History Of Rock And Roll: The Beatles Essay.
If there were would be one band that achieved fame more than any other else, this band is on the top of the list. This band reached the pinnacle and forever left their mark not just in the Rock and Roll scene but in the whole music industry. Not only did they made a lasting impact on music, but they also served as one of the most unforgettable people or group in the history of the world. Their music served influential and created a social impact as well.
Composed of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, this group is arguably the most popular band of all time, the Beatles.
THE BEATLES A group that originated in the small bars of Liverpool, the Beatles started off as one and only band who led the “British Invasion” into the United States. Their musical style can be easily attributed to the 1950s early rock and roll but eventually they grew into different genres that ranged from pop to psychedelic rock.
They became trend-setters and their clothes, statements and styles became widely popular during that era. They even became a major influence in the 1960s’ social and cultural revolutions. “Their arrival in the United States marked such a wide recognition and frenzy.
Like an approaching thunderstorm, the Beatles’ arrival in America was preceded by a few low rumbles and flashes of light, none of them giving more than the slightest hint of the potency to follow. Noting the saturation coverage in England of the Beatles’ Royal Command Performance two weeks earlier, Newsweek magazine offered one of the first American impressions of the band and its music. The tone of condescension and contempt in an article in the issue of November 18, 1963, would set a standard that virtually all American media would follow for months” (Goldsmith, 2004, p.
115) They have been one of the most successful bands commercially and has been noted as a critically acclaimed band that ruled the entire music scene. The Beatles has become the band that tops the charts among the best selling musical groups of all time. They had made almost more than 40 different songs that reached the top of the charts. And not were they only famous in the United States and the United Kingdom, but they were famous in almost every continent of the world. It has been estimated that they have already sold a billion records.
The music of The Beatles displayed an array of songs depicting various messages and lyrics that ranged from different emotions. They were just made up of 2 guitars, 1 bass guitar and 1 drum set, though sometimes they use other musical instruments to create variations with their music. They also incorporated the Piano in some of their songs. The Beatles were influenced by R&B music and they kept on continuing to take different influences even if they have received initial success. Most of the time, they find new lyrical and musical ideas by listening to contemporary music.
Some of these influences include Bob Dylan, who made an influence on songs as “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”, and “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”. There are many other influential contemporary bands that made an impact on the Beatles, some of them are the Beach boys and the Byrds. The album of the Beach Boys’ named “Pet Sounds” was strongly liked by Paul McCartney and the band’s producer claimed that without that album, the album of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper” won’t even exist as good as it did. While McCartney loved the Beach Boys, John Lennon gave high praise to the King of Rock, Elvis Presley.
Lennon claimed that Elvis inspired him to buy records. He thought that the early music of Elvis was just phenomenal. John Lennon got hooked on Elvis’ beat music and when he hear the song “Heartbreak Hotel”, he wanted to fall in love with music and wanted to have something to do with it. The Beatles created variations with their music. They used sound effects but “Along with studio tricks such as sound effects, unconventional microphone placements, tape loops, double tracking and vari-speed recording, The Beatles began to augment their recordings with instruments that were unconventional for rock music at the time.
These included string and brass ensembles as well as Indian instruments such as the sitar as in “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” and the swarmandel as in “Strawberry Fields Forever”. They also used early electronic instruments such as the Mellotron, with which McCartney supplied the flute voices on the intro to “Strawberry Fields Forever”, and the ondioline, an electronic keyboard that created the unusual oboe-like sound on “Baby You’re a Rich Man”.
Starting off with the utilization of a string quartet organized by George Martin with ideas form Paul McCartney on “Yesterday” during the year 1965, the Beatles spearheaded a modern kind of art song, represented by the arrangement of a double-quartet string on the song “Eleanor Rugby”, “She’s Leaving Home”, and “Here There and Everywhere” during the year 1966. McCartney was also inspired by the television performance of Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 by Bach which in turn influenced him to utilize a piccolo trumpet on “Penny Lane’s” arrangement.
Moving towards psychedelia with the songs “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Rain” in the year 1966, while “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, and “I Am the Walrus” during 1967, the Beatles turned on a new leaf. Each member of the band provided almost an equal contribution. Due to the numerous songs, each member of the Beatles have created their own impact on songs whether be it heard with the rifts, the vocals, the beat or just simply by the over-all presence of the song. John Lennon and Paul McCartney provided the added lift with regards to ingenuity with their songs.
Their capability to adapt with the times and even produce music that seems ahead of their time has made the Beatles as one of the best bands of all time in the world. Their performance style during the 60s’ somehow are just simple but very catchy. The crowds roar and women drool over the band member while listening to them rocking the stage. There are times where the Beatles are just performing at TV stations and most of the time they are also performing in huge stadiums, which is a first in the Rock and Roll scene.
They spearheaded the stadium-performances which hosted magnanimous number of people, which by the way were all sold-out right from the get go. During the 70s, the Beatles somehow showed a correlation with art and even intertwined pop culture with mass media. Also, during one time in the 70s, they performed on one of the rooftops of a building. The crowd below listened and stopped and even caused mayhem. Police had to get up and fetch the Beatles while they were still singing “Get Back”. This is one of the most awesome performances that they have done.
As the Beatles have mentioned themselves, the Beatles have been influenced by American music. One of the notable inspirations that they always mention is Elvis Presley. There’s no better influence other than the king of rock. Their music somehow professed a mixture of style and tempo of Gospel music and also a little bit of jazz. But all in all, they created a different and seemingly diverse music, a result of different influences. The Beatles reinvented social values in their music. Their style of Rock and Roll and Pop changed the social landscape. It is widely regarded that the Beatles were influenced by jack Kerouac.
This American poet, writer and artist somehow made an impact on the band. “One of the key myths surrounding the Beatles’ is that their music was so artistically strong it could not fail to get to number one. This belief fails to take into account their huge ambition for fame and its rewards. In today’s usual reckoning of the Beatles as pop `artists’, we tend not to examine any of their baser motives, preferring to see them as purely motivated by a love of music and a need to communicate with the world. The Beatles themselves, it should be noted, have attempted to point out that not all their motives were pure.
John in particular wielded the biggest attack against the Beatles myth – as he himself referred to it – in his 1970 Rolling Stone interview. To make it to the top he said you had to be a `bastard’ and the Beatles were in such a context the `biggest bastards on earth’. Albert Goldman’s The Lives Of John Lennon seems to have taken this remark to heart and pursued it relentlessly, missing the point of what John was trying to achieve with this comment. By making such knowingly sensational remarks, he sought to counter what he saw as widely held misconceptions of the Beatles.
His remarks also served to emphasise that the Beatles were not gods, but ordinary human beings. It is from the last perspective that I have written this book – the Beatles not as four gods, but as four highly motivated, but otherwise normal, Liverpool lads. ” (Rowley, 2002, p. 11). CONCLUSION If there would be one band that have made such a magnanimous impact all over the world, it has got to be the Beatles. Their musical style that ranged from variations of different genres displayed their flexibility. Their ability to adapt with the times and influence contemporary bands and the bands of today has been unmatched.
Not only were they successful in the field of music but they also gained a huge following with regards to the trends that they have utilized. No other band sold more concerts or at least satisfied more people other than the Beatles. Their music has been a wonder of the world and still has that impact until today. The Beatles, unparalleled, unbeatable, unforgettable. They are just simply phenomenal.
Goldsmith, M. (2004). The Beatles Come to America. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Rowley, D. (2002). Beatles for Sale: The Musical Secrets of the Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band