One of the most influential groups of the 20th Century—the Beatles revolutionized rock and roll into what we know it as today. Not only were they great musicians, they wrote and composed each of their songs. The band proved to be popular and exciting causing mass hysteria at each of their public performances. The “Fab Four’s” talent was so great that the phenomenon was termed “Beatlemania” in Britain and eventually erupted in the United States being called the British Invasion of the Beatles (Britannica Online, 2005).
The Beatles was composed of four members: Paul McCartney (born June 18, 1942), John Lennon (born October 9, 1940), George Harrison (born February, 25, 1943), and Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey; July 7, 1940) (Britannica Student, 2005). Each of the members was born in Liverpool, England to working class families. Lennon and McCartney taught themselves the intricacies of being a musician.
The original band was composed of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison and called the Quarrymen. Several name changes occurred (Johnny and the Moondogs, the Moonshiners, then the Silver Beatles) eventually dropping Silver to become the Beatles (Britannica Student, 2005). With name changes also came personnel changes. Stuart Sutcliffe joined the band in 1960 as a bassist. Then Pete Best joined as drummer.
The Beatles, while in Liverpool, were a staple at the Cavern Club. It was here that they met band manager Brian Epstein. Epstein was able to secure the Beatles an audition with producer George Martin of Parlophone. Soon after, Martin signed the Beatles (Unterberger, 2005). At this time (1962) Sutcliffe had left the band, Paul becoming the bassist, they decided to fire Pete Best and replace him with Ringo (Britannica Student, 2005).
The first single recorded by the newly formed Beatles was “Love Me Do/”P.S. I Love You,” in September of 1962 (Unterberger, 2005). 1963 proved to be the beginning of the Beatles phenomenon with the release of their hit “Please Please Me”. This hit topped the British charts early in 1963 and remained there for 30 weeks (Unterberger, 2005). The Beatles continued evolving rock by adding a unique style of their own and continuously trying new ideas and adding a new flare to their music. Each of the albums showed a progression of the artists.
Beatlemania broke out in Britain in late 1963 with the release of the songs “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” with each single selling over a million copies (Unterberger, 2005). The “British Invasion” in the United States began in late 1963 when Capitol records first released “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. In a short time the song was at the top of the record charts. Many would say that Beatlemania officially occurred in the United States when the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 (Unterberger, 2005). It didn’t take long for their popularity to soar in the U. S. with best-selling singles and albums. This dominance of...