The Beatles: A Brief History
For the first ten seconds you are greeted with a serenading piano solo, followed by John’s soft, delicate voice reciting those classic lyrics, “When I find myself in times of trouble/Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom/ Let it be, Let it be.” “Let It Be,” a homage to the tails and tribulations they endured as a band urges listeners to forget about their problems and move forward. Before releasing their last few record albumsas a band, the four kids form Liverpool would go onto conquer Europe and then take America by storm throughout the 60s and 70s in what was known as “Beatlemania”.
Playing in small clubs in Liverpool and finally gaining notoriety with their release of “Love Me Do”, the Beatles emerged as the newest rock sensation from over the pond. From the opening seconds of the song “Love Me Do,” you feel the steady pace of the harmonica carrying you across the simple song consisting of the G7 and C chords, yet these two chords would go on to capture the hearts of millions of fans. It was around this time that the Beatles would replace Pete Best with Ringo Starr and solidify the final four members of the band who consisted of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.
After the release of “Love Me Do”, the Beatles would claim the top of the billboards in the United States for four week straight, capturing the hearts of millions of Americans. The success gained from the song would go on to launch the Beatles into stardom and help build a fan base that would go on to establish the Beatles as the most commercially successful rock bands of all time. However, their fame and fortune would soon take a turn for the worse.
During an interview with Maureen Cleave, John Lennon made a statement claiming “The Beatles were more popular than Jesus”, sparking outrage among Americans, especially among the Bible-Belt States. The comment would spark record burnings, creating huge losses for the band and a negative image. While the band survived, they were never perceived the same by many American and British fans.
After the release of Let it Be, the band witnessed controversy as Paul tried to stop the release of Lennon’s solo song “Instant Karma!” This attempted stoppage lead Paul to quit the band and eventually destroy one of the greatest rock bands of all time. However, after emerging from the band, each member would go on to have success in either solo careers, as Paul and John did, or in other bands, as Ringo and George did.
It seems fitting for the Beatles to release their final album titled Let It Be, regarding problems they wish to forget and move on from. While their success stems from much of the 1960s, the Beatles continue to serve as an iconic band whose music continues to resonate today. Even during their success, the band served as the image for the Counterculture movement hoping to end war and create peace. Still, even today, Beatles vinylrecords, and even Beatles’ digital music, continues to be played.
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