The Beatles were a group of British music originating from Liverpool. Composed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, the fact remains, despite the separation of its members in 1970, one of the rock bands the world's most popular. In twelve years of existence, and only seven-year career discography, the Beatles were released twelve albums, from 1963 to 1970, and composed more than 200 songs, or an average of one album every nine months, particularly remarkable productivity in the period 1963-1966, where, between incessant touring and participation in two feature films, they released seven albums, thirteen and twelve singles' maxis.
The songs of the Beatles have marked the 1960 and subsequent generations, and their songs have been adapted to many musical genres, including jazz, classical or salsa (Symphony) and baroque. In the twenty-first century, the group still enjoys great popularity, his songs are played and times throughout the world. The duo song-writing Lennon / McCartney remains famous as the creator of standards which have been the subject of thousands of adjustments in the following decades.
The Beatles remain the artists who have sold the largest number of discs in the world. This figure was previously estimated by EMI in 1980 to more than one billion CDs, and even vinyl 78 rpm (in India) sold across the planet, and it has continued to increase until today. In addition, a biographer Paul McCartney has been calculated at any time, in one interpretation of the song Yesterday (there are more than 3000 was played by a radio station somewhere in the world.
"Placed in the bow of the evolution of youth and popular culture of the 1960's, their style, their clothing, their speeches, their popularity worldwide, their social and political consciousness growing over time, extended the influence of the Beatles far beyond music, to the social and cultural revolutions of their time.
* John Lennon (John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool on October 9, 1940, became John Ono Lennon of his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969 and died in New York, December 8, 1980): a songwriter, rhythm guitar, singing, piano, keyboards, percussion, harmonica, bass () 1957 1970;
* Paul McCartney (James Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool on June 18, 1942, became Sir James Paul McCartney by knighting in 1997):-songwriter, bass, vocals, piano, keyboards, guitars, percussion, drums (occasionally) , a member of 1957 1970;
* George Harrison (born in Liverpool, on Feb. 25, 1943, and died in Los Angeles, November 29, 2001): a songwriter, solo guitar, singing, sitar, Indian instruments varied, percussion, keyboards, synthesizer, bass (l 'occasion) 1958 1970;
* Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey in Liverpool, July 7, 1940): drums, percussion, vocals, singer-songwriter (two titles), keyboards (with a few occasions) member from 1962 to 1970.
John Lennon summed up the group's debut: "It was once three little boys named John, George and Paul, their baptismal name. They decided to work together because they were one to put together. When they were together, they wondered what for, after all. Then he pushed them suddenly they formed guitars and noise. At first, this person was."
The "fifth Beatle"
A title of "fifth Beatle" was assigned at one time or another:
* Stuart Sutcliffe, for his role at the beginning of the group, particularly in Hamburg;
* Brian Epstein, discoverer, then manager of the Beatles;
* George Martin, the first head of a record company (Parlophone, a division of EMI) to believe in them, he produced nearly all of their albums and wrote most of the arrangements and instrumentation with the Beatles playing keyboards on the occasion. He continued to work with Paul in 1981;
* Neil Aspinall, "road manager" of the Beatles until 1963, followed by their personal, it was at the helm of the company Apple Corps for nearly 40 years before retiring in February 2007;
* Billy Preston, organist, who has been involved with the album Let It Be in January 1969;
* Jimmy Nicol, drummer, who replaced Ringo Starr, sick, for a dozen concerts during the Australian tour of the Beatles in June 1964;
* Klaus Voormann, artist and cartoonist Revolver and the cover of the box Anthology, a great friend of the Beatles.
For its active contribution to the music of the Beatles, of which he was producer from beginning to end of their career discography (including the album Let it Be, which was then "over" by Phil Spector), arranger and musician frequently Additional , which is that George Martin must return this token.
1957-1962: the beginnings
John Lennon is a Liverpool boy raised by his Aunt Mimi "- Mary Elizabeth whose real name. His father, Alfred "Freddie" Lennon, a sailor, was quickly abandoned his mother, Julia Stanley, and her child that she could not afford to keep one with it. Once he discovered Presley and rock 'n' roll, John wants to become a musician, obtains a guitar and is quick to mount his first group, The Quarrymen.
On July 6, 1957, in Woolton in the suburbs of Liverpool, John Lennon, who was then 16 years old, and his skiffle group gave a concert for the feast of the parish church of St. Peter. At the end of the concert, Ivan Vaughan, a mutual friend introduced Paul McCartney to John Lennon. Paul then takes a guitar and plays Twenty Flight Rock Eddie Cochran before a John éméché a bit but nonetheless very impressed. A few days later, Pete Shotton, another member of the Quarrymen Paul offers to join the group. The latter, who was only 15 years old, agrees.
In February 1958, at the insistence of Paul, and despite the reluctance of John, who find it too young, George Harrison joined the group as a solo guitarist. On three - guitarists and singers - in a training variable geometry to be called alternately The Rainbows and Johnny and the Moondogs, with or without a drummer, they play in clubs from Liverpool, as the Jaracanda, a coffee shop run by Alan Williams who serves as a beginning for the group. They also occur in Casbah, headed by Mona Best, the mother of their future drummer Pete Best. Other doors open then, including the Cavern Club Jazz, while the rock 'n' roll and the Mersey Beat, the styles of groups from Liverpool, became popular in the city.
Autodidactes, influenced by the rock 'n' roll (Elvis Presley to start, but Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Gene Vincent and many others) and the black American blues, they play rock songs of the moment " to the ear ", without partitions. But from the outset, too, John Lennon and Paul McCartney and agree to join together to write songs, tens, refining their technique as. Some of them emerge on the Beatles albums years later. They also share a tragedy brings them together: Paul McCartney lost his mother Mary, terraced with breast cancer in 1956, while John's mother, Julia, died crushed by a car driven by a drunken police officer in 1958.
Future "Fab Four" are using different variations of their name (Beetles, Silver Beetles, Long John and the Silver Beatles, Silver Beats) before settling on the word "Beatles-bag" in the year 1960. It is in fact a reference to the group accompanying Buddy Holly, The Crickets, and the film The Wild Equipped with Marlon Brando, which referred to a gang called "Beetles" (beetles). It also refers to the rhythm (beat) of rock 'n' roll (called beat music). The four definitively adopt this name (attributed to John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe) in August 1960, when they first began serious commitment, as they found Alan Williams in Hamburg, where they will meet Klaus Voormann and Astrid Kirchherr.
Five days before leaving for Germany, August 17, 1960, they auditioned and hired as drummer Pete Best, while Stuart Sutcliffe is their bass player since the beginning of the year. But this year, buddy John Lennon, who was able to join the group simply because he had enough money (artist in the making, he sold one of his paintings) to buy an instrument, no one knows not in play. It occurs back to the audience so that it will not be. Or simply plays his instrument without being plugged into an amp . Sutcliffe falls in love with Astrid Kirchherr (who took the first photos of the group, famous photographs ) and decided to remain in Hamburg in 1961 when his comrades returned to England.
Paul McCartney, previously guitarist in the same way as John Lennon and George Harrison, becoming at that time bassist of the group. Sutcliffe died at age 21 on April 10, 1962 of a stroke, three days before the Beatles would again raise the foot on German soil for a new seven-week commitment to Star Club.
The Beatles are a total of five visits to Hamburg (from August to November 1960, from March to July 1961, from April to May 1962, and then in November and December 1962, the first of which is interrupted by returning to England to George Harrison because he is still a minor. To satisfy the public of clubs in the Hanseatic city, the Beatles are expanding their repertoire, give concerts physically demanding, and resorted to amphetamines to stay awake. Young people are also housed in difficult conditions, almost unhealthy.
Other groups liverpuldiens occur in Hamburg, as Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, whose name is drummer Ringo Starr. The Beatles envy his notoriety and appreciate his company. The two groups shared the view at the Kaiserkeller for over a month in October and November 1960, and Ringo has occasionally played with them.
It is also in Hamburg they left behind their first recording contract, at Polydor, and as qu'accompagnateurs singer and guitarist Tony Sheridan. The 45 tours My Bonnie by Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers was published in October 1961.
"I grew up in Hamburg, not in Liverpool later," says John Lennon. Referring to the period of infancy, it also tell: "When the Beatles depressed and said," We never gets anywhere, we play for merdiques stamps, it is in merdiques seats, "I said," Where we are going, mates? "And them," At the very top, Johnny! "And me" Where is it? , "And they" At the top of most pop"(To the toppermost of the poppermost) And I" Correct! "And you feel better."
The decisive Brian Epstein
Upon their return from Germany, the Beatles have gained the maturity that they lacked technically first, then on stage. After their first two trips trainers in Hamburg, November 9, 1961, Brian Epstein comes to see the Beatles at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, coffee underground where they occur almost 300 times until August 3, 1963. Records at the outset, Epstein has never directed music training before, but knows some of the by-products that lead to the popularity of an artist. It will be their mentor and propel the rank of professional musicians. It will make them adopt a new dress and abandon leather clothing.
The Beatles will now play in full jacket, as professionals, with their characteristic haircut. Initiated by Astrid Kirchherr for some, by John Lennon and Paul McCartney at the end of a short visit to Paris in September 1961, for others, "the Beatles' cut was already the one Moe in the Three Stooges. Brian Epstein also made the rounds of the major labels to make them sign a recording contract.
Epstein multiplies unsuccessful attempts with major record companies. Failure Decca remain famous. The Beatles were interviewed on 1 January 1962 by recording 15 tracks in one hour. Dick Rowe, artistic director (A & R) for Decca, will be dubbed in the "The man who turned down the Beatles" (the man who said no to the Beatles) for the young manager said "Go home in Liverpool, Mr. Epstein, groups guitars will soon disappear."
The intuition of George Martin
Finally, only George Martin, then producer at Parlophone, a division of EMI, is showing an interest. In early May, Brian Epstein made him listen to the tapes Decca, rendezvous is set for a hearing in the studios of EMI Abbey Road, June 6, 1962:
Four days after being incomes Hamburg where they honoured a commitment to the Star Club, 3rd stay in the German city, the Beatles arrive at the studios of Abbey Road. George Harrison describes this first hearing:
"The other members of the group almost killed me when George Martin has recorded for the first time. By replaying the tape, we asked: "Is there something that you do not like? "I looked at him and I said," To begin with, I do not like your tie, "and the other:" Oh no! We tried to get a contract here! But George also had a sense of humour. "
"It broke the ice! , "Says on the side of the technical staff of EMI studios.
George Martin had an intuition. It detects the potential of the Beatles and decides to "sign", but he does not like much of the style Pete Best and suggested that it should be replaced for the first real recording sessions. The group does not pray and separated in August 1962 and replaced by Ringo Starr, with whom affinities are much greater. A brutal eviction, which they did not even have their own Pete Best - Brian Epstein to deal with it. The training will remain in this composition, with George Martin to throttle until his separation.
They keep a record of 4 and 11 September of that year their first single, Love Me Do. It should be noted that for the version of Love Me Do, which is present on the album Please Please Me and the batter is Andy White, studio musician, while single published on October 5, 1962, which Ringo Starr holds the battery; George Martin did not want to take any risks with a different drummer he considered mediocre. However, Ringo Starr - who never forgot this "humiliation" - plays the tambourine on the version of the album, and the first title published by EMI will be virtually the only where it is not him that means "behind the drums."
At the instigation of Brian Epstein who has used its experience of record, the Beatles will now switch outputs isolated discs ( "45 rounds" or "singles") that are not on the albums and albums which are extracted Launched singles later, sending the idea of buying an album of the Beatles is a "value" where there are already "success than others did discover that tomorrow."
Pete Best, his bitter ouster of the Beatles, released his own album, Best of the Beatles (the comma is important), whose cover is a picture where he is a drummer in the group and surrounded by others, but it remains anecdotal. The quirks of the Beatles the most desirable in that time have been their first recordings with Tony Sheridan, the famous Decca "bands" of January 1962 (which we finally hear part three decades later on the disc Anthology 1) their songs, which they interpret in German and where they are content to re-register their voice on the tapes instrumental existing (finally published on the hard Past Masters, Vol. 1 in 1988), and songs sorties in 78 rounds in India.
On October 5, 1962 fate Love Me Do, which is only the 17th largest British charts. This is not yet the "Beatlemania."
Their second 45 laps, Please Please Me, whose lyrics are ambiguous for the time ( "You do not need me to show the way," girl, which is translated as "little you do not need that I show you the way, girl ") is propelled to the forefront. The Beatles get the opportunity to record an album, what they will do in 585 minutes (or 9 hours and 45 minutes) on February 11, 1963. Heading Please Please Me and released March 22, 1963, this album is also the head of the hit parade, where he remained for seven months.
Part Liverpool - where they continue until August 1963 to ignite the Cavern Club - the popularity of the Beatles is spreading across the United Kingdom that they tirelessly criss-cross, with four rounds this year. The success follows: From Me to You in April, then She Loves You are ordered in August No. 1 hit parade. She Loves You and his famous "Yeah Yeah Yeah! 'Makes the Beatles famous throughout Europe. Their passage, Oct. 13, 1963 in the popular television show in London Sunday Night at the Palladium marks the beginning of the phenomenon of the British press christened the "beatlemania." Music Stores raided, widespread fervor, girls in trances… The group will align twelve successive No. 1 in the British charts from 1963 to 1966 , to the publication in February 1967 of the double-sided single "A" Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane, only No. 2 (but first in the United States).
On November 4, 1963, the four musicians from Liverpool occur before the royal family at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London for the Royal Command Performance, where John Lennon, irreverent, before embarking on the interpretation of Twist and Shout said publicly: "On the next number, would those in the cheaper seats clap your hands? All the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewelry! For our next title, is what people installed in the cheapest seats can type in their hands? And everyone else, shake your jewellery"
In 1963, John Lennon and Paul McCartney write anywhere, at any time. On the bus, which drives a concert venue to the next, in their hotel rooms in a corner backstage before going on stage; in a hurry before recording, both once , as many titles that will mark their history and that of rock music.
Leading the hit-parades, Please Please Me was replaced in the top spot by the group's second album, With the Beatles, published on November 22, 1963. Both discs are exported to the United States respectively under the names "Meet the Beatles and The Beatles' Second Album, which previously undergone various treatments, such as shortening the list of songs, changing the order of tracks, or well that the sound (echo, stereo, etc..).
As a first step, record US display their contempt for what they think is a passing phenomenon. Their fifth 45 laps, I Want to Hold Your Hand, is their first No. 1 on the American market and remains there from February 1 to March 14, 1964. It will be dethroned by She Loves You from 21 to 28 March, followed by Can not Buy Me Love 4 April to 2 May. The classification of Billboard Hot 100 of 31 March 1964 in the United States showed five titles in the Beatles first five places: "beatlemania" which began in the United Kingdom is spreading to the other side of the Atlantic, and worldwide.
The main musical influence of the Beatles in their infancy appears to be Elvis Presley. Other artists of rock 'n' roll, especially Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, the whole blues and rock black American, and the first British rockers, including Cliff Richard and the Shadows, also marked the beginning group . From the viewpoint of vocal harmonies, the Everly Brothers and Motown artists who inspired the "Fab Four". The poetry of Bob Dylan, research melodic by the Beach Boys, Welsh folk music, the great classical composers, or Indian music are all influences that have contributed to the development of music of the Beatles. In turn, the Beatles became a touchstone in the world of Western popular music. By showing the way to begin with, the mere fact of being the interpreters of their own songs, and to continue imposing the "two guitars, bass and drums"…
The Beatles were tested at almost every style possible and have opened doors that others have crossed then:
# Of rock 'n' roll with Back in the U.S.S.R. (A parody of California Girls by the Beach Boys);
# Hard rock with Helter Skelter;
# Psychedelic music with Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (which, says John, does not refer to LSD but to a drawing of his son Julian, it was thought that this song anthropologist named Yves Coppens when prehistoric skeleton Lucy…), but especially with the unprecedented What's the New Mary Jane, published posthumously as "" in the Anthology album, which goes even further in research sound;
# Of pure pop with British Penny Lane, but who still uses the trumpets of Bach;
# Still with the classic Blackbird once again inspired by Bach;
# Orchestras and sophisticated musical arrangements with A Day in the Life;
# Rhymes with Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, or All Together Now Yellow Submarine;
# Of the soul with Do not Let Me Down;
# With the Cuban bolero And I Love Her;
# Bastringue music with jazz tends When I'm Sixty Four;
# Of ragtime with Martha My Dear;
# Pure blues with Yer Blues;
# Country with the Act Naturally and What Goes On
# Blues rock with Revolution;
# Jazz with Honey Pie;
# Traditional folk ballads (and vaguely country) with Rocky Raccoon;
# Arrangements with "classic" Eleanor Rigby (string sextet), She's Leaving Home, Yesterday, or the solo piano In My Life, accelerated in the mix giving the appearance of harpsichord (and recalling quite clearly Bach again) All these arrangements where transpires classical culture by George Martin;
# Sound collages (with the influence of Yoko Ono on the group, though Paul had already tried to collages long before the appearance of Yoko Ono in Lennon's life) with Revolution 9;
# Experimental music based on Indian music with Tomorrow Never Knows (which also contains the opinions according to the first rhythm of techno music history).