Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Top Ten Beatles Moments

As part of a group writing project taking place at The Beatles World I have put together a list of my Top Ten Beatles Moments.
I'm sure you'll understand how hard it was to choose just ten points to write about! If you disagree with my choices, why not make your own list and post the link to it over at The Beatles World website.

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My Top Ten Beatles Moments

1. Woolton Village Fete (6 July, 1957) - This is probably the single most important event in the entire history of the Beatles. Ivan Vaughan introduced 15 year old Paul McCartney to 16 year old John Lennon, John asked Paul to join his band The Quarrymen and the greatest songwriting partnership of all time was born.

2. Hamburg – As John Lennon once said, “I grew up in Hamburg, not Liverpool.” It was here that the Beatles developed their distinctive sound, widened their repertoire and got used to performing for a more demanding audience than they’d encountered at home. They also formed some important new friendships in Hamburg, most notably with Astrid Kirchherr, Klaus Voorman and Jurgen Vollmer, who went on to influence the way the Beatles dressed and cut their hair.

3. First recording contract – The first real turning point in the Beatles' career came when they were offered their first recording contract with George Martin and Parlophone in 1962. Their first single “Love Me Do” only reached #17 in the UK chart, but their insistence on recording only original Lennon-McCartney compositions paid off when “Please Please Me” went to #1. After that there was no looking back.

4. Beatlemania – Beatlemania began in the UK in 1963, quickly sweeping across Europe and then the rest of the world by 1964. The actual word first appeared in the British newspaper The Daily Mirror the day after the Beatles’ appearance on “Sunday Night at the London Palladium”.

5. The Ed Sullivan Show – As part of their first US visit in 1964, the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. This is considered by many Americans to be one of the defining moments of the 1960s and marked the start of the ‘British Invasion’.

6. Bigger Than Jesus – When John Lennon remarked to journalist Maureen Cleave in a 1966 interview that “we’re more popular than Jesus now” he could never have imagined the chaos it would cause. After his comment was published out of context in an American teen magazine, it sparked record-burnings, protests and threats from the Ku Klux Klan. Never before had a so-called pop-star’s words been taken so seriously. Significantly for the Beatles it came at a time when they were growing increasingly tired of touring and together with recent trouble in the Philippines and the inability to hear themselves play over the noise of their screaming fans, it contributed to their decision to stop touring altogether and concentrate on their work in the studio.

7. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – In my opinion every new Beatles album and single marked a defining moment. I personally prefer Revolver and Rubber Soul, but I have chosen to include Sgt Pepper in my Top 10 Beatles Moments because I consider it to be their most innovative album and the one that has probably had the biggest influence on popular culture.

8. India – In 1968 the Beatles travelled to Rishikesh in India to study transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Much of their music on “The White Album” was inspired by their time in India and all four Beatles have said they considered it to be a worthwhile experience, although it was only really George who kept up an interest in Indian culture afterwards.

9. Rooftop Concert – This 1969 concert on the roof of the Apple building in Savile Row, London marked a moment where the Beatles were able to put aside their differences for long enough to give one last performance, featuring songs from their new album “Let It Be”. Within a few months of the Rooftop Concert, the Beatles had broken up (although the break-up was not officially announced until 1970).

10. Beatles Anthology – I’ve included this to show that the Beatles’ story didn’t end with the break-up or with John Lennon’s death. Anthology was released in 1995 as 3 volumes of demos and unreleased versions of Beatles songs, and was accompanied by a TV series which was later released on video and then DVD. Two unreleased John Lennon songs “Real Love” and “Free As A Bird” were also included, with Paul, George and Ringo playing along with John’s voice. The importance of Anthology was not just that it gave existing fans the chance to hear previously unheard songs, but it also helped to win over a whole new generation of fans.

1 comment:

beepbeepitsme said...

RE Popular Culture

"Keep You Doped With Religion And Sex And TV"
http://beepbeepitsme.blogspot.com/2006/08/keep-you-doped-with-religion-and-sex.html