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All you need is love’ ‘Here comes the Sun’ ‘Whisper word of wisdom’ ‘Let it be’. All sang by the famous British rock band The Beatles. The Beatles were formed in Liverpool, founded by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey. This band has helped transform the music industry, revolutionised culture and changed the world. Even the most adamant skeptics cannot deny the contributions of this historic band. Roll onto the 60s and the Beatles were born.
Before all the success of The Beatles there was a band called ‘The Quarry Men’ run by John Lennon, John had been in multiple bands and this one surely wasn’t the last. With gigs around Liverpool he was in need of a bassist, and then came 15 year old Paul McCartney, he auditioned for the band and was immediately invited to join, which he did October 1957. The bands main genres was Skiffle music, Jazz and Blues as that was extremely popular at the time. By 1958 Lennon become very tired of skiffle and fell more toward Rock ’n’ Roll. This prompted the band’s banjo player to leave and opened a spot for George Harrison. They had a few hits around Liverpool such as “That’ll Be The Day” and a Lennon-McCartney original “In Spite of All The Danger”, but really 1957 they disbanded. Then coming the final member, Ringo Starr. With the fab four finally stable with their peers they changed their name to The Beatles, and having huge success with their singles came a teenage phenomenon known as “Beatlemania”.
Beatlemania was all the rage trend of buying Beatle’s merchandise and products. After the exposure of the Beatles first TV appearance, the group’s popularity sprouted everywhere in the world . They brought the love of British rock and roll to the American public, and soon after them, many other British groups became famous in the United States such as The Who, Rolling Stones etc. It was called ‘The British Invasion”. For Britain writing and composing your own songs were rare but The Beatles were keen and ready. They knew most of their audience as 80% girls and they wrote songs that enlisted the perfect response. After a year or two almost all bands were either trying or writing their own songs. As The Beatles were dominating the British charts in 1963 their string of hit records transformed the commercial fortunes Of the British record industry itself. The Record industry recognised what they called “The Rolling Effect” on how the band was on the charts for weeks and months as every song they were producing was making hit after hit from “Please please me”, “From me to you” and “She loves you”.
In July 1964 the band then starred in their first film ‘A Hard Days Night”. Directed by American Richard Lester, playing fictional characters created by screenwriters, in A Hard Days Night the Beatles played themselves but comedy inspired by their experiences of fame. It was known as a commercial and a critical phenomenon. In December, the band’s fourth studio album “Beatles for sale” was released and was still thriving due to Beatlemania giving the boys an insight into early fame. In 1965 Paul McCartney began to drive The Beatles. While the others were settling down with their lives Paul was going around London listening to fresh sound from new artists and bringing it to Abbey Road Studio, helping to give them an artistic edge. Helping the release of “Rubber Soul”. The usual time for recording an album was three hours in the morning, a break for lunch, and three hours in the afternoon. But when Rubber Soul came along they invented the idea of treating an album like a piece of art. Working a month straight day and night. Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys said “When I heard Rubber Soul I knew that’s how good pop records could be, they could be a whole artistic world”.
As The Beatles came to record their next studio album “Revolver” they were taking a new turn joining the LSD train. Their song “Tomorrow Never Knows”, known as one of their most psychedelic song ever done, was the first song done in April of ’66. Many people thought this was astonishing as the word Psychedelic had not even came to light at this point. Becoming the worlds first psychedelic track. But as the Beatles sound was changing so was their politics, John Lennon stating “We’re more popular than Jesus” becoming their first scandal to be in America. However, months later magazines were using this which caused a lot of problems with the United States. By the time of their 1966 US tour two fo the members has made it clear to the press that they were against the Vietnam War. This costed them a lot, losing many fans.
After this they had announced they would abandon live performance, completely disappearing sparking rumours of a breakup. Yet away at the studio the four Liverpudlians were
Working hard making their most ambitious production to date. When they finally had re-appeared their looks and sound has undergone a serious transformation. Having released “Strawberry Fields” the public stated how it has gone weird. Having slowed John’s voice down it was something rather new. Then, 1967“Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” it showed that the age of the traditional Pop Single and the pop band was over. By now albums were selling as much as singles and Sgt Peppers was selling millions. Paul had the idea of becoming somebody else rather than the fab four or mop tops. They were a forced to be reckoned with even The Rolling Stones were badly effected by them at this point. Only 1 month after the release of the album, due to the ongoing success, the band was invited to play for the first International satellite television broad cast. They delivered the song “All you need is love” in-front of over 500 million people live.
The Beatles inherited the results of the first decade of rock and roll, with their creativity and innovation to develop the rock to rock and roll into a new stage. They had done something special to change people’s attitude , they had redefined the meaning of the music. 60 years later and the band is still alive. It can be said that their songs influenced a generation of artistic taste, clothing hair style, lifestyle and attitude towards life.