In light of all the hoopla, allow me to show what happens when crackheads talk about the Beatles:
12. ‘Please Please Me’
The Beatles’ full-length debut features several instant classics (“I Saw Her Standing There,” the title track, “Twist and Shout”), to be sure, and its raw rookie energy is often irresistible. Compared to the solid gold tracklists they’d soon be assembling, though, it can’t help but feel a bit hit-or-miss.
That's right--Leah Greenblatt, Simon Vozick-Levinson rated "Please Please Me" twelfth on the list of the Beatles' albums.
Then, they committed this atrocity:
7. ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
Few albums define psychedelia as thoroughly as the band’s eighth studio album — a fantastically ambitious concept record full to brimming with swirly-twirly trips (“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Within You Without You”), old-fashioned rockers (“With a Little Help from My Friends,” “Getting Better”) and perhaps the most brilliant, complex achievement in Beatles history: the sprawling, dramatically tone-shifting magnum opus “A Day in the Life.”
They then picked this:
Choosing the best from a band whose lesser works were still superlative is tough, but the Fab Four’s 1966 masterpiece earns the platinum prize in an already-golden race. From its pioneering use of double-tracked vocals to the proto-psychedelic revelation of “I’m Only Sleeping,” “Tomorrow Never Knows,” and “She Said She Said.” The elegiac beauty of “Eleanor Rigby” is almost reason enough on its own. And yet ... we still have the joyous “Got to Get You Into My Life” and “Good Day Sunshine”; the tender, lovestruck lullaby “Here There and Everywhere”; the poignant, French-horned “For No One.” Heck, even Ringo got his spotlight turn on the immortal goof “Yellow Submarine.” All in all, a work of true art.
Let me fix the list--best to worst:
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Parlophone, 1967)
- Rubber Soul (Parlophone, 1965)
- The Beatles ("The White Album") (Apple, 1968)
- Revolver (Parlophone, 1966)
- Please Please Me (Parlophone, 1963)
- A Hard Day's Night (Parlophone, 1964)
- Help! (Parlophone, 1965)
- Abbey Road (Apple, 1969)
- With The Beatles (Parlophone, 1963)
- Beatles for Sale (Parlophone, 1964)
- Let It Be (Apple, 1970)
- Magical Mystery Tour (U.S./Canada only. Released as a Double EP in the UK) (Capitol, 1967)
- Yellow Submarine (Apple, 1969)
You could try to make the case that Help! and Abbey Road should be higher, but you cannot deny the kick in the pants that Rubber Soul and The Beatles give you when you're thinking clearly. I don't rate Revolver as high as many others, nor as low, but that's just me. And Past Masters were never "studio albums."