The Beatles Biography
Biography The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960, and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. The group's best-known lineup consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later worked in many genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical and other elements in innovative ways. Their enormous popularity first emerged as "Beatlemania"; as their songwriting grew in sophistication by the late 1960s, they came to be perceived by many fans and cultural observers as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era's sociocultural revolutions.Initially a five-piece lineup of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe (bass) and Pete Best (drums), they built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960. Sutcliffe left the group in 1961, and Best was replaced by Starr the following year. Moulded into a professional act by manager Brian Epstein, their musical potential was enhanced by the creativity of producer George Martin. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first single, "Love Me Do", became a modest hit in late 1962, and they acquired the nickname the "Fab Four" as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year. By early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market. The band toured extensively around the world until August 1966, when they performed their final commercial concert. From 1966 they produced what many critics consider to be some of their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (1968) and Abbey Road (1969). After their break-up in 1970, the ex-Beatles each found success in individual musical careers. Lennon was murdered in 1980, and Harrison died of cancer in 2001. McCartney and Starr remain active.The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with estimated sales of over one billion units. They have had more number-one albums on the UK charts and have held the top spot longer than any other musical act. According to the RIAA, they have sold more albums in the US than any other artist, and in 2008 they topped Billboard magazine's list of all-time best-selling Hot 100 artists. As of 2012, they hold the record for most number one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20. They have received 7 Grammy Awards from the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and 15 Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. They were collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people.
Formation and early years (1957–1962)
In March 1957 John Lennon, then aged sixteen, formed a skiffle group with several friends from Quarry Bank school. They briefly called themselves the Blackjacks, before changing their name to The Quarrymen after discovering that a respected local group was already using the name. Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney joined as a guitarist shortly after he and Lennon met that July. In February 1958 McCartney invited his friend George Harrison to watch the group. The fourteen-year-old auditioned for Lennon on the upperdeck of a bus, playing "Raunchy" by Bill Justis. While Lennon was initially impressed by his playing ability, he thought Harrison was too young for the band, but after about a month of persistence he joined as lead guitarist. By January 1959, Lennon's schoolfriends had left the group, and he had begun studies at the Liverpool College of Art. The three guitarists, billing themselves at least three times as "Johnny and the Moondogs", were playing rock and roll whenever they could find a drummer.Lennon's art school friend Stu Sutcliffe, who had recently sold one of his paintings and purchased a bass guitar using the proceeds, joined in January 1960, and it was he who suggested changing the band's name to "The Beetles" as a tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets. According to Beatles expert Mark Lewishon, they used the name "Beatals", through May, when they became "The Silver Beetles", before undertaking a brief tour of Scotland as the backing group for pop singer and fellow Liverpudlian Johnny Gentle. By early July they had changed their name to "The Silver Beatles", and by the middle of August to "The Beatles".The lack of a full-time drummer posed a problem when the group's unofficial manager, Allan Williams, arranged a resident band booking for them in Hamburg, Germany, but before the middle of August they auditioned and hired Pete Best, and the five-piece band left four days later, contracted to club owner Bruno Koschmider, for what would be a 3½ month residency. Lewisohn writes: "They pulled into Hamburg at dusk on 17 August, the time when the red-light area comes to life ... flashing neon lights screamed out the various entertainment on offer, while scantily clad women sat unabashed in shop windows waiting for business opportunities".Initially placing the group at the Indra Club, in October Koschmider moved them to the Kaiserkeller, after he closed the Indra due to noise complaints. When he learned they were also performing at The Top Ten Club, a rival venue and thus in breach of contract, Koschmider gave the band one month's termination notice, and reported the underage Harrison, who had obtained permission to stay in Hamburg by lying to the German authorities about his age, causing his deportation in late-November. A week later, Koschmider had McCartney and Best arrested for arson after they set fire to a tapestry on the wall in their room; they were also deported. Lennon returned to Liverpool in early December, while the newly engaged Sutcliffe remained in Hamburg with his German fiancée, Astrid Kirchherr, through late-February. Kirchherr took the first semi-professional photos of the group, and she encouraged Sutcliffe to comb his hair forward in the pilzenkopf or "mushroom head" style popular among university students in Germany and France at the time. In 1961, during their second Hamburg engagement, she cut Sutcliffe's hair in the "exi", or existentialist style that was later adopted by the other Beatles.During the next two years, while the group were resident for further periods in Hamburg, they used Preludin both recreationally and to maintain their energy through all-night performances. When Sutcliffe decided to leave the band in early 1961 and resume his art studies in Germany, McCartney took up the bass. German producer Bert Kaempfert contracted what was now a four-piece group through June 1962, and he used them as Tony Sheridan's backing band on a series of recordings. Credited to "Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers", the single "My Bonnie", recorded in June and released four months later, reached number 32 on the Musikmarkt chart, and was group's first worldwide release.After completing their second Hamburg stint the group enjoyed increasing popularity back home in Liverpool, particularly in Merseyside, where the Merseybeat movement was gaining popularity. However, the band were also growing tired of the monotony of numerous appearances at the same clubs night after night. In November, during one of the band's frequent appearances at the Cavern Club, they encountered Brian Epstein, a local record store owner and music columnist. Epstein would later recall: "I immediatley liked what I heard. They were fresh and they were honest, and they had what I thought was a sort of presence and ... star quality." Epstein courted the band over the next couple of months and was appointed manager in January 1962. He made efforts throughout the winter and spring to get them released from their contract obligations with Bert Kaempfert Productions. To secure an early release from the contract, Epstein negotiated for the band to provide one last recording session, at the end of May, during their next visit to Hamburg. Tragedy greeted them upon their return there in April, when a distraught Kirchherr met them at the airport with news of Sutcliffe's death the previous day from a brain haemorrhage. Kaempfert released them from the record contract the day after the session, a month before it was to expire at the end of June, and although Decca Records rejected the band in early February with the comment, "Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr. Epstein", George Martin signed the group to EMI's Parlophone label in May.thumb|Abbey Road Studios main entrance|alt=A flight of stone steps leads from an asphalt car park up to the main entrance of a white two-story building. The ground floor has two sash windows, the first floor has three shorter sash windows. Two more windows are visible at basement level. The decorative stonework around the doors and windows is painted grey.The Beatles first recording session under Martin's direction took place at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London in June 1962. Martin immediately complained to Epstein about Best's drumming and suggested they use a session drummer in the studio. The band had already been contemplating Best's dismissal, so he was replaced by Ringo Starr, who left Rory Storm and the Hurricanes to join them, but had previously performed with them during Best's occasional absences. A dissatisfied Martin hired session drummer Andy White, who played on the band's first single, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You". Released in early October, "Love Me Do" was a top twenty UK hit, peaking at number seventeen on the Record Retailer chart. In mid-October they made their television début with a live performance on the regional news programme People and Places, and a late-November studio session yielded their second single, "Please Please Me", after which Martin accurately predicted, "You've just made your first No.1."In December 1962, the band concluded their fifth and final Hamburg stint. By 1963 Epstein, Martin, and the group had agreed that all four members should contribute vocals to their albums, despite Starr's restricted vocal range, to "affirm his status as a full-fledged member". Lennon and McCartney had established a songwriting partnership, and as the band's success grew, their dominant collaboration limited Harrison's opportunities as a lead vocalist. Epstein, wanting to maximize their commercial potential, encouraged the group to adopt a professional attitude to performing. Lennon recalled him saying, "Look, if you really want to get in these bigger places, you're going to have to change — stop eating on stage, stop swearing, stop smoking". Lennon said, "We used to dress how we liked, on and off stage. He'd tell us that jeans were not particularly smart and could we possibly manage to wear proper trousers, but he didn't want us suddenly looking square. He'd let us have our own sense of individuality".
Beatlemania and touring years (1963–1966)
UK popularity, Please Please Me and With The Beatles
After the moderate success of "Love Me Do", "Please Please Me" met with a more emphatic reception. Released in January 1963, it reached number one on every national chart except Record Retailer, where it stalled at number two. Martin originally considered recording The Beatles' debut LP live at the Cavern Club, but after deciding that the building's acoustics were inadequate he elected to simulate a "live" album with minimal production in "a single marathon session at Abbey Road". Ten songs were recorded for Please Please Me, accompanied by the four tracks already released on their two singles. Recalling how the band "rushed to deliver a debut album, bashing out Please Please Me in a day", Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine comments, "Decades after its release, the album still sounds fresh, precisely because of its intense origins." Lennon said little thought went into composition at the time; he and McCartney were "just writing songs à la Everly Brothers, à la Buddy Holly, pop songs with no more thought of them than that—to create a sound. And the words were almost irrelevant."thumb|right|alt=The words ‘The Beatles’, rendered with large letters B and T in the second word|upright|"The Beatles" logo painted on Starr's drumReleased in March 1963, the album reached number one on the top four British charts, initiating a run during which eleven of their twelve studio albums released in the United Kingdom through 1970 reached number one. The band's third single, "From Me to You", came out in April and was also a chart-topping hit, starting an almost unbroken run of seventeen British number one singles for the band, including all but one of the eighteen they released over the next six years. On its release in August, the band's fourth single, "She Loves You", achieved the fastest sales of any record in the UK up to that time, selling three-quarters of a million copies in under four weeks. It became their first single to sell a million copies, and remained the biggest-selling record in the UK until 1978 when it was surpassed by "Mull of Kintyre", by McCartney's post-Beatles band, Wings. The popularity of their music brought with it increasing press attention, to which the band members responded with an irreverent and comical attitude that defied what was expected of pop musicians at the time, inspiring even more interest.thumb|left|McCartney, Harrison, Swedish pop singer and Lennon on the set of the Swedish television show Drop-In, 30 October 1963]The Beatles' logo, seen on the front of Starr's bass drum during the group's major touring years, was based on an impromptu sketch by instrument retailer and designer Ivor Arbiter upon instruction from Epstein that the design should emphasize the word "beat". The band toured the UK three times in the first half of the year: a four-week tour that began in February preceded three-week tours in March and May–June. As their popularity spread, a frenzied adulation of the group took hold, dubbed "Beatlemania". Although not billed as tour leaders, they overshadowed other acts including Tommy Roe, Chris Montez and Roy Orbison, American artists who had established great popularity in the UK. Performances everywhere, both on tour and at many one-off shows around the country, were greeted with riotous enthusiasm by screaming fans. In late October, a five-day tour of Sweden saw the band venture abroad for the first time since the Hamburg chapter. Returning to the UK, they were greeted at Heathrow Airport in heavy rain by thousands of fans in "a scene similar to a shark-feeding frenzy", attended by fifty journalists and photographers and a BBC Television camera crew. The next day, they began yet another British tour, scheduled for six weeks. By now, they were indisputably the headliners. Before a concert in Plymouth, police found it necessary to use high-pressure water hoses to control the crowds, and there were debates in Parliament concerning the thousands of police officers putting themselves at risk to protect the group.Please Please Me maintained the top position on the Record Retailer chart for thirty weeks, only to be displaced by their follow-up, With The Beatles, which EMI delayed the release of until sales of Please Please Me had subsided. With The Beatles was released in late-November to record advance orders of 270,000 copies, topping the half-million mark in one week. It held the top spot for twenty-one weeks with a chart life of 40 weeks. Making much greater use of studio production techniques than its "deliberately primitive" predecessor, the album was recorded between July and October. Erlewine describes With The Beatles as "a sequel of the highest order—one that betters the original by developing its own tone and adding depth." In a reversal of what had until then been standard practice, the album was released in late November ahead of the impending single "I Want to Hold Your Hand", with the song excluded in order to maximize the single's sales. With The Beatles caught the attention of The Times music critic William Mann, who went as far as to suggest that Lennon and McCartney were "the outstanding English composers of 1963". The newspaper published a series of articles in which Mann offered detailed analyses of the music, lending it respectability. With The Beatles became the second album in UK chart history to sell a million copies, a figure previously reached only by the 1958 South Pacific soundtrack. In writing the sleeve notes for the album, the band's press officer Tony Barrow used the superlative "the fabulous foursome", which the media would widely adopt as: "the Fab Four".
The Beatles' releases in the United States were hindered for over a year by EMI's American subsidiary, Capitol Records, who initially declined to issue Beatles material, including their first three singles. Concurrent negotiations with the independent US labels Vee Jay and Swan led to the eventual release of the singles, but legal issues with royalties and publishing rights proved an obstacle to the successful marketing of the group in the US. Capitol began to issue the material in December 1963, exercising complete control over format, they compiled distinct US albums from the band's recordings and issued songs of their choosing as singles. American chart success began after Epstein arranged for a $40,000 US marketing campaign and secured the support of disk jockey Carrol James, who first played the band's records in mid-December 1963, initiating their music's spread across US radio. This caused an increase in demand, leading Capitol to rush-release "I Want to Hold Your Hand" later that month. By mid-January the single was a number one hit in the US, with the band's previously scheduled debut there just weeks away.thumb|alt=The Beatles are standing in front of a crowd of people at the bottom of an aeroplane staircase.|The Beatles arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport, 7 February 1964The Beatles left the United Kingdom on 7 February 1964, with an estimated four thousand fans gathered at Heathrow, waving and screaming as the aircraft took off. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" had sold 2.6 million copies in the US over the previous two weeks, but the group were still nervous about how they would be received. At New York's John F. Kennedy Airport they were greeted by another vociferous crowd, estimated at three thousand people. They gave their first live US television performance two days later on The Ed Sullivan Show, watched by approximately 73 million viewers in over 23 million households,or 34 percent of the American population, and according to the Nielsen rating service, it was "the largest audience that had ever been recorded for an American television program." The next morning one newspaper wrote that they "could not carry a tune across the Atlantic", but a day later their first US concert saw Beatlemania erupt at Washington Coliseum. Back in New York the following day, they met with another strong reception during their two shows at Carnegie Hall. The band then flew to Florida and appeared on the weekly Ed Sullivan Show a second time, before another 70 million viewers, before returning to the UK on 22 February.The Beatles held twelve positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart during the week of 4 April, including the top five. That same week, a third American LP joined the two already in circulation; two of the three reached the first spot on the Billboard album chart, the third peaked at number two. The band's popularity generated unprecedented interest in British music, and a number of other UK acts subsequently made their own American debuts, successfully touring over the next three years in what was termed the British Invasion. The Beatles' hairstyle, unusually long for the era and mocked by many adults, was widely adopted and became an emblem of rebellion to the burgeoning youth culture.thumb|alt=Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and John Lennon playing guitars and wearing matching grey suits.|McCartney, Harrison and Lennon perform on Dutch television in 1964The Beatles toured internationally in June. Staging thirty-two concerts over nineteen days in Denmark, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, they were ardently received at every venue. Starr was in hospital after a tonsillectomy for the first half of the tour, and Jimmie Nicol sat in on drums. In August they returned to the US, with a thirty-concert tour of twenty-three cities. Generating intense interest once again, the month-long tour attracted between ten and twenty thousand fans to each thirty-minute performance in cities from San Francisco to New York. While in the United States the band stipulated that they would not play in front of segregated audiences. Their music could hardly be heard, as on-stage amplification at the time was modest compared to modern-day equipment, and the band's small Vox amplifiers struggled to compete with the volume of sound generated by screaming fans. Forced to accept that neither they nor their audiences could hear the details of their performance, the band grew increasingly bored with the routine of concert touring.At the end of the August tour they were introduced to Bob Dylan in New York at the instigation of journalist Al Aronowitz. Visiting the band in their hotel suite, Dylan introduced them to cannabis. Beatles biographer Jonathan Gould points out the musical and cultural significance of this meeting, before which the musicians' respective fanbases were "perceived as inhabiting two separate subcultural worlds": Dylan's core audience of "college kids with artistic or intellectual leanings, a dawning political and social idealism, and a mildly bohemian style" contrasted with The Beatles' core audience of "veritable 'teenyboppers'—kids in high school or grade school whose lives were totally wrapped up in the commercialized popular culture of television, radio, pop records, fan magazines, and teen fashion. They were seen as idolaters, not idealists." Within six months of the meeting, "Lennon would be making records on which he openly imitated Dylan's nasal drone, brittle strum, and introspective vocal persona." Within a year, Dylan would "proceed, with the help of a five-piece group and a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, to shake the monkey of folk authenticity permanently off his back ... the distinctions between the folk and rock audiences would have nearly evaporated  The Beatles' audience ... would be showing signs of growing up."
A Hard Day's Night, Beatles for Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul
Capitol Records' lack of interest throughout 1963 had not gone unnoticed. A competitor, United Artists Records, encouraged United Artists' film division to offer The Beatles a motion picture contract in the hope that it would lead to a record deal. Directed by Richard Lester, A Hard Day's Night had the group's involvement for six weeks in March–April 1964 as they played themselves in a boisterous mock-documentary. The film premiered in London and New York in July and August, respectively, and was an international success. The Observers reviewer, Penelope Gilliatt, noted that "the way The Beatles go on is just there, and that's it. In an age that is clogged with self-explanation this makes them very welcome. It also makes them naturally comic." According to Erlewine, the accompanying soundtrack album, A Hard Day's Night, saw them "truly coming into their own as a band. All of the disparate influences on their first two albums had coalesced into a bright, joyous, original sound, filled with ringing guitars and irresistible melodies." That "ringing guitar" sound was primarily the product of Harrison's 12-string electric Rickenbacker, a prototype given him by the manufacturer, which made its debut on the record. Harrison's ringing 12-string inspired Roger McGuinn, who obtained his own Rickenbacker and used it to craft the trademark sound of The Byrds.Beatles for Sale, the band's fourth studio album, saw the emergence of a serious conflict between commercialism and creativity. Recorded between August and October 1964, the album had been intended to continue the format established by A Hard Day's Night which, unlike the band's first two LPs, had contained no cover versions. Acknowledging the challenge posed by constant international touring to the band's songwriting efforts, Lennon admitted, "Material's becoming a hell of a problem". Six covers from their extensive repertoire were included on the album. Released in early December, its eight self-penned numbers nevertheless stood out, demonstrating the growing maturity of the material produced by the Lennon–McCartney partnership.In early 1965, while they were his guests for dinner, Lennon and Harrison's dentist secretly added LSD to their coffee. Lennon described the experience: "It was just terrifying, but it was fantastic. I was pretty stunned for a month or two." He and Harrison subsequently became regular users of the drug, joined by Starr on at least one occasion. McCartney was initially reluctant to try it, but eventually did so in the fall of 1966. He later became the first Beatle to discuss LSD publicly, declaring in a magazine interview that "it opened my eyes" and "made me a better, more honest, more tolerant member of society."Controversy erupted in June 1965 when Elizabeth II appointed the four Beatles Members of the Order of the British Empire after Prime Minister Harold Wilson nominated them for the award. In protest—the honour was at that time primarily bestowed upon military veterans and civic leaders—some conservative MBE recipients returned their own insignia.thumb|rightt|alt=The Beatles performing music in a field. In the foreground, the drums are played by Starr . Beyond him, the other three stand in a column with their guitars. In the rear, Harrison, head down, strikes a chord. In the front, Lennon smiles and gives a little wave toward camera, holding his pick. Between them, McCartney is jocularly about to choke Lennon.|The US trailer for |Help! with (from the rear) Harrison, McCartney, Lennon and (largely obscured) Starr]The Beatles' second film, Help!, again directed by Lester, was released in July. Described as "mainly a relentless spoof of Bond", it inspired a mixed response among both reviewers and the band. McCartney said, "Help! was great but it wasn't our film—we were sort of guest stars. It was fun, but basically, as an idea for a film, it was a bit wrong." The soundtrack was dominated by Lennon, who wrote and sang lead on most of its songs, including the two singles: "Help!" and "Ticket to Ride". The accompanying album, the group's fifth studio LP, again contained a mix of original material and covers. Help! saw the band making increased use of vocal overdubs and incorporating classical instruments into their arrangements, notably the string quartet on the pop ballad "Yesterday". Composed by McCartney, "Yesterday" would inspire the most recorded cover versions of any song ever written. The LP's closing track, "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", became the last cover the band would include on an album. With the exception of Let It Be's brief rendition of the traditional Liverpool folk song "Maggie Mae", all of their subsequent albums would contain only self-penned material.The band's third US visit, on 15 August, opened with the first major stadium concert in history when they performed before a crowd of 55,600 at New York's Shea Stadium. A further nine successful concerts followed in other American cities. Towards the end of the tour the group were introduced to Elvis Presley, a foundational musical influence on the band, who invited them to his home. Presley and the band discussed the music business and exchanged anecdotes. September saw the launch of an American Saturday morning cartoon series, The Beatles, that echoed A Hard Day's Night's slapstick antics. Original episodes appeared for the next two years, and reruns aired through 1969.}}Released in December 1965, Rubber Soul has been hailed by critics as a major step forward in the maturity and complexity of the band's music. Musicologist Ian MacDonald observes that with the album they "recovered the sense of direction that had begun to elude them during the later stages of work on Beatles for Sale". Their thematic reach was beginning to expand as they embraced more complex aspects of romance and philosophy. Biographers Peter Brown and Steven Gaines attribute the new musical direction to "the Beatles now habitual use of marijuana", an assertion confirmed by the band—Lennon referred to it as "the pot album", and Starr said, "Grass was really influential in a lot of our changes, especially with the writers. And because they were writing different material, we were playing differently." After Help!'s foray into the world of classical music with flutes and strings, Harrison's introduction of a sitar on "Norwegian Wood " marked a further progression outside the traditional boundaries of rock music. As their lyrics grew more artful, fans began to study them for deeper meaning. There was speculation that "Norwegian Wood" might refer to cannabis, a claim Lennon refuted: "I was trying to be sophisticated in writing about an affair ... but in such a smokescreen way that you couldn't tell."While many of Rubber Souls more notable songs were the product of Lennon and McCartney's collaborative songwriting, it also featured distinct compositions from each, though they continued to share official credit. The song "In My Life", of which each later claimed lead authorship, is considered a highlight of the entire Lennon–McCartney catalog. Harrison called Rubber Soul his "favorite album" and Starr referred to it as "the departure record". McCartney said, "We'd had our cute period, and now it was time to expand." However, recording engineer Norman Smith later stated that the studio sessions revealed signs of growing conflict within the group—"the clash between John and Paul was becoming obvious", he wrote, and "as far as Paul was concerned, George could do no right". In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Rubber Soul fifth among "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time", and Allmusic's Richie Unterberger describes it as "one of the classic folk-rock records."
Controversy, studio years and break-up (1966–1970)
Events leading up to final tour
In June 1966, Yesterday and Today—one of the compilation albums created by Capitol Records for the US market—caused an uproar with its cover, which portrayed the grinning Beatles dressed in butcher's overalls, accompanied by raw meat and mutilated plastic baby dolls. It has been suggested that this was meant as a satirical response to the way Capitol had "butchered" the US versions of their albums. Thousands of copies of the album had a new cover pasted over the original; an unpeeled "first-state" copy fetched $10,500 at a December 2005 auction. In England, meanwhile, Harrison met sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, who agreed to train him on the instrument.During a tour of the Philippines the month after the Yesterday and Today furore, they unintentionally snubbed the nation's first lady, Imelda Marcos, who had expected the group to attend a breakfast reception at the Presidential Palace. When presented with the invitation, Epstein politely declined on behalf of the group, as it had never been his policy to accept such official invitations. The group soon found that the Marcos regime was unaccustomed to taking "no" for an answer. The resulting riots endangered the group and they escaped the country with difficulty. Immediately afterward, the band members made their first visit to India.Almost as soon as they returned home, they faced a fierce backlash from US religious and social conservatives (as well as the Ku Klux Klan) over a comment Lennon had made in a March interview with British reporter Maureen Cleave: "Christianity will go," Lennon said. "It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity". The comment went virtually unnoticed in England, but when US teenage fan magazine Datebook printed it five months later—on the eve of the group's final US tour—it created a controversy in the American "Bible Belt". South Africa also banned airplay of Beatles records, a prohibition that would last until 1971. Epstein publicly criticised Datebook, saying they had taken Lennon's words out of context, and at a press conference Lennon pointed out, "If I'd said television was more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it." Lennon said he had been referring only to how other people saw their success, but "if you want me to apologise, if that will make you happy, then okay, I'm sorry."
Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Rubber Soul had marked a major step forward; Revolver, released in August 1966 a week before The Beatles' final tour, marked another. Pitchfork's Scott Plagenhoef identifies it as "the sound of a band growing into supreme confidence" and "redefining what was expected from popular music." Described by Gould as "woven with motifs of circularity, reversal, and inversion", Revolver featured sophisticated songwriting and a greatly expanded repertoire of musical styles ranging from innovative classical string arrangements to psychedelic rock. Abandoning the group photograph that had become the norm, its cover—designed by Klaus Voormann, a friend of the band since their Hamburg days—was a "stark, arty, black-and-white collage that caricatured The Beatles in a pen-and-ink style beholden to Aubrey Beardsley." The album was preceded by the single "Paperback Writer", backed by "Rain". The Beatles shot short promotional films for both songs, described as "among the first true music videos", which aired on Top of the Pops and The Ed Sullivan Show.Among Revolvers most experimental tracks was "Tomorrow Never Knows", for whose lyrics Lennon drew from Timothy Leary's A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The song's creation involved eight tape decks distributed about the recording studio building, each manned by an engineer or band member, who randomly varied the movement of a tape loop while Martin created a composite recording by sampling the incoming data. McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby" made prominent use of a string octet; it has been described as "a true hybrid, conforming to no recognizable style or genre of song." Harrison was developing as a songwriter, and three of his compositions earned a place on the record. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Revolver as the third greatest album of all time. During the US tour that followed, however, the band performed none of its songs. As Chris Ingham explains, they were very much "studio creations ... and there was no way a four-piece rock 'n' roll group could do them justice, particularly through the desensitising wall of the fans' screams. 'Live Beatles' and 'Studio Beatles' had become entirely different beasts." The final show, at San Francisco's Candlestick Park on 29 August, was their last commercial concert. It marked the end of a four-year period dominated by touring that included over 1,400 concert appearances internationally.Freed from the burden of touring, the band's desire to experiment grew as they recorded Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, beginning in December 1966. Recording engineer Geoff Emerick recalled their insistence "that everything on Sgt. Pepper had to be different. We had microphones right down in the bells of brass instruments and headphones turned into microphones attached to violins. We used giant primitive oscillators to vary the speed of instruments and vocals and we had tapes chopped to pieces and stuck together upside down and the wrong way round." Parts of "A Day in the Life" required a forty-piece orchestra. Nearly seven hundred hours of studio time were devoted to the sessions. They first yielded the non-album double A-side single "Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane" in February 1967; Sgt. Pepper followed in June. The musical complexity of the records, created using only four-track recording technology, astounded contemporary artists. For Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson, in the midst of a personal crisis and struggling to complete the ambitious Smile, hearing "Strawberry Fields" was a crushing blow and he soon abandoned all attempts to compete. Sgt. Pepper met with great critical acclaim. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it number one among its "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" and Gould writes,}}right|thumb|Front cover of Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, "probably the most famous album cover in popular musical history"]Sgt. Pepper was the first major pop album to include its complete lyrics, which were printed on the back cover. Those lyrics were the subject of intense analysis; fans speculated, for instance, that the "celebrated Mr K." in "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" might in fact be the surrealist fiction writer Franz Kafka. The American literary critic and professor of English Richard Poirier wrote an essay, "Learning from The Beatles", in which he observed that his students were "listening to the group's music with a degree of engagement that he, as a teacher of literature, could only envy." Poirier identified what he termed the "mixed allusiveness" of the material: "It's unwise ever to assume that they're doing only one thing or expressing themselves in only one style ... one kind of feeling about a subject isn't enough ... any single induced feeling must often exist within the context of seemingly contradictory alternatives." McCartney said at the time, "We write songs. We know what we mean by them. But in a week someone else says something about it, and you can't deny it. ... You put your own meaning at your own level to our songs". Sgt. Peppers remarkably elaborate album cover also occasioned great interest and deep study. The heavy moustaches worn by the band swiftly became a hallmark of hippie style. Cultural historian Jonathan Harris describes their "brightly coloured parodies of military uniforms" as a knowingly "anti-authoritarian and anti-establishment" display.On 25 June, the band performed their newest single, "All You Need Is Love", to TV viewers worldwide on Our World, the first live global television link. Appearing amid the Summer of Love, the song was adopted as a flower power anthem. Two months later the group suffered a loss that threw their career into turmoil. After being introduced to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, they travelled to Bangor for his Transcendental Meditation retreat. During the retreat, Epstein's assistant Peter Brown called to tell them Epstein had died. The coroner ruled Epstein's death an accidental overdose, but it was widely rumoured that a suicide note had been discovered among his possessions. Epstein had been in a fragile emotional state, stressed by both personal issues and the state of his working relationship with the band. He worried that they might not renew his management contract, due to expire in October, based on discontent with his supervision of business matters. There were particular concerns over Seltaeb, the company that handled merchandising rights in the United States. Epstein's death left the group disorientated and fearful about the future. In a 1971 interview Lennon recalled, "I didn't really have any misconceptions about our ability to do anything other than play music and I was scared." He looked back on Epstein's death as marking the beginning of the end for the group: "We collapsed. I knew that we were in trouble then. I thought, we've fuckin' had it now."
Magical Mystery Tour, White Album and Yellow Submarine
Magical Mystery Tour, the soundtrack to a forthcoming Beatles television film, appeared as a six-track double extended play disc in early December 1967. In the United States, the six songs were issued on an identically titled LP that also included tracks from the band's recent singles. Unterberger says of the US Magical Mystery Tour, "The psychedelic sound is very much in the vein of Sgt. Pepper, and even spacier in parts (especially the sound collages of 'I Am the Walrus')", and calls its five songs culled from the band's 1967 singles "huge, glorious, and innovative". It set a new US record in its first three weeks for highest initial sales of any Capitol LP, and it is the one Capitol compilation later to be adopted in the band's official canon of studio albums. Aired on Boxing Day, the Magical Mystery Tour film, largely directed by McCartney, brought the group their first major negative UK press. It was dismissed as "blatant rubbish" by the Daily Express, which described it as "a great deal of raw footage showing a group of people getting on, getting off, and riding on a bus". The Daily Mail called it "a colossal conceit", while The Guardian labelled it "a kind of fantasy morality play about the grossness and warmth and stupidity of the audience". It fared so dismally that it was withheld from the US at the time. In January, the group filmed a cameo for the animated movie Yellow Submarine, a fantasia featuring cartoon versions of the band members. The group's only other involvement with the film was the contribution of several unreleased studio recordings. Released in June 1968, it was well received for its innovative visual style and humour, as well as its music. It would be seven months, however, before the film's soundtrack album appeared.thumb|left|alt=The Beatles, wearing identical dark-grey button-down shirts. They are clean-shaven, except for Starr, who has a moustache. Lennon, wearing mutton chops, holds a folded telescope. All are smiling, except for McCartney, who looks pensive.|McCartney, Starr, Harrison and Lennon in the trailer for Submarine |Yellow Submarine. Their cameo was filmed 25 January 1968, three weeks before they left for India.]In the interim came The Beatles, a double LP popularly known as the White Album for its virtually featureless cover. Creative inspiration for the album came from a new direction when, with Epstein's guiding presence gone, the group turned to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as their guru. At his ashram in Rishikesh, India, a three-month "Guide Course" became one of their most creative periods, yielding a large number of songs including most of the thirty recorded for the album. Starr left after ten days, likening it to Butlins, and McCartney eventually grew bored with the procedure and departed a month later. For Lennon and Harrison, creativity turned to questioning when Yanni Alexis Mardas, the electronics technician dubbed Magic Alex, suggested that the Maharishi was attempting to manipulate the group. After Mardas alleged that the Maharishi had made sexual advances to women attendees, Lennon was persuaded and left abruptly, taking the unconvinced Harrison and the remainder of the group's entourage with him. In his anger Lennon wrote a pointed song called "Maharishi", which he later modified to avoid a legal suit, resulting in "Sexy Sadie". McCartney said, "We made a mistake. We thought there was more to him than there was."During recording sessions for the album, which stretched from late May to mid-October 1968, relations among the band's members grew openly divisive. Starr quit for a period, leaving McCartney to play drums on at least two tracks, "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Dear Prudence". Lennon's romantic preoccupation with avant-garde artist Yoko Ono contributed to tension within the band and he lost interest in co-writing with McCartney. Flouting the group's well-established understanding that they would not take partners into the studio, Lennon insisted on bringing Ono, whom Harrison disliked anyway, to all of the sessions. Increasingly contemptuous of McCartney's creative input, he began to identify the latter's compositions as "granny music", dismissing "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" as "granny shit". Recalling the White Album sessions, Lennon gave a curiously foreshortened summing-up of the band's history from that point on, saying, "It's like if you took each track off it and made it all mine and all Paul's... just me and a backing group, Paul and a backing group, and I enjoyed it. We broke up then." McCartney also recalled that the sessions marked the start of the break-up, saying, "Up to that point, the world was a problem, but we weren't".Issued in November, the White Album was the band's first Apple Records album release. The new label was a subsidiary of Apple Corps, formed by the group on their return from India, fulfilling a plan of Epstein's to create a tax-effective business structure. The record attracted more than two million advance orders, selling nearly four million copies in the US in little over a month, and its tracks dominated the playlists of American radio stations. Despite its popularity, it did not receive flattering reviews at the time. According to Jonathan Gould,right|thumb|The Beatles, known as the White Album for its radically minimalist cover. Conceived by pop artist Hamilton |Richard Hamilton, it has been interpreted as suggesting both a "clean slate" and an ironic relationship with the avant-garde.]}}General critical opinion eventually turned in favour of the White Album, and in 2003 Rolling Stone ranked it as the tenth greatest album of all time. Pitchfork's Mark Richardson describes it as "large and sprawling, overflowing with ideas but also with indulgences, and filled with a hugely variable array of material ... its failings are as essential to its character as its triumphs." Erlewine comments, "The Beatles' two main songwriting forces were no longer on the same page, but neither were George and Ringo", yet "Lennon turns in two of his best ballads", McCartney's songs are "stunning", Harrison had become "a songwriter who deserved wider exposure" and Starr's composition is "a delight".By now the interest in their lyrics was taking a serious turn. When Lennon's song "Revolution" had been released as a single in August ahead of the White Album, its messages seemed clear: "free your mind", and "count me out" of any talk about destruction as a means to an end. In a year characterized by student protests that stretched from Warsaw to Paris to Chicago, the response from the radical left was scathing. However, the White Album version of the song, "Revolution 1", added an extra word, "count me out ... in", implying a change of heart since the single's release. The chronology was in fact reversed—the ambivalent album version was recorded first—but some felt that Lennon was now saying that political violence might indeed be justifiable.The Yellow Submarine LP finally appeared in January 1969. It contained only four previously unreleased songs, along with the title track (already issued on Revolver), "All You Need Is Love" (already issued as a single and on the US Magical Mystery Tour LP) and seven instrumental pieces composed by Martin. Because of the paucity of new Beatles music, Allmusic's Unterberger and Bruce Eder suggest the album might be "inessential" but for Harrison's "It's All Too Much", "the jewel of the new songs ... resplendent in swirling Mellotron, larger-than-life percussion, and tidal waves of feedback guitar ... a virtuoso excursion into otherwise hazy psychedelia".
Abbey Road, Let It Be and break-up
thumb|upright|right|alt=A terrace house with four floors and an attic. It is red brick, with a slate roof, and the ground floor rendered in imitation of stone and painted white. Each upper floor has four sash windows, divided into small panes. The door, with a canopy over it, occupies the place of the second window from the left on the ground floor.|Apple Corps building at 3 Savile Row, site of the Let It Be rooftop concertAlthough Let It Be was The Beatles' final album release, most of it was recorded before Abbey Road. Initially titled Get Back, Let It Be originated from an idea Martin attributes to McCartney: to prepare new material and "perform it before a live audience for the very first time—on record and on film. In other words make a live album of new material, which no one had ever done before." In the event, much of the album's content came from studio work, many hours of which were captured on film by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Martin said that rehearsals and recording for the project, which occupied much of January 1969, were "not at all a happy ... experience. It was a time when relations between The Beatles were at their lowest ebb." Aggravated by both McCartney and Lennon, Harrison walked out for a week. He returned with keyboardist Billy Preston, who participated in the last ten days of sessions and was credited on the "Get Back" single—the only other musician to receive such acknowledgment on an official Beatles recording. The band members had reached an impasse on a concert location, rejecting among several concepts a boat at sea, the Tunisian desert and the Colosseum. Ultimately, their final live performance, accompanied by Preston, was filmed on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building at 3 Savile Row, London, on 30 January 1969.Engineer Glyn Johns worked for months assembling various iterations of a Get Back album, while the band turned to other concerns. Conflict arose regarding the appointment of a financial adviser, the need for which had become evident without Epstein to manage business affairs. Lennon, Harrison and Starr favoured Allen Klein, who had negotiated contracts for The Rolling Stones and other UK bands during the British Invasion. McCartney wanted John Eastman, brother of Linda Eastman, whom McCartney married on 12 March (eight days before Lennon and Ono wed). Agreement could not be reached, so both were appointed, but further conflict ensued and financial opportunities were lost.Martin was surprised when McCartney contacted him and asked him to produce another album, as the Get Back sessions had been "a miserable experience" and he had "thought it was the end of the road for all of us ... they were becoming unpleasant people—to themselves as well as to other people." Recording sessions for Abbey Road began in late February. Lennon rejected Martin's proposed format of a "continuously moving piece of music", and wanted his own and McCartney's songs to occupy separate sides of the album. The eventual format, with individually composed songs on the first side and the second consisting largely of a medley, was McCartney's suggested compromise. On 4 July, while work on the album was in progress, the first solo single by a Beatles member was released: Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance", credited to the Plastic Ono Band. The final mix of the Abbey Road track "I Want You " on 20 August 1969 was the last occasion on which all four Beatles were together in the same studio. Lennon announced his departure to the rest of the group on 20 September, but agreed to withhold a public announcement—biographers differ on whether the decision to keep silent was made to avoid undermining sales of the forthcoming album, or Klein's contract negotiations with EMI.Released six days after Lennon's declaration, Abbey Road sold four million copies within two months and topped the UK chart for eleven weeks. Its second track, the ballad "Something", was also issued as a single—the first and only song by Harrison to appear as a Beatles A-side. Abbey Road received mixed reviews, although the medley met with general acclaim. Unterberger considers it "a fitting swan song for the group" containing "some of the greatest harmonies to be heard on any rock record". MacDonald calls it "erratic and often hollow": "Had it not been for McCartney's input as designer of the Long Medley ... Abbey Road would lack the semblance of unity and coherence that makes it appear better than it is." Martin singled it out as his personal favourite of all the band's albums; Lennon said it was "competent" but had "no life in it", calling "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" "more of Paul's granny music". Recording engineer Emerick noted that the replacement of the studio's valve mixing console with a transistorized one yielded a less punchy sound, leaving the group frustrated at the thinner tone and lack of impact and contributing to its "kinder, gentler" feel relative to their previous albums.For the still uncompleted Get Back album, the final song, Harrison's "I Me Mine", was recorded on 3 January 1970. Lennon, in Denmark at the time, did not participate. To complete the album, now retitled Let It Be, Klein gave the session tapes to American producer Phil Spector in March. Known for his Wall of Sound approach, Spector had recently produced Lennon's solo single "Instant Karma!" In addition to remixing the Get Back material, Spector edited, spliced and overdubbed several of the recordings that had been intended as "live". McCartney was unhappy with Spector's treatment of the material and particularly dissatisfied with the producer's orchestration of "The Long and Winding Road", which involved a choir and thirty-four-piece instrumental ensemble. He unsuccessfully attempted to halt the release of Spector's version. McCartney publicly announced his departure from the band on 10 April, a week before the release of his first, self-titled solo album. Pre-release copies of McCartney's record included a press statement with a self-written interview, explaining the end of the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership and his hopes for the future.On 8 May, the Spector-produced Let It Be was released. The accompanying single, "The Long and Winding Road", was the band's last; it was released in the United States, but not Britain. The Let It Be documentary film followed later in the month; at the Academy Award ceremony the next year, it would win the Academy Award for Best Original Score. The Sunday Telegraph called it "a very bad film and a touching one ... about the breaking apart of this reassuring, geometrically perfect, once apparently ageless family of siblings." More than one reviewer commented that some of the Let It Be tracks sounded better in the film than on the album. Observing that Let It Be is the "only Beatles album to occasion negative, even hostile reviews", Unterberger describes it as "on the whole underrated. ... McCartney in particular offers several gems: the gospel-ish 'Let It Be', which has some of his best lyrics; 'Get Back', one of his hardest rockers; and the melodic 'The Long and Winding Road', ruined by Spector's heavy-handed overdubs." McCartney filed a suit for the dissolution of their contractual partnership on 31 December 1970. Legal disputes continued long after the band's break-up, and the dissolution of the partnership did not take effect until 9 January 1975.
After the break-up (1970–present)
Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr all released solo albums in 1970. Further albums followed from each, sometimes with the involvement of one or more of the others. Starr's Ringo (1973) was the only solo album to include compositions and performances by all four, albeit on separate songs. With Starr's collaboration, Harrison staged The Concert for Bangladesh in New York City in August 1971 with Ravi Shankar. Other than an unreleased jam session in 1974 (later bootlegged as A Toot and a Snore in '74), Lennon and McCartney never recorded together again.Two double-LP sets of The Beatles' greatest hits, compiled by Allen Klein, 1962–1966 and 1967–1970, were released in 1973, at first under the Apple Records imprint. Commonly known as the Red Album and Blue Album respectively, each earned a Multi-Platinum certification in the United States and a Platinum certification in the United Kingdom. Between 1976 and 1982, EMI/Capitol released a wave of compilation albums without input from the band members, starting with the double-disc compilation Rock 'n' Roll Music, which features remixes by George Martin. The only one to feature previously unreleased material was The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (1977). The first officially issued concert recordings by the group, it contained selections from two shows they played during their 1964 and 1965 US tours. After the international release of the original British albums on CD in 1987, EMI deleted this latter group of compilations—including the Hollywood Bowl record—from its catalogue.The Beatles' music and enduring fame were commercially exploited in various other ways, outside the band members' creative control. In 1974, the musical John, Paul, George, Ringo...& Bert, written by Willy Russell, opened in London and had a successful run. It included twelve Beatles songs performed by Barbara Dickson. Harrison was displeased when he saw the show and withdrew permission to use his one composition in it, "Here Comes the Sun". All This and World War II (1976) was an unorthodox nonfiction film that combined World War II newsreel footage with covers of their songs by two dozen major recording artists. The Broadway musical Beatlemania, a nostalgia revue, opened in early 1977 and proved popular, spinning off five separate touring productions. The Beatles tried and failed to block the 1977 release of Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962. The independently issued album compiled recordings made during the group's Hamburg residency, taped on a basic recording machine with one microphone. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), a musical film starring the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, was a commercial failure and "artistic fiasco". In 1979, the band sued the producers of Beatlemania, settling for several million dollars in damages. "People were just thinking The Beatles were like public domain", said Harrison. "You can't just go around pilfering The Beatles' material."
Lennon was shot and killed on 8 December 1980, in New York City. In a personal tribute, Harrison wrote new lyrics for "All Those Years Ago", which was recorded the month before Lennon's death. With McCartney and his wife, Linda, contributing backing vocals, and Starr on drums, the song was overdubbed with the new lyrics and released as a single in May 1981. McCartney's own tribute, "Here Today", appeared on his Tug of War album in April 1982. In 1987, Harrison's Cloud Nine album included "When We Was Fab", a song about the Beatlemania era.The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, their first year of eligibility. Harrison and Starr attended the ceremony along with Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and his two sons, Julian and Sean. McCartney declined to attend, issuing a press release that said, "The Beatles still have some business differences which I had hoped would have been settled by now. Unfortunately, they haven't been, so I would feel like a complete hypocrite waving and smiling with them at a fake reunion." The following year, EMI/Capitol settled a decade-long lawsuit filed by the band over royalties, clearing the way to commercially package previously unreleased material.
Live at the BBC, the first official release of previously unissued Beatles performances in 17 years, appeared in 1994. That same year McCartney, Harrison and Starr collaborated on the Anthology project, the culmination of work begun in 1970 by Apple Corps director Neil Aspinall. Their former road manager and personal assistant, Aspinall had started then to gather material for a documentary, originally called The Long and Winding Road. Documenting their history in the band's own words, the Anthology project saw the release of many previously unissued Beatles recordings; McCartney, Harrison and Starr also added new instrumental and vocal parts to two demo songs recorded by Lennon in the late 1970s. During 1995 and 1996 the project yielded a five-part television series, an eight-volume video set and three two-CD box sets. The two songs based on Lennon demos, "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love", were each released as new Beatles singles. The CD box sets featured artwork by Klaus Voormann, creator of the Revolver album cover in 1966. The releases were commercially successful and the television series was viewed by an estimated 400 million people worldwide.
1, a compilation album of every number one British and American Beatles hit, was released on 13 November 2000. It became the fastest-selling album of all time, with 3.6 million sold in its first week and over 12 million in three weeks worldwide. It was a number one chart hit in at least 28 countries, including the UK and the US. As of April 2009 it had sold 31 million copies globally, and was the highest selling album of the decade in the United States.Harrison died from metastatic lung cancer on 29 November 2001. McCartney and Starr were among the musicians who performed at the Concert for George, organized by Eric Clapton and Harrison's widow, Olivia. The tribute event took place at the Royal Albert Hall on the first anniversary of Harrison's death. As well as songs he composed for the group and his own solo career, the concert included a celebration of Indian classical music, which had influenced the band through Harrison's interest. In 2003, Let It Be... Naked, a reconceived version of the album with McCartney supervising production, was released to mixed reviews. One of the main differences with the original was the omission of the original string arrangements. It was a top ten hit in both the UK and the US.As a soundtrack for Cirque du Soleil's Las Vegas Beatles stage revue Love, George Martin and his son Giles remixed and blended 130 of the band's recordings to create what Martin called "a way of re-living the whole  musical lifespan in a very condensed period". The show premiered in June 2006, and the Love album was released that November. Attending the show's first anniversary, McCartney and Starr were interviewed on Larry King Live along with Ono and Olivia Harrison. Also in 2007, reports circulated that McCartney was hoping to complete "Now and Then", a third Lennon demo worked on during the Anthology sessions. It would be credited as a Lennon–McCartney composition with the addition of new verses, and feature a new drum track by Starr and archival recordings of Harrison playing guitar.In March 2008 Apple Corps sued to prevent the release of another set of recordings made in 1962 during the group's Hamburg Star-Club residency. The would-be distributor claimed they represented Starr's first live performance with the group; in actuality, Starr played live with the band for the first time in England—filling in for an ill Best in February 1962, and as a permanent member that August. A settlement in October 2008 blocked distribution of the recordings. The following month, McCartney discussed his hope that "Carnival of Light", a 14-minute experimental recording made at Abbey Road Studios in 1967, would receive an official release. McCartney headlined a charity concert on 4 April 2009, at Radio City Music Hall for the David Lynch Foundation with guest performers including Starr. Rock Band, a music video game in the style of the Rock Band series, was released on 9 September 2009. On the same day, remastered versions of the band's twelve original studio albums, Magical Mystery Tour, and the compilation Past Masters were issued.
Musical style and development
In Icons of Rock: An Encyclopedia of the Legends Who Changed Music Forever, Scott Schinder and Andy Schwartz sum up The Beatles' musical evolution:}}In The Beatles as Musicians, Walter Everett points out Lennon and McCartney's contrasting motivations and approaches to composition: "McCartney may be said to have constantly developed—as a means to entertain—a focused musical talent with an ear for counterpoint and other aspects of craft in the demonstration of a universally agreed-upon common language that he did much to enrich. Conversely, Lennon's mature music is best appreciated as the daring product of a largely unconscious, searching but undisciplined artistic sensibility."Ian MacDonald, comparing the two composers in Revolution in the Head, describes McCartney as "a natural melodist—a creator of tunes capable of existing apart from their harmony". His melody lines are characterized as primarily "vertical", employing wide, consonant intervals which express his "extrovert energy and optimism". Conversely, Lennon's "sedentary, ironic personality" is reflected in a "horizontal" approach featuring minimal, dissonant intervals and repetitive melodies which rely on their harmonic accompaniment for interest: "Basically a realist, he instinctively kept his melodies close to the rhythms and cadences of speech, colouring his lyrics with bluesy tone and harmony rather than creating tunes that made striking shapes of their own." MacDonald praises Harrison's lead guitar work for the role his "characterful lines and textural colourings" play in supporting Lennon and McCartney's parts, and describes Starr as "the father of modern pop/rock drumming .... His faintly behind-the-beat style subtly propelled The Beatles, his tunings brought the bottom end into recorded drum sound, and his dist
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The Beatles Biography