Not always. The Beatles' new compilation Tomorrow Never Knows is the most damaging thing to the band's legacy in recent memory.
Despite the presence of the world-changing 'Revolution', 'Helter Skelter' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows', the new iTunes compilation is an unpleasant exercise in cultural revisionism that tries to re-cast the band as nothing more than rockist guitar bores.
By all-but completely ignoring the early, pant-wettingly incredible years of Beatlemania, Tomorrow Never Knows seeks to restrict the story of the band's influence to the narrowest limits.
The compilation shies away from any evidence of The Beatles as the world's greatest pop group, rather than just some lads who inspired Linkin Park, Foo Fighters and Maroon 5.
The earliest tracks are '64/'65 B-Sides 'You Can't Do That' and 'I'm Down'. There's no room for anything as gauche or wonderful as 'She Loves You', 'Help!' or 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'.
Contrary to the story this collection is trying to tell, the influence, power and magic of The Beatles didn't come only in their songwriting brilliance and the inescapable shadow they cast on rock music forever.
While the full remastered back catalogue should obviously be on the National Curriculum, this is no rant against Alan Partridge's handy best-of. 1962-1966 (Red), 1967-1970 (Blue) and even 1 all have their place. They're not trying to rewrite history.
This won't be the last attempt to turn The Beatles into a museum piece for grown-ups. 1976's equally-reductive Rock 'n' Roll Music was probably the first. That doesn't mean Tomorrow Never Knows should stand unchallenged.
From Please Please Me to Let It Be, 'Twist and Shout' to 'Strawberry Fields Forever', the real legacy of The Beatles is their eclecticism. Their energy. Their pop-ness, in every possible sense.
To try to deny that is to deny everything that made The Beatles great.