How the Beatles Changed Rock n' Roll

It’s 1960, the beginning of a revolutionary decade that still today continues to fascinate and attract curiosity.

Student revolutions, Woodstock, psychedelics, scientific breakthroughs, Civil Rights Movements, the affirmation of Communism, the Cold War, peace and love, the invention of the miniskirt, and rock n’ roll, the 60s have brought change into society and has contributed to who we are and what we have accomplished today.

 

In 1960, Elvis Presley just returned from military service and was preparing to take the world by storm with his all American charm. His single “Stuck On You” peaked at #1 in the USA and would later release timeless ballads “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” and “It’s Now or Never”, both of which also topped the charts in the USA, United Kingdom, Australia, and continental Europe. One might even dare say that the singles fought with each other to reach for the top spot of the music charts around the world.

However, while Elvis was swinging his hips and charming young women across the world a musical phenomenon was brewing in England, especially in Liverpool. It is 1960 and a relatively small band of five young boys had just formed and decided to rename their group “The Beatles” and they were ready to perform one of their first ever overseas gig in Hamburg, in Germany. The five-piece band would shortly after consolidate itself in four members, their names? John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Best, and Ringo Starr. These young teenagers were inspired by American jazz artists and, most importantly, by Elvis Presley.

 

With drive and determination, the band would soon reach stardom and revolutionize the world of rock and begin the boyband craze and consolidated the United Kingdom as a country that can produce talent and future rock stars.

The Beatles had four known phases throughout history and each has contributed immensely to the music scene.

The first one is dubbed as the early years as it consists of the first formation and consolidation of the members of the band. It is important to remember that all members came from poor working class backgrounds and first begun reinterpreting popular American songs.

The second phase is characterized by pop stardom, the melodies and lyrics adopted by the band were more on the soft side and was influenced by Motown. Their albums “Please Please Me” and “With the Beatles” launched their careers by topping the charts and acquiring a substantial fan base. The releases allowed the band to perfect their image and sound, thus softening them and allowing them to be more approachable and listenable to a broader range of people. Moreover, each member of the band went on from being a working-class rascal to adopting a clean-cut respectable persona by adopting the same dressing suit style and same trademark haircut.

 

By 1966, the Beatles began to mature and each member became an artist in their own right by developing their own lyrics, especially Lennon and McCartney, and writing tunes and melodies, a task namely associated to Harrison and Starr. In order to perfect their music, the band decided to limit public performance and instead chose to spend more time together in the studio to release more sophisticated music. It is in this period that the Beatles reach their maximum splendor and influence many future bands such as The Who, the Rolling Stones, Genesis, and many more by releasing the album “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. With tracks such as “Hey, Jude”, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, and “Here Comes the Sun”, the Beatles achieved eternal rockstar status and were responsible for contributing majorly in the birth and development of the psychedelic rock genre. However, this also marked the ever-growing separation of the members as their exploration also allowed them to develop as independent music artists and, thus, strike for independent fame.

 

Bearing this in mind, we find the fourth and final phase: the breakup. By 1969, John Lennon had decided to depart from the group seeking international solo glory and success and would later join protests against war and famines together with his partner Yoko Ono. Sadly, Lennon passed away in 1980 but his legacy still continues to this day. Paul McCartney was on the verge of leaving as well and would later found legendary rock band “Wings” with his late wife Linda, the latter which participated with vocals and percussions in many songs. George Harrison would also, later on, go on to achieve international success by being a songwriter and releasing singles, many of which were penned during his adventure with the Beatles. Lastly, Ringo Starr would focus more on the acting aspect of the entertainment industry.

 

 

The legacy left behind by the Beatles was outstanding and still today the four young men from poor Liverpudlian backgrounds still inspire many people and bands around the world.

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/ Popnable Media

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