This Is What Happened When A 20-Something Only Listened To The Beatles For A Week

I am taking on the ultimate #tb. As you probably know, The Beatles are now available to stream on Spotify and other services. I’ve been dabbling in their jams since Christmas Eve but recently decided to listen to only The Beatles for one week. I listen to music on my way to work, at work, on my way home from work, and anytime I take public transportation so this amounts to a lot of music time.

My goals for the week:

  • Listen to every song. That’s 275 songs.
  • Try not to skip any songs even if I don’t like them (“Octopus’s Garden” is weird.)
  • Try not to default to my two favorite albums: 1 and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  • Transform into someone ready for American Bandstand.

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Day 1, Monday: Here Comes the Sun

I started off with my usual alarm tone: “Lady Madonna.” This has been my alarm for probably two years now. That piano intro really wakes me up. But then I inevitably get it stuck in my head for at least 10 minutes. Did you know? “Lady Madonna” is a tribute song to mothers. Makes me appreciate my mom.

I put on Rubber Soul on my way to work. I sufficiently felt like I was driving a car made in the 60’s with one of those radio dials in it. I got a few songs in then my commute was over.

Abbey Road is the album of choice for my morning shift at the front desk at work. I didn’t really notice any song until “Here Comes the Sun.” I thought this was appropriate cuz it’s sunny af and I guess it’s supposed to rain the rest of the week. Also, while this winter (at least in the northeast) has not been that long, cold, or lonely, I am ready for it to be over.

Afternoon update: I’m deep into The Beatles (also known as The White Album). Did you know Paul McCartney wrote “Martha My Dear” about his English sheepdog? Give it a listen. I CAN’T EVEN.

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Day 2, Tuesday: Love, Love Me Do-esday

“Lady Madonna” woke me up at 6:15 am as per usual. I chose Please Please Me for my morning commute and morning at work. This includes songs you probably know, such as “Love Me Do” and “Twist and Shout.” “Twist and Shout” reminds me of two things. 1) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and how I wish I could Ferris Bueller my way out of this work day. 2) working at a 50’s style restaurant in high school and being a soft ice cream goddess.

I have a self-criticism of taking on this Beatles project. I probably should have sorted the albums by release date or something. I am jumping all over the place, chronologically speaking. I am not an organized person.

Checking in this Do-esday afternoon. I’m trying out Yellow Submarine. I had a shirt with a yellow submarine on it in high school. I think I was trying to be alternative or different or something. I also had a Partridge Family shirt, even though I never watched The Partridge Family. Yellow Submarine is fun and just what I needed to get through that mid-afternoon slump.

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Day 3, Wednesday: When(I’m Sixty Four)sday

6:15 am, “Lady Madonna” blares through my iPhone speakers. After hearing that almost every day for two years straight, I am still not sick of it. I had a busy morning at work so I didn’t get to listen to much before the afternoon. I put on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for my morning commute because I love it and only want to skip one song (“Within You Without You.”) Mostly because it sounds like one of those songs that’s played to make a cobra come out of a basket. “When I’m Sixty Four” is one of my absolute favorite songs so I always like to hear that (it’s on Sgt. Pepper.)

I went to a barre class last night and was thrown off by the Pitbull and Justin Bieber that played in class. I think I really am ready for American Bandstand. Why is this not a thing anymore? Starting to think I was born in the wrong decade.

This afternoon I put on Revolver followed by With the Beatles and Beatles for Sale. I gotta say, the Beatles are great for just putting on in the background. There’s a Beatles song for everything. I debated printing out a sheet with all their songs on it so I could cross them off as I listened, but I didn’t want someone picking it up off the office printer and being like “WTF is this?!” So I guess I’ll stick to the honor system.

I’ve found myself more interested in the story of each Beatles song, compared to the latest Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez or whatever song. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to know the meaning behind a Flo Rida jam. But sometimes during my Beatles seshes I’ll google the song for its meaning (which have typically derived from drugs, love, a memory, or something just plain random.)

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Day 4, Thursday: #TBT

It makes sense to listen to the Beatles on a Thursday because #tbt. I am regretting not going into this week with a plan of listening in chronological order. I’m not sure what is left to listen to. Today I am listening to Help! and Magical Mystery Tour.

Let it be known I am not sick of the Beatles yet. There’s a lot out there. And there are a lot of different sounds. For some reason, I’ve found myself enjoying songs written by Paul McCartney more than the others. I only know this because I keep looking up the stories behind each song, and now I’m noticing a certain quality about Paul songs. I’m not sure what it is. I’m not particularly musically inclined.

I drove a few coworkers to a volunteer session in the afternoon but did not subject them to Beatles all the way there and back. I made up for it on my commute back home though. I listened to The Beatles 1976-1970 which had a bunch of repeats from other albums since it’s a compilation. I gave “Octopus’s Garden” another try. I have started to like the guitar in it…but I still think it’s weird.

I play in a volleyball league on Thursday nights and “Back in the U.S.S.R.” was stuck in my head. I think it worked in my favor though, my team won all of our games and I felt like I had a personal soundtrack.

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Day 5, Friday: LET IT BE FRIDAY!

It is Friday so I will let it be Friday. I think I’ve covered every Beatles album on Spotify. I finished with A Hard Day’s Night. Sufficiently feel like a flower child (minus the bell bottoms and drugs.) Since I finished all the albums I started from the top again and just put it on as background noise for my busy half day at work.

I feel obligated to tell the readers that have made it this far with me that I am getting a French bulldog in a few months and I am going to name her Penny Lane, after the Beatles song.

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Here are the stats!

Albums I listened to this week:

Let It Be: 12 songs

Abbey Road: 17 songs

Yellow Submarine: 13 songs

The Beatles: 17 + 13 songs

Magical Mystery Tour: 11 songs

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: 13 songs

Revolver: 14 songs

Rubber Soul: 14 songs

Help!: 14 songs

Beatles for Sale: 14 songs

A Hard Day’s Night: 13 songs

With the Beatles: 14 songs

Please Please Me: 14 songs

Past Masters: Volume 1&2: 18 + 15 songs

Beatles: 1976-1970: 14 + 14 songs

Beatles: 1963-1976: 13 + 13 songs

GRAND TOTAL (I think I did math right): 284 songs including repeats from compilation albums.

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What did I learn? The Beatles are awesome, even though I already knew that. I heard a lot of songs for the first time in this ambitious musical task. I have some new favorites.

Also, I learned I was probably born in the wrong decade. That, and/or the Beatles are timeless. I didn’t get bored of them, and I usually get bored of music real quick. I learned a lot of Beatles trivia (which might come in handy at some point). I found their music made me productive since it wasn’t too distracting. Maybe I need to listen to only the Beatles…forever???

LizWitter

Liz Witter is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University where she majored in broadcast journalism with a (useless) minor in French. She is originally from Rochester, NY but moved to Boston for a job...then another job. She spends her free time sleeping, going to Sephora or doing crafts. She plays volleyball recreationally and refuses to believe she peaked in high school. She’ll take Tim Hortons over Dunkin, and Wegmans over basically anything. You can follow her on Twitter at @lwitta6.

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