Friday, May 6, 2011

Ranking The Beatles Albums: Part One

Ranking The Beatles albums is always a difficult task. How can you choose one as a top album when so many could fit there? Everyone has their favorite Beatles album, and I will try to make my list of them. It's always tough when you get into the Top 5 especially. Abbey Road seems to be their most popular in the general public, but will it top my list? I will be including the Past Masters with the original 12 studio albums. All albums can be bought in digitally remastered form on CD, or downloaded on iTunes. I prefer CD's. (Album cover images belong to Apple/EMI.) Here's part one:

14. Yellow Submarine (1969) - This soundtrack album is the easiest to place. The album contains only four Beatles songs unique to it. The other two Beatles songs are both on previous albums.The rest of the songs are from the George Martin score to the film. It's still a good album, but it's obviously their weakest. It's definitely worth a part of your collection though, and the artwork inside is some of the best.

13. Please Please Me (1963) - Their first album, which was recorded in one day, is full of fun, classic songs such as "Twist and Shout" and "I Saw Her Standing There." This didn't show The Beatles changing things up from the norm like their later albums, but it shows that they were better than everyone else no matter what songs they recorded. And the fact that they recorded this entire album in one day is nothing short of amazing. There are artists who take years to make an album and it still doesn't reach the quality of this one.

12. A Hard Day's Night (1964) - Another album chock full of hits, the best besides the title track being "Can't Buy Me Love" and "I Should Have Known Better." This accompanied their first film, and really showcases how strong they were as songwriters early on. According to John Lennon the title comes from something Ringo Starr said just as a remark one time that stuck. This is the first albums that features only original songs, and the only album where every song is written by Lennon/McCartney. George Harrison would get a couple songs on other albums.

11. With The Beatles (1963) - Their second album was no Sophomore slump. The cover songs they recorded on here are some of the best, managing to outdo or at least equal the originals. The covers may also outshine the Beatles' original songs on here, but those are no slouch either. My favorites are "Please Mister Postman," "You Really Got a Hold On Me" and "It Won't Be Long." Their famous harmonies sound especially great on this album. 

10. Beatles For Sale (1964) - This is an often underrated album, but is a personal favorite of their four 1963/1964 albums. The first three tracks on the album are amazing, and a preview of things to come on later releases. They have a more emotional, somber tone than any of the songs on their previous albums and the lyrics stand out. They felt a little overworked at this point so that may be the reason for the heavier first three songs. The album cover fits the songs perfectly, with their lack of smiles in the autumn setting of Hyde Park in London. "Eight Days A Week" is the standout track on the entire album, mainly because it is easy and fun to sing along with. 

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