The Beatles were a legendary rock band that changed the world of music forever. Formed in Liverpool in the late 1950s, this four man group went on to influence the next decade (and beyond) with their music, personalities and lust for life. Even though they broke up in 1970, The Beatles remain the best-selling band in the history of popular music.
Formation of the Band
The Beatles officially formed in 1960 and played clubs in England. They were a five-piece band until Stuart Sutcliffe, the original bass player, left in July 1961 to pursue his dream of being a painter. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best carried on, and Best was replaced on the drums by Ringo Starr in 1962.
The Beatles hit it big in 1962 after they hired Brian Epstein as their manager and George Martin as their producer. Their first hit song was "Love Me Do." Within 12 months, The Beatles were a worldwide phenomenon, and they toured the world for three years nonstop. All of their shows were attended by screaming fans, and the Fab Four were often overwhelmed. At one show, police had to use high-pressured water hoses to protect The Beatles from the crazed crowds. From 1966 until their breakup, they focused more on studio recordings than touring.
The Beatles recorded 12 albums during their decade together. The first album released was "Please Please Me" in 1963. That was followed by "With the Beatles," "A Hard Day's Night," "Beatles for Sale," "Help!," "Rubber Soul," "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "The Beatles (The White Album)," "Yellow Submarine" and "Abbey Road." "Let It Be" was released in 1970. After their breakup, many compilation albums were released.
After "Love Me Do," The Beatles had hits with "Please Please Me" and "From Me to You." Other popular Beatles songs include "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Yesterday," "All You Need Is Love" and "Let It Be." The group won a Grammy award for "A Hard Day's Night" in 1964. When it came to songwriting, the biggest influences on The Beatles were Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Little Richard.
On May 8, 1970, the Beatles released their last album, "Let It Be." The band had announced their impending breakup in 1969, and they followed through on the promise to go their separate ways, leaving millions of fans in mourning. Each of the four Beatles released solo albums within a year of the breakup, and they all went on to have individual success. Former "Rolling Stone magazine" associate editor Robert Greenfield likened The Beatles' influence on music to Picasso's influence on art.
- "Fifty Years Adrift in an Open-Necked Shirt"; Derek Taylor and George Harrison; 1983
- "A Day in the Life of the Beatles"; Don McCullin; 2010
- "Beatles"; Lars Saabye Christensen; 2009
- The Beatles: Home
- CNN: Still Relevant After Decades, The Beatles Set to Rock; 9/9/09, Doug Gross