There’s a pretty clear divide between The Beatles early, poppy stuff and their later more experimental music. Rubber Soul is where that split started to happen, and Revolver saw the transformation completed. Those are two of my favorite Beatles albums (I imagine they’re two of everybody’s). They showed the world that this wasn’t just a pop band but a serious artistic force.
Still, when I rank all of the band’s albums in order, it’s inevitably A Hard Day’s Night — one of those early, uncomplicated albums — that rises to the top. It lacks the ahead-of-its-time production techniques of later albums, the mind-bending lyrics, the complex song construction, but it makes up for all that in unparalleled pop songcraft.