If you’re struggling to figure out where to start with the Beatles, you’ll have an even harder time figuring out where to end.
The Beatles dominated that 1960s and ushered in an era of music that outlived the peace signs and beehive hairdos.
The Beatles’ discography is vast, but there are a handful out of their 12 studio albums that really encapsulate the band’s creativity and ingenuity.
The Beatles Albums Ranked
The White Album (1968)
“The White Album’s” plain appearance may give the impression that it’s nothing special, but that’s not the case for this epic 30-track record.
The actual name of the album is simply “The Beatles” but fans quickly christened it “The White Album” thanks to its distinctive cover art.
The Beatles wrote much of this album while on a transcendental meditation course in India. All of the members contributed to the songwriting process, yet only about half of the songs that made it onto the final cut featured all four Beatles.
The entire album spans multiple genres and the use of the guitar is heavy throughout because that is the only western instrument the band had available during their time in India.
The most popular song from “The White Album” is: “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”
Abbey Road (1969)
“Abbey Road” was a wide-ranging album that covered a multitude of themes.
Some were silly tracks, such as “Mean Mr. Mustard,” and others were heartfelt ballads like “Here Comes the Sun.”
The band used many artificial production tricks throughout the record, which some criticized. The synthesizer is a prominent piece of technology that influenced many songs on “Abbey Road”
The Beatles had many famous falling outs, but “Abbey Road” got the band back together for one final album. The last time all four Beatles were in the studio together was during the creation of this work.
The most popular track from “Abbey Road” is: “Here Comes the Sun”
“Help!” maintains its whimsical nature throughout, with nearly all songs being upbeat in pace.
The album makes use of multitracking capabilities that allowed The Beatles to layer instrumentals on top of each other to create a fresh sound.
This album showcased George Harrison’s songwriting abilities with “I Need You” and “You Like Me Too Much.”
The title track to the album had a quick tempo, but John Lennon insisted that it was really a depressing cry for help.
“Help!” was also the band’s first Grammy nod in the Album of the Year category.
The most popular track from “Help!” is: “Yesterday”
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
The Beatles’ eighth album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” was an innovation by the band.
The album explored numerous themes, including drugs and fashion, as well as the technical aspects of music production.
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was a concept album at its core, as it was originally conceived of by Paul McCartney as the musical musings of a fictional military band.
“Strawberry Fields Forever” is a classic from the album, and it harkens to Lennon’s personal anxiety of the band and its future.
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was inspired by a drawing done by Lennon’s young son, Julian, although many believed it was a reference to LSD.
The most popular track from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is: “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”
The Beatles were truly ahead of their time, pushing the boundaries of musical expression and production in each of their albums.
Whether it’s the whimsy of “Help!”, the introspection of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, the genre-hopping of “The White Album”, or the finale of “Abbey Road”.
We highly recommend starting with these timeless classics. Immerse yourself in the musical landscape of the 1960s, and experience the musical revolution that was the Beatles.
Let their music inspire, move, and captivate you, just as it has done for generations.