What could 3 men (plus one., Ringo Starr joined the band in 1962), not quite 20 years old, do in 9 years of coming together and being together? You know it ain’t easy, you know how hard it can be – but that only holds true for mere mortals!
The Fab four were barely together for 9 years and created love and magic and mystery, and then parted just like that, never to come together again. By 1970 the Beatles were history and at that time Lennon was nearing 30, while McCartney and Harrison were still 28 and 29 years old. At an age when life begins for most young people, this group had already been there, done that, and influenced an entire generation all over the world, while leaving a legacy for many future generations.
Beginning in Liverpool and performing in many clubs across Hamburg, the group began recording in 1962 with many a popular pop tune like Love me Do, Please Please Me, and eventually hit the big time when Love me Do reached the top of the charts in both the UK and US. This was the phase of love songs that released as singles, and were hugely popular due to their charm, innocence and melody. By 1963 screaming fans would mob the band wherever it went in the UK. Success in the US was seen in the chart toppers but no one in their wildest dreams imagined the crowds that would greet the band as it arrived at Kennedy Airport in early 1964. Screaming fans swooned in the crush and every appearance was sold out. The live performance at the Ed Sullivan show was watched by numbers that could be close to half the US population at the time!
Here is a live recording at the Ed Sullivan show, the clean cut youthful looks, the love song, no wonder the hysterical screams are audible in the background!
A subsequent performance at Shea Stadium rocked! The fusion between pop and rock was on its way.
An OBE for each came in 1965 – Lennon was 24 then and McCartney 23!!!
With such quick success at so young an age came the inevitable experimenting with drugs and a change in the sound of the band. Gone was the innocence and the songs of love, instead emerged an edgy rock that was introspective, sometimes subversive, and often philosophical. The songs had often not so hidden alluding to drugs and mindscapes “I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering, where it will go!!!” But where others may have had their brains turned to mush with abuse, the Beatles soared to greater and greater heights,
Their albums continued to be chartbusters, the music got complex and the words profound – “But the fool on the hill, sees the sun going down, and the eyes in his head see the world spinning around!” 10 years, 13 albums, hundreds of songs later one day it was all over and they each went their separate ways.
Now in September 2009 the Beatles remastered albums have been released in stereo and mono versions and the Fab Four have become the rage all over again. In the same month we saw the release of the Beatles Rock Band game, a fantastic version that takes you back into the past while you sing or play on an instrument one of many classic tracks. The Beatles played in an era of almost no music videos – so barring a few TV appearances and films, there was no way to ENJOY the personalities and the music together, UNTIL NOW! Now Beatles Rockband provides a unique opportunity to see the fab four (or as close as we will get) performing to their own songs and with the appropriate mood in each one – like Here comes the sun in the image capture below:
Or Sgt Peppers in this one:
I am getting ready to buy the digitally remastered collection – I think I will go for the mono version, to hear it just like it was. Can’t wait to listen to Lucy in the Sky, As I saw her Standing There, Day Tripper, I am the Eggman, Jaya Guru Deva, Sgt Peppers, and so many more. Long live the Fab four!