The Beatles - For the Modern Listener

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

-David Schoen

To put it simply; The Beatles are my favorite band of all time. I grew up listening to their music and I thought it would be best to rate all of their albums in order to put them in a modern context for the listener of today. That way, many people who are interested in the band can get a sense of what to expect, and may find out what they like or don’t like about The Beatles. This list is not for a specific audience, but those who are already fond of Rock music may enjoy this list. So don’t be afraid to research some English Rock songs from the 1960s before continuing!

The tables begin with the band’s first album from 1963 and continues until their final album, released in 1970. I must make one disclaimer that the list is separated into the band’s early period (1963-1965) and their later period (1966-1970). In their early period, you will find that their sound is generally more softer than the more harder, assorted songs of their later period. I also must advise to you readers is that this list of albums is based off of the European track listings. From 1963-1966, America altered the original track listings of The Beatles records, seen by many as “butchering” their work. Therefore, each album on this list from Please Please Me to Revolver is ranked based on their “official” track listing from their territory of origin: the United Kingdom.

Early Beatles (1963-1965)

Please Please Me (1963) 8/10

Rock & Roll English Merseybeat sounds complete with lyrics regarding teenage love and youthful excitement.

With The Beatles (1963) 8/10

The band covers Motown and Musical classics while still emulating the British Invasion’s early 1960s Rock & Roll feel.

A Hard Day’s Night (1964) 8.5/10

The band’s Rock & Roll peak, incorporating more music with Traditional Pop elements. Additionally, a great comedy movie!

Beatles For Sale (1964) 9/10

Simpler sounds mixed with their Rock & Roll image. Overall, most songs have softer sounds and relaxing imagery.

Help! (1965) 9.5/10

A more Classic Rock sound. The band began to modulate their exuberant image, so there’s more acoustic work on Help!.

Rubber Soul (1965) 10/10

This album possesses Folk, Pop, and Soul influences. Also has diverse lyrics on the idea of love. My personal favorite album.

Late Beatles (1966-1970)

Revolver (1966) 10/10

A great mix of Bubblegum Pop, Indian, Psychedelic, and Rock & Roll tones, prompting VH1 to name it the best album ever.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) 9/10

A truly Experimental and Psychedelic journey, influencing Rolling Stone magazine to declare it as the greatest album of all time.

Magical Mystery Tour (1967) 9/10

Very underrated record with artistic brilliance. Tracks 7-11 include happier musical overtones and four hit #1 American singles.

The Beatles [a.k.a. The White Album] (1968) 8.5/10

One of the most diverse records of all time, incorporating Blues, Jazz, Folk, Hard Rock, Metal, Pop, and Ska elements.

Abbey Road (1969) 10/10

Heavy concentration on Blues, Pop, and Progressive Rock sounds. Very elaborate orchestration in their last recorded album.

Let It Be (1970) 8.5/10

Iconic Rock songs with Folk and R&B influences. Recorded much before Abbey Road, it’s technically their penultimate album.

Please note that this is an opinion piece based on my personal music tastes.

Thanks for reading, happy listening! Rock on.

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