The Beatles

Top Albums

Abbey Road

Revolver

The Beatles (The White Album)

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Help!

The Beatles Biography

by Adam arthurNOV 23rd 2021

The Beatles, known for Hey Jude, were formed in Liverpool in 1963. Their best known line-up consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The early members were Pete Best, Stuart Sutcliffe, Chas Newby, Norman Chapman and Tommy Moore.

The Beatles released their first album, Please Please Me, on March 22th, 1963. The album peaked at number one on the UK albums chart. The album sold over 1,500,000 copies worldwide. They have released 13 studio albums between 1963 and 1970 and one compilation in 1988.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club was the album that singularly defined the Beatles. This album was released on May 26th, 1967, and is the eighth studio album by the Beatles. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band sold 32 million copies worldwide. In the UK, it spent 27 weeks at number one on the Record Retailer charts.

One of the most famous photos of the group

The Beatles have done over 13 tours between 1963 and 1966.
The Beatles have sold more than 600 million copies as of 2012, making them the best-selling band in history.

They have been nominated for major awards over 111 times and they have won 52, including 11 Grammy Awards. The Beatles also won the 1971 Academy Award for the Best Original Song for the movie Let It Be in 1970.

The Beatles have one of the most amazing occurrences that will probably never be seen again. Twelve songs in the Billboard Hot 100 were by the Beatles. The following week, two more songs made the charts: There’s A Place and Love Me Do, giving the Beatles 14 of the top 100 songs. They also took the top 2 spots in the album charts that week.
They had eleven albums in the Top 40 (Please Please Me, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles for Sale, Help, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles White Album, Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be.)

Please Please Me peaked at No. 1 and it charted for 70 weeks.
A Hard Day’s Night peaked at No. 1 and it charted for 38 weeks.
Beatles for Sale peaked at No. 1 and it charted for 46 weeks.
Help peaked at No.1 and it charted for 37 weeks.
Rubber Soul peaked at No.1 and it charted for 42 weeks.
Revolver peaked at No. 1 and it charted for 34 weeks.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band peaked at no.1 and it charted for 149 weeks.
The White Album peaked at No.1 and it charted for 22 weeks.
Yellow Submarine peaked at No.3 and it charted for 10 weeks.
Abbey Road peaked at No. 1 and it charted for 81 weeks.
Let It Be peaked at No.1 and it charted for 59 weeks.

Their latest studio release, as of 1970, was Let It Be and it sold 11.7 million copies in the United States.  The Beatles broke up shortly after the album was released.

The Beatles were formed around members John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who performed together for the first time in 1957, in Liverpool, England, becoming the lead singers of the band. John Lennon was also a peace activist.

Formation and Early Years

The Beatles are a rock band formed in Liverpool, United Kingdom in 1960. The group consisted of the quartet John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr from August 1962 until their breakup in 1970. They are considered one of the most influential bands in music history, both culturally and economically. Their records broke many sales records and had more than fifty songs on Billboard charts. The Beatles came to the United States in 1964 and popularized British music in America. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the band first among the most important and influential artists in rock music in the last fifty years.

John Lennon

John Lennon became interested in Rock and Roll in the 1950s, thanks to artists like Elvis Presley [and who else?]. Together with his friend Pete Shotton, Lennon founded a band called The Quarrymen in 1956. Later, Bill Smith joined the band. The members of the band changed frequently because they lacked talent or weren’t a good fit. On July 6, 1957 John Lennon met Paul McCartney at a party. Shortly after, he received an offer from Lennon to join the band, which he accepted. By 1958, young guitarist George Harrison joined and the group made a test recording in 1958.

German Days

The Quarrymen disbanded in September 1959. Harrison left to another band while McCartney and Lennon continued to play together. When they reunited in 1960, the trio took Lennon’s childhood friend, Stuart Sutcliffe with them. The band wanted to continue playing under the name The Sickness, however with Paul McCartney’s suggestion, the band took the name The Beatles, referring to the word “beat” for rhythm.

The Starring Lineup Takes Shape

Shortly after finalizing their name, the band added Pete Best on drums and they went to Germany. At first, Harrison was expelled (from the band? Or the country?) for lying about his age. Best and McCartney were deported due to a fire. (We need more info here) The band received an offer from singer Tony Sheridan and started playing with him. They entered the charts in Germany as Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers and began playing in Germany again. After the last German concert in Hamburg, Sutcliffe decided to stay in Germany and the quartet returned to England. This is how Paul McCartney became the bass guitarist.

America Days

In late 1963, all of the Beatles’ previous singles and new songs, She Loves You (what is She Loves You?), were released in the United States. However, on Epstein’s request (who is Epstein?), the promotional focus was on the song I Want to Hold Your Hand and its music video was widely shown all over the United States. Radios started playing this song and it managed to sell one million copies in ten days. The Beatles also began appearing on television shows in United States. The Beatles’ first live show was watched by approximately 74 million people in the United States. Their first Beatles movie, A Hard Day’s Night, was released in 1964. This comedy, starring the members of The Beatles, earned two Oscar nominations and the soundtrack was released on the album of the same name. The band did their second US tour in 1964. Each concert was attended by 10-20 thousand people, and the Beatles earned a over a million dollars in ticket sales (for each concert?)

The Beatles Album

When they returned to the United States, they started working on the The Beatles (The White Album). However, this album triggered infighting within the group. Ringo Starr did not record for four songs and Paul McCartney performed in his place. John Lennon, who had previously decided not to include girlfriends and wives in the band’s recordings, reversed this stance by bringing Yoko Ono to the recording sessions. Yoko Ono’s advice to the band increased tensions among the band members. Another conflict was that they did not give enough time to the compositions of George Harrison, who was now developing musically.
This two-disk album was met with as much enthusiasm and interest as their previous works. The difference between this album and their previous records was that each member of the band reflected their own distinct style in their own songs. Rolling Stone described the album as “4 solo albums under one roof”. After the album, the band stopped giving interviews together and did not appear on television.

Separation / the Break Up of the Beatles

There was a new managerial problem between the band members and Paul McCartney. McCartney wanted his then-wife’s father, Lee Eastman, (to be their manager?) while the other band members wanted Allen Klein. Klein was eventually chosen as manager, but in 1971 it was discovered that he had stolen money from the band. The band gave their last concert in 1969 on a rooftop without permission. The footage, which was downloaded by the police, was also used in the Let It Be movies.
On September 20, 1969, Lennon announced that he was leaving the band members, but made no statement to the press. On January 3, 1970, George Harrison’s composition I Me Mine was the last Beatles song recorded, but John Lennon was absent on those recordings. In the same year, the first name of the album was supposed to be Get Back buwas finally released as Let It Be. However, their continued success could not prevent the band from breaking up. On April 10, 1970, McCartney announced at a press conference that the band would break up.

After the Beatles / Post Beatles

In 1970, solo albums of all Beatles members were released. Three Beatles members, Starr, Harrison and Lennon, came together as part of Ringo Starr’s 1973 album Ringo. Other songs on the album also featured McCartney. After this album, rumors began that the Beatles would reunite.

John Lennon Murder

On the evening of December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed by a mentally ill fan in the entrance of his apartment across Central Park in New York. The other 3 living Beatles members reunited in the George Harrison song All Those Years Ago. The song was written in memory of Lennon.

In 1988 the band was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Although Starr, Harrison and Yoko Ono were there, Paul McCartney refused to go there due to problems. During 1995-1996, the Beatles’ secret recordings were released as Anthology 1,2,3. In 2001, George Harrison died of lung cancer. In 2007, McCartney, Starr, Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono, and Harrison’s wife Olivia Harrison met on television.

Discography

With the Beatles Beatles VI
Introducing The Beatles Help!
Meet the Beatles! Rubber Soul
Twist and Shout  Monday Yesterday and Today
The Beatles’ Second Album Revolver
The Beatles’ Long Tall Sally Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
A Hard Day’s Night Magical Mystery Tour
Something New The White Album
Beatles for Sale Yellow Submarine
Beatles ’65 Abbey Road
Let It Be
Full Discography

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Top Searches and Frequently Asked Questions

Based on the charts, Hey Jude is their most popular song by singles sales.  Their first #1 Hit was “I want to hold your hand” and their last was “The Long And Winding Road”  If you evaluate it based on radio plays, “Yesterday” have over 7,000,000 plays.  Based on YouTube view counts, though, the melodramatic “Don’t Let Me Down” has a staggering count of over 369,000,000.

The Beatles broke up on April 10th, 1970.  It’s widely believed that Yoko Ono was responsible for the breakup of the Beatles.  On a 2018 radio show interview with Howard Stern, Beatles front-liner Paul McCartney clearly implicated John Lennon as the person who caused the band to breakup.  “There was a meeting where John came in and said, Hey Guys… I’m leaving the group.”  But John Lennon said on the Dick Cavett show that “… the Beatles were drifting apart on their own.”  He also said that he didn’t think it was inevitable that the group would break up.  He said that he was evolving as an artist and that by age 30 he was looking to be different and to have evolved.

The Beatles were together for eight years, during which time they produced one of the greatest libraries of music in modern history.

The Beatles wrote the music and lyrics for 229 songs.

February 7th, 1964.  A few days later, the group made an appearance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ which was watched by an estimated 73,000,000 people.  Their first concert was on February 11th in Washington, DC.

Abbey Road

As of 2021, Sony owns the rights to the entire Beatles collection after they purchased 50% from the estate of Michael Jackson in 2016.  This brought the entire catalog under the umbrella of one company.