6. The Beatles, 'With the Beatles' (1963)
The Beatles' debut, Please Please Me, was famously cut in a single day. It's tougher follow-up, however, came together in seven sessions over four months amid the group's cyclonic British success. While fashion photographer Robert Freeman's iconic cover shot captured four sober young men in chic black turtlenecks, the music inside couldn't be any more bracing, jubilant, or sexy. References to home and happy reunions pepper "It Won't Be Long," "All My Loving," and five other Lennon-McCartney originals in addition to George Harrison's admonitory debut, "Don't Bother Me." And once the Beatles covered Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" and Smokey Robinson's "You Really Got a Hold on Me," they stayed covered.