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What Are Your Top 5 Favorite Beatles Albums?

Prefer the early period of A Hard Day's Night? Or are you a White Album psychedelic type? And which order?

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February 12, 2014 - 2:30 pm
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PJ Lifestyle editor Dave Swindle offers his five picks to get the debate going. This is presented in order counting down to favorite, with favorite tracks offered. Agree? Disagree?

5. Rubber Soul

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All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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Nobody likes Let It Be? - bittersweet and beautiful. My five:

5.White Album
4.Rubber Soul
3.Sgt. Pepper
2.Let It Be
1.Abbey Road
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
1. Revolver... can't believe this didn't make Dave's top 5
2. Rubber Soul
3. Help
4. Abbey Road
5. Meet the Beatles. I Saw Here Standing There, enough said
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm going to dissent. I think a lot of Beatles music doesn't hold up very well, actually, most of it. I would never put "Sgt Pepper" in my CD player in my car. I have it on vinyl and never upgraded. There aren't five favorites for me.

The only albums I would play are Abbey Road and The White Album. Possibly Revolver, which holds up OK And in a retro mood, the first side of Meet the Beatles ain't bad (I saw her standing there is still a classic.)

24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure holding up very well is even an issue. The music was made for and from within a very specific culture and set of trends and fads.

In that sense it holds up as well as '20s jazz or big band music. Whatever one thinks of The Beatles, their innovations and historic status as pop game changers is undeniable.

Music, especially pop music, is almost by default a thing with a short shelf life. Were that not true the Top 40 would go on for years - it never has. I don't read a book ten times in a row but choose another. I may think differently about that book 40 years down the line, but the book wasn't written for that time but from within a time when what was known and enjoyed comprised the culture from which it emerged.

Mid-century commercial illustration may not hold up very well by our standards. Having said that, many of those men were master painters by their standards. That doesn't change. The Beatles were master song writers and arrangers. What other pop act from the beginning of rock and roll on can claim a song book of 100 classic or near-classic hits?

It's not whether it holds up very well but holds up compared to what? Bing Crosby? Fado? Yes? The Beatles are the Jack Kirby, E.R. Burroughs, Tolkien and Heinlein of their pop culture world. It's probably difficult to overestimate the influence of each, so widely dispersed are they; easy to underestimate it.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, in reply to "Fail Burton," the question which Dave Swindle asked was "What are your top 5 favorite Beatles albums," not "What 5 Beatles albums made the biggest splash"! For my top 5, I consider listenability to be the prime characteristic, not what impact an album had soon after it was released. And much of "Sgt. Pepper" is not all that listenable to my ears, or to many others.

Some popular music IS timeless. Many songs of Stephen Foster, Irving Berlin, Johnny Mercer and Richard Rogers, and many old songs from England, France, Russia and other places are of high musical quality, and often enjoyed today. I submit that the Beatles are inferior to Foster, Berlin and Mercer. Yet, still, the Beatles did make some good, timeless music. I don't consider most of "Sgt. Pepper" to be of that high quality, though. Much of its appeal, at the time it came, out was its novelty, as is a vast amount of the appeal of rock and other forms of pop music. Some of the appeal of music is subjective, but there are also objective qualities to consider when listening to popular music, as with other forms of music.

No matter how enjoyable or clever their songs, the Beatles also were nowhere near as great as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Prokofiev or other classical composers. Of course not everyone has the patience for a Mozart sonata or a Prokofiev ballet, and that's fine. There is a great treasure trove of popular music from centuries ago onwards which we can delve into. And its quite legitimate to compare different forms of music within the pop genres. Often people today are guilty of either ignorance or chronological snobbery when they claim that rock groups such as the Beatles are superior to previous forms of popular music.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
As music, I think "Sgt. Pepper" is often very overrated. It was considered revolutionary at the time, and that still effects a lot of people's opinions. It does have what I think are a few very good songs, such as "A Day In the Life," but I personally don't find it very enjoyable as a whole album.

I also think that there are lots of great Beatles singles that are on other albums that don't hold up well as a whole.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Egil -- Brilliant list! The only change I'd make would be to reverse your #1 and #2 albums. For me, "Revolver" is not just the Beatles' best album, but the best pop rock album of all time. Other than that, I think your list is perfect (including the individual tracks)!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks Johnny L! It was hard for me to decide on my #1, and I almost put Revolver there. I guess my "psychedelic" likings won out this time at least! :-)

This was a lot of fun!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
5. Help
4. A Hard Day's Night
3. Sgt. Pepper
2. Abbey Road
1. Revolver

Although I love them all...
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
David, I'm so glad Abbey Road was your favorite! :-)

My top 5:

5.Magical Mystery Tour
4. Hard Day's Night
3. Help!
2. Sgt. Pepper
1. Abbey Road
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yesterday and Today
Please Please Me
White Album
Sgt. Pepper
Abbey Road
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
My favorites are from different periods, especially middle and later. Counting down to my top favorite...

5. White Album; favorite tracks "Sexy Sadie" and "Dear Prudence"

4. Abbey Road; favorite tracks "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window"

3. Beatles For Sale; favorite tracks "No Reply," "I'm a Loser" and "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"

2. Revolver; favorite tracks "I'm Only Sleeping," "She Said She Said," "And Your Bird Can Sing," "Doctor Robert," "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Eleanor Rigby"

1. Magical Mystery Tour; favorite tracks "I Am the Walrus," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "All You Need Is Love," "Baby You're a Rich Man"
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
All of them, though Magical Mystery Tour, not so much. Only one I'm missing the the Blue Album on blue vinyl.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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