Technology and Timing: The Basis for Beatlemania in America

analytical Essay
1088 words
1088 words

It is nearly impossible to outline how The Beatles conquered America without assessing the materialization of Beatlemania, the post-war media explosion of music that dominated popular culture. A crucial target audience and intelligent musical modernization were by no means the only idea why these rebellious artists were cherished. This essay investigates why the joint forces of newly-developed technology and demographical timing drove Beatlemania, and in essence, were the perpetrators to conquering America.
The Beatles were clever with their music; the vast majority of it subversive. The Beatles managed to be things for all people...they appealed to all musical senses during Beatlemania. Songs such as “I Want to Hold Your Hand” were the types that assured parents they were a “safe” band, yet sexual tension oozed out of even these seemingly harmless lyrics (i.e. built ecstasy in the rising voice of “hand”). “From Me to You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “All My Loving” among others were songs that reaffirmed The Beatles’ sex symbol status. Spitz describes the ensuing female hysteria perfectly: “the work that went into the [Beatles Christmas Show] meant nothing to the female fans, whose aim was to gaze...with tormented eyes, hands clutched arthritically at the sides of their faces, mouths twisted in anguished, blood-curdling screams” (455). Young women essentially ran the media. Makela notes that the music industry of the time focused on market and technique (27). The Beatles’ songs were shaped to appeal strongly to teenage girls, and the response was mind-boggling: “Girls have fainted... have been camping out overnight days...for tickets” (Spitz 429); “The NY times reported that 3000 teens stood outside the international arriva...

... middle of paper ..., demographics flutter on the outskirts. Music was left as a caboose to the image-train of being The Beatles. Spitz’ Beatles’ biography, says that Lennon felt trapped as a celebrity, feeling “more like a fraud” (453) although the success did not reduce his dissatisfaction. Success is what The Beatles craved after all; they just thought artistry was what people swooned for.
That is not to say that The Beatles were not artists. They were incredible musicians. However, what was even more incredible was how perfectly timed The Beatles’ outbreak was. Musical novelty and technology were mutually reinforcing pushes that were suspended by the demographics of the baby boomers – The Beatles themselves included. The Beatles conquered American media, but America swallowed the lives out of four men who were not known past the socially created image of a “Beatle.”
Words: 1199

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the beatles conquered america without assessing the materialization of beatlemania, the post-war media explosion of music that dominated popular culture.
  • Analyzes how the beatles were clever with their music, the vast majority of it subversive. they appealed to all musical senses during beatlemania.
  • Analyzes how the beatles' music had a rich blench of stylistic influences that made it difficult for contemporaries to keep up with their audacious musicianship. they mirrored the mindset of the new generation, the baby boomers.
  • Opines that the beatles' musical credibility came in the midst of the "deadest phase" in commercial terms.
  • Analyzes how the beatles emerged when radio was king in popular music and left the world stage when entertainment was dominated by television. the underlying groundwork of beatlemania was technological.
  • Analyzes how the beatles' music had a profound impact on their pop media domination.
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