The Beatles 50th Anniversary

"CELEBRATING 50 YEARS 1964-2014"

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison & Ringo Starr


The Beatles arrive in the United States for the first time, February 7, 1964

An estimated four thousand Beatles' fans were present on February 7th, 1964 as Pan Am Flight 101 left Heathrow Airport. Among the passengers were the Beatles, on their first trip to the US as a band, with their entourage of photographers and journalists, and Phil Spector.When the group arrived at New York's newly renamed (JFK) - John F. Kennedy Airport, they were greeted by a second large crowd, with Beatles fans again estimated to number four thousand, and journalists, two hundred From having so many people packed in a little space, a few people in the crowd got injured. The airport had not previously experienced such a large crowd.





On February 9, 1964, the Beatles made their first live US television appearance. 73 million viewers—about two-fifths of the total American population—watched the group perform on The Ed Sullivan Show at 8 P.M. According to the Nielsen ratings audience measurement system, the show had the largest number of viewers that had been recorded for a US television program. The Beatles First US Live Performance On The Ed Sullivan Show February 9, 1964


The Beatles' arrival in the US in 1964 marked the spread of  "Beatlemania" from the UK to the wider world, established the group's international stature, and, triggering the British Invasion, caused changes in US popular culture. The Candlestick Park concert at the close of the 1966 US tour marked the end of a four-year period dominated by touring and concerts, including nearly sixty US appearances. 



The Beatles, from the end of their 1966 US tour until their break-up in 1970, gave no further commercial concerts, instead devoting their efforts to creating new material in the recording studio.


The music of Memphis had for some time been a dominating influence worldwide, and in the 1960s, British bands, among them the Beatles, aspired to emulate the sounds of Memphis musicians including Elvis Presley—without whom, according to Lennon, "there would not have been the Beatles.

During their US tours, the Beatles were introduced to both Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. Strongly influenced by Presley since before their formation, the band had tried to meet him in the past, but arrangements had fallen through. At Presley's suggestion, guitars were set up in his living room and the gathering played music for an hour, following which they discussed the music business and exchanged anecdotes. The other meeting, with Bob Dylan, influenced the music subsequently produced by the Beatles as well as shaping Dylan's own musical style. This was made evident both in Dylan's controversial adoption of electric guitar, and in changes that were apparent in Lennon's vocal and guitar-playing styles.




Due to the loud noise from screaming fans the songtrack to this video is the version of A Hard Day's Night from Beatles Anthology 1, but the video footage and the intro and outro audio are from the original Shea Stadium Concert. Sharp eyed viewers might spot some of the dodgy edits in the original footage in that - for example - George is seen playing 2 different guitars! Also very interesting to note that for once it's Paul who forgets the words, and not John, causing the song to almost break down in the second refrain! 




Starting in 1960, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act and producer George Martin enhanced their musical potential. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first hit,  "Love Me Do",  in late 1962. They acquired the nickname the "Fab Four" as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year, and by early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market. Hey who's that guy in the background?

From 1965 on, the Beatles produced what many critics consider their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Rubber Soul (1965),  Revolver (1966), Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The White Album (1968), and  Abbey Road (1969) & Let It Be (1970).

The Beatles band formed in Liverpool in 1960. Considered by many as the greatest and most influential act of the rock era. Rooted with jazz, blues, folk and 1950s rock and roll influences, usually using homemade or improvised instruments.


The Beatles later utilised several genres, ranging from pop ballards to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical elements in innovative ways. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as "Beatlemania",  but as their songwriting grew in sophistication, they came to be perceived by fans and cultural observers as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era's socioculturtal revolutions.


After the near-disastrous sessions for the proposed "Get Back" album (later released as "Let It Be" in 1970), Paul McCartney suggested to music producer George Martin that the group get together and make an album "the way we used to", free of the conflict that began following the death of Brian Epstein and carrying over to the sessions for the "White Album".  Martin agreed, stipulating that he must be allowed to do the album his way. This would be the last time the band would record with Martin on the "Abbey Road"  Album.



"Let It Be"





On a cold day in January 1969, The Beatles, who hadn’t played live since 1966, took to the rooftop of the headquarters of Apple Records, located at 3 Savile Row, in central London. And there they played an impromptu last gig, much to the delight of Londoners on nearby rooftops … and to the chagrin of the police.

At the time, The Beatles were recording their album, “Let It Be”  and the rooftop show let them run through various tracks from that last effort. Songs played during the set include “Get Back,” where the Beatles were accompanied by Billy Preston on the keyboards, and “Don’t Let Me Down,” “I’ve Got A Feeling,” “One After 909,” and “Danny Boy.” And finally “Dig A Pony” and another version of “Get Back.”

Famously, The Beatles’ live legacy ends with the police shutting down the show (it was a noise violation, you know?) and John Lennon uttering the immortal words, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition.” That’s going out in style…


Abbey Road  is the 11th studio album released by The Beatles. 

With the Let It Be album partly finished, work on Abbey Road began in April 1969. The album was released on September 26, 1969 in the United Kingdom, and October 1, 1969 in the United States.  Abbey Road is their last recorded album,  Let It Be was the last album released before the band's dissolution in 1970.

While Abbey Road is a rock album, it also incorporates genres such as blues, pop and progressive rock. The album was released amid tensions within the band. Although it was a commercial success since its initial reception, the album has been viewed by many critics as the Beatles' greatest work and is ranked by several publications as one of the greatest albums of all time. Abbey Road remains their best-selling album.

After their break-up in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers. Sadly, Jonn Lennon was shot and died from his wounds December 8, 1980. George Harrison passed away November 29,  2001. His wife Olivia and son Dhani were at his side. The cause of death was listed on his Los Angeles County death cirtificate as "metastatic non-small cell lung cancer".  Harrison's ashes were taken to the family's home in Hawaii, before being scattered in the River Ganges in a private ceremony. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr remain musically active today!  

You'll find at the end of the music player some of the most popular songs by John, Paul, George & Ringo's solo careers. 



Paul McCartney sings"Something" Is just Beautiful. Sure to bring tears to your eyes!

1995 VIDEO





It seems the Beatles didn’t like having sweets thrown at them on stage, mostly due to how fans would bombard them with Jelly Babies after George said in an interview how he liked them.

The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" was almost put on the Voyager Golden Records and sent out to space, but EMI refused to release the rights.

In 1964, The Beatles tried to buy the 14-acre Trinity Island off the coast of the Greek island of Euboea, which, incidentally, is in the shape of a guitar. This failed, because the owners were not interested in a sale.

"Yesterday" by the Beatles has been covered over 1,600 times. In 1986 it held the record for most recorded song. It has been covered by Elvis Presley, Boyz II Men, Frank Sinatra, Gladys Knight, and James Brown.

None of the Beatles could read music. The Beatles are talked about as one of the best bands of all times but surprisingly none of The Beatles could even read music! Although they could play the guitar, and wrote their own lyrics, they never learned how to read music.

The Beatles were rejected by DECCA Records in 1961. After recording fifteen tracks for the now infamous Decca Audition, the Fab Four was told that "guitar groups are on their way out" and "the Beatles have no future in show business." Famous last words! Decca instead chose a group called the Tremoloes, who were local and would not cost as much money. This ill-fated decision is widely considered to be one of the biggest mistakes in music history!

Two of the Beatles have children with the same birthday - That's right - Ringo's son and Paul's son have kids that were born on the same day, six years apart! Zak Starkey was born September 13th, 1965 and  Stella McCartney came into the world the same day in 1971. Zak is an aspiring drummer just like his dad, while Stella has made her way as a fashion designer.


During the week of April 4, 1964, The Beatles held twelve positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, including the top five positions. Neither feat has ever been matched by any artist to date.

September 2013 - Six Beatles albums granted platinum status in the UK

The song "I Want You (She's So Heavy" by the Beatles is almost 8 minutes long but only 14 different words are sung. 6 of those words are in the title. In case you're wondering, the other eight words are It’s so bad driving me mad babe yeh. Lyrical genius unmatched.

12 Little-Known Ways The Beatles Changed the Music Industry Forever.

Are you sure you know exactly how great The Beatles were?


Guitar Feedback - The Beatles were the first band to intentionally use the sound of electric feedback on a record. It can be heard on the first note of "I Feel Fine," created by plucking the A-note on McCartney's bass.

The Bass Guitar - Lennon was unhappy with the way the bass sounded on record, so engineer Geoff Emerick invented an entirely new way of recording the instrument for the song "Paperback Writer." By rewiring a large bass amp, essentially converting it into a giant microphone, he enabled them to fully capture those large sound waves coming from McCartney's bass.

Created an Entirely New Kind of Song - The song,"A Day in the Life," was, according to music historian Michael Campbell, "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."

The Album - Before The Beatles, the concept of an album full of songs was secondary to releasing singles, or 45s. They were the first band to truly focus on the idea that a full-length record could be a complete work of art.

Created the Music Video - Long before MTV started playing music videos (and even longer before they stopped playing them), The Beatles were the first group to create a short, stand-alone film featuring a single song. The first video was for "Paperback Writer," but they would do many others, as it was a much easier way to promote a new song than making personal appearances.

Printed Lyrics On The Album  - Yet another commonplace practice today — printing lyrics on the album cover pages — was unheard of when The Beatles did it on the back of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

Stadium Concerts - Before The Beatles played Shea Stadium in New York on August 15, 1965, the world had never seen a concert performed in a stadium before.

First Satellite Broadcast - In 1968, the first live satellite broadcast of anything worldwide took place, and guess who was on? It was The Beatles performing their latest single, "All You Need Is Love." The two-hour program was broadcast to 26 countries to over 400 million people.

Advanced Recording Techniques - Producer George Martin and The Beatles tossed out the 4-track recording techniques of the time in order to add layers and layers of sound and instrumentation to their music that the world had never heard before. Before, songs were basically just live recordings of musicians playing. The Beatles changed all that.

Redefined the Hit Single - The single "Hey Jude," at 7 minutes and 11 seconds, was the longest song ever released as a single. The success of the tune (originally entitled "Hey Jules" after John's son, Julian), created an opportunity for other, longer songs, to succeed as well. Imagine a world where "American Pie" or "Layla" never became hits.

Changed Songwriting Forever - From the first-ever use of a fade-in on "Eight Days a Week" (as opposed to the common fade-out), to the almost unheard of practice of starting a song with the chorus (on "She Loves You"), The Beatles taught a generation of musicians that just because there may be certain rules in place, doesn't mean you can't break them.

Created Their Own Record Label - Many artists today have their own record labels (Oasis, Prince, the White Stripes), but the Beatles' Apple Records started the trend. Named after George Harrison's proclivity to name every song he was working on after a type of apple, the company faced many early financial struggles.






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