The Beatles

The English ROCK MUSIC group The Beatles gave the 1960s its
characteristic musical flavor and had a profound influence on the course of
popular music, equaled by few performers. The guitarists John Winston
Lennon, Oct. 9, 1940; James Paul McCartney, June 18, 1942; and George
Harrison, Feb. 25, 1943; and the drummer Ringo Starr, Richard Starkey,
July 7, 1940, were all born and raised in Liverpool. Lennon and McCartney
had played together in a group called The Quarrymen. With Harrison, they
formed their own group, The Silver Beatles, in 1959, and Starr joined them
in 1962. As The Beatles, they developed a local following in Liverpool
clubs, and their first recordings, «Love Me Do» (1962) and «Please Please
Me» (1963), quickly made them Britain's top rock group. Their early music
was influenced by the American rock singers Chuck BERRY and Elvis PRESLEY,
but they infused a hackneyed musical form with freshness, vitality, and
The release of «I Want to Hold Your Hand» in 1964 marked the beginning
of the phenomenon known as «Beatlemania» in the United States. The
Beatles' first U.S. tour aroused a universal mob adulation. Their concerts
were scenes of mass worship, and their records sold in the millions. Their
first film, the innovative A Hard Day's Night (1964), was received
enthusiastically by a wide audience that included many who had never before
listened to rock music.
Composing their own material (Lennon and McCartney were the major
creative forces), The Beatles established the precedent for other rock
groups to play their own music. Experimenting with new musical forms, they
produced an extraordinary variety of songs: the childishly simple «Yellow
Submarine»; the bitter social commentary of «Eleanor Rigby»; parodies of
earlier pop styles; new electronic sounds; and compositions that were
scored for cellos, violins, trumpets, and sitars, as well as for
conventional guitars and drums. Some enthusiasts cite the albums Rubber
Soul (1965) and Revolver (1966) as the apex of Beatle art, although
Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), perhaps the first rock
album designed thematically as a single musical entity, is more generally
considered their triumph. The group disbanded in 1970, after the release
of their final album, Let It Be, to pursue individual careers. On Dec. 8,
1980, John Lennon was fatally shot in New York City. In 1991, Paul
McCartney's classical composition Liverpool Oratorio was performed to some
acclaim in Britain and the United States.

Igor Popov gr.3.1

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