Between the early bubblegum pop of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and the epic sentimental balladry of "Hey Jude," the Beatles were always about much more than just the songs you hear on the radio. Even the biggest band there ever was has a few high-quality little gems that the masses aren't aware of and the radio ignores. To somewhat counteract the tough but fair shellacking the Fab Four received from Pete Von Der Haar Tuesday
, and while we recuperate from Wednesday night's Beatles: Rock Band
smackdown at Coffee Groundz - stay tuned for some sure-to-be-embarrassing video - here are five of our favorite underrated Beatles songs.
"She Said, She Said":
Not only is this an absolutely perfect example of the killer rock riffs the Beatles were capable of dreaming up, it's also a kick in the balls of everyone who still thinks Ringo Starr was a bad drummer. He was at one point, yes. But his drumming on this piece is almost entirely made up of perfectly-timed fills, catapulting the melody along even through difficult time-signature changes. No one was doing that in rock music at the time! He had to invent it!
Best Cover Version: The Black Keys
"I'm Looking Through You":
A prime sample of the Beatles' earliest shifts out of their teen-pop roots into a more serious rock outfit, this simple, straightforward tune carries plenty of heft, both in its lyrics and its quickstep tempo changes. A more indicting song for the person in your life who's changed would be difficult to find.
Best Cover Version: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
"Tomorrow Never Knows":
With its backwards instruments, samples (of seagulls), and droning drumbeat that could have been cribbed by the Chemical Brothers (oh wait, it was
), this song was the average Beatles fan's introduction into serious psychedelia. One of the Beatles' more age-impervious tracks, the Fab Four invented shit on this song that still sounds new to this very day.
Best Cover Version: The Chameleons
"Let It Be" and "Hey Jude" have always been are the most iconic songs representing the Beatles' final days together, but to us, "The End" best represents the mixed emotions that went into their split. The song is wistful at times, then excited, then serene and relieved towards the end, when it leaves us with the message "And in the end, the love you take / Is equal to the love you make". A very fitting goodbye.
Best Cover Version:
We don't know of one, but the Beastie Boys sample it in "The Sounds of Science."
"It's All Too Much":
Razor-sharp distorted guitars, a blaring Hammond organ, and a monstrous wall of drums and percussion compete for the foreground in one of the Beatles' greatest songs, period. Written by George Harrison, the song was almost included on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
, but left off and stuck on the Yellow Submarine
soundtrack with five other Beatles tunes, most of which had already been released. It deserved better; listen to it a couple of times, and you'll come to realize you're not just listening to an underrated Beatles tune, you are listening to the birth of stadium rock
Best Cover Version:
None. Nobody has heard of this damn song. Please spread the word! We'd love to see somebody worthy pull it off.