to hear those records because as musicians, you’d understand exactly what you were hearing and where you stood. I guess that’s what drugs and alcohol are for aren’t they. My kids hate a lot of the music I love but they love the Beatles. I have to say, much of their work seems timeless. I tried to pick a favourite song but can only narrow it down to a handful – “Let it be”, “Hey Jude”, “Something”, “Strawberry fields”, Penny Lane”, “All you need is love”, “While my guitar gently weeps”. I tend to shy away from liking the most obvious things but look at that, all huge hits.