"Please Please Me" (1963)
The legends arrive...The debut album for The Beatles was largely written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, which Rolling Stone credited as the birth of the "self-contained rock band," one that writes and performs its own material. Essential listening: "Twist and Shout"
"With The Beatles" (1964)
Released in the U.S. as "Meet The Beatles!", the band's second album started to show their innovative songwriting styles in the tracks written originally by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Essential listening: "It Won't Be Long"
"A Hard Day's Night" (1964)
Released at the height of "Beatlemania" in the 1960s, this album primarily served as the soundtrack to the band's documentary film of the same name. Essential listening: "A Hard Day's Night"
"Beatles for Sale" (1964)
The Beatles took a step forward in their songwriting style on this album, which featured several instruments they had not incorporated before, as well as a turning point in John Lennon's songwriting which became much more personal. Essential listening: "Eight Days a Week"
Although this album contained the popular singles "Ticket to Ride" and the title track, Help! is perhaps best known for the track "Yesterday," one of the most covered and beloved pop songs of all time. Essential listening: "Yesterday"
"Rubber Soul" (1965)
This was the album where the idea of an album as a complete work, and not a few singles surrounded by filler, came to the forefront. The Beatles topped themselves on the charts, beating Help! for the #1 spot upon release. Essential listening: "In My Life"
The biggest departure from previous sounds that The Beatles would ever release, Revolver cemented the band's place as transcendent artists, and not simply a pop fad. Essential listening: "Eleanor Rigby"
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (1967)
The most iconic of all Beatles album covers, the photo taken for Sgt. Pepper's originally sold for more than 100 times the average price of an album cover at the time. Arguably the first true "concept album," it represents a dramatic leap forward in terms of the band's progressive rock style that would influence generations of musicians. Essential listening: "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds"
"The Beatles" (1968)
Commonly known as "The White Album" for obvious reasons, the Beatles' self-titled double-album represented an emotional low point in their career, as it was the first created without manager Brian Epstein, who had died the previous year. Essential listening: "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Helter Skelter"
"Let It Be" (1970)
Although this album and its timeless title track was the last one the Beatles released, it was actually recorded before Abbey Road, which is why many consider the latter to be the band's true farewell. Essential listening: "Let It Be"
"Abbey Road" (1969)
This was the second-to-last Beatles album released, but the final one that the band recorded before breaking up. Perhaps the most oft-imitated album cover of their career, it shows the band simply crossing the street to get to the legendary Abbey Road studio where they recorded much of their timeless catalog.