All together now — a big “yeah, yeah, yeah!” for The Beatles finally coming to iTunes.

Unfortunately, not every Beatles CD is available for download, most notably “Live at the BBC,” the “Anthology” series and the mono versions of their ’60s catalog, which can still only be obtained via an expensive box set. But all of the 2009 stereo remasters are there, along with the 1973 greatest-hits compilations “1962-1966” and “1967-1970,” so it’s more than a good start.

Most Beatles fans already own the remastered catalog now available on iTunes, and it’s a given that anyone who doesn’t should purchase the hits. If “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Hey Jude” aren’t on your iPod by year’s end, there’s something seriously wrong with your musical tastes. Just sayin.’

For those who want to go beyond the hits without purchasing the albums, here are some suggestions for more obscure tracks from the Fab Four:

“If I Fell” — An early glimpse at John Lennon letting his vulnerability show — just a little — to implore a would-be lover not to hurt him like his ex. From “A Hard Day’s Night.”

“I’m Down” — The B-side to “Help!” shows Paul McCartney doing his best Little Richard imitation, foreshadowing his vocal-shredding work on “Helter Skelter” three years later.

“Act Naturally” — Ringo Starr’s first love is country music, and it shows in his rendition of this Buck Owens hit from “Help!”

“If I Needed Someone” — George Harrison came into his own as a songwriter with this track from “Rubber Soul.”

“Tomorrow Never Knows” — “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is often cited as the quintessential psychedelic album, but The Beatles had already kicked open that door a year earlier with this freak-out masterpiece from “Revolver.”

“Taxman” — Radio stations play this every year during tax season, but even without its deliciously nasty lyrics, the guitar solo alone is worth buying this track from “Revolver.”

“A Day in the Life” — The closing track on “Sgt. Pepper” is simply perfect, from the fade-in acoustic guitar to the last vestiges of a pounding piano chord.

“I Will” — Next to “Yesterday,” this is Paul’s best Beatles-era love song. From the White Album.

“Yer Blues” — Lennon never sounded bluesier than on this track from the White Album. For a bonus, check out the live version by the Dirty Mac (Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones and Mitch Mitchell of The Jimi Hendrix Experience) on “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.”

“For You Blue” — Technically a George song, but it’s John’s lap-steel guitar that makes this track stand out on the “Let it Be” album.

“You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” — Some view this B-side to “Let It Be” as a throwaway novelty tune, but I see is as a rare return to the silly, fun-loving Beatles of old just before the famously acrimonious breakup.

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

[email protected]


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