The Beatles were a pop and rock music group from Liverpool, England, who continue to be held in the very highest regard for their artistic achievements, their huge commercial success, and their groundbreaking role in the history of popular music. Made up of John Lennon (1940-1980), Paul McCartney (born 1942), George Harrison (1943-2001) and Ringo Starr (born 1940), the group's innovative music, films, and style helped define the 1960s.
The Beatles created many sales records and charted more than fifty top 40 hit singles. They were the first British band to achieve major ongoing success in the United States, scoring no fewer than twenty-seven #1 hits in the USA & UK alone, becoming the biggest musical act of the twentieth century. EMI estimated in 1985 that the band had sold over one billion records worldwide. Their ballad "Yesterday" is the most-covered song in the history of recorded music (about 3,000 versions of it exist).
Their earliest compositions were mainly rock ‘n’ roll or R&B-rooted pop songs with the occasional ballad. But they grew increasingly eclectic as composers, arrangers, and performers over the years. They composed songs and arranged them in a wide array of musical styles – occasionally fusing genres. The constant factor in the vast majority of their songs was their focus on melody. Despite the wide array of musical styles utilised, Beatles recordings were readily identifiable because of their distinctive vocals. In addition to their core pop and rock styles, The Beatles' canon included songs flavoured with folk, country, rockabilly, blues, soul, doo-wop and many other musical genres. They were also pioneers of new musical directions such as psychedelia ("Strawberry Fields Forever") and hard rock ("Helter Skelter," "Revolution"). Their use of chamber and baroque orchestrations (scored by producer George Martin) on recordings such as "Yesterday", "Eleanor Rigby", "In My Life" and "For No One" was another first in contemporary popular music.
They also pioneered many innovative production techniques and their epoch-making 1967 LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is often cited as one of the first concept albums. Their clothes, hairstyles, and choice of musical instruments made them trendsetters throughout the decade; their growing social awareness, reflected in the development of their music, saw their influence extend far beyond the music scene into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s, and their enduring popularity with successive generations of both fans and musicians has cemented their reputation for being some of the most influential music artists of all time. The group disbanded in 1970 amid much strife. Thirty-five years later, in 2005, the American entertainment industry magazine Variety named them the most iconic entertainers of the 20th century. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
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