Twist and Shout Over Obscure Beatles Songs

By Brittany Rankin

Elm Staff Writer

One of the most successful and influential bands in rock and roll music history is The Beatles. From 1960 to the early 70s their music inspired a generation to take part in the new wave of rock and roll music that had erupted.

Toward the beginning of their career, they stuck mostly to their roots and the style of their contemporaries. It was not until the mid-60s that experimentation with their music (as well as drugs) took flight and a new sound developed.

For today’s generation The Beatles are still an iconic group. Their albums have been remastered and compilations of their music have been released as well. Some of their most popular songs are well known to young people today such as “Hello, Goodbye,” “Penny Lane,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “She Loves You,” “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” “Yellow Submarine” and “Eleanor Rigby.”

However, there are also songs in The Beatles’ repertoire that a lot of people don’t know about due to limited or no airplay on the radio or simply because they aren’t classified as “hits.” Here is a list of five of the Beatles’ more obscure tracks.

“She Said She Said”

Appearing on The Beatles’ album “Revolver,” this track has a very distinctive guitar sound that gives it a very “trippy” quality. It is one of the few Beatles songs inspired by an acid trip, highlighting the first verse from a conversation The Beatles had with Peter Fonda before his “Easy Rider” fame in which he told them how he knew what it was like to be dead and John Lennon started to freak out. The irony is that Lennon sings, “She said I know what it’s like to be dead” at the start of the song, taking the line directly from Fonda.

“Your Mother Should Know”

This track is most well-known from the psychedelic trip film called “Magical Mystery Tour.” The song is performed at the end of the film with The Beatles all dressed up in white suits. Apart from its appearance on the “Magical Mystery Tour” album, it is fairly unknown because it takes a different approach than any of the other tracks on the album.

The song itself sounds old-fashioned, becoming more of a light pop ballad than a rock song like most of the Beatles’ songs.


This song was on a B-side to the 45 of “Paperback Writer” but did not appear on any of the albums until “Past Masters Volume 2” came out. It has an experimental sound, of which the guitar riff is very similar to “She Said She Said.” It definitely shows its experimentation at the end when the song starts playing backwards.

“That Means A Lot”

This song was never released on any of The Beatles’ original albums or any of their 45s. It was discovered after The Beatles had broken up and was issued with the Beatles’ anthology CDs. It’s a catchy song, reminiscent of their earlier days.

“Free As A Bird”

Like “That Means A Lot,” this song was also released after The Beatles disbanded and was not released until 1995. Despite the fact that it was released fifteen years after John Lennon’s death, it is still considered a Beatles song because the remaining three Beatles played along with a track John Lennon had recorded that Yoko Ono still had in possession. The song was released with The Beatles’ anthology CDs.

2 thoughts on “Twist and Shout Over Obscure Beatles Songs

  1. When I think of good obscure Beatle songs I immediately think of the BBC Live album, the Decca audtion songs and some of there Anthology Cavern day and later throw away songs that didn’t make it to an album.

  2. “She Said She Said” and “Within You and Without You” always struck me as separated at birth, although the former was written by Lennon and the other by Harrison. They’re terrific songs, psychedelic Fabs at their best.

    Since “Free as a Bird” was a bit of a hit at the time it was redone, I’d nominate “Real Love” instead. Both great tracks.

    Nothing obscure about “Rain” but maybe not heard so much today. That single and “Paperback Writer” were the first signs of the Beatles becoming masters.

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