Beatles

  • 09 June 2004

Band form

1960

Band disban

1970

The Beatles (formed 1960 - 1969)
The Beatles are one of the most famous and successful bands in the history of pop music and have sold well over one billion records across the globe.

Formation: John Lennon met Paul McCartney in 1957 when he was playing in a skiffle group named The Quarrymen. He invited McCartney to join the group and later, George Harrison also joined. Stuart Sutcliffe then joined on bass. The band had a number of gigs lined up in Germany, but had no drummer. Eventually, Pete Best was invited to drum for the band. Upon their return to Liverpool in 1961, Brian Epstein saw the band for the first time, at the now-infamous Cavern Club in Liverpool. The band auditioned for Decca (The Rolling Stones' label) but failed the audition. Epstein took it upon himself to fire Pete Best from the band and they hired Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr). The band's debut single, 'Love Me Do' was released in June 1962. It reached number 17 in the UK singles cart.

Career: The Beatles' second single, 'Please Please Me' was released in November 1962 and went to number two in the UK charts. Their debut album, also entitled Please Please Me was recorded just a few months later. Even before the end of the year, the phrase 'Beatlemania' had been coined by the media, to describe the public frenzy surrounding the band. In the US, CBS aired a five minute film about the phenomenon of Beatlemania. It was scheduled for a repeat airing on the 22nd of November 1963, but following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the show was cancelled. When The Beatles finally travelled to the USA, in 1964, accompanied by Phil Spector and a number of journalists, they were greeted at the airport by 3,000 fans. In 1964, the band released their second LP, Introducing. The Beatles. When they undertook the promotional tour, Ringo Starr contracted tonsillitis and was briefly replaced by session drummer Jimmy Nicol. Later that year, The Beatles' first film, A Hard Day's Night was released, followed by their fourth studio album, Beatles For Sale. The Beatles were awarded an MBE in June 1965, after receiving a nomination from the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The following month, The Beatles released the album Help! Along with an accompanying film of the same name. In July, they played to an audience of 55,600 at the Shea Stadium in New York - the first major stadium music concert in modern history. The band met Elvis Presley in Bel Air that month and had a jam session, though sadly, it was not recorded. The Beatles' sixth album, Rubber Soul was considered a step forward in the maturity and progression of the band's sound. When they toured in the Philippines, Brian Epstein insulted the nation's first lady, Imelda Marcos, by refusing an official invitation. On returning to the UK, they were greeted by further controversy, thanks to John Lennon's earlier comments that The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus." Copies of The Beatles' next album, Yesterday and Today with the original artwork fetch thousands of pounds in auctions today. The Beatles' next two albums, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band were both hugely successful and used new recording techniques such as sampling and tape looping. The Beatles' next film, Magical Mystery Tour received something of a backlash from the UK press. In 1968, The Beatles announced the formation of their own label, Apple Corps. Later that year, they released The White Album, which featured the tracks 'Dear Prudence' and 'Back in the USSR'. In January 1969, The Beatles performed their infamous rooftop gig on top of the Apple Building in Savile Row, London. The performance was filmed for their film Let It Be. In 1969, the band released Abbey Road, named after Abbey Road Studios, where they recorded much of their output. In 1970, the tapes for what would become the Let It Be album were given to Phil Spector, an American producer famed for his 'Wall Of Sound' production style. Despite Paul McCartney publicly denouncing Spector's production technique and despite the public break up of the band in April of that year, Spector's version of the album was released in May 1970. Following the break up of the band, several members of the band went on to release solo albums, including Paul McCartney's McCartney and Ringo Starr's Ringo. The Capitol record label made a number of hasty releases, including The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, in an attempt to cash in on the band's demise and loss of creative control over the label's Beatles material. On 8th December 1980, John Lennon was shot dead in New York City by Mark David Chapman. Lennon was married to Yoko Ono at the time of his death. The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. George Harrison and Ringo Starr collected the award, along with Yoko Ono and Lennon's two sons, Julian and Sean Lennon. Paul McCartney refused to attend the ceremony. In 1994, once McCartney had resolved many of his issues with the remaining surviving Beatles, he got together with Harrison and Starr to compile The Beatles Anthology, which was released in February 1994. The song 'Free As A Bird' was released as a single to promote the collection. On 29th November 2001, George Harrison died of lung cancer. McCartney announced in November 2008 that he wishes to release an experimental recording made by The Beatles. In order to release the track, entitled 'Carnival Of Light', he will need to gain permission from Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, George's wife, as well as Ringo Starr. In April 2009, it was announced that all of The Beatles' original 13 UK studio albums would be released in newly remastered versions, named Past Masters, Volume One and Past Masters: Volume Two. The Mojo journalist Mat Snow was given the privilege of listening to the remastered version of The White Album and claimed that the new recordings were "better even than we'd hoped." It has been reported that Bob Dylan introduced The Beatles to cannabis in 1964, when the band were visiting New York. The next year, John Riley - an acquaintance of the band - introduced John Lennon and George Harrison to LSD. In 1967, The Beatles joined Graham Greene and R.D. Laing in signing an advert in The Times calling for the legalization of cannabis. In October, 1985, Michael Jackson finalised a deal in which he bought the Beatles' entire music catalogue for 47.5 million USD (106 million in 2013 USD). This was due to a contract McCartney and Lennon signed when the Beatles were founded, meaning that the rights to the songs did not belong to the song's creators. Between 2018 and 2026, the rights for each song will return to McCartney, as all song rights return to the creator after 56 years, due to a copyrights act from 1976.

Quincy Jones Confesses He Hates The Beatles' Music

By Holly Mosley in Music / Festivals on 08 February 2018

Quincy Jones Beatles

He really doesn't have much time for rock music.

It doesn't matter that they are considered one of the most influential rock bands in history, Quincy Jones has nothing good to say about The Beatles - particularly Ringo Starr. Though, in all honesty, he has few positive things to say about the rock genre in general.

Image caption Quincy Jones at the premiere of 'Sandy Wexler'

In a recent interview with Vulture, the 84-year-old multi-Grammy winning record producer opened up about everything from managing Michael Jackson to dating Ivanka Trump. But perhaps one of the most inflammatory comments he made was in records to John Lennon and Paul McCartney's legendary group The Beatles.

Continue reading: Quincy Jones Confesses He Hates The Beatles' Music

Sir Paul McCartney Backs Campaign To Stop Music Venues Closing

By Clive King in Music / Festivals on 10 January 2018

Sir Paul McCartney Beatles Chrissie Hynde Craig David Ray Davies Pink Floyd Nick Mason

Sir Paul McCartney has backed Labour MP John Spellar's campaign to stop iconic music venues from closing.

Sir Paul McCartney has backed a campaign to stop iconic music venues from closing.

The Beatles star has spoke out in support of Labour MP John Spellar's move to introduce a bill in the Commons that will change planning laws and protect music venues from closing.

He said: ''Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career could have been very different. If we don't support music at this level, then the future of music in general is in danger.''

Continue reading: Sir Paul McCartney Backs Campaign To Stop Music Venues Closing

Radiohead Star Philip Selway Plays Beatles With Ringo Starr

By Holly Mosley in Music / Festivals on 17 November 2017

Radiohead Philip Selway Beatles Ringo Starr

The pair united for 'With a Little Help From My Friends'.

Radiohead's Philip Selway and Ringo Starr has got to be one of the coolest live collaborations this year - and there have been quite a few. They performed a rendition of 'With a Little Help From My Friends' during Ringo's New York show earlier this week.

Image caption Ringo Starr celebrates his birthday

The drummer and the former Beatle united for a performance of the 1967 Beatles number from their 'Yellow Submarine' album on Wednesday night (November 15th 2017) at the Beacon Theatre in New York City as part of the Ringo Starr All Starr Band tour dates.

Continue reading: Radiohead Star Philip Selway Plays Beatles With Ringo Starr

'Eleanor Rigby' Music Sheet By The Beatles Up For Auction

By Holly Mosley in Music / Festivals on 21 August 2017

Beatles

The score is expected to fetch £20,000.

The original handwritten score that the Beatles wrote for 'Eleanor Rigby' is being put up for auction in Cheshire next month, signed by Sir Paul McCartney. It will be sold alongisde a number of other items related to the protagonist of the song - although coincidentally.

Image caption Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney at the premiere for 'Eight Days a Week'

The music sheet was written in pencil by the band's long time producer George Martin, with the lyrics by Paul McCartney who signed it. It's expected to fetch upwards of £20,000 ($26,000) at auction in Warrington in September.

Continue reading: 'Eleanor Rigby' Music Sheet By The Beatles Up For Auction

Selfridges Unveil New Beatles Merch For 'Sgt. Pepper' 50th Anniversary

By Holly Mosley in Music / Festivals on 19 July 2017

Beatles

Get hold of one of these t-shirts exclusively in UK stores.

Beatles fans of the UK will now be able to wear their band passion on their sleeves, literally, as Selfridges unveils a brand new T-shirt collection to celebrate 50 years of their 1967 album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' alongside the new re-release.

Image caption The Beatles merchandise on sale at Selfridges

From today (July 19th 2017), music fans can purchase exclusive 50th anniversary T-shirts, hoodies and jackets at Selfridges in London, Manchester and Birmingham as part of the store's Capsule Collection entitled '50 Years of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. The brand has been launched in partnership with Universal merch company Bravado.

Continue reading: Selfridges Unveil New Beatles Merch For 'Sgt. Pepper' 50th Anniversary

Paul McCartney Reaches Deal With Sony Over Beatles Songs Publishing Rights

By Ed Biggs in Music / Festivals on 30 June 2017

Sir Paul McCartney Beatles

McCartney looks to have emerged victorious in his +30 year battle to regain control of The Beatles' publishing rights.

After a long-running legal wrangle, Sir Paul McCartney and Sony have finally reached a deal regarding the ownership of publishing rights to The Beatles’ back catalogue, settling what had looked like a case that was going to shake the music industry to its foundations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The 75 year old star had gone to a U.S. court and sued Sony/ATV in an attempt to regain the publishing rights to 267 of the Fab Four’s classic tracks.

Image caption Paul McCartney and Sony have reached a deal over The Beatles' publishing rights

Continue reading: Paul McCartney Reaches Deal With Sony Over Beatles Songs Publishing Rights

The Beatles Expected To Top Charts With 'Sgt. Pepper' 50th Anniversary Album

By Holly Williams in Music / Festivals on 01 June 2017

Beatles

The album could soar to number for for the first time in 49 years.

The Beatles are expected to hit number one in the UK with their 50th anniversary release of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' as the official chart announcements prepare to be released this week. Being the best-selling album in the UK of all time, it has a good chance of making it to the top once again.

Image caption The Beatles to get to number one in the UK again?

The landmark album, which Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr took to the top of the charts in 1967, has returned as part of a special anniversary re-release featuring previously unheard material and brand new mixes and is available as a single or double CD, or even a 6 CD deluxe box set.

Continue reading: The Beatles Expected To Top Charts With 'Sgt. Pepper' 50th Anniversary Album

The Beatles Tease 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' 50th Anniversary Release

By David J. Lownds in Music / Festivals on 03 April 2017

Beatles

A brief video clip for The Beatles' seminal album anniversary unveiled on social media.

With all the recent coverage regarding another 1960s superstar, Bob Dylan, here at Contactmusic, it may have been easy to let him steal the spotlight from his most popular contemporaries from that era, The Beatles, who this year celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of their biggest albums.

Image caption Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney at The Beatles documentary premiere

However, something intriguing seems to be afoot. Today the celebrated pop/rock band published a video on their Facebook featuring coloured lines which recall old television sets. The video is backed by an excerpt from 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts' Club Band (Reprise)'.

Continue reading: The Beatles Tease 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' 50th Anniversary Release

The Beatles Helped Break Down Racial Segregation By Refusing To Perform

By Holly Williams in Music / Festivals on 16 September 2016

Beatles Ron Howard

The band made their world views well-known during their reign.

The world's most successful pop group The Beatles is re-visited in Ron Howard's comprehensive documentary 'The Beatles: Eight Days a Week', released today. They were a band that had a massive impact on the pop culture in the 60s, but also on the political views of the world, in particular - it has emerged - racial segregation.

Image caption The Beatles refused to play a segregated concert in Florida

There's no denying the effect the Beatles had on the music industry in the 60s, and indeed the impact they had on the cultural enjoyment of music. With that popularity came responsibility, and they used that put across their libertarian views as often as possible. The Beatles left a mark on the world with their social and political opinions, and even lent a hand to the breaking down of racial segregation in the American south.

Continue reading: The Beatles Helped Break Down Racial Segregation By Refusing To Perform

Ever Wondered How The Beatles Created The Strange Sound Of 'Tomorrow Never Knows'?

By Holly Williams in Music / Festivals on 15 September 2016

Beatles

Ringo and Paul explain in the new documentary 'The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years'.

It's been more than 50 years since The Beatles took the world by storm, and the phenomenon that was their day-to-day lives is to be explored in yet another exhaustive documentary called 'The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years', featuring fascinating archival footage and some new interviews.

Image caption Re-discover The Beatles in 'Eight Days A Week'

The surviving two members of this influential pop band, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, invited director Ron Howard into their past to talk about the insanity that was Beatlemania, their democracy as a group and just how they managed to create sounds that no-one ever heard before.

Continue reading: Ever Wondered How The Beatles Created The Strange Sound Of 'Tomorrow Never Knows'?

The Beatles - Adly Syairi Ramly, a self-proclaimed music and LEGO junkie, has transformed the toy brand's famous figures into some of the world's most iconic bands. Legendary acts such as the Beatles, Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Pearl Jam have been given a LEGO makeover and photographed using only an iPhone 5 with no added desktop editing. - Malaysia - Wednesday 19th March 2014

The Beatles and Corn Maze - Beatles Tribute in Midst of Richardson Adventure Farm's Corn Fields. The corn maze was created in the iconic image of the world's most famous band, The Beatles. The Spring Grove farm is unveiling its tribute to the Beatles first album release 50 years ago with its 28-acre corn maze etched with the images of Beatles Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr along with guitars, drums and an LP record and musical score - Spring Grove, IL, United States - Friday 2nd August 2013

Cynthia Lennon and Beatles Tuesday 16th June 2009 attends the opening of 'White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon' at the Liverpool Beatles Story at Pier Head Liverpool, England

Lina Axmacher, Beatles and Rolling Stones Tuesday 3rd March 2009 Opening of Not Fade Away Gallery and the premiere exhibition of 'The British Are Coming: The Beatles and The Rolling Stones 1964-66' New York City, USA

Billy Joel and Beatles Thursday 7th February 2008 Mets press conference for 'The Last Play at Shea, From the Beatles to Billy.' Billy Joel will play the last concert at Shea Stadium on the 16th of July 2008. Queens, New York