Beatles best album and concert dvd?

I'm getting older and finally decided to let The Beatles play all day in the background while I work from home.  I've never been a big fan and thought they were overrated (calm down)...  But I'm starting to really enjoy them.  I've listened to the White album a few times and finding a new appreciation for them.  

1. Is the White album generally considered their "best"?  

2. Are there any decent concert dvds where they play live?  
I’m with you on the White Album but we may be in the minority.
Some true believers will be along in a bit to put us straight.
Abbey Road is the best IMO! And I've been listening to the Beatles since 1964!
Why do you want to use the Beatles' music for background listening? Such a waste! Try instead Brian Eno's Music For Airports. 
It's difficult to say what is the best Beatles album because they're all different. From 63 to 69 the band went through amazing changes (and hairstyles). Each album reflected this with increasing sophistication and studio time.

It's a very long and winding road from Please Please Me to Abbey Road and it's hard to believe it's the same band only 6 years later.

In general terms you could say there's the Beatles before and after hallucinogens - basically the years of Beatlemania 63-66 up to and including Rubber Soul.

This is still the favourite period (and the lasting image) for many people when their lyrics were straightforward and generally upbeat. The 1964 A Hard Days Night album might be the peaking of this Beatlemania phase.

From Revolver onwards their music become increasingly more experimental and introspective and this probably peaks with the trippy Sergeant Pepper (Lucy in the Sky, Benefit of Mr Kite, Within Without You, Day in the Life) and the White album (Revolution 9, Happiness is a Warm Gun, Long, Long, Long etc).

My personal favourite is Abbey Road because it's the one I'm most likely to play without skipping from start to finish.

Side 2 (on vinyl) for me is a good a side of music as there has ever been, and side 1 is not too bad either.

As for the concert/ touring years (62-66), I think Ron Howard's Eight Days a Week DVD is great place to start. 
Beatles '65.  They sound fresh and wonderful. They're having fun. They may not be experimenting yet, but the songwriting is ever more secure & natural.  Yeah, the stereo quality is 1960's clumsy and prehistoric, but the overall sound quality of my bought-the-first-week-it-came-out Capitol Records disc is a pleasure -- fresh, clear & punchy.
  yeti42 yeah.. I've always kinda thought Beatles fanatics were really more nostalgic and like to think that because a band was a "first" that makes them better. I never fallen in love with most of their music and didn't / don't understand the hype... But I see myself kinda coming around..

Songs I don't like and don't get why others like them:
-Strawberry Fields Forever
-Norwegian Wood
-Tomorrow Never Knows
-Lucy in the sky with Diamonds -Happiness Is a Warm Gun 
Those are just from the Rolling Stone top 50.. However, as I was reading through the top 50, there's alot more than I gave them credit for.

There are "camps" when it comes to Beatles albums. While Sgt. Pepper was proclaimed the best in the late 60's, I don't know anyone who thinks that now. For some it's Abbey Road, for others (like Mazzy at The Vinyl Community on YouTube) Revolver. For me it's Rubber Soul.

As for good live concert DVD's, no, there are none. Well, maybe the rooftop concert, if you like that sort of thing. The problem is, they weren't all that good a live band (honest. I saw them in '65), and nobody was doing good live recordings when they were still performing. The sound at their live shows was a joke.

Beatles "live" BBC recordings (2 disc CD) is great for their early stuff.

Have a couple versions of this, but never seriously compared them to one another.

It's the music (not the recording quality) that I enjoy.


I agree, the Beatles (one of my favorites) changed so lightening fast to declare ‘the best’, as from Rubber Soul on they changed dramatically. It was like, ‘what will they do next?’ back then.

One I really enjoy now, but not as much when it was released is Let it Be. Great mix.
Abbey Road is prob their overall best writing... the 2019 remix sounds way too modern, particularly the drums. My absolute favorite is Magical Mystery Tour. I think both the red and blue “greatest hits” additions are must haves for a great overall Beatles mix.
My favorite is Revolver, but I agree that Rubber Soul started the change.  All in all, everyone has a favorite, but I'd be hard pressed to say which is the "best".
the Beatles probably hold  3 or 4 of my top 10 album spots but Rubber Soul (American version) and Help (British version) are my 2 favs with the White Album and Abbey Road not far behind.
The Let It Be album was originally being mixed by the great Glyn Johns, but Lennon changed his mind and gave it to Phil Spector. Bad idea. I have heard the album is being readied for a boxset reissue, and I sure hope we get the Glyn John's mixes. Are his mixes what are heard on the Let It Be Naked album? I gotta check out that album; I've always hated the original, by far their worst album. Grim, depressing. The movie too.
I favor Sgt. Pepper.  But, I love, really adore, all of them.  No need to choose, or rank.  And anyway, "one man's ceiling is another man's floor".  

"I think both the red and blue “greatest hits” additions are must haves for a great overall Beatles mix."

The Blue album was where it began for me. It’s a great compilation and apparently the tracks were chosen by the band themselves.

The 1970s UK pressing of the Blue album (67-70) on vinyl is just awesome. Everything vinyl should be.

I don’t think its vivid exhuberance has ever been matched on CD though the 1993 remaster is acceptable.
I am currently re-reading the book " The Beatles Recording Sessions ".
What makes it so interesting is reading about how an album was recorded and then go listen to it , especially now that my system is good enough to reveal the details described in the book .

"In general terms you could say there's the Beatles before and after hallucinogens - basically the years of Beatlemania 63-66 up to and including Rubber Soul." from cd318
This is kind of true , but a more applicable description would be
the touring years and the studio years .

As for my favorites , I'd say the studio years and to my own surprise 
the mono versions rival the stereo is listening enjoyment .

The "Let It Be Naked" and the anthology recordings are really good
at showing how good the band was .

This is a good time to " Stay Home and Listen to the Music "
as my Cardas Audio T-shirt says .


For what it's worth it seems that the critics largely believe Revolver is their best.  I prefer not to look at a body of work that way.  What fascinates me most is listening to their evolution and how everything organically grew along the way through creative experimentation and challenging themselves while reacting to the world around them.
If you ever get into the vast library of Beatles rarities, alternative takes, and all sorts of Beatles archives out there on CD, you may go nuts. There are all sorts of musically valuable treasures out there, mostly on CD. Just google around for it or look through the Beatles forums.Examples on CD: The Complete Acetate Collection, the Complete Roger Scott Tapes, The Alternate Anthology, Private Rarities.
@rgs92 ,

'If you ever get into the vast library of Beatles rarities, alternative takes, and all sorts of Beatles archives out there on CD, you may go nuts.'

Err yes...

It is frustrating that even in 2020 we have NO definitive digital versions of their albums. Since the initial 2007 George Martin supervised CDs every subsequent digital release has been hampered in one way or another. Many still prefer the 2007 set (give or take the dodgy stereo of the first 4 albums).

This is an appalling state of affairs for a body of work that has so much historical and cultural value.

On the other hand there's tons of stuff about their vinyl releases esp on the Stevehoffman music forum and the excellent Parlogram Auctions YouTube channel.
Yep, I was always a bit obsessed about the lack of SACD/DSD Beatles recordings. (The Stones catalog managed to do this almost 20 years ago.)
The great advances in DAC technology for PCM have of course helped with this, but it just seems a waste not to have these versions. This has been discussed forever on the Steve Hoffman forum.
Are you referring to the Capitol Album box sets from 2007?
The Beatles on USB recordings on a Chord Dave sound the most compelling to me at the moment (I think). The glare is controlled as long as your system is not too ruthlessly revealing.

Sorry, my mistake. I was referring to the 1987 original George Martin supervised releases. Or at least I thought I was.

The only other digital set I like is the US Box of 2014 which I believe is a slightly tweaked version of the lacklustre 2009 UK remasters. I forget who tweaked it, but they did a good job. 

Unfortunately that one only goes up to Revolver after which both the UK and US releases coincided. IIRC it's possible to reconstruct all of their UK albums up to Sgt Pepper bar one track via that set.

I've not heard either the USB or the Blu-ray releases, but some fans rave about them.

Deviating slightly within this thread, the huge musical and cultural upheaval that the Beatles were part of in the 60's shouldn't be overlooked. As a teenager in the rather drab UK of the early part of that decade I wish I could have foreseen what was to come - I would have been up to Liverpool like a shot, "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Please Please Me" brought a visceral excitement to the music scene which grew and grew to culminate in those great albums already mentioned

Yes, everything can only be a product of its time and they were lucky with theirs.

WW2 generation being superceded by those who hadn’t known war.

National service abolished in the UK.

Post war economies were booming
Pirate Radio stations playing hip sounds
LPs gaining dominance over 45 single

US wanting a lift after JFK’s murder
Elvis not the force he was
Dylan giving them pot and much more
LSD and meditation
The swinging sixties - esp in London
Colour TV on the horizon