Beatlemania & The Rise and Fall Of The Beatles
The year 1960 turned to be a year for the world to remember. It was not because a war began or it ended. It was the year the music industry was revolutionized. It was when the four men from Liverpool England made the biggest impact in the music scene. The Beatles was born. They stunned the pop culture world and set the mark for music for years.
Their personalities, melodies and overwhelming, heart warming charisma graced the airwaves and the crowd. Adults who usually listen to rock and roll music gave in to their music and joined the hype, and were convinced that the group really has chemistry and sense in their melodies and lyrical contents.
Convinced was the appropriate word. Needless to say, people of all ages were tuned to the rhythm they were making. Originally formed by John Lennon as The Quarrymen, the group had its share of hardship. Playing only on clubs and small bars, the group stayed. Then they met Paul McCartney and eventually joined by George Harrison. The group toured several countries including Scotland to perform their songs. The group was influenced by then rock and roll icon, Elvis Presley who served as their idol. The missing piece of the fab four, Ringo Starr, later joined them in 1962 after the original drummer was fired.
They also mourned the death of a former original member who died of brain hemorrhage. The quartet then started touring the European continent. They started playing their tunes in Hamburg, Germany. George Harrison was sent back to England after he was found by the German authorities to be lying. He was found guilty of falsifying the information he gave and was discovered that he is a minor and not qualified to work. Harrison’s deportation was succeeded with arson charges for Paul McCartney after setting a fire in his hotel room. The Hamburg experience was short lived as the members had no choice but to leave German soil.
Only John Lennon stayed in Hamburg because of his then fiancee. They all went back to Liverpool and had a sort of reunion and never stopped playing. The group were driven to seek new heights and dreamt of becoming icons too as their idol, Elvis Presley. They came back to Hamburg and this time, they were handled by a manager. The manager looked for bar outlets for their gigs and scheduled them to prominent music fronts across the city. The big act came when the manager brought them to a recording studio and hoped that they land a contract.
After this moment, the boys were demoralized when they learned that the studio was not impressed with their music. The group, though were downed, did not succumb to the challenges. The band was on high spirits as they were rewarded as they were signed to a renewable one year contract at EMI. Their recording contract turned out to be an awful one because of the payment they will receive for every album sold. They were only paid a penny for it which was later reduced for albums sold internationally. Members were again saddened by this turn out and nearly gave up.
They continued to record songs after songs not knowing that their time was nearing and just a moment within their reach. September 1962 was the time of their lives as their single “Love Me Do” debuted at number 17 on the UK charts and topped the US charts after 18 months of its release. They also recorded their first album and their next 45 songs were chart toppers in the United Kingdom. THE BEATLES’ DOMINANCE OF THE MUSIC CHARTS Throughout their career, the Beatles established milestones that assured their place in the history of popular music.
They had seventeen number-one singles in the United Kingdom, twenty number-one singles in the United States, fifteen number-one albums in the United Kingdom, and nineteen number-one albums in the United States. They spent 1,278 weeks on the British charts (more than any other act), 175 weeks at number one on the British charts (more than any other act), and in 1965 produced the first British album to debut at number one (Help! ). They had the highest album sales in the United States of any group ever, with close to 107 million albums sold.
Further, the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) remains the United Kingdom’s all-time best-selling album. The Beatles were among the first artists to use sound and studio effects in production and orchestration in pop music; they were also the first group to develop the concept album. In every sense, the Beatles were second to none in the domain of 1960s pop music. Within the band, it is hard to say who was the leader. Both John and Paul were major forces, and George and Ringo often felt left out of the decision-making process.
Some feel that manager Brian Epstein had a significant impact on the group and helped maintain the relationships between band members prior to his death in 1967. THE BEATLES AS VISIONARIES “The Beatles shared their vision with fans. Whether the topic was simple or complex, they consistently challenged their fans to look at life through a new lens. For instance, early in their career, the Beatles had an impact on what was a socially acceptable “mop top” for men. Later in their career, the Beatles’ interest in Eastern culture introduced the sitar and concepts such as transcendental meditation and spiritual regeneration to the West.
The scholar Warren Bennis, who has studied leadership for many years, calls this phenomenon management of attention, the ability to draw others to them. In Bennis’s words, they had the ability to “manage attention through a compelling vision that brings others to a place they have not been before” (Bennis 2000, 17). In all phases of their career, their vision, ability to speak to the hearts and minds of fans, physical appeal and friendly personalities, and avant-garde fashion sense affirmed their stature as icons. The Beatles’ success also took the industry to new places, as they became the model of what a successful band should be”.
THE BEATLES AS STORYTELLERS Above all else, the Beatles told stories and shared their vision through their music. According to the developmental psychologist and cognitive scientist Howard Gardner, “stories of identity—narratives that help individuals think about and feel who they are, where they come from, and where they are headed—that constitutes the single most powerful weapon in the leader’s literary arsenal” (Gardner 1995, 43). LASTING INFLUENCE The Beatles impacted fashion with mop-tops, mohair suits, Cuban-heeled boots, velvet-collar suits, Eastern clothing, and granny glasses.
Popular usage of words such as “gear” and “fab” is also attributed to the group. In the studio, the Beatles were among the first to release a concept or “themed” album; use sitars, orchestration, and quartets in a pop song; use intentional feedback; fade songs directly into one another; and produce backward vocal and guitar sounds—all techniques that are commonplace today. A quote by folk singer and songwriter Bob Dylan may sum up the Beatles best. He said, “They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid.
Everybody else thought they were for the teenyboppers, that they were gonna pass right away. But it was obvious to me that they had staying power. I knew they were pointing to the direction where music had to go. Quantitative and qualitative data support Dylan’s account of the Beatles. Countless groups have followed the Beatles, but none have achieved the success of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr”. Beatlemania After their songs hit number one on the charts, the formal ignition of the Beatlemania and the worldwide craze began.
Adults, kids and specially the girls were mad about them. The hype continued and the band hit the airwaves all over England and the world. They also invaded the television scene. Beatlemania was first coined by Scottish promoter, Andy Lothian in 1963 to describe the frenzied fans adulation of the four members mostly by female teenage fans. The hysteria reached the United States and all the fans were screaming at their concerts and guestings. The mania hit its highest in 1964 and catapulted the band to music immortality. Their stature from being local bar singers was changed to a global music entertainers.
The craze was largely accounted from the harmonic voices of the band and the adoration of the fans for the individual personalities of the members. They were all good looking and the fans were rooting for them and even others were screaming to have them as fathers of their children. They want to get pregnant with the members. The group were even impersonated and copied by several groups just to ride the popularity. The phenomenon was also a base for other groups means to make their own names by associating them with the Beatles.
The band also get noted by influential and renowned music critics. It gave more popularity to them by being noticed and being the talk of every conversation in every streets. “The Beatles’ conquest of America early in 1964 launched the British Invasion, as a torrent of rock and roll bands from Britain overtook the pop charts. The Fab Four’s first Number One single in the U. S. was “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” released on Capitol Records, EMI’s American counterpart. This exuberant track was followed by 45 more Top Forty hits over the next half-dozen years.
During the week of April 4, 1964, the Beatles set a record that is likely never to be broken when they occupied all five of the top positions on Billboard’s Top Pop Singles chart, with “Can’t Buy Me Love” ensconced at Number One. Their popularity soared still further with the release of their playfully anarchic documentary film, A Hard Day’s Night, in August 1964 (Webmaster 2007)”. What was then a local industry bloomed into a worldwide trend. They become England’s biggest exports. The group even did crazy things like changing their hair and making them look comedic but nothing changed.
The fans still love them whatever they do to themselves. Followers even imitate their fashion. That is the way fans are loving them. They were treated as not only national but international icons. Even when some of their recordings got entangled to record producers and be held for release, somehow someone found a way to make it a reality. This was when their song “She Loves You” was not released as scheduled. It did not receive airtime play. But when a fan knew about this, she was prompted to wrote a letter to a radio station manager and beg that they play the then unreleased Beatles’ song.
The manager heeded the call and granted the fan her request and the whole United States of America was again in euphoria. The manager even release it on a rush mode. Music industry’s version of the Guiness Book of World Records were shattered as the group’s album “I Want To Hold Your Hand” reached one million copies in just ten days after its release. This was the previously held album by record producers. The hype spread all across America. Airports were flooded by fans also in record breaking fashions. They were greeted by millions as they arrived.
Getting a glimpse of them closely is a big thing to die for. It was a chance of a lifetime for fans. More and more people get addicted to their music as they began hitting the five million mark sales, largely due to the reason that the fans want to get a copy for themselves. Their songs were even translated to other European languages such as German to be understood fully their lyrics. They are a musical genius. Organizing concerts were very hard for promoters because it posed a big problem for them whether the venue can accommodate all the fans that will be flocking in.
Concerts were held all across North America and these musical gathering produces only one result: a turnout already been known, a sellout. “Beatlemania was responsible for the concept of the stadium concert. More than 55-thousand screaming fans — at the time, the most ever to have attended a single concert — packed New York’s Shea Stadium in August 1965 (White 2008)”. Paying for the tickets was not a problem for the paying patrons even if it is their hard earned money for it will all be worth it. Screaming fans, bright lights and more and more popularity the band gained. They were the only group to be praised like that.
As the band got more fans in America, Their concert acts will be spread all over the world. They visited Australia and New Zealand on their Atlantic trip and was the group’s first oversea exposure not done on English or American soil. “By April, 1964, the band’s singles occupied the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. That summer, they toured New Zealand and Australia, where their arrival in Adelaide was greeted by a crowd estimated at more than 300,000. The first Beatles movie, A Hard Day’s Night was released in 1964. All told, the band released seven albums in the US and UK in 1964, all but three of them charting at #1.
Two others peaked at #2, and the third, the soundtrack from a UK TV documentary (The Beatles Story) reached #7 (White 2008)”. The group’s success was not only estimated by the number of fans going into their concerts and the number of people who bought their records, but attributed to the fact that they have done all these things and stuffs in a dramatic and empirical way. They broke all musical records in terms of album sales. They hold the most number of records sold worldwide with over a billion and is the best selling of all time. The most number of platinum, diamond, gold albums sold.
The fastest selling album in weeks, all these were all done by Beatles only. As England’s national contribution to the world, the four members of the band were nominated to be knighted. They were supposed to be given the award Members of the Order of the British Empire. This issue raised many eyebrows as critiques protested for this award was only given to men in uniforms and civic and community leaders. “Two months later, the Fab Four became Members of the Order of the British Empire, one of the highest honors bestowed in the UK, usually to military and government officials (White 2008)”.
As their popularity increases, so is England’s rose to fame. That same year, the band flew back to America for their first major concert in New York City. But this is different not only because this is their first but also this was the first to be held in a sports stadium where no one dared to do. The result? It was literally overwhelming. Almost close to 60,000 fans packed the stadium (Coleman). Breaking records in the music industry became a habit for the band. It was recognized as major feat for the group’s leap for maturity and seemed to be headed for supremacy and immortality.
“When all was said and done, the Beatles charted 20 Number One singles in the States – a number even greater than runner-up Elvis Presley’s 17 chart-toppers. For such feats of sales and airplay alone, the Beatles can unassailably be regarded as the top group in rock and roll history. Yet their significance as a band extends beyond numbers to encompass their innovations in the recording studio. The Beatles’ legacy as a concert attraction, during their harried passage from nightclubs to baseball stadiums, is distinguished primarily by the deafening screams of female fans overcome by the group’s very appearance.
Consequently, the Beatles began to indulge their creative energies in the studio, layering sounds and crafting songs in a way no one had attempted before. The results included such musically expansive and lyrically sophisticated albums as Rubber Soul (1965) and Revolver (1966). For various reasons, ranging from safety concerns to frustration that no one could hear or was listening, the Beatles retired from touring after a San Francisco concert on August 29, 1966 (Webmaster 2007)”. The legacy created by the Beatles was emphasized by their overwhelming turnouts in concert acts and unrivalled airtime sustenance.
Screams from fans were deafening as they perform and so much adulation for them is primarily characterized from their passage from nightclubs to baseball stadiums. Games even major league championship series never packed a stadium like the Beatles does. The adrenaline and the fame the members are feeling transcribed in the studio as they were writing more beautiful songs. Inspired by their vast success the group kept on living up to the expectations of the fans. As the fame and fortune continued, their popularity went to their heads. They started to feel very secured with what they have.
Thus prompting them to utter words and do things that fans started to wonder and think of what really the band members personality in real life is. The Start of the Fall As the band started touring the world, it had the Philippines on their itinerary. It was a national government and presidential custom that whenever a well renowned person or persons came and visit the country, the Palace opened its doors for them. “While in the Philippines, the Beatles had been invited to Malacanang Palace by Imelda Marcos. The Beatles have stated that they never agreed to appear at this reception.
They remained unaware of any problem until the next morning. As they turned on their hotel television, the Beatles learned of accidentally snubbing the First Lady by not appearing at the palace. The Beatles also found that the government-run media was now fueling a firestorm against them via television news reports of the snub. There was a scene at the airport as the Beatles attempted to leave the country (Spangler 1966)”. Being head of the country, President Marcos ordered that the band will not be escorted by the police. They will have no protection for whatever happens to them while in the Philippine soil.
The snub incident was televised nationally and created a nationwide backlash at the Beatles. Irate fans began to hate the group. They stand and waited for the group so they can make negative comments on them. The group were on their own heading to Manila International Airport. A hostile crowd greeted the group with kicks and punches. The money they earned from the concert was ordered to be given back or else they can not leave the country. After the incident in the Philippines in 1966, outrage of criticisms for the Beatles grew wider. United States, where they had a huge popularity and success, cried foul.
Social conservatives and religious leaders were pissed by their pronouncements. “On July 31, 1966, John Lennon’s comments on the state of Christianity – made in March, but only lately picked up in the U. S. – spark protests and record burnings on the eve of the Beatles’ 1966 American tour (Webmaster 2007) ”. “While on March 1, 1966, London’s ‘Evening Standard’ publishes an interview with John Lennon in which he states that the Beatles are “more popular than Jesus now. ” The comment provokes several protests, including the burning of Beatles records (Webmaster 2007)”.
Lennon then apologised for the words he had spoken. The national apology was done during their concert which turned out to be their last. The group was also partly to be blamed for America’s problem on youth regarding drug addiction. They were saying things that there is a thing as open use of drugs. As they were idolized, fans followed them. They also launch anti-Americanism. The group never performed again in The US. They got back to the studio to record their songs. There was no formal break up but a sort of “shying away” from the limelight stuff. They had fewer television guestings.
The woes continued as the band manager allegedly killed himself from drug overdose. The group never came close to their standing before. Tons of fans, record sales and the hype were all gone. They are just hoping they can win all them back. Their recordings were never their songs before. People are irritated now to their music as albums which came lately were uneasy to hear. Abbey Road album was focused on dirty lyrics. They maintained their integrity as a band but not the popularity they had before The band also used some advanced gadgets to enhanced their melodies.
“Disputes, disagreements and disharmony among band members had been gradually increasing, become especially apparent during the White Album recording sessions. The band’s last performance together outside the studio (a promotional event on the roof of Apple Studios) came in January 1969. Their last recording session (for Abbey Road) followed in August (white 2008)”. “On January 30, 1969, The Beatles make their last performance as a group on the roof of the Apple building during the filming of ‘Let It Be’(Webmaster 2007)”. “The band’s breakup was announced in April 1970, a month before Let It Be was released.
Documents filed on December 31, 1970 officially ended the legal entity known as The Beatles (White 2008)”. “On April 10, 1970, Paul McCartney announced his departure from the Beatles, and the group quietly came to an end. Throughout the Seventies, fans hoped for an eventual reunion, while the group members pursued solo careers with varying degrees of artistic and commercial success (White 2008)”. “In addition to the 23 albums (counting soundtracks and separate US and UK releases) released during the band’s life (1960-1970) there have been more than 150 compilations, recorded interviews and videos issued.
Hundreds of books have been written about their personal lives, their music, and their influence on pop culture and rock music. Their original record label, EMI and the Guinness Book of World Records estimate that more than 1-billion Beatles albums, singles and CDs have been sold worldwide. Authentic Beatles memorabilia continues to command huge sums. Recently an audio tape of a 1974 interview with Lennon sold at auction for more than $38,000. At the same auction, McCartney’s handwritten lyrics for “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” brought $192,000 (White 2008)”.
“On December 8, 1980, John Lennon is shot by a deranged assailant as he and Yoko return to the Dakota after a recording session. He is pronounced dead at Roosevelt Hospital (Webmaster 2007)”. It was first thought that it was a fan who got disappointed at the group. The group will never be a band again. After long years of the break up, their marketing group of record producers released albums and singles never before heard. These songs were never performed live in front of audiences. They were only done in the studios and the only other time that they were intact as a band. Still, the records reap rewards.
They also posted record sales for a band not anymore active in the music scene. The fans still loved them for what they have done in the past. They listened to them in the post Beatles, John Lennon era. Their actual fame lasted for over a decade but their legacy and memory lived on. Must have been better after they were gone. Surely, the fans missed them and really wanting them back. The members parted ways and had their individual careers. “John Lennon released seven albums between 1970 and 1980, the last one just three weeks before he was murdered, at age 40, outside his New York City apartment in December 1980.
An additional album, Milk and Honey, was released (in 1984) after Lennon’s death. George Harrison released a dozen solo albums (and two with the Traveling Wilburys) and produced films through his company, Handmade Films. Harrison died of cancer at the age of 58 in November 2001. Ringo Starr has released nearly two dozen albums and appeared in about the same number of films since the breakup of The Beatles. He continues to tour every few years with his All Starr Band. Paul McCartney has been the most prolific ex-Beatle as a solo artist, with his late wife, Linda and with his band Wings.
He continues to tour and record, and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful musician and contemporary songwriter in history (White 2008)”. It was fame who killed this extraordinary group. They were the best at their times. They were praised and worshipped. Fans treated them as first class humans and wanting to see them every time. They were more popular in the country they were visiting that its president. They launch the music industry to the world. Many revolutions were brought about by their success. This group stand out from the others.
They had set the standards for live acts and airwave category. They even surpassed cinema actors in terms of wooing the female fans. What really brought them down was their ego and so much of self confidence. Much of the blame was not focused on a single member but to the whole band because all agree to what was relayed to the media and to the listeners who were their patrons. They should never get into the act like they were gods and immortal. They thought that the bright lights will always be on them for the rest of the way. It is not always like that. Things change, and all people change based on certain circumstances.
Their personalities were different after getting so much adulation and getting lauded by people for almost all of the time. If the pronouncements had not happened, they will still be a band and could have lasted for more decades. This is the problem when people got carried by fame and fortune, they tend to forget who they are and likely will turn out to be a negatively changed person. They certainly reaped the fruits of their labor but the honor will forever be in doubt. The Beatles’ will forever be remembered as the struggling Quarrymen up to the time they played their last song.
After all what happened, they will always be the Beatles that the world listened to and the owner of the songs that played melodies into hearts of music lovers. Bibliographies: Webmaster. “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum Web Pages: Inductee: The Beatles. ” (2007), http://www. rockhall. com/inductee/the-beatles. White, Dave. “Beatlemania. ” (2008), http://classicrock. about. com/od/beatles/a/beatles_history_3. htm. Spangler, Jay. ” Beatles Ultimate Experience: Beatles Interview: Returning to London from Manila 7/8/66. ” (1966), http://www. geocities. com/~beatleboy1/db1966. 0708. beatles. html.