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Ranking The Beatles Albums In Order Of Greatness

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Very few bands were quite as iconic as the Beatles. Although only together for eight years, this powerful group of four released 13 albums, amounting to over 600 million worldwide sales (and counting!).

There’s no denying that pretty much every single album by The Beatles was a triumph. They were a band that seemingly made no mistakes, delivering masterpiece after masterpiece, no matter what. Due to this, we decided to take it upon ourselves to re-listen to all 13 albums, ranking them in order of greatness.

Although this list is in order of ‘greatness’, the line between each record is thin. If it was possible, we’d put them all in the top spot!

1. Revolver (1966)

Date Released: 5th April 1966

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – 2x Platinum / 600,000 sales
  • USA – 5x Platinum / 5,000,000 sales

Revolver was released after a long stint of touring. It reminded fans that, although going through retirement, The Beatles were still eager to channel their creativity and put it to good use.

This album takes the top spots for many reasons, but mainly due to the fact that it’s fun and diverse. The band’s creativity really shines through on this 14 track album, and just as you would expect, it has influenced many other up and coming bands since its release.

2. The Beatles “The White Album” (1968)

Date Released: 22nd November 1968

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – 2x Platinum / 600,000 sales
  • USA – 24x Platinum / 12,000,000 sales

Even some diehard fans don’t realise that The White Album isn’t this record’s official name. Originally named The Beatles, this album took on the nickname of The White Album due to having an all-white cover (which was quite the change from the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club released prior).

This self-titled LP was The Beatles ninth studio album and is commonly referred to by critics as the greatest album of all time. It’s the first of the band’s albums to experiment with solo acts and different genres, shaping the future of The Beatles. Expect elements of folk, blues, avant-garde and ska.

3. Abbey Road (1969)

Date Released: 26th September 1969

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – 3x Platinum / 900,000 sales
  • USA – 12x Platinum / 12,000,000 sales

Abbey Road is undoubtedly one of the most iconic albums recorded by The Beatles. The cover gets recognised by people who have never even listened to the band before!

This album was actually the last to be recorded by The Beatles, adding further to its iconic status. While you can somewhat tell that the band are running on fumes, this album still delivered the classics “Here Comes The Sun” and “Come Together”. Even in the final days as a band, The Beatles gave us everything they could.

4. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

Date Released: 26th May 1967

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – 18x Platinum / 5,340,000 sales
  • USA – 11x Platinum / 11,000,000 sales

If you want to get a feel of what to expect on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, just take a look at the album’s cover. This record does exactly what it says on the tin, showcasing a whole range of pop-focused, colourful tunes.

We’ve rated this album so highly due to the fact that it marks a turning point for The Beatles. The band really found their ‘sound’ throughout this album, paving the way for their bright future. If an abundance of instruments and vocals match your taste, you’ll love this.

5. With The Beatles (1963)

Date Released: 22nd November 1963

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – Gold / 100,000 sales
  • USA – Gold / 500,000 sales

The album With The Beatles was the second album released by the band, and when you listen to it, you can tell this is the case. The group are still very much finding their signature sound through this album, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Every band has to start somewhere, and for The Beatles, With The Beatles helped to kickstart their rise to fame. Our personal favourite from the record is “Please Mister Postman”.

6. Rubber Soul (1965)

Date Released: 3rd December 1965

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – Platinum / 300,000 sales
  • USA – 6x Platinum / 6,000,000 sales

Although fans were already on The Beatles side when Rubber Soul was released, this album marked a turning point for the whole music industry. This sixth album continues to inspire artists to this day, but back then, most popularly influenced Brian Wilson (who produced the Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” after listening).

When you listen to this album, you’ll immediately be able to tell that The Beatles are starting to break free from stereotypes. The passion for what they do is evident in every track, which is why they reaped so much success in the first place.

7. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

Date Released: 10th July 1964

Certifications & Sales:

  • USA – 4x Platinum / 4,000,000 sales

A Hard Day’s Night was the first album that only featured songs written by the band. Simply put, this album shows The Beatles in all their glory. Expect a full 30 minutes of upbeat jams, backed by speedy guitar riffs and enthusiastic vocals.

8. Let It Be (1970)

Date Released: 8th May 1970

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – Platinum / 300,000 sales
  • USA – 4x Platinum / 4,000,000 sales

Although Abbey Road was the last album recorded by The Beatles, Let It Be was actually the last to be released. There was no real reason for this, apart from the fact that post-production had a lot of obstacles and delays. This is a shame, really, as Abbey Road would have been a stronger finale than Let It Be.

Either way, Let It Be is still a great album. While there are some weaker tracks, the album as a whole is still worth the listen.

9. Please Please Me (1963)

Date Released: 22nd March 1963

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – Platinum / 300,000 sales
  • USA – Platinum / 1,000,000 sales

Please Please Me was The Beatles debut album, so naturally, it’s not their strongest. In fact, it was recorded in 13 hours, which probably didn’t help matters.

We can’t be too tough of a critic on a debut album, especially for a band iconic as The Beatles. What we do love about it, however, is the youthful and energetic vibe of the songs. You can really tell that The Beatles were there to have fun, right from the very beginning.

10. Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

Date Released: 27 November 1967

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – 2x Platinum / 600,000 sales
  • USA – 6x Platinum / 6,000,000 sales

Magical Mystery Tour was released as an EP in the UK and as an album in the USA. While the overall album isn’t their strongest, it does feature some of the band’s greatest hits to date. This includes “All You Need Is Love” and “Penny Lane”.

The album Magical Mystery Tour proves the importance of non-stop strong tracks when recording an album. Because, while some best-selling hits are featured on it, the overall listening experience of the album isn’t the greatest. It’s patchy in places, but you’ll still get excited when your favourites come on.

11. Help! (1965)

Date Released: 27th November 1967

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – Platinum / 300,000 sales
  • USA – 3x Platinum / 3,000,000 sales

Help! was The Beatles fifth album and truly a record that distinguished them from the crowd. While it doesn’t provide as strong of a listening experience as their other albums, the mark of independence in Help! is one that doesn’t go unnoticed. It is on this album that you can find the hit track “Yesterday”.

12. Beatles For Sale (1964)

Date Released: 4th December 1964

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – Gold / 100,000 sales
  • USA – Platinum / 1,000,000 sales

Beatles For Sale marked a potential breaking point for the band; recording four albums in a year is enough to take its toll on anyone. While you can tell the band are tired from the album artwork (…and from some of the tracks), it’s still phenomenal to think that the band kept marching on.

13. Yellow Submarine (1969)

Date Released: 13th January 1969

Certifications & Sales:

  • UK – Gold / 100,000 sales
  • USA – Platinum / 1,000,000 sales

We don’t feel so bad about placing Yellow Submarine last; it’s not particularly revolutionary nor features many new songs. It was made for the animated Beatles movie and featured some leftover session tracks alongside orchestrated music. We suggest leaving this one till last when re-discovering The Beatles.

The Beatles were in a league of their own, with only the likes of Elvis gaining such success around a similar time. With 13 amazing albums to listen to, let us know if you agree with our rankings.

Alex Snell
Alex Snell
If there's something new happening in the music industry, then Alex knows about it. Growing up in a musical family and picking up a guitar from an early age, rock has always influenced her love for music. Alex runs her own jewellery business when she's not engrossed in the world of music. She'll bring you monthly roundups, album reviews and all the speaker knowledge for enjoying music even more. Alex's go-to artists are Don Broco, Nirvana, Miley Cyrus, Fleetwood Mac and Ariana Grande.

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