For anyone who has talked to me in person or through the blog…the number one choice is NOT going to be a surprise. The rest of the bunch might be a little but not number 1. It’s also an almost impossible task for me to do this. The Stones albums were easier to rank.
I’ve seen Hanspostcard to this before but I’ve never tried it. Since it would be convoluted to include the American versions…I’m sticking with the UK versions only…except with Magical Mystery Tour. Magical Mystery Tour was released as two eps in the UK but an album in the US…now the album is considered the standard.
I was struck again by how far they came. Please Please Me and four years later I Am The Walrus. Who makes that big of a jump?
As with my Stones list a while back… I will do this on personal preference. When people mention the best Beatle album…many say Revolver or Sgt Pepper. Artistically I always thought Revolver is at the top but not personally.
The only easy selection for me was the bottom two but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them both. Many bands would make a career out of the bottom two. The hardest part was comparing the early albums with the others. That is not all…how do you compare Strawberry Fields with I Want To Hold Your Hand to Something off of Abbey Road?
I have some readers who are pro-early Beatles and some who are pro-middle to late. I’ll take them all. They were innovative to start off with…not just middle to late. I know that many will disagree and I hope you do… that’s the fun of these lists! If I made this tomorrow…only the top pick and the last two would be the same. I have over 40 revisions of this post…yea it was hard.
13. Yellow Submarine (Soundtrack) – This was the dumping ground of the not wanted songs for a while. The Beatles would keep sending songs to this album but just because it was last doesn’t mean it wasn’t any good. The album also had songs from other albums on this one.
Favorite Song – Hey Bulldog
12. Beatles For Sale – The cover tells the story. Beatlemania had worn them down physically and emotionally. Six out of the fourteen songs on the album are cover versions. They were good cover versions but were running low on gas at this point.
Favorite Song – No Reply
11. Let It Be – My love for this album has grown but I’ve always liked it. Lately, it has drawn new fans into the Beatles because of the Get Back film. Why oh why did Phil Spector leave off Don’t Let Me Down? This is another album that I hated to rank as low as I did.
Favorite Song – Two Of Us
10. Please Please Me – I love this debut album. They recorded most of it in one day… on February 11, 1963. Recording this in one day shows you how well they knew their material. It takes people days just to start on an album…much less get it done. It really hurts to rank this as low as it is.
Favorite Song – Please Please Me
9. Magical Mystery Tour – I remember buying this album as a kid I liked it better than Sgt Pepper at the time. Many of the songs had already appeared on singles like Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, Hello Goodbye, I Am The Walrus.
Favorite Song – Strawberry Fields Forever
8. With The Beatles – This album was close to its American counterpart (Meet The Beatles) without I Want To Hold Your Hand. It had many more covers. I think Meet The Beatles could be a little better because it was totally made up of Lennon-McCartney songs with Harrison’s first original song…Don’t Bother Me.
Favorite Song – It Won’t Be Long (one of my favorite Beatles songs of all time)
7. Help! – For me this album gets underrated and this is where you can start hearing the change between Beatlemania and more mature Beatle music. It opens the door for Rubber Soul and then Revolver.
Favorite Song – The Night Before
6. Abbey Road – This album has been said to sound more modern than the other Beatles albums. The reason is they recorded on a 16-track recorder just installed at the time in Abbey Road. It was the last album they all worked on together.
Favorite Song – The “mini pop opera” on side B
5. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The most famous album of the Beatles and quite possibly of all time. As John Lennon said it wasn’t really a concept album after the first two tracks and the refrain…it worked because they said it worked. If The Beatles would have included Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane…this could be my number 1.
Favorite Song: perhaps my favorite of all time… A Day In The Life
4. Rubber Soul – This was known as their pivotal album. I think Help! was the album that you started to know the change between the early Beatles and mid-Beatles but this one was full-blown. It shows their folk and drug influence with their great melodies.
Favorite Song – In My Life
3. A Hard Day’s Night (Soundtrack) – I think this is the best album they released during the Beatlemania days and on some days it could be listed even higher. Songs such as the title track, Tell Me Why, I Should Have Known Better, If I Fell, Anytime At All, and many more.
Favorite Song – I’ll Cry Instead
2. Revolver – I think Revolver is the Beatle’s best album artistically. It’s not the most popular with the masses but it’s a masterpiece of an album. I’m biased but this one or Pet Sounds? I would take Revolver any day of the week…and I love Pet Sounds! It’s as close to a perfect album as you can get.
Favorite Song – Tomorrow Never Knows
- The Beatles (White Album) – This not only is my favorite Beatles album…but my favorite album of all time. It gives such a wide palette of music… there is something that everyone would like on here somewhere. Unlike Abbey Road or Sgt Pepper…it’s not slick…it’s them playing in a room. I like the well-known songs and I love the album tracks even more. Actually, all are album tracks technically because there were no singles (except for an overseas single) from this album. Songs included Back in the USSR, Helter Skelter, Dear Prudence, Sexy Sadie, Cry Baby Cry, Revolution 1, and so many more.
Favorite Song: Sexy Sadie