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A History Of The Beatles Essay

2530 words - 11 pages

Probably the most popular, influential and enduring rock group of all time, the Beatles almost single-handedly reshaped rock 'n' roll from a genre of throwaway singles by faceless stars to an artistic medium with memorable images and idols. The Beatles placed the emphasis on a group, rather than a single individual, like Frank Sinatra or Elvis. They also set an example for all rock n roll bands to follow with their strong sense of self-determination, going against their record company and management on many issues, even refusing to tour at the height of their popularity. Of course, their countless hit singles have become modern-day folk songs, covered by hundreds of individuals and groups ...view middle of the document...

Meanwhile Sutcliffe had left the band to pursue his art career and relationship with German photographer Astrid Kircherr. Paul took over on bass. Ironically, Stu died of a brain hemorrhage the following year, right before the Beatle's third Hamburg visit. Throughout 1961 the Beatles played clubs in Britain, becoming an underground sensation; they were particularly famous at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. Though they played mostly covers, Lennon and McCartney began writing original songs together, agreeing to forever share songwriting credits, even though they only co-wrote a handful of tunes during their entire career as the Beatles. By the end of the year, Liverpool record store owner Brian Epstein had become the band's manager, and quickly began trying to find them a record contract. On January 1, 1962 the Beatles auditioned for Decca Records, performing 12 covers and three originals for A&R assistant Mike Smith. The group was rejected, however, and told that "guitar groups are on the way out." Undaunted, Epstein got the group an audition at Parlophone, an EMI subsidiary, with producer George Martin, who signed the Beatles on May 9, 1962. After one recording session, Martin suggested that drummer Pete Best be replaced, and the Beatles brought in Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey), a well-known local drummer, as his replacement. By October 1962 their first single, Love Me Do" b/w "P.S. I Love You, was a U.K. Top 20 hit, allegedly because Epstein bought 10,000 copies himself to ensure that it would chart. The band became regular guests on the BBC, performing over fifty times between 1962 and 1964. In February of 1963 the Beatles returned to the studio to record 10 songs (in one day!) for their first album, Please Please Me, which was released the following month. It became an instant hit, staying at No. 1 in Britain for 30 weeks and by October, female fans were screaming at their performances , the start of "Beatlemania." Following an early November performance before the royal family, Parlophone released a second Beatles album, With The Beatles. By the end of the year the group had sold over 2.5 million albums in Britain, and had a string of million-selling singles. Naturally, word about this amazing new act soon spread to America. Yet, ignoring the British success of the Fab Four, EMI's U.S. partner, Capitol, refused to issue the first few Beatles singles, which were instead picked up by the Chicago-based indie label Vee Jay Records. Vee Jay packaged the early singles as Introducing the Beatles, their first U.S. LP. During the second half of 1963 it was the only Beatles material available in America, and sold incredibly well; by 1964 a court awarded the rights to all Beatles recordings to EMI/Capitol, and the record went out of print, only to become one of the most counterfeited albums in music history. In January of 1964 Capitol released their first U.S. Beatles LP, Meet the Beatles, containing remixed material from their two British...

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