The Beatles’ Legacy

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The Beatles’ Legacy

Many know The Beatles as the most popular and influential music group of the 20th century. In the early 1960’s, their popularity grew rather rapidly. They continued gaining popularity well through the 1960’s. Although their popularity has decreased somewhat over time, the influences they have contributed during their career have remained apparent even today.

The Beatles originated from the UK in the early 1960’s. Before becoming known as the “Fab Four” the Beatles had multiple band member alterations. In August 1960, after settling on the name the Beatles the band had 5 members. Two years following the official band naming the number of members decreased to four. The front-line guitarists John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, and the bands drummer, Ringo Star, became the permanent members of the Beatles in 1962.

In England, by the end of 1963 the band had become well known and highly adored musical artists. However despite their popularity in the UK, the company who held American rights to the Beatles, Capitol, did not believe they were capable of breaking out onto the American pop charts. As stated by Capitol “ We don’t think the Beatles will do anything in this market”. It wasn’t until November of late 1963 that Capitol agreed to release the first Beatles single, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. The song shot up to number one in America only one month after it had been played on the radio for the first time.

The Beatles had just made history. They were the first British band to ever rank so high on the American charts. What made this accomplishment even more amazing was the time frame in which they achieved it. The Beatles arrived in America for the first time on February 7, 1964 to make their American television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. Awaiting them at John F. Kennedy airport was a mob of fanatic fans that were eagerly anticipating their arrival. The night of the Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show attracted the largest television audience ever recorded in history. The following day “ 74 million people—40 percent of the entire U.S. population watched The Beatles of London…a CBS press release report”(Harrington, pg 3). Just two years after they first formed the Beatles were becoming international icons. What made them so successful so soon?

During the 1960’s, turmoil and change gripp...

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...Some argue they had perfect timing. Timing is everything. Others say it was their outstanding musical talent. Whatever the reason may be, the Beatles began a revolution in 1962 and never quite finished it.

They withstood the test of time. Something very few music groups have ever done. They set records and enlightened fans. Without them, who knows where the 1960’s would have taken us. They were our rock. The Beatles made the feelings of depression and confusion during that time disappear. The fact is as much as they needed their public their public needed them more.

The band officially split up publicly on May, 8th 1970. The last album released by the Beatles was “Let It Be”. The contributing factors to their break up vary. The death of their manager Brien Epstien due to a drug overdose, the groups introduction to drugs, and John Lennon’s love for Yoko Ono are a few of those factors. After the break up some members went on to pursue a solo career.

Even though the band no longer is together, they will always remain known as the Beatles. To many people of that time, these four guys from Liverpool, England were not just a band they were beacons of change and progression.

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