“Love” is a bit of an oddity within the Beatles’ catalogue, as they didn’t really have anything to do with it. The album came around after the Cirque Du Soliel show of the same name needed a soundtrack, so Giles Martin (son of George Martin) came in to remix some of the band’s most recognisable material.
Now, ranking these tracks will obviously be a bit tricky. For the most part, I need to ignore the quality of the original track and just focus on how the remixes have affected the song. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, it’s quite hard to look impartially at these, but regardless you should try not get mad if your favourite Beatles track is rated so low – it’s all relative to the rest of the remixed tracks after all.
You can also check out some of my related lists below:
28 – Drive My Car / The Word / What You’re Doing
Easily the biggest stinker on the album, they tried putting too many songs together at once and it doesn’t come together at all.
It starts off innocently enough, but once “What You’re Doing” comes in it’s a lost cause.
27 – Gnik Nus
“Sun King” … but reversed. An easy skip.
26 – Glass Onion
It’s a slight shame that a song so early on the album is one of the worst, but that’s unfortunately the case for this mish-mash of “Glass Onion” and what feels like another 20 Beatles songs.
This is another classic case of trying to cram too much into too short an amount of time, and if it dragged on for more than 1:20 it would have easily plummeted down to the bottom of the list.
25 – I Want To Hold Your Hand
“You know what would be a great idea? Let’s take this track, add loads of annoying background sounds and call it a day. Perfect!” Said no sane person ever.
I get what they’re trying to do, and it’s interesting to hear the effects of Beatlemania immortalised on tape, but it doesn’t seem very consequential.
24 – Octopus’s Garden
Ringo got done a little dirty here, as the majority of the track is quite good. The fundamental “Octopus’s Garden” parts are solid, and the “Sun King” outro is really quite gorgeous.
However, I absolutely hate the intro they made for this – they have Ringo’s Octopus vocals smeared on top of “Good Night”, and the vocals just sound out of time and off-key.
23 – The Fool On The Hill
Just so we’re on the same page, I really don’t like the original “The Fool On The Hill”. I think it’s cheesy, easily one of McCartney’s worst ever, and that flute (or whatever it is) solo never fails to give me a headache.
Credit where credit is due, I actually like this version better than that God-awful original. The sounds mesh together in a really quite sweet way, and it’s a shame the fundamental cheesiness is still there otherwise it could have been good.
22-18 – Songs That Didn’t Change
After scouring through the album, I think I’ve picked out 5 songs that haven’t changed in the slightest – so there’s no point trying to rank them against the completely different remixes.
They’re all good (obviously), but if you’re interested I’ve ranked the 5 tracks below from my personal taste:
- A Day In The Life
- Back In The U.S.S.R
17 – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Reprise
Pretty much identical to the original, with an extra orchestral intro.
The placement on the album is the key thing, though, as it’s a nice way to signify that the record is coming to an end.
16 – Something / Blue Jay Way
This one’s a painful one to put so low, as on a good day “Something” is my favourite Beatles song of all, but if I stick to my original rules then I can’t rank this higher than songs that actually make decent changes.
It had the potential to bump up a few places, but that odd “Blue Jay Way” outro does nothing to help its case.
15 – Get Back
The first real song on the album, and I think it does a great job of mixing together various ideas to benefit the original song.
I managed to spot the famous chord from “A Hard Day’s Night”, guitar work from “The End” and just general all-round madness from “A Day In The Life”. They all work together to complement the hard rocker of “Get Back”, and while it doesn’t compare to the original it’s still a fun alternate interpretation.
14 – Here Comes The Sun / The Inner Light
While not the best Harrison / Indian infusion the album has to offer, it’s still a pretty good version that lets both songs flourish in their own way rather than trying to combine the two.
I would have actually liked to hear a version of this track much more akin to the opening minute, but instead it just morphs into a standard rendition of “Here Comes The Sun”. The outro is quite nice though, so bonus points for that.
13 – Come Together / Dear Prudence / Cry Baby Cry
This one starts off innocently enough, and “Come Together” is one of my absolute favourites so the fact it remains relatively unchanged is quite a welcome surprise.
Another appreciated addition is the “Dear Prudence” outro, which works surprisingly well when stitched onto the end of the track. The “Cry Baby Cry” outro is pushing it a bit too far, though.
12 – All You Need Is Love
The perfect song to encapsulate everything about the album, and it acts as the theme song pretty much.
“All You Need Is Love” is strong by itself, but the outro with “Goodnight” and the Beatles members joking around was a suprisingly heartfelt way to close out the track.
11 – Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite / I Want You (She’s So Heavy) / Helter Skelter
The award for the most ridiculous cut between songs has to go to “Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite” screeching into “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” … but I really quite like how visceral it is.
It’s pure, unadulterated chaos once the hard cut happens, and if it wasn’t for the completely unnecessary soundbites from “Helter Skelter” then this could have ranked higher.
10 – Because
The opening song on the album, and this is exactly what I’d want from a Beatles re-imagining.
The bird sounds coupled with the acapella rendition of “Because” is awe-inspiring, and gets the album off to the perfect start.
9 – I Am The Walrus
I think every song from now rivals the originals in terms of creativity and ingenuity, and while they might not quite be the definitive versions just yet they certainly bring something exciting to the table.
Pretty much exactly the same as the original “I Am The Walrus”, but with another layer of added chaos. What’s not to love?
8 – Blackbird / Yesterday
Sometimes I think the best remixes on the album are the understated ones, the songs where only a couple of tracks have been used and they each shine in their own brilliant way.
Using the intro to “Blackbird” before segueing into “Yesterday” is a great choice, and it sounds like it could have even been the original in a parallel universe.
7 – Eleanor Rigby / Julia
This version of “Eleanor Rigby” has an extended intro, and I do love me an extended intro.
The rest of the track plays out pretty much just as you’d expect, but the “Julia” outro transition is one of the most gorgeous yet haunting song transitions I’ve ever heard.
6 – Lady Madonna
Another extended intro, and I think I prefer this intro to the one we got on the original track. The woodwind arrangement is so much fun, and once McCartney’s vocals come in the song is complete.
The “Hey Bulldog” ending is a little hit or miss, as sometimes it works brilliantly and other times it just gets in the way of the rest of the song.
5 – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
This was almost the greatest song remix on the entire album, as the main bulk of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” is fantastic. The intro in particular (feeding in from a song in my top 3!) is probably my favourite transition on the album, it’s just that good.
If they had just left it at that then we would have had a real winner on our hands, but unfortunately they decided to include a really off-putting trill sound in the chorus that lets the whole track down ever so slightly.
4 – Hey Jude
The definitive abridged version of “Hey Jude”, they didn’t even need the full seven minutes of runtime to adjust this classic.
It starts off pretty much the same, but the anthemic outro is a little shorter – which is usually a cardinal sin but I’ll allow it in the context of the album. Also, there’s a sick bass breakdown in the chorus that blew my socks off the first time I heard it, and it somehow makes the chorus even better in my opinion.
3 – Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows
All of the songs in this tier are so good that I might even go as far as saying they beat the originals, and are the definitive editions of which to experience these songs to their fullest potential.
This is the best “combo” song on the entire album, and it’s almost illegal the way in which the two tracks meld together so perfectly. They enhance each other to the point where this version is almost the definitive version of both tracks in my eyes, and that outro leading to “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” is the best transition on the album by far.
2 – Strawberry Fields Forever
“Strawberry Fields Forever” is probably my favourite Beatles track if I had to pick one, and somehow this version rivals the original in ways I didn’t think was possible.
The acoustic intro is sensational, and adds another dimension to an already perfect song, and once the main bit kicks in Lennon’s songwriting can take centre stage. The outro is also really fun as well, and you can tell Giles Martin had a blast splicing all sorts of musical ideas together.
1 – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
You might think that the insane electric guitar solos and band arrangement on the original are a must-have, and anything less would be an insult to the song, but somehow the acoustic version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is arguably the superior version of the track.
George Harrison’s acoustic guitar and vocals combine to make what I think is his best performance as a Beatle, and the subtle string arrangements in the background are the cherry on the proverbial cake. If you haven’t heard this version yet, you’re missing out on one of the best songs of all time.
Aaaand that’s my list. You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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