All About The Beatles

The Beatles were a band that created, perfected, and polished the sound of popular music. From soft love ballads to heavy rockers, The Beatles' music was sold in truckloads to fans of all musical tastes, and is still selling today.

From their humble beginnings in the slums of Liverpool, England came the band and sound that would revolutionize every aspect of music and pop culture for generations to come.

The Beatles story begins with John Winston Lennon, a rebellious young boy whose father left him and mother could not support him. During this time a new craze was sweeping through England: skiffle groups. The concept behind this was a couple of kids getting together, using cheap guitars and maybe a tin can for a drum set, trying to sound out their favorite songs. With his group the Quarry Men, named after the school he went to, John met future band members Paul McCartney and George Harrison. There were easily 15 or more temporary members of the group between 1957 and 1961, but the core of the group lay in these three, plus bassist Stuart Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best. After forming their sound and style playing the 'Cavern' Club in Liverpool a total of 292 times, along with spending two grueling months in Hamburg, their growing fan base gave them their first taste of the insanity that would come.

Hamburg 1961
Cavern Club
with Pete Best 1961

On November 9, 1961, Brian Epstein went to the Cavern Club during the lunch session to see the band that was growing in local popularity. He was impressed by their sound, beat, onstage humor, and personal charm. On December 10, the Beatles agreed to let Brian be their manager. A five year contract was signed January 24, 1962. Brian proceeded to change their look from their black leather, smoking, swearing tough kids image to the matching suits, no-smoking/swearing on stage, and synchronized bow at the end of each song, "clean" image. This shrewd advice, though reluctantly accepted at first, opened doors to popular British and American television shows of the time.

In June 1962, after being rejected by every major record label, Brian convinced George Martin, head of one of EMI's smallest labels, Parlophone, to sign the Beatles. In August, Pete Best was fired and Ringo Starr joined the band as drummer. Also in August, John Lennon married Cynthia Powell whom he had met while attending the 'Liverpool College of Art'. On September 11, the Beatles entered Abby Road Studios to record "Love Me Do", and having a minor hit with the song the Beatles went on a concert tour of Scotland in January of 1963, and England in February. Also in February their second single "Please Please Me" was released, and on March 22, their first album, "Please Please Me" was released in England, on Parlophone Records. It shot directly to #1 and stayed there for 30 weeks. Beatlemania had begun, and the effect was incredible. With their next albums "With the Beatles" (21 weeks), "A Hard Day's Night" (21 weeks), "Beatles For Sale" (10 weeks), and "HELP!" (9 weeks), they took over the entire world seemingly overnight, breaking sales records and chart time records that they themselves set. These fresh tracks and classic covers gave the Beatles the biggest fan base the world had seen and a larger pop culture movement since Elvis shook his hips.

Ed Sullivan Show
Feb. 9, 1964

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Beatles are the best selling group of all time (est. 1 billion discs and tapes to date), with the most #1 albums (19), best selling album on the UK charts (Sgt. Pepper, 4.5 million), most simultaneous albums on the US charts (7), greatest advance sales for a single (Can't Buy Me Love, 2.7 million), fastest selling album ("1" - 13.5 million in the first week), most consecutive #1 singles (11 in a row), and most #1 singles on the US charts (20). These are mind boggling figures which are difficult for anyone to hold in their mind. Just consider this: according to EMI, there is approximately 1 Beatles album for every 6-7 people on the face of the earth.

It all changed with "Rubber Soul". Their songs became more soulful, psychedelic, trippier. The Beatles decided to trade in the collarless evening jackets for flowered robes and the twangy guitars for sitars. It is not their best album, but it was possibly the greatest turning point in music ever. The Beatles embraced the "flower power generation". Things in this album were racier, less obvious, and covering a wider variety of topics. Norwegian Wood, Michelle, and In My Life are still radio staples. Directly following this came "Revolver", an album considered to be one of the finest ever recorded.

Now comes "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". The central theme being a band on tour, who could take the place of the Beatles. The name was the result of the new idea of giving a band a long, wacky name (ex. Quicksilver Messenger Service or Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention). So what would be a good acid-band name? What else: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band! It has topped all the lists, including Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. "Pepper" can only be truly understood if listened to. The energy, influence, and prophetic tones in this album are impossible to describe. To say the least, music was never, ever the same again.

Sgt. Pepper's
Magical Mystery Tour

Perhaps because of the frenzy that followed "Sgt. Pepper's", "Magical Mystery Tour" was overshadowed and largely forgotten. However, it is still a great disc with classic tracks and deserves high recognition. It did not do well in sales.

Somewhere in all of this, two important and devastating events occurred. First, Brian Epstein, the legendary Beatles manager, died of an accidental sleeping pill overdose. Second, John's meeting and close relationship with Yoko Ono creates a rift between him and the others. Through controversy over group leadership and many failing projects, and above all, the gas tank on the Beatles energy running dangerously low, breakup seemed inevitable.

September 13, 1968

Yet through this, they made three of their most emotionally touching albums, The "White Album", "Let it Be", and "Abbey Road". Remarkably, their talents for songwriting seem to be unaffected by their tensions and mental wear. In fact, they were just as pioneering and innovative as ever. These three albums are among their best and display their talents away from the psychedelic music scene and focusing more on more rock 'n' roll and piano based music. Also, some of their music gained a new heaviness to it.

Finally, after staring into the eyes of the monster they knew as fame, the Beatles broke up. Paul McCartney announced the official breakup of the Beatles on April 9, 1970. It is easy to understand, though difficult to accept. Just watch footage of the concert at Shea Stadium, with its 56,000 screaming, crying fans. Or their first landing in America, with the mobs of frenzied teenagers, coming just to see the fab four leave their plane. Look at photos of the crowds joining for comfort after John Lennon's murder. Or, most simply, listen to a Beatles album. No one can truly grasp what a huge impact the Beatles had on everyday life, or the way they touched the souls of their fans.

John & Paul 1968
Rooftop Concert 1969

On "Abbey Road", the last album they recorded together, there is a song called The End. It seems to mark the last will of the group. And, in such a Beatle-type prankster way, the resounding message to the world is, in the last lyric to the song:
"And in the end
the love you take
is equal to the love you make"

Band Members:
John Lennon - (1960–1969) guitar, keyboards, harmonica, vocals
Paul McCartney - (1960–1970) bass guitar, guitar, keyboards, drums, vocals
George Harrison - (1960–1970) guitar, sitar, vocals
Ringo Starr - (1962–1970) drums, percussion, vocals

Pete Best - (1960–1962) drums, vocals
Stuart Sutcliffe - (1960–1961) bass guitar, vocals
Chas Newby - (1960–1961) bass guitar
Norman Chapman - (1960) – drums
Tommy Moore - (1960) – drums
SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY - Career Albums - lable - (Release Date)

1. Please Please Me
Parlophone Records (March 22, 1963)

1. I Saw Her Standing There
2. Misery
3. Anna (Go To Him)
4. Chains
5. Boys
6. Ask Me Why
7. Please Please Me
8. Love Me Do
9. P.S. I Love You
10. Baby It's You
11. Do You Want To Know A Secret
12. A Taste Of Honey
13. There's A Place
14. Twist And Shout

2. Introducing The Beatles
Vee-Jay (July 22, 1963)

1. I Saw Her Standing There
2. Misery
3. Anna (Go To Him)
4. Chains
5. Boys
6. Love Me Do
7. P.S. I Love You
8. Baby It's You
9. Do You Want To Know A Secret
10. A Taste Of Honey
11. There's A Place
12. Twist And Shout

3. With the Beatles!
Parlophone Records (November 22, 1963)

1. It Won't Be Long
2. All I've Got To Do
3. All My Loving
4. Don't Bother Me
5. Little Child
6. Till There Was You
7. Please Mr. Postman
8. Roll Over Beethoven
9. Hold Me Tight
10. You Really Got A Hold On Me
11. I Wanna Be Your Man
12. Devil In Her Heart
13. Not A Second Time
14. Money

4. Meet the Beatles!
Capitol (January 20, 1964)

1. I Want To Hold Your Hand
2. I Saw Her Standing There
3. This Boy
4. It Won't Be Long
5. All I've Got To Do
6. All My Loving
7. Don't Bother Me
8. Little Child
9. Till There Was You
10. Hold Me Tight
11. I Wanna Be Your Man
12. Not A Second Time

5. The Beatles' Second Album
Capitol (April 10, 1964)

1. Roll Over Beethoven
2. Thank You Girl
3. You Really Got A Hold On Me
4. Devil In Her Heart
5. Money (That's What I Want)
6. You Can't Do That
7. Long Tall Sally
8. I Call Your Name
9. Please Mr. Postman
10. I'll Get You
11. She Loves You

6. A Hard Day's Night
Parlophone Records (July 10, 1964)

1. A Hard Day's Night
2. I Should Have Known Better
3. If I Fell
4. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
5. And I Love Her
6. Tell Me Why
7. Can't Buy Me Love
8. Any Time At All
9. I'll Cry Instead
10. Things We Said Today
11. When I Get Home
12. You Can't Do That
13. I'll Be Back
Note 1: First album of all original Lennon/McCartney songs.
Note 2: Nominated for 1964 Grammy for Best Original Score Written For a Motion Picture or TV Show.
7. A Hard Day's Night (Soundtrack)
United Artists (June 13, 1964)

1. A Hard Day's Night
2. Tell Me Why
3. I'll Cry Instead
4. (I Should Have Known Better)*
5. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
6. (And I Love Her)*
7. I Should Have Known Better
8. If I Fell
9. And I Love Her
10. (Ringo's Theme - This Boy)*
11. Can't Buy Me Love
12. (A Hard Day's Night)*
* (George Martin Orchestra - instrumental)
8. Something New
Capitol (July 20, 1964)

1. I'll Cry Instead
2. Things We Said Today
3. Any Time At All
4. When I Get Home
5. Slow Down
6. Matchbox
7. Tell Me Why
8. And I Love Her
9. I'm Happy Just To Dance With You
10. If I Fell
11. Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand

9. The Beatles' Story
Capitol (November 23, 1964

Side A:
1. 'On Stage With The Beatles'
2. 'How Beatlemania Began'
3. 'Beatlemania In Action'
4. 'Man Behind The Beatles - Brian Epstein'
5. 'John Lennon' with extracts from the following songs:
- I Want To Hold Your Hand / Slow Down / This Boy

Side B:
1. 'Who's A Millionaire?'
2. 'Beatles Will Be Beatles'
3. 'Man Behind The Music - George Harrison'
4. 'George Harrison' with extracts from the following songs:
- You Can't Do That / If I Fell / And I Love Her

Side C:
1. 'A Hard Day's Night - Their First Movie'
2. 'Paul McCartney'
3. 'Sneaky Haircuts And More About Paul'
4. 'The Beatles Look At Life' with extracts from the following songs:
- A Hard Day's Night / And I Love Her

Side D: 'Victims Of Beatlemania'
1. 'Beatle Medley', 'Ringo Starr'
2. 'Liverpool And All The World' with extracts from the following songs:
- Twist And Shout (Live!) / Things We Said Today / I'm Happy Just To Dance With You / Little Child / Long Tall Sally / She Loves You / Boys

10. Beatles For Sale
Parlophone Records (December 4, 1964)

1. No Reply
2. I'm A Loser
3. Baby's In Black
4. Rock And Roll Music
5. I'll Follow The Sun
6. Mr. Moonlight
7. Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey
8. Eight Days A Week
9. Words Of Love
10. Honey Don't
11. Every Little Thing
12. I Don't Want To Spoil The Party
13. What You're Doing
14. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby

11. Beatles '65
Capitol (December 15, 1964)

1. No Reply
2. I'm A Loser
3. Baby's In Black
4. Rock And Roll Music
5. I'll Follow The Sun
6. Mr. Moonlight
7. Honey Don't
8. I'll Be Back
9. She's A Woman
10. I Feel Fine
11. Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby

12. The Early Beatles
Capitol (March 22, 1965)

1. Love Me Do
2. Twist And Shout
3. Anna (Go To Him)
4. Chains
5. Boys
6. Ask Me Why
7. Please Please Me
8. P.S. I Love You
9. Baby It's You
10. A Taste Of Honey
11. Do You Want To Know A Secret

13. Beatles VI
Capitol (June 14, 1965)

1. Kansas City - Hey Hey Hey Hey
2. Eight Days A Week
3. You Like Me Too Much
4. Bad Boy
5. I Don't Want To Spoil The Party
6. Words Of Love
7. What You're Doing
8. Yes It Is
9. Dizzy Miss Lizzy
10. Tell Me What You See
11. Every Little Thing

14. Help!
Parlophone (August 6, 1965)

1. Help!
2. The Night Before
3. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
4. I Need You
5. Another Girl
6. You're Going To Lose That Girl
7. Ticket To Ride
8. Act Naturally
9. It's Only Love
10. You Like Me Too Much
11. Tell Me What You See
12. I've Just Seen A Face
13. Yesterday
14. Dizzy Miss Lizzy

15. Help! (Soundtrack)
Capitol (August 13, 1965)

1. (The James Bond Theme)*
2. Help !
3. The Night Before
4. (From Me To You Fantasy)*
5. You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
6. I Need You
7. (In The Tyrol)*
8. Another Girl
9. (Another Hard Day's Night)*
10. Ticket To Ride
11. (The Bitter End/You Can't Do That)*
12. You're Going To Lose That Girl
13. (The Chase)*
* (George Martin Orchestra - instrumental)
16. Rubber Soul
Parlophone Records (December 3, 1965)

1. Drive My Car
2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
3. You Won't See Me
4. Nowhere Man
5. Think For Yourself
6. The Word
7. Michelle
8. What Goes On
9. Girl
10. I'm Looking Through You
11. In My Life
12. Wait
13. If I Needed Someone
14. Run For Your Life

17. Rubber Soul
Capitol (December 6, 1965)

1. I've Just Seen A Face
2. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
3. You Won't See Me
4. Think For Yourself
5. The Word
6. Michelle
7. It's Only Love
8. Girl
9. I'm Looking Through You
10. In My Life
11. Wait
12. Run For Your Life

18. Yesterday and Today
Capitol - (June 15, 1966 - "Butcher" Cover / June 20, 1966 - "Trunk" Cover)

1. Drive My Car
2. I'm Only Sleeping
3. Nowhere Man
4. Dr. Robert
5. Yesterday
6. Act Naturally
7. And Your Bird Can Sing
8. If I Needed Someone
9. We Can Work It Out
10. What Goes On
11. Day Tripper

19. Revolver
Parlophone Records (August 5, 1966)

1. Taxman
2. Eleanor Rigby
3. I'm Only Sleeping
4. Love You To
5. Here, There, And Everywhere
6. Yellow Submarine
7. She Said, She Said
8. Good Day Sunshine
9. And Your Bird Can Sing
10. For No One
11. Doctor Robert
12. I Want To Tell You
13. Got To Get You Into My Life
14. Tomorrow Never Knows

20. Revolver
Capitol (August 8, 1966)

1. Taxman
2. Eleanor Rigby
3. Love You To
4. Here There And Everywhere
5. Yellow Submarine
6. She Said She Said
7. Good Day Sunshine
8. For No One
9. I Want To Tell You
10. Got To Get You Into My Life
11. Tomorrow Never Knows

21. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Parlophone Records (June 1, 1967), Capitol (June 2, 1967)

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
2. With A Little Help From My Friends
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4. Getting Better
5. Fixing A Hole
6. She's Leaving Home
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
8. Within You Without You
9. When I'm Sixty-Four
10. Lovely Rita
11. Good Morning Good Morning
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts... (Reprise)
13. A Day In The Life
Note 1: The same track listings appear on both U.K. and U.S. albums from this point on.
Note 2: Album won Grammys for Album Of The Year, Best Contemporary Album, Best Album Cover, and Best Engineered (Non-Classical) Recording.

22. Magical Mystery Tour
Parlophone Records (November 27, 1967) Capitol (November 27, 1967)

1. Magical Mystery Tour
2. The Fool On The Hill
3. Flying
4. Blue Jay Way
5. Your Mother Should Know
6. I Am The Walrus
7. Hello Goodbye
8. Strawberry Fields Forever
9. Penny Lane
10. Baby You're A Rich Man
11. All You Need Is Love

23. The Beatles ("White Album")
Apple Records (November 22, 1968),
Capitol (November 25, 1968)

Side A:
1. Back In The USSR
2. Dear Prudence
3. Glass Onion
4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
5. Wild Honey Pie
6. The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
8. Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Side B:
9. Martha My Dear
10. I'm So Tired
11. Blackbird
12. Piggies
13. Rocky Raccoon
14. Don't Pass Me By
15. Why Don't We Do It In The Road?
16. I Will
17. Julia

Side C:
18. Birthday
19. Yer Blues
20. Mother Nature's Son
21. Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
22. Sexy Sadie
23. Helter Skelter
24. Long, Long, Long

Side D:
25. Revolution 1
26. Honey Pie
27. Savoy Truffle
28. Cry Baby Cry
29. Revolution 9
30. Good Night

24. Yellow Submarine
Apple Records (January 17, 1969)

Side A:
1. Yellow Submarine
2. Only A Northern Song
3. All Together Now
4. Hey Bulldog
5. It's All Too Much
6. All You Need Is Love
Side B:
7. Pepperland*
8. Sea Of Time*
9. Sea Of Holes*
10. Sea Of Monsters*
11. March Of The Meanies*
12. Pepperland Laid Waste*
13. Yellow Submarine In Pepperland*
Note 1: *Side B - All instrumentals by The George Martin Orchestra
Note 2: Album was nominated for the 1969 Grammy for Best Original Score Written For a Motion Picture or TV Special.
25. Abbey Road
Apple Records (September 26, 1969)

1. Come Together
2. Something
3. Maxwell's Silver Hammer
4. Oh! Darling
5. Octopus's Garden
6. I Want You (She's So Heavy)
7. Here Comes The Sun
8. Because
9. You Never Give Me Your Money
10. Sun King
11. Mean Mr. Mustard
12. Polythene Pam
13. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
14. Golden Slumbers
15. Carry That Weight
16. The End
17. Her Majesty
Note 1: Album won 1969 Grammy for Best Engineered (Non-Classical) Recording.
Note 2: Nominated for Album Of The Year and Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Group.
26. Hey Jude
Apple Records (February 23, 1970)

1. Can't Buy Me Love
2. I Should Have Known Better
3. Paperback Writer
4. Rain
5. Lady Madonna
6. Revolution
7. Hey Jude
8. Old Brown Shoe
9. Don't Let Me Down
10. The Ballad Of John And Yoko

27. Let It Be
Apple Records (May 18, 1970)

1. Two Of Us
2. Dig A Pony
3. Across The Universe
4. I Me Mine
5. Dig It
6. Let It Be
7. Maggie Mae
8. I've Got A Feeling
9. One After 909
10. The Long And Winding Road
11. For You Blue
12. Get Back
Note 1: 'Let It Be' was nominated for the 1970 Grammy for Record Of The Year.
Note 2: Won - 1970 Grammy for Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or TV Special.
Note 3: Recorded in January 1969; before 'Abbey Road'. But not released until 1970.
Greatest Beatles Songs
  1. Hey Jude
  2. She Loves You
  3. A Day In the Life
  4. Let It Be
  5. I Want To Hold Your Hand
  6. Yesterday
  7. Twist and Shout
  8. I Saw Her Standing There
  9. Strawberry Fields Forever
10. Revolution
Top 100 Beatles Songs List
Beatles Filmography:
• A Hard Day's Night (1964)
• Help! (1965)
• Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
• Yellow Submarine (1968)
• Let It Be (1970)
Placement On DigitalDreamDoor Lists (as of 2015):
Greatest Rock Artists - # 1
Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Artists of the 60s - # 1
Greatest Rock Songwriters - # 1 (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
Most Influential Rock 'n' Roll Artists - # 2
Greatest Lyricists Of Rock N' Roll - # 4 (John Lennon), #12 (Paul McCartney), #49 (George Harrison)
Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists - # 8 (Paul McCartney)
Greatest Rock Pianists - # 18 (Paul McCartney)
Greatest 'Male' Rock Vocalists - # 33 (Paul McCartney)
Greatest Rock Drummers - # 47 (Ringo Starr)
Greatest Rock Guitarists - # 57 (George Harrison)
Greatest Rock Albums -
     # 1 (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)
     # 5 (Revolver)
     # 10 (Rubber Soul)
     # 19 (Abbey Road)
     # 26 (The White Album)
     # 71 (A Hard Day's Night)
Greatest Rock Albums Of The '60s -
     # 1 (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band)
     # 3 (Revolver)
     # 5 (Rubber Soul)
     # 8 (Abbey Road)
     # 11 (The White Album)
     # 20 (Please Please Me)
     # 22 (A Hard Day's Night)
     # 39 (Magical Mystery Tour)
     # 46 (With The Beatles)
     # 55 (Help!)

Greatest Rock Albums Of The '70s - # 73 (Let It Be)
Greatest Lyric Albums - # 7 (Rubber Soul), #15 (The White Album), #21 (Abbey Road) #30 (Revolver)
Greatest Rock Songs (top 100) - #11 (Hey Jude), #27 (She Loves You), #34 (A Day In The Life), #57 (Let It Be), #70 (I Want To Hold Your Hand), #80 (Yesterday), #97 (Twist And Shout)
Greatest Rock Ballads - # 3 (Let It Be), #7 (Hey Jude), #10 (Yesterday), #13 (Something), #17 (In My Life)
Greatest Psychedelic Songs -
     # 2 (Tomorrow Never Knows)
     #10 (Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds)
     #46 (Strawberry Fields Forever)

Written and Compiled by: