The 10 Heaviest Beatles Songs (2023)

The Beatlesnever met a genre they didn't make their own,incorporating everything from raga to chamber pop to vaudeville during their revolutionary career. Still, when most people think of the Fab Four's vast catalog,"heavy" is probably not the firstdescriptor that comes to mind — but don't think for a second thatrock'sgreatest shapeshifters couldn't bring the heat.

From their early daysas Liverpool's premier club band to theirgodlike status in the late '60s, the Beatles delighted in destroying and rewriting the pop music playbook at their whim. They worshipped at the altars of Little Richard and Chuck Berryas kids andcouldwhip audiences into a frenzy with their breathless rock 'n' roll freak-outs. But they quickly tired of the genre's early limitations and soon began exploring uncharted sonic territory, drawing inspiration from the unlikeliest of sources and finding radical new ways to use the technology at their disposal.Everything they touched turned to gold;theirinnocent discoveries became the new state of the art.

Thesegroundbreaking achievements resulted in songs that were heavy in both the conventional, distorted-guitars-and-loud-drums sense as well as a more cerebral sense.Songs that make you want to kick through a wall, and songs thatforce youto sit down and cradle your head in your hands as you try to make sense of what you're hearing. Both sides are on display in our below list of the 10 Heaviest Beatles Songs.

(Video) Are These THE BEATLES' HEAVIEST Moments?

10. "Birthday"

The Beatles, especially Paul McCartney,get back to basics on thisbluesy rocker, which they wrote on the spot and banged out in the studio in a single day. Spontaneity and childlike glee pervade "Birthday," fromits explosive opening drum fill to its crackling riffs to itspeppy handclaps and backing vocals, courtesy of Pattie Harrison and Yoko Ono. McCartney channels his early rock 'n' roll heroes Little Richard and Eddie Cochran on hisscorching lead vocal, elevating an otherwise solid-but-unspectacularsonginto one of the Beatles' heaviest and most exciting rockers.

9. "I'm Down"

McCartney has always worn his Little Richard influence on his sleeve, nowhere more loudly or proudly than "I'm Down,"originally released as a B-side to the "Help!" single. "I could do Little Richard's voice, which is a wild, hoarse, screaming thing; it's like an out-of-body experience," McCartney said inBarry Miles' bookMany Years From Now. "You have to leave your current sensibilities and go about a foot above your head to sing it. You have to actually go outside yourself. It’s a funny little trick and when you find it, it's very interesting." The frenzied rocker made for a perfect live song, and during their encore performance of it at Shea Stadium, John Lennon ratcheted up the intensity (and absurdity)by pounding his Vox Continental organ — occasionally with his elbow — in his best Jerry Lee Lewis impression.

8. "Ticket to Ride"

(Video) 8 of the Heaviest Beatles Songs EVER Written

Unfathomable though it may seem today, themusic press deemed "Ticket to Ride" a radical and downright uncommercial sonic departure upon its release in April 1965. While the song's chart-topping success swiftly disproved the latter, the former remains indisputable.The first Beatles song to exceed three minutes,"Ticket to Ride"'sshimmeringguitar arpeggios, downbeat lyrics and lurching drum beat were unlike anything in the band's oeuvre or contemporary pop music, leading Lennon tocall it "one of the earliest heavy-metal records made" in a 1980Playboy interview. "Ticket to Ride" is acrucialinflection point in the Beatles' career, foreshadowingtheir imminent psychedelic period.

7. "Paperback Writer"

"Paperback Writer"is both a masterclass in economic storytelling and aremarkable studio achievement. A direct descendent of "Day Tripper," it sports a fuzzy, distorted lead guitar riff and was born out of McCartney's attempt to write atune basedon a single chord. McCartneygives the track some extramuscle byswapping his usual Hofner bass for a Rickenbacker andusing a speaker as a microphone, much to the chagrin of the EMI engineers who had to adhere to strict rules about the equipment used in the studio. As always with the Beatles, the ends justify the means.

6. "Tomorrow Never Knows"

If LSD had a marketing campaign, "Tomorrow Never Knows" would be its jingle.Lennon lifts directly fromTimothy Leary, Ralph Metzner and Richard Alpert's The Psychedelic Experiencein his exhortations to "turn off your mind, relax and float downstream" and "surrender to the void," almost singlehandedlythrusting the psychedelic drug subculture into the mainstream. Sonically,the song is nothing short of revelatory, with its thundering, detuned drums (notablysimilar to "Ticket to Ride"), fluttering tape loops, McCartney's reversed guitar solo and Lennon's reverberant, otherworldly vocals, which were achieved by running his voice through a torn-apart Leslie speaker. Musically, lyrically, technologically, culturally — thebest way to describe "Tomorrow Never Knows" isheavy.

(Video) The Beatles Top 10 Heavy Rock Songs

5. "Hey Bulldog"

For any other band, "Hey Bulldog" would be a career-defining masterpiece; for the Beatles, it was a time-filler. The band wrote and recorded the barnstorming rocker on the fly while filming a promotional video for "Lady Madonna," and its jaunty guitar and piano riffs recall the bluesy chart-topper as well as early R&B numbers like "Money (That's What I Want)." McCartney and Lennon's ad-libbed barks and shouts elevatethe song's ramshackle energy, and theice-pickguitar solo is one of the most aggressive in the band's catalog.

4. "Yer Blues"

There's nothing heavier than heartache, as Lennon proves on thisscaldingblues shuffle, which he likely wrote about Ono while he was inRishikesh, India, "trying to reach God and feeling suicidal." With its pitch-black lyrics ("Black cloud crossed my mind / Blue mist round my soul / Feel so suicidal / Even hate my rock and roll"), ragged vocals and sawtooth guitars, "Yer Blues" lampoons the late-'60s British blues boom popularized by the likes of Fleetwood Mac andJohn Mayall's Bluesbreakers while also one-uppingthem. Recorded live to tape in a small room next to Abbey Road's Studio 2, the song shows the Beatles at their most gloriously raw, with Lennon shouting the third verse into a dead microphone and featuring a hard splice of two takes at the 3:17 mark. The unadorned ferocity of "Yer Blues" also presages the feral anguish of Lennon's solo tracks like "Cold Turkey" and "IFound Out."

3. "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"

(Video) The Beatles Greatest Hits Full Album - Best Songs Of The Beatles Playlist 2021

Lennon once again plumbs the depths of his obsession with Ono on the darkly psychedelic, proto-doom dirge "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." Anchoredby a descending chord progression and a single lyrical phrase repeated ad infinitum, the song derives its primal intensity from its blistering repetition. (Don't mistake this repetition for simplicity: "I Want You" is a composite of three takes culled from 35 recorded in a single day, with mountains of overdubbed guitars stacked atop McCartney's nimble, chaotic bass lines.) "'She's So Heavy' was about Yoko," Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970, responding to criticism of the song's lyrics. "When you’re drowning, you don't say, 'I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me.' You just scream."

2. "Revolution"

After years of being instructed by managerBrian Epstein to bite their tongue about the Vietnam War, the Beatles finallyclarified their stance on "Revolution." Those years of pent-up aggression are palpableon the electric version of the song, released as the B-side to "Hey Jude" shortly before its bluesy, acousticincarnation appeared on the White Album.Lennon's calls for nonviolent revolution (whichwere ironically criticized by the members of the radical New Left who had previously embraced the band)are practically negligible;"Revolution" connects on a primal level because of its hyper-distorted, dueling guitars and Lennon's unhinged screams. While the lyrics to "Revolution" continue to inspire debate, its blistering musical catharsis is inarguable.

1. "Helter Skelter"

Really, what could be left to say about "Helter Skelter"? Thevolcanic riffs. The larynx-shredding screams. Thegrisly Charles Manson association. The blisters on the fingers!All due respect to "Ticket to Ride" and Lennon's estimation of it, "Helter Skelter" is heavy metal's ground zero, surely the most bone-crunching songreleased by a popular rock band up to that point, predating Led Zeppelin's self-titled debut by almost two months and Black Sabbath's bymore than a year. It's been covered by everyone from Motley Crue to U2 to Pat Benatar,none of whom have matched the sheer, unadulterated brutality of the original. Even McCartney, the ever-humble Beatle, looked back fondly on "Helter Skelter"with typical Liverpudlian modestyinThe Beatles Anthology:"That was really all I wanted to do – to make a very loud, raunchy rock 'n' roll record with the Beatles. And I think it's a pretty good one."


Beatles Albums Ranked

From the cheery 'Please Please Me' to the kinda dreary 'Let It Be,' we rank all of the group's studio LPs.


The 10 Heaviest Beatles Songs? ›

'Run For Your Life' – Rubber Soul

Perhaps the creepiest of all of the Beatles' lyrics appear in John Lennon's lyrics in 'Run For Your Life'. The track was released at the end of Rubber Soul's second side as if tentatively added to the roster.

What is the darkest Beatle song? ›

'Run For Your Life' – Rubber Soul

Perhaps the creepiest of all of the Beatles' lyrics appear in John Lennon's lyrics in 'Run For Your Life'. The track was released at the end of Rubber Soul's second side as if tentatively added to the roster.

What was the most aggressive Beatles song? ›

Helter Skelter” was released in 1968 on the second disc of The Beatles' White Album. More than 50 years later, the song has retained its aura of malevolence. Its infamy stems from its association with the cult leader Charles Manson, who claimed to hear prophetic messages in the lyrics.

Which Beatles song did John Lennon refer to as heavy? ›

The track that Lennon was referring to was 'Ticket To Ride', a number which sounds incredibly tame in comparison to what is expected from heavy metal music today. However, the genre didn't even exist in 1965 and there is a slight glimmer of truth to the Beatle's claim, especially when you break the song down.

What song made The Beatles big? ›

At Number 1 on The Beatles' Official Top 50 is, of course, She Loves You. Released in 1963, the track - written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney - logged six non-consecutive weeks at Number 1 is the best selling single of the 1960s in the UK.

What is the Beatles least favorite song? ›

Lennon noted at the time: “I never liked 'Run For Your Life' because it was a song I just knocked off,” he revealed. The track takes a line from Elvis Presley's song 'Baby Let's Play House': “I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man”.

Who is the most forgotten Beatle? ›

Pete Best - the forgotten Beatle

He played drums with The Beatles for two years before he was thrown out of the band, never to have contact with them again.

Which Beatle smoked the most? ›

Ringo Starr

According to a story that's been recounted in multiple books, and most recently, on air with Conan O'Brien, he not only took the first hit, but smoked the entire first joint to himself, not knowing proper puff-puff-pass etiquette at the time.

Are there any inappropriate Beatles songs? ›

The Beatles were young men having a great laugh inserting references in their songs about their many sexual and drug-related experiences.
  • 1 Please Please Me. ...
  • 2 I Am The Walrus. ...
  • 3 Happiness is a Warm Gun. ...
  • 4 Penny Lane. ...
  • 5 Why Don't We Do It In The Road. ...
  • 6 With A Little Help From My Friends. ...
  • 7 Don't Let Me Down. ...
  • 8 Polythene Pam.
Aug 2, 2021

What was The Beatles favorite song to play? ›

The Beatles' favourite Beatles songs:

In one interview with Rolling Stone's Jann Wenner, he named five tracks as his favourites of the bunch: “I always liked '[I Am The] Walrus', 'Strawberry Fields', 'Help!

What is the fastest Beatles song? ›

now the undisputably fastest songs are:
  • I Wanna Be Your Man.
  • Her Majesty.
  • Hey Bulldog.
  • Slow Down.
  • Can't Buy Me Love.
  • Don't Bother Me.
  • Long Tall Sally.
  • Back in the U.S.S.R.

What song did John Lennon compliment Paul McCartney? ›

'Here, There and Everywhere'

“[Here There and Everywhere] was a great one of his,” John once enthused. “That's Paul's song completely, I believe. And one of my favorite songs of the Beatles.” Paul recently noted that it may have been the only complimented Lennon ever paid him.

What did John Lennon call Paul McCartney? ›

Look Back at the 22 Biggest Boy Bands of All Time

In his 2021 book, Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, Paul noted how his bandmate “turned nasty” when the Beatles broke up. “John would say things like, 'It was rubbish. The Beatles were crap.

Did John Lennon have a favorite Beatles song? ›

John Lennon's 5 favourite Beatles songs:

'Strawberry Fields Forever' 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' 'I Am The Walrus' 'Girl'

Who is the heaviest band ever? ›

You don't need 7 strings, blast beats, and pure growling to be the heaviest band in the world. Pantera proved that with their sheer aggressive anger and pure power. Pantera is the heaviest band of all time!

What band has the heaviest riffs? ›

The full rundown awaits below.
  • Mastodon - Blood and Thunder. ...
  • The Beatles - I Want You (She's So Heavy) ...
  • Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss. ...
  • Pantera - A New Level. ...
  • Metallica - Sad But True. ...
  • Soundgarden - Outshined. ...
  • Alice in Chains - Them Bones. ...
  • Black Sabbath By Black Sabbath From Album Black Sabbath.
Jan 13, 2023

Which Beatles song was number 1 the longest? ›

"Hey Jude" was The Beatles' number one hit that spent the longest on the charts. "Hey Jude" reached No. 1 on September 28, 1968, and spent 19 weeks on the charts. The second-longest No.

What is the oldest Beatles song? ›

50 Years Ago Today: The Beatles Released Their Debut Single, 'Love Me Do' – Rolling Stone.

What is the Beatles signature song? ›

"She Loves You" is the song that thrust the Beatles full-scale into the British national spotlight.

Who is the least talented Beatle? ›

The Beatles — Ringo Starr

By the time the band quit playing live gigs and became an increasingly experimental and groundbreaking studio band, Ringo's songwriting skills just didn't match the abilities of his bandmates.

What was Lennon's favorite song? ›

1. “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” Buddy Holly (1956) Originally written and recorded by Chuck Berry—whose 1964 rock hit “No Particular Place to Go” also made Lennon's playlist—”Brown Eyed Handsome Man” was first released as a B-Side to “Too Much Monkey Business” and later on Berry's 1957 debut After School Session.

Who is the least liked Beatle? ›

In the ranking of least favorite band members, McCartney (21%) and Starr (18%) are a distant second and third to Lennon, while George Harrison is the least favorite of only 12%.

Who is the smartest Beatle? ›

In a 1987 interview, McCartney said that the other Beatles idolised Lennon: "He was like our own little Elvis ... We all looked up to John. He was older and he was very much the leader; he was the quickest wit and the smartest."

Who was the nicest Beatle? ›

In public during The Beatles years, Paul was probably the nicest of them to meet. George liked his privacy and John and Ringo were married with children.

Which Beatle killed someone? ›

Mark David Chapman (born May 10, 1955) is an American man who murdered former Beatles member John Lennon in New York City on December 8, 1980. As Lennon walked into the archway of his apartment building The Dakota, Chapman shot Lennon from a few yards away with a Charter Arms Undercover . 38 Special revolver.

Which Beatle cheated? ›

Yes. George was having an affair with Ringo's wife Maureen. Ringo and Pattie were understandably upset. It was one of the factors in Pattie's leaving George for Eric Clapton.

Which Beatle was the most Irish? ›

Maybe the most Irish of all the Beatles was George Harrison. His mother was an Irish Catholic and he often visited Ireland to see his family who lived on the Northside of Dublin.

Which Beatle played the most instruments? ›

Paul McCartney played bass guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, piano and keyboards, as well as over 40 other musical instruments.

What songs did the Beatles curse words? ›

The Beatles were clever regarding using profanities in their music and never opted to swear overtly in their songs. However, on 'Hey Jude', they managed to sneak in an f-bomb, which most listeners wouldn't even notice, nor radio commissioners or label executives.

Which Beatle could not read music? ›

Legendary musician Paul McCartney sat down with 60 Minutes correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi for an in-depth chat about his new album, Egypt Station, and he revealed something rather contradictory: he is unable to read or write music, and neither could any of his Beatles bandmates.

What songs were banned by the Beatles? ›

Of the four Beatles songs that have been banned over the years (including 'A Day in the Life' for references to suicide, 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' for implied drug use, 'Back in the USSR' as part of the bizarre Gulf War ban), the prohibition of 'I Am the Walrus' might be the weirdest.

What was pauls favorite beatle song? ›

At another stage, McCartney said that Revolver track “Here, There and Everywhere” was his top choice, but levelled that “Yesterday” would probably be his favourite Beatles song “if it wasn't so successful”. He also revealed there was one Beatles song he never played bass on as he'd had a fight with his band mates.

What were John Lennon's last words to Paul McCartney? ›

Although their intimate conversations remained private, Paul's wife Linda McCartney once revealed John Lennon's last words to his former band mate. As Ultimate Classic Rock reveal, they were: “Think about me every now and then, old friend.”

What is Paul McCartney's favorite Beatles? ›

Paul McCartney's favourite The Beatles album:

Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The singer revealed it was the concept that he feels was really engaging. He said: “I'd pick Sgt. Pepper's, meself, because I had a lot to do with it.”

What is the hardest Beatles guitar solo? ›

Blackbird is a song included in the Beatles' White Album. Solely written by Paul McCartney, this song features him accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. It is one of their most challenging acoustic guitar songs.

What are the hardest Beatles songs to sing? ›

The most technically challenging song by the Beatles has to be “Happinesses is a Warm Gun”. This song basically has five unique parts, stitched into one ingenious composition, penned by John Lennon.

What was Paul McCartney's biggest hit? ›

McCartney's biggest Hot 100 hit is Wings' “Silly Love Songs,” which ruled the weekly chart for five non-consecutive weeks in May, June and July of 1976. His second biggest hit is his chart-topping collaboration with Michael Jackson, “Say Say Say,” which spent six weeks at No. 1 in late 1983 and early 1984.

What Paul McCartney song did Ringo despised? ›

“The worst session ever was 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer',” the usually affable Ringo Starr told Rolling Stone. “It was the worst track we ever had to record.

Who was John Lennon's favorite singer? ›

Elvis Presley

“Before Elvis, there was nothing,” John Lennon once famously said of The King.

What was George Harrison's last words before he died? ›

Passing away at Sir Paul McCartney's American home, George Harrison had wife Olivia Harrison by his side until the end. According to those present, his final words were: “Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.”

Who was John Lennon's closest friend? ›

Elliot Mintz, friend

Mintz said he met Lennon in 1971 and became "fast friends". He considered him his best friend from 1971 until his death in 1980.

What did George Harrison say to Paul McCartney? ›

Harrison told McCartney in a fit of anger: "OK, well, I don't mind. I'll play - ya know - whatever you want me to play. Or I won't play at all if that's what you want. Whatever it is that'll please you, I'll do it!"

Which Beatle had the most hit songs? ›

Which Beatle had the most number-one singles in the Billboard Hot-100? Once again, McCartney leads the group with nine number-one charting singles. Perhaps surprising to some is that George Harrison ranks second in the most amount of number-one singles as a solo Beatle.

Who was more popular John Lennon or Paul McCartney? ›

An analysis of the median number of song counts shows some interesting facts: Paul was the most popular Beatle! His median stream count is almost double that of John's.

Does Paul McCartney have a favorite song? ›

Of his own songs, McCartney cited “Temporary Secretary,” from his 1980 album, McCartney II. He also gave a nod to “Calicoe Skies” from the 1997 offering, Flaming Pie, and “Spiral,” which he composed for the London Symphony Orchestra.

What is considered the first heavy metal song? ›

In 1968, the sound that would become known as heavy metal began to coalesce. That January, San Francisco band Blue Cheer released a cover of Eddie Cochran's classic "Summertime Blues" as a part of their debut album, Vincebus Eruptum, and many consider it to be the first true heavy metal recording.

Are The Beatles heavy metal? ›

Later into the Beatles' career, they became one of the heaviest bands to pre-date the metal genre. Though heavy metal and doom metal are both attributed to Black Sabbath, the Beatles wrote what could be considered the first proto-metal song with “Helter Skelter.” Those grooves don't lie.

What are the hardest Beatles songs to play on guitar? ›

  • "The Ballad of John and Yoko"
  • "Oh, Darling" (it's not clear if he played the lead guitar, the bass or the piano; the same goes for Paul and George)
  • "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" (multitracked lead and rhytm guitars, with George)
  • "You Never Give Me Your Money" (with George)
  • "The End" (with Paul and George)

Is Helter Skelter the first heavy metal song? ›

Arguably The Beatles' most visceral moment on record, 'Helter Skelter' grew from a bluesy jam into what's been cited as the world's first heavy metal song.

What is the most liked heavy metal song? ›

  • Led Zeppelin – Immigrant Song. ...
  • Black Sabbath – War Pigs. ...
  • Deep Purple – Highway Star. ...
  • Megadeth – Peace Sells. ...
  • Diamond Head – Am I Evil? ...
  • Quiet Riot – Cum On Feel the Noize. ...
  • Iron Maiden – The Trooper. ...
  • Metallica – Master of Puppets.
Feb 10, 2022

Who is the queen of heavy metal? ›

Dubbed the Queen of Heavy Metal, Doro Pesch became known for her time fronting Warlock, and her following solo career.

Who is considered the father of heavy metal? ›

So, there was a lot of heaviness going on around the beginning of the '70s and there's the argument that Sabbath certainly had taken music to new depths of heavy, but it's Judas Priest who formulated what became the more traditional heavy metal style.

Did The Beatles have any metal songs? ›

Run For Your Life1965

Run For Your Life will forever live as The Beatles track that gets explained away with death metal's time-honoured 'just a horror story' excuse. The song is all about 'a wicked guy' who 'was born with a jealous mind' threatening his girlfriend if they ever catch her screwing around.

What is the hardest Beatles guitar riff? ›

Blackbird is a song included in the Beatles' White Album. Solely written by Paul McCartney, this song features him accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. It is one of their most challenging acoustic guitar songs.

Is it hard to learn Norwegian Wood? ›

It's an all-time acoustic classic, and it's nowhere near as hard as it seems. It's one of my favorite Beatles songs! Many guitarists seem to learn this song wrong by using only Tabs. For this song, you should start with the bare bones of the tabs, and once you can play that, you can start adding all of the extra bits!

Is Day Tripper hard to play? ›

Day Tripper has one of the most famous guitar riffs of all time. It's also not particularly difficult to play and can be an excellent song addition to your beginner guitar journey! To play Day Tripper on guitar, you'll have to include some single-note lines, power chords, and dominant seventh chords.

Who is considered to be the first real heavy metal band? ›

The first heavy metal acts are considered to be Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, often referred to as the “unholy trinity”.

Did Led Zeppelin start heavy metal? ›

Led Zeppelin are often regarded as the band that invented heavy metal for several different reasons. They weren't the first band to use wailing vocals, distorted guitars, deep baselines and roaring drum fills, but they were the first band to blend all of it together. To top it all off, they were incredibly loud.


1. 10 Genres the Beatles Accidentally Invented
(Rick Beato)
3. Top 10 Beatles Songs
(The Man in Me)
5. THE BEATLES 10 Best Songs | #014
(Pop Goes the 60s)
6. Aerosmith, Guns N Roses, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Nirvana, The Beatles 📻 Classic Rock Songs 70s 80s 90s
(Classic Rock Lyrics)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Last Updated: 07/08/2023

Views: 5397

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (46 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Gov. Deandrea McKenzie

Birthday: 2001-01-17

Address: Suite 769 2454 Marsha Coves, Debbieton, MS 95002

Phone: +813077629322

Job: Real-Estate Executive

Hobby: Archery, Metal detecting, Kitesurfing, Genealogy, Kitesurfing, Calligraphy, Roller skating

Introduction: My name is Gov. Deandrea McKenzie, I am a spotless, clean, glamorous, sparkling, adventurous, nice, brainy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.