volume 2
december 1999

John LennonThe official Beatles' canon


  A list of all 212 Beatles' songs and covers officially released on record between 1962 and 1970
  by Ger Tillekens
The official Beatles' canon covers all songs the Beatles recorded and authorized for publication in their years as a performing group. In those years between 1962 and 1970 the Beatles released 219 songs or song variants, which are listed below in order of appearance. In this list there are 24 covers (C), and 1 traditional (T), leaving us with up to 194 released recordings of original Beatles' songs. Among those 194 we find 9 song variations and 1 song fragment. Of those 10 performances most authors of Beatles' books and commentaries discard 7 tracks as just variants or invalid members of the Beatles' songbook, leaving us with exactly 187 canonical Beatles' originals, 24 covers and 1 traditional: a total of 212 songs. [1] The links on this page all point towards Alan W. Pollack's Notes on ... Series. MD-numbers refer to the standard "MacDonald Verzeichnis" of the Beatles' songs.

1 Single: Love Me Do (released: 05.10.1962 [UK] on Parlophone 45-R 4949)
2 Single: Please Please Me (released: 11.01.1963 [UK] on Parlophone 45-R 4983)
3 LP: Please Please Me (released: 22.03.1963 [UK] on Parlophone PMC 1202 [mono]; Parlophone PCS 3042 [stereo])
4 Single: From Me To You (released: 11.04.1963 [UK] on Parlophone R 5015)
5 Single: She Loves You (released: 23.08.1963 [UK] on Parlophone R 5055)
6 LP: With The Beatles (released: 22.11.1963 [UK] on Parlophone PMC 1206 [mono]; Parlophone PCS 3045 [stereo])
7 Single: I Want To Hold Your Hand (released: 29.11.1963 [UK] on Parlophone R 5084)
8 Single: Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand (released: March 1964 [BRD])
  • 024: Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand
  • 025: Sie Liebt Dich
9 Single: Can't Buy Me Love (released: 20.03.1964 [UK] on Parlophone R 5114)
10 EP: Long Tall Sally (released: 19.06.1964 [UK] on Parlophone GEP 8913)
11 Single: A Hard Day's Night (released: 10.07.1964 [UK] on Parlophone R 5160)
12 LP: A Hard Day's Night (released: 26.06.1964 [US]; 10.07.1964 [UK] on Parlophone PMC 1230 [mono]; Parlophone PCS 3058 [stereo])
13 Single: I Feel Fine (released: 23.11.1964 [US]; 27.11.1964 [UK] on Parlophone R 5200)
14 LP: Beatles For Sale (released: 04.12.1964 [UK] on Parlophone PMC 1240 [mono]; Parlophone PCS 3062 [stereo])
15 Single: Ticket To Ride (released: 09.04.1965 [UK] on Parlophone R 5265)
16 LP: Beatles VI (released: 14.06.1965 [US] on Capitol T 2358 [stereo])
17 Single: Help! (released: 19.07.1965 [US]; 23.07.1965 [UK] on Parlophone R 5305)
18 LP: Help! (released: 06.08.1965 [UK] on Parlophone PMC 1255 [mono]; Parlophone PCS 3071 [stereo])
19 Single: We Can Work It Out (released: 03.12.1965 [UK] on Parlophone R 5389 as double A-side single)
20 LP: Rubber Soul (released: 03.12.1965 [UK] on Parlophone PMC 1267 [mono]; Parlophone PCS 3075 [stereo])
25 Single: Paperback Writer (released: 30.05.1966 [US]; 10.06.1966 [UK] on Parlophone R 5452 as double A-side single)
21 Single: Eleanor Rigby (released: 05.08.1966 [UK] on Parlophone R 5493 as double A-side single)
22 LP: Revolver (released: 05.08.1966 [UK] on Parlophone PMC 7009 [mono]; Parlophone PCS 7009 [stereo])
23 Single: Strawberry Fields Forever (released: 13.02.1967 [US]; 17.02.1967 [UK] on Parlophone R 5570 as double A-side single)
24 LP: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (released: 01.06.1967 [UK] on Parlophone PMC 7027 [mono]; Parlophone PCS 7027 [stereo])
26 Single: All You Need Is Love (released: 07.07.1967 [UK] on Parlophone R 5620; the title song was aired on the Eurovision program "Our World" on 25.06.1967)
27 Single: Hello Goodbye (released: 24.11.1967 [UK] on Parlophone R 5655)
28 LP: Magical Mystery Tour (released: 27.11.1967 [US])
29 EP: Magical Mystery Tour (released: 08.12.1967 [UK] on Parlophone MMT-1 [mono] and SMMT-1 [stereo])
30 Single: Lady Madonna (released: 15.03.1968 [UK] on Parlophone R 5675)
31 Single: Hey Jude (released: 26.08.1968 [US]; 30.08.1968 [UK] on Apple/Parlophone R 5722)
32 LP: The Beatles [White Album] (released: 22.11.1968 [UK] on Parlophone PMC 7067-7068 [mono]; Parlophone PCS 7067-7068 [stereo])
33 LP: Yellow Submarine (released: 13.01.1969 [US]; 17.01.1969 [UK] on Parlophone PMC 7070 [mono]; Parlophone PCS 7070 [stereo])
34 Single: Get Back (released: 11.04.1969 [UK] on Apple/Parlophone R 5777)
35 Single: The Ballad Of John And Yoko (released: 30.05.1969 [UK] on Apple/Parlophone R 5786)
36 LP: Abbey Road (released: 26.09.1969 on [UK] Parlophone PCS 7088 [stereo])
37 Single: Let It Be (released: 06.03.1969 [UK] on Apple/Parlophone R 5833)
38 LP: No One's Gonna Change Our World (World Wildlife Fund Charity LP, released: 12.12.1969 [UK] on Regal Starline SRS 5013)
39 LP: Let it Be (released: 08.05.1970 [UK] on Apple/Parlophone PCS 7096 [stereo])
40 Single: Free As A Bird (released: 04.12.1995 on Apple/EMI CDR 6422, CD-single)
41 Single: Real Love (released: 04.03.1996 on Apple/EMI CDR 6425, CD-single)
1. Those seven discarded songs are all doubles:
  • 007: Love Me Do, double of 001, but with Andy White sitting behind the drums;
  • 024: Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand, German version of 022: I Want To Hold Your Hand (same basic track with added vocals and handclaps);
  • 025: Sie Liebt Dich, German version of 012: She Loves You (commonly taken as a complete rerecording of the original, but maybe just like 024 the same basic track with new vocals);
  • 120: refrain of 111: All You Need Is Love;
  • 186: Across The Universe, remix by Phil Spector of 183: Across The Universe without wildlife sounds;
  • 189: Let It Be, remix by Phil Spector of the single version 181: Let It Be (same take, but slightly longer and with a different solo guitar track);
  • 194: Get Back, mixed by Phil Spector from a take that was recorded a day before (27.01.69) that of the single 160: Get Back;
  The one song fragment can be found on the White Album midbetween "Cry Baby Cry" and "Revolution #9":
  • 153: Can You Take Me Back (untitled song fragment by McCartney on the White Album).
This "ditty" was written and sung by Paul McCartney at the recording sessions of "I Will" on 16th September 1968 as take 19 of this song. The full song lasts 2'21 minutes and is not copyrighted. Most Beatles' commentaries exclude it from their lists. Having listened to the take several times, I'm inclined to do the opposite.
  The other two songs, that are usually counted as legal canonical songs are:
  • 109: the Reprise of 098: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the album with the same name;
  • 149: Revolution 1, a variant of 124: Revolution with slight but significant differences in the lyrics.
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