The Beatles
The Beatles

The Beatles Biography (BBC)

The Beatles are both the gold standard and the launchpad for British popular music as a global force. Over the course of 11 studio albums and a run of worldwide number one singles - standards such as From Me To You, Help!, Day Tripper, Let It Be - EPs and countless sessions and interviews for BBC radio, often with their friend Brian Matthew (which were later compiled into two double albums), they took American rock ‘n’ roll and soul, added a unique sense of optimism, and set about charming the world.

The band was formed in Liverpool during the 1950s explosion of both rock ‘n’ roll and skiffle. John Lennon was leading a band of schoolmates called The Quarrymen, and met a cocksure guitarist and singer called Paul McCartney, whose blossoming talents seemed to rival his own. They worked together, quality controlling each other’s songs and pushing the other on to new musical peaks. Paul brought in a hard-to-impress young guitarist called George Harrison, and the trio set about finding gigs (and drummers, where possible).

They forged a binding union while playing long hours in Hamburg - sometimes with a talented drummer named Ringo Starr - and at Liverpool’s now-legendary Cavern Club in 1961, the band hooked up with manager Brian Epstein, who brought them (plus Ringo) to producer George Martin. Under his tutelage the band were ready to take on all comers, changing their sound with each new release.

They started in 1963 with the solid beat group excitement of I Want To Hold Your Hand and She Loves You, later taking in muscular riff-pop (Ticket To Ride) and limpid balladry (Yesterday) and blossoming with the psychedelic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, incorporating any new musical idea they could get their hands on, from mellotrons (Strawberry Fields Forever) to sitars (Within You Without You) to La Marseillaise (All You Need Is Love, recorded for Our World, a global satellite TV show).

Having defined a generation, they took stock in India, learning to meditate and writing the songs for what became their double album The Beatles, but the camaraderie that kept them together was wearing off, and business arguments eventually tore them apart.

Their final album, Abbey Road, was a deliberate last hurrah, to both the band and the swinging 60s they had come to define.

The Beatles Biography (Wikipedia)

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The group, whose best-known line-up comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, are regarded as the most influential band of all time. They were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and popular music's recognition as an art form. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways; the band later explored music styles ranging from ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As pioneers in recording, songwriting and artistic presentation, the Beatles revolutionised many aspects of the music industry and were often publicised as leaders of the era's youth and sociocultural movements.

Led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over three years from 1960, initially with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass. The core trio of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, together since 1958, went through a succession of drummers, including Pete Best, before asking Starr to join them in 1962. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act, and producer George Martin guided and developed their recordings, greatly expanding their domestic success after their first hit, "Love Me Do", in late 1962. As their popularity grew into the intense fan frenzy dubbed "Beatlemania", the band acquired the nickname "the Fab Four", with Epstein, Martin and other members of the band's entourage sometimes given the informal title of "fifth Beatle".

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The Beatles Performances & Interviews

The Beatles Tracks

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