The Fab Four
The Quarrymen were John Lennon's first band and ultimately where The Beatles began. Formed in 1956, the band was made up of a total of ten members; John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe, Colin Hanton, Eric Griffiths, Len Garry, Rod Davis, Pete Shotton and Chas Newby. The Quarrymen were mainly a skiffle/rock group from Liverpool who wanted to be like Elvis and Buddy Holly's group 'The Crickets'. The name comes from the school John Lennon attended - Quarry bank school. The band had written many songs most famously, 'In spite of all the danger' written by the Lennon-McCartney duo. They also recorded quite a few songs,which were popular at the time written by other artists; 'That'll be the day' by Buddy Holly and also 'Twenty Flight Rock' by Eddie Cochran are good examples. The band began to fall apart, losing most of it's members. However in 1960 Stu Sutcliffe suggested to change the name to 'The Beetles' but Lennon wanted something more meaningful and renamed it to 'The Beatles'. The band also went through other names but were all scrapped until they finally decided.
From Cellars to Sellouts
The Beatles originally started doing live performances at 'The Cavern Club', Mathew Street, Liverpool. The Cavern was where the band first met Brian Epstein, the soon to be Beatles manager. At the club, they played some great songs such as 'Words of love', 'Roll over Beethoven' and 'Ask me why'. On the 9th of February 1961 the band (under their new name) performed their for the first time. In 1962, Pete Best (The original drummer) was replaced by the world-famous Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey). This upset many people and even made an agitated fan headbutt George Harrison. The Beatles also played at the 'Star-Club' in Hamburg, Germany. They played many Beatles classics there for example; 'Twist and Shout' and 'I saw her standing there'. The last known Beatles performance was on top of the Apple offices in London which was known as the 'Rooftop concert' on 30th January 1969. In the time between their first and last live performance, the band played all across the world in countries including; Japan, USA, England and Germany.
The Beatles performing live at the Cavern
The Studio Years
In 1967 The Beatles' album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' was created. It was an extremely experimental album, this was because the world hadn't really heard many songs like the one's on this album. This album inspired many solo artists and bands in the future which is why this masterpiece of songs is so significant in the music industry. Later on that year the band started to work on the album 'Magical Mystery Tour' which also came with a great movie. The album was inspired by Tom Wolfe’s book ‘The Electric Kool-Aid-Acid Test'. This album carried a lot of whacky songs such as 'I Am The Walrus' and 'The Fool On The Hill'. Magical Mystery Tour was followed by one of The Beatles' most famous albums of all time - The White Album which included one of Harrison's greatest pieces - 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' of course it had many other good songs like 'Back In The USSR' and McCartney's 'Blackbird'. The White Album was a really good time in Beatles' history because it really brought out everything that the four of them could do! In 1969, they released the 'Yellow Submarine' album. The title track is probably the most recognisable Beatles song ever, because of it's catchy and crazy lyrics. This album also had it's own movie however, this time it was animated. The following album was 'Abbey Road' with the famous cover of the band walking on the road's crossing which attracts many fans world wide to visit and have their photo taken in the same stances. Famous songs from this album include; 'Something', 'Come Together' and 'Here Comes The Sun'. The final Beatles album was 'Let It Be' or in the US 'Hey Jude'. The 'Let It Be' is arguably one of the band's best, in fact, my favourite song is on it - 'Dig a Pony' the guitar solo in that is a killer! 'Let it Be' also had it's own movie which was focused on the start of the split up, it was meant to be a television documentary but was decided to be a movie to finish the collection, the film features the 'Rooftop concert' so I highly recommend watching it if you haven't already seen it. The album features Lennon's 'Across the Universe', Harrison's 'I Me Mine' and McCartney's 'Let It Be'. Overall, the album is a great end to a great era of music. May the Beatles' legacy live forever!