Whether you’re a devoted Beatles fan or not, you can’t really argue with the fact that they had a lot to do with shaping music history. They came onto the music scene and completely took it by storm. Today, a lot of the techniques that are used on albums are the ones that they not only created, but perfected. For that reason and that reason alone, every music fan has them to thank. You can bet that even if you don’t listen to the Beatles, the artist that you like to listen to most probably did. If you’re looking to hear some new music that you haven’t listened to before, you might decide to look at the top five Beatles albums of all time. On the other hand, if you’re already a die-hard Beatles fan and you can’t get enough of their music, at least now you know how these top five albums rank and why they hold so much significance.
5. Abbey Road, 1969 – 10 million copies sold
The most interesting thing about this album, aside from the fact that it was such a big hit, is that it was actually the last album that was ever recorded by the group. No one would have guessed that at the time, of course. The album was so fresh and exciting and it certainly didn’t seem like it was coming from a band that was on its last legs. They even did the iconic Abbey Road photo. At the time, no one would have guessed that this group was right around the corner from a breakup, as everything about this album seemed to signal that they were becoming stronger and more popular than ever.
4. The Beatles, 1968 – 16 million copies sold
It seems like every time the Beatles released an album, there was something just a little bit different about each one, something that would allow it to stand out all by itself. This one was no different. This was not so much a collaborative work but a representation of each individual member of the band. They all got to put forth certain contributions on the album, as if they were working as solo artists, yet in full support of one another. It made the album very different indeed, and it showcased the individual talents and preferences of each member. Clearly, it’s something that fans loved.
3. Rubber Soul, 1965 – 16.5 million copies sold
This was the band’s sixth album and as far as many music experts are concerned, it marked a changing time, not only for the band itself, but for music in general. There weren’t nearly as many happy go lucky, carefree lyrics in this example. Much of the music had a much deeper, almost melancholy feel to it. Critics said it was the time when the band essentially stopped being boys and became men. They also felt that music in general grew up right along beside them, as they had long been considered the leaders in music, so influential that they were effectively able to direct its path.
2. Revolver, 1966 – 27 million copies sold
It took the Beatles approximately a year-and-a-half to make this album, largely because they wanted every detail of it to be exact. They were also experimenting with new technology that hadn’t been used before. If you’re wondering when playback loops and overdubbing became standard, you have the Beatles to thank. This marks the first time that these technological advancements were used on an album and it completely changed the way that music sounded.
1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967 – 32 million copies sold
According to many fans, this was the album that singularly defined the Beatles. It also changed the way music sounded in the 60s and it still has influences on music today. One of the first things that you’re likely to notice about this album is that these are not just a bunch of songs, all grouped together in the same place. Instead, every song is part of a larger theme and it all comes together as if you were reading a book. It starts out fairly simply, the climax builds, and then you have the last few songs as the closing paragraph. When fans listened to this album, they felt as if they had been told a story and as you can see, they responded by making it the number one album that the Beatles ever produced.