The Beatles parted ways way back in 1969, but the band never for a second left the pop-culture conversation, their legacy cemented by a catalogue of timeless hits and a neverending debate about which are the best Beatles songs. The Fab Four altered the very DNA of pop music. They introduced the mainstream to cheeky Britishisms, shaggy hair and psychedelia. They went from boy band to experimental musicians, fads to film stars. Now – 60 years past the British Invasion – Beatlemania is once again percolating thanks to Peter Jackson’s buzzy six-part Disney+ documentary, Get Back.
John, Paul, George and Ringo penned some of the greatest songs in modern music during their eight years together, but let’s be honest – not all Beatles tunes are equal. There are genuine masterpieces in their discography. There are also many, many songs about dessert foods, sea creatures and whatever popped into Paul’s brain during his afternoon doobie. Still, even the most basic Beatles number is worth a listen.
Which makes ranking the 50 best Beatles songs particularly difficult. In polling the biggest Beatlemaniacs on our roster, we discovered, unsurprisingly, love for every era of Beatledom, from the gruffer Hamburg days to the Ravi Shankar era. As such, you’ll definitely find some favourites missing here (no songs about the sun made the cut, and poor Ringo got left out entirely). But you’ll also find the best of the world’s most influential band. Your preferences may vary, but these are undeniably the work of legends at the top of their game.
Written by Tom Huddleston, James Manning, Tristan Parker, Amy Smith, Nick Levine, Matt Breen, Chris Waywell and Andy Kryza