NewCC0001: The Beatles

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Tags: 
  • The Beatles One (00): *****
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (67): *****
  • Abbey Road (69): *****
  • Revolver (66): *****
  • A Hard Day's Night (64): *****
  • Past Masters, Vol. 2 (88): *****
  • 1967 - 1970 (73): *****
  • The Beatles [White Album] (68): **** 1/2
  • Help! (65): **** 1/2
  • Rubber Soul (65): **** 1/2
  • 1962 - 1966 (73): **** 1/2
  • Please Please Me (63): ****
  • with the Beatles (63): ****
  • Magical Mystery Tour (67): ****
  • Past Masters, Vol. 1 (88): ****
  • Live at the BBC (94): ****
  • Yellow Submarine [Songtrack] (99): ****
  • Beatles for Sale (64): *** 1/2
  • Anthology 3 (96): *** 1/2
  • Anthology 2 (96): ***
  • Let It Be (70): ***
  • Anthology 1 (95): ** 1/2
  • Yellow Submarine (69): **
  • In the Beginning: The Early Tapes (70): * 1/2
Author Comments: 

This is the first in an up-dated series I'm going to call New Critical Consensus. Several people have requested updates of the older series, and since critical opinions shift, I am revamping the entire system. I am averaging the opinions of several excellent music critics to produce a list of each artist's albums. Rather than using a number system, which was perhaps a bit clunky, I will now be using a five-star system. The albums will be listed in a recommended purchasing order, so new fans will have an idea of where the best place to start buying an artist's work is.
These are not my opinions, although, since I have chosen the critics used (and I'm using many), my taste will perhaps seep through a bit.

Terribly nerdy, I know, but maybe this will help people only now beginning to dabble into certain artists' bodies of work.

Scale:

***** - Masterpiece
**** 1/2 - Classic
**** - Great
*** 1/2 - Good
*** - Above Average
** 1/2 - Average
** - Below Average
* 1/2 - Bad
* - Terrible
1/2 - One of the worst albums ever

Wow! I am shocked to see that only four of their albums proper made five stars. I thought The White Album was a contender for one of their best? Did this surprise you? I need to check the earlier CC to see if this is a change, and I would also like to check AMG because they used to give almost everything five stars (I wonder if that's changed). What most surprises me is that with the release of One and hoopla over Lennon [new bios, twentieth anniversary or death] I would have thought that their standing in the eyes of critics would be higher than ever. What are your thoughts?

Johnny Waco

Interesting tidbit concerning the White Album - Have you ever read guides where the critical description of the album doesn't seem to fit the actual rating the album receives? Well, for quite a while, this was the case with the White Album. While many guides mentioned the inconsistency of the work was a flaw, the guides often still gave the album a perfect rating. In the last year, with several of these sources updating, many of the guides' ratings for this album finally started to match their reviews.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

They've gone from eight to four! How do you explain this in just a year's time? I truly am shocked...

Johnny Waco

And AMG still gives them an astounding twelve; even Let It Be, which doesn't seem to be a masterpiece in most critics' minds, has five stars...

Johnny Waco

They have gone from eight to four, but to say they did this in just a year's time is a bit misleading. I use several different sources for this list, some of which were already a bit old when I compiled the first list. A few of these recently updated after years of not updating. So while my CC list changed in the matter of a year, some of these individual critics no doubt revised their own opinions of the course of several years. Does that make sense?

I suspect critics have finally realized that the response to the Beatles' work may have been a bit overblown. As more and more critics today claim birth dates after 1967, as the endless releases such as the Anthology series to some degree "demystify" the fab four, and as some sources such as AMG continue to hold that every Beatles' album proper deserves a perfect rating, I think a major re-evaluation was (and is) only a matter of time.

That's my best guess at the matter. In an interesting side note, if I recall correctly, The Rolling Stones now have an equal number of 5-star albums as the Beatles. Does this signal a trend of critics favoring more blue-oriented rock and roll over synergized pop? I'm not sure, but it will be interesting to see if this trend continues...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs