In recent years, Rolling Stone has found itself in quite a dilemma. Throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s, they were part of the voice of America’s counterculture, making a mark on music history with their infamous articles, interviews, and photography of the greatest artists of our time. However, the Rolling Stone of today is some sort of mismatched hybrid between Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, and Newsweek. For example, its most recent issue featured in-depth interviews with both Chuck Berry and the WikiLeaks hacker, but the cover glamorized a short, splashy interview with the nude, fake-blood splattered cast of HBO’s True Blood.
Still, despite their love of putting naked people on the cover, the magazine still tries to continue their musical credibility with special editions devoted to things that they were already supposed to writing about. Last month saw the release of the updated “500 Greatest Songs” list, in which for twice the price of a regular issue, you essentially got a great book about the past 60 years of popular music in a fancy magazine format. Unfortunately, that was somewhat spoiled by their publicity-seeking approach of presenting those articles and photography in a holier-than-thou list ranking the songs in order of their greatness. Many people out there shook their heads in disbelief at the notion of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” being deemed greater than Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” or the Beatles’ “Penny Lane”.
Now, perhaps in an effort to make up for that misstep or in order to become the talk of the town again, Rolling Stone has put out a special issue entitled “The 100 Greatest Beatles Songs”. “A Day in The Life” is deemed the greatest Beatles song, even though “Hey Jude”, “Yesterday”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Let It Be”, and “In My Life” all ranked higher than it on the 500 list.
Here are their picks for the top 10 greatest Beatles songs, though, and I’ll accept any excuse, no matter how inconsequential, to listen to and talk about the Beatles.