Side 1, closely followed by Side 2.
Side 1 is more diverse...a lot of groundbreaking stuff on there. It sets the stage for the album: "alright, you can forget everything you ever knew about the Beatles. Hear that plane? Sit back and enjoy the ride." We start off with a Beach Boys-esque rocker ode to Russia, fly down to hear the best guitar plucking on a Beatles record to date, and a hint with the drumbeat, that this seemingly pure album is gonna much heavier than we were expecting. And if you start to doubt whether or not you're listening to an actual Beatles album, you get a reminder with "Glass Onion" with nods to previous songs. "Okay, I trust you." We finish off with five more songs that demonstrate new ground for the boys: an attempt at reggae; a minute of nonsensical-yet-catchy sounds; a singalong about an elephant hunt and a guest appearance by Yoko; and if you started to think that the album is going into the direction of complete silliness, you are given a sudden jolt to the system with Harrison's first masterpiece, and one of the most serious songs on the record. We close with a 2-minute 4-part medley about guns. Sheer brilliance.
Side 2 is more fun. it is juvenile, but in a very sophisticated way. I think it would be a safe bet that most listeners under the age of 7 would choose this side as their favourite, and that's not a bad thing. It brings out that innocent, youth we like to keep hidden away. But when we look deeper, the issues dealt with on this very seemily upbeat side of the album are quite serious: separation from your lover ("I'm So Tired"), rising against racism ("Blackbird"), social commentary ("Piggies"), fornication ("Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"), or a love song to a deceased mother ("Julia"). Side 2 comes as a Scorsese picture dressed in Teletubbies' clothing.
Side 3 is the angst side. Which we all need from time to time. This is the side you listen to when you're ticked off, and it helps. It goes through the same emotions of depression: it's all about me, even if it's not ("you say it's your birthday? well it's my birthday too."), self-loathing ("yes I'm lonely...wanna die"), the soft ode to loneliness where you feel like nobody sees you no matter how much you give to the world ("born a poor young country boy...I'm sitting singing songs for everyone"), the feeling that everybody is phony ("everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey"), the confrontation with your debtor ("what have you done? you've made a fool of everyone"), the revelation that your debtor isn't as great as he/she thinks ("I'm coming down fast but I'm miles above you"), and finally hitting that low where we long ("how could I ever have lost you when I love you?")
Side 4 is the slow-down. the resolving action. the "keep cool, my babies." time for bed. It's kind of like having the most entertaining person at the party, and all of the sudden, they show signs of tiredness, and everything is beginning to slow down, and you know he's gonna leave soon. It's bittersweet. His upbeat jumpy exciting screamy story you are familiar with is now a mellow, shooby-doo-wa story. He's starting to remind you of your grandpa. As you grab for some candy, he warns against sweets before bed. You start to sniffle, and he tells you not to cry. Crybabies need to go to bed soon. You start to drift off and you have a nightmare while you hear noises of the party around you. 8 minutes later you wake up, go to bed, and party animal sings you a lullaby. Sure, it wasn't the most exciting part of the evening, but it had to end somehow.