The Beatles changed pop culture and music forever. Today we commemorate the band and examine why they are still relevant.
The Woman Post | Valentina Ibarra
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July 10th was the date elected by The Beatles’ fans to commemorate one of the biggest bands ever. 57 years ago, the band returned to the UK after a successful tour in the US. They arrived just in time for the release of their album “A Hard Day’s Night,” which happened just four days after the premiere of their homonymous movie. Both the film and album were so prosperous that it is considered one of the biggest landmarks of the band, making it the perfect day to celebrate their career.
But who are The Beatles and why are they so important for the music industry? Originally from Liverpool, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and George Harrison played together in a band called The Quarry Men. In 1960, they officially changed their name to The Beatles and two years later they would replace their drummer with Ringo Starr, consolidating the band as we know it today.
Together for over a decade, The Beatles released 12 studio albums, 13 EPs, 22 singles, and 5 movies. They are known for being the first big British band in America, paving the path for acts like The Rolling Stones and Oasis. They won seven Grammys, four BRIT awards, an Oscar, and are part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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Their cultural impact was so tremendous that it got a name: "Beatlemania." They popularized concerts to a new level, got boys all over the world replicating their hairstyles and clothes, and consolidated a big fan base. The teenage girls secured their fame, as mobs and big concentrations became a daily thing. But, most importantly, they became a part of the counter-culture movement. It was a time for a change in the paradigms of war, women’s rights, and drugs. Their music accompanied the youth during the psychedelic experimentation, especially the album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." It is still so relevant that universities like Southern California and Indiana are including courses about them in their music syllabus.
During their time together, they innovated in different music aspects. For example, they became pioneers in technology usage. Not only with their videos and films but also in the creation of music. With their experimentation multitracking using jazz, Indian music, psychedelic pop, and rock, they showed that playing it safe was in the past. You can see it in songs like "A Day in the Life," where McCartney asked a whole orchestra to play their instruments from the lowest note to the highest. Furthermore, they also influenced lyricism. According to Pink Floyd’s singer Roger Waters, The Beatles showed that it was ok to write about feelings and their own lives.
Furthermore, the band also had an impact commercially. Before the time of streaming, they became the biggest selling artist of all time. It was a harder time to consolidate these numbers, as people had to buy the physical albums and every play did not count for the sellings. Even after fifty years, they maintain the titles of the best-selling artist, best selling group, most US number one albums, and most US number-one singles. Also, “Yesterday” is the most covered song ever, being recorded at least 1.600 times. Maintaining records for so long is not easy, especially when competing with artists in the streaming era. It shows how big they were -and still are- when it comes to people buying their music.
So this month offers the perfect excuse for listening non-stop to The Beatles and watch their academy-nominated movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” to appreciate and celebrate the band that changed music and the world forever.