A History Of The Beatles Essay Research

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

have sold more copies than those of any other band in history. The roots of the Beatles date back to Liverpool, England in the late 1950s. Inspired by the growing skiffle craze, John Lennon bought a guitar in March 1957 and formed a skiffle group called the Quarrymen, named after his high school, Quarry Bank. The lineup changed frequently, but by October 1959 it consisted of Lennon, his younger classmate Paul McCartney, George Harrison and drummer Colin Hanton. By March of 1960, Lennon’s art school classmate Stuart Sutcliffe joined the band on bass and suggested the name the Beetles, a play on Buddy Holly’s group the Crickets. By that summer they were the Silver Beatles, settling on the Beatles in August. That month the Beatles left for Hamburg, West Germany, with their new

drummer Pete Best, to try to establish themselves in Europe. The band became a popular local act, performing at various clubs until they were expelled from the country in November because George Harrison was underage. The Beatles returned to Germany in early 1961 to record as a backup band for singer Tony Sheridan; these sessions were later released during the mid-’60s as “new” Beatles material, taking advantage of unsuspecting fans. Meanwhile Sutcliffe had left the band to pursue his art career and relationship with German photographer Astrid Kircherr. Paul took over on bass. Ironically, Stu died of a brain hemorrhage the following year, right before the Beatle s third Hamburg visit. Throughout 1961 the Beatles played clubs in Britain, becoming an underground sensation;

they were particularly famous at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. Though they played mostly covers, Lennon and McCartney began writing original songs together, agreeing to forever share songwriting credits, even though they only co-wrote a handful of tunes during their entire career as the Beatles. By the end of the year, Liverpool record store owner Brian Epstein had become the band’s manager, and quickly began trying to find them a record contract. On January 1, 1962 the Beatles auditioned for Decca Records, performing 12 covers and three originals for A&R assistant Mike Smith. The group was rejected, however, and told that “guitar groups are on the way out.” Undaunted, Epstein got the group an audition at Parlophone, an EMI subsidiary, with producer George Martin, who

signed the Beatles on May 9, 1962. After one recording session, Martin suggested that drummer Pete Best be replaced, and the Beatles brought in Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey), a well-known local drummer, as his replacement. By October 1962 their first single, Love Me Do” b/w “P.S. I Love You, was a U.K. Top 20 hit, allegedly because Epstein bought 10,000 copies himself to ensure that it would chart. The band became regular guests on the BBC, performing over fifty times between 1962 and 1964. In February of 1963 the Beatles returned to the studio to record 10 songs (in one day!) for their first album, Please Please Me, which was released the following month. It became an instant hit, staying at No. 1 in Britain for 30 weeks and by October, female fans were screaming at