Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Best 11 Beatles Albums

The Best 11 Beatles Albums by Jackson Weinheimer

Why 11 Albums Instead Of 13?

The Beatles have 13 albums in their official UK discography in the CD age. I've taken 2 of those albums out of consideration. Magical Mystery Tour because it was originally released just as an EP. The extra tracks added to it are from earlier singles and it really makes it a bit of a "compilation" in comparison. Yellow Submarine because it only included four new Beatles recordings which wouldn't have even been enough to qualify for an EP, much less an LP. It's padded out with George Martin's instrumentals for the Yellow Submarine movie.

The Ranking

#1 The White Album - The ultimate Beatles album. So much variety. To me it's the one album that I can listen to over and over again and never get tired of. It's imperfections don't bother me, they actually seem to make the album more interesting in a way. I'd also rank this as the greatest album of all time by any band or artist.

#2 Sgt. Pepper - I've heard so many people say that Sgt. Pepper is overrated that I'm pretty sure it's now underrated. I find every song on the album interesting. The arrangements are fantastic. The songs are always imaginative. Obviously if you are someone who only gets off on straight forward rock n roll this won't be your cup of tea.

#3 Revolver - One brilliant song after another although it does lack the cohesiveness of Sgt. Pepper.

#4 Abbey Road - The Beatles most "modern" sounding album. The "suite" on the second side (not that there's "sides" in the digital era) sounds incredible every time I hear it.

#5 Rubber Soul - A lot of classic songs but it does have a few weak spots in comparison to the above albums.

#6 Let It Be - A sort of "clunky" album, especially by Beatles standards. But I think that's the charm of it. Plus it has a lot of really great songs on it. In some ways the 2003 version (Let It Be... Naked) improved upon this release (the stripped back arrangements) but in other ways it took away some of the charm (too "clean" sounding, I miss the little weird linking songs like "Dig It.")

#7 Help! - The title track, "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," "Yesterday," "I've Just Seen a Face," & "Ticket to Ride" are all on this album. I think it's actually a bit underrated.

#8 A Hard Day's Night - This was a huge step forward from their first two albums. Along with the title track "If I Fell," "And I Love Her," & "Things We Said Today" are all great songs.

#9 Beatles For Sale - I think this album suffers from being sandwhiched by the clearly superior albums A Hard Day's Night & Help! when fairly compared to their first two albums (the two at the bottom) I think it's definitely better. The originals here are great. I ignore the covers, they are of little interest to me as they are mostly boring and in some cases downright terrible.

#10 Please Please Me - Their first album. It's got some good songs (the title track, "I Saw Her Standing There," along with their brilliant cover of "Twist & Shout") on it and I like the "energy" of the album overall. But some of the covers are really awful ("Chains," "Boys," "A Taste of Honey"). And some of the originals sound more like songwriting practice than anything really worth listening to.

#11 With The Beatles - I don't find much about this album interesting. I definitely think it's their least essential album. Even less essential than Yellow Submarine because that at least has a couple of awesome songs on it ("Hey Bulldog" & "It's All Too Much.") With The Beatles has "All My Loving" which while it is a great early single, it can be found on lots of Beatles compilations. The rest of the album is basically a bunch of filler in the form of early originals that aren't particularly good and covers that I find very uninteresting.

Listen To The Remastered Beatles. Clips from the newly remastered versions of their albums.

Complete Your Beatles Collection.

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