Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Beatles History - The Beginning of a Creative Revolution

beatles_avedon67Image by dag via Flickrby Jimmy Cox through Content Crooner:

Not every group sticks out in the annals of history the way The Beatles do. To be more exact, this group doesn't just stand out. They are part of what defines the story of the evolution of modern music. If the group never came to be, popular music as we know it would not be the same.

The group's origins can be traced back to 1960 when a teenage John Lennon set up The Quarrymen. The original line up included Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best. Paul McCartney and George Harrison joined at a later date. Sutcliffe eventually decided to leave the group but remained in good terms with the group until his early death in 1962 due to brain hemorrhage. Best on the other hand was let go and replaced by Ringo Starr.

It was not clear to Best why he was dismissed and the only explanation given was that the others did not want him in the group anymore. Apparently though, the drummer did not fit in with the group, being the only one who did not adopt the uniform band member appearance and who did not hang out after gigs. He was also deemed musically limited despite being hugely popular among fans. There is no telling for sure if the group would be the legend that it is now if Best was not pushed out.

With Starr on drums, the Beatles, as immortalized in history and collective memory was born in 1962. From the very start, Lennon and McCartney took the roles of songwriters and composers. Clearly though, the two composers differed significantly in style and form, a point of disparity that would later become more pronounced as relations among band members became strained. McCartney's music has been cited to be the more positive and extroverted of the two while Lennon's work is said to be more mature and grounded in reality.

Regardless of the differences between the composers though, they found common ground in merging a myriad of genres and influences. The revolutionary and inclusive approach of The Beatles is perhaps the main reason why their appeal has stretched across five decades. They are primarily labeled a rock and roll band but they have been known to integrate elements of folk, blues, pop, country, psychedelic and even classical and Celtic music.

What ultimately made the group special was that the variety of influences and styles did not appear to be the effect of evolution. The group's sound simply flowed naturally and smoothly wherever its focus lay. Listening to their albums today, there is no unbearable dissonant mixture of sound. There is only a mixing of elements into homogeneous masterpieces. This sat well with listeners all over the world as the group eventually took the US by storm in 1964 in a phenomenon that was to be permanently known in history as Beatlemania.

A deeper analysis of the story and style of band would probably be too excessive. After all, greater musical minds have weighed in and attempted to define the group's genius and outstanding commercial success. In a sense, there is no definite way to put a box around The Beatles history. Suffice it to say that they opened the doors to the popular acceptance of revolutionary, inventive and overreaching creativity.

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