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Some phenomenal changes were in the air as the universe began to stitch together the group that would spark so much change throughout the world. Being the superstar producer like he was, Martin decided these lanky Liverpudlians should take over the world. I Want To Hold Your Hand hit the enterprising shores of America at the end of 1963, floating to number one like a rubber ducky. On the personal side, the band members were molding together in an even tighter knit than before. Since becoming household names, John, Paul, George and Ringo had unwittingly become workaholics.
Rubber Soul has been called the first true Beatles album, symbolizing their break from traditional love songs and moving into a more eclectic form of songwriting. After turning up the creativity in exponential notches for their previous albums, the Beatles did their most creative work to date with Sgt.
The Beatles also visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the man becoming famous in America for bringing an ancient Indian technique of meditation to the world.
The tension created by the loss of their manager and by the varied experiences in India was taking its toll.
In stark contrast to their previous two works, the The Beatles (The White Album) featured a simple white cover with "The Beatles" inconspicuously written on the front. The band owed United Artists another movie (thanks to those fun things called ‘contracts’), so it was decided to make an animated movie based on the song Yellow Submarine (Songtrack) previously released on Revolver. Paul tried to convince the others to do a handful of concerts to re-establish their core group of fans. Though his career after the Beatles was successful, it did not reach the height of what he had accomplished in the band. George Harrison, often referred to as the "quiet Beatle", slowly came into his own after the breakup of the band. Paul enjoyed a successful solo career after the splitting of the Beatles, continuing to produce albums to this day. John Lennon once said in reference to the Beatles’ popularity, "We were just a band that made it very very big, that’s all." In some ways he’s correct. Founded in Liverpool during the late '50s by guitarists John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, with drummer Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe on bass,the Beatles were initially a skiffle band, playing a British variation of American folk music. By the spring of 1963, the Beatles' singles and albums were breaking sales records in England, and they were officially introduced to America in February 1964 with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show followed by a whirlwind tour.
The Beatles' exposure to movie-making whetted their appetites for filmmaking on a variety of levels. Without doubt the Beatles were one of the most popular and influential artists in contemporary music. Just been on the Beatles tour in Liverpool and can't remember which record, the guide said, Ringo played the tambourine on. Throughout the Beatles early years (1962-65) the line-up mostly consisted of John playing rhythm guitar and Harmonica.
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In the eyes of some contemporaries, James may have literally been hungry at this point; Epstein was reportedly alarmed by the shabbiness of his office. Knowing what we all know today, could the Beatles have kept 75 percent of their publishing, which is standard today?
I mean honestly, what can you say that can summarize such a spectacular revolution, not only in music but in world consciousness? Though they didn’t know it at the time, but this group of young men were setting their foundation for their climb to the top of the world. In fact, their climb was somewhat like a roller coaster, a slow clanking to the top, the suspense building and waiting for that first plunge over the hill. He, too, was an early victim of the Beatles’ undeniable charm and catchy beats, succumbing to their charismatic energy like Bugs Bunny to a carrot.
After consulting history books and noting that marching over mountains with elephants was not successful, he decided to take the musical route. Critics reared their ugly heads and had their say, proclaiming the Beatles were nothing but a fad that would die as soon as the next group of cute guys with guitars came along. Nothing short of borrowing Santa’s magic sleigh could allow the group to tour every city on earth, so, A Hard Day's Night was created, sending their images to even the smallest towns and earning them a world-wide reputation for being the happy-go-lucky fab-four they were. They were growing up and growing together, stepping into their own personalities more deeply than before. Touring schedules were hectic, hopping the boys across cities, states and countries in a matter of months.
They established a pattern of constantly pushing the limits of both society and themselves (and the music industry) and setting ever-higher standards for their work. After Rubber Soul came Revolver, a veritable fruit smoothie of melody, harmony, love, traditional style and something very new.
Hippies, those free-willed 15-25 year olds with a penchant for peace, were leaving their homes and striking out on their own, rejecting the old and forging into the new.
Seeking spiritual knowledge just as we all were, the Beatles traveled to India with the hopes of gaining enlightenment. This combined with John’s insistence on having his new love interest Yoko Ono present at the studio (despite his band-mate's wishes) made the situation more harrowing. The soundtrack by the same name featured only four new songs by the Beatles, George Martin creating the orchestral pieces and arranging the other songs. John became known for his political activism and his own music career, often combining efforts with wife Yoko Ono. His final album was released in late 1980, rising straight to number one almost everywhere in the world.
He released several albums and singles sporadically, including rock’s first triple album, All Things Must Pass.
Ringo released an album that topped the charts in the late 80’s but was otherwise not very active in the music industry. The band -- which went under several names before arriving at the Beatles -- incorporated numerous American rock & roll, rhythm & blues, and pop music influences in their playing and songwriting, most notably the sounds of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Arthur Alexander. The group had been signed the year before to do a movie, and, through a stroke of good luck, they were turned over to producer Walter Shenson, director Richard Lester, and screenwriter Alun Owen, who together created A Hard Day's Night, probably the best rock & roll movie ever made. Lennon had an acting role in Richard Lester's anti-war satire How I Won the War, while McCartney wrote the score for the John and Roy Boulting comedy The Family Way. Formed in Liverpool in 1960 the Beatles went on to become the most commercially successful artist of all time with estimated world wide sales of over a billion units.
All last month we looked back at Please Please Me, which the Beatles recorded 50 years ago in February.



22, 1963, the Beatles made what many consider the biggest business blunder of their career: They signed away a majority interest in their songwriting, to a struggling music publisher with no track record, for absolutely nothing.
James had been a modestly successful dance-hall singer, produced by none other than a young George Martin. But right in front of Epstein, James called his former producer Philip Jones, who had fortuitously taken over one of Britain’s most important pop TV shows, Thank Your Lucky Stars.
Could they have owned and managed their publishing outright, like Berlin, and hired cheap flaks to do the hustling? Their scope of influence stretches from music to film and even dabbles in politics and the art of friendship. After using and discarding the Quarry Men label, Johnny and the Moondogs enjoyed a brief stint, followed by The Nerk Twins. At first glance, they appeared like most young Liverpudlians at the time: uncouth hair, leather jackets and dark trousers. He cleaned them up, put them in tailored suits and gave them a resounding thumbs-up (It was Brian Epstein who suggested they wear suits). After several mildly-successful singles released in the UK, the album Please Please Me was recorded in a 12-hour studio session and released in March of 1963. Teens loved their off-kilter appearance, collarless suits, mop-top hair and quirky personalities. Shortly after being proved embarrassingly wrong, the same critics tucked their tails and ran, beginning lives of insurance salesmen to retain a shred of their dignity. Accompanying the movie was an album of the same name, a soundtrack of sorts, launching their career even higher into orbit as thousands of teenage girls watched the movie and swooned.
A Hard Day’s Night was the first Beatles album written entirely by the band, showcasing their creativity and ingenuity even this early in their career. And being stars comes with its fair share of responsibility; now they had fans to attend to, those loyal people who could never get enough Beatlemania. Each successive album built upon the last as they continued to mesh as a group, their personalities growing more integrated by the day.
In My Life has been called the greatest song ever written, giving haunting memories of that ruggedly familiar feeling of nostalgia explicated so poetically by John.
The Beatles were doing similar things at this time, releasing the traditional styles of music and breaking into their own style. The brainchild of Paul, the name was a nom de plume of sorts for the Beatles, giving them an excuse to wear crazy outfits. The idea was that a group of actors would be placed on a bus with the Beatles and taken for a ride through their imagination. Over two dozen songs filled the inside of this plain white wrapper, each more different than the last. From rising from obscurity to a serendipitous beginning, they floated on the waves of fame and rode them all the way to America. His most famous post-Beatles song, Imagine (from the album of the same name), encouraged unity and peace between nations.
In December of the same year, John Lennon was tragically murdered by a gunman outside his Manhattan apartment. He had a growing interest in Hinduism and eastern meditation techniques spurred by his meetings with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In the mid 1990’s, coming together for the closest thing to a Beatles’ reunion possible, Paul, George and Ringo agreed to allow a three volume six CD Beatles’ Anthology 1, Anthology 2, Anthology 3 (with accompanying television shows) to be produced, containing unreleased recordings, demos, and two new songs. By the early '60s, they had developed significant popularity in Hamburg, Germany, where dozens of Liverpool bands were booked into local clubs, and this soon translated into success in their hometown, where the band's mixture of solid American rock & roll and careful music articulation made them stand out from the rest of the city's music scene.
This film, a black-and-white, documentary-style, fictionalized account of the fishbowl lives that the Beatles were leading during the first wave of Beatlemania, was popular with parents as well as their teenage children, and critics loved it, too.
The group was generally as unhappy with the results as everyone else, although the film did make money and have some entertaining moments. Meanwhile, Starr acted in the film Candy, while Harrison produced the soundtrack to the Indian movie Wonderwall.
The Beatles songs and albums cover many different genres from rock n roll to classical and each member of the Beatles played more than just one instrument.In the Beatles most successful line up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr the band set the bench mark for pop and rock bands for a generation.
It was toward the end of that same month that they started their own publishing company, Northern Songs. This kind of wholesale theft was commonplace; in the early rock era, the ethics of the average music publisher could make a mob capo blanch. They promoted new songs by their artists, and even more important in the pre-Beatles era, when most artists didn’t write their own songs, they hawked the songs to other artists. The idea was, by making Lennon, McCartney, and Epstein partners in the venture with James, they could have some control over their creative rights, in addition to receiving royalties. Their story is inspiring, sparking many to get up out of their chairs and try something new.
Finally, John hit upon something when he conjured "The Beatals" as their new official title, wanting an insect reference similar to Buddy Holly’s "The Crickets", the whole beetle theme continued through their next five names: The Silver Beetles, The Silver Beats, The Beatles, The Silver Beatles. The first few years of their success gave them little time to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labors.
The universe had stitched them together as if they were destined to be, now they just had to grow as a group to become a whole. Norwegian Wood featured an instrument unfamiliar to most western ears, the sitar, played by George Harrison. Songs such as Eleanor Rigby, Yellow Submarine and Tomorrow Never Knows showcased the talent waking up from a long winter’s nap within the group. Were the Beatles a catalyst for this movement of change or did they just ride the universal waves?
The Beatles were far from through with their creative streak, however, as their very next album would show. From crazy psychedelic songs such as Wild Honey Pie to somber melodies in Julia, Blackbird and I Will, the White Album would become famous for containing more musical styles than many artists had dabbled with in their entire careers. The producer favored Paul’s ideas, causing John to withdraw from many sessions in resentment.
At its conclusion, John said the famous line "I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition!".
There they delighted fans and critics alike, awing them with their playful sense of life and harmonious music. It was a ballad for world harmony, encouraging everyone to imagine a world free from war, united as one. The world cried collectively when they heard the news, as one of the greatest revolutionary songwriters had moved on from this world and to the next. Throughout the 90’s he fought a battle with lung cancer, one that would eventually take his life in November of 2001. Free as a Bird and Real Love, originally written by John but re-recorded from his demo tapes. The combined energies of these four created something spectacular, something undeniably unique.


The Beatles tried directing and producing their own television film, 1967's Magical Mystery Tour, but the result -- outside of a couple of scenes and a handful of good songs -- were amateurish. During the late '60s and early '70s, the Beatles' corporate entity, Apple, acquired the distribution rights to various movies, including El Topo and La Grande Bouffe, and made a number of films, most notably Born to Boogie, directed and produced by Starr, and The Concert for Bangladesh, co-produced by Harrison. Generally and especially in the Beatles early material, Lennon played rhythm guitar, Harrison lead guitar, McCartney bass guitar and Ringo Starr played drums. Overall, James and his business partner managed to retain 51 percent of the company—a majority stake that caused a lot of headaches for the Beatles down the road.
The Beatles pioneered so much in their short time together, changing the world for generations to come. At last, after going through more metamorphoses than a caterpillar, the ‘silver’ was dropped (again), leaving the short and sweet, ultra catchy and very rememberable, The Beatles.
The boys were forced to rev-up their performance for the demanding audience, teaching them how to become true showmen. In a move that still raises eyebrows to this day, Epstein was asked to replace Pete before the deal would be complete.
In an interview conducted in February 1964, a reporter informed the Beatles that Detroit University had a ‘Stamp out the Beatles’ movement. Beatles for Sale was released in early December 1964, but contained only a handful of original songs. This record also showed off John’s vocal abilities and range, his heart rising and falling with his voice to enchant everyone.
Such a blending of cultures and sounds was indicative of the group’s collective charm and charisma as well as the budding movement of non-violence and love growing throughout the world. Fully comfortable with themselves, with each other, and with their music, the Beatles had shoved their sticks in the ground and were preparing to pole vault across the lines of normality even farther.
Each song blends smoothly into the next, creating the impression that the whole album is one grand concert, complete with applause and screaming fans. Their voices can really be heard on this album; they sound more aware, more grown up and more settled in their roles as world musicians. Work began on the album and movie in the spring of ’67, but was interrupted by several major events.
Magical Mystery Tour was finished shortly after, releasing both the movie and the album before the end of the year.
Such was the nature of the Beatles’ free spirit and inventiveness, the four personalities melding together to allow the freedom and ingenuity for the various styles to come forward. They had merchandise, millions of fans, and even a mass album burning in the mid 60’s when John stated they were "more popular than Jesus". This gentle soul, one who was forever advocating love and spirituality, was cremated, his ashes rumored having been spread on the holy river Ganges in India.
It was both a tribute and a retrospection for the Beatles, reminding the world and a new generation that they were the most influential band ever to grace our globe. This allowed for unmatched creativity and ingenuity, the pinnacle of human potential expressed in their group. After finding their manager Brian Epstein -- who got them an audition with George Martin, the head of EMI Records' tiny Parlophone label -- the band was signed to a recording contract in 1962. In 1968, they provided the songs for the psychedelic animated feature Yellow Submarine, and made a brief onscreen appearance at the movie's conclusion. Starr also took an occasional acting role, most notably in the David Puttnam-produced period drama That'll Be the Day.
Both Ringo and George sang a few lead songs but mainly Paul and  John, the key stars, both sang and wrote nearly all songs. Paul was faithful to his trusty Hofner Bass while George had two instruments during this time: a Gibson Epiphone and a newly acquired 12 string Rickenbacker (recently bought back from the early 1964 tour of the US).
After all, in 1963, no one could have predicted the value or longevity of the Beatles’ canon. Richard Starkey, our beloved Ringo Starr, would take his place, completing the rock and roll quartet.
The boys nodded, and Paul replied with his characteristic head bob "We’ve got a Stamp out Detroit movement!" After laughing, the interviewer continued.
Beatlemania settled upon the world, nestling us in the warm winged comfort of the four boys from Liverpool. At this time, psychedelic drugs were in full swing in many countries around the world, and the Beatles experimented with their effects as well.
Their manager since the beginning, the man who discovered the Beatles, Brian Epstein, passed away. Though the band’s problems were increasing, their music did not seem to suffer the same fate.
The divisions that would eventually lead to the group's break-up were chronicled in the 1969 documentary Let It Be, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, with impressive results.
McCartney also composed and performed the title song for the 1973 James Bond movie Live and Let Die, but it was ultimately Harrison who became the most active of the Beatles in filmmaking. While many say this was the source of their creativity in the later years, at best it only contributed to their inherent innovation.
This was not only an emotional blow to the group, having lost a trusted companion and friend, but a work-related strain as well.
Abbey Road, planned as a farewell album, featured tight vocals, haunting harmonies and the famous You Never Give Me Your Money medley, pulling many songs together in one long enjoyable ride. Let It Be (recorded before Abbet Rd) was pieced together and released to the world, an unintended finale to the Beatles’ tromp through the world.
Through his company Handmade Films, he helped produce such hit pictures as Monty Python's Life of Brian - Criterion Collection and the fantasy Time Bandits (Special Edition). This didn’t dampen their resolve, however, and Epstein continued lobbying for the band until he finally secured an audition with George Martin at Parlophone records.
The world was on the verge of an enormous change, and the Beatles, with their budding creativity, would foster the revolution. Without a manager to handle the business details of the band, the work fell onto the members. Abbey Road was released in the fall of 1969, but the Beatles still were not done with the world, or so it seemed. The end of the '70s also saw the lingering mystique of the Beatles parodied by Monty Python alumnus Eric Idle and Bonzo Dog Band-founder Neil Innes in the film The Rutles - All You Need Is Cash, in which Harrison made a cameo. Pepper was inventive and fresh, becoming an instant hit and long-term inspiration for many.
Paul had a very proactive attitude toward the process, immediately taking responsibility and encouraging the others to do so as well. The first internal strain had begun to form, one that would, in combination with many other factors, lead to the eventual breakup of the Beatles.



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