The Beatles
Overview
The Beatles were an English rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

 (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

 (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr
Richard Starkey, MBE better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for The Beatles. When the band formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles' drummer in...

 (drums, vocals). Rooted in skiffle
Skiffle
Skiffle is a type of popular music with jazz, blues, folk, roots and country influences, usually using homemade or improvised instruments. Originating as a term in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, it became popular again in the UK in the 1950s, where it was mainly...

 and 1950s rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

, the group later worked in many genres
Music genre
A music genre is a categorical and typological construct that identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music...

 ranging from pop
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

 ballad
Ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

s to psychedelic rock
Psychedelic rock
Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that is inspired or influenced by psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. It emerged during the mid 1960s among folk rock and blues rock bands in United States and the United Kingdom...

, often incorporating classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 and other elements in innovative ways.
Quotations

Got a good reason for taking the easy way out Got a good reason for taking the easy way out now. She was a day tripper, a one way ticket yeah It took me so long to find out, and I found out.

Day Tripper|Day Tripper

Try to see it my way Do I have to keep on talking 'til I can't go on? While you see it your way Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone We can work it out We can work it out.

We Can Work It Out|We Can Work It Out

My love don't give me presents, Turn me on when I get lonely, People tell me that she's only foolin', I know she isn't. She's a woman, she's a woman.

She's a Woman|She's a Woman

Baby's good to me, you know, She's happy as can be, you know, She said so. I'm in love with her and I feel fine.

I Feel Fine|I Feel Fine

Lady Madonna children at your feet Wonder how you manage to make ends meet. Who finds the money when you pay the rent? Did you think that money was heaven sent?

Lady Madonna|Lady Madonna

Without going out of my door I can know all things on earth Without looking out of my window I can know the ways of Heaven The farther one travels The less one knows.

The Inner Light|The Inner Light

Whatever happened to the life that we once knew Can we really live without each other? Where did we lose the touch That seemed to mean so much? It always made me feel so Free as a bird.

Free As A Bird|Free As A Bird

When the rain comes they run and hide their heads. They might as well be dead, If the rain comes, if the rain comes.

Rain (song)|Rain

Christ! You know it ain't easy, You know how hard it can be. The way things are going, They're going to crucify me.

The Ballad of John and Yoko|The Ballad of John and Yoko

Hey Jude don't make it bad, Take a sad song and make it better, Remember, to let her into your heart, Then you can start to make it better.

Hey Jude|Hey Jude

Encyclopedia
The Beatles were an English rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

 band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

 (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

 (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr
Richard Starkey, MBE better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for The Beatles. When the band formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles' drummer in...

 (drums, vocals). Rooted in skiffle
Skiffle
Skiffle is a type of popular music with jazz, blues, folk, roots and country influences, usually using homemade or improvised instruments. Originating as a term in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, it became popular again in the UK in the 1950s, where it was mainly...

 and 1950s rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

, the group later worked in many genres
Music genre
A music genre is a categorical and typological construct that identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music...

 ranging from pop
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

 ballad
Ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...

s to psychedelic rock
Psychedelic rock
Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that is inspired or influenced by psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. It emerged during the mid 1960s among folk rock and blues rock bands in United States and the United Kingdom...

, often incorporating classical
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 and other elements in innovative ways. The nature of their enormous popularity, which first emerged as "Beatlemania
Beatlemania
Beatlemania is a term that originated during the 1960s to describe the intense fan frenzy directed toward The Beatles during the early years of their success...

", transformed as their songwriting grew in sophistication. They came to be perceived as the embodiment of ideals of the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s
Counterculture of the 1960s
The counterculture of the 1960s refers to a cultural movement that mainly developed in the United States and spread throughout much of the western world between 1960 and 1973. The movement gained momentum during the U.S. government's extensive military intervention in Vietnam...

.

Initially a five-piece line-up of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe
Stuart Sutcliffe
Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe was a Scottish artist and musician, best known as the original bass player of The Beatles. Sutcliffe left the band to pursue a career as an artist, having previously attended the Liverpool College of Art...

 (bass) and Pete Best
Pete Best
Pete Best is a British musician, best known as the original drummer in The Beatles. He was born in the city of Madras, British India...

 (drums), they built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

 over a three-year period from 1960. Sutcliffe left the group in 1961, and Best was replaced by Starr the following year. Moulded into a professional act by manager Brian Epstein
Brian Epstein
Brian Samuel Epstein , was an English music entrepreneur, and is best known for being the manager of The Beatles up until his death. He also managed several other musical artists such as Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Cilla Black, The Remo Four & The Cyrkle...

, their musical potential was enhanced by the creativity of producer George Martin
George Martin
Sir George Henry Martin CBE is an English record producer, arranger, composer and musician. He is sometimes referred to as "the Fifth Beatle"— a title that he often describes as "nonsense," but the fact remains that he served as producer on all but one of The Beatles' original albums...

. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first single, "Love Me Do
Love Me Do
"Love Me Do" is The Beatles' first single, backed by "P.S. I Love You" and released on 5 October 1962. When the single was originally released in the United Kingdom, it peaked at number seventeen; in 1982 it was re-issued and reached number four...

", became a minor hit in late 1962, and acquired the nickname the "Fab Four" as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year. By early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the "British Invasion
British Invasion
The British Invasion is a term used to describe the large number of rock and roll, beat, rock, and pop performers from the United Kingdom who became popular in the United States during the time period from 1964 through 1966.- Background :...

" of the United States pop market. The band toured extensively around the world until August 1966, when they performed their final commercial concert. During their subsequent studio years they produced what many music critics consider to be some of their finest material, including the widely influential 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released on 1 June 1967 on the Parlophone label and produced by George Martin...

. After their break-up in 1970, the ex-Beatles each found success in individual musical careers. Lennon was murdered outside his home in New York City in 1980, and Harrison died in Los Angeles of metastatic
Metastasis
Metastasis, or metastatic disease , is the spread of a disease from one organ or part to another non-adjacent organ or part. It was previously thought that only malignant tumor cells and infections have the capacity to metastasize; however, this is being reconsidered due to new research...

 lung cancer in 2001. McCartney and Starr remain active.

The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, and over four decades after their break-up, their recordings are still in demand. They have had more number one albums on the UK charts and have held the top spot longer than any other musical act. According to the RIAA
Recording Industry Association of America
The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade organization that represents the recording industry distributors in the United States...

, they have sold more albums in the United States than any other artist, and they topped Billboard
Billboard (magazine)
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...

magazine's list of all-time Hot 100 artists in 2008. They have received 7 Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

s from the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., known variously as The Recording Academy or NARAS, is a U.S. organization of musicians, producers, recording engineers and other recording professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for music and its...

 and 15 Ivor Novello Awards
Ivor Novello Awards
The Ivor Novello Awards, named after the Cardiff born entertainer Ivor Novello, are awards for songwriting and composing. They are presented annually in London by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and were first introduced in 1955.Nicknamed The Ivors, the awards take place...

 from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors
British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors
British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors was founded in 1947.It represents its members within the industry, to the government and to the European Commission....

. They were collectively included in Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people
Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century
Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century is a compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people, published in Time magazine in 1999....

.

Formation and early years (1957–1962)

Aged sixteen, John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

 formed a skiffle
Skiffle
Skiffle is a type of popular music with jazz, blues, folk, roots and country influences, usually using homemade or improvised instruments. Originating as a term in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, it became popular again in the UK in the 1950s, where it was mainly...

 group called The Quarrymen
The Quarrymen
The Quarrymen are a British skiffle and rock and roll group, initially formed in Liverpool in 1956, that eventually evolved into The Beatles in 1960...

, in March 1957. Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 joined as a guitarist after he and Lennon met that July. When McCartney in turn invited George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

 to watch the group the following February, the fourteen-year-old joined as lead guitarist. By 1960, Lennon's schoolfriends had left the group, he had begun studies at the Liverpool College of Art
Liverpool College of Art
Liverpool College of Art is located at 68 Hope Street, in Liverpool, England. It is a Grade II listed building.The building is currently owned by Liverpool John Moores University housing its School of Social Science....

 and the three guitarists were playing rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

 whenever they could get a drummer. Lennon's fellow student Stu Sutcliffe joined on bass in January. Sutcliffe suggested changing the band name to "The Beetles" as a tribute to Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly
Charles Hardin Holley , known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll...

 and The Crickets
The Crickets
The Crickets are a rock & roll band from Lubbock, Texas, formed by singer/songwriter Buddy Holly in the 1950s. Their first hit record was "That'll Be the Day", released in 1957....

, and they became "The Beatals" for the first few months of the year. In May 1960 they undertook a brief tour of Scotland, as backing group for pop singer Johnny Gentle
Johnny Gentle
Johnny Gentle is the stage name of John Askew . He was a British pop singer who is now best remembered for having briefly toured Scotland with the Silver Beetles - later known simply as The Beatles - as his backing group in 1960....

. After trying other names including "Johnny and the Moondogs", "Long John and The Beetles" and "The Silver Beatles", the band finally became "The Beatles" in August. The lack of a permanent drummer posed a problem when the group's unofficial manager, Allan Williams
Allan Williams
Allan Williams is a former businessman and promoter of Welsh descent. He was the original booking agent of The Beatles...

, arranged a resident band booking for them in Hamburg
Hamburg
-History:The first historic name for the city was, according to Claudius Ptolemy's reports, Treva.But the city takes its modern name, Hamburg, from the first permanent building on the site, a castle whose construction was ordered by the Emperor Charlemagne in AD 808...

, Germany. Before the end of August they auditioned and hired Pete Best
Pete Best
Pete Best is a British musician, best known as the original drummer in The Beatles. He was born in the city of Madras, British India...

, and the five-piece band left for Hamburg four days later, contracted to club owner Bruno Koschmider
Bruno Koschmider
Bruno Koschmider was a German entrepreneur in Hamburg, Germany best known for employing The Beatles in the early 1960s...

, for a 48-night residency. "Hamburg in those days did not have rock 'n' roll music clubs. It had strip clubs", says Beatles biographer Philip Norman
Philip Norman (author)
Philip Norman is an English novelist, biographer, journalist and playwright.Norman grew up in Ryde, Isle of Wight. He attended Ryde School, and his father, Clive Norman, ran the Seagull Ballroom on Ryde Pier. He described his childhood in his book Babycham Night...

.
Harrison, only 17 years old in August 1960, obtained permission to stay in Hamburg by lying to the German authorities about his age. Initially placing the group at the Indra Club, Koschmider moved them to the Kaiserkeller
Kaiserkeller
Kaiserkeller is a night club in the St. Pauli quarter of Hamburg, Germany, near the Reeperbahn. It was opened by Bruno Koschmider on October 14, 1959. The Beatles had a contract with Kaiserkeller to play there in 1960.-Biography:...

 in October after the Indra was closed down due to noise complaints. When they violated their contract by performing at The Top Ten Club, a rival venue, Koschmider reported the underage Harrison to the authorities, leading to his deportation in November. A week later, McCartney and Best were arrested for arson after they set fire to a condom nailed to a wall in their room; they were also deported. Lennon returned to Liverpool in mid-December, while Sutcliffe remained in Hamburg with his new German fiancée, Astrid Kirchherr
Astrid Kirchherr
Astrid Kirchherr is a German photographer and artist and is well known for her association with The Beatles and her photographs of The Beatles during their Hamburg days....

, for another month. Kirchherr took the first professional photos of the group and cut Sutcliffe's hair in the German "exi" (existentialist) style of the time, a look later adopted by the other Beatles.

During the next two years, the group were resident for further periods in Hamburg. They used Preludin
Phenmetrazine
Phenmetrazine is a stimulant drug of the morpholine chemical class that was previously used as an appetite suppressant, but has since been withdrawn from the market...

 both recreationally and to maintain their energy through all-night performances. When Sutcliffe decided to leave the band in early 1961 and resume his art studies in Germany, McCartney took up the bass. German producer Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert was a German orchestra leader and songwriter. He made easy listening and jazz-oriented records, and wrote the music for a number of well-known songs, such as "Strangers in the Night" and "Spanish Eyes".-Biography:He was born in Hamburg, Germany - where he received his lifelong...

 contracted what was now a four-piece to act as Tony Sheridan
Tony Sheridan
Tony Sheridan , is an English rock and roll singer-songwriter and guitarist...

's backing band
Backup band
A backing band or backup band is a musical ensemble that accompanies an artist at a live performance or on a recording. This can either be an established, long-standing group that has little or no change in membership, or it may be an ad hoc group assembled for a single show or a single recording...

 on a series of recordings. Credited to "Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers", the single "My Bonnie
My Bonnie
My Bonnie is the name of a 1961 single, a 1962 album and a 1963 EP by Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers, better known as The Beatles.-History:...

", recorded in June and released four months later, reached number 32 on the Musikmarkt
Musikmarkt
Musikmarkt is a journal of the music industry in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The magazine is published weekly and contains the weekly Top 100 charts for singles and albums....

chart. The Beatles were also becoming more popular back home in Liverpool. During one of the band's frequent appearances there at the Cavern Club
The Cavern Club
The Cavern Club is a rock and roll club in Liverpool, England. Opened on Wednesday 16 January 1957, the club had their first performance by The Beatles on 9 February 1961, and where Brian Epstein first saw The Beatles performing on 9 November 1961....

, they encountered Brian Epstein
Brian Epstein
Brian Samuel Epstein , was an English music entrepreneur, and is best known for being the manager of The Beatles up until his death. He also managed several other musical artists such as Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Cilla Black, The Remo Four & The Cyrkle...

, a local record store owner and music columnist. When the band appointed Epstein manager in January 1962, Kaempfert agreed to release them from the German record contract. After Decca Records rejected the band
The Beatles' Decca audition
The Decca audition is the name given to the now-famous Beatles audition for Decca Records at their Decca Studios in West Hampstead, north London, England, before they reached international stardom...

 with the comment "Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr. Epstein", George Martin
George Martin
Sir George Henry Martin CBE is an English record producer, arranger, composer and musician. He is sometimes referred to as "the Fifth Beatle"— a title that he often describes as "nonsense," but the fact remains that he served as producer on all but one of The Beatles' original albums...

 signed the group to EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

's Parlophone
Parlophone
Parlophone is a record label that was founded in Germany in 1896 by the Carl Lindström Company as Parlophon. The British branch was formed in 1923 as "Parlophone" which developed a reputation in the 1920s as a leading jazz label. It was acquired in 1927 by the Columbia Graphophone Company which...

 label. News of a tragedy greeted them on their return to Hamburg in April. Meeting them at the airport, a stricken Kirchherr told them of Sutcliffe's death from a brain haemorrhage.

In Liverpool, the Merseybeat
Beat music
Beat music, British beat, or Merseybeat is a pop and rock music genre that developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1960s. Beat music is a fusion of rock and roll, doo wop, skiffle, R&B and soul...

 movement was gathering force. The band had their first recording session under Martin's direction at EMI's Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio located at 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, City of Westminster, London, England. It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, its present owner...

 in London in June 1962. Martin complained to Epstein about Best's drumming and suggested the band use a session drummer
Session musician
Session musicians are instrumental and vocal performers, musicians, who are available to work with others at live performances or recording sessions. Usually such musicians are not permanent members of a musical ensemble and often do not achieve fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders...

 in the studio. Instead, Best was replaced by Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr
Richard Starkey, MBE better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for The Beatles. When the band formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles' drummer in...

. Starr, who left Rory Storm and the Hurricanes to join The Beatles, had already performed with them during Best's occasional absences. Martin still hired session drummer Andy White
Andy White (drummer)
Andrew "Andy" White is a Scottish drummer, best known for replacing Ringo Starr on drums on The Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do". White featured on the American 7" single release of the song, which also appeared on the band's debut British album, Please Please Me. He also played drums on the...

 for one session. White played on the single "Love Me Do
Love Me Do
"Love Me Do" is The Beatles' first single, backed by "P.S. I Love You" and released on 5 October 1962. When the single was originally released in the United Kingdom, it peaked at number seventeen; in 1982 it was re-issued and reached number four...

" and "P.S. I Love You
P.S. I Love You (The Beatles song)
"P.S. I Love You" is a song composed principally by Paul McCartney and recorded by The Beatles. It was released on 5 October 1962 as the B-side of their debut single "Love Me Do" and is also included on their 1963 album Please Please Me...

". Released in October, "Love Me Do" was a top twenty UK hit, peaking at number seventeen on the chart. After a November studio session that yielded what would be their second single, "Please Please Me
Please Please Me (song)
"Please Please Me" is a song and the second single released by The Beatles in the United Kingdom, and the first to be issued in the United States. It was also the title track of their first LP, which was recorded to capitalise on the success of the single...

", they made their TV debut with a live performance on the regional news programme People and Places
Granada Reports
Granada Reports is the flagship regional news programme of ITV franchisee Granada, presented by Tony Morris and Lucy Meacock, and serving the North West of England and the Isle of Man....

.

The band concluded their last Hamburg stint in December 1962. By now it had become the pattern that all four members contributed vocals, although Starr's restricted range meant he rarely sang lead. Lennon and McCartney had established a songwriting partnership; as the band's success grew, their celebrated collaboration limited Harrison's opportunities as a lead vocalist. Epstein, sensing their commercial potential, encouraged the group to adopt a professional attitude to performing. Lennon recalled the manager saying, "Look, if you really want to get in these bigger places, you're going to have to change—stop eating on stage, stop swearing, stop smoking." Lennon said, "We used to dress how we liked, on and off stage. He'd tell us that jeans were not particularly smart and could we possibly manage to wear proper trousers, but he didn't want us suddenly looking square. He'd let us have our own sense of individuality ... it was a choice of making it or still eating chicken on stage."

UK popularity, Please Please Me and With The Beatles

In the wake of the moderate success of "Love Me Do", "Please Please Me" met with a more emphatic reception, reaching number two on the UK singles chart
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

 after its January 1963 release. Martin originally intended to record The Beatles' debut LP live at the Cavern Club. Finding it had "the acoustic ambience of an oil tank", he elected to create a "live" album in one session at Abbey Road Studios. Ten songs were recorded for Please Please Me
Please Please Me
Please Please Me is the debut album by the English rock band The Beatles. Parlophone rush-released the album on 22 March 1963 in the United Kingdom to capitalise on the success of singles "Please Please Me" and "Love Me Do" .Of the album's fourteen songs, eight were written by Lennon–McCartney...

, accompanied on the album by the four tracks already released on the two singles. Recalling how the band "rushed to deliver a debut album, bashing out Please Please Me in a day", an Allmusic reviewer comments, "Decades after its release, the album still sounds fresh, precisely because of its intense origins." Lennon said little thought went into composition at the time; he and McCartney were "just writing songs à la Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers are country-influenced rock and roll performers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing...

, à la Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly
Charles Hardin Holley , known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll...

, pop songs with no more thought of them than that—to create a sound. And the words were almost irrelevant."

Released in March 1963, the album reached number one on the British chart. This initiated a run during which eleven of their twelve studio albums released in the United Kingdom through 1970 hit number one. The band's third single, "From Me to You
From Me to You
"From Me to You" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released by The Beatles as a single in 1963. The single was the Beatles' first number one in some of the United Kingdom charts, second in others, but failed to make an impact in the United States at the time of its initial...

", came out in April and was also a chart-topping hit. It began an almost unbroken run of seventeen British number one singles for the band, including all but one of the eighteen they put out over the next six years. On its release in August, the band's fourth single, "She Loves You
She Loves You
"She Loves You" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney based on an idea by McCartney, originally recorded by The Beatles for release as a single in 1963. The single set and surpassed several records in the United Kingdom charts, and set a record in the United States by being one of the...

", achieved the fastest sales of any record in the UK up to that time, selling three-quarters of a million copies in under four weeks. It became their first single to sell a million copies, and remained the biggest-selling record in the UK until 1978 when it was topped by "Mull of Kintyre
Mull of Kintyre (song)
"Mull of Kintyre" is a song written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine and performed by Wings. The song was written in tribute to the picturesque Kintyre peninsula in Scotland, where McCartney has owned High Park Farm since 1966, and its headland or Mull of Kintyre.The song was Wings' biggest hit...

", performed by McCartney and his post-Beatles band, Wings
Wings (band)
Wings were a British-American rock group formed in 1971 by Paul McCartney, Denny Laine and Linda McCartney that remained active until 1981....

. The popularity of their music brought with it increasing press attention. The band members responded with a cheeky, irreverent attitude that defied what was expected of pop musicians and inspired even more interest.
The Beatles' logo, seen on the front of Starr's bass drum during the group's major touring years, was based on an impromptu sketch by instrument retailer and designer Ivor Arbiter upon instruction from Epstein that the design should emphasize the word "beat". The band toured the UK three times in the first half of the year: a four-week tour that began in February preceded three-week tours in March and May–June. As their popularity spread, a frenzied adulation of the group took hold, dubbed "Beatlemania
Beatlemania
Beatlemania is a term that originated during the 1960s to describe the intense fan frenzy directed toward The Beatles during the early years of their success...

". Although not billed as tour leaders, they overshadowed other acts including Tommy Roe
Tommy Roe
Tommy Roe is an American pop music singer-songwriter.Best-remembered for his hits "Sheila" and "Dizzy" , critic Bill Dahl wrote that Roe was "widely perceived as one of the archetypal bubblegum artists of the late 1960s, but Roe cut some pretty decent rockers along the way, especially early in his...

, Chris Montez
Chris Montez
Chris Montez , is an American singer.-Early life:Montez grew up in Hawthorne, California, influenced by the Latino-flavored music of his community and the success of Ritchie Valens....

 and Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison
Roy Kelton Orbison was an American singer-songwriter, well known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country & western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis...

, American artists who had established great popularity in the UK. Performances everywhere, both on tour and at many one-off shows around the country, were greeted with riotous enthusiasm by screaming fans. Police found it necessary to use high-pressure water hoses to control the crowds, and there were debates in Parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 concerning the thousands of police officers putting themselves at risk to protect the group. In late October, a five-day tour of Sweden saw the band venture abroad for the first time since the Hamburg chapter. Returning to the UK, they were greeted at Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport or Heathrow , in the London Borough of Hillingdon, is the busiest airport in the United Kingdom and the third busiest airport in the world in terms of total passenger traffic, handling more international passengers than any other airport around the globe...

 in heavy rain by thousands of fans in "a scene similar to a shark-feeding frenzy", attended by fifty journalists and photographers and a BBC Television
BBC Television
BBC Television is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The corporation, which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927, has produced television programmes from its own studios since 1932, although the start of its regular service of television...

 camera crew. The next day, they began yet another British tour, scheduled for six weeks. By now, they were indisputably the headliners.

Please Please Me was still topping the album chart. It maintained the position for thirty weeks, only to be displaced by With The Beatles
With the Beatles
With The Beatles is the second studio album by the English rock group The Beatles. It was released on 22 November 1963 on Parlophone, and was recorded four months after the band's debut Please Please Me...

which itself held the top spot for twenty-one weeks. Making much greater use of studio production techniques than its "live" predecessor, the album was recorded between July and October. With The Beatles is described by Allmusic as "a sequel of the highest order—one that betters the original by developing its own tone and adding depth." In a reversal of what had until then been standard practice, the album was released in late November ahead of the impending single "I Want to Hold Your Hand
I Want to Hold Your Hand
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" is a song by the English rock band The Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded in October 1963, it was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment....

", with the song excluded in order to maximize the single's sales. With The Beatles caught the attention of The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

music critic William Mann, who went as far as to suggest that Lennon and McCartney were "the outstanding English composers of 1963". The newspaper published a series of articles in which Mann offered detailed analyses of the music, lending it respectability. With The Beatles became the second album in UK chart history to sell a million copies, a figure previously reached only by the 1958 South Pacific
South Pacific (musical)
South Pacific is a musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Hammerstein and Joshua Logan. The story draws from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific, weaving together characters and elements from several of its...

soundtrack. Drafting a press release shortly before the record came out, Tony Barrow
Tony Barrow
Tony Barrow is an English press officer who worked with The Beatles between 1962 and 1968. He coined the phrase "The Fab Four", first using it in an early press release.-Life:...

, the band's press officer, thought up a new descriptive phrase for the quartet that would be widely adopted: the "Fab Four".

"British Invasion"

The Beatles' releases in the United States were initially delayed for nearly a year when Capitol Records
Capitol Records
Capitol Records is a major United States based record label, formerly located in Los Angeles, but operating in New York City as part of Capitol Music Group. Its former headquarters building, the Capitol Tower, is a major landmark near the corner of Hollywood and Vine...

, EMI's American subsidiary, declined to issue either "Please Please Me" or "From Me to You". Negotiations with independent US labels led to the release of some singles, but issues with royalties and derision of the band's "moptop" hairstyle
The Beatles' influence on popular culture
The Beatles' influence on rock music and popular culture was—and remains—immense. Their commercial success started an almost immediate wave of changes—including a shift from US global dominance of rock and roll to UK acts, from soloists to groups, from professional songwriters to...

 posed further obstacles. Once Capitol did start to issue the material, rather than releasing the LPs in their original configuration, they compiled distinct US albums from an assortment of the band's recordings and issued songs of their own choice as singles. American chart success came suddenly after a CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 news broadcast about British Beatlemania triggered great demand, leading Capitol to rush-release "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in December 1963. The band's US debut was already scheduled to take place a few weeks later.

The Beatles left the United Kingdom on 7 February 1964, with an estimated four thousand fans gathered at Heathrow, waving and screaming as the aircraft took off. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" had sold 2.6 million copies in the US over the previous two weeks, but the group were still nervous about how they would be received. At New York's John F. Kennedy Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport
John F. Kennedy International Airport is an international airport located in the borough of Queens in New York City, about southeast of Lower Manhattan. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway to the United States, handling more international traffic than any other airport in North...

 they were greeted by another vociferous crowd, estimated at about three thousand people. They gave their first live US television performance two days later on The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show
The Ed Sullivan Show is an American TV variety show that originally ran on CBS from Sunday June 20, 1948 to Sunday June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan....

, watched by approximately 74 million viewers—over 40 percent of the American population. The next morning one newspaper wrote that they "could not carry a tune across the Atlantic", but a day later their first US concert saw Beatlemania erupt at Washington Coliseum
Washington Coliseum
The Washington Coliseum is an indoor arena in Washington, D.C. located at 1132, 1140, and 1146 3rd Street, Northeast, Washington, D.C. It is directly adjacent to the railroad tracks, just north of Union Station, and bounded by L and M Streets. It held 7,000 to 9,000 people for events...

. Back in New York the following day, they met with another strong reception at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, United States, located at 881 Seventh Avenue, occupying the east stretch of Seventh Avenue between West 56th Street and West 57th Street, two blocks south of Central Park....

. The band appeared on the weekly Ed Sullivan Show a second time, before returning to the UK on 22 February. The Beatles held twelve positions on the Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

 singles chart during the week of 4 April, including the top five. That same week, a third American LP joined the two already in circulation; all three reached the first or second spot on the US album chart. The band's popularity generated unprecedented interest in British music, and a number of other UK acts subsequently made their own American debuts, successfully touring over the next three years in what was termed the British Invasion
British Invasion
The British Invasion is a term used to describe the large number of rock and roll, beat, rock, and pop performers from the United Kingdom who became popular in the United States during the time period from 1964 through 1966.- Background :...

. The Beatles' hairstyle, unusually long for the era and mocked by many adults, was widely adopted and became an emblem of the burgeoning youth culture.

The Beatles toured internationally in June. Staging thirty-two concerts over nineteen days in Denmark, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, they were ardently received at every venue. Starr was in hospital after a tonsillectomy
Tonsillectomy
A tonsillectomy is a 3,000-year-old surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed from either side of the throat. The procedure is performed in response to cases of repeated occurrence of acute tonsillitis or adenoiditis, obstructive sleep apnea, nasal airway obstruction, snoring, or...

 for the first half of the tour, and Jimmie Nicol sat in on drums. In August they returned to the US, with a thirty-concert tour of twenty-three cities. Generating intense interest once again, the month-long tour attracted between ten and twenty thousand fans to each thirty-minute performance in cities from San Francisco to New York. While in the United States the band stipulated that they would not play in front of segregated
Racial segregation in the United States
Racial segregation in the United States, as a general term, included the racial segregation or hypersegregation of facilities, services, and opportunities such as housing, medical care, education, employment, and transportation along racial lines...

 audiences. Their music could hardly be heard, as on-stage amplification at the time was modest compared to modern-day equipment, and the band's small Vox
Vox (musical equipment)
Vox is a musical equipment manufacturer which is most famous for making the Vox AC30 guitar amplifier, the Vox Continental electric organ, and a series of innovative but commercially unsuccessful electric guitars and bass guitars...

 amplifiers struggled to compete with the volume of sound generated by screaming fans. Forced to accept that neither they nor their audiences could hear the details of their performance, the band grew increasingly bored with the routine of concert touring.

At the end of the August tour they were introduced to Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

 in New York at the instigation of journalist Al Aronowitz
Al Aronowitz
Alfred Gilbert Aronowitz was an American rock journalist best known for introducing Bob Dylan and The Beatles in 1964.Aronowitz was born in Bordentown, New Jersey...

. Visiting the band in their hotel suite, Dylan introduced them to cannabis
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

. Music historian Jonathan Gould points out the musical and cultural significance of this meeting, before which the musicians' respective fanbases were "perceived as inhabiting two separate subcultural worlds": Dylan's core audience of "college kids with artistic or intellectual leanings, a dawning political and social idealism, and a mildly bohemian style" contrasted with The Beatles' core audience of "veritable 'teenybopper
Teenybopper
The term teenybopper was invented by marketing professionals and psychologists, later becoming a subculture of its own. The term describes a young teenager, particularly a girl, who follows adolescent trends in music, fashion and culture. The term was introduced in the 1950s to refer to teenagers...

s'—kids in high school or grade school whose lives were totally wrapped up in the commercialized popular culture of television, radio, pop records, fan magazines, and teen fashion. They were seen as idolaters, not idealists." Within six months of the meeting, "Lennon would be making records on which he openly imitated Dylan's nasal drone, brittle strum, and introspective vocal persona." Within a year, Dylan would "proceed, with the help of a five-piece group and a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar
Electric Dylan controversy
By 1965, Bob Dylan had achieved the status of leading songwriter of the American folk music revival.Paul Simon suggested that Dylan's early compositions virtually took over the folk genre: "[Dylan's] early songs were very rich ... with strong melodies. 'Blowin' in the Wind' has a really strong...

, to shake the monkey of folk authenticity permanently off his back"; "the distinction between the folk and rock audiences would have nearly evaporated"; and The Beatles' audience would be "showing signs of growing up".

A Hard Day's Night, Beatles for Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul

Capitol Records' lack of interest throughout 1963 had not gone unnoticed. A competitor, United Artists Records
United Artists Records
United Artists Records was a record label founded by Max E. Youngstein of United Artists in 1957 initially to distribute records of its movie soundtracks, though it soon branched out into recording music of a number of different genres.-History:...

, encouraged United Artists' film division
United Artists
United Artists Corporation is an American film studio. The original studio of that name was founded in 1919 by D. W. Griffith, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks....

 to offer The Beatles a motion picture contract in the hope that it would lead to a record deal. Directed by Richard Lester
Richard Lester
Richard Lester is an American film director based in Britain. Lester is notable for his work with The Beatles in the 1960s and his work on the Superman film series in the 1980s.-Early years and television:...

, A Hard Day's Night
A Hard Day's Night (film)
A Hard Day's Night is a 1964 British black-and-white comedy film directed by Richard Lester and starring The Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—during the height of Beatlemania. It was written by Alun Owen and originally released by United Artists...

had the group's involvement for six weeks in March–April 1964 as they played themselves in a boisterous mock-documentary. The film premiered in London and New York in July and August, respectively, and was an international success. The Observer
The Observer
The Observer is a British newspaper, published on Sundays. In the same place on the political spectrum as its daily sister paper The Guardian, which acquired it in 1993, it takes a liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is the world's oldest Sunday newspaper.-Origins:The first issue,...

s reviewer, Penelope Gilliatt
Penelope Gilliatt
Penelope Gilliatt was an English novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and film critic....

, noted that "the way The Beatles go on is just there, and that's it. In an age that is clogged with self-explanation this makes them very welcome. It also makes them naturally comic." According to Allmusic, the accompanying soundtrack album, A Hard Day's Night
A Hard Day's Night (album)
A Hard Day's Night is the third studio album by The Beatles, released on 10 July 1964 as the soundtrack to their film A Hard Day's Night. The American version of the album was released two weeks earlier, on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records, with a different track listing...

, saw them "truly coming into their own as a band. All of the disparate influences on their first two albums had coalesced into a bright, joyous, original sound, filled with ringing guitars." That "ringing guitar" sound was primarily the product of Harrison's 12-string electric Rickenbacker
Rickenbacker 360/12
The Rickenbacker 360/12 is an electric guitar made by the Rickenbacker company; it was among the first electric twelve-string guitars. This instrument is visually similar to the Rickenbacker 360...

, a prototype given him by the manufacturer, which made its debut on the record. Harrison's ringing 12-string inspired Roger McGuinn
Roger McGuinn
James Roger McGuinn is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is best known for being the lead singer and lead guitarist on many of The Byrds' records...

, who obtained his own Rickenbacker and used it to craft the trademark sound of The Byrds
The Byrds
The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member until the group disbanded in 1973...

.

Beatles for Sale
Beatles for Sale
Beatles for Sale is the fourth studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released in late 1964 and produced by George Martin for Parlophone. The album marked a minor turning point in the evolution of Lennon and McCartney as lyricists, John Lennon particularly now showing interest in...

, the band's fourth studio album, saw the emergence of a serious conflict between commercialism and creativity. Recorded between August and October 1964, the album had been intended to continue the format established by A Hard Day's Night which, unlike the band's first two LPs, had contained no cover versions. Acknowledging the challenge posed by constant international touring to the band's songwriting efforts, Lennon admitted, "Material's becoming a hell of a problem". Six covers from their extensive repertoire were included on the album. Released in early December, its eight self-penned numbers nevertheless stood out, demonstrating the growing maturity of the material produced by the Lennon-McCartney partnership.

In April 1965, Lennon and Harrison's dentist spiked their coffee with LSD while they were his guests for dinner. The two later deliberately experimented with the drug, joined by Starr on one occasion. McCartney was reluctant to try it, but eventually did so in 1966, and later became the first Beatle to discuss it publicly.

Controversy erupted in June 1965 when Elizabeth II appointed the four Beatles Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 after Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

 nominated them for the award. In protest—the honour was at that time primarily bestowed upon military veterans and civic leaders—some conservative MBE recipients returned their own insignia.

The Beatles' second film, Help!
Help! (film)
Help! is a 1965 film directed by Richard Lester, starring The Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—and featuring Leo McKern, Eleanor Bron, Victor Spinetti, John Bluthal, Roy Kinnear and Patrick Cargill. Help! was the second feature film made by the Beatles and is a...

, again directed by Lester, was released in July. Described as "mainly a relentless spoof of Bond
James Bond (film series)
The James Bond film series is a British series of motion pictures based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond , who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming. Earlier films were based on Fleming's novels and short stories, followed later by films with original storylines...

", it inspired a mixed response among both reviewers and the band. McCartney said, "Help! was great but it wasn't our film—we were sort of guest stars. It was fun, but basically, as an idea for a film, it was a bit wrong." The soundtrack was dominated by Lennon, who wrote and sang lead on most of its songs, including the two singles: "Help!
Help! (song)
"Help!" is a song by The Beatles that served as the title song for both the 1965 film and its soundtrack album. It was also released as a single, and was number one for three weeks in both the United States and the United Kingdom....

" and "Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride
"Ticket to Ride" is a song by The Beatles from their 1965 album, Help!. It was recorded 15 February 1965 and released two months later. -Composition:...

". The accompanying album, the group's fifth studio LP, again contained a mix of original material and covers. Help!
Help! (album)
Help! is the title of the fifth British and ninth American album by The Beatles, and the soundtrack from their film of the same name. Produced by George Martin for EMI's Parlophone Records, it contains fourteen songs in its original British form, of which seven appeared in the film...

saw the band making increased use of vocal overdubs and incorporating classical instruments into their arrangements, notably the string quartet on the pop ballad "Yesterday
Yesterday (song)
"Yesterday" is a song originally recorded by The Beatles for their 1965 album Help!. The song first hit the United Kingdom top 10 three months after the release of Help!. The song remains popular today with more than 1,600 cover versions, one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded...

". Composed by McCartney, "Yesterday" would inspire the most recorded cover versions of any song ever written. The LP's closing track, "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", became the last cover the band would include on an album. With the exception of Let It Be's brief rendition of the traditional Liverpool folk song "Maggie Mae
Maggie May (traditional song)
"Maggie May" is a traditional Liverpool folk song about a prostitute who robbed a sailor. It has been the informal anthem of the city of Liverpool for about 180 years....

", all of their subsequent albums would contain only self-penned material.

The band's third US visit, on 15 August, opened with the first major stadium concert in history when they performed before a crowd of 55,600 at New York's Shea Stadium
Shea Stadium
William A. Shea Municipal Stadium, usually shortened to Shea Stadium or just Shea , was a stadium in the New York City borough of Queens, in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. It was the home baseball park of Major League Baseball's New York Mets from 1964 to 2008...

. A further nine successful concerts followed in other American cities. Towards the end of the tour the group were introduced to Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

, a foundational musical influence on the band, who invited them to his home. Presley and the band discussed the music business and exchanged anecdotes. September saw the launch of an American Saturday morning cartoon series, The Beatles, that echoed A Hard Day's Nights slapstick antics. Original episodes appeared for the next two years, and reruns aired through 1969.
Rubber Soul
Rubber Soul
Rubber Soul is the sixth studio album by the English rock group The Beatles, released in December 1965. Produced by George Martin, Rubber Soul had been recorded in just over four weeks to make the Christmas market...

, released in early December, was hailed by critics as another major step forward in the maturity and complexity of the band's music. Music critic Ian MacDonald
Ian MacDonald
Ian MacCormick was a British music critic and author, best known for Revolution in the Head, his forensic history of The Beatles which borrowed techniques from art historians, and The New Shostakovich, a controversial study of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich...

 observes that with
Rubber Soul, they "recovered the sense of direction that had begun to elude them during the later stages of work on Beatles for Sale". After Help!'s foray into the world of classical music with flutes and strings, Rubber Souls introduction of a sitar
Sitar
The 'Tablaman' is a plucked stringed instrument predominantly used in Hindustani classical music, where it has been ubiquitous since the Middle Ages...

 on "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
"Norwegian Wood " is a song by The Beatles, first released on the 1965 album Rubber Soul....

" marked a further progression outside the traditional boundaries of rock music. The album also saw Lennon and McCartney's collaborative songwriting increasingly supplemented by distinct compositions from each (though they continued to share official credit). Their thematic reach was expanding as well, embracing more complex aspects of romance and other concerns. As their lyrics grew more artful, fans began to study them for deeper meaning. There was speculation that "Norwegian Wood" might refer to cannabis. In 2003, Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

magazine's "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
"The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" is the title of a 2003 special issue of American magazine Rolling Stone, and a related book published in 2005.Related news articles:...

" ranked Rubber Soul at number five, and the album is today described by Allmusic as "one of the classic folk rock
Folk rock
Folk rock is a musical genre combining elements of folk music and rock music. In its earliest and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and the UK around the mid-1960s...

 records". According to both Lennon and McCartney, it was "just another album". Recording engineer Norman Smith later stated that the Rubber Soul sessions showed signs of growing conflict within the group—"the clash between John and Paul was becoming obvious", he wrote, and "as far as Paul was concerned, George could do no right."

Events leading up to final tour

In June 1966, Yesterday and Today
Yesterday and Today
Yesterday and Today is the ninth Capitol release by The Beatles and the eleventh overall American release. It was issued only in the United States and Canada...

—one of the compilation albums created by Capitol Records for the US market—caused an uproar with its cover, which portrayed the grinning Beatles dressed in butcher's overalls, accompanied by raw meat and mutilated plastic baby dolls. A popular, though apocryphal, story was that this was meant as a satirical response to the way Capitol had "butchered" their albums. Thousands of copies of the album had a new cover pasted over the original; an unpeeled "first-state" copy fetched $10,500 at a December 2005 auction. During a tour of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 the month after the Yesterday and Today furore, they unintentionally snubbed the nation's first lady, Imelda Marcos
Imelda Marcos
Imelda R. Marcos is a Filipino politician and widow of 10th Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Upon the ascension of her husband to political power, she held various positions to the government until 1986...

, who had expected the group to attend a breakfast reception at the Presidential Palace
Malacañang Palace
The Malacañan Palace, commonly known simply as Malacañang, is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the Philippines. Located at 1000 J. P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila, the house was built in 1750 in Spanish Colonial style. It has been the residence of every...

. When presented with the invitation, Epstein politely declined on behalf of the group, as it had never been his policy to accept such official invitations. The group soon found that the Marcos regime was unaccustomed to taking "no" for an answer. The resulting riots endangered the group and they escaped the country with difficulty.

Almost as soon as they returned home, they faced a fierce backlash from US religious and social conservatives (as well as the Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan
Ku Klux Klan, often abbreviated KKK and informally known as the Klan, is the name of three distinct past and present far-right organizations in the United States, which have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, and anti-immigration, historically...

) over a comment Lennon had made in a March interview with British reporter Maureen Cleave
Maureen Cleave
Maureen Cleave is an English journalist who worked for the London Evening News and London Evening Standard in the 1960s, conducting interviews with famous musicians of the era, including Bob Dylan and John Lennon....

: "Christianity will go," Lennon said. "It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus
More popular than Jesus
Angry reactions flared up in August 1966, after John Lennon's remark that The Beatles had become "more popular than Jesus" was quoted by the American teen magazine, Datebook. Lennon originally made the remark when an English newspaper reporter, Maureen Cleave, interviewed him at home for a...

 now; I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity". The comment went virtually unnoticed in England, but when US teenage fan magazine Datebook
Datebook
Datebook was an American teen magazine published during the 1960s. It focused on popular music and other topics relevant to teenagers. The magazine is famous for publishing an interview with John Lennon in which the Beatle made his infamous "More popular than Jesus" statement....

printed it five months later—on the eve of the group's final US tour—it created a controversy in the American "Bible Belt
Bible Belt
Bible Belt is an informal term for a region in the southeastern and south-central United States in which socially conservative evangelical Protestantism is a significant part of the culture and Christian church attendance across the denominations is generally higher than the nation's average.The...

". South Africa also banned airplay of Beatles records, a prohibition that would last until 1971. Epstein publicly criticised Datebook, saying they had taken Lennon's words out of context, and at a press conference Lennon pointed out, "If I'd said television was more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it." Lennon said he had been referring only to how other people saw their success, but "if you want me to apologise, if that will make you happy, then okay, I'm sorry."

Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Rubber Soul had marked a major step forward; Revolver
Revolver (album)
Revolver is the seventh studio album by the English rock group The Beatles, released on 5 August 1966 on the Parlophone label and produced by George Martin. Many of the tracks on Revolver are marked by an electric guitar-rock sound, in contrast with their previous LP, the folk rock inspired Rubber...

, released in August 1966 a week before The Beatles' final tour, marked another. Pitchfork
Pitchfork Media
Pitchfork Media, usually known simply as Pitchfork or P4k, is a Chicago-based daily Internet publication established in 1995 that is devoted to music criticism and commentary, music news, and artist interviews. Its focus is on underground and independent music, especially indie rock...

 identifies it as "the sound of a band growing into supreme confidence" and "redefining what was expected from popular music." Described by Gould as "woven with motifs of circularity, reversal, and inversion", Revolver featured sophisticated songwriting and a greatly expanded repertoire of musical styles ranging from innovative classical string arrangements to psychedelic rock
Psychedelic rock
Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that is inspired or influenced by psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. It emerged during the mid 1960s among folk rock and blues rock bands in United States and the United Kingdom...

. Abandoning the group photograph that had become the norm, its cover—designed by Klaus Voormann
Klaus Voormann
Klaus Voormann is a German Grammy Award-winning artist, noted musician, and record producer. He designed artwork for many bands including The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Wet Wet Wet and Turbonegro. His most notable work as a producer was his work with the band Trio, including their worldwide hit "Da Da...

, a friend of the band since their Hamburg days
The Beatles in Hamburg
The Beatles members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best regularly performed at different clubs in Hamburg, Germany, during the period from August 1960 to December 1962; a chapter in the group's history which honed their performance skills, widened their...

—was a "stark, arty, black-and-white collage that caricatured The Beatles in a pen-and-ink style beholden to Aubrey Beardsley
Aubrey Beardsley
Aubrey Vincent Beardsley was an English illustrator and author. His drawings, done in black ink and influenced by the style of Japanese woodcuts, emphasized the grotesque, the decadent, and the erotic. He was a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement which also included Oscar Wilde and James A....

." The album was preceded by the single "Paperback Writer
Paperback Writer
"Paperback Writer" is a 1966 song recorded and released by The Beatles. Written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song was released as the A-side of their eleventh single...

", backed by "Rain
Rain (The Beatles song)
"Rain" is a song by the English rock band The Beatles, credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was first released in June 1966 as the B-side of the "Paperback Writer" single...

". The Beatles shot short promotional films for both songs, described as "among the first true music video
Music video
A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings...

s", which aired on Top of the Pops
Top of the Pops
Top of the Pops, also known as TOTP, is a British music chart television programme, made by the BBC and originally broadcast weekly from 1 January 1964 to 30 July 2006. After 25 December 2006 it became a radio program, now hosted by Tony Blackburn...

and The Ed Sullivan Show.

Among Revolvers most experimental tracks was "Tomorrow Never Knows
Tomorrow Never Knows
"Tomorrow Never Knows" is the final track of The Beatles' 1966 studio album Revolver but the first to be recorded. Credited as a Lennon–McCartney song, it was written primarily by John Lennon...

", for whose lyrics Lennon drew from Timothy Leary
Timothy Leary
Timothy Francis Leary was an American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs. During a time when drugs like LSD and psilocybin were legal, Leary conducted experiments at Harvard University under the Harvard Psilocybin Project, resulting in the Concord Prison...

's The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead
The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead
The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead is an instruction manual intended for use during sessions involving psychedelic drugs. Started as early as 1962 in Zihuatanejo, the book was finally published in August 1964...

. The song's creation involved eight tape decks distributed about the recording studio building, each manned by an engineer or band member, who randomly varied the movement of a tape loop while Martin created a composite recording by sampling the incoming data. McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby
Eleanor Rigby
"Eleanor Rigby" is a song by The Beatles, simultaneously released on the 1966 album Revolver and on a 45 rpm single. The song was written primarily by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney...

" made prominent use of a string octet
Octet (music)
In music, an octet is a musical ensemble consisting of eight instruments or voices, or a musical composition written for such an ensemble.-Octets in classical music:Octets in classical music are one of the largest groupings of chamber music...

; it has been described as "a true hybrid, conforming to no recognizable style or genre of song." Harrison was developing as a songwriter, and three of his compositions earned a place on the record. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Revolver as the third greatest album of all time. During the US tour that followed, however, the band performed none of its songs. As Chris Ingham explains, they were very much "studio creations ... and there was no way a four-piece rock 'n' roll group could do them justice, particularly through the desensitising wall of the fans' screams. 'Live Beatles' and 'Studio Beatles' had become entirely different beasts." The final show, at San Francisco's Candlestick Park on 29 August, was their last commercial concert. It marked the end of a four-year period dominated by touring that included over 1,400 concert appearances internationally.
Freed from the burden of touring, the band's desire to experiment grew as they recorded Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released on 1 June 1967 on the Parlophone label and produced by George Martin...

, beginning in December 1966. Recording engineer Geoff Emerick
Geoff Emerick
Geoffrey Emerick is an English recording studio audio engineer, who is best known for his work with The Beatles' albums Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles and Abbey Road...

 recalled their insistence "that everything on Sgt. Pepper had to be different. We had microphones right down in the bells of brass instruments and headphones turned into microphones attached to violins. We used giant primitive oscillators to vary the speed of instruments and vocals and we had tapes chopped to pieces and stuck together upside down and the wrong way round." Parts of "A Day in the Life
A Day in the Life
"A Day in the Life" is a song by The Beatles, the final track on the group's 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song comprises distinct segments written independently by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, with orchestral additions...

" required a forty-piece orchestra. Nearly seven hundred hours of studio time were devoted to the sessions. They first yielded the non-album double A-side single "Strawberry Fields Forever
Strawberry Fields Forever
"Strawberry Fields Forever" is a song by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and attributed to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. It was inspired by Lennon's memories of playing in the garden of a Salvation Army house named "Strawberry Field" near his childhood home."Strawberry Fields...

"/"Penny Lane
Penny Lane
"Penny Lane" is a song by The Beatles, written by Paul McCartney. It was credited to Lennon–McCartney.Recorded during the Sgt. Pepper sessions, "Penny Lane" was released in February 1967 as one side of a double A-sided single, along with "Strawberry Fields Forever". Both songs were later included...

" in February 1967; Sgt. Pepper followed in June. The musical complexity of the records, created using only four-track recording technology, astounded contemporary artists. For Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, The Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962...

 leader Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson
Brian Douglas Wilson is an American musician, best known as the leader and chief songwriter of the group The Beach Boys. Within the band, Wilson played bass and keyboards, also providing part-time lead vocals and, more often, backing vocals, harmonizing in falsetto with the group...

, in the midst of a personal crisis and struggling to complete the ambitious Smile
Smile (The Beach Boys album)
Smile is a previously unreleased album by The Beach Boys recorded throughout 1966 and 1967. The project was intended by its creator Brian Wilson as the follow-up to Pet Sounds, but was never completed in its original form...

, hearing "Strawberry Fields" was a crushing blow and he soon abandoned all attempts to compete. Sgt. Pepper met with great critical acclaim. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it number one among its "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" and it is widely regarded as a masterpiece. Jonathan Gould describes it as
Sgt. Pepper was the first major pop album to include its complete lyrics, which were printed on the back cover. Those lyrics were the subject of intense analysis; fans speculated, for instance, that the "celebrated Mr K." in "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" is a song from the 1967 album by The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was composed by John Lennon...

" might in fact be the surrealist fiction writer Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka was a culturally influential German-language author of short stories and novels. Contemporary critics and academics, including Vladimir Nabokov, regard Kafka as one of the best writers of the 20th century...

. The American literary critic and professor of English Richard Poirier
Richard Poirier
Richard Poirier was an American literary critic.He co-founded the Library of America, and served as chairman of its board. He was the Marius Bewley Professor of American and English Literature at Rutgers University...

 wrote an essay, "Learning from The Beatles", in which he observed that his students were "listening to the group's music with a degree of engagement that he, as a teacher of literature, could only envy." Poirier identified what he termed the "mixed allusiveness" of the material: "It's unwise ever to assume that they're doing only one thing or expressing themselves in only one style ... one kind of feeling about a subject isn't enough ... any single induced feeling must often exist within the context of seemingly contradictory alternatives." McCartney said at the time, "We write songs. We know what we mean by them. But in a week someone else says something about it, and you can't deny it. ... You put your own meaning at your own level to our songs". Sgt. Peppers remarkably elaborate album cover also occasioned great interest and deep study. The heavy moustaches worn by the band swiftly became a hallmark of hippie
Hippie
The hippie subculture was originally a youth movement that arose in the United States during the mid-1960s and spread to other countries around the world. The etymology of the term 'hippie' is from hipster, and was initially used to describe beatniks who had moved into San Francisco's...

 style. Cultural historian Jonathan Harris describes their "brightly coloured parodies of military uniforms" as a knowingly "anti-authoritarian and anti-establishment" display.

On 25 June, the band performed their newest single, "All You Need Is Love
All You Need Is Love
"All You Need Is Love" is a song written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was first performed by The Beatles on Our World, the first live global television link. Watched by 400 million in 26 countries, the programme was broadcast via satellite on 25 June 1967...

", to TV viewers worldwide on Our World, the first live global television link. Appearing amid the Summer of Love
Summer of Love
The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco, creating a cultural and political rebellion...

, the song was adopted as a flower power
Flower power
Flower power is a slogan used by the American counterculture movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s as a symbol of passive resistance and non-violence ideology. It is rooted in the opposition movement to the Vietnam War. The expression was coined by the American Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in...

 anthem. Two months later the group suffered a loss that threw their career into turmoil. After being introduced to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi , born Mahesh Prasad Varma , developed the Transcendental Meditation technique and was the leader and guru of the TM movement, characterised as a new religious movement and also as non-religious...

, they travelled to Bangor
Bangor, Gwynedd
Bangor is a city in Gwynedd, north west Wales, and one of the smallest cities in Britain. It is a university city with a population of 13,725 at the 2001 census, not including around 10,000 students at Bangor University. Including nearby Menai Bridge on Anglesey, which does not however form part of...

 for his Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation
Transcendental Meditation refers to the Transcendental Meditation technique, a specific form of mantra meditation, and to the Transcendental Meditation movement, a spiritual movement...

 retreat. During the retreat, Epstein's assistant Peter Brown
Peter Brown (music industry)
Peter Brown is an American-based English businessman. He currently resides in New York City.-The Beatles:Brown was a personal assistant to Brian Epstein and The Beatles during the 1960s. He was a confidant to the Epstein family, and bore some resemblance to Brian in his looks and manner...

 called to tell them Epstein had died. The coroner ruled Epstein's death an accidental overdose, but it was widely rumoured that a suicide note had been discovered among his possessions. Epstein had been in a fragile emotional state, stressed by both personal issues and the state of his working relationship with the band. He worried that they might not renew his management contract, due to expire in October, based on discontent with his supervision of business matters. There were particular concerns over Seltaeb
Seltaeb
Seltaeb was a company set up in 1963, by Nicky Byrne to exclusively look after merchandising interests on behalf of Brian Epstein, who managed NEMS Enterprises and The Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.Directly prior to The Beatles' first American visit, Brian...

, the company that handled merchandising rights in the United States. Epstein's death left the group disorientated and fearful about the future. Lennon said later, "I didn't have any misconceptions about our ability to do anything other than play music and I was scared." He also looked back on Epstein's death as marking the beginning of the end for the group: "I knew that we were in trouble then. ... I thought, we've fuckin' had it now."

Magical Mystery Tour, White Album and Yellow Submarine

Magical Mystery Tour, the soundtrack to a forthcoming Beatles television film, appeared as a six-track double extended play disc (EP)
Extended play
An EP is a musical recording which contains more music than a single, but is too short to qualify as a full album or LP. The term EP originally referred only to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play records and LP records, but it is now applied to mid-length Compact...

 in early December 1967. In the United States, the six songs were issued on an identically titled LP that also included tracks from the band's recent singles. Allmusic says of the US Magical Mystery Tour, "The psychedelic sound is very much in the vein of Sgt. Pepper, and even spacier in parts (especially the sound collages of 'I Am the Walrus
I Am the Walrus
"I Am the Walrus" is a 1967 song by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Lennon claimed he wrote the first two lines on separate acid trips. The song was in the Beatles' 1967 television film and album Magical Mystery Tour, and was the B-side to the #1 hit "Hello,...

')", and calls its five songs culled from the band's 1967 singles "huge, glorious, and innovative". It set a new US record in its first three weeks for highest initial sales of any Capitol LP, and it is the one Capitol compilation later to be adopted in the band's official canon of studio albums. Aired on Boxing Day
Boxing Day
Boxing Day is a bank or public holiday that occurs on 26 December, or the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws. It is observed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth nations. In Ireland, it is recognized as...

, the Magical Mystery Tour film
Magical Mystery Tour (film)
Magical Mystery Tour is an hour-long British television film starring The Beatles that originally aired on BBC1 on 26 December 1967...

, largely directed by McCartney, brought the group their first major negative UK press. It was dismissed as "blatant rubbish" by the Daily Express
Daily Express
The Daily Express switched from broadsheet to tabloid in 1977 and was bought by the construction company Trafalgar House in the same year. Its publishing company, Beaverbrook Newspapers, was renamed Express Newspapers...

, which described it as "a great deal of raw footage showing a group of people getting on, getting off, and riding on a bus". The Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

called it "a colossal conceit", while The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

labelled it "a kind of fantasy morality play about the grossness and warmth and stupidity of the audience". It fared so dismally that it was withheld from the US at the time. In January, the group filmed a cameo for the animated movie Yellow Submarine
Yellow Submarine (film)
Yellow Submarine is a 1968 animated musical fantasy film based on the music of The Beatles. It is also the title for the film's soundtrack album, released as part of The Beatles' music catalogue. The film was directed by animation producer George Dunning, and produced by United Artists and King...

, a fantasia featuring cartoon versions of the band members. The group's only other involvement with the film was the contribution of several unreleased studio recordings. Released in June 1968, it was well received for its innovative visual style and humour, as well as its music. It would be seven months, however, before the film's soundtrack album appeared.
In the interim came The Beatles
The Beatles (album)
The Beatles is the ninth official album by the English rock group The Beatles, a double album released in 1968. It is also commonly known as "The White Album" as it has no graphics or text other than the band's name embossed on its plain white sleeve.The album was written and recorded during a...

, a double LP popularly known as the White Album for its virtually featureless cover. Creative inspiration for the album came from a new direction when, with Epstein's guiding presence gone, the group turned to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as their guru
Guru
A guru is one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others . Other forms of manifestation of this principle can include parents, school teachers, non-human objects and even one's own intellectual discipline, if the...

. At his ashram
Ashram
Traditionally, an ashram is a spiritual hermitage. Additionally, today the term ashram often denotes a locus of Indian cultural activity such as yoga, music study or religious instruction, the moral equivalent of a studio or dojo....

 in Rishikesh, India, a three-month "Guide Course" became one of their most creative periods, yielding a large number of songs including most of the thirty recorded for the album. Starr left after ten days, likening it to Butlins
Butlins
Butlins is a chain of large holiday camps in the United Kingdom. Butlins was founded by Billy Butlin to provide affordable holidays for ordinary British families....

, and McCartney eventually grew bored with the procedure and departed a month later. For Lennon and Harrison, creativity turned to questioning when Yanni Alexis Mardas, the electronics technician dubbed Magic Alex
Magic Alex
Yanni Alexis Mardas , better known as Magic Alex, the name given him by The Beatles when he knew the group between 1965 and 1969, is a self-styled electronics wizard and one-time head of The Beatles' Apple Electronics.Mardas arrived in England in 1965, exhibiting his Kinetic Light Sculptures at...

, suggested that the Maharishi was attempting to manipulate the group. After Mardas alleged that the Maharishi had made sexual advances to women attendees, Lennon was persuaded and left abruptly, taking the unconvinced Harrison and the remainder of the group's entourage with him. In his anger Lennon wrote a pointed song called "Maharishi", which he later modified to avoid a legal suit, resulting in "Sexy Sadie
Sexy Sadie
Sexy Sadie may refer to:* "Sexy Sadie", a song by The Beatles* Sexy Sadie , a Spanish pop rock group from the island of Majorca* Susan Atkins, one of the Manson Family killers who went by the name "Sexy Sadie"...

". McCartney said, "We made a mistake. We thought there was more to him than there was."

During recording sessions for the album, which stretched from late May to mid-October 1968, relations among the band's members grew openly divisive. Starr quit for a period, leaving McCartney to play drums on several tracks. Lennon's romantic preoccupation with avant-garde artist Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono
is a Japanese artist, musician, author and peace activist, known for her work in avant-garde art, music and filmmaking as well as her marriage to John Lennon...

 contributed to tension within the band and he lost interest in co-writing with McCartney. Flouting the group's well-established understanding that they would not take partners into the studio, Lennon insisted on bringing Ono, whom Harrison disliked anyway, to all of the sessions. Increasingly contemptuous of McCartney's creative input, he began to identify the latter's compositions as "granny music", dismissing "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is a song credited to Lennon–McCartney, but written by Paul McCartney and released by The Beatles on their 1968 album The Beatles...

" as "granny shit". Recalling the White Album sessions, Lennon gave a curiously foreshortened summing-up of the band's history from that point on, saying, "It's like if you took each track off it and made it all mine and all Paul's... just me and a backing group, Paul and a backing group, and I enjoyed it. We broke up then." McCartney also recalled that the sessions marked the start of the break-up, saying, "Up to that point, the world was a problem, but we weren't".

Issued in November, the White Album was the band's first Apple Records
Apple Records
Apple Records is a record label founded by The Beatles in 1968, as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. It was initially intended as a creative outlet for the Beatles, both as a group and individually, plus a selection of other artists including Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, and Billy Preston...

 album release. The new label was a subsidiary of Apple Corps
Apple Corps
Apple Corps Ltd. is a multi-armed multimedia corporation founded in January 1968 by the members of The Beatles to replace their earlier company and to form a conglomerate. Its name is a pun. Its chief division is Apple Records, which was launched in the same year...

, formed by the group on their return from India, fulfilling a plan of Epstein's to create a tax-effective business structure. The record attracted more than two million advance orders, selling nearly four million copies in the US in little over a month, and its tracks dominated the playlists of American radio stations. Despite its popularity, it did not receive flattering reviews at the time. According to Jonathan Gould,
General critical opinion eventually turned in favour of the White Album, and in 2003 Rolling Stone ranked it as the tenth greatest album of all time. Pitchfork describes it as "large and sprawling, overflowing with ideas but also with indulgences, and filled with a hugely variable array of material ... its failings are as essential to its character as its triumphs." Allmusic observes, "The Beatles' two main songwriting forces were no longer on the same page, but neither were George and Ringo"; yet "Lennon turns in two of his best ballads", McCartney's songs are "stunning", Harrison is seen to have become "a songwriter who deserved wider exposure" and Starr's composition is "a delight".

By now the interest in their lyrics was taking a serious turn. When Lennon's song "Revolution
Revolution (song)
"Revolution" is a song by The Beatles written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The Beatles released two distinct arrangements of the song in 1968: a hard rock version as the B-side of the single "Hey Jude", and a slower version titled "Revolution 1" on the eponymous album The Beatles...

" had been released as a single in August ahead of the White Album, its messages seemed clear: "free your mind", and "count me out" of any talk about destruction as a means to an end. In a year characterized by student protests that stretched from Warsaw to Paris to Chicago, the response from the radical
Political radicalism
The term political radicalism denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value systems in fundamental ways...

 left
Left-wing politics
In politics, Left, left-wing and leftist generally refer to support for social change to create a more egalitarian society...

 was scathing. However, the White Album version of the song, "Revolution 1", added an extra word, "count me out ... in", implying a change of heart since the single's release. The chronology was in fact reversed—the ambivalent album version was recorded first—but some felt that Lennon was now saying that political violence might indeed be justifiable.

The Yellow Submarine LP
Yellow Submarine (album)
Yellow Submarine is the tenth studio album by The Beatles in the United Kingdom, released on Apple Records. It was issued as the soundtrack to the film of the same name, which premiered in the United Kingdom seven months prior to the album's release....

 finally appeared in January 1969. It contained only four previously unreleased songs, along with the title track (already issued on Revolver), "All You Need Is Love" (already issued as a single and on the US Magical Mystery Tour LP) and seven instrumental pieces composed by Martin. Because of the paucity of new Beatles music, Allmusic suggests the album might be "inessential" but for Harrison's "It's All Too Much
It's All Too Much
"It's All Too Much" is a song by The Beatles which first appeared on the 1969 Yellow Submarine film soundtrack album. It was written and sung by George Harrison. It was originally recorded in 1967, shortly before the release of Sgt...

", "the jewel of the new songs ... resplendent in swirling Mellotron
Mellotron
The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England in the early 1960s. It superseded the Chamberlin Music Master, which was the world's first sample-playback keyboard intended for music...

, larger-than-life percussion, and tidal waves of feedback guitar ... a virtuoso excursion into otherwise hazy psychedelia".

Abbey Road, Let It Be and break-up

Although Let It Be was The Beatles' final album release, most of it was recorded before Abbey Road. Initially titled Get Back, Let It Be originated from an idea Martin attributes to McCartney: to prepare new material and "perform it before a live audience for the very first time—on record and on film. In other words make a live album of new material, which no one had ever done before." In the event, much of the album's content came from studio work, many hours of which were captured on film by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Michael Lindsay-Hogg
Sir Michael Edward Lindsay-Hogg, 5th Baronet is a British television and stage director and an occasional writer and actor.-Background and early work:...

. Martin said that rehearsals and recording for the project, which occupied much of January 1969, were "not at all a happy ... experience. It was a time when relations between The Beatles were at their lowest ebb." Aggravated by both McCartney and Lennon, Harrison walked out for a week. He returned with keyboardist Billy Preston
Billy Preston
William Everett "Billy" Preston was a musician who gained notoriety and fame, first as a session musician for the likes of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and The Beatles, and later finding fame as a solo artist with hits such as "Space Race", "Will It Go Round in Circles" and "Nothing from...

, who participated in the last ten days of sessions and was credited on the "Get Back
Get Back
"Get Back" is a song by The Beatles, composed by Paul McCartney and frequently attributed to Lennon–McCartney. The song was originally released as a single on 11 April 1969, and credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston." A different mix of the song later became the closing track of Let It Be ,...

" single—the only other musician to receive such acknowledgment on an official Beatles recording. The band members had reached an impasse on a concert location, rejecting among several concepts a boat at sea, the Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

n desert and the Colosseum
Colosseum
The Colosseum, or the Coliseum, originally the Flavian Amphitheatre , is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy, the largest ever built in the Roman Empire...

. Ultimately, their final live performance, accompanied by Preston, was filmed on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building at 3 Savile Row
Savile Row
Savile Row is a shopping street in Mayfair, central London, famous for its traditional men's bespoke tailoring. The term "bespoke" is understood to have originated in Savile Row when cloth for a suit was said to "be spoken for" by individual customers...

, London, on 30 January 1969.

Engineer Glyn Johns
Glyn Johns
Glyn Johns is a musician, recording engineer and record producer.-Career:He has worked with such artists as Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Easybeats, The Band, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Eric Clapton, The Clash, The Steve Miller Band, Small Faces, Spooky Tooth, The Ozark...

 worked for months assembling various iterations of a Get Back album, while the band turned to other concerns. Conflict arose regarding the appointment of a financial adviser, the need for which had become evident without Epstein to manage business affairs. Lennon, Harrison and Starr favoured Allen Klein
Allen Klein
Allen Klein was an American businessman, talent agent and record label executive. His clients included The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.- The accountant :...

, who had negotiated contracts for The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

 and other UK bands during the British Invasion. McCartney wanted John Eastman, brother of Linda Eastman
Linda McCartney
Linda Louise McCartney, Lady McCartney was an American photographer, musician and animal rights activist. Her father and mother were Lee Eastman and Louise Sara Lindner Eastman....

, whom McCartney married on 12 March (eight days before Lennon and Ono wed). Agreement could not be reached, so both were appointed, but further conflict ensued and financial opportunities were lost.

Martin was surprised when McCartney contacted him and asked him to produce another album, as the Get Back sessions had been "a miserable experience" and he had "thought it was the end of the road for all of us ... they were becoming unpleasant people—to themselves as well as to other people." Recording sessions for Abbey Road began in late February. Lennon rejected Martin's proposed format of a "continuously moving piece of music", and wanted his own and McCartney's songs to occupy separate sides of the album. The eventual format, with individually composed songs on the first side and the second largely comprising a medley, was McCartney's suggested compromise. On 4 July, while work on the album was in progress, the first solo single by a Beatles member was released: Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance
Give Peace a Chance
"Give Peace a Chance" is a song written by John Lennon, originally under the moniker Lennon–McCartney, released as a single in 1969 by the Plastic Ono Band on Apple Records, catalogue Apple 13 in the United Kingdom, Apple 1809 in the United States. It is the first solo single issued by Lennon, and...

", credited to the Plastic Ono Band. The completion of the Abbey Road track "I Want You (She's So Heavy)
I Want You (She's So Heavy)
"I Want You " is a song by The Beatles, from their album Abbey Road. It was written by John Lennon, although credited to Lennon–McCartney....

" on 20 August 1969 was the last time all four Beatles were together in the same studio. Lennon announced his departure to the rest of the group on 20 September, but agreed that no public announcement would be made until various legal matters were resolved.
Released six days after Lennon's declaration, Abbey Road sold four million copies within two months and topped the UK chart for eleven weeks. Its second track, the ballad "Something
Something
"Something" is a song by The Beatles, written by lead guitarist George Harrison in 1969. It was featured on the album Abbey Road, and was also the first song written by Harrison to appear on the A-side of a Beatles' single...

", was also issued as a single—the first and only song by Harrison to appear as a Beatles A-side. Abbey Road received mixed reviews, although the medley met with general acclaim. Allmusic considers it "a fitting swan song for the group" containing "some of the greatest harmonies to be heard on any rock record". MacDonald calls it "erratic and often hollow": "Had it not been for McCartney's input as designer of the Long Medley ... Abbey Road would lack the semblance of unity and coherence that makes it appear better than it is." Martin singled it out as his personal favourite of all the band's albums; Lennon said it was "competent" but had "no life in it", calling "Maxwell's Silver Hammer
Maxwell's Silver Hammer
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" is a song by The Beatles, on their album, Abbey Road, sung by Paul McCartney. It was written by McCartney, though credited to Lennon–McCartney.-Background:...

" "more of Paul's granny music". Recording engineer Emerick noted that the replacement of the studio's valve
Vacuum tube
In electronics, a vacuum tube, electron tube , or thermionic valve , reduced to simply "tube" or "valve" in everyday parlance, is a device that relies on the flow of electric current through a vacuum...

 mixing console with a transistorized one yielded a less punchy sound, leaving the group frustrated at the thinner tone and lack of impact and contributing to its "kinder, gentler" feel relative to their previous albums.

For the still uncompleted Get Back album, the final song, Harrison's "I Me Mine
I Me Mine
"I Me Mine" is a song by The Beatles, written and sung by George Harrison. I Me Mine is also the title of Harrison's autobiography. The song traces its origins to the January 1969 Get Back/Let It Be sessions, when it was rehearsed by the band at Twickenham Film Studios.-Origin:The set of pronouns...

", was recorded on 3 January 1970. Lennon, in Denmark at the time, did not participate. To complete the album, now retitled Let It Be, Klein gave the session tapes to American producer Phil Spector
Phil Spector
Phillip Harvey "Phil" Spector is an American record producer and songwriter, later known for his conviction in the murder of actress Lana Clarkson....

 in March. Known for his Wall of Sound
Wall of Sound
The Wall of Sound is a music production technique for pop and rock music recordings developed by record producer Phil Spector at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, California, during the early 1960s...

 approach, Spector had recently produced Lennon's solo single "Instant Karma!
Instant Karma!
"Instant Karma!" is a song written by John Lennon, released as a single in 1970 on Apple Records, catalogue Apple 1003 in the United Kingdom, Apple 1818 in the United States. It is the third solo single issued by Lennon, and it peaked at #3 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100 singles...

" In addition to remixing the Get Back material, Spector edited, spliced and overdubbed several of the recordings that had been intended as "live". McCartney was unhappy with Spector's treatment of the material and particularly dissatisfied with the producer's orchestration of "The Long and Winding Road
The Long and Winding Road
"The Long and Winding Road" is a ballad written by Paul McCartney that originally appeared on The Beatles' album Let It Be. It became The Beatles' 20th and last number-one song in the United States on 23 May 1970, and was the last single released by the quartet...

", which involved a choir and thirty-four-piece instrumental ensemble. He unsuccessfully attempted to halt the release of Spector's version. McCartney publicly announced his departure from the band on 10 April, a week before the release of his first, self-titled solo album
McCartney (album)
McCartney is the debut solo album by Paul McCartney. Apart from Linda McCartney's vocal contributions, McCartney performed the entire album solo...

. Pre-release copies of McCartney's record included a press statement with a self-written interview, explaining the end of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership and his hopes for the future.

On 8 May, the Spector-produced Let It Be was released. The accompanying single, "The Long and Winding Road", was the band's last; it was released in the United States, but not Britain. The Let It Be documentary film
Let It Be (film)
Let It Be is a 1970 documentary film about The Beatles rehearsing and recording songs for the album Let It Be in January 1969. The film features an unannounced rooftop concert by the group, their last performance in public...

 followed later in the month; at the Academy Award ceremony the next year, it would win the Academy Award for Best Original Score
Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...

. The Sunday Telegraph called it "a very bad film and a touching one ... about the breaking apart of this reassuring, geometrically perfect, once apparently ageless family of siblings." More than one reviewer commented that some of the Let It Be tracks sounded better in the film than on the album. Observing that Let It Be is the "only Beatles album to occasion negative, even hostile reviews", Allmusic describes it as "on the whole underrated. ... McCartney in particular offers several gems: the gospel-ish 'Let It Be'
Let It Be (song)
"Let It Be" is a song by The Beatles, released in March 1970 as a single, and as the title track of their album Let It Be. It was written by Paul McCartney, but credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was their final single before McCartney announced his departure from the band...

, which has some of his best lyrics; 'Get Back', one of his hardest rockers; and the melodic 'The Long and Winding Road', ruined by Spector's heavy-handed overdubs." McCartney filed a suit for the dissolution of their contractual partnership on 31 December 1970. Legal disputes continued long after the band's break-up, and the dissolution of the partnership did not take effect until 9 January 1975.

After the break-up (1970–present)

1970s
Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr all released solo albums in 1970. Further albums followed from each, sometimes with the involvement of one or more of the others. Starr's Ringo
Ringo (album)
Ringo is the third album by Ringo Starr, released in 1973 on Apple Records. It peaked at #7 on the UK Albums Chart and #2 on the Billboard 200, and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. In Canada, it reached #1 on the RPM national albums chart...

(1973) was the only solo album to include compositions and performances by all four, albeit on separate songs. With Starr's collaboration, Harrison staged The Concert for Bangladesh
The Concert for Bangladesh
The Concert for Bangladesh was the name for two benefit concerts organised by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, held at noon and at 7 PM on August 1, 1971, playing to a total of 40,000 people at Madison Square Garden in New York City...

 in New York City in August 1971 with sitar maestro Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar
Ravi Shankar , often referred to by the title Pandit, is an Indian musician and composer who plays the plucked string instrument sitar. He has been described as the best known contemporary Indian musician by Hans Neuhoff in Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart.Shankar was born in Varanasi and spent...

. Other than an unreleased jam session in 1974 (later bootlegged
Bootleg recording
A bootleg recording is an audio or video recording of a performance that was not officially released by the artist or under other legal authority. The process of making and distributing such recordings is known as bootlegging...

 as A Toot and a Snore in '74
A Toot and a Snore in '74
A Toot and a Snore in '74 is a bootleg album of the only known recording session in which John Lennon and Paul McCartney played together after the break-up of The Beatles. Mentioned by Lennon in a 1975 interview, details were brought to light in May Pang's 1983 book, Loving John, and it gained...

), Lennon and McCartney never recorded together again.

Two double-LP sets of The Beatles' greatest hits, compiled by Allen Klein
Allen Klein
Allen Klein was an American businessman, talent agent and record label executive. His clients included The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.- The accountant :...

, 1962–1966 and 1967–1970, were released in 1973, at first under the Apple Records
Apple Records
Apple Records is a record label founded by The Beatles in 1968, as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. It was initially intended as a creative outlet for the Beatles, both as a group and individually, plus a selection of other artists including Mary Hopkin, James Taylor, Badfinger, and Billy Preston...

 imprint. Commonly known as the Red Album and Blue Album respectively, each earned a Multi-Platinum certification
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

 in the United States and a Platinum certification
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

 in the United Kingdom. Between 1976 and 1982, EMI/Capitol released a wave of compilation albums without input from the band members, starting with the double-disc compilation Rock 'n' Roll Music, which features remixes
Remix
A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version. This term is also used for any alterations of media other than song ....

 by George Martin. The only one to feature previously unreleased material was The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl
The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl is a live album released in May 1977 featuring songs by The Beatles compiled from two live performances at the Hollywood Bowl during August 1964 and August 1965...

(1977). The first officially issued concert recordings by the group, it contained selections from two shows they played during their 1964 and 1965 US tours. After the international release of the original British albums on CD in 1987, EMI deleted this latter group of compilations—including the Hollywood Bowl record—from its catalogue.

The Beatles' music and enduring fame were commercially exploited in various other ways, outside the band members' creative control. In 1974, the musical John, Paul, George, Ringo...& Bert
John, Paul, George, Ringo … and Bert
John, Paul, George, Ringo...& Bert is a 1974 musical by Willy Russell based on the story of The Beatles. It premiered at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool in May 1974 where it ran for eight weeks and later moved to the Lyric Theatre in London in August 1974, where it ran for a year and was later...

, written by Willy Russell, opened in London and had a successful run. It included twelve Beatles songs performed by Barbara Dickson
Barbara Dickson
Barbara Ruth Dickson, OBE is a Scottish singer whose hits include "I Know Him So Well" and "January February"...

. Harrison was displeased when he saw the show and withdrew permission to use his one composition in it, "Here Comes the Sun
Here Comes the Sun
"Here Comes the Sun" is a song by George Harrison from The Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road. It is regarded as one of the most popular Beatles songs. The song was written while Harrison was away from all of these troubles...

". All This and World War II
All This and World War II
All This and World War II is a 1976 musical documentary that juxtaposes Beatles songs, performed by a number of musicians, with World War II newsreel footage and 20th Century Fox films from the 1940s...

(1976) was an unorthodox nonfiction film that combined World War II newsreel footage with covers of their songs by two dozen major recording artists. The Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 musical Beatlemania
Beatlemania (musical)
Beatlemania was a Broadway musical revue focused on the music of The Beatles as it related to the events and changing attitudes of the tumultuous Sixties...

, a nostalgia revue, opened in early 1977 and proved popular, spinning off five separate touring productions. The Beatles tried and failed to block the 1977 release of Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962
Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962
Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 is a double album featuring live performances by The Beatles, recorded in late December 1962 at the Star-Club during their final Hamburg residency...

. The independently issued album compiled recordings made during the group's Hamburg residency
The Beatles in Hamburg
The Beatles members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best regularly performed at different clubs in Hamburg, Germany, during the period from August 1960 to December 1962; a chapter in the group's history which honed their performance skills, widened their...

, taped on a basic recording machine with one microphone. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (film)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is a 1978 American musical film. Its soundtrack, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, features new versions of songs originally written and performed by The Beatles. The film draws primarily from two of their albums, 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club...

(1978), a musical film starring the Bee Gees
Bee Gees
The Bee Gees are a musical group that originally comprised three brothers: Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb. The trio was successful for most of their 40-plus years of recording music, but they had two distinct periods of exceptional success: as a pop act in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and as a...

 and Peter Frampton
Peter Frampton
Peter Kenneth Frampton is an English musician, singer, producer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. He was previously associated with the bands Humble Pie and The Herd. Frampton's international breakthrough album was his live release, Frampton Comes Alive!. The album sold over 6 million copies...

, was a commercial failure and "artistic fiasco". In 1979, the band sued the producers of Beatlemania, settling for several million dollars in damages. "People were just thinking The Beatles were like public domain", said Harrison. "You can't just go around pilfering The Beatles' material."

1980s
Lennon was shot and killed on 8 December 1980, in New York City. In a personal tribute, Harrison wrote new lyrics for "All Those Years Ago
All Those Years Ago
"All Those Years Ago" is a song written by George Harrison, released as a single from the album Somewhere in England. The song was a personal tribute to former bandmate John Lennon, who was murdered on 8 December 1980...

", which was recorded the month before Lennon's death. With McCartney and his wife, Linda
Linda McCartney
Linda Louise McCartney, Lady McCartney was an American photographer, musician and animal rights activist. Her father and mother were Lee Eastman and Louise Sara Lindner Eastman....

, contributing backing vocals, and Starr on drums, the song was overdubbed with the new lyrics and released as a single in May 1981. McCartney's own tribute, "Here Today", appeared on his Tug of War album in April 1982. In 1987, Harrison's Cloud Nine
Cloud Nine (George Harrison album)
-Personnel:The following personnel was credited in the liner notes.*George Harrison – vocals, guitars, keyboards, sitar*Jeff Lynne – guitars, bass, vocals, keyboards*Eric Clapton – guitar*Elton John – piano*Gary Wright – piano*Ringo Starr – drums...

album included "When We Was Fab
When We Was Fab
"When We Was Fab" is a song written by George Harrison and Jeff Lynne about the days of Beatlemania, when The Beatles were first referred to as the "Fab Four". The song appears as the sixth track on Harrison's 1987 album Cloud Nine and was later released as the second single from that album in...

", a song about the Beatlemania era.

The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

 in 1988, their first year of eligibility. Harrison and Starr attended the ceremony along with Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono
is a Japanese artist, musician, author and peace activist, known for her work in avant-garde art, music and filmmaking as well as her marriage to John Lennon...

, and his two sons, Julian
Julian Lennon
John Charles Julian Lennon is an English musician, songwriter, actor, and photographer. He is the son of John Lennon and Lennon's first wife, Cynthia Powell. Beatles manager Brian Epstein was his godfather. He has a younger half-brother, Sean Lennon. Lennon was named after his paternal...

 and Sean
Sean Lennon
is an American singer, songwriter, musician, guitarist and actor. He is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. His godfather is Sir Elton John.-Early life and education:...

. McCartney declined to attend, issuing a press release saying, "The Beatles still have some business differences which I had hoped would have been settled by now. Unfortunately, they haven't been, so I would feel like a complete hypocrite waving and smiling with them at a fake reunion." The following year, EMI/Capitol settled a decade-long lawsuit filed by the band over royalties, clearing the way to commercially package previously unreleased material.

1990s
Live at the BBC
Live at the BBC (The Beatles album)
Live at the BBC is a 1994 compilation album featuring performances by The Beatles that were originally broadcast on various BBC Light Programme radio shows from 1963 through 1965. The monaural album, available in multiple formats but most commonly as a two-CD set, consists of 56 songs and 13 tracks...

, the first official release of previously unissued Beatles performances in 17 years, appeared in 1994. That same year McCartney, Harrison and Starr collaborated on the Anthology
The Beatles Anthology
The Beatles Anthology is the name of a documentary series, a set of three double albums and a book focusing on the history of The Beatles. Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all participated in the making and approval of the works, which are sometimes referred to collectively as the...

project, the culmination of work begun in 1970 by Apple Corps
Apple Corps
Apple Corps Ltd. is a multi-armed multimedia corporation founded in January 1968 by the members of The Beatles to replace their earlier company and to form a conglomerate. Its name is a pun. Its chief division is Apple Records, which was launched in the same year...

 director Neil Aspinall
Neil Aspinall
Neil Stanley Aspinall was a British music industry executive. A school friend of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, he went on to head The Beatles' company Apple Corps....

. Their former road manager and personal assistant, Aspinall had started then to gather material for a documentary, originally called The Long and Winding Road. Documenting their history in the band's own words, the Anthology project saw the release of many previously unissued Beatles recordings; McCartney, Harrison and Starr also added new instrumental and vocal parts to two demo songs recorded by Lennon in the late 1970s. During 1995 and 1996 the project yielded a five-part television series, an eight-volume video set and three two-CD box sets. The two songs based on Lennon demos, "Free as a Bird
Free as a Bird
"Free as a Bird" is a song originally composed and recorded in 1977 as a home demo by John Lennon. In 1995 a studio version of the recording incorporating contributions from Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr was released as a single by The Beatles.The single was released as part of...

" and "Real Love", were each released as new Beatles singles. The CD box sets featured artwork by Klaus Voormann, creator of the Revolver album cover in 1966. The releases were commercially successful and the television series was viewed by an estimated 400 million people worldwide.

2000s
1, a compilation album of every number one British and American Beatles hit, was released on 13 November 2000. It became the fastest-selling album of all time, with 3.6 million sold in its first week and over 12 million in three weeks worldwide. It was a number one chart hit in at least 28 countries, including the UK and the US. As of April 2009, it had sold 31 million copies globally and was the highest selling album of the decade in the United States.

Harrison died from lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

 on 29 November 2001. McCartney and Starr were among the musicians who performed at the Concert for George
Concert for George
The Concert for George was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 29 November 2002 as a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death. The event was organized by Harrison's widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani, and arranged under the musical direction of Eric Clapton and Jeff Lynne...

, organized by Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and...

 and Harrison's widow, Olivia. The tribute event took place at the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

 on the first anniversary of Harrison's death. As well as songs he composed for the group and his own solo career, the concert included a celebration of Indian classical music
Indian classical music
The origins of Indian classical music can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition. Indian classical music has also been significantly influenced by, or syncretised with, Indian folk music and Persian music. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music...

, which had influenced the band through Harrison's interest. In 2003, Let It Be... Naked, a reconceived version of the album with McCartney supervising production, was released to mixed reviews. One of the main differences with the original was the omission of the original string arrangements. It was a top ten hit in both the UK and the US.

As a soundtrack for Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil , is a Canadian entertainment company, self-described as a "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment." Based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and located in the inner-city area of Saint-Michel, it was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy...

's Las Vegas
Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada; adjacent to, but outside the city limits of Las Vegas proper. The Strip lies within the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester...

 Beatles stage revue Love
LOVE (Cirque du Soleil)
Love is a 2006 theatrical production by Cirque du Soleil which combines the re-produced and re-imagined music of The Beatles with an interpretive, circus-based artistic and athletic stage performance. The show plays at a specially built theatre at The Mirage in Las Vegas.A joint venture between...

, George Martin and his son Giles
Giles Martin
Giles Martin is an English record producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He is the son of Sir George Martin, famed producer of almost all of The Beatles' records.- Biography :...

 remixed and blended
Mashup (music)
A mashup or bootleg is a song or composition created by blending two or more pre-recorded songs, usually by overlaying the vocal track of one song seamlessly over the instrumental track of another...

 130 of the band's recordings to create what Martin called "a way of re-living the whole [Beatles] musical lifespan in a very condensed period". The show premiered in June 2006, and the Love
Love (The Beatles album)
Love is a Grammy Award-winning soundtrack remix album of music recorded by The Beatles, released in November 2006. It features music compiled and remixed as a mashup for the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name...

album was released that November. Attending the show's first anniversary, McCartney and Starr were interviewed on Larry King Live
Larry King Live
Larry King Live is an American talk show hosted by Larry King on CNN from 1985 to 2010. It was CNN's most watched and longest-running program, with over one million viewers nightly....

along with Ono and Olivia Harrison. Also in 2007, reports circulated that McCartney was hoping to complete "Now and Then
Now and Then (song)
"Now and Then" is the name given to an unreleased composition by John Lennon...

", a third Lennon demo worked on during the Anthology sessions. It would be credited as a "Lennon/McCartney composition" with the addition of new verses, and feature a new drum track by Starr and archival recordings of Harrison playing guitar.

Lawyers representing Apple Corps sued, in March 2008, to prevent the distribution of unreleased recordings purportedly made during Starr's first performance with the group at Hamburg's Star-Club
Star-Club
The Star-Club was a music club in Hamburg, Germany that opened Friday 13 April 1962 and was initially operated by Manfred Weissleder and Horst Fascher. In the sixties, many of the giants of rock music played at the club. The club closed on 31 December 1969 and the building it occupied was...

 in 1962. In November, McCartney discussed his hope that "Carnival of Light
Carnival of Light
"Carnival of Light" is an unreleased experimental piece by The Beatles. It was recorded on 5 January 1967, after the vocal overdubbing sessions for the song "Penny Lane"...

", a 14-minute experimental recording made at Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road Studios
Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio located at 3 Abbey Road, St John's Wood, City of Westminster, London, England. It was established in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of British music company EMI, its present owner...

 in 1967, would receive an official release. McCartney headlined a charity concert on 4 April 2009, at Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall
Radio City Music Hall is an entertainment venue located in New York City's Rockefeller Center. Its nickname is the Showplace of the Nation, and it was for a time the leading tourist destination in the city...

 for the David Lynch Foundation
David Lynch Foundation
The David Lynch Foundation For Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace is a global charitable foundation based in Fairfield, Iowa. It was founded by film director and Transcendental Meditation practitioner David Lynch in 2005....

 with guest performers including Starr. The Beatles: Rock Band
The Beatles: Rock Band
The Beatles: Rock Band is a 2009 music video game developed by Harmonix Music Systems, published by MTV Games, and distributed by Electronic Arts. It is the third major console release in the Rock Band music video game series, in which players can simulate the playing of rock music by using...

, a music video game in the style of the Rock Band
Rock Band
Rock Band is a music video game developed by Harmonix Music Systems, published by MTV Games and Electronic Arts. It is the first title in the Rock Band series. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were released in the United States on November 20, 2007, while the PlayStation 2 version was...

series, was released on 9 September 2009. On the same day, remastered versions of the band's twelve original studio albums, Magical Mystery Tour, and the compilation Past Masters were issued.

Musical style and evolution

In Icons of Rock: An Encyclopedia of the Legends Who Changed Music Forever, Scott Schinder and Andy Schwartz sum up The Beatles' musical evolution:
In The Beatles as Musicians, Walter Everett
Walter Everett (musicologist)
Walter Everett is a musicologist specializing in popular music.Books include The Beatles As Musicians: Revolver through the Anthology , which has been called, "the most important work to appear on the Beatles thus far", and The Foundations of Rock: From 'Blue Suede Shoes' to 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes...

 points out Lennon and McCartney's contrasting motivations and approaches to composition: "McCartney may be said to have constantly developed—as a means to entertain—a focused musical talent with an ear for counterpoint and other aspects of craft in the demonstration of a universally agreed-upon common language that he did much to enrich. Conversely, Lennon's mature music is best appreciated as the daring product of a largely unconscious, searching but undisciplined artistic sensibility."

Ian MacDonald
Ian MacDonald
Ian MacCormick was a British music critic and author, best known for Revolution in the Head, his forensic history of The Beatles which borrowed techniques from art historians, and The New Shostakovich, a controversial study of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich...

, comparing the two composers in Revolution in the Head
Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties
Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties is a 1994 book by British music critic and author Ian MacDonald detailing every record The Beatles ever produced...

, describes McCartney as "a natural melodist—a creator of tunes capable of existing apart from their harmony". His melody lines are characterized as primarily "vertical", employing wide, consonant
Consonance and dissonance
In music, a consonance is a harmony, chord, or interval considered stable, as opposed to a dissonance , which is considered to be unstable...

 intervals which express his "extrovert energy and optimism". Conversely, Lennon's "sedentary, ironic personality" is reflected in a "horizontal" approach featuring minimal, dissonant intervals and repetitive melodies which rely on their harmonic accompaniment for interest: "Basically a realist, he instinctively kept his melodies close to the rhythms and cadences of speech, colouring his lyrics with bluesy tone and harmony rather than creating tunes that made striking shapes of their own." MacDonald praises Harrison's lead guitar work for the role his "characterful lines and textural colourings" play in supporting Lennon and McCartney's parts, and describes Starr as "the father of modern pop/rock drumming. ... His faintly behind-the-beat style subtly propelled The Beatles, his tunings
Drum set tuning
- Drum Set Tuning :Drum set tuning is the process of tensioning drumheads on a drum to produce a pleasing drum tone. A drummer tunes the drums using a drum key, a small, square socket-wrench that fits over the tension rods....

 brought the bottom end into recorded drum sound, and his distinctly eccentric fills remain among the most memorable in pop music."

Influences

The Beatles' earliest influences include Carl Perkins
Carl Perkins
Carl Lee Perkins was an American rockabilly musician who recorded most notably at Sun Records Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, beginning during 1954...

, Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

, Little Richard
Little Richard
Richard Wayne Penniman , known by the stage name Little Richard, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist, and actor, considered key in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the 1950s. He was also the first artist to put the funk in the rock and roll beat and...

and Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" , "Roll Over Beethoven" , "Rock and Roll Music" and "Johnny B...

, whose songs they covered more often than any other artist's in performances throughout their career. During their co-residency with Little Richard at the Star-Club
Star-Club
The Star-Club was a music club in Hamburg, Germany that opened Friday 13 April 1962 and was initially operated by Manfred Weissleder and Horst Fascher. In the sixties, many of the giants of rock music played at the club. The club closed on 31 December 1969 and the building it occupied was...

 in Hamburg, from April to May 1962, he advised them on the proper technique for performing his songs. Of Presley, Lennon said, "Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn't been Elvis, there would not have been The Beatles". Other early influences include Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly
Charles Hardin Holley , known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll...

, Eddie Cochran
Eddie Cochran
Eddie Cochran , was an American rock and roll pioneer who in his brief career had a small but lasting influence on rock music through his guitar playing. Cochran's rockabilly songs, such as "C'mon Everybody", "Somethin' Else", and "Summertime Blues", captured teenage frustration and desire in the...

, Roy Orbison
Roy Orbison
Roy Kelton Orbison was an American singer-songwriter, well known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. Orbison grew up in Texas and began singing in a rockabilly/country & western band in high school until he was signed by Sun Records in Memphis...

and the Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers are country-influenced rock and roll performers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing...

. The Beatles continued to absorb influences long after their initial success, often finding new musical and lyrical avenues by listening to their contemporaries, including Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

, The Lovin' Spoonful
The Lovin' Spoonful
The Lovin' Spoonful is an American pop rock band of the 1960s, named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. When asked about his band, leader John Sebastian said it sounded like a combination of "Mississippi John Hurt and Chuck Berry," prompting his friend, Fritz Richmond, to suggest the name...

, The Byrds
The Byrds
The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple line-up changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn remaining the sole consistent member until the group disbanded in 1973...

 and The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, The Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962...

, whose 1966 album Pet Sounds
Pet Sounds
Pet Sounds is the eleventh studio album by the American rock band The Beach Boys, released May 16, 1966, on Capitol Records. It has since been recognized as one of the most influential records in the history of popular music and one of the best albums of the 1960s, including songs such as "Wouldn't...

amazed and inspired McCartney. Martin stated, "Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn't have happened. ... Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds."

Genres

Originating as a skiffle
Skiffle
Skiffle is a type of popular music with jazz, blues, folk, roots and country influences, usually using homemade or improvised instruments. Originating as a term in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, it became popular again in the UK in the 1950s, where it was mainly...

 group, The Beatles soon embraced 1950s rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

, and their repertoire ultimately expanded to include a broad variety of pop music
Pop music
Pop music is usually understood to be commercially recorded music, often oriented toward a youth market, usually consisting of relatively short, simple songs utilizing technological innovations to produce new variations on existing themes.- Definitions :David Hatch and Stephen Millward define pop...

. Reflecting the range of styles they explored, Lennon said of Beatles for Sale, "You could call our new one a Beatles country-and-western LP", while Allmusic credits the band, and Rubber Soul in particular, as a major influence on the folk rock
Folk rock
Folk rock is a musical genre combining elements of folk music and rock music. In its earliest and narrowest sense, the term referred to a genre that arose in the United States and the UK around the mid-1960s...

 movement. Beginning with the use of a string quartet on Help!s "Yesterday
Yesterday (song)
"Yesterday" is a song originally recorded by The Beatles for their 1965 album Help!. The song first hit the United Kingdom top 10 three months after the release of Help!. The song remains popular today with more than 1,600 cover versions, one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded...

", they also incorporated classical music
Classical music
Classical music is the art music produced in, or rooted in, the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, encompassing a broad period from roughly the 11th century to present times...

 elements. As Jonathan Gould points out, however, it was not "even remotely the first pop record to make prominent use of strings ... it was rather that the more traditional sound of strings allowed for a fresh appreciation of their talent as composers by listeners who were otherwise allergic to the din of drums and electric guitars." The group applied strings to various effect. Of Sgt. Peppers "She's Leaving Home
She's Leaving Home
"She's Leaving Home" is a song credited to Lennon–McCartney and released in 1967 on The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. McCartney wrote and sang the verse and Lennon the chorus...

", for instance, Gould wrote that it "is cast in the of a sentimental Victorian ballad, its words and music filled with the clichés of musical melodrama."

The band's stylistic range expanded in another direction in 1966 with the B-side to the "Paperback Writer
Paperback Writer
"Paperback Writer" is a 1966 song recorded and released by The Beatles. Written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song was released as the A-side of their eleventh single...

" single: "Rain
Rain (The Beatles song)
"Rain" is a song by the English rock band The Beatles, credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was first released in June 1966 as the B-side of the "Paperback Writer" single...

", described by Martin Strong in The Great Rock Discography as "the first overtly psychedelic Beatles record". Other psychedelic
Psychedelic music
Psychedelic music covers a range of popular music styles and genres, which are inspired by or influenced by psychedelic culture and which attempt to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of psychedelic drugs. It emerged during the mid 1960s among folk rock and blues-rock bands in the...

 numbers followed, such as "Tomorrow Never Knows
Tomorrow Never Knows
"Tomorrow Never Knows" is the final track of The Beatles' 1966 studio album Revolver but the first to be recorded. Credited as a Lennon–McCartney song, it was written primarily by John Lennon...

" (actually recorded before "Rain"), "Strawberry Fields Forever
Strawberry Fields Forever
"Strawberry Fields Forever" is a song by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and attributed to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. It was inspired by Lennon's memories of playing in the garden of a Salvation Army house named "Strawberry Field" near his childhood home."Strawberry Fields...

", "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is a song written primarily by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney, for The Beatles' 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band...

" and "I Am the Walrus
I Am the Walrus
"I Am the Walrus" is a 1967 song by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Lennon claimed he wrote the first two lines on separate acid trips. The song was in the Beatles' 1967 television film and album Magical Mystery Tour, and was the B-side to the #1 hit "Hello,...

". The influence of Indian classical music
Indian classical music
The origins of Indian classical music can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition. Indian classical music has also been significantly influenced by, or syncretised with, Indian folk music and Persian music. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music...

 was evident in songs such as Harrison's "Love You To
Love You To
"Love You To" is a song by The Beatles from the album Revolver. It is sung and written by George Harrison and features North Indian classical instrumentation; tabla, a pair of hand-drums, sitar and a tambura providing a drone...

" and "Within You Without You
Within You Without You
"Within You Without You" is a song written by George Harrison, released on The Beatles' 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.-Composition:...

", whose intent, wrote Gould, was "to replicate the raga
Raga
A raga is one of the melodic modes used in Indian classical music.It is a series of five or more musical notes upon which a melody is made...

 form in miniature". Summing up the band's musical evolution, music historian and pianist Michael Campbell identifies innovation as its most striking feature. He wrote, "'A Day in the Life
A Day in the Life
"A Day in the Life" is a song by The Beatles, the final track on the group's 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song comprises distinct segments written independently by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, with orchestral additions...

' encapsulates the art and achievement of The Beatles as well as any single track can. It highlights key features of their music: the sound imagination, the persistence of tuneful melody, and the close coordination between words and music. It represents a new category of song—more sophisticated than pop ... and uniquely innovative. There literally had never before been a song—classical or vernacular—that had blended so many disparate elements so imaginatively." Music theorist Bruce Ellis Benson agrees: "Composers may be able to conceive new rhythms and chord progressions, but these are usually improvisations upon current rhythms and chord progressions. The Beatles ... give us a wonderful example of how such far-ranging influences as Celtic music, rhythm and blues, and country and western could be put together in a new way."

In The Songwriting Secrets of The Beatles, Dominic Pedler also emphasizes the importance of the way they combined genres: "One of the greatest of The Beatles' achievements was the songwriting juggling act they managed for most of their career. Far from moving sequentially from one genre to another (as is sometimes conveniently suggested) the group maintained in parallel their mastery of the traditional, catchy chart hit while simultaneously forging rock and dabbling with a wide range of peripheral influences from Country to vaudeville. One of these threads was their take on folk music, which would form such essential groundwork for their later collisions with Indian music and philosophy." As the personal relationships between the band members grew increasingly strained, their individual influences became more apparent. The minimalistic cover artwork for the White Album contrasted with the complexity and diversity of its music, which encompassed Lennon's "Revolution 9
Revolution 9
"Revolution 9" is a recorded composition that appeared on The Beatles' 1968 self-titled LP release . The sound collage, credited to Lennon–McCartney, was created primarily by John Lennon with assistance from George Harrison and Yoko Ono. Lennon said he was trying to paint a picture of a revolution...

", whose musique concrète
Musique concrète
Musique concrète is a form of electroacoustic music that utilises acousmatic sound as a compositional resource. The compositional material is not restricted to the inclusion of sounds derived from musical instruments or voices, nor to elements traditionally thought of as "musical"...

 approach was influenced by Yoko Ono; Starr's country
Country music
Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

 song "Don't Pass Me By
Don't Pass Me By
"Don't Pass Me By" is a song by The Beatles from the double album The Beatles . Lead vocals were performed by Ringo Starr. It was Starr's first solo composition.-Origin:...

"; Harrison's rock ballad "While My Guitar Gently Weeps
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is a song by George Harrison, first recorded by The Beatles in 1968 for their eponymous double album...

"; and the "proto-metal roar" of McCartney's "Helter Skelter".

Contribution of George Martin

George Martin
George Martin
Sir George Henry Martin CBE is an English record producer, arranger, composer and musician. He is sometimes referred to as "the Fifth Beatle"— a title that he often describes as "nonsense," but the fact remains that he served as producer on all but one of The Beatles' original albums...

's close involvement in his role as producer made him one of the leading candidates for the informal title of "fifth Beatle
Fifth Beatle
The Fifth Beatle is an informal title that various commentators in the press and entertainment industry have applied to persons who were at one point a member of The Beatles, or who had a strong association with the "Fab Four" during the group's existence...

". He brought his classical musical training to bear in various ways. The string quartet accompaniment to "Yesterday" was his idea—the band members were initially unenthusiastic about the concept, but the result was a revelation to them. Gould also describes how, "as Lennon and McCartney became progressively more ambitious in their songwriting, Martin began to function as an informal music teacher to them". This, coupled with his willingness to experiment in response to their suggestions—such as adding "something baroque
Baroque music
Baroque music describes a style of Western Classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1760. This era follows the Renaissance and was followed in turn by the Classical era...

" to a particular recording—facilitated their creative development. As well as scoring orchestral arrangements for recordings, Martin often performed, playing instruments including piano, organ and brass
Brass instrument
A brass instrument is a musical instrument whose sound is produced by sympathetic vibration of air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips...

.

Looking back on the making of Sgt. Pepper, Martin said, "'Sergeant Pepper' itself didn't appear until halfway through making the album. It was Paul's song, just an ordinary rock number and not particularly brilliant as songs go. ... Paul said, 'Why don't we make the album as though the Pepper band really existed, as though Sergeant Pepper was making the record? We'll dub in effects and things.' I loved the idea, and from that moment on it was as though Pepper had a life of its own." Recalling how strongly the song contrasted with Lennon's compositions, Martin spoke too of his own stabilizing influence:

Harrison echoed Martin's description of his stabilizing role: "I think we just grew through those years together, him as the straight man and us as the loonies; but he was always there for us to interpret our madness—we used to be slightly avant-garde on certain days of the week, and he would be there as the anchor person, to communicate that through the engineers and on to the tape."

In the studio

The Beatles made innovative use of technology, treating the studio as an instrument in itself. They urged experimentation by Martin and their recording engineers, regularly demanding that something new be tried because "it might just sound good". At the same time they constantly sought ways to put chance occurrences to creative use. Accidental guitar feedback, a resonating glass bottle, a tape loaded the wrong way round so that it played backwards—any of these might be incorporated into their music. The Beatles' desire to create new sounds on every new recording, combined with Martin's arranging abilities and the studio expertise of EMI staff engineers such as Norman Smith, Ken Townsend, and Emerick, all contributed significantly to their records from Rubber Soul and, especially, Revolver forward. Along with studio tricks such as sound effect
Sound effect
For the album by The Jam, see Sound Affects.Sound effects or audio effects are artificially created or enhanced sounds, or sound processes used to emphasize artistic or other content of films, television shows, live performance, animation, video games, music, or other media...

s, unconventional microphone placements, tape loop
Tape loop
In music, tape loops are loops of prerecorded magnetic tape used to create repetitive, rhythmic musical patterns or dense layers of sound. Contemporary composers such as Steve Reich and Karlheinz Stockhausen used tape loops to create phase patterns and rhythms...

s, double tracking and vari-speed recording, they augmented their songs with instruments that were unconventional for rock music at the time. These included string and brass ensembles as well as Indian instruments such as the sitar
Sitar
The 'Tablaman' is a plucked stringed instrument predominantly used in Hindustani classical music, where it has been ubiquitous since the Middle Ages...

 in "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
"Norwegian Wood " is a song by The Beatles, first released on the 1965 album Rubber Soul....

" and the swarmandal in "Strawberry Fields Forever
Strawberry Fields Forever
"Strawberry Fields Forever" is a song by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and attributed to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. It was inspired by Lennon's memories of playing in the garden of a Salvation Army house named "Strawberry Field" near his childhood home."Strawberry Fields...

". They also used early electronic instruments such as the Mellotron
Mellotron
The Mellotron is an electro-mechanical, polyphonic tape replay keyboard originally developed and built in Birmingham, England in the early 1960s. It superseded the Chamberlin Music Master, which was the world's first sample-playback keyboard intended for music...

, with which McCartney supplied the flute voices on the "Strawberry Fields" intro, and the clavioline
Clavioline
The clavioline is an electronic keyboard instrument, a forerunner to the analog synthesizer.It was invented by Constant Martin in 1947. It consists of a keyboard and a separate amplifier and speaker unit. The keyboard usually covered three octaves, and had a number of switches to alter the tone of...

, an electronic keyboard that created the unusual oboe-like sound on "Baby, You're a Rich Man".

Legacy

The Beatles' influence on popular culture was—and remains—immense. Former Rolling Stone associate editor Robert Greenfield said, "People are still looking at Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 ... at artists who broke through the constraints of their time period to come up with something that was unique and original. In the form that they worked in, in the form of popular music, no one will ever be more revolutionary, more creative and more distinctive." From the 1920s, the United States had dominated popular entertainment culture throughout much of the world, via Hollywood
Cinema of the United States
The cinema of the United States, also known as Hollywood, has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century. Its history is sometimes separated into four main periods: the silent film era, classical Hollywood cinema, New Hollywood, and the contemporary period...

 movies, jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, the music of Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 and Tin Pan Alley
Tin Pan Alley
Tin Pan Alley is the name given to the collection of New York City music publishers and songwriters who dominated the popular music of the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century...

 and, later, the rock and roll that first emerged in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

. The Beatles not only triggered the British Invasion
British Invasion
The British Invasion is a term used to describe the large number of rock and roll, beat, rock, and pop performers from the United Kingdom who became popular in the United States during the time period from 1964 through 1966.- Background :...

 of the US, but themselves became a globally influential phenomenon.

Their musical innovations, as well as their commercial success, inspired musicians worldwide. A large number of artists have acknowledged them as an influence, or have had chart successes with covers of Beatles songs. On radio, their arrival marked the beginning of a new era; program directors like Rick Sklar
Rick Sklar
Rick Sklar was an American radio program director, who while at New York City's WABC was one of the originators of the Top 40 radio format....

 of New York's WABC
WABC (AM)
WABC , known as "NewsTalkRadio 77 WABC" is a radio station in New York City. Owned by the broadcasting division of Cumulus Media, the station broadcasts on a clear channel and is the flagship station of Cumulus Media Networks...

 went so far as to forbid DJs from playing any "pre-Beatles" music. The Beatles redefined the album
Album
An album is a collection of recordings, released as a single package on gramophone record, cassette, compact disc, or via digital distribution. The word derives from the Latin word for list .Vinyl LP records have two sides, each comprising one half of the album...

 as something more than just a few hits padded out with "filler
Filler (media)
In media, filler is material that is combined with material of greater relevance or quality to "fill out" a certain volume.-Early television:...

". They were primary innovators of the music video
Music video
A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings...

. The Shea Stadium
Shea Stadium
William A. Shea Municipal Stadium, usually shortened to Shea Stadium or just Shea , was a stadium in the New York City borough of Queens, in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. It was the home baseball park of Major League Baseball's New York Mets from 1964 to 2008...

 date with which they opened their 1965 North American tour attracted what was then the largest audience in concert history and is seen as a "landmark event in the growth of the rock crowd." Emulation of their clothing and especially their hairstyles, which became a mark of rebellion, had a global impact on fashion.

The Beatles changed the way people listened to popular music and experienced its role in their lives. From what began as the Beatlemania fad, the group grew to be perceived by their young fans across the industrialized world as the representatives, even the embodiment, of ideals associated with cultural transformation. As icons of the 1960s counterculture
Counterculture of the 1960s
The counterculture of the 1960s refers to a cultural movement that mainly developed in the United States and spread throughout much of the western world between 1960 and 1973. The movement gained momentum during the U.S. government's extensive military intervention in Vietnam...

, they became a catalyst for bohemianism
Bohemianism
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits...

 and activism in various social and political arenas, fuelling such movements as women's liberation
Feminist movement
The feminist movement refers to a series of campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women's suffrage, sexual harassment and sexual violence...

, gay liberation
Gay Liberation
Gay liberation is the name used to describe the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement of the late 1960s and early to mid 1970s in North America, Western Europe, and Australia and New Zealand...

 and environmentalism
Environmental movement
The environmental movement, a term that includes the conservation and green politics, is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement for addressing environmental issues....

.

Awards and achievements

In 1965, Queen Elizabeth II appointed the four Beatles Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

. The film Let It Be
Let It Be (film)
Let It Be is a 1970 documentary film about The Beatles rehearsing and recording songs for the album Let It Be in January 1969. The film features an unannounced rooftop concert by the group, their last performance in public...

(1970) won the 1971 Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. The Beatles have received 7 Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

s and 15 Ivor Novello Awards
Ivor Novello Awards
The Ivor Novello Awards, named after the Cardiff born entertainer Ivor Novello, are awards for songwriting and composing. They are presented annually in London by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors and were first introduced in 1955.Nicknamed The Ivors, the awards take place...

. They have been awarded 6 Diamond albums
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

, as well as 24 Multi-Platinum albums
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

, 39 Platinum albums
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

 and 45 Gold albums
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

 in the United States, while in the UK they have 4 Multi-Platinum albums
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

, 4 Platinum albums
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

, 8 Gold albums
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

 and 1 Silver album
Music recording sales certification
Music recording sales certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped or sold a certain number of copies, where the threshold quantity varies by type and by nation or territory .Almost all countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories,...

. The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

 in 1988. In 2008, Billboard
Billboard (magazine)
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...

magazine released a list of the all-time top-selling Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

 artists to celebrate the US singles chart's fiftieth anniversary—The Beatles ranked number one. As of 2011, they hold the record for most number one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20. In 2009, the Recording Industry Association of America
Recording Industry Association of America
The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade organization that represents the recording industry distributors in the United States...

 certified that the group have sold more albums in the US than any other artist. They have had more number one albums, 15, on the UK charts and held down the top spot longer, 174 weeks, than any other musical act. The Beatles were collectively included in Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people
Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century
Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century is a compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people, published in Time magazine in 1999....

.

Discography

Original UK LPs

  • Please Please Me
    Please Please Me
    Please Please Me is the debut album by the English rock band The Beatles. Parlophone rush-released the album on 22 March 1963 in the United Kingdom to capitalise on the success of singles "Please Please Me" and "Love Me Do" .Of the album's fourteen songs, eight were written by Lennon–McCartney...

    (1963)
  • With The Beatles
    With the Beatles
    With The Beatles is the second studio album by the English rock group The Beatles. It was released on 22 November 1963 on Parlophone, and was recorded four months after the band's debut Please Please Me...

    (1963)
  • A Hard Day's Night
    A Hard Day's Night (album)
    A Hard Day's Night is the third studio album by The Beatles, released on 10 July 1964 as the soundtrack to their film A Hard Day's Night. The American version of the album was released two weeks earlier, on 26 June 1964 by United Artists Records, with a different track listing...

    (1964)
  • Beatles for Sale
    Beatles for Sale
    Beatles for Sale is the fourth studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released in late 1964 and produced by George Martin for Parlophone. The album marked a minor turning point in the evolution of Lennon and McCartney as lyricists, John Lennon particularly now showing interest in...

    (1964)
  • Help!
    Help! (album)
    Help! is the title of the fifth British and ninth American album by The Beatles, and the soundtrack from their film of the same name. Produced by George Martin for EMI's Parlophone Records, it contains fourteen songs in its original British form, of which seven appeared in the film...

    (1965)
  • Rubber Soul
    Rubber Soul
    Rubber Soul is the sixth studio album by the English rock group The Beatles, released in December 1965. Produced by George Martin, Rubber Soul had been recorded in just over four weeks to make the Christmas market...

    (1965)
  • Revolver
    Revolver (album)
    Revolver is the seventh studio album by the English rock group The Beatles, released on 5 August 1966 on the Parlophone label and produced by George Martin. Many of the tracks on Revolver are marked by an electric guitar-rock sound, in contrast with their previous LP, the folk rock inspired Rubber...

    (1966)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released on 1 June 1967 on the Parlophone label and produced by George Martin...

    (1967)
  • The Beatles
    The Beatles (album)
    The Beatles is the ninth official album by the English rock group The Beatles, a double album released in 1968. It is also commonly known as "The White Album" as it has no graphics or text other than the band's name embossed on its plain white sleeve.The album was written and recorded during a...

    (aka the White Album) (1968)
  • Yellow Submarine
    Yellow Submarine (album)
    Yellow Submarine is the tenth studio album by The Beatles in the United Kingdom, released on Apple Records. It was issued as the soundtrack to the film of the same name, which premiered in the United Kingdom seven months prior to the album's release....

    (1969)
  • Abbey Road (1969)
  • Let It Be (1970)


(For Magical Mystery Tour, see CD releases below.)

CD releases

1980s
The Beatles' studio albums were released on CD by EMI and Apple Corps in 1987. With their release, the band's catalogue was standardized throughout the world, establishing a canon composed of the twelve original studio albums as issued in the United Kingdom (listed above), as well as the US album version of Magical Mystery Tour (1967), which had been released as a shorter double EP in the UK. All the remaining material from the singles and EPs which had not been issued on the original studio albums was gathered on the two-volume compilation Past Masters (1988).

2000s
The US album configurations from 1964–1965 were released as box sets in 2004 and 2006 (The Capitol Albums Volume 1
The Capitol Albums, Volume 1
The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 is a box set compilation comprising The Beatles' 1964 American Capitol Records releases. The set, which features the official stereo versions of a number of tracks on compact disc, was released in late 2004...

and Volume 2
The Capitol Albums, Volume 2
The Capitol Albums, Volume 2 is a box set compilation composed of The Beatles' 1965 American Capitol Records releases. The set, which contains stereo and mono versions of all 92 tracks was announced on 22 March 2006...

respectively); these included both stereo and mono versions based on the mixes that were prepared for vinyl at the time of the music's original American release.

On 9 September 2009, the band's entire back catalogue was reissued following an extensive digital remastering process that lasted four years. Stereo editions of all twelve original UK studio albums, along with Magical Mystery Tour and Past Masters, were released on compact disc both individually and as a box set. A second collection included all mono titles along with the original 1965 stereo mixes of Help! and Rubber Soul (the 1987 CD issues of these two albums were remixed by George Martin). For a limited time, a brief video documentary about the remastering was included on each stereo CD. In Mojo
Mojo (magazine)
MOJO is a popular music magazine published initially by Emap, and since January 2008 by Bauer, monthly in the United Kingdom. Following the success of the magazine Q, publishers Emap were looking for a title which would cater for the burgeoning interest in classic rock music...

, Danny Eccleston wrote, "Ever since The Beatles first emerged on CD in 1987, there have been complaints about the sound". In support of the opinion that the original vinyl had significant advantages over the early CDs in clarity and dynamism, he suggested, "Compare 'Paperback Writer'/'Rain' on crackly 45, with its weedy Past Masters CD version, and the case is closed." Prior to the release of the 2009 remasters, Abbey Road Studios invited Mojo reviewers to hear a sample of the work, advising, "You're in for a shock." In his release-day review of the full product, Eccleston reported that "brilliantly, that's still how it feels a month later."

Other digital formats

The Beatles were among the few major artists whose recorded catalogue was not available through online music services such as iTunes
ITunes Store
The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple. Opening as the iTunes Music Store on April 28, 2003, with over 200,000 items to purchase, it is, as of April 2008, the number-one music vendor in the United States...

 or Napster
Napster (pay service)
Napster is an online music store and a Best Buy company. It was originally founded as a file sharing service. For more information about its founding mission as a free file sharing service, see Napster.-History:...

 during the first decade of the 2000s. Residual disagreement stemming from Apple Corps' dispute with Apple, Inc. (owners and creators of iTunes) over the use of the name "Apple" was partly responsible, although in November 2008, McCartney stated that the main obstacle was that EMI "want something we're not prepared to give them." In March 2009, The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

reported that "the prospect of an independent, Beatles-specific digital music store" had been raised by Harrison's son, Dhani
Dhani Harrison
Dhani Harrison is an English musician and the son of George Harrison of The Beatles and Olivia Harrison. Harrison debuted as a professional musician when completing his father's final album Brainwashed after George Harrison's death in November 2001...

, who said, "We're losing money every day. ... So what do you do? You have to have your own delivery system, or you have to do a good deal with [Apple, Inc. CEO] Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
Steven Paul Jobs was an American businessman and inventor widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc...

. ... [He] says that a download is worth 99 cents, and we disagree." On 30 October, Wired.com
Wired (magazine)
Wired is a full-color monthly American magazine and on-line periodical, published since January 1993, that reports on how new and developing technology affects culture, the economy, and politics...

 reported that an online service, BlueBeat, was making available the entire Beatles catalogue, via both purchasable downloads and free streaming. Neither EMI nor Apple Corps had authorized the distribution, and within a week BlueBeat was legally barred from handling the band's music. In December 2009, The Beatles' catalogue was officially released in FLAC and MP3
MP3
MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...

 format in a limited edition of 30,000 USB flash drives. On 16 November 2010, the official canon of thirteen studio albums, Past Masters and the Red and Blue greatest-hits albums were made available on iTunes. A video recording of the band's first US concert in 1964 was also made available for purchase as part of a digital "boxed set" of the catalogue and for free streaming through the end of 2010.

Song catalogue

Most of The Beatles' catalogue was published by Northern Songs Ltd.
Northern Songs
Northern Songs was a company founded in 1963, by music publisher Dick James, Brian Epstein, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, to publish songs written by Lennon and McCartney , as well as songs written by George Harrison and Ringo Starr, who were all members of The Beatles...

, a company formed in February 1963 by music publisher Dick James
Dick James
Dick James , born Reginald Leon Isaac Vapnick, was a music publisher and the founder of the DJM record label and recording studios, as well as The Beatles' publisher Northern Songs.-Early life:...

 especially for Lennon and McCartney, though it would later acquire songs by other artists. The company was organised with James and his partner, Emmanuel Silver, owning a controlling interest, variously described as 51% or 50% plus one share. McCartney had 20%. Reports again vary concerning Lennon's portion—19 or 20%—and Brian Epstein's—9 or 10%—which he received in lieu of a 25% band management fee.

In 1965 the company went public. Five million shares were created, of which the original principals retained 3.75 million. James and Silver each had 937,500 shares (that is, each had 18.75% of the total 5 million); Lennon and McCartney each had 750,000 shares (15% each); and Epstein's management company, NEMS Enterprises, had 375,000 shares (7.5%). Of the 1.25 million shares put up for sale, Harrison and Starr each acquired 40,000. At the time of the stock offering, Lennon and McCartney renewed their initial three-year publishing contracts, binding them to Northern Songs until 1973. Harrison created Harrisongs to represent his solo compositions, but signed a three-year contract with Northern Songs that gave it the copyright to his work during that period, which included "Taxman
Taxman
"Taxman" is a song written by George Harrison released as the opening track on The Beatles' 1966 album Revolver. Its lyrics attack the high levels of progressive tax taken by the British Labour government of Harold Wilson.-Composition:...

" and "Within You Without You
Within You Without You
"Within You Without You" is a song written by George Harrison, released on The Beatles' 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.-Composition:...

". The few songs on which Starr received cowriting credit before 1968, such as "What Goes On", were also all Northern Songs copyrights.

Harrison did not renew his contract with Northern Songs when it ended in March 1968, signing with Apple Publishing
Apple Corps
Apple Corps Ltd. is a multi-armed multimedia corporation founded in January 1968 by the members of The Beatles to replace their earlier company and to form a conglomerate. Its name is a pun. Its chief division is Apple Records, which was launched in the same year...

 instead while retaining the copyright to his work from that point forward. Harrisongs thus owns the rights to his later Beatles songs such as "While My Guitar Gently Weeps
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is a song by George Harrison, first recorded by The Beatles in 1968 for their eponymous double album...

" and "Something
Something
"Something" is a song by The Beatles, written by lead guitarist George Harrison in 1969. It was featured on the album Abbey Road, and was also the first song written by Harrison to appear on the A-side of a Beatles' single...

". That year, as well, Starr created Startling Music
Startling Music
Startling Music is a music publishing company, founded by musician Ringo Starr, drummer of The Beatles.Starr had initially been signed to Northern Songs, the company set up by publisher Dick James and Beatles manager Brian Epstein on behalf of the band in 1963...

, which holds the rights to his solo Beatles compositions, "Don't Pass Me By
Don't Pass Me By
"Don't Pass Me By" is a song by The Beatles from the double album The Beatles . Lead vocals were performed by Ringo Starr. It was Starr's first solo composition.-Origin:...

" and "Octopus's Garden
Octopus's Garden
"Octopus's Garden" is a song by The Beatles written by Ringo Starr from their 1969 album Abbey Road....

".

In March 1969, James arranged to sell his and his partner's shares to British television company Associated Television
Associated TeleVision
Associated Television, often referred to as ATV, was a British television company, holder of various licences to broadcast on the ITV network from 24 September 1955 until 00:34 on 1 January 1982...

 (ATV) without informing the band members. The Beatles then bid to gain a controlling interest in Northern Songs by working out a deal with a consortium of London brokerage firms that had accumulated a 14% holding. The deal collapsed in May over the objections of Lennon, who declared, "I'm sick of being fucked about by men in suits sitting on their fat arses in the City
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

." By September ATV had acquired a majority stake in Northern Songs. Lennon and McCartney sold their shares to ATV one month later.

Financial losses by the parent company of ATV Music prompted the sale of the division in 1981. McCartney made a bid for Northern Songs but the entire ATV Music division was sold to Australian business magnate Robert Holmes à Court
Robert Holmes à Court
Michael Robert Hamilton Holmes à Court was an entrepreneur who became Australia's first businessman worth over a billion dollars before dying suddenly of a heart attack in 1990.Holmes à Court was one of the world's most feared corporate raiders through the 1980s, having built his empire...

. In 1985, ATV Music was sold to Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

 for a reported $47 million, trumping a joint bid by McCartney and Yoko Ono. The acquisition gave Jackson control over the publishing rights to more than 200 songs composed by Lennon and McCartney.

Jackson and Sony
Sony
, commonly referred to as Sony, is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and the world's fifth largest media conglomerate measured by revenues....

 merged their music publishing businesses
Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Sony/ATV Music Publishing is a music publishing company co-owned by The Michael Jackson Family Trust and Sony. The organisation was originally founded as Associated TeleVision in 1955 by Lew Grade. In 1957, ATV acquired Pye Records as a wholly owned subsidiary...

 in 1995, becoming joint owners of most Lennon-McCartney songs, although Lennon's estate and McCartney still receive their respective share of the royalties. Some of their earliest songs were published by an EMI subsidiary, Ardmore & Beechwood, before Lennon and McCartney signed with James. McCartney acquired the publishing rights to "Love Me Do
Love Me Do
"Love Me Do" is The Beatles' first single, backed by "P.S. I Love You" and released on 5 October 1962. When the single was originally released in the United Kingdom, it peaked at number seventeen; in 1982 it was re-issued and reached number four...

" and "P.S. I Love You
P.S. I Love You (The Beatles song)
"P.S. I Love You" is a song composed principally by Paul McCartney and recorded by The Beatles. It was released on 5 October 1962 as the B-side of their debut single "Love Me Do" and is also included on their 1963 album Please Please Me...

" from Ardmore in the 1980s.

Sources

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} |accessdate=27 September 2009 |ref=harv}} |accessdate=9 July 2010 |ref=harv}} |accessdate=27 September 2009 |ref=harv}} |accessdate=14 September 2009 |ref=harv}} |accessdate=15 September 2009 |ref=harv}} |accessdate=15 September 2009 |ref=harv}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} |accessdate=15 September 2009 |ref=harv}} |accessdate=27 September 2009 |ref=harv}} |accessdate=26 September 2009 |ref=harv}} |accessdate=26 September 2009 |ref=harv}} |accessdate=26 September 2009 |ref=harv}} |title=Magical Mystery Tour |work=Allmusic |accessdate=26 September 2009 |ref=harv}}

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK