23. The Beatles, 'In My Life'
Writers: John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Producer: George Martin
Released: Dec. '65, Capitol
"''In My Life' was, I think, my first real, major piece of work," John Lennon said. "Up until then it had all been glib and throwaway." The ballad reflects the serious turn the Beatles took with Rubber Soul, but it specifically arose from a journalist's challenge: Why don't you write songs about your life? The original lyrics put Lennon on a bus in Liverpool, "and it was the most boring sort of 'What I Did on My Holidays Bus Trip' song," he said. So Lennon rewrote the lyrics, changing the song into a gorgeous reminiscence about his life before the Beatles. The distinctive "harpsichord" solo near the song's end is actually an electric piano played by Martin and sped up on tape.
Appears on: Rubber Soul (Capitol)