The Beatles’ Discography in Limerick Form

Please Please Me 1963

Please Please MeThe savage young Beatles could play
A whole album of hits in a day.
Please Please Me still pleases
The lads and their squeezes
In Liverpool, oop round are way.

The main recording sessions for the Beatles’ first album were started and finished in a day, and it still sounds better than many that took years.

With the Beatles 1963

With the BeatlesWith the Beatles, you know what you get:
An LP that’s an excellent bet.
“All My Loving” and “Money”
Are fabulous, honey:
The top of the poppermost, yet.

The Beatles told each other they were going to “the toppermost of the poppermost!” (after the long-running British chart show, Top of the Pops). They weren’t wrong.

A Hard Day’s Night 1964

A Hard Day's NightBeatlemania gave them a fright,
So a movie recorded their plight.
The soundtrack is teeming
With cause for the screaming:
It’s hardly a hard day or night.

A Hard Day’s Night is the only core Beatles album consisting entirely of Lennon-McCartney compositions.

Beatles For Sale 1964

Beatles For SaleSome believe that this album might pale
Beside earlier ones, but I fail
To see anything wrong
With a single fab song.
Honey, don’t condemn Beatles For Sale.

This is my favourite early Beatles album, and after Revolver the one I play the most. How can you go past “No Reply”, “I’m a Loser”, “Eight Days a Week” and “I’ll Follow the Sun”, not to mention its scorching cover versions of “Kansas City” and “Rock and Roll Music”?

Help! 1965

Help!Only yesterday, John, Ringo, Paul,
And our George stood a hundred feet tall.
Now they let out a yelp
At performances: Help!
Are the mop-tops beginning to stall?

A few days after their fifth album was released, the Beatles performed at New York’s Shea Stadium in front of over 55,000 fans, who screamed so loudly that they couldn’t hear themselves sing. Increasingly disenchanted, they played their last regular concert a year later at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.

Rubber Soul 1965

Rubber SoulFor the Beatles to stretch themselves, whole
New directions were needed. Their goal
Was to stamp onto plastic
The druggy, fantastic
Effects in their heads: Rubber Soul.

Sitars, strings, and studio experiments were rife on this turning point in the band’s discography.

Revolver 1966

RevolverFor the Beatle fan, this is the test:
Choose Revolver, or one of the rest?
How can anything close
With “Tomorrow Never Knows”
And be anything less than the best?

If this isn’t the greatest rock album ever, it has to be in the top three—and no-one would agree on the other two.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967

Sgt. PepperA day in the life of a band
That’s impossibly talented, and
A response to their peers,
Sgt. Pepper fuelled fears
There’d be no other album as grand.

Partly influenced by the Beach Boys’ masterpiece Pet Sounds, the Beatles’ most famous album drove Brian Wilson and other Sixties artists into a competitive frenzy, but none quite matched it.

Magical Mystery Tour 1967

Magical Mystery TourIt’s a Magical Mystery Tour
That your mother should know about. You’re
Quite a fool if you miss
Hearing music like this,
Wall-to-walrus with lyrics obscure.

Magical Mystery Tour wasn’t one of the Beatles’ original UK albums—it was a double EP—but how can you leave it out, especially when the US album version includes “Strawberry Fields”?

The Beatles 1968

White AlbumBrian’s death burst their glorious bubble,
Yet a double emerged from the rubble.
This more-than-alright album,
The Beatles, or White Album,
In hindsight was asking for trouble.

After their manager Brian Epstein died in 1967, the rot set in for the fab four. The Beatles ended up a double because none of them were prepared to compromise over their individual contributions, many of which were all but solo tracks; ironically, this was less of a “band” album than any before. The songs were still great, though.

Yellow Submarine 1969

Yellow SubmarineHey bulldog, this record’s a weenie!
The band’s contributions are teeny.
We’ve already seen
One that has “Submarine”,
So give us more Beatles, you meanie!

The soundtrack for the animated film Yellow Submarine is widely considered the weakest Beatles album, with only four new tracks by the band, some of which were two years old at the time of release—a lifetime in Beatle years. Producer George Martin’s orchestral score filled side two.

Get Back [1969]

Get BackAs the Beatles continue to crack,
Paul produces a plan to Get Back.
But the tensions intrude:
John and Yoko pose nude,
And the two of them struggle with smack.

Get Back, the lost Beatles album of 1969, went through two track-listings but was never released in either form. Over a year later it emerged, reworked, as Let It Be.

Abbey Road 1969

Abbey RoadIt’s a burden to carry the load
Of a final recording. This showed
That all sad stories tend
To come good in the end,
’Cause it’s one of their best, Abbey Road.

With a short hidden track—I’ll be blowed!

After the failure of the Get Back sessions, the Beatles returned to EMI’s London studios in Abbey Road one last time. The studios have since been renamed after the album that was named after their street.

Let It Be 1970

Let It BeThe Beatles were finally free
Of each other, but from the debris
Of the Get Back disaster,
Got Spector to master
A postscript that said Let It Be.

And as Lennon said of Phil Spector’s efforts, “he made something out of it,” even if it wasn’t what McCartney wanted. There were other Beatles releases to come—compilations, live recordings, collections of demos, even a revised Let It Be... Naked—but the last proper album by the greatest rock-and-roll band ever still makes a most suitable ending.

8 October 2006 · Music

rory! that was genius :)

Added by shauna on 8 October 2006.

I was about to write "Rory! That was genius!" but some sneaky person beat me to it.

Originality is hard to achieve in this day and age.

Added by K on 9 October 2006.

Thanks, guys. Sorry I didn’t notice the comments for a while—my stupid email is stupidly rejecting comments and emails sent from my own domain, and I can’t figure out why. I’m not even sure I’m getting all my other emails, either. Very annoying.

Added by Rory on 9 October 2006.

These smart verses require no rebuttals
And besides admiration there's what else
To be said, save, good Rory
Tell in verse now the story
Of the Who, or the Kinks, or...the Rutles?

Added by BT on 11 October 2006.

Dammit...didn't mean to repeat "verse" in the fourth line. Emend to "rhyme."


Added by BT on 11 October 2006.

Who’s Next leaves all others outclassed;
Who Sell Out’s “See for Miles” is a blast;
Who Are You isn’t bad.
Who By Numbers, I’ll add,
Must be better by far than Who’s Last.

And I haven’t even heard Who By Numbers—but I have heard Who’s Last.

Added by Rory on 11 October 2006.

More beautiful than orgami
Is your poem -- a delicious salami
Of LPs fantastic
(Even when they're bombastic)
But I wish that you had mentioned Tommy.

Added by BT on 11 October 2006.

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