The Beatles are the most iconic and popular act of all time, selling over 600 million albums worldwide. It is hard to believe that the band only recorded music during a seven-year period, releasing 12 studio albums during that time, along with various region and country-specific releases, but we’re just focusing on the core releases.
Here are The Beatles album covers ranked from worst to best.
12. The White Album (1968)
Kicking off this list is one of the most iconic albums of all time, nicknamed the “White Album”. Unfortunately, the album cover is blank with just the band name and “10000001” at the bottom, so there’s not really anywhere else this album can be on this list, despite it being overall a very good album.
11. Beatles For Sale (1964)
Beatles For Sale is the fourth studio album by The Beatles released in 1964, featuring songs such as Eight Days A Week and I’ll Follow The Sun. The album’s artwork features a much more weary looking band, taken in Hyde Park in London in the autumn of 1964. Overall it is a very basic album cover, not that it is a bad thing, just it is hard to rank it higher considering the other albums on this list.
10. Let It Be (1970)
Let It Be was the final album by The Beatles released in 1970, just seven years after the release of their first album. A very simple cover featuring four photographs of each band member in a live setting. It is simple, basic, and it works.
9. Please Please Me (1963)
The very first album from The Beatles, Please Please Me was released in 1963 and featured hit songs including Love Me Do, Twist and Shout, and Please Please Me. The album cover shows The Beatles staring down at the camera while on a balcony of EMI’s London Headquarters. Simple, yet iconic, few could have predicted the impact that this album would have on launching the biggest act of all time.
8. With the Beatles (1963)
Also released in 1963, With The Beatles features a black and white album cover with each of the band members wearing a black sweater. One notable thing about the cover is half of each member face is shadowed, with the photograph being taken in a dark corridor of the Palace Court Hotel in Bournmouth, where the band were playing a summer residency at the local Gaumont Cinema.
7. Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
A very wacky album cover, featuring each band member in costume from the I Am The Walrus music video shoot. The album cover art has a psychedelic feel to it, which fits right at home with the Summer of Love time period that the album was released in. This was the era where we saw the band change their style from the well dressed and styled young men to the more “hippy” style they became known for in later years.
6. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
A Hard Day’s Night features and photo reel style cover, with each band member being featured in a variety of poses, similar to what could be achieved in a photo booth that was popular during this era. The art work is very simple, but also quite creative in its own right.
5. Help! (1965)
The original concept for the cover was for each member to use their arms to spell out the word HELP, but it didn’t look good when it came to the shoot. Instead, it is said that they are spelling out NUJV, although I personally don’t see how people came to that conclusion. A rather weird cover, but would you expect anything less from The Beatles?
4. Rubber Soul (1965)
Rubber Soul was the first album by the band to not feature their name on the cover. The photograph was taken in 1965 in John Lennon’s back garden by Robert Freeman. The stretched text was a complete accident but worked, also looking like a predecessor of the more hippy style the band would become known for a short time later.
3. Revolver (1966)
The album cover for Revolver was created by Klaus Voorman, an old friend of The Beatles from their time in Hamburg, Germany in the early 1960s. The artwork features various photographs taken by Robert Freeman combined with line drawings of each band member. A very strange album cover, and one where every time you look at it you notice something new.
2. Abbey Road (1969)
Perhaps the most iconic music photograph of all time, Abbey Road’s iconic image was taken on a zebra crossing that is located near the studio. The band was given just 10 minutes to take the iconic photograph, with a policeman holding up traffic behind the camera. One thing to note is that Paul McCartney is out of step with the rest of the band, while also being barefoot. The number plate of the Volkswagen Beetle in the background was stolen after the release of the album, it was owned by a resident from a nearby block of flats.
1. Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Sgt. Pepper is one of, if not, the greatest album cover of all time, featuring cutouts of various famous people along with the band. Hitler, Jesus, and Gandhi were all requested to be on the cover but were turned down by EMI. Paul McCartney was also asked why Elvis Presley wasn’t included, which he answered by saying that he “was too important and too far above the rest even to mention.” The album cover cost £3,000 to produce, approximately £55,000 today.