1 (One)

1 album artworkRecorded: September 1962-April 1970
Released: 13 November 2000

Love Me Do
From Me To You
She Loves You
I Want To Hold Your Hand
Can't Buy Me Love
A Hard Day's Night
I Feel Fine
Eight Days A Week
Ticket To Ride
Day Tripper
We Can Work It Out
Paperback Writer
Yellow Submarine
Eleanor Rigby
Penny Lane
All You Need Is Love
Hello, Goodbye
Lady Madonna
Hey Jude
Get Back
The Ballad Of John And Yoko
Come Together
Let It Be
The Long And Winding Road

1 collates The Beatles' number one hit singles, charting their rise from tentative R&B-influenced rockers through to era-defining songwriters, encompassing guitar pop, childhood singalongs, strings-based balladry, psychedelia, boogie woogie and much more along the way.

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The chronological approach allows listeners to trace The Beatles' advancements in songwriting throughout the 1960s, and their increasingly experimental approach to studio recording.

The songs included on 1 were number one hits in either the UK or US charts. Hence the inclusion of Love Me Do, which only managed number 17 in the UK, and The Long And Winding Road, which wasn't even released as a single there.

The tracklisting contains other anomalies. Strawberry Fields Forever, a double a-side with Penny Lane, is inexplicably omitted, as is Please Please Me, which in 1963 topped some UK charts but not others.

A compilation such as this will never be the last word on the subject. After all, stunning album tracks such as Tomorrow Never Knows or A Day In The Life, and b-sides (Rain, I Am The Walrus) often eclipsed the quality of the million-selling 7" singles.

It's also worth remembering that, during the 1960s, The Beatles were in the habit of putting out albums without lifting any singles from them, so With The Beatles, Rubber Soul, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beatles (White Album) remain unrepresented.

As an introduction to the world's most successful band in history, though, 1 is packed full with essential moments, and anyone unfamiliar with The Beatles' output could find many worse places to start.

25 responses on “1 (One)

  1. Matt

    Yesterday and Eight Days A Week are also included on the album as they were released in the US but not the UK. Strawberry Fields was only a B-side in the US not a double A-side, which is why it is not on the album as Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields was only No. 2 in the UK (hard to believe those 2 masterpieces could be beaten by Englebert Humperdink or whatever his name is!).

    Personally, I would prefer a compilation with all their UK singles and B-sides. As mentioned in the article, Rain is a brilliant song (and I’m surprised it was not on The Beatles: Rock Band). I suppose now that most fans seem to have the box sets, compilations are not really necessary.

    1. Deadman

      “…hard to believe those 2 masterpieces could be beaten by Englebert Humperdink or whatever his name is!).”

      Being a double A side, PL and SFF were listed separately in the charts because, back then, charts were compliled from lists returned by retailers and some listed the single as SFF and some as PL; their combined totals would easily have relegated Humperdink’s ‘Release Me’ to number 2 if listed as one record.

      All this, of course, is already covered here: http://www.beatlesbible.com/1967/02/17/uk-single-penny-lanestrawberry-fields-forever/

    2. Michael K

      At last. You have simply and accurately explained the ommission of ‘Strawberry Fields’ when even ‘experts’ have been in a fuss and should have known better. It was not a Number One. People confuse the UK double a-side (for airplay) with the American ‘double-charting’.

  2. Aaron Montefusco

    Well, Strawberry Fields and Revolution and Rain arent on it. Most of the songs, Hey Jude, Get Back, Let it Be, Winding Road, are all Pauls. Yet BOTH Day Tripper and We Can Work it Out(BOTH by Paul) are on it. Another exampple of Paul clinging to the Beatles and not giving the others much credit.

    1. Joe Post author

      Revolution and Rain were b-sides though. Day Tripper and We Can Work It Out was a double a-side single, as was Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields. The latter song should really have been on the album. For the rest, you can’t really blame Paul for writing more commercial songs, can you? The album’s about number one hits, after all. If it was a general best-of and he had most of the tracks you may have had a point.

    2. Elsewhere Man

      “Day Tripper” & “We Can Work It Out” are both Lennon/McCartney collaborative efforts. “Day Tripper” was mainly John’s song (he said it was his first drug song – or something to that effect) but Paul sang the lead. “We Can Work It Out” was mainly Paul’s song but John wrote the classic middle-8.

  3. Aaron Montefusco

    Fair enough BUT you cant deny that Paul could be a show off. Hey Jude, often considered the beatles “greatest and most essential” song, is VASTLY overrated. I think Revolution is much more rock’n’roll. My mom thinks that The Beatles were made to represent Paul, that hes the leader. BS

    1. thomas

      Naturally. Expert opines always cite “mom,” then label her opinion “BS” !!

      Jude was the Beatles biggest single (i.e., biggest seller and longest time at no. 1.) It was also considered by some as something of a comeback for them after their Magical Mystery Tour television flop (although the album went straight to No. 1.) However, no one anywhere ever said Hey Jude was their “most essential” song and you really just made that up to support your own argument/criticism. In logic that’s called a circular argument and invalidates any conclusion.

      BTW, the Beatles had no “leader”; they were equal opportunity show offs. They always maintained this, as Lennon himself often confirmed at press conferences where he was frequently known as the witty show off :-) Lennon and McCartney were a partnership, a point Lennon again repeatedly made (that from the earliest days going back to the Quarrymen, Lennon chose Paul as his song writing partner.) This is why many Beatle singles were in fact double A sides, with a song from Paul and a song from John. Not always but the best singles (such as Hey Jude/Revolution) were symbolic of that partnership. Real Beatles fans and critics always think of their albums and singles in those terms, not some silly “my mommy said” pissing match between Lennon and McCartney.

      1. McLerristarr

        Actually, the ‘Hey Jude’ single wasn’t a double A-side – ‘Revolution’ was a B-side.

        John has said himself that he was the leader originally. In 1966, John started to get lazy and after Brian Epstein died in 1967, he lost the will to keep going. Paul helped The Beatles pull through and he became the leader.

        1. thomas

          Well, the Beatles were specifically asked about leadership at recorded press conferences. Both Lennon and McCartney stated clearly the Beatles had no leader. Lennon also said he specifically chose Paul as his partner. While Lennon started/led the original band (Quarrymen) I think it’s clear by the time they became the Beatles they were making decisions as a group rather than by dominant leader. Yoko in particular has tried to perpetuate the myth that Lennon was the Beatles leader when in reality their partnership was more or less equal. Certainly there were tensions and disagreements. Paul may have been seemed more dominant after Epstein died, but he was trying to keep the group motivated rather than take over as “leader.” Lennon during that period was deeply involved with drugs, which I think explains his apathy.

          In any case what I personally meant by “double A” sides was a release that featured both an “a” song from John and one from Paul. I view Jude/Revolution this way. The picture sleeve I bought advertised “The Beatles, Hey Jude/Revolution, as if a single with two A sides (as opposed to singles with real B side “filler” not advertised on the sleeve.) Having two “A” class songs certainly helped sales and I remember lot’s of us who bought Beatle singles would favor one side or the other. Revolution did very well in US charts and was No. 1 in Australia/New Zealand. In all the Beatles had something like 45 singles released that in fact hit No. 1 in various countries (some after the breakup in 1970.) So in my view the Beatles One album is quite subjective in it’s content. Revolution should have been on it, as should (at minimum) Strawberry Fields, Please Please Me, and Nowhere Man (which was No. 1 in Canada and Australia and No. 2 In the US.)

          1. McLerristarr

            Well, it’s a little subjective, but the album would be huge if they included all their number 1s from every country, so they focused on the main countries of the UK and USA. They could have included Please Please Me on the album which was #1 on most of the UK charts just not the main one. Strawberry Fields Forever was never #1; Penny Lane was in the USA but back then the American charts counted the flip side as a separate entry and Strawberry Fields charted lower. The double A-side in the UK reached #2.

            As for B-sides, the single sleeves often had the B-side on them, I think.

            1. thomas

              I agree it’s subjective. But by some US chart counts Nowhere Man was No.1, by Billboard it was No. 2. But consider: who remembers most B sides (whether listed on the sleeve or not?) I don’t. I have to go to my stack of records and actually look at them to remember the B sides because most were mediocre and forgettable filler songs.

              My thought though is many Beatles singles were highly innovative in that they offered original hits and memorable songs on both sides. Few groups offered this type of musical quality. I always considered Rain to be the A side of Paperback Writer/Rain, and so did most of my friends. Ditto for Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields; Strawberry was our dominant side. I gave about equal play to Hey Jude/Revolution, but my point is classifying most Beatle singles via their A/B sides seems a bit unfair and non sequitur. I think as someone else commented I’d have preferred an album (double, I guess) including both B and double A sides. Also adding significant non US/UK No. 1 songs like Nowhere Man and Revolution. Or, perhaps Apple could have released a compilation of Beatles top ten singles, noting their chart positions with descriptive liner notes. In any case, such a CD would have seemed more appropriate to the uniqueness of Lennon-McCartney songwriting and reflected Beatles singles better.

              1. james hummel

                I believe, like Elvis, there just needs to be a Beatles “2”. As most of you I found Beatles “1” to be lacking “Nowhere Man” and “Revolution” as well as album hits like “With a Little Help from my Friends”. Bring on #2!!!

  4. Von Bontee

    I’ve always been fuzzy on the whole concept of “double a-sides” – how do they differ from regular singles? Did they include a note for disc jockeys explicitly suggesting that they not favour one side over the other?

    1. Joe Post author

      I guess the radio pluggers would have made it clear at the time, along with chart compilers and so on. It’s a bit of a vague thing – Day Tripper/WCWIO was the very first one, as far as I know. I suppose the agreement was that neither song was more important than the other, though of course that didn’t stop certain songs being preferred by the public and broadcasters.

      1. Von Bontee

        Crazy thing is, chart compilers pretty much have to rely on listener requests alone to determine which of the two sides was the most popular, since sales figures would be identical.

  5. Carole

    “Another exampple of Paul clinging to the Beatles and not giving the others much credit.”

    How silly. The album contains songs that were #1 on the charts. It has nothing to do with what Paul did or did not do.

    Paul didn’t make up the UK or American charts, for heavens sake.

  6. Canberk Duman

    There must be Revolution with Hey Jude, Revolution is a way better song than Hey Jude, sorry guys.
    Also Strawberry Fields with Penny Lane. Penny Lane is ”banal” as hell, I’m sure most of people buy that single for Strawberry Fields.
    And where is the Don’t Let Me Down?

    Is there a grudge about John?

  7. Hammer 109

    It’s amazing that this album has so many songs that are ‘meh’ to me. Paperback Writer, Eleanor Rigby, Hello Goodby, Yellow Submarine, Lady Madonna, Long and Winding Road. Granted, it’s the Beatles, so ‘meh’ is highly relative and must be put in context. But in the context of The Beatles, they are not my favorites.

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