All The Number 1 Hits John Lennon Wrote
via The Beatles/YouTube
The Beatles had a total of 20 #1 hits on the US Billboard Hot 100. And while they weren’t the first to do so, John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s songwriting partnership helped set the trend for other bands to follow – writing and performing their own songs became the norm.
The following tracks are credited to Lennon-McCartney but were written solely by Lennon or in some cases, he had a just a little help from McCartney. Let’s check them out.
6. Ticket to Ride (Help!, 1965)
It’s a bit confusing as to how much McCartney contributed to the song. Lennon said that Macca’s contribution was only limited to “the way Ringo played the drums.” But McCartney claimed that they “sat down together and worked on that song for a full three-hour songwriting session, and at the end of it all we had all the words, we had the harmonies, and we had all the little bits.”
5. I Feel Fine (B-side “She’s a Woman”, 1964)
Lennon wrote the riff to the song while he was in the studio recording “Eight Days a Week”. He said, “Going into the studio one morning, I said to Ringo, ‘I’ve written this song, but it’s lousy.’ But we tried it, complete with riff, and it sounded like an a-side, so we decided to release it just like that.”
4. All You Need Is Love (B-side “Baby, You’re a Rich Man”, 1967)
A Summer of Love anthem, it’s their contribution to Our World – the first live international satellite television production. McCartney said, “All You Need Is Love was John’s song. I threw in a few ideas, as did the other members of the group, but it was largely ad libs like singing She Loves You or Greensleeves or silly things at the end and we made those up on the spot. The chorus, ‘All you need is love’, is simple, but the verse is quite complex; in fact I never really understood it, the message is rather complex. It was a good song that we had handy that had an anthemic chorus.”
3. A Hard Day’s Night (A Hard Day’s Night, 1964)
The title was coined by Ringo Starr after they’ve been working all day and all night. Lennon told Playboy magazine in 1980, “I was going home in the car and Dick Lester [director of the movie] suggested the title, ‘Hard Day’s Night’ from something Ringo had said. I had used it in In His Own Write [a book Lennon was writing then], but it was an off-the-cuff remark by Ringo. You know, one of those malapropisms. A Ringo-ism, where he said it not to be funny … just said it. So Dick Lester said, ‘We are going to use that title.'”
2. Help! (Help!, 1965)
Lennon wrote this with a little help from McCartney. He said that he “really was crying out for help. So it was my fat Elvis period. You see the movie: he – I – is very fat, very insecure, and he’s completely lost himself. And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was.” McCartney later added that he was just there “to complete it” and that his “main contribution is the countermelody to John.”
1. Come Together (Abbey Road, 1969)
Lennon wrote Abbey Road‘s opening track for Timothy Leary’s campaign for governor of California. It’s one of Lennon’s favorite songs. He admitted, “It was a funky record – it’s one of my favorite Beatle tracks, or, one of my favourite Lennon tracks, let’s say that. It’s funky, it’s bluesy, and I’m singing it pretty well. I like the sound of the record.”