Spotlight On: The Beatles

Widely considered to be one of the best bands of all time, The Beatles took the world by storm in the 1960s, stirring up emotions among fans in a phenomenon that came to be known as ‘Beatlemania’. This fan-frenzy is well documented in film footage of The Beatles arriving at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and when the ‘Fab Four’ from Liverpool performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, with (mainly female) fans screaming, crying and fainting. Their music started out mainly as rock ‘n roll, with later albums experimenting with a variety of genres, such as pop ballad, hard rock and psychedelic, with elements of classical music skillfully blended in.

When Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr started their band in 1960, they could have had no idea what an enormous and lasting impact they would have on the world. For the first three years of their music career they played in clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg, with their first hit Love Me Do bringing them to the attention of the music loving public in the United Kingdom in 1962. With Brian Epstein as their manager and George Martin as producer, The Beatles were soon gathering a following of fans in the UK, and became the leaders in a trend that came to be known as ‘The British Invasion’ in the mid-1960s, with rock and pop music performers from the UK ‘invading’ the United States. In addition to The Beatles, other ‘invaders’ were The Kinks, The Dave Clark Five, The Who and The Rolling Stones.

Lennon and McCartney co-wrote around 180 songs, many of which were recorded by The Beatles, and some of which were recorded by other artists, including Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas, Tommy Quickly, Cilla Black, Peter and Gordon, Mary Hopkin. To this day, cover versions of their songs are recorded by other artists, and according to the Guinness World Records, Yesterday has been covered by more artists than any other song in history.

Proving that good music has enduring appeal, Paul McCartney will be performing at the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on August 10, a full 48 years after his appearance at the venue as one of the “Fab Four”. In addition to his enormously popular solo melodies and hits from the Wings era, the 72-year-old musician will entertain fans with solid-gold Beatles classics, such as Blackbird, Lady Madonna, Paperback Writer, And I Love Her.