Profile of the Beatles
The Beatles' first album is entitled
Hi, this is Dimitri LaBarge for About.com, and today we're going to talk about The Beatles.The Beatles were a rock band that went on to become one of the most influential pop culture acts of all time, influencing music, style, culture and politics through the 1960s to the present day. They hold the current record for number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100, amongst many other records.The Beatles were formed in 1960, an outgrowth of skiffle band The Quarrymen, which featured John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison. (The name The Beatles was a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets.) The band, with Lennon's friend Stu Sutcliffe and drummer Pete Best, spent several years touring Germany's nightlife clubs, then returned to England to play legendary appearances at the Cavern Club.Their new manager Brian Epstein got the group record auditions with Decca and Parlophone. With Sutcliffe gone and Best fired, drummer Ringo Starr joined the Beatles. Producer George Martin signed them to the Parlophone label.Their first album, Please Please Me, was recorded in a single day and released in March 1963, and the irresistible single “She Loves You” sold nearly a million copies in August. The massive UK reaction spawned the term Beatlemania. December saw the Beatles crossing to the US with “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” their first US number-one hit, in December 1963.An ecstatic performance to screaming fans on The Ed Sullivan Show cemented the adulation of a generation.Films like “A Hard Day's Night” and “Help!” followed. The music of the Beatles matured, broadening into the Dylan-influenced Rubber Soul, and the first attempts at psychedelia in Revolver. Retiring from exhausting touring, the Beatles released their conceptual masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, widely regarded as the soundtrack of the Summer of Love.Early music videos were produced; they even experimented with animation in the Yellow Submarine film. The Beatles evolved, drifting into a druggie haze and Indian culture, continuing to influence their generational trends - even as they began to drift apart with their own identities. The Beatles released several more albums, culminating with Abbey Road and Let It Be.After many contentious artistic and financial disputes, McCartney filed to dissolve the Beatles in December 1970. All the Beatles went on to enjoy prolific solo careers following their break-up.They continue to influence bands to this day, from the inspiration of their songwriting craftsmanship to the ambitious, genre-shattering arrangements of their later albums. Some music historians divide music into two categories: pre-Beatles, and post-Beatles.Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.