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Barring the collapse of the space-time continuum, this was bound to happen at some point, but it’s still a shock: The first Beatles album, Please Please Me, turned 50 years old this year.

We celebrate musical anniversaries all the time around here, but 50 years of the Beatles feels especially significant — and especially mortifying. Decades after its release, this music continues to saturate modern life. Pretty much every living human in the Western world has grown up with the Beatles — whether you love them (the correct position, come on), hate them (who are you people?), or pretend to hate them to get a rise out of people (you probably don’t care for pizza either, right?), you certainly haven’t escaped them — and as that golden anniversary reminds us, we’re all getting a lot older. Even today’s lovable moptops will weaken, wrinkle and wither away someday. Consider yourself warned.

Anyway, the Beatles: As a kid in the ’90s, my personal understanding of pop culture dated back to the ’60s, and more specifically to the Beatles. Rock ’n’ roll had a storied history before this, but thanks to the abundance of Fab Four documentaries on TV, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan might as well have been the Big Bang as far as I was concerned. Their influence has been so subsumed into pop culture, their career trajectory from teeny-boppers to serious artistes and countercultural apostles so fundamental to shaping the media-approved rock ’n’ roll canon, their supremacy so assumed among all but the contrarians, that everything before them seemed inessential. Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and so many others would have something to say about that, but hey, I was ignorant and naive. And even now, in my slightly less ignorant and naive state, they’re still the obvious choice as the most influential musicians of their century and the greatest rock band of all time. Neither their ridiculous batting average nor their sheer scope of ambition can be denied. They’re the best.

As for the best of the best, well, that’s been debated and debated and debated for decades. Everyone has their ideas about what’s the greatest iteration of the Beatles. Most list-making types lean toward the back half of the band’s career, when they rewrote the rock band rulebook several times over without abandoning the pop instincts that nabbed them the spotlight in the first place. But a vocal contingent prizes those simpler, more raucous early works, when they seemed to be both the catchiest and loudest thing going, when they could (and did) send entire stadiums spiraling out of control. Somebody out there probably even considers Yellow Submarine their pinnacle! It would be difficult to find a music fan who doesn’t have some kind of opinion on this matter.

So yeah, the Beatles catalog has been ranked and ranked, and for good reason. Not only are these albums among history’s most wondrous composites of popular music, the Beatles also almost singlehandedly established albums as rock’s dominant format and the popular musician’s definitive statement. Before the studio war with Brian Wilson that yielded Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper among other classics, rock was a singles game and LPs were mostly tossed together. From then on, the album ruled, at least until Napster and iTunes and SoundCloud came along to arguably turn popular music a la carte again. So when we’re shuffling through Beatles albums, we’re shuffling through the formative history of the album as we know it.

Thankfully, that’s far from a chore. There’s so much magnificence to behold here. We’ve all lived with this music so long that we take it for granted, but every time I go back for another Beatles binge, I’m taken aback by what this band accomplished in less than a decade. They could never have so thoroughly changed the shape of popular music if their music hadn’t been so powerful. (To paraphrase a self-professed black Beatle, no one band should have all that power.) Life is short, so we might as well wring as much joy as we can from its finest fruits. Half a century later, let’s revisit the Beatles catalog one more time together and have a blast dissecting and dissenting in the comments.

A brief clarification before we begin: Because Capitol released a number of Beatles LPs that reshuffled or stitched together Parlophone’s original British releases, and because even some of the more purposefully sequenced latter-day Beatles albums had different tracklists in America, we’re considering the British versions canon for this Countdown as has become standard practice. Thus, most of the early American releases have been omitted, including Introducing… The Beatles, Meet The Beatles, The Beatles’ Second Album (though All Music Guide makes a good case for it), Something New, Beatles ’65, and Beatles IV. The countless repackaged retrospectives and rarities comps, from Past Masters to The Beatles Anthology, are excluded too.

OK, let’s do it! The Countdown begins here.

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Comments (175)
  1. This was a bad idea

  2. What an amazing streak. When a record like With The Beatles is your second to worst album, you’ve done pretty well.

  3. This will certainly be a sound and well reasoned comment section.

  4. Just want to point out that the Yellow Submarine cover shot is from the late 90′s compilation. The original soundtrack, with all the instrumental tracks, had a different front cover.

    Agree with the top 5, but would have mixed it up a little.

    01. Abbey Road
    02. The White Album
    03. Rubber Soul
    04. Revolver
    05. Sgt. Pepper

  5. The bait is in the water

  6. oh boy. Mother Theresa jumped the gun.

  7. *Superior. *ahem. *leaves planet*

  8. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  9. Ugh, enough of the Sgt Peppers praise already! Revolver is a much better album, and I’d say a few others are arguably better as well.

    And Sgt Peppers wasn’t a groundbreaking psychedelic album… it just took psychedelic to the Top 40. All you have to do is look at some of the releases of the day to spot what the real groundbreaking psych records were, and what the poppy adaptations were. Hell, the Floyd were recording Piper At the Gates of Dawn right down the hall from the Beatles, and it is a known fact that Paul would check in on them from time to time. Now, Piper didn’t have the commercial Top 40 appeal of the Beatles… but listen to those two albums and tell me which is more groundbreaking.

    Zappa’s Freak Out! and Absolutely Free were both out well before Sgt Peppers (and Lumpy Gravy was released at roughly the same time). The Grateful Dead’s first abum, as well as Airplane’s classic Surrealistic Pillow were out before Sgt. Pepper. Hendrix’s Are You Experience was out before Sgt. Pepper. Anyway, point being the Beatles get a lot of credit for things where they were the followers, not the innovators, and the revisionist history really needs to stop.

    • I’d say it’s groundbreaking to be able to bring psychedelic to the top 40. I mean innovative or not, it’s a superbly crafted album. It also made Brian Wilson go insane. Imagine feeling inadequate after Pet Sounds.

      • hear hear.

      • This. No one – Beatle nor critic – has ever claimed Sgt. Pepper was either the first or the most psychedelic (about as useful a term as “grunge” was in the ’90s) album of its era. What was groundbreaking was the massive numbers of people listening to it.

        That said, I prefer Revolver, which IMO works better as an argument for psychedelic groundbreaking. “Tomorrow Never Knows” (the first song recorded for it) is the sound of Lennon pulling out the jackhammer.

    • Thank you – totally agreed.

      If anything, I’d say Rubber Soul did more to push music forward that Sgt. Pepps did. And it’s better. Much better.

      • Rubber Soul gets too much credit for what I feel is a stunning but still mainly transitional album. Give me every album they have made afterwards before Rubber Soul.

    • Hendrix himself thought enough of Sgt. Pepper to open one of his shows with the title track, so yeah…

      • According to Paul, by the end of the first week that Sgt. Pepper came out, Hendrix was playing every song off the album at his shows in England.

    • Revolver is my favourite Beatles album, but in my opinion Sgt. Peppers is better than any other album you’ve mentioned here. So what if it came out afterwards.

    • Pretty much all of those albums are working a different type of psych though. They deal more in blues-based long-form guitar rock. Sgt. Peppers pulls more in the direction of pop structures with odd additions. I would never put Sgt. Peppers at the top of my Beatles list or at the top of any psychedelic albums list, but to say it wasn’t groundbreaking in its own right is just ignoring all the music that it spawned. And that doesn’t even touch on the thematic material behind the album, the idea that a band can just become a different one and create a conceptual theme to build an album around (even if it doesn’t hold for most of Sgt. Peppers.)

    • “Revionist History?” You need to do your homework. The Beatles were pioneering psychelelia AND bringing it to the top 40 well before many of the groundbreaking projects of the artists that you mention (see: I Feel Fine, Ticket to Ride, Day Tripper, Tommorow Never Knows, Yellow Submarine. Rain, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields). As for SPLHCB, it is the very height of psychedelia. None (and I mean NONE) of the artists that you mention constructed anything as groundbreaking as “A Day in the Life.” None.

      BTW: the Dead’s first album is garbage. Even Dead Heads will tell you that.

    • I love the Beatles nearly as much as life but Dennis O’Hagan has a point here. The Fabs are the beneficiaries of a halo effect. Just like every witty remark ever made by a 19th century American politician is now ascribed to Abraham Lincoln because we don’t remember the others, the Beatles are given credit for everything in the 60s as we slowly forget how groundbreaking (say) the Pretty Things, Captain Beefheart or the Incredible String Band were.

      I still think the Beatles combined an avant garde musical sensibility with mass appeal, deftly and funnily, and abounding with melodic, rhythmic and lyrical invention, better than anyone, with an internal quality control that hardly faltered until the end. And I’m so glad they broke up.

      • It’s not that we FORGET about the Pretty Things, Captain Beefheart or the Incredible String Band – it’s that not that many knew about them in the first place.

        Such is the benefit of hindsight – I assume most of us are young enough to not have actually been cognizant of 60s pop culture when it happened, so it’s easy to think all of these bands were shoulder-to-shoulder in the consciousness of every young adult back then, when it just wasn’t the case. While influential, they were known far better by other musicians than the public.

        And both Safe As Milk and SF Sorrow came after Pepper…

    • I will say this about Sgt. Peppers: if they had included “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” like they originally intended instead of releasing them as a single worlds would have collapsed. That’s the amazing thing about the Beatles. Not only did they released this many amazing albums in just over seven years, but they didn’t put their best singles on the albums.

      I wouldn’t even say the album as a whole is psychedelic. Or rather, I would say that it’s psychedelic in ethos but not in sound, sorta akin to the way people use the term “indie rock.” But that’ll get you sucked into the wormhole of classifying popular music genes. Which is something we’re pretty bad at.

  10. The top 5 probably has the same ingredients for everyone, but for me it goes 1) white 2) revolver 3) abbey road 4) sgt pepper’s 5) rubber soul.

  11. I’d swap Rubber Soul outta my top five for Magical Mystery Tour, and probably change the ordering around a bit. I’d bump Let it Be up a few spots. It’s better than any of the early albums except Hard Days Night.

  12. Abbey BLOODY Road is number 1

  13. Let’s keep it civil, boys.

    • My opinion…

      1. Revolver
      2. White Album
      3. Sgt. Peppers
      4. Rubber Soul
      5. Abbey Road
      6. Help
      7. A Hard Day’s Night
      8. Magical Mystery Tour
      9. Let It Be
      10. With The Beatles
      11. Beatles For Sale
      12. Please Please Me

  14. Just to focus in on one specific part, “Magical Mystery Tour” seems a little bit low on this list. Anything that can lay claim to “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “I Am the Walrus”, and “Penny Lane” deserves better. Not to mention the final few seconds of “All You Need Is Love” that fade back into “She Loves You” which in and of itself merits top 5 status.

    • Since the rest of the list is based on the UK releases, I think it would be fair to consider MMT as the 2×7”, and not the US LP version. That’

    • but it’s not really an album, it’s a compilation.

      or whatever.

      • It’s still routinely touted as an official Beatles studio album and makes an appearance on this countdown. So if it’s going to be included in the annals of Beatles albums, I’m just asking why not knock it up a spot or two?

        • It doesn’t make sense to type, but sometimes an album can have some of the best songs a band recorded and not be that great of an album. Magical Mystery Tour has always felt like a hodgepodge collection of really great songs than a single defining statement. Plus, the part that does fit together most coherently (the EP side), isn’t their best work. I know I’m picking nits, but this is supposed to be a list of the best albums, and albums are more than a collection of songs. Ideally, the whole should be greater than the sum of its parts, especially when talking about Beatles albums. I’m not sure that’s the case with Magical Mystery Tour.

  15. NOPE.

    Meet the Beatles should DEFINITELY be on this list – and above many of them (I’ll just ignore the fact that you put Magical Mystery Tour above Help!). Then again, I’m a bigger fan of the early stuff (Abbey Road not withstanding) and think that The White Album is massively overrated, so I’m probably in the minority.

    • I’m assuming you know that Meet the Beatles was a US LP that combined various album tracks and singles. I know that album’s dear to a lot of peoples hearts because that was how they originally encountered the Beatles if they lived in the US in the ’60s. But, the EMI albums has been the accepted Beatles ‘cannon’ since the late 80s. (I know they released the old Capitol albums several years back, but how many Beatles neophytes bought that?) So if you formed opinions about the Beatles music sometime in the past two and a half decades, chances are you are only familiar with the EMI releases (and probably haven’t heard the Capitol releases, I am a fanatic and haven’t listened to them)

      I think this is okay, because the band had no input on how Capitol cut up and sequenced their US albums. That’s okay with the early records, but what Capitol did to Rubber Soul and Revolver was a travesty.

  16. You’ve got some balls, DeVille. Hats off to ya.

    (Maybe I’m a weirdo, but my favorite by the Beatles is “Rubber Soul” and I’ve never understood the White Album…)

  17. This is a decent list. You could easily shuffle it up. There’s no way of properly listing the ‘best’ Beatles albums because each one affects a person differently at different times.

    What’s funny is that this list got me thinking about Deerhunter/Atlas Sound. Bradford Cox might be the only person (In my extremely humble opinion) who matches for me what the Beatles did for me in my teen years. The Deerhunter/Atlas Sound catalog is just filled with monster song after monster song.

  18. LOL @ “…few would consider Sgt. Pepper’s as even a top five Beatles’ album.” ― The Bracys

    • Haha I remember reading that and convulsing.

      • I dunno, I’m seeing a lot of people issue their own Pepper-less top 5s in this thread and on Facebook today, so maybe the Bracys were right. (Right that people DO rank Sgt. Pepper that low, not right that they SHOULD rank it that low.)

  19. this is reallllly off, except for the bottom few. Please Please Me at #9? C’mon, that album is perfect! Magical Mystery Tour is kind of weak except for the singles. Both Abbey Road and Revolver are a lot better choices than Sgt. Pepper!

  20. I don’t mind most of this list, I would just say my Top 3 are:

    1. Revolver
    2. Sgt. Peppers
    3. Abbey Road

    I love but don’t love the White Album, so maybe it is 4 or 5? I definitely think Revolver is the best, but I always used to just assume it was Sgt. Peppers. Revolver really just convinced me that it was the best over the last five years.

  21. I grew up on the US tracklist for Rubber Soul and will defend it as the better one, “Drive My Car” just sounds really out of place on the album, too upbeat and fast.

    I’m not even going to try to rank my favorite albums. I grew up listening to the Beatles, so my favorite album has changed an infinite number of times (same with favorite Beatle). I think they’ve just got a solid catalog that can be listened to over and over. Which is, I think, what I will do tomorrow while I cook.

  22. As long as The White Album isn’t #1, we’re good. I actually agree with this list more than most ‘Gum lists.

  23. This will go down as well as the Radiohead list did

  24. Abbey Road is my favorite album of all time so I’m pretty upset.

  25. So very tired of “Sgt. Pepper is the best Beatles album.” It is not.

  26. I’m not saying anything.

  27. “Macca jams like “I’m Looking Through You” and “I’m Looking Through You” are highly advanced specimens…”

    Someone must really love that song, eh Mr. DeVille?

  28. Ugh. I was afraid Sgt. Pepper would be #1. Its perfect, but far from their best in my opinion.

    1. Revolver – all 4 Beatles peaking stylistically at the same time. Definition of perfect.
    2. Abbey Road
    3. The White Album
    4. Rubber Soul
    5. Sgt. Pepper

  29. Let It Be at #11?

    If this could include the MUCH, MUCH better “Let It Be… Naked” stripped from all the Phil Spector overblown crap, it would easily place within the top 5-7 in my opinion.

  30. I used to be an Abbey Road/White album guy but over the years I have changed over to more of a Rubber Soul/Revolver guy. Aside from ‘A Day in the Life’ I don’t think Sgt. Peppers has aged incredibly well and in my not so humble opinion is the weakest of their canonical albums.

    • I know what you’re saying. I used to be all about the late stuff. If they had facial hair while they made it, it was good in my opinion. I still love the White Album and Abbey Road, obviously — but I realized that Rubber Soul and Revolver were understated perfection. I think I alternate between those two as being my #1.

  31. Not a terrible list, though I’d place Let It Be higher. Actually, I’d rate Let It Be Naked up there in the top 5.

  32. I’m not going to take the bait and argue with this list, but I will be a music nerd and argue with this statement: “‘Till There Was You’ is an early example of Paul’s fondness (and knack) for old-timey balladry…”

    “Till There Was You” was not written by Paul, it was written by Meredith Wilson for the 1957 musical, “The Music Man.” Unless of course you meant to infer that Paul had a knack for choosing and singing old-timey (7 year old) cheese.

  33. Best Beatles album to listen to first: With the Beatles

    Best Beatles album for tripping on shrooms: Magical Mystery Tour

    Best Beatles album for a classy cocktail party: Abbey Road

    Best Beatles album when you are falling in love: Help!

    Best Beatles album to rock out to with little children: Hard Days Night

    Best Beatles album for convincing metalheads that they can rock hard: White Album

    Best Beatles Album for complementing your Indie Rock phase: Revolver

    Best Beatles Album for waking up in the morning: Sgt. Pepper

    Best Beatles Album when the leaves fall off trees: Rubber Soul

    Best Beatles Album when it’s freezing cold outside: Let It Be

    Best Beatles Album for a slumber party: Beatles for Sale

    Best Beatles Album when you are drunk: Please Please Me

  34. Deville had good intentions,
    probably shoulda taken his medicine,
    before taking on this list.

    He was doomed when he made Sgt. Pepper number 1-un-un-un.

    But before he could press post,
    a noise came from behind.

    (ba-dum-bump-bump)

    BANG BANG MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER CAME DOWN UPON HIS HEAD!

    BANG BANG MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER MADE SURE HE WAS DEAD.

  35. You know, the whole “be another band thing” that the Beatles did for Sgt Peppers just made me think that Reflektor is kind of Arcade Fire’s “Sgt Peppers”.

  36. well done. im on board with 84% of this, im curious chris, did you get the short straw or did you have to fight for this?

  37. I usually resent all of your attempts to draw parallels between artists (the recent Blood Orange/Dr. Dre one fell particularly flat), but the Beatles/Radiohead comparison is spot-on

  38. While I think Sgt Pepper’s has their greatest song (Within You, Without You), the presence of silly songs like the title track, Mr. Kite, Lovely Rita and When I’m 64 kinda turns me off.

    And I realize it’s hypocritical sine the White Album also has far too much silliness as well, but the sheer amount of great material on that album makes it a winner for me for overall best album hand’s down.

    If we’re talking front to back awesomeness though, Rubber Soul and Revolver are neck and neck.

  39. Hearing Mr. Kite come on the stereo when you’ve been dosed with 3 hits of blotter? The song finds it’s audience there. It’s incredible when on psychedelics.

  40. The only hope I had for this list was that a certain influential but massively overrated album wouldn’t come first… yeah.

    Personal list for the lulz:

    1. Revolver
    2. Abbey Road
    3. Rubber Soul
    4. The Beatles
    5. A Hard Day’s Night
    6. Help!
    7. Please Please Me
    8. Magical Mystery Tour
    9. Sgt. Peppers
    10. Beatles for Sale
    11. With The Beatles
    12. Let It Be
    13. Yellow Submarine

    I generally think “Help!” is unfairly overlooked and brushed off as a purely transitional album but that thing has a good handful of some of my absolute favourite Beatles songs (“You’re Going to Lose That Girl” deserves a mention too) and, in my opinion, is one of the few Beatles albums not to contain a single weak track.

  41. I think that a lot of the feelings abut Sgt. Peppers is maybe that it is overplayed, or maybe the hype really was kind of solidified with the 1987 Rolling Stone list of best albums of the “last 20 years” and all the anniversaries of the “Summer of Love” and what not. Contrarianism pushes it down the list, but it really is excellent, but Revolver is amazing without the concept. I know that the “Sgt. Peppers” concept didn’t really run through the entire album, but it always kind of felt like that- each song always felt like a short story in a book of short stories, where Revolver feels like the Beatles being the Beatles, but totally optimized and perfect in almost every song.

  42. YEEZUS!!!!! FIRST!

  43. I don’t get denying Sgt. Peppers as a top 5 Beatles album. Say what you will about the idolizing aspect music critics have given it, and I get taking classics down a bit (reputation should never make an album unquestionable, no matter which album or which artist). But if people are fans of the Beatles, saying Sgt. Peppers is not a top 5 album is something I find odd. It’s their most crafted album in everyway, even if not necessarily the best. For me, Abbey Road is the masterpiece and their absolute best album (and one of the best albums of all time), but I would take Sgt. Peppers stunning production and fantastic songwriting to Revolver (now that’s an album I always thought it was just a tad overrated) even though everyone is acting like Revolver is so freaking unquestionably better. Sgt. Peppers is weirder, more beautiful, technically more impressive, and more mature. I can see why Revolver is so popular. It’s a major sound shift, but less conceptual, which can make it feel like it flows better and is less unpenetrable for a lot of people. It also can feel more personal. But I still think Sgt. Peppers is more layered in musicianship and production and more ambitious in themes, and has some of their absolute best songs (like, top 10 good), like “She’s Leaving Home” and “Day In the Life”. It’s a fantastic album.

    My rankings are…

    Masterpieces:
    1. Abbey Road
    2. Sgt. Peppers
    3. White Album

    Great albums:
    4. Magical Mystery Bus
    5. Hard Day’s Night
    6. Rubber Soul
    7. Help!
    8. Revolver

    Excellent albums:
    9. With The Beatles
    10. Let It Be

    Imperfect but entertaining albums:
    11. Please Please Me
    12. Yellow Submarine
    13. Beatles For Sale

  44. All I know is that my top 4 are sgt pepper, abbey road, white album, and revolver, but those are always shuffling. I think personally I have to go with the white album, but i think it has to do with when i came across it but you could say that about anyones list I guess. If I were to force myself I’d go…
    1.White Album
    2. Abbey Road
    3. Sgt. Pepper’s
    4. Revolver
    5. Rubber Soul
    6. Help
    7. Let It Be
    8. Magical Mystery Tour
    9. Hard Day’s Night
    10. Please Please Me
    11. Beatles For Sale
    12. With the Beatles
    13. Yellow Submarine (I gotta say I grew up on the SONGtrack album witch is a great album, but more of compilation)

    Definitely not a single album I don’t thoroughly enjoy

  45. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • I’m sure nobody else was considering reading the link, but in case you were the arguement goes something like this:
      The Beatles are only regarded as great because they were the highest selling, but they weren’t the highest selling and rock critics only categorize them as great because they are mistaken about them being the best selling artist.

      • Yeah that was about the first paragraph or so. Otherwise known as reduction to absurdity, a great way to bolster your argument.

        • I wasn’t really making an argument, but if you agree that the writer chooses to open their argument with a rather silly support than you can agree at the very least it wasn’t a very well-structured argument. The main thing that makes the argument baseless to me is not even that it claims the Beatles are irrelevant, unimpressive, or influential it’s that it somehow believes that the artists that are accepted as the best in classical and jazz music are somehow only remembered based purely on how awesome they are like Beethoven and Duke Ellington just composed some stuff and their basement and needed no level of support or commercial success to be remembered by music historians. Let alone the fact that the majority of the argument is composed of completely subjective statements as if they were objective (It’s nice that you think the kinks, the who, and the rolling stones are better than The Beatles. I happen to like all four bands and I think The Beatles are the best and it just so happens that more people agree with me and that just happens to be how someone’s influence is usually decided. Although it’d be nice if simply saying “this artist is better than this one” made it true and it’d make this argument a much more convincing one). I think this was more to get a reaction than it was actually meant to be a well-though out well-written opinion piece so you win in the long run for sure.

    • Even if you don’t like them (which, whatever, okay), calling them”irrelevant”? That’s about the most incredulous label to use for criticizing them, when music history and cultural impact clearly says otherwise. relevance doesn’t depend on taste or measure of innovation. Relevance is based on legacy and impact, which they clearly have to this day.

    • While that article is full of bullshit, that’s an interesting website.

    • Saying The Beatles are the most irrelevant band of all time is as logical as saying oxygen is the most irrelevant chemical element of all time.

  46. These guys are more popular than Yeezus right now.

  47. The Whie Album is the best. It’s obvious. And even Chris knows it. Just look at how hard he tries to be very critical about it:

    “scattered (splattered?) across the tracklist with minimal regard for cohesive flow”
    “band on the verge of disintegration”
    “preceded by some of the silliest Beatles songs ever”
    “all four of them kind of ridiculous”
    ” it’s easy to hear all the parts you don’t like”
    “this unruly batch of songs”
    “rangy, slapdash set”

    and it still made it second on his list.

    Come on Chris, nice try, but admit it you love this album the most. As we all do.

  48. I suspect all of McCartney’s Spector bashing contributes to the myth that “Let It Be” is not one of their best. Besides the 2 huge hits, the album has a lot of great songs on it. I like the way Phil put it all together also. I did not dig the “Let It Be…Naked” that much. It just sounded like all the bootlegs most of us have had for years. I would never say it was better than “The White Album” or “Abbey Road”, but I would say to me that it stacks up really well against all the “hairy Beatles” LP’s. And to even imply that any of the mop top releases are better is just ridiculous.

    • Aside from completely botching “The Long and Winding Road,” Spector’s “reproduction” is not that bad. His version of “Across the Universe” is undoubtedly better than Martin’s which is on Past Masters though I also think the single versions of “Let It Be” and “Get Back” are better than the album versions. And then there’s a little known fact that “I Me Mine” wasn’t much of a song until Spector got involved and George reworked it. Overall, I prefer the Naked version but Spector certainly didn’t do a bad job.

    • Spector added choir’s and strings to a project that was intended to be a stripped down afair. Lennon said he did a great job, but what he did to “Long and Winding Road,” was a total injustice.

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