Trying to nail down a favourite Beatles record is like trying to decide on your favourite flavour of ice cream, or your favourite colour. One day it might be the funky Come Together (Abbey Road, 1969) other days it might be green. One day it might be the early rocker You Can’t Do That (A Hard Day’s Night, 1964) other days it might be chocolate and vanilla. That is the problem – maybe the only problem – with the fab four; they just have too many wonderful songs.
Considering there was only a seven year gap between their first album (Please Please Me, 1963) and their last album (Let it Be, 1970), The Beatles back catalogue is quite phenomenal. In addition to 13 albums, there are also a number of singles, EPs, bootlegs, compilations and greatest hits to choose from. What is even more remarkable is how every album is different to the last in terms of style, tone and influences. It’s hard to imagine how one band could create something that epitomises rock and roll like I Saw Her Standing There (1963) and then four years later churn out something as psychedelic and though provoking as A Day in The Life (1967).
This said, however, this variety and diversity can be beneficial for those looking to get into the mop topped lads from Liverpool. For example, if you are a fan of early rock and roll hits with heavy Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley influences, then look no further than the band’s debut album Please Please Me, 1963. Offering such hits as I Saw Her Standing There, Love Me Do, Please Please Me and, of course, Twist and Shout, the album replicates the band’s live sound and is ideal for any swinging party.
If you like something a little more thought provoking and mellow, then definitely check out the 1965 release, Rubber Soul. Heavily influenced by Bob Dylan and demonstrating the band’s willingness to explore different musical cultures (this, after all, is the first album to feature George Harrison’s sitar skills), Rubber Soul offers classics such as Norwegian Wood (this bird has flown), Nowhere Man and the timeless In My Life.
And then there are the albums for the psychedelic at heart, and there are few better in that respect than Revolver, 1966, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967 and even The Magical Mystery Tour, 1968. For many, these albums, especially Revolver and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, represent the band at the peak of their powers and with songs such as Love You Too, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, Tomorrow Never Knows, A Day in the Life and I am the Walrus, it is very hard to deny that fact.
Whatever it is you are into, the Beatles recorded it. It’s very well and good sitting here and reading this for advice, but the best thing you can do when trying to find out where to start with the fab four is to get listening. Get started now and see exactly what a wonderful bands these four lads from Liverpool really were. You won’t be sorry.