The Beatles recorded more than 200 songs from 1962-70, and because of the huge volume of hits they had, some great songs have fallen between the cracks. Here is a list of 10 songs that are great, but we rarely hear them on the radio.
“And Your Bird Can Sing” – From the Revolver album, this one is an example of Bob Dylan’s writing influence on John Lennon during this period. Taken at face value, the lyrics are nonsense, but the purpose of the words is to provoke an image instead of presenting a narrative. In this respect, the song foreshadows “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
“Got To Get You Into My Life” – Also from the Revolver album, the song presents the urgency of love, but with a clever arrangement. A prominent horn section propels the song to the point it almost overwhelms the performance of the band. Additionally, Paul McCartney’s vocals are excellent. A hidden gem for 10 years, it was released in 1976 as a single as part of a Beatles’ compilation album, and it reached number seven on the Billboard pop chart.
“Across the Universe” – Though a lot of Phil Spector’s work on the Let It Be album has received sharp criticism over the years, he deserves credit for his work on this great song. The choral and orchestral arrangements he added elevated the song to match John Lennon’s memorable lyrics. Seek this song out.
“Hey Bulldog” – Released on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack, the song rocks in a no frills way. Some sources state this is the last song Lennon and McCartney jointly wrote. If so, it was a nice way to go out.
“Dear Prudence” – As the second song on The Beatles (known commonly as “The White Album”), the song acts as a lovely and gentle counterpoint to the rocking “Back in the U.S.S.R.” that opened the album. Allegedly written about actress Mia Farrow’s sister while the band was in India visiting the Maharishi, it is a genuinely sweet song about coaxing a shy woman out of her shell.
“I’m So Tired” – Also on “The White Album,” this song is an insomniac’s worst nightmare. Written by Lennon, it is a sequel of sorts to his “I’m Only Sleeping.” That song was about the joys of sleeping and appeared on Revolver. In this song, the lyrics delve into the terror of simply not being able to sleep. Clocking in at just over two minutes, the song is raw down to the bone.
“If I Needed Someone” – From Rubber Soul, this song is easily the best of George Harrison’s early songs. The words are pretty standard and revolve around the gentle rejection of a woman’s advances. However, the harmonies are great and the guitar work is reminiscent of The Byrds around this time. If nothing else, the song is a milestone in the growth of George’s songwriting.
“You Never Give Me Your Money” – Appearing on Abbey Road, the song kicks off the pop symphony that dominates the second half of that album. Using hindsight, the song appears to bemoan the financial problems the band was having with their company, Apple. The problems played a big role in splitting the band, but at least McCartney got a good song out of it.
“It’s All Too Much” – Another song from the Yellow Submarine soundtrack, it clocks in at longer than six minutes and is a crisp jam. Most notable for some searing Velvet Underground-style feedback, it gave the band a chance to stretch its legs. Written by Harrison, the lyrics are fine, but the band is what shines on this one.
“I Will” – Also from “The White Album” it is a sweet love song written by McCartney. Driven by acoustic guitars, it fits the tone of some of his other songs on that album like “Blackbird” and “Mother Nature’s Son.”