Photo-Illustration: Kelly Chiello and Images by Getty Images
Last week saw a momentous day in the musical landscape: The Beatles are finally on streaming! To celebrate the band’s entire catalogue becoming accessible to anyone with a broadband connection, we’ve created just about every Spotify playlist of Beatles’ music you could possibly want — 29 of them, in fact. Want to listen only to George Harrison songs? Now you can! Want to listen to their heaviest tracks, the ones inspired by LSD, or the songs where you can really hear their Liverpudlian accents? Go for it. Want to listen to “Revolution 9” for ten hours? You can do that, too! So check them out; the movement you need is on your finger (that’s going to click on all of these).
The Best of John
The smart one.
The Best of Paul
The cute one.
The Best of George
The quiet one.
The Best of Ringo
The drumming one.
The Best of George Martin
There’s a reason they called him the Fifth Beatle. The Fabs’ faithful producer from early on, Martin was especially integral as they moved into more experimental territory, often translating John’s big ideas into full-blown orchestrations.
Ahh, Ahhh, Ahhhhhhh!
The best way to understand the Beatles’ chemistry is to spend time with their elaborate, tightly wound four-part harmonies.
The softer, gentler side of the boys who taught you how to play the guitar.
They’re So Heavy
They started out emulating the blues and early rock ’n’ roll, and they ended that way, too. Heavy on the harder highlights from Let It Be, The White Album, and Abbey Road.
For the Kids
The silly character studies, the posi anthems, and, of course, all those animal songs.
How the Beatles Did Romance
Early Paul songs dominate this playlist, which is surprisingly slim; the Beatles didn’t sing as many love songs as you might think.
John’s Harmonica Phase
Up until about 1964, no Beatles LP was complete without the sound of John Lennon going absolutely insane on the harmonica somewhere in the background. Goddamn, he really did love that thing.
Cloyingly Charming Paul Songs
Want to feel weird? Under 12 months ago, the man who wrote all these songs sang backup on a Rihanna single.
Ringo Was a Good Drummer, Dammit!
The John Lennon quote you’re about to type is fake, by the way.
The Perfect Single-LP Version of The White Album
Also known as the best Beatles album, though, admittedly, even the filler in the original is hardly that.
The Black Album
As seen in Boyhood: The best of John, Paul, and George’s solo careers (plus a touch of Ringo), stretched across a triple LP that imagines what it might have sounded like if the Beatles had managed to keep it together through the ‘70s.
The Pot Songs
The Beatles had puffed a few joints in the early ‘60s, but it wasn’t until they got high with Bob Dylan in New York in 1964 that they became true potheads. As Lennon once said, by 1965, the Beatles “were smoking marijuana for breakfast.”
The Acid Songs
LSD changed the Beatles forever, sending their consciousnesses sprawling across time and space. The ending was rough, but it was worth it for the beginning and the middle.
The Heroin Songs
As John Lennon and Yoko Ono retreated inside themselves during the Beatles’ last years, they turned from LSD to heroin — a languid, cloistered existence reflected in John’s music.
The Beatles belong to the world, but they also belong to Liverpool. From the accents to the landmarks, this is the sound of the Fab Four going Scouse.
The Best Pre–Rubber Soul Songs
Ah, the early ‘60s! When men wore matching suits, basses looked like violins, and the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership was still going strong.
Paul Is Dead Clues
Some of these are fans reading too far into things (like Paul mentioning that he took a drive alone — supposedly how he died — on “Got to Get You Into My Life”), while others are the Beatles legitimately egging the rumor on (“Glass Onion,” “I Am the Walrus,” the end of “I’m So Tired” played backwards, “Revolution 9” played backwards).
Only the Covers
When the Beatles were still finding their sound, they honed their performance skills on plenty of covers — enough, it turns out, to fill nearly an entire album.
Who Did It Best?
We’ve taken ten famous Beatles covers — faithful, but not too faithful — and placed them up against the Fab Four’s originals. Who wins?
Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery
It’s easy to think of the Beatles standing outside of history, but as these songs prove, they were not above stealing a bit of inspiration from pop standards, contemporary rivals, and the avant-garde.
10 Hours of “Revolution 9”
Exactly what it says on the tin.
The Top 10 Most-Streamed Beatles Tracks on Spotify
Sometimes you want to zig.
The Top 10 Least-Streamed Beatles Tracks on Spotify
And sometimes you want to zag.
The Vulture Top 50
Our picks for the absolute best Beatles songs.
Every Beatles Song, in Order
Finally, inspired by Ian MacDonald’s landmark study Revolution in the Head, here is every Beatles song ever officially released, in chronological order of recording.