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
We Can Work It Out
All You Need Is Love
The Ballad Of John And Yoko
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.
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.