Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ranking The Beatles Albums: Part Two

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.) Click Here for Part One. Here is part two:

9. Past Masters (1988) - During their career they released many singles that were not on any original studio album, feeling it was better value for people as opposed to having a bunch of singles people already owned on the albums. This was released in 1988 to collect all those singles and B-Sides. Classic songs like "She Loves You", "I Feel Fine", "Rain", "Hey Jude", "Revolution", and "Don't Let Me Down." However, I didn't want to rank it any higher than this because it's not an original studio album, more of a compilation. But still, those classic songs aren't on any of the studio albums, so this fits in perfectly with the standardized catalog. 

8. Help! (1965) - This album features some influence by Bob Dylan ("You've Got To Hide Your Love Away). This was a preview of things to come with the group, while still retaining the fun rock-n-roll of previous albums. The songs here all fit together nicely, with a bunch of stand outs, "Ticket to Ride", "Help!", and "You're Going to Lose That Girl." This accompanies their film of the same name.

7. Let It Be (1970) - Their final album released has perhaps one of their top 10 songs of all time on it, the title track. The album is interesting, and while the Phil Spector wall of sound is sometimes criticized, I don't think it is too bad. It sounds especially good on "I Me Mine." Also worth giving a shout out to Let It Be... Naked (2003) which was released without any of Spector's overdubs, and includes "Don't Let Me Down", which the 1970 original version left off. Paul McCartney prefers the Naked version, but both are solid. The songs on the naked version sound more like the ones played on the famous Apple rooftop concert.

6. Rubber Soul (1965) - This is The Beatles album that completely moved them to a more mature place. It also featured completely original material, no covers as with most previous albums. The sitar made its first appearance here as well on "Norwegian Wood", and would be used further on their next few psychedelic albums.  This is where it becomes difficult to rank the albums, because they are all excellent masterpieces. They began their experimentation with music here, and would expand it on further albums. 

*Special Shout-out* - Love (2006) - While not part of the list, the Love mash-up album which accompanies the Vegas show is definitely worth owning. The songs sound fresh and give you a whole new perspective. They did a great job mixing different tracks together, and they give you interesting info in the album (or iTunes LP) on how they did it. It's like listening to The Beatles all over again for the first time.


  1. It's got to be Revolver or Abbey Road for me, I think. But then again it could be Sgt. Pepper's...

    Gah, it's all too hard to rank them. Good list though!

  2. I know, I think my list is always changing. They're all so good. Except Yellow Submarine always stays last. The songs are good, not enough Beatles tracks though.