5 Beatles Non-Album Singles That Were No. 1 Hits

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

The Beatles set an impossibly high bar for groups that followed them. They had dozens of top-100 hits during their brief but prolific career, and even when they abandoned songs that didn’t work, they performed well for other artists. Several of The Beatles’ non-album singles became incredibly successful. Let’s look at five of them that went to No. 1.

“Paperback Writer” arrived in May 1966. The tune became an interesting nexus in The Beatles’ sound. It mixed beautiful vocal harmonies that pointed to the group’s not-too-distant past with a biting guitar riff and thundering bass that hinted at the band’s future sonic experimentation.

Paul McCartney said they picked it as the A-side over “Rain” because it was catchier and more immediate. It’s hard to argue with the decision. Still, the more experimental “Rain” — complete with Ringo Starr’s “weird” drum track — held its own, rising to No. 23 during a seven-week stay on the Billboard charts.

Source: Jason Rossi/


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