I Can't Believe It's Not A Top 40!

Channel98

Don't yell or hit.
Feb 2, 2019
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How is it so many of the Beatles' best-known songs failed to make the top 40?

41 – From Me To You
45 – All My Loving
46 – Yes It Is
47 – Act Naturally
48 – You Can't Do That
53 – I Should Have Known Better
53 – If I Fell
56 – I Am The Walrus
68 – Roll Over Beethoven
74 – There's A Place
81 – What Goes On
95 – I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
101 – I'm Down

"And now, for all you kiddies out there, here are the Beatles! Let's really hear it for them!"

 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
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How is it so many of the Beatles' best-known songs failed to make the top 40?

41 – From Me To You
45 – All My Loving
46 – Yes It Is
47 – Act Naturally
48 – You Can't Do That
53 – I Should Have Known Better
53 – If I Fell
56 – I Am The Walrus
68 – Roll Over Beethoven
74 – There's A Place
81 – What Goes On
95 – I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
101 – I'm Down

"And now, for all you kiddies out there, here are the Beatles! Let's really hear it for them!"


I have heard about "I Am The Walrus" but would never have considered it a hit. I have heard about "Roll Over Beethoven" from ELO in the 80s and was not aware it was a Beatles song originally and have never heard their version. I have not heard of any of the other songs so their lack of success certainly does not surprise me.
 

Channel98

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Feb 2, 2019
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Roll Over Beethoven was written by Chuck Berry. He recorded the song April 16, 1956. Released as a single by Chess Records, it reached #2 on the R&B chart and #29 on the Top 100 in June.

 

scotchandcigar

All I wanted was some steak
Feb 13, 2009
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I have heard about "I Am The Walrus"
I don't understand your phrasing. It's been a staple of rock radio for 50 years. How can you not have heard it at least a thousand times?

But I do agree that it's only 1 of 2 songs on that list (with All My Loving) that has long-term recognition. Most likely, they were knocked out by other Beatles songs.
 
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Channel98

Don't yell or hit.
Feb 2, 2019
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I Am The Walrus was the B-side of Hello Goodbye, which was number one for three weeks on the Hot 100 in December 1967-January 1968. Many top-40 stations didn't play I Am The Walrus. It didn't sound like a typical Beatles song, one line mentioned "yellow matter custard dripping from a daed dog's eye" and it was 4:33 in length, much too long for top-40 radio in 1967. In Los Angeles, Hello Goodbye went to number one on KFWB but the station never played Walrus. On the KHJ Boss 30, the double-sided hit spent three weeks at number one and was listed as I Am The Walrus/Hello Goodbye. WLS in Chicago played Hello Goodbye – it was number one for one week – but did not play Walrus. In New York, Hello Goodbye was number one for five weeks on WMCA and six weeks on WABC but neither station played Walrus.

The BBC refused to play I Am The Walrus because the lyrics included "pornographic priestess" and "boy, you've been a naughty boy; you let your knickers down." Horrors! Here is the video from the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour film:

 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
27,449
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Toronto, ON
I don't understand your phrasing. It's been a staple of rock radio for 50 years. How can you not have heard it at least a thousand times?
I recognize the name which may mean I have heard it once or twice. But I have rarely seeked out Beatles songs and aside from 4 or 5, if one comes on the radio, I change the channel.
 

HecticArt

Administrator
Oct 19, 2008
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I'm pretty much with you Scotch. Most of the songs on that list weren't big radio songs.

And, how can't you know I Am The Walrus IRBS? I think you're a year or two older than me.
I'd understand if you were 25 years younger.....

I don't understand your phrasing. It's been a staple of rock radio for 50 years. How can you not have heard it at least a thousand times?

But I do agree that it's only 1 of 2 songs on that list (with All My Loving) that has long-term recognition. Most likely, they were knocked out by other Beatles songs.
But I'm at 4 that I think should have broken 40.
41 – From Me To You
45 – All My Loving
56 – I Am The Walrus
68 – Roll Over Beethoven
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
27,449
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Toronto, ON
And, how can't you know I Am The Walrus IRBS? I think you're a year or two older than me.
I'd understand if you were 25 years younger.....
I am not nor have I ever been a Beatles fan. As I have mentioned before, I started listening to music in 1977/78 and the Beatles were oldies by then. Never was a fan. I just listened to as much of this song as I could stand and I have likely heard it once or twice which is why the title was familiar. But the song is not my cup of tea and I would definitely change the channel if it came on the radio.
 

scotchandcigar

All I wanted was some steak
Feb 13, 2009
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Vacationland
I am not nor have I ever been a Beatles fan. As I have mentioned before, I started listening to music in 1977/78 and the Beatles were oldies by then. Never was a fan. I just listened to as much of this song as I could stand and I have likely heard it once or twice which is why the title was familiar. But the song is not my cup of tea and I would definitely change the channel if it came on the radio.
I guess that makes sense, despite how it goes against conventional wisdom. In my teen and early adult years, I felt similarly about the Rolling Stones. Just a pop-rock party band. Little substance to the music, and loved by non-musical people. As I got older, I was able to appreciate them without caring about how they are classified.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

Sherbet is NOT and NEVER WILL BE ice cream.
Oct 11, 2008
27,449
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Toronto, ON
I guess that makes sense, despite how it goes against conventional wisdom. In my teen and early adult years, I felt similarly about the Rolling Stones. Just a pop-rock party band. Little substance to the music, and loved by non-musical people. As I got older, I was able to appreciate them without caring about how they are classified.
The difference was that for some reason, when I heard the classic/oldie Stones songs I liked them. It's just personal taste. As you know there are some Beatles songs on my top 4XX list. Just not a lot.