The ‘British Invasion’ significantly influenced the trajectory and literal functioning of those musicians plying their trade in the United States. Culturally speaking, the impact stretched beyond the realm of music — though musical arrangements were forever altered by these transcendent entities. The Beatles unequivocally set the standard within a framework of self-reflection, confidence, innovation, and sheer ability. Never have we seen one musical group embody “coolness” like The Beatles did.
27 of the quartet’s tracks were at one point or another ranked No. 1 within both the United Kingdom and the United States. While it’s nearly impossible to do — both based upon volume and quality — we’re attempting to rank these triumphs. In essence, it’s akin to numerically ordering one’s collection of near-priceless jewels. All of them are simply fantastic, each holding immense beauty and grace.
Alas, here’s our list ranking the 27 all-time No. 1 hits from the iconic band, The Beatles:
27. The Ballad of John and Yoko
“The Ballad of John and Yoko” finished No. 1 for three weeks in the U.K. during 1969. Though it may have garnered commercial success, it came at the expense of the band’s future. Yoko Ono’s emergence onto the scene complicated matters immensely — as Lennon insisted on her having an integral role from a creative standpoint. The group’s disbanding caused heartache for millions and millions of fans. Prior to the shift, this track came out. It chronicled the marriage between Lennon and Ono. The musical arrangement itself is rather good. The upbeat assortment of guitars helped to complement the introspective lyrical framework. This track ultimately became the last compilation between Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Image Source: Variety
26. Yellow Submarine
This was Ringo Starr’s pièce de résistance. Though Ringo’s ability on the drums was widely respected, he offered lead vocals for this track — something he rarely ever did. The song is a ‘cult classic’ of sorts. It was initially intended for children, and ultimately became the genesis for the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine. McCartney wrote the song specifically for Ringo — hence why the vocal range is truncated. It’s a sweet and simple ballad, though it does not possess the same sort of depth or meaning when compared to other tracks produced by the band.
If “Yellow Submarine” was Starr’s defining moment within the group, Harrison’s may have been “Something.” Though not known as an overly strong vocalist, Harrison’s voice reverberated with equal parts vulnerability and subtlety. The chorus is constructed with a deft touch — as was the triumphant guitar solo. While the track isn’t chock-full of energy, the presented simplicity offers much in the way of sophistication. Harrison’s essence as a tortured romantic brilliantly shines through — both vocally and lyrically.