First listen?: Yes (As an album, of course I’ve heard most of these songs before)
Take a look through the track list of this album. What is there left to say about 1, the ultimate Beatles greatest hits collection, that hasn’t already been said before? I must admit, I’m not the biggest Beatles fan. There have been numerous times where I’ve said that and got myself into heated discussions where people have explicitly told me that I was wrong to not think they were the ‘all time greatest band ever’. I do understand the massive influence they had on music today. It’s hard to imagine just how different things would be without those few years of Beatlemania. I can also appreciate most of their songs, even if I don’t feel the same connection with them that so many people do. It’s obvious to see why 1 is on this list though; a chronological journey through every one of the band’s number 1 singles in the UK or US. There’s at least one song on this album that every reader will love, though it’s likely you love quite a few of these songs. Can’t Buy Me Love, Help!, All You Need Is Love, Hey Jude it’s a relentless stream of classic memorable songs. I was quite surprised to find a couple of songs I didn’t recognise in the middle of the tracklist, We Can Work It Out and Paperback Writer, not in my head for some reason or another. The most striking thing about listening to 1 in full is the stark changes in sound moving between albums. The development of sound from even the opening tracks to the middle portion of the collection is striking. You’d think it would have taken decades to develop a sound this much, but for The Beatles every track on 1 was released between 1964 and 1970. 6 years that went from She Loves You to Let It Be, it’s an impressive journey. It would be silly to call 1 anything else but essential, even if you aren’t much of a Beatles fan.
Will I listen again?: Maybe. These are great songs, but I probably don’t need to be listening to this album to hear them again.
Best Track: Elanor Rigby probably, I have no idea why, but it’s just always stuck out as one of my favourite Beatles songs.