The Beatles

Formed March 1957. Disbanded 10 April 1970.
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Let It Be Cast Live in Session

The West End cast of hit musical Let It Be perform live for Terry's birthday!

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The Beatles were an English rock band that formed in Liverpool, in 1960. With John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the greatest and most influential act of the rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several genres, ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic and hard rock, often incorporating classical elements in innovative ways. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as "Beatlemania", but as their songwriting grew in sophistication they came to be perceived as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era's sociocultural revolutions.

The Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act and producer George Martin enhanced their musical potential. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first hit, "Love Me Do", in late 1962. They acquired the nickname "the Fab Four" as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year, and by early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market. From 1965 onwards, the Beatles produced what many critics consider their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (commonly known as the White Album, 1968) and Abbey Road (1969). After their break-up in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001. McCartney and Starr, the surviving members, remain musically active.

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  • Founded Apple Records

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Past Masters

    Past Masters 2009

    Reviewed by Mike Diver
    A vital, invest-now compilation of non-LP favourites.
  2. Review of Love

    Love 2006

    Reviewed by Peter Marsh
    This album is a clever and heartfelt tribute to the most influential and best loved...
  3. Review of Let It Be...Naked

    Let It Be...Naked 2003

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    This new slant on the events is at least a small recompense for all that bad feeling.
  4. Review of Abbey Road

    Abbey Road 1969

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    A marvellous set-piece finale for the group.
  5. Review of The Beatles (The White Album)

    The Beatles (The White Album) 1968

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    Perhaps The Beatles’ most ambitious studio album.
  6. Review of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

    Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967

    Reviewed by Chris Jones
    It took 129 days between Autumn 1966 and Spring 1967 and yes, it changed the world.
  7. Review of Revolver

    Revolver 1966

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    A landmark album that stands up to repeated scrutiny and overexposure.
  8. Review of Rubber Soul

    Rubber Soul 1965

    Reviewed by Daryl Easlea
    Rubber Soul demonstrates how The Beatles were beginning to exploit the recording studio.
  9. Review of Help!

    Help! 1965

    Reviewed by David Quantick
    Hardly their best album, but still marked by flashes of brilliance.
  10. Review of Beatles for Sale

    Beatles for Sale 1964

    Reviewed by David Quantick
    A transitional record, but still joyous, inventive and exciting.
  11. Review of A Hard Day’s Night

    A Hard Day’s Night 1964

    Reviewed by David Quantick
    When the best band in the world realised they were the best band in the world.
  12. Review of Please Please Me

    Please Please Me 1963

    Reviewed by Mike Diver
    The beginning of a career that would effectively define pop itself.
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