Although The Beatles are considered one of the most successful and influential bands in music history, not all of their songs reached the top of the charts. While the band had 20 No. 1 hits in the United States and 17 in the United Kingdom, there were a handful of iconic Beatles tracks that fell short of that coveted top spot. Despite this, many of these songs went on to become classics and are still beloved by fans today.
“Yellow Submarine” is a highly infectious children’s song, despite not being the most sophisticated track by The Beatles. Ringo Starr’s voice is a perfect fit for this sea shanty. The song blurs the line between children’s music and the psychedelic imagery of the 1960s. According to The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, “Yellow Submarine” reached No. 2 on the US charts, just behind The Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love.” However, “Yellow Submarine” arguably had a greater impact on pop culture, inspiring one of the most beloved animated films of the 1960s.
The Beatles returned to the early roots of rock and roll with “Lady Madonna,” which became a big hit for them. The track features a perfect blend of early rock and R&B and pays tribute to the struggles of mothers. The song has a bouncy and catchy vibe that is unique compared to most of the band’s other songs. Despite its high quality, “Lady Madonna” only peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is worth noting that the song “Simon Zealotes” from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar bears a strong resemblance to “Lady Madonna.”
Strawberry Fields Forever
Despite not being a massive commercial success, reaching No. 8 in the US is quite an achievement for the highly experimental “Strawberry Fields Forever.” This track is still considered one of the most innovative pieces of music ever produced by a rock band, and its presence in the top 10 charts is a testament to The Beatles’ appeal. While the song’s unconventional rhythm makes it intriguing, it’s the deeply personal lyrics penned by John Lennon that give it a lasting impact.
Please Please Me
The Beatles’ bubblegum era is exemplified by “Please Please Me,” a simple love song with a catchy melody. Although it only reached No. 3 in the US, the track remains a significant part of The Beatles’ discography and played a crucial role in the development of the band’s later songwriting. The straightforward lyrics of “Please Please Me” laid the foundation for their more intricate and poetic lyrics in the future.
Twist and Shout
The musical repertoire of The Beatles included covers of many artists such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and The Teddy Bears. Among these covers, their most well-known one is undoubtedly “Twist and Shout” which was initially performed by The Top Notes and later recorded by The Isley Brothers.