The 5 Least Successful Beatles Albums

The Beatles have sold more than 200 million records. Their greatest hits compilation, 1, released in 2000, has sold more than 30 million copies itself. And their best-selling studio LP, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, according to Best Selling Albums, has sold more than 32 million copies. Indeed, the Liverpool-born rockers were, are, and will forever be a force.

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But that doesn’t mean that some of their albums did only so-so sales, relatively speaking. Even the original Fab Four are not without their small flaws and hiccups.

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So, in order to get a full picture of the group’s success, let’s take a look at the five studio records they released that didn’t kill it in the marketplace.

5. Help! (1965)

The fifth-least-successful album by the Beatles, this record was released smack-dab in the middle of their career as a group in 1965. It was also the band’s fifth record. Featuring songs like the title track “Help,” along with “Ticket to Ride,” “I Need You” and “Yesterday,” which is one of the most popular songs in the history of mankind, it’s a wonder this record didn’t sell as well, generating 4.4 million units sold. Still, when you see the title, it’s impossible not to jump into song: I need somebody / (Help) not just anybody / (Help) you know I need someone, help.

4. Please, Please Me (1963)

This debut album from the band hit shelves in the spring of 1963. Featuring a candid, charming photograph of the band on the cover and songs like “Love Me Do” and the band’s rendition of “Twist and Shout,” this record sold only 1.7 million copies. And compared to the rest of the records on this list, it may actually be the most forgettable album from the group—though, of course, that is practically an oxymoron.

3. Beatles For Sale (1964)

Released a year after Please, Please Me, the record Beatles For Sale includes songs like “Eight Days a Week” and the group’s rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music.” The group hadn’t quite hit their stride at this time in their early career, still releasing many covers of songs. Indeed, on this album, along with the Berry tune, the Beatles cover Buddy Holly and Carl Perkins tracks. This LP sold about 1.4 million copies.

2. Yellow Submarine (1969)

Readers may be surprised to see this album on the list, given how ubiquitous the record’s title and title song are. The soundtrack to the movie of the same name, this record includes songs like the popular title track and the orchestral “All You Need Is Love.” Nevertheless, it only sold 1.25 million copies. Likely not what the band and its management anticipated.

1. With The Beatles (1963)

The band’s sophomore studio LP, With The Beatles is also their least-selling album. Though it features covers of beloved songs like “Roll Over Beethoven” and “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” as well as the band’s very beatnik album photo, the record didn’t sell well, clocking in at just 1.1 million copies sold.

(Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)

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