Destination Jam: Our Top 5 Beatles songs pay tribute to the iconic band's signature hits through the years
Need something to keep you entertained while at work or play? Our daily Destination Jam playlist has been fine-tuned with some great Beatles selections
Hey there, music lovers. For today's Destination Jam playlist, we're taking a look at arguably the most iconic pop-rock band in music history, the Beatles. On August 26, 1968, 52 years ago, the Fab Four from Liverpool released one of their signature hits, 'Hey Jude'. The rousing song was No.1on both the weekly and year-ending charts internationally, and it has since been certified four-times platinum in the United States alone.
It was also nominated for three Grammys and went on to be one of those classic songs that firmly cemented Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in popular culture. Although the Beatles broke up in 1970 and John Lennon was tragically shot a decade later in 1980, their enduring spirit and amazing songs have continued to captivate listeners ever since.
Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman was denied parole for the 11th straight time on August 26, 2020, so that's another reason we decided to revisit the Beatles catalog and marvel at the sheer amount of classics they've amassed over the years. They actually managed to score an astounding 20 No.1 hits and 34 Top 10 hits on the Billboard charts, which is still a prodigious number by today's standards.
Even if you don't factor in the stellar solo efforts that the individual members produced after the band's breakup, the Beatles catalog is still valued at well over a billion dollars. So let's dive into some of these incredible songs and relive those golden days.
'I Want To Hold Your Hand'
This track was released as a single in November 1963, and is notable for being the first Beatles song to use four-track recording equipment. This classic would have gone straight to No. 1 in Britain, except for the fact that another Beatles song, 'She Loves You' was still reiging supreme on the charts. Two weeks later, 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' dislodged 'She Loves You' to become the latest British chart-topper, and it also went on to be the Beatles' first No. 1 hit in the United States in February 1964.
It stayed on top of the charts for a total of seven weeks, by which time Beatlemania had already swept the nation, sparking the very first British Invasion of the American music industry. 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' went on to sell more than 12 million copies worldwide, making it one of the Beatles' most successful numbers.
This evergreen track was first unveiled worldwide on the 'Help!' album in 1965, but was only released as a single in the United States in September that year. The melancholy ballad was essentially a stark breakup song starring Paul McCartney, but that didn't stop it from reaching No.1 on the Billboard charts in October 1965, where it stayed for the next four weeks.
McCartney had reportedly composed the entire melody in a dream he had one night while staying at his girlfriend Jane Asher's place, and he quickly completed it on the piano the next morning to avoid forgetting it. Even more interestingly, the song's working title was called 'Scrambled Eggs', as McCartney and Lennon had not yet penned the song's immortal lyrics. That means at one point of time, the placeholder lyrics actually started off with the hilarious lines — "Scrambled eggs / Oh my baby how I love your legs / Not as much as I love scrambled eggs."
'All You Need Is Love'
This is another vintage Beatles No.1 Billboard hit, which was first released as a single in July 1967. The song was originally broadcast to a global audience of over 400 million people in 25 countries via satellite on the 'Our World' television program. Since the Beatles were asked to provide a message that could be easily grasped by even non-English speakers, they went with the simple "All You Need Is Love" refrain.
The song's all-inclusive theme echoed the 1967 Summer of Love ethos, and made it an anthem for the Flower Power generation in the years that followed. Brian Epstein, the band's manager, later recalled that this performance was one of their finest moments, and stated, "It was an inspired song and they really wanted to give the world a message." It was later included on their subsequent 'Magical Mystery Tour' album in 1967 and their 'Yellow Submarine' animated film in 1968.
This beloved track remains one of the group's most defining No.1 hits, and was originally released as a single in August 1968. Besides being the first release from the Beatles' Apple record label, it was also the band's first song to be recorded with eight-track recording equipment. It went on to spend a record-equalling nine weeks atop the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was also the longest single to top the British charts at that time, running at over seven minutes in length.
As the famous story goes, Paul McCartney actually composed this song in order to encourage and comfort John Lennon's son Julian, after Lennon left his wife Cynthia for his subsequent partner, Yoko Ono. So the working title was actually 'Hey Jules', before it evolved into the familiar and empowering 'Hey Jude' song we all know and love today. McCartney continues to perform this song live in concert even today, inviting audiences to sing along for the famous "Na Na Na" portion at the end.
Let's wrap up this Beatles love fest with another gorgeous No.1 hit, 'Come Together', which was released as the opening track of their album 'Abbey Road' and also as a single in October 1969. The genesis of this famously abstract song came when the counterculture icon Timothy Leary asked John Lennon to write a political campaign song for him, since he was considering running against Ronald Reagan as governor of California.
However, this plan later got derailed when Leary was imprisoned for possession of marijuana. As Lennon recalled, the song didn't make sense, even to him. "It's gobbledygook... 'Come Together' was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn't come up with one. But I came up with this, 'Come Together', which would've been no good to him—you couldn't have a campaign song like that, right?" We're still pretty glad Lennon wrote it, since the song went on to stay on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for a total of 16 weeks.
Destination Jam is a daily list of songs that will keep you entertained and grooving up top in lieu of feeling drained and losing the plot. Look out for a fresh selection of great tunes from MEAWW to refresh your mood every day!