Revolution Redux: Beatles Mania is Back

beatle-mania-returns
“Here, There and Everywhere.”

That’s the title of one of The Beatles’ most poignant songs, but it’s also an apt description of September 2009. It might as well have been 1963, because the Fab Four invaded again and Beatles Mania could be found everywhere.

In addition to the long-awaited “The Beatles: Rock Band,” a music video game that allows you to be part of history’s biggest musical act, this month also saw the release of remastered versions of the band’s entire catalog. A new generation — perhaps whetted by last year’s Beatles nights on “American Idol” — to become acquainted with timeless songs. And the band set more records with sales from the albums as all of the albums congregated in the upper reaches of Billboard’s catalog charts. Apparently, we love Paul McCartney even when he’s 67. For my money, John is still the better singer and songwriter (his “Imagine” is the only song that could sit comfortably with the apex of Beatles songs), but there’s a certain musical alchemy here that’s much more than a sum of parts.

I love many artists of the ’60s, but there are some — say The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix — I listen to infrequently now. But The Beatles are regulars in the CD player and in my iTunes. I remember listening to them as a kid on a local radio station in California every Christmas, so I especially like to break out my favorite albums around the holidays. Whenever I make my first batch of Christmas cookies, the White Album is blasting on the stereo. Of course, “Savoy Truffle” fits the mood better than “Revolution 9.”

Speaking of great Beatles songs, Entertainment Weekly this month put out a sweeping list of the top 50 tracks from the band. I’m a list junkie, so I had to try my own hand at ranking some of my Beatles favorites. The magazine’s top pick? “A Hard Day’s Night.” It’s a good song, but not on my list. It says something about a band when you have such an expansive selection and yet it only begins to speak to the immense quality of its catalog.

TOP 50 BEATLES SONGS
1. In My Life
2. Here, There and Everywhere
3. Hey Jude
4. Revolution
5. Help!
6. Let It Be
7. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
8. Love Me Do
9. A Day in the Life
10. Girl
11. I Saw Her Standing There
12. Taxman
13. Tomorrow Never Knows
14. She Loves You
15. With a Little Help From My Friends
16. You’re Gonna Lose that Girl
17. Eleanor Rigby
18. Norwegian Wood
19. Nowhere Man
20. Across the Universe
21. Here Comes the Sun
22. Anna (Go To Him)
23. She Said She Said
24. You Won’t See Me
25. I’m Looking Through You
26. Strawberry Fields Forever
27. We Can Work It Out
28. Julia
29. Yesterday
30. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
31. I’m Only Sleeping
32. If I Fell
33. Rain
34. Something
35. Blackbird
36. Happiness is a Warm Gun
37. Eight Days a Week
38. Lovely Rita
39. Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da
40. Dear Prudence
41. The Ballad of John and Yoko
42. Ticket to Ride
43. Run For Your Life
44. For No One
45. I’ve Just Seen a Face
46. Doctor Robert
47. i Want to Tell You
48. Drive My Car
49. What Goes On
50. P.S. I Love You

ALBUMS
1. Rubber Soul
2. Revolver
3. The White Album
4. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
5. Help!

Colin Powers is a Madison, Wisconsin-based editor and graphic designer. He was more than a dozen years of newspaper experience, including a stint as Life and Arts Editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer before its demise in March.

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