The Beatles played a variety of rock sub-genres throughout their career, most notably rock and roll, folk rock, acid rock and psychedelic. They had a tendency to channel the innovations occurring in the pop music of their day. Their later albums in particular were marked by an unprecedented level of studio experimentation.
When the Beatles began playing in the late 1950s, they played straightforward rock and roll in the vein of Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry. Their combination of energetic rock rhythms, intricate vocal harmonies and creative harmonica riffs was the epitome of British beat music. Their first album, "Please Please Me," best captures this style.
Their next two albums followed the same musical tendencies. With "Beatles for Sale" in 1964, the Beatles stepped out of beat music and into a unique brand of folk rock which they refined with "Help!" and perfected with "Rubber Soul."
Beginning with 1966's "Revolver," the Beatles furthered their sonic experimentation by adding layers of orchestration and tape loops to their songs. "Revolver" was an acid rock album that replaced their previous twangy electric guitar sound with a grittier, more distorted edge.
The 1967 albums "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Magical Mystery Tour" were trippy psychedelic pop records that mixed elements of Indian spiritual music with the European art song. The "White Album" of 1968 was the most ambitious of the Beatles' projects. Every song on the album is a foray into a different style; pseudo-classical, surf rock, proto-metal or Hollywood orchestral ballad.
Released in 1969, "Abbey Road" presented a unique rock suite and made innovative use of the Moog synthesizer. The Beatles' last album, "Let it Be," was a back-to-basics album featuring blues, soul and hard rock.