Is there even such a thing as the best Beatles song of all time? As the spirited debate still raging in the comments section of yesterday’s post proves, there are dozens, at least, of defensible choices for that title. Whichever song you personally think is the Beatles’ best, chances are you’re right. Yet pick one we must, and the tune that EW‘s staff chose after many hours of listening, re-listening, and arguing over the remastered Beatles catalog was — no jokes this time — 1964’s “A Hard Day’s Night,” below.
Here’s how we explained our No. 1 pick in the Top 50 Beatles Songs list that you’ll find in the new issue of EW, on stands today: “Forty-five years after this single hit the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, it’s still nearly impossible to get any two people to agree on what chord that famous opening clang! actually is. But with one majestic, mysterious Rickenbacker distress call, the Beatles as we first met them on The Ed Sullivan Show four months earlier were gone. They’d grown up. The lads had become unwitting passengers on a manic locomotive they’d never be able to disembark from, and the song’s title hints at that weariness. It’s right there in the opening scene of the 1964 film that bears the same name, as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr are chased by a mob of screaming, ravenous fans. This isn’t just a pop song, it’s a cathartic cry for Help!”
Props to commenter Rachel, who made the same call as us: “I would have to say ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ may very well be their best song. From that opening chord all the way through it just screams Rock N Roll is here!”
Do you agree? Pick up the new EW to find out where other favorites like “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” and “Something” placed in our Top 50 rankings. Then let us know what you think of our list in the comments below.
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The Beatles: What’s their best song?
Beatles reissues sold out at Amazon: Are fans screwed?
Charlie Watts not quitting Rolling Stones