Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Beatles - Were They Just a Band That Made it Big?

By Daniel Dunne

"We were 4 guys. I met Paul and said do you want to join me band? Then George joined and then Ringo joined. We were just a band that made it very, very big that's all" - John Lennon.

We were just a band that made it very, very big? That is like saying Michelangelo was just a painter/sculptor, or that Shakespeare was just a guy who wrote plays.

The Beatles did in fact have phenomenal commercial success. The band still has the most number one singles (20) and most number one albums (19) in America. The Beatles also currently have 3 albums in the top 20 on a list of the world's best-selling albums (excluding movie soundtracks and stage productions).

But the Beatles of course were more than a band that made it very, very big. Along with being commercially successful, the Beatles have won much deserved critical acclaim over the years. For example in 2003, Rolling Stone Magazine proclaimed that the Beatles have 4 of the top 10 greatest albums of all time (1) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, 3) Revolver, 5) Rubber Soul, 10) The Beatles- "The White Album"), and in 2004 rated the Beatles the number one group of all time.

Moreover, the popularity of the Beatles is not waning. In fact it has been almost 40 years since the band broke up and their music is more popular than ever. Each year that passes brings more and more Beatles fans. Consider that the Beatles digitally remastered collection sold more than 2.25 million units in Japan, North America, and the United Kingdom in just 5 days after it was released on 9/9/09. Furthermore, Viacom announced that it sold 25% of the Beatles Rock Band game inventory in one week.

What is the reason for their continued popularity? Ringo Starr recently was quoted as saying "The music stands up. It's not the silly haircuts or the shoes or the suits. New generations of musicians and fans are still talking about the music."

One could go further in stating that the music that the Beatles made is still relevant among recording artists. Over the years, Beatle songs have been performed and covered by countless musicians. The most notable among the bunch is the song 'Yesterday' which was written by Paul McCartney when he was a Beatle. The Guinness Book of Records listed the song 'Yesterday' as having the most cover versions (over 3000) of any song ever written.

The Beatles were not just a band that made it very, very big - they made music that mattered. Their music has stood the test of time and it will still be relevant 40 years from now.

Dan Dunne

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