IT WAS 50 years ago this month that Paul McCartney finally decided on some proper lyrics for that “scrambled eggs” song he’d been kicking around. Having dreamed up the tune many months beforehand, it was during a quiet moment on the set of Help! in May 1965 that the Beatle finally settled on the words for Yesterday, and he recorded the song the following month.
“What’s better, Yes It Is or I’m Down?”
But where does this most covered of songs rank in The Beatles’ canon? Indeed, how do you start comparing all the band’s wonderful creations? What’s better, Yes It Is or I’m Down? Not only have the Fab Four become the gold standard of pop music – even more definitive and treasured as the years have passed – but they've left their mark on pretty much every song and album released by any popular musician since.
To essay this Herculean task, MOJO marshalled some of the world’s leading musicians – Brian Wilson, Johnny Marr, Elvis Costello, Lemmy, Donovan, Flaming Lips, Blur, Paul Weller, Arcade Fire, Butthole Surfers, U2 and more – to volunteer their favourites, and our definitive list of the 101 Greatest Beatles Songs is now online.
Rock’n’roll bangers, timeless anthems, innovative experiments and peerless ballads are all included, as is that little ditty Macca finished writing half a century ago... Find out who picked what, listen to our selections and marvel all over again at the Beatles' genius.