1. Please Please Me - The exclusion of this song was one of the major complaints about Beatles 1. It made #1 on just about every chart in England, except the official one. So technically, it's a UK #2, and it also made #3 in the US. It also appeared at #184 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
2. Twist and Shout - Sure, it's a cover, but I promise it's the only cover I included. But they made it their own. It made #2 on the US charts (and the EP of the same name also made #2 in the UK), and re-entered the top 40 in the '80s...the only Beatles song to do become a US top 40 hit on more than one occasion.
3. Do You Want to Know a Secret - Yes, yet another #2 hit for the boys. Sure, it might not be one of my faves, but I can't be biased here. Plus it still gets great airplay. Little known fact: Despite its popularity, "Do You Want to Know a Secret" has never appeared on a Beatles compilation. Perhaps it's about time.
4. I Saw Her Standing There - Even as a B-side in the US to "I Want to Hold Your Hand," this song still managed to make the top 20 on its own. It has become a classic, and is considered by this board to be the biggest snub from the Red Album. This made #139 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs list.
5. All My Loving - Easily the highlight of With the Beatles, this song wasn't released as a single, but managed to become a minor hit in the US due to import sales of a Canadian single! (My homeland, where "All My Loving" made #1, and is one of their biggest-selling singles). Despite its lack of single release, "All My Loving" manages to get massive airplay on American radio today.
6. And I Love Her - Became a top 20 hit in the US, and a classic from the Hard Day's Night album.
7. Nowhere Man - Who knew that the Beatles' first song NOT about love would end up making #3 on the US charts? The only song from the Rubber Soul album released as an American single, "Nowhere Man" has also become synonymous with its memorable use in the film Yellow Submarine.
8. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) - Another classic Rubber Soul cut, John's ballad about an affair managed to make the #83 spot on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs list.
9. In My Life - If you thought "Norwegian Wood"'s placing on Rolling Stone's list was impressive, "In My Life" made #23, one of only five Beatles songs to make the top 25 (and the highest-ranking song that didn't make #1). This song has become a huge fan favourite, and rightfully so.
10. Michelle - Can anyone name the only Beatles song to win the Grammy for Song of the Year? "Yesterday?" Nope. "Let It Be?" Nope. "Hey Jude?" "A Day in the Life?" "Strawberry Fields?" Nope, nope, nope. Paul's bilingual "Michelle" was, believe-it-or-not, their only Song of the Year winner. This song was never released as a single in the US or UK, but perhaps it should have been. It made #1 in at least 7 countries around the world (France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Denmark).
11. Got to Get You Into My Life - this catchy number from the 1966 Revolver album wasn't released as a single until ten years later, but that didn't stop it from making #7 on the US charts. Two years later, Earth, Wind & Fire's version of the song also made the top ten, peaking at #9.
12. Here, There and Everywhere - this fan favourite from Revolver in considered by McCartney to be one of his favourite songs he's ever written
13. Strawberry Fields Forever - Along with "Please Please Me," the lack of "Strawberry Fields" was a major complaint about Beatles 1. In the UK, it was a double A-side with "Penny Lane," but only made it to #2. In the US, "Penny Lane" was the A-side, and managed to make #1, while "Strawberry Fields Forever," the B-side, made it to #8. This song is one of the group's most critically acclaimed songs, and made #76 on Rolling Stone's 500 list.
14. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - the title track from what consider their best album, "Sgt. Pepper" has also become a concert staple for McCartney, and is a fine lead-in to our next song.
15. With a Little Help from My Friends - A classic in its own right, "With a Little Help" has also been covered by Joe Cocker, who gave it his own twist, and gave Lennon and McCartney yet another UK #1 hit. Rolling Stone also put the Beatles' version at #304 on its all-time greatest songs list.
16. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - This is an historical Beatles song, and an obvious highlight from the Sgt. Pepper album. The Beatles never released it as a single, but a cover by Elton John made it to #1.
17. A Day in the Life - considered the pinnacle of Sgt. Pepper, and one of the group's most critically acclaimed songs. Made #26 on Rolling Stone's all-time best list.
18. I Am the Walrus - Despite being a B-side that didn't crack the Top 40, "I Am the Walrus" has over time become one of their most popular songs among fans.
19. Revolution - Was going to be released as the A-side, but when McCartney introduced his ode to Lennon's son, John gladly settled for the B-side in favor of "Hey Jude." "Revolution" still managed to become a top 20 hit in the US, and continues to get significant airplay.
20. Back in the USSR - This became a UK top 20 hit when it was released as a single nearly ten years later, and is another concert staple for McCartney.
21. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da - Even if most of the Beatles hated this song, Macca wanted it to be released as a single. It wasn't, but it was included on the 1967-1970 compilation, and is fairly recognizable to casual listeners.
22. While My Guitar Gently Weeps - This was Harrison's first masterpiece song, and arguably the best song from the White Album. It made #135 of Rolling Stone's list.
23. Blackbird - This has become a very well known song to non-Beatles fans, perhaps due to its cover by Sarah McLachlan. Either way, it's a beautiful classic, and deserves inclusion.
24. Across the Universe - A fan favourite, this Lennon mantra is truly a classic. Perhaps a bit overlooked. I'm glad it was included on the 1967-1970 compilation album.
25. Here Comes the Sun - With "Something" already on Beatles 1, "Here Comes the Sun" completes Harrison's "holy trinity" of Beatles songs. This is a classic, a highlight from Abbey Road, and has managed to get great radio airplay despite no single release. A cover by Richie Havens in the '70s made the top 20. Perhaps the boys would have had a top ten if this was released as a 45.
26. Golden Slumbers - One of their most overlooked songs, "Golden Slumbers" begins the finale of their last recorded album in this three part medley
27. Carry That Weight
28. The End - I figured it would be a fitting finish to the CD (thus the reason why I ordered this chronologically by recording date, putting "Across the Universe" at #24 rather than following "The End")
I really wanted to include "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love," as they were both top ten hits, but these songs have not stood the test of time, and aren't generally considered "real" Beatles songs. Other songs I would have loved to include, but had to drop, due to space: "Don't Let Me Down," "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," "If I Fell," "I Should Have Known Better," "Octopus's Garden," "Magical Mystery Tour," "The Fool on the Hill," "Drive My Car," "Helter Skelter," "Rain," "Tomorrow Never Knows," "She's a Woman," "Happiness Is a Warm Gun," and "Dear Prudence," just to name a few.