10 Beatles Tracks That Were Ahead Of Their Time
The sounds of innovation.
The Beatles are such a significant part of modern pop culture that their music is ingrained into the universal psyche. In just ten years they changed the course of music, and even 50 years on, they are still considered the most influential group in the world.
There are two phases to the Fab Four. There's the black and white Beatles: everything pre Rubber Soul (1965) which saw the band as a pop group injecting new life into rock and roll. Then there's the technicolour Beatles; with psychedelia laced melodies and Eastern influences enriching their music with the sounds of innovation .
Within these two stages you can find just about any style of music to suit your mood. Harrison's guitar will have you weeping; Lennon's lyrics will have you calling for revolution; McCartney will bring you back from the edge of heartbreak; and Ringo will have you singing about sea creatures with all the carefree joy of a child.
Their musical scope cannot be understated. But their true accomplishment is not only how they shaped modern music but how the preempted trends before anyone else. A 10 point list barely does justice to the group's wealth of music, but these tracks are a pretty decent start.
10. Paul McCartney: Helter Skelter (1968)
Helter Skelter has a complex and bloody history. The track will forever be affiliated with the violent Manson murders during the late '60s. Somehow, Charles Manson got it into his head that the tracks Blackbird, Piggies and Helter Skelter alluded to a coming race war. He adopted the latter's title as the name for his chaotic manifesto; his blueprint to instigate the conflict.
Of course, Helter Skelter (the song) made no such references. Paul McCartney's lyrics conjured the image of a fairground ride, to symbolise the thrill of a relationship... The most violent thing about it was the music itself. This was was the precursor to heavy metal. People like the Doors, Velvet Underground and the Mothers of Invention were playing darker and moodier music than anyone else, but no one had played as heavily as this.
McCartney had gotten wind that the Who had supposedly written the dirtiest, meanest sounding track in modern music, I Can See for Miles. Well, McCartney wasn't going to be beaten to the punch. He turned up the distortion, and flexed his vocal cords; screaming with all the venom of a glam metal frontman.