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She Loves You - 'You never had it so good'

Stuart Maconie recounts the social change, economic optimism and Beatlemania of Britain in the early 1960s, hearing memories of those who were told they'd 'never had it so good'.

1963 was a monumental year in Britain. The Profumo Affair was uncovered. The Great Train Robbery took place. The Dartford Tunnel and the National Theatre opened. And a manufactured Northern pop band started doing rather well.

A new economic and social optimism coincided with the birth of Beatlemania in a country that had, according to Prime Minister Harold MacMillan, "never had it so good". However, it was an optimism that had been almost two decades in the making, following the horror of WW2, then the lean years of rationing, poverty and re-building. The Beatles' humour, drive and infectious music chimed perfectly with the country's new-found confidence.

57 minutes

Music Played

  • The Beatles

    Please Please Me

  • Barrett Strong

    Money (That's What I Want)

  • The Beatles

    A Taste Of Honey

  • Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas - Humdinger

  • Chuck Berry

    Sweet Little Sixteen

  • The Isley Brothers

    Twist And Shout

  • The Beatles

    Twist and Shout

  • The Beatles

    A Hard Day's Night

  • Pacemakers

    How Do You Do It?

  • The Beatles

    Love Me Do

  • The Beatles

    I Saw Her Standing There

  • The Beatles

    She Loves You

  • The Beatles

    Tomorrow Never Knows

  • The Beatles

    I've Just Seen A Face

Share your comments and stories

Your contributions will play a key part in this episode, take a look at the questions below and send us your thoughts:

  • Do you remember hearing The Beatles for the first time?
  • Do you remember finding jobs easy to come by?
  • How did you feel when Harold McMillan said “you’ve never had it so good”? 
  • Did Britain feel like an exciting, vibrant place to be in the early 60s?

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Broadcasts

  • Wed 16 Jan 2013 22:00
  • Tue 19 Jan 2016 23:00

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