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The Beatles’ Most Underrated Song Hit No. 1

The Beatles‘ catalog is filled with ignored gems. One of The Beatles’ No. 1 songs is mostly forgotten today. Here’s why it’s great and What Paul McCartney had to say about it.

1 of The Beatles’ underrated songs has a perfect hard-rock riff
The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” is not a groundbreaking psychedelic relic like “A Day in the Life” or “Revolution 9.” It’s not a stadium anthem like “Hey Jude” or “Let It Be.” Nor is it a radio staple.

But that riff is one of the best in The Beatles’ discography. It’s the perfect blend of bubblegum with hard-rock. Pop music is supposed to make people happy. I doubt anyone could listen to “I Feel Fine” without absorbing some of its joy. “I Feel Fine” is a silly love song but it’s one of The Beatles’ best.

Paul McCartney said the song was more popular than another Beatles track
“I Feel Fine” is at least more popular than some of Paul’s later music. During a 1990 interview with Rolling Stone, Paul said he didn’t want to start out a tour with a Beatles song. “I really got upset by the idea,” he said. “I was going home one night and I thought, ‘That’s really betraying our new material, sending it right down the line.’ Like saying, ‘Hey, I haven’t been around for thirteen years and I haven’t done anything worthwhile. Here’s the Beatles stuff.’

“It’s the obvious thing,” he added. “Boom, bang, Beatles, Beatles. Then you say, ‘Now we’d like to do some new material.’ Boo! Hiss! I’ve seen the Stones try and do it, and it doesn’t go down that great. That’s a fact of life. Even with The Beatles, new material didn’t always go down that well. It was the older tunes. ‘Baby’s in Black’ never went down nearly as well as ‘I Feel Fine’ or ‘She Loves You.’ That’s just the nature of the beast.

“It is hard to follow my own act,” Paul continued. “But the only answer to that would be to give up after The Beatles.”

How The Beatles’ ‘I Feel Fine’ performed on the pop charts
“I Feel Fine” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. It spent a total of 11 weeks. It might seem odd that a No. 1 single would be mostly forgotten but the majority of No. 1 singles are forgotten. The tune appeared on the compilation album 1962–1966. That record climbed to No. 3 and stayed on the chart for 187 weeks.

According to The Official Charts Company, “I Feel Fine” was even bigger in the United Kingdom. There, the track was No. 1 for five weeks, remaining on the chart for 13 weeks altogether. Upon rerelease, “I Feel Fine” reached No. 65 and stayed on the chart for another pair of weeks. 1962–1966 hit No. 3 and lasted on the chart for 167 weeks. 1962–1966 reached No. 3 in the 1990s and spent an additional 47 weeks on the U.K. chart.

“I Feel Fine” doesn’t get enough credit today but it’s more beloved than “Baby’s in Black.”

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