Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Beatles and Their Lasting Influence

By James Magary

The Beatles broke up in 1969, but they have managed to retain their title as the most significant band ever to make a record. They are widely considered the best band in history, and their impact on recorded music, popular culture, and society in general is beyond calculation. Most interestingly, the Beatles continue to win new fans every day, and their music continues to appeal to people of all generations.

When the Beatles first "invaded" America in 1964, they represented one element of a generational divide. Rock and roll was still a relatively new form of music, and while the kids loved it, many parents could not understand the fascination with the four shaggy lads from Liverpool. However, as their careers grew beyond the image of their famous moptops, and as their music evolved beyond boy/girl love songs, people of all generations came to love them.

Even when they were teen idols, many older folks still responded to their music in a visceral way, because most of their songs were intensely melodic and sophisticated compositions, and their records often included classical elements, mixed in with rock and roll elements. In this way, the Beatles served as the bridge between the first half of the 20th century, which included the dawn of recorded music, and the 2nd half, which saw the advent of rock and roll and the global significance of a style of music that spoke to generations of people around the world.

Most fans agree the Beatles had a certain natural talent, which helped make them successful. However an accurate historical view should also take into account the accident of timing that brought the Beatles to the world in the 1960's, a decade that was ready-made for the type of revolution the Beatles created. The 1960's was a decade of many technological advancements, which included massive advancements in the quality and functionality of studio recording equipment, guitar amplifiers, and other items related to musical production.

The 1960's also saw an expansion of mass media, and the globalization of media, which gave the Beatles the opportunity to be the first truly global band. Finally, the 1960's was a time of massive social upheaval and cultural revolution, as the baby-boom generation came of age and sought to make its own identify. The Beatles took advantage of these three main elements and used it all in their music, which was technologically advanced, socially relevant, and designed for worldwide appeal.

This year the Beatles finally put out their catalog of classic albums on remastered CDs, including a complete box set in Stereo and Mono. They are also set to release, in December, a long-awaited set of their music in high-quality 24 bit FLAC formatted sound, which is an audiophile quality that surpasses that of CDs, which are still limited to 16 bit audio quality.

This collection is being distributed in a limited-release package called the Beatles USB Apple, which means that there are no discs... the set is actually on a USB device that plugs right into your computer. This USB device, as well as the box sets, give fans the opportunity to increase their appreciation for the greatest band in the world and the greatest collection of songs ever recorded. It is only fitting that another technological advance is being applied to the Beatles music, further enabling millions of people to experience their music and lasting influence.

To learn more, or to see a review of the Beatles USB Apple click here:

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