My Top Ten Beatles YouTube Videos

Here are the Ten Toppermost of the Poppermost Beatles videos used on this site, with a focus on the videos I discovered whilst writing this. The very first performance of the Beatles I experienced visually was their triumphant 1963 Royal Variety Show Performance which they stole without being top of the bill. I particularly loved the performance of Twist and Shout. Introduced by Lennon with characteristic acerbity it was genuinely shocking at the time as he joked about the Royal Family. However the video I liked best is this Australian outtake of them playing a medley of 5 of their 1963 hits, unfortunately disabled for embedding by YouTube! Anyone know why? So embedded here is my bonus track, the Lego Beatles doing I Saw Her Standing There; 1! 2!! 3!!! 4!!!!  

In 1963 With the Beatles (Meet The Beatles in the US) was released shortly after the Royal Performance and was the first Beatles album delivered to adoring and impatient fans, rather than rush-released like Please Please Me. At the time it was very highly regarded and sold so heavily it entered the singles chart in the UK for several weeks, prompting the BBC to launch Top of The Pops. Interestingly, given the supposed war between them and the Rolling Stones, they included Ringo’s version of the song they wrote to help the Stones have a hit and become more successful. Here is a great video of I Wanna Be Your Man which contrasts their versions;

Hard Days Night, the collision of the Beatles with Dick Lester, gave us a day in the life of Beatlemania and revealed a life lived under public surveillance. Dick Lester has been credited by MTV as the “Father of the music video” and, to me, this is his first. I Should Have Known Better, the Beatles on a steam train pre-Beeching, ensconced with fans, including George’ future wife (you know her name), playing cards and fags with a Liverpool shuffle. 

So here is a conundrum. From memory I rated Beatles for Sale the weakest of the Beatles album, but my post about it Beatles in Black gets the most hits on this blog. In doing the research I found that the opening Lennon Trilogy is exceptional and probably, as you can see in this video, influenced by Bob Dylan. This live performance is quite surreal. The worlds biggest pop phenomenon playing in Paris, singing heartfelt Left Bank lyrics, Lennon as a Dylan manque, all creating a Howl of screams at the chorus; hormones I guess!

Musically Yesterday was probably the most significant track on HELP! but this sadly romantic track by Lennon both sat comfortably within the HELP! narrative, as Paul was about to find out, and pointed forward to Rubber Soul. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away is another Lester video and a perfectly realised Beatles track lasting, ooh just over two minutes.

Of course the love did last for years, here we all are still in 2009, when the Beatles are officially more popular than Jesus, although two of them had to be killed by “fans” first. I really love this video of Paul demoing For No One. It makes you realise what George Martin must have experienced when yet another classic was shown to him for the first time. And Paul has the arrangement already in his head, brilliant; great song too.

In the States you count Hey Bulldog out, but in the UK we count it in. The missing link in Yellow Submarine was recorded in the studio whilst the Beatles were filming a video for Lady Madonna. They found it too boring just to mime so, to stay interested, recorded another new song at the same time; a life’s work in just one day. Starting off as Hey Bullfrog it evolved to Bulldog and when Paul added dog ‘woofs’ Lennon asked if he knew anymore, hence the barking outro. For me this is the Beatles at their creative best and probably what they wanted to capture in Let It Be. Well here it is.

Another video I discovered in writing this blog was the “live” performance of Revolution recorded for David Frost during the same session as Hey Jude. At the time I watched enviously as various kids joined the Beatles for the long fade out on Hey Jude, and that performance convinced us to buy the single. We were baffled by the fuzzy sound of the B-side however and considered returning it as a pressing fault. Now that raucous buzz-saw guitar is a recognised as a key to its revolutionary sound. What is great about this version is they add the backing vocals in from the album version to the sound of the B-side;

You say its your Birthday, We’re gonna have a good time! Well Meryartist did in producing this amusing tribute to them. Not just well edited but genuinely funny and a great sound on the Side 3 opener to the White Album. Kick ass and roll your eyes baguette boys…

And The Beatles went loudly into the dark, well onto the roof. The rooftop concert is something I personally discovered via YouTube and love it. I’ve selected the middle section because it shows how the average man in the street loved them as one of us, they experienced, absorbed and created the sixties for us; and made sense of it. Of course it turned out to have multiple narratives, like I Got A Feeling, a track I only discovered with Let It Be…Naked; well in Ringo’s case Let It Be…PVC and a fag, oops

5 Responses to “My Top Ten Beatles YouTube Videos”

  1. […] you enjoyed this post you might like “My Top Ten Beatles Videos” or Rubber Soul on this blog which covers all the Beatles albums. I also have a Beatles for […]

  2. oldrope Says:

    Good point about Hey Bulldog re Let It Be, they really let rip. Although I think Lennon would later disregard it as “garbage” (as he did so many songs later in life) and Paul, G & R look a bit like they are going through the motions in the video, until the freak out bit at the end, where Paul comes alive a little.

    Incidentally I heard this on the radio here in Buenos Aires one hurtling along in a taxi… slightly odd experience. Fearing for your life whilst remarking “they would never play this on the radio at home…”

    And to top it off, a dog was howling outside as I listened to it just now…

  3. In writing 9 after 909 I have found that most of the people who were there were unreliable witnesses, especially George Martin. Lennon hated the myth of The Beatles but also had a solo career to promote so had a pair of reasons to downplay earlier work.
    The Beatles creativity had a core process, John & Paul wrote together, George harmonised and developed a solo and Ringo came in with the backbeat at the end. So seeing Ringo immobile was not unusual, his childhood illness left him under-powered his whole life, on Lady Madonna, George has little to do so has little to mime to; it was Paul’s song but Hey Bulldog (Bullfrog originally) was sung by John. So they werent disinterested they were “with the programme” and it is great. And under-rated. Thanks for the comment!

  4. funny videos…

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