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What Was the Influence on Music From the Beatles

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Kit happily writes articles on almost any topic you could hope for. When he's not knee-deep in programming, he enjoys chilling with his cat

Beatles Store in London

Beatles Store in London


The Beatles first signed a recording contract with Parlophone Records in England, which was part of the well-known recording group EMI. The initial contract was for a set of singles at a minimal royalty rate, which was nothing at the time compared to what they went on to command. The contract was later extended to a five-year one. Then, in 1969, after Brian Epstein's death, Allen Klein became the new manager and renegotiated a new contract with EMI, securing a much higher royalty rate for the band. This, at the time, was the highest fee in the music recording industry and was only made possible when the Beatles agreed to compilation albums as part of the deal. What was the story up to and surrounding their success? Let’s find out.

The Beatles formed around the two guitarists, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and they began practicing and performing together in Liverpool, England, in 1957. Before the Beatles began recording, the band performed on local stages in the UK. One of their best-known venues was the Cavendish. When it came to breaking the US, Performing on the Ed Sullivan show was the first live television appearance of the Beatles in the United States, and after several hits, the band decided to tour the US. After a three-month tour, the single "I Want to Hold Your Hand" hit the charts in February 1964 and was a fantastic success.

The Beatles broke the barriers of music. Their music changed the face of culture and society. Their music was widely recognized as the sound of freedom, which reached people all over the world. Their music was a powerful vehicle to carry powerful ideas of love, peace, and imagination. It helped break down walls in the minds of millions of people and influenced their lifestyles for generations to come.

The Beatles statues in Liverpool

The Beatles statues in Liverpool

Their musical style

The Beatles' style and originality influenced a revolution in music. Their style was distinctly their own, allowing them to expand into many genres. Initially rooted in the Skiffle sound, they branched out to include rock and roll, pop ballads, and classical influences. By the decade's end, they had significantly impacted music history.

In their recording, "Please Please Me," the Beatles took a leap of faith and tried a new recording style. "This is the first album the Beatles recorded in true stereo. It sounded more natural than other Beatles recordings. Its low bass response didn't overwhelm the song, but it offered a raw vocal sound that was distinctive and memorable. It also had a dazzling grasp of construction and a keen instinct for dynamic contrast.

In 1963, the Beatles began to explode out of Liverpool and soon drew adoring crowds all over Europe. Initially, the Beatles had trouble finding their way into the U.S. market, as British music scenes were very different from American ones. Until 1963, the Beatles' music was issued on second-tier labels, primarily in the U.S., mainly through the Vee-Jay Records label. These singles were then marketed to soul and blues DJs, which is why their catchy vibes spread to clubs and gained recognition.

Paul McCartney's Influence

"Eleanor Rigby" is widely considered a McCartney song, though Lennon and Harrison claim Lennon wrote most of the lyrics. Harrison credits Lennon with the "ah, look at all the lonely people" quote. Despite the ambiguity, the guitar/vocal composition was written by Paul, George, and John, who all contributed a few backing vocals. Ringo sat out for the entire recording, and George Martin arranged the song.

"Michelle" is an excellent example of McCartney's a guitar/vocal compositing. It is a song inspired by the Beach Boys and a great example of a rock song about the beauty of life. It has a mysterious bridge taking listeners on a roller coaster of chords before settling into the G major key. The song has become a soft-rock hit, and its use of these chord shapes has earned McCartney the respect of those who disapproved of the Beatles' early work.

John Lennon’s influence

Lennon became a talented visual artist as one of the Beatles' most prolific songwriters. He was a minor humorist and a casual cartoonist. While his writing ability was exceptional, he was overshadowed by Paul McCartney in terms of music composition.

Lennon wrote and performed 71 songs roughly for the Beatles, most of which are well-known to the general public. Although he labeled many of these as garbage or meaningless, he was personally attached to some, even until his death. While some critics have criticized him for being a bit acidic in interviews, Lennon did champion his band and its music during the height of Beatlemania and as the expectations grew for the group.

In January 1969, the Beatles began recording "Thinking Of Linking," a song written by Lennon that was inspired by Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue Got Married." The song's lyrics were similar to the song, which prompted Lennon to switch the song's name and later hit the U.S. singles charts.

One of the Beatles' most famous songs, "The Sun King," was recorded back-to-back with "Mean Mr. Mustard" on Abbey Road. The song's intro seems to have been influenced by Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" and combines Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese elements. The song's lyrics initially sounded gibberish, and Lennon's singing voice hinted at Italian.

Yoko Ono was a frequent guest on the Beatles' "Let It Be" sessions in late 1968. Ono's presence influenced Lennon's songwriting greatly. She appeared on several tracks, and her influence led the group in a surreal, experimental direction. Many observers of the Beatles' breakup concluded that Ono was partially responsible for the group's breakup.

Beatles shows are worldwide

Beatles shows are worldwide

Ringo Starr’s Influence

Ringo Starr was a group member of the early Beatles. His songwriting influence can be found in many songs. While he was a member of the group, Ringo Starr also pursued other artistic endeavors. He acted in several movies, including the film 200 Motels (1971), and that'll be the day (1973).

He directed the documentary Born to Boogie in 1972 and founded his record label, Ringo Starr Records. In later years, Ringo Starr admitted to drug and alcohol use and was a member of the Hollywood Vampires drinking club with Keith Moon and other notoriously known rockers and singers.

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In addition to his collaboration with the Beatles, Ringo Starr unintentionally inspired many songs. In the film "A Hard Day's Night," Starr was heard saying, "Phew, it’s been a hard day’s night," which morphed and became the song's title. Ringo Starr also contributed lyrics to two unfinished Lennon-McCartney pieces. In addition, he also contributed a line to the Beatles' hit song "Eleanor Rigby."

Ringo Starr has collaborated with the remaining Beatles on several occasions. He worked with McCartney and Harrison on the Beatles Anthology project, which included several songs and interviews about their time together.

Ringo Starr appeared on The Simpsons in the episode "Brush With Greatness" and contributed an original song to the soundtrack for the children's movie Curly Sue."You Never Know" was released as a single and peaked at 74 on the UK charts. The influence of the Beatles was still relevant.

In 1992, Ringo Starr released his first studio album in nine years, and Phil Ramone and Don Was produced the album. Ringo also appeared on the VH1 Storytellers television show and discussed his career in music. He also released an album as an accompanying to the series.

George Harrison’s influence

George Harrison was a significant influence on the Beatles' sound. He shared their passion for American music, particularly country and rockabilly. He was also interested in jazz chords, influencing the sound of the early Beatles' arrangements. In the 1960s, the Beatles became a force in the music industry, with their rock and roll songs influencing everything from hairstyles to how they played their guitars, and George embraced that.

In addition to contributing several classic songs to the Beatles' repertoire, Harrison influenced the band's production. He taught young Lennon how to play the guitar and compared himself to the Lennon-McCartney partnership. The Beatles' early hits, such as "Revolver," owed much to Harrison's experiments with new sounds. The Beatles later took their music and production to the next level.

In addition to playing the sitar on the Beatles' 1965 album, Harrison's interest in Indian music was also significantly influenced. He studied the sitar with the Indian master Ravi Shankar. He also invited Indian musicians to his sessions. His first song with an Indian-influenced touch was on the 'Revolver' album. Harrison also worked closely with the renowned sitar player Ravi Shankar and introduced it to Western audiences. After hearing this sound, other rock bands embraced the sitar.

After the breakup of the Beatles, Harrison enjoyed sporadic success. He produced a film, organized a benefit concert for Bangladesh in New York City, and teamed up with his old supergroup friends as "The Traveling Wilburys." George Harrison's benefit concert was the first of its kind and paved the way for later efforts such as Band-Aid.

Harrison was also a friend of Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Phil Collins. His albums included "I Want to Know," "A Day in the Life," and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." Harrison collaborated with artists, including David Gilmour, Neil Young, and Phil Collins.

George Harrison's influence on the Beatles is undeniable. The lead guitarist and vocalist of the Beatles grew spiritually during the group's first three years. While the Beatles were working on the album "Let It Be," Harrison began to feel the pangs of wanting to feature more of his material on the records. He left the recording session for "Let It Be" in 1969 but later returned. The group promised to include more of his songs on their subsequent albums.

Brian Epstein's influence on the Beatles' image

During the early 1960s, Brian Epstein, the Beatle's manager, took them from being relative unknowns to being seen and heard by more than 73 million Americans in one day, on Feb. 9, 1964. He exploited advances in technology that were revolutionizing music consumption. Transistor radios made music available to friends and families all over the country, and disc jockeys began influencing young radio listeners.

Though Epstein did not invent the Beatles, he helped them focus on their image. He understood that they needed to develop a professional appearance and lacked the clout to manage their image. Epstein had two goals: the practical and the esoteric; his goal was to make the Beatles bigger than Elvis and to elevate popular music to the level of an art form.

In addition to his role as manager, Epstein helped the Beatles refine their image through stage presence. His pictures combined tonsorial rebellion and sartorial suavity. Brian Epstein's images also influenced the iconic style of Bob Freeman, who was influenced by Astrid Kirchherr's dark, grainy photographs. Epstein worked tirelessly for the Beatles, pursuing avenues that seemed closed to them only a few months earlier.

Plaque for Brian Epstein

Plaque for Brian Epstein

Success on Reflection

The Beatles' most striking style was the way they balanced the four members' distinct personalities. They were all different, but each could be summarised in one word: tactless, pretty, arty, or basic. While Lennon was the most obvious, the other group members complemented each other.

Ringo Starr was considered the glue that held the Beatles together, keeping them respectable throughout the years. Ringo never bragged about his sexuality or acted pretentiously, unlike his fellow band members. While confessing, he sounded innocent and cute, and his appearance was a massive draw for girls.

Beatlemania spread quickly, and The Beatles significantly changed attitudes towards Western culture in the communist bloc. This was a significant moment during the Cold War era. According to Arthur Marwick, a famous social historian, the Beatles' music helped change attitudes toward young people and individual expression. The group persuaded a generation that "all we needed was love."

Although the Beatles' success in America was limited, their success in Britain was impressive. They received adoring crowds across Europe. The Beatles had difficulty reaching the American market due to differences in music scenes.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Kit

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