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Come on baby, twist and shout – re-living Beatlemania

By River Reporter Oct 3, 2012

Fifty years since their first hit, we share our favourite five songs by The Beatles.  

Kim Richters

Fifty years ago, the The Beatles released their first single Love me do and made their mark on music history. The song shot to number 17 in the UK charts and worked its way up to number one in the US charts two years later. Today, Britain goes back in time to celebrate the amazing success the band has had.Description: <--break->” src=”file:///C:\Users\Kiran\AppData\Local\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.gif” width=”1″ height=”1″ v:shapes=”_x0000_i1025″></span></p>
<p style=Turn on the radio today and you will no doubt hear countless homages to the Fab Four, including programmes on all 39 BBC local radio stations that will commission their own My Beatles Story day. Listeners will re-tell their own memories about the four boys from Liverpool who had not only an enormous influence on music, but also a cultural impact that helped shape a generation.

To celebrate the milestone, we have listed our top five favourite Beatles’ songs to share with you in honour of John, Paul, George and Ringo. Don’t be shy – twist and shout along.


5. All you need is love

Such a classic: you cannot help but start swaying and singing along. So wonderfully romantic, the song released in 1967, just had to be one of our top five Beatles’ songs. In our fast paced society, it is well worth just sitting back and listening to John Lennon’s composition about how we can make each other happy, just by being in love. All you need is love is our number five – because love is all we need.


4. Help!

Help! was the title of The Beatles’ fifth album that was released in Britain, as well as the soundtrack from their film of the same name. The song is said to reflect the mounting pressures on the musical quartet swept to to stardom only one year earlier. Help! is number four on our list of the five best Beatles’ songs.


3. Strawberry Fields Forever

The early Beatles portrayed a squeaky clean image. Their songs were mostly fun and upbeat too. Besides driving young women crazy with their good-boy charms, they were everybody’s darlings.

Or were they? The song Strawberry Fields Forever, released together with Penny Lane in 1967, is supposedly about John Lennon’s memories of a Salvation Army children’s home close to his family’s house in Liverpool. However, the song’s psychedelic touch and the hazy dream world that the lyrics describe may be seen as a mixture of his reconstructed childhood as well as his drug-filled escapades.

We vote this song as number three on our list; The Beatles’ first psychedelic song that creeps under your skin.


2. Octopus’s Garden

This song was written by Ringo Starr for The Beatles’ album Abbey Road in 1969 – only one year before the band broke up. Tensions were already high. The album cover has made a zebra crossing a tourist attraction with its picture of  the four crossing Abbey Road. After having an argument with the other band members, Ringo Starr took time off and went with his family to Sardinia where he came up with the song. His message? If everything becomes too much for you to handle, all you need is – no, not love – a break. Octopus’s Garden is a well-deserved second place for a “little hideaway beneath the waves”.


1. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

With all the speculation that surrounds this song, it is no wonder that this was our favourite pick. Some say the song was inspired by John Lennon’s son’s classmate Lucy O’Donnell. Others say it was about the drug LSD and that is what the title stands for. Did John Lennon write the lyrics when he was tripping? Or is the song reality a romantic, if not quirky, declaration of love and Lucy a pseudonym for Yoko Ono?

Nobody knows, none of the rumours have ever been confirmed. At the peak of their success, The Beatles always vehemently rejected their connection to LSD or drugs in general. However, the older they became, the more openly they talked about breaking the law.

It is probably this speculation that leaves people fascinated with the song that was released in 1967 on their album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It is certainly the reason why this brilliant song is number one with everyone here at The River.

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