What band is more influential than The Beatles? Maybe only a few, but music changed when the Beatles arrived. From first attracting swarms of adoring fans during Beatlemania to becoming psychedelic hippies and eventually growing out beards at the end of the decade, The Beatles set the foundations for 1970s rock. In under 10 years, they jumped through countless phases, each with amazing albums and songs to listen to. Here is a ranking of The Beatles’ discography for their original U.K. releases, which were eventually released in the United States.
12. “Beatles For Sale” (1964)
“Beatles For Sale” may be last on the list, but still carries a lot of iconic Beatles songs. The record begins on a high with its first three songs, “No Reply,” “I’m A Loser” and “Baby’s In Black,” which saw their songwriting veering into darker territory. The rest of the album occasionally meets these highs, but unfortunately has a decent amount of forgettable tracks.
11. “With The Beatles” (1963)
The Beatles’ sophomore effort could not capture the spontaneity and excitement of their debut record, “Please Please Me.” Their original songs, such as “All My Loving” and “It Won’t Be Long,” are classics and a handful of their covers manage to be charming and catchy. Like “Beatles For Sale,” however, parts of it are just not as memorable as their other albums.
10. “Please Please Me” (1963)
Recorded all in a day, The Beatles began their career on the right note with this album. You can feel their energy and vibrancy in almost every song. You can see all of the influences in their early sound from the covers on the album, such as “Boys,” “Misery” and “Twist And Shout.” More than any of their other early albums, you can see how much fun they were having here.
9. “Let It Be” (1970)
From here on out, every album is going to be great. “Let It Be” is their last released but not last recorded album, due to behind-the-scenes issues. Despite the conflicts in the band at this time, they turned out some beautiful music, like the spacey “Across The Universe” and the soulful “Two Of Us.”
8. “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964)
While making a movie also called “A Hard Day’s Night” at the time, this album is a near-perfect example of The Beatles’ pop music. Paul McCartney and John Lennon crafted an excellent mix of fun pop music and ballads. Every song provides something different but never lets up in its exuberance.
7. “Help!” (1965)
Continuing off of “A Hard Day’s Night,” The Beatles continued to show off their wonderful songwriting skills. You begin to see a folk influence shining through in an increase of acoustic arrangements and matured lyrics in “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” “I’ve Just Seen A Face” and “Yesterday.”
6. “Rubber Soul” (1965)
“Rubber Soul” began The Beatles’ foray into crafting more folksy tracks with full maturation in their songwriting. Songs like “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” and “Girl” showed the band writing story-based songs instead of the theme of love that was constant in their previous projects. This album has zero skips and carries an emotional poignancy that is hard to find on other Beatles records.
5. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (1967)
Considered by some to be the best Beatles album ever because of its role in laying the foundations for concept albums, psychedelic soundscapes and brilliant songwriting, this album is definitely a marvel in music, but for personal preference, it takes the spot as fifth-best.
4. “Magical Mystery Tour” (1967)
Every song on “Magical Mystery Tour” is a whimsical and beautiful journey. “I Am The Walrus” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” are some of their most iconic and weird songs while “Penny Lane” and “All You Need Is Love” showed that The Beatles were able to create anthemic classics.
3. “The Beatles” (1968)
Also known as “The White Album,” this record is a double album with a whopping 30 songs. “The Beatles” ranks third because of how much Beatles music is on it and the insane variety throughout. With so many songs, there are a lot of hidden gems to discover that show off the versatility of the band. It’s a long journey of an album, but not a dull one at all because of all the different directions it takes.
2. “Revolver” (1966)
“Revolver” on the first listen is a certified classic. If you want beautiful love songs, check out “Here, There and Everywhere.” If you want to go feel the sun, check out “Good Day Sunshine.” If you want to get trippy, then “Tomorrow Never Knows” is for you. There is so much goodness packed into the 35-minute record it will make you want to put it on repeat for days.
1. “Abbey Road” (1969)
As their last recorded album, “Abbey Road” feels like an epic finale to the career of the band. It features some of their most iconic songs, like “Come Together,” “Here Comes The Sun” and “Something.” Each song is produced perfectly, giving it a timeless feeling. One of the most notable parts of the album is the medley at the end that seamlessly weaves multiple catchy tracks that culminates in “The End,” a perfect send-off for one of the best bands of all time.
Every Beatles album is worth a listen, which is a testament to the consistently high-quality music the band put forward each and every time.