An English Rock Band The Beatles

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    Feb 01, 2013
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Memorabilia #2: Beatles, Up-Close [Seen in EXPLORE!]
Memorabilia #2: Beatles, Up-Close [Seen in EXPLORE!]
Photo by Marilyn Roxie

The first really important pop group was the Beatles, who had their first hit record in 1962. They came from Liverpool, a town in the north of England. Their music – later called Merseybeat  - was hard and loud. (The Mersey is the river running through Liverpool). It was influenced by American soul music, rhythm rock ‘n’ roll. Playing in small clubs, with poor equipment, they had to rely on the beat produced by drums, bass and rhythm guitars.

The Beatles went to Hamburg, in Germany, several times between 1959 and 1961, where they played for several hours each evening in small clubs. Because of their long experience, by 1961 they played their instruments better than most of the other local groups. But what made the Beatles special was the singing and songwriting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

 The group got a clever manager, recording contract and a very good record producer. They had a series of hit records, including “Please, Please Me”, “From Me to You”, “She loves You”, “I Want Your Hand”, “Can`t Buy Me Love”, “Hard Day`s Night”, “Help”, etc.

 By 1963 there was nothing left for the Beatles to achieve in Britain – their records all went to number one in the charts – so they turned to America and had even greater success. After two months in America, in early 1964, they had the top five records in the charts. After 1965 the Beatles concentrated on films (“Help”! and “A Hard Day`s Night”) and albums (long-playing records). “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver” in 1965 and ’66 had more difficult tunes and interesting words (John Lennon was influenced by Bob Dylan), and new sounds – strings, brass and George Harrison`s sitar.

 By 1967, with the famous “Sergeant Pepper`s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album the Beatles had become hippies, wearing long hair, taking drugs and singing about peace and love.

But by this time the Beatles were growing apart. Lennon was interested in left-wing politics, Harrison in Eastern religion, and drummer Ringo Star in acting. They formed their own record company and made the “White Album” (’68), “Abbey Road” (’69), and “Let It Be” (’70), but after business problems and personal disagreements they split up in 1970. Yet Lennon and McCartney – and the Beatles – had produced some of the most famous pop songs and tunes ever.





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