RANKED! The Beatles’ Albums
Ranking the best Beatles albums is like picking your favorite pizza. There are no wrong answers. It’s friggin’ pizza. The Beatles might not be your favorite band of all-time but you can still appreciate them. Their story is as iconic as their songs. In the same way that a new generation (re)discovered Queen thanks to Bohemian Rhapsody, the same effect should happen to the Fab Four thanks to Oscar-winner Danny Boyle’s new film Yesterday. The musical fantasy is set in a world where the Beatles never existed. Sorry, Danny boy, but that’s not a world we want to live in. It was a “Hard Day’s Night,” but we had to “Come Together” to rank The Beatles’ albums.
Cover Photo: Roger Viollet Collection (Getty Images)
Here comes the pun: A Hilariously Accurate Timeline of The Beatles
12. 'Beatles for Sale'
A transition album that finds the band wanting to break out of the "boy band" box, this album lacks the infectious joy of their previous releases as evidenced by the title and songs like “I’m a Loser.” Still, the cover songs are top-notch.
11. 'With The Beatles'
The brilliant yet combustible John Lennon-Paul McCartney collaborations are at their best in this sophomore slump-buster that produced hits like "All My Loving" and "It Won’t Be Long."
10. 'Please Please Me'
The Beatles’ full-length debut captures the energy and exuberance of their live set ("I Saw You Standing There," "Anna," "Love Me Do") that took them from Liverpool dive bar band to the world’s most famous music group.
9. 'Magical Mystery Tour'
Magical Mystery Tour is one of the Beatles' rare failures. That is the television movie, not the experimental soundtrack album that has outlived its inspiration with sweeping pop(py) hits like “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” and “All You Need Is Love.”
With younger and hungrier bands (The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks) gunning for their throne, this is a rare Beatles album that seems less than the sum of its parts. Brilliant at times. Confusing at others (just like the film that it was created for), it still produced the timeless “Yesterday.”
7. 'A Hard Day's Night'
Their third album was a soundtrack to their triumphant film of the same name. The feel-good recordings are packed with youthful optimism and masterful songwriting that produced songs “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and “I Should Have Known Better,” which would make the Beatles the greatest band of all-time.
6. 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'
A psychedelic fever dream that plays like a pop concert inside four musical genius heads. The first three tracks alone ("Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "With a Little Help From My Friends," and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds") would make the career of 99 percent of music artists.
5. 'Let It Be'
A back-to-basics rock album that feels like a last-ditch effort to keep the band together. It produced some middling hits and the immortal title track. The Beatles “officially” broke up after its 1970 release.
4. 'Rubber Soul'
Having mastered American pop and R&B, the Fab Four take on folk and soul and knock it out of the park with “In My Life,” “Drive My Car,” and “Michelle.”
Considered by many purists to be the greatest rock album of all time, this 1966 masterpiece was forged in a studio and fueled by drugs, mysticism, and sonic experimentation. In 1966, the band was at a crossroads and veered into the unknown path with experimental classics like "Eleanor Rigby," "Tomorrow Never Knows," and "Good Day Sunshine" that redefined pop music for the next century.
2. 'Abbey Road'
Rarely does the GOAT in any field go out to greener pasture while still on top, but the Fab Four’s last studio album is one of their best. You can hear the tension of Lennon and McCartney in the songs but drama brings out the best in both for legendary songs like “Come Together” and “Here Comes the Sun.” It's the perfect curtain call.
1. 'White Album'
Only the Beatles could indulge in not one but two rock star band ego trips (the concert album and double album) and still produce a masterpiece. Sure, it’s got some filler but it also features the band at its ballsiest (“Helter Skelter”) and most bizarre (“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”).