The Beatles Albums - Best To The Merely Above Average!

by Howard Scott
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No band in recorded history has had their work scrutinized like the Fab Four. Everyone has a favorite tune, a favorite album, and even a favorite Beatle. Into this meat grinder of subjectivity, I throw my two cents. For ease of purpose, I am using the British releases, since they weren't quite as strangely constructed as some of the US versions. I debated whether or not to include Magical Mystery Tour, as it was actually released as two EPs in jolly old England. Seeing how it has been a full-fledged album in Blighty since 1976, I guess it has earned the title. It also includes songs like "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever", which probably would not have seen 33 1/3 play otherwise. Greatest hits albums, anthologies, and various other rehashes also don't appear. This is the studio work of The Beatles, while they were actively working as a four-piece entity.

One and two are almost interchangeable, three (their debut album) was recorded in one day, as maybe the most heralded five hundred and some odd minutes in a studio ever, and four was the all-important sophomore recording that proved they weren't a fluke. Your results may vary. Feel free to chime in. I'm rather expecting a good thrashing from the audience!
Click an album below to read a review

Comments (10)

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My problem with The Beatles albums is that there's always a really annoying track or two on them. Even Revolver has Yellow Submarine which has to be skipped. The White Album would be a brilliant single album if they ditched all the crap like...

My problem with The Beatles albums is that there's always a really annoying track or two on them. Even Revolver has Yellow Submarine which has to be skipped. The White Album would be a brilliant single album if they ditched all the crap like Ob-la-di... My order would be:


  1. Revolver
  2. Rubber Soul
    Magical Mystery
    Abbey Road
    Sgt Pepper

I'm not a fan of the early albums as my parents played them to death.

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I had a good laugh at your comment, Bob. I couldn't agree more on "Yellow Submarine" et al. McCartney is responsible for some of the greatest and worst songs of The Beatles. It seemed his penchant for saccharin crap carried into his solo career...

I had a good laugh at your comment, Bob. I couldn't agree more on "Yellow Submarine" et al. McCartney is responsible for some of the greatest and worst songs of The Beatles. It seemed his penchant for saccharin crap carried into his solo career as well.

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Its funny ,to hear Mac tell it, He had very little help writing his later Beatles stuff. It is amazing, however, how badly his compositions deteriorated after the group split up. Perhaps the lack of an in-house rivalry with Lennon, and later...

Its funny ,to hear Mac tell it, He had very little help writing his later Beatles stuff. It is amazing, however, how badly his compositions deteriorated after the group split up. Perhaps the lack of an in-house rivalry with Lennon, and later Harrison made him get lazy, but something sure changed.

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Who needs help with "Ebony & Ivory?" :D

It's funny bc his early solo stuff is pretty good. But there's some later 70s and forward stuff that is...ugh....

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Haha, sounds like your parents had excellent taste! I agree on The White Album. Half of it should have seen the cutting room floor (Hence the last place ranking).
As for one or two annoying tracks, that is true IMHO, of almost any album I have...

Haha, sounds like your parents had excellent taste! I agree on The White Album. Half of it should have seen the cutting room floor (Hence the last place ranking).
As for one or two annoying tracks, that is true IMHO, of almost any album I have ever listened to by anybody.
I thought that for years, John Lennon must have had nightmares about his name being on the writing credits for Ob-La-Di, among other McCartney swill.

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While Revolver would top my list, Abbey Road and The White Album would be next. Always felt Sgt. Pepper's was overrated. Not that I think it sucks but give me Rubber Soul over it any day of the week.

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You make a very interesting distinction, Howard. With a group like The Beatles, it's hard to downplay the greater significance of their early records, despite not necessarily being their "best." Just the same, if that rule applies across the...

You make a very interesting distinction, Howard. With a group like The Beatles, it's hard to downplay the greater significance of their early records, despite not necessarily being their "best." Just the same, if that rule applies across the board, then the early works of all artists would be more important than much of their latter efforts simply because of the same argument you used - without them, there wouldn't be the other works. It's an almost mind-boggling link from the originators of the many and varied musical roots of pop/rock and roll to their myriad descendants. Certainly without these influences, the music we enjoy now might never have been made, including that of The Beatles. So, how then to assign some type of hierarchy?

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Hey Steve: Believe me, I struggled with the concept. With The Beatles, comparing their early stuff to anything after Rubber Soul is almost like apples and oranges. How do you objectively compare "And I Love Her" to "Strawberry Fields Forever"? It...

Hey Steve: Believe me, I struggled with the concept. With The Beatles, comparing their early stuff to anything after Rubber Soul is almost like apples and oranges. How do you objectively compare "And I Love Her" to "Strawberry Fields Forever"? It is hard to believe that the same four guys are making the music.
I guess I'm a bit more protective of the band since I grew up with them, and firmly believe rock would have died when Elvis went in the army if they hadn't come along. I was one of those nine year olds sitting in front of a black and white TV( that got four channels!) on a Sunday night in February 1964, whose life was forever changed by the act he was seeing on Ed Sullivan's show. (Even saw them live. Detroit, 1966!)
When the early stuff came out, it was far and away the best there was out there. I'm not sure it should be discounted just because what came later is considered "better". Some of it was, some of it wasn't.
Another fact that seems to get lost is that this entire body of work (13 albums) was constructed in less than seven years time. How do you grade it, and at the same time complain about a clunker or two per album? Its like driving a Ferrari and complaining it gets lousy gas mileage!
So, I guess I'm guilty as charged!

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If like me you can't bear to listen to Yellow Submarine and other duff tracks, I'd recommend buying the box set with all of their albums and singles and make your own compilation. I'm not a fan of their early stuff so my comp starts with...

If like me you can't bear to listen to Yellow Submarine and other duff tracks, I'd recommend buying the box set with all of their albums and singles and make your own compilation. I'm not a fan of their early stuff so my comp starts with Paperback Writer and it's then a brilliant 40 track mix.

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