The Beatles were pretty good.
Method to prove theory:
Review all 13 remastered Beatles albums.
1/ Please Please Me (1963)
In which John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr from Liverpool lay down their frenzied live set of archetypal pop songs onto their debut album. Some are covers, some are originals. The beats are basic, the melodies are simple and the vibe is raw, but at the time the expectations were low. They'd had some hit singles (see: Love Me Do) when Please Please Me came out, but pop bands came and went all the time in those days and no one thought the Beatles would be any different. WRONG. Please Please Me invented the concept of bands writing and playing their own songs, spent 30 weeks at number one and was knocked off the top spot by the next Beatles album. 4/5
2/ With The Beatles (1963)
Given the success of Please Please Me, the Beatles played safe and just did the same thing on their next album With The Beatles. It’s still good, it’s still pop, and the songs are still as short, sharp, snappy, simple and clean as a carefully administered knife wound. Ringo sings (I Wanna Be Your Man) the lyrics are lovey-dovey (All my Loving), the Chuck Berry covers are thrilling (Roll Over Beethoven) and everyone goes home happy. 4/5
3/ A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
Named after Ringo Starr’s trademark habit of accidentally mixing up the meaning of words, A Hard Day’s Night is the first Beatles album to include entirely self-written songs, and the only Beatles album to be entirely penned by Lennon and McCartney. The first half (including Can’t Buy Me Love) soundtracks the film of the same name, the second half is made up of high quality castoffs. It’s a unashamed pop album, and Beatlemania is in full swing. 4/5
4/ Beatles For Sale (1964)
The quartet’s fourth record isn’t full of hits (apart from Eight Days A Week) and is a wee bit angry. The Beatles started wearing proper coats with collars around this time and started turning from boys to men. John Lennon had become sort-of buddies with Bob Dylan, and the two liked to smoke pot together. At the same time, the Beatles were being made to pump out as much music as possible by their record company, which could explain why much of Beatles For Sale sounds cross. 4/5
5/ Help! (1965)
For the first time in their career the Beatles had competition in the shape of the Animals, the Rolling Stones the Kinks and the Who, so they responded with an indisputable banger. It’s another film soundtrack and features Help!, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, Ticket To Ride and Yesterday, all of which see the dudes going mental with their instruments. Trips to India and taking drugs probably had loads to do with it. And you know what they say: getting off your tits in Asia makes music much better. 4/5
6/ Rubber Soul (1965)
And so the classics begin. More pot and a stong desire to get away from the teen-pop of their early years mean the Beatles are more experimental than ever. Rubber Soul, consequently, is fantastically imaginative from beginning to end. Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, Nowhere Man, Girl were among the best songs they've ever recorded, and saw them well on their way to becoming a British rock band of the kind that had never been seen before. 5/5
7/ Revolver (1966)
And here comes the bass, the violins and the new technologies. A dedication to more complex songs meant Revolver was never performed live, but The Beatles could afford to make moves like this because they were so popular. So they got psychedelic, because that’s what happens when various group members develop a penchant for LSD. 5/5
8/ Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Perhaps because John, Paul, George and Ringo were bored of being the Beatles, they decided to record an album as an imaginary band. It could so easily have failed, but it turned out to be a masterstroke. Never going on tour was turning the Beatles into a bunch of studio-based geniuses. Well done the Beatles. 5/5
9/ Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
The Magical Mystery Tour film is rubbish, but the album emphatically isn’t. It begins gracefully with pianos and flutes, and slips into the blizzard of psychedelic madness that is I Am The Walrus, and the skewed pop of Hello Goodbye, Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane. Yeah: amazing. 5/5
10/ The White Album (1968)
And so it continues. The White Album is the double album that every double album released since gets compared to. That’s what you call creating history. Inspired by everything that had gone before them and a faith that they were the greatest, it’s a relentlessly superb epic that’s impossible to take in with just a couple of listens. Take it on holiday with you. Sleep with it. Dress it in clothes. Marry it. Give it a lovely funeral. 5/5
11/ Yellow Submarine (1969)
Nothing can last forever, and the Beatles' ridiculously good run of releasing loads of great albums in an incomprehensibly short period of time had to end. And so the largely crap Yellow Submarine was born, and will remain the Beatles’ weakest effort. It soundtracked the good-not-great film of the same name, and should be at the bottom of your ‘Beatles albums to buy’ list. 3/5
12/ Abbey Road (1969)
The beginning of the end. John Lennon didn’t want to be in the Beatles anymore and didn’t get on with Paul McCartney, so everyone put in a special effort for what they thought would be their last album. By now the beards of at least two members of the band were mesmerising, so it was no surprise that Abbey Road turned out to be immense. There is nothing bad here. Nothing sub-standard. Nothing ‘a bit like Keane’. Nothing other than totally brilliant. 5/5
13/ Let It Be (1970)
For the ten years they existed, not one member of the Beatles had anything likr a normal life. They were worn out and highly strung, and the recording sessions for Let It Be were apparently a deeply unpleasant place to be. All four Beatles hated each other, Yoko Ono was on the scene and Ringo Starr’s moustache was poor. The ‘60s were over and so were the Beatles. 4/5
10 years, 13 albums, only one rubbish album, loads of good songs, lots of drugs, great beards, rubbish name.
The Beatles were very good.