The Beatles were an English rock band, and probably one of the best known bands in the world. They were formed in Liverpool in 1960, and are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music.
From 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). The group worked in many genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical and other elements in their music in new and innovative ways.
The Beatles became enormously popular with “Beatlemania” taking over wherever The Beatles toured.
Initially with a five-piece line-up of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe (bass) and Pete Best (drums), The Beatles built their reputation in Liverpool and Hamburg clubs over a three-year period from 1960. Sutcliffe left in 1961, and Best was replaced by Ringo Starr in 1962.
The Beatles achieved mainstream success in the United Kingdom in late 1962 with their first single, "Love Me Do". The gained international popularity and toured extensively until 1966. Between 1966 and their break-up in 1970 they worked extensively in the recording studio. Each then found success with independent musical careers. In 1980 Lennon was murdered outside his home in New York City, and in 2001 Harrison died of cancer. McCartney and Starr remain active.
The band's earliest influences include Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, whose songs they covered more often than any other artist's in performances throughout their career. Other early influences include Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers.
Originating as a skiffle group, The Beatles soon embraced 1950s rock and roll. The band's repertoire ultimately expanded to include a broad variety of pop music. They also incorporated classical musical element with the use of a string quartet at the beginning of "Yesterday" on the album Help.
The Beatles' influence on popular culture was huge. Former Rolling Stone associate editor Robert Greenfield said, "In the form that they worked in, in the form of popular music, no one will ever be more revolutionary, more creative and more distinctive than The Beatles were". The Beatles have inspired musicians and music lovers all over the world.
The Beatles have received 7 Grammy Awards and 15 Ivor Novello Awards. In the United States they have been awarded 6 Diamond albums, as well as 24 Multi-Platinum albums, 39 Platinum albums and 45 Gold albums. In the UK they have 4 Multi-Platinum albums, 4 Platinum albums, 8 Gold albums and 1 Silver album. The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the all-time top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the US singles chart's fiftieth anniversary - The Beatles ranked number one. In 2009, the Recording Industry Association of America certified that The Beatles have sold more albums in the US than any other artist. The Beatles have had more number one albums, 15, on the UK charts and held down the top spot longer, 174 weeks, than any other musical act. The Beatles were collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people.
Four decades after their break-up, The Beatles' music continues to be popular. A new generation of music fans will be able to gain easy access to the music of The Beatles with the release of The Beatles on Apple’s iTunes.
You can buy the Beatles albums by clicking on the following links: The Beatles - The Beatles 1962–1966 (The Red Album)