January 10, 2009

Beatles survey results

Sorry for being overdue on this. I've compiled the results from the Beatles survey. I am going to lay out some stats in this email. If you have any questions about the results, just let me know. But if anybody wants to comment on the results, please follow this link to a defunct blog I once set up, where I will post this information and you can comment to your heart's content without clogging up anyone's email inbox:


The Beatles are not my favorite band, but I do think they wrote more great songs than any other musical act in the past 50 years. Lennon and McCartney - and George Harrison in his own right - were incredible, prolific songwriters who combined the romantic and cynical, and who evolved in lockstep with the 60's, and burned out in synchronicity with the 60's as well. I just can't get my head around how much incredible music they churned out in a 5-6 year span. The Beatles are also as ubiquitous as it gets, except maybe for Bob Marley. And my son, Archie (4) is currently obsessed with the Beatles, and I've enjoyed listening to CD's I'd kind of forgotten about and finding lots of new songs to get into. So I thought it would be fun to see which songs - and albums - were the most popular.

The results surprised me to some extent. For example, I was sure that Hey Jude or Yesterday would be the most popular song choice. Hope you enjoy seeing who picked what.

Number of respondents: 53

Number of different songs cited: 92 (!)

Most popular songs:

Here Comes the Sun 15
In My Life 11
Let It Be 10
Come Together 9
Eleanor Rigby 9
Hey Jude 8
Blackbird 8
A Day in the Life 8
While My Gutar Gently Weeps 8
Yesterday 7
I Am the Walrus 6
Norwegian Wood 6
With a Little Help From My Friends 6

I never expected Here Comes the Sun to be that popular....

Most frequently cited albums:

Abbey Road 45
White Album 38
Revolver 24
Sgt Pepper 23
Rubber Soul 22
Let It Be 21
Help! 21
Magical Mystery Tour 18

Abbey Road total doesn't even include several people who wanted to name the second side medley as one of their selections.
I think Rubber Soul and Help! are under-represented.
I think this distribution is further proof that Sgt. Pepper is the greatest Beatles album in reputation only.

Josh K's top 5:

I am the Walrus
Don’t Let Me Down
Got to Get You Into My Life
In My Life

My list changed constantly but the top 3 were consistent.

Josh K's next 5:

Glass Onion
Come Together
The Word
Across the Universe
Dear Prudence

Okay now I'm up to 11....it's rough.

In addition to the 92 songs nominated, here are another 33 super-worthy songs that didn't even make anybody's list:

A Hard Day’s Night
And I Love Her
Any Time At All
Fixing a Hole
Fool on the Hill
Getting Better
Glass Onion
Good Day Sunshine
Hello Goodbye
I Should Have Known Better
I’ll Be Back
I’m a Loser
If I Needed Someone
It Won’t Be Long
It’s All Too Much
Lady Madonna
Love You To
Magical Mystery Tour
Mother Nature’s Son
Ob La Di Ob La Da
P.S. I Love You
Rocky Raccoon
She Loves You
She’s Leaving Home
The Word
Think for Yourself
Twist and Shout
Yellow Submarine
Yer Blues
You Can’t Do That
You Won’t See Me

Finally, here are all the songs nominated and how many times they got named. No number means they were only mentioned once.

A Day in the Life 8
Across the Universe 2
All My Loving
All Together Now
All You Need Is Love 4
Baby You’re a Rich Man
Back in the USSR
Blackbird 8
Can’t Buy Me Love 2
Carry That Weight
Come Together 9
Cry Baby Cry
Dear Prudence 4
Don’t Let Me Down
Don’t Pass Me By
Drive My Car
Eight Days a Week 2
Eleanor Rigby 9
Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey
Get Back 2
Getting Better
Good Day Sunshine
Got to Get You Into My Life 4
Happiness Is a Warm Gun 3
Help! 2
Helter Skelter
Here Comes the Sun 15
Here There and Everywhere 4
Hey Bulldog
Hey Jude 8
I Am the Walrus 6
I Dig a Pony
I Feel Fine
I got a Feeling
I Saw Her Standing There
I Want to Hold Your Hand 2
I Want You
I Will
I’ll Cry Instead 2
I’m Looking Through You 2
I’m Only Sleeping
I’m So Tired 3
I’ve Just Seen a Face 6
If I Fell
In My Life 11
Let It Be 10
Love Me Do
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds 3
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
Norwegian Wood 6
Not a Second Time
Nowhere Man
Octopus’s Garden 2
Oh! Darling 2
Old Brown Shoe 3
Paperback Writer 2
Penny Lane 2
Please Please Me 2
Rain 2
Revolution 1 4
Rock and Roll Music
Savoy Truffle
Sexy Sadie
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 3
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)
She Came in Through the Bathroom Window 3
She Said She Said
She’s Leaving Home
Something 5
Strawberry Fields Forever 4
Taxman 3
Tell Me Why 3
The Ballad of John and Yoko 2
The End 3
The Long and Winding Road 4
Ticket to Ride
Tomorrow Never Knows 2
Two of Us 2
We Can Work It Out
When I Get Home
When I’m 64
While My Guitar Gently Weeps 8
With A Little Help Fom My Friends 6
Within You Without You
Yesterday 7
You Know My Name
You Never Give Me Your Money 2
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away 5
Your Mother Should Know 2

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