10 Heaviest Beatles Songs
The Beatles were the kings of changing styles. They could seamlessly switch from upbeat pop (‘Day Tripper’) to Flamenco (‘And I Love Her’) to mellow acoustic folk (‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’) in the span of a single album, and while they’re not exactly known as a loud and hard rock band, they could also get pretty heavy. Check out this list of the 10 Heaviest Beatles Songs for a primer on John, Paul, George and Ringo’s most metallic moments.
‘Don’t Let Me Down’
You might come away this 1970 ‘Let It Be’ slow-burner thinking, “Wow, what a powerful love song.” But we’ve always read it is as a threat: “Yo, woman, don’t let me down.” Just listen to how ragged John Lennon and Paul McCartney sing their harmony and melody lines. That’s why this one lands on the list of Heaviest Beatles Songs, no questions asked.
‘Help!’ is a pretty heavy song, let us tell you. It begins and ends with words practically shouted at the listener, and John Lennon comes right out with his plea for assistance. “Help!” he says. “I need somebody … HELP!” he continues. “Not just anybody … HELP!” he implores. “You know I need someone … HELLLLPPPPPP!” he screams. If at that point you’re not running to the phone and dialing 1-900-Real-Love, we can’t help you, people.
‘Ticket to Ride’
John Lennon himself was quoted as saying ‘Ticket to Ride’ was one of the earliest “heavy metal records,” and while he wasn’t referring to the same type of stuff Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and Metallica would later deliver, this one’s got a super-heavy lyric (“I think I’m gonna be sad”) to start things off, and it just gets darker and darker as the song wears on.
‘Good Morning Good Morning’
On ‘Sgt. Pepper’s,’ ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ has two heavier-than-usual qualities going for it. First, there’s the abrasive horn riff in the intro, which persists for the entire song. Then there’s the lightning-strike guitar solo in the middle, which forecasts the guitar heroics of ’70s and ’80s heavy metal.
‘She Said She Said’
From the angular intro riff to the spooky, drugged-out lyrics — famously provided by ‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda — ‘She Said She Said’ is ‘Revolver’’s heaviest track. Some might argue in favor of opener ‘Taxman,’ while others will say closer ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ rocks harder. But there’s nothing like lyrics about what “what it’s like to be dead” to bring things to new levels of heaviness.
‘Mean Mr. Mustard’ – ‘Polythene Pam’ – ‘She Came In Through the Bathroom Window’
One could make the argument that the entire second side of the Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ (1969) is a single song, but this trio strikes us as the heaviest moment on the record — even heavier than ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy).’ It’s a driving three-part story that finally ends with the woman jumping through the bathroom window (probably scaring the bejeezus out of the cat, who then falls into the bathtub and meows loudly, waking everybody in the apartment).
Fresh off its appearance on our Songs Featuring Barking Dogs list, ‘Hey Bulldog’ lands at No. 4 on our inventory of the 10 Heaviest Beatles Songs. Originally appearing on 1969’s ‘Yellow Submarine,’ this is proto-prog-metal at its finest — from that sinister lead guitar riff all the way down to the wacked-out, dark-ish lyrics. It makes us think of that scene with the guy in the bear suit in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shining,’ for some reason.
‘Think For Yourself’
Some Beatles fan may disagree, but ‘Rubber Soul’ has a heavy song on it, and that song is George Harrison’s ‘Think for Yourself,’ which is absolutely drenched in what is happily described on the back of the U.S. LP as “Paul on fuzz bass.” That grimy distortion has Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin written all over it. Not to mention the Quiet Beatles’ angry lyrics.
‘Happiness Is a Warm Gun’
Nothing says happiness like a gun that’s just been fired. That’s something you might hear from someone a Charlton Heston or a Ted Nugent, not peace-loving hippie John Lennon. Originally appearing on 1968’s ‘The Beatles’ (better known as the White Album), ‘Happiness Is a Warm Gun’ is about as heavy as they come, with odd time-signature changes and lyrics and a bat-crap crazy outro courtesy of Sir John.
Paul McCartney’s ‘Helter Skelter,’ the most rocking thing the Fab Four recorded, easily tops this list of the 10 Heaviest Beatles Songs. That repeating guitar line is the harbinger of every punk, metal and hardcore song subsequently written. Not to mention the Britney Spears-shaving-her-head-bald insanity of the lyrics, which murderer (and former musician) Charles Manson infamously used as the basis for part of his bonkers “chimerical vision.”