Every fan or music critic has done it at least once in their lives. And every music magazine does it at least once a year. Just to make readers fight and argue. And click on ads. Everyone tried to rank the Beatles albums. I’m sure most of us hard core fans do this all the time, and I certainly won’t be the only one always changing that order over the years. At the age of eight, I probably liked other songs and other records more than I do today.
Just one thing. The Beatles never made a bad record. Simply didn´t! We know that. We just have to take into account the time and circumstances of their release. First half of their career they actually focused only (or mainly) on singles. And albums were mostly made of the rest of the songs, some of them written overnight.
Anyway. I’m not trying to be right. We all probably have different versions of our rankings. We all know which album is the best. And we all are 100% right. The best Beatles album is the one you are listening to at the time.
It’s hard to appreciate or fairly evaluate this record, I’ve heard the side two maybe twice, and side one is basically useless too. Hey Bulldog and It’s All Too Much, however, are of course brilliant, great songs and it’s a shame these have been relegated to this obscure film soundtrack and doomed to oblivion. Lots of – let’s say – milder fans never heard of them. I have that record, of course, like all the other fans. And lots of dust on it. But complete discography is complete discography.
There is something wrong with this one. I assume they were forced by the record company to release another record quickly for Christmas, so they did. They must have been very tired. And no wonder, those early years they had to work really hard eight days a week… It definitely would be a masterpiece for many other bands of that time but we know it’s way below the Beatles standard, especially as a fourth album. Only a handful of good songs, a few weird covers (Mr. Moonlight scares me and haunts me to this day), bad order of songs (I tried to fix it on my Beatles For Sale … naked), lacking of the big hit, lacking of soul.
Second album, some great songs mixed with shitty covers and – let’s be honest – some shitty Lennon-McCartney original songs as well. First three songs are great, then the quality goes down. I still don’t understand the album cover though. What did Ringo do to them? They were nothing without him, we know that. The cover is somehow upsetting. Wrong. Dissonant. Or am I such a snowflake?
Recorded in one day and it sounds exactly like that. But who would give these amateurs more time in the studio.. In a way it is basically a live album. Great opener, even better closing song and in the middle their hit number one. It is kind of sad to put such a great album so low but they made better later on.
Both Spector and Lennon should be held responsible for destroying this record. They (and all their heirs or estates) should be additionally punished for albumslaughter. Many beautiful songs were ruined, whole album was ruined, whole initial idea was ruined. Even cover was ruined. Fortunately, Paul saved me time and work and later fixed it himself. Let It Be … naked would be much higher in this ranking. Only the guitar solo in Let It Be should not have been changed, the original one is better. On the other hand, so many good things came out of these sessions! Hundreds of bootlegs, basically all first post-Beatles solo albums, books and of course new film 50 years later.
This record shows that the times they were a-changing. It’s starting to be something more than Beatlemania. They started thinking more, creating more, being more independent. In the coming months and years, they will change completely, themselves and music too. Maybe there is something good on drugs after all. One silly mistake has been fixed on Help…Naked.
I’m sure many fans will not be on my side in this case. For some of them, it will sound like blasphemy or sacrilege. But I don’t consider the White album a good record. It’s full of great songs (and some rubbish, too), whatever style of music you can think of, it’s all there. They could do all that like no one else. It´s the best selling Beatles album. But it’s not a great Beatles record. I fully agree with John this time when he later stated that there is no Beatles music in it. It’s John with the band, Paul with the band and George with the band. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the record, on the contrary, I play it quite often. The cover is iconic, Paul‘s drumming not that bad, plenty of excellent songs – enough for brilliant single album. George Martin was right. But would it be THE White Album then? Of course not. Like Paul once said when some fans or critics were complaining about that: It’s the bloody Beatles’ White Album. Shut up!
Finally, they had enough of their own good songs so they didn’t have to include any boring covers. I can’t find a weak song there. From the famous initial chord to the outro of I’ll Be Back it’s so uplifting, joyful and refreshing experience. Ringo made the title, George discovered 12-string Rickenbacker, John and Paul wrote all the songs. They made very funny film, George found Pattie, Paul found Jane Asher, John haven’t found Yoko yet, all in all 1964 was a great year. Proper Beatlemania!
First part of transition. The only weak song is What Goes On, although I changed a few more things on my Naked version. What Goes On is actually a disgrace, it’s not worthy of their names. George found and added to the sound little bit of India, Paul started to be really good and innovative with bass, John contributed with three of his best songs, when all three singing harmonies it sounds amazing, songs are more interesting, not just Yeah hits. Pop music started to change that year.
MMT is a proof that Americans can do something good for the world after all. If they want. Quite logically, they took the EP and added all the great singles from the same period. And the result is one of the best Beatles albums. Fans and experts alike still argue whether it was the right decision and whether MMT should be counted as a full and proper record. I think it was and it should be. It’s even one of the few albums I didn’t have to fix with my own Naked version. To be honest I still don’t understand why Beatles didn’t do it themselves. I often see MMT pretty low in similar rankings and I find it very strange. Fool on the Hill, Walrus, SFF, Penny Lane, All You Need Is Love.. show me another album filled with such quality.
Over the years, I’ve changed the order of the best three records several times. But it was always one of the next three. I am now in the period when Abbey Road fell down to third place. Another iconic cover, great two George’s songs, and the side two is definitely one of the best things that happened to the world in 20th century.
Paul become the stimulus of the band, John added some masterpieces too, George… I´m still not sure what to think but his guitar and singing are excellent as usual, Ringo assisted with his excellent drumming and especially kind of lazy, simple yet powerful fills. As usual, too. They finally had enough time to play with toys in the studio. And enough money for another iconic cover. It’s a milestone in music, something unimaginable until then. So many layers, colours and so much to discover. And it all ends with one of the most recognizable sound in history. But there is one better record… Or maybe more important.
One, two, three, (cough), four.. Every fan remembers the first hearing of Revolver. I believe it had bigger impact on us than Sgt. Pepper. Unseen, unheard, unimaginable before. Slowly retiring from live shows The Beatles had enough time and appetite to create so they could lock themselves in the studio and carry on changing history. All four were on their best at this album. Taxman, Eleanor Rigby, Here There And Everywhere, For No One, Tomorrow Never Knows.. plus Rain and Paperback Writer, fifty years later it still is contemporary music. Only one minor flaw is Yellow Submarine. Not because it is a bad song, it just should not be there. Sorted on my Revolver … naked, of course.
Agree, disagree, insult, comment, try to prove me wrong. I would love to see your own rankings or explanations.