02 March 2011

Artist Spotlight: The BEATLES!!!

Current obsession: The Beatles.

In 1957, John Lennon formed a band called The Quarrymen. He invited Paul McCartney to play guitar for the band, and in February 1958, Paul invited George Harrison. By 1960, the band was still struggling to find the right name and an accountable drummer. One of Lennon's schoolmates suggested "beetles" as a tribute to Buddy Holly, who died in 1953. In August of 1960, they settled on The Beatles, after testing out various other names, such as The Silver Beatles. They also managed to find a drummer, Pete Best, around the same time. For two years they played in Britain, growing in popularity. In 1962 they got a record label and a new drummer, Ringo Starr, who stayed with the band until the end.
Beatlemania began in 1963. Their fame spread like crazy, similar to the current Twilight epidemic (except the Beatles were talented and...well, I won't compare the two on here, but feel free to email me if you want my opinion!). It was an obsession with anything Beatles. People mimicked their fashion, from their shoes to their hair (yes, people copied the mop-top style. Apparently it spread like the Rachel cut of the 1990s). There were Pez dispensers, lunch boxes, and other miscellaneous paraphernalia. They also had a mini cartoon show.

Beatle's music hit the US in 1963, and the fab four arrived in the east in February 1964, appearing soon after on the Ed Sullivan Show. They were an immediate hit.
[note: I just watched this clip for the first time. I was definitely freaking out. If I had been there...I might have been one of the crying girls.Or the girl about 9 minutes in.]
The best part is when Elvis Presley wishes them success in the America :)

Their music started out as peppy and upbeat, with songs like I Want To Hold Your Hand and All My Lovin', as seen on the Ed Sullivan Show. During their career, The Beatles sang slow songs like Blackbird, rock and roll songs like Helter Skelter, motown type songs like Oh, Darling!, and even a happy song about murder. As times changed and the years progressed, their music began to have a more political and religious slant to it. Songs like Piggies (that's for you, mom!) and Revolution demonstrated their feelings toward the Vietnam war and the authority of the time. John Lennon was especially outspoken when it came to being against the war. His contributions include Imagine and anthems like Give Peace a Chance. 
George Harrison brought eastern religion into their music, contributing songs like Within You, Without You.
Within two months of their arriving in the US, The Beatles had 12 spots on Billboard. For 59 weeks from 1964 to 1970, The Beatles occupied the number one spot. Their songs have been covered countless times. Yesterday alone has been covered over 3000 times (That's just one song, folks!). Click *here* to see a list of artists who have covered The Beatles. Their music has inspired many other artists, music videos, a Broadway musical (Beatlemania, which was stopped for a time when the Beatles sued for their rights), the and movies (Across the Universe, That Thing You Do). Even Michael Jackson got in on the action. In 1985, Jackson outbid Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono for the rights of over 200 Beatles songs. Jackson left the rights to Paul McCartney in his will in 2009.

In 1988, The Beatles were introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (eight years after their breakup!). They were appointed Members of the Order of the British Empire in 1965 by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2008, Billboard named them the number one top selling artist of all time (I'm so proud of them!).

The fab four - John, Paul, George, and Ringo, were only together for 8 years before their breakup in 1970. Forty-one years later, their music is known worldwide. You can still easily find Beatles music and paraphernalia. Paul McCartney still goes on shows. The popular game Rock Band came out with a version specifically for Beatles songs. Just a few months ago there was celebration over iTunes finally selling Beatles music.The Beatles were only together for a short time, but they became a prominent icon of the 1960s, and they remain an icon to this day.

Source: Wikipedia. That's right.

I hope you learned something!

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