2. The Beatles, 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition'
Fifty years on, this much is undeniable: The Beatles' eighth studio album (by the British count) was a perfect synchronicity – the biggest pop band in the world with an unlimited license to thrill, in the Sixties' most euphoric year. The new stereo mix (by Giles Martin, son of George) definitively counters the complaint that Sgt. Pepper was the advent of rock without roll – Ringo Starr's Cavern-forged drumming is pressed to the front of the bandstand – while the outtakes expose the depth of jubilant experiment and determined craft. The Beatles had two more creative highs ahead – the White Album and Abbey Road – but they were never this free, colorful and bonded in ecstasy again.