The Beatles were the most influential and successful bands in rock music, who sold more than 1.3 billion discs worldwide by the end of 2004 – more than anyone else. If we look at any genre of art, there were only few people who had such popularity, critical and extensive cultural recognition as this band.
The members of the Beatles are John Lennon (rhythm guitar), Paul McCartney (bass guitar), George Harrison (lead guitar) and Ringo Starr (drums) ; they were are all born in Liverpool, England. The band’s primary songwriters were Lennon and McCartney. The producer of most of their records released during their professional career was George Martin. The manager was Brian Epstein.
Their appearance in 1963 was a real sensation in the UK, they were followed by crowds of screaming and fainting young girls followed them; British media hung the name “Beatlemania” to the phenomenon. This has spread to North America in the beginning of 1964 and the band quickly became popular throughout the world.
In five years they developed the undoubtedly simple music of their early success (like “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”) to artistic, sophisticated songs (like the songs of albums Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road).
They wrote their songs, they probed the boundaries of the possibilities of the studio, each of their albums reached a new, unprecedented quality – making a long-term influence on the pop music. They made movies, their steps were followed by the press and they became the symbolic leaders of the youth counterculture in the 1960s publicly researching Eastern mysticism, consciousness-altering drugs and revolutionary politics. The band broke up in 1970.
Some claim that most influential artist for the Beatles was Elvis Presley. This is doubtful. Paul McCartney said in an interview that Elvis woke up his interest towards the guitar and John Lennon also liked his music. Others say that Elvis can be discovered in such a little degree in the band’s sound and the style of their songs, and we can find pop, R & B, soul and early rock in their musical styles that John and Paul obviously could have taken over and Paul from other artists too is and Paul surely would have grabbed a guitar for a myriad of other reasons.
The band has a really interesting and colorful story, one of the most interesting parts is their encounter with one of India’s gurus. Maharishi Mahesh yogi perhaps stung the biggest gimmick when the fate brought him together with the Beatles. The yogi broke in the european market in these times and he could not have imagined a bigger promotion then this.
Maharishi Yogi was discovered by Pattie, George Harrison’s wife and she immediately convinced the boys to listen to one of his lectures. The Beatles liked him so much, that they first traveled to Wales for a meditation course (in 1967) and later for “several months” to Rishikesh in India.
In 1965, Harrison brought something new in the western culture when he started to work with Ravi Shankar in “Norwegian Wood”. As a result of the long cooperation, many of George’s compositions are based on the Indian music, such as “Love You To” (1966) and “Within You, Without You” (1967) and “The Inner Light” (1968). The Indian music and culture influenced the whole band as the examples of “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Dear Prudence” also shows. Harrison had returned to the West in his later works and became a major pop music composer, sometimes with subjects which have indicated his relationship with Indian music and the Hindu god Krishna.
6. Come Together
“The thing was created in the studio. It’s gobbledygook; Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t come up with one. But I came up with this, Come Together, which would’ve been no good to him – you couldn’t have a campaign song like that, right?”
This song should have been the anthem for the campaing of the “Pope of LSD“, Timothy Leary for the post of governor of California. It will ultimately be the last song recorded by the Beatles completely in studio, in 1970.
5. Let it Be
“When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be”
The piece was recorded while the four boys in the wind were going through their worst period of turbulences. A month after his publication, Paul McCartney announced the break-up of the group. The album with the same title is considered to be one of the weaker albums by The Beatles.
According to Glyn Johns, the sound engineer, it is a “heap of trash”. John Lennon brought Yoko Ono to the recording session, which became the source of further tensions. John Lennon’s heroin addiction restarted. But despite all that, the song “Let it Be” is a brilliant work, which reassures us about the brighter side of life, and gives us hope. Positive thoughts start to flow.
4. Hey Jude
“And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder
Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah”
The lyrics, written by McCartney, were inspired by the son of John Lennon, Julian. A real muse, since Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds was inspired by one of his childhood drawings. The song is a friendly advice to Julian Lennon, whose heart was broken by the separation of his parents. The sophisticated, popular flexibility of Hey Jude is spiced with a sober piano and a refined choir which the world learned to sing in unison.
“Something in the way she knows
And all I have to do is think of her
Something in the things she shows me”
This song, which is one of the songs that have been worked up most times by the group alongside Yesterday, was considered by Lennon as “the best song from Abbey Road” and McCartney as “the best ever written by Harrison.”
The wonderful ballad was rarely equaled , with two discrete chromatic descents that unify the song, a brilliant guitar solo and a majestic chorus out of brass that ensures dramatic crescendo.
2. Strawberry Fields Forever
“Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever”
The song is about Lennon’s insecurities and his tough childhood. The name of this piece is taken from an orphanage in Liverpool, Strawberry Field, which organized a festival every summer. The young John Lennon has spent there significant moments.
Strawberry Field was representative of his childhood, on the outside foreboding but once he climbed over that wall, full of wildflowers and secretive gardens. Two decades later, boys would be allowed in, but throughout most of John’s childhood, Strawberry Field was an all-girls’ orphanage.
1. She Loves You
“She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah
And with a love like that
You know you should be glad”
This is one of the most emblematic Beatles songs, which reflects truly the tempting energies of the sixties. Orgasmic choirs pervaded with nostalgia and joy, with a repeating leitmotiv: “She loves you…” and a universal onomatopoeia: “yeah, yeah, yeah”.
The masses of girls fainted when they heard entrancing lines during the concert. This song was the starting point of the American extasy around the Liverpool group. According to George Martin -the producer of the group-, She Loves Me is “the summit of the first period of development of the Beatles.”
John Lennon, the frontman of this legendary band, the cult figure was otherwise quite controversial as a human being. His behavior was many times unacceptable, according to some sources. On a relatively recently announced recording it is visible how Lennon makes jokes about disadvantaged, mentally challenged people at a concert between numbers.
Lennon entertains the audience with clapping awkwardly, slamming his foot to the ground and trying to make fun of tongue-tied people. At the that time, most people laughed at this, but now It does not lag behind the echoes, a lot of people were stirred up on the internet because of this, many associations raised his voice, even though this happened fifty years ago.
“I could not express myself otherwise and I hit. I am a violent man who has learned not to behave like that, and regretted that he was violent. I have to be much older to undertake how I treated women when I was younger” – he said The song Getting Better is about this.
Thank you for reading! This article is already the fifth of our great selection about legendary rock bands. If you like The Beatles, you may also consider reading about other giants like The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Pink Floyd or even The Kinks. Have fun!