The Beatles and the British Invasion of Rock and Roll

Harvey Apartment the Beatles

The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and the British bands made such an impact on my generation, we were awe struck from the first note and I know I wasn’t alone at the time, nor am I alone now. Perhaps the greatest cross-culture music movement of all time, and it triggered a rock renaissance in the USA as a response. There were so many great new bands at one time, from both sides of the Atlantic, that each week a new classic hit was dropped

In the first waves of the British invasion we were introduced to bands like the Who, the Rolling Stones, Cream and a long list of legends, as well as artist like Eric Clapton and Sting, just to mention a couple. So the America’s responded with Leonard Skynard selling out Wembly Stadium in London and Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Grateful Dead and the Eagles, with Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Jimi Hendrix blasting there way into the hearts of the British rock fans, and across every border and language.

The Beatles, Abbey Road was the first cassette tape I ever bought and that started my life-long passion for rock n roll music, which continues-on today. My favourite song remains “Come Together” and I feel sorry for my parents when I listen to this song, wondering if they know it word for word, from me playing it in the car, on the way to the ski club in the winter.

The Beatles Summary from Wikipedia

Led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960, initially with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass. The core trio of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, who had been together since 1958, went through a succession of drummers, including Pete Best, before asking Starr to join them in 1962. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act, and producer George Martin guided and developed their recordings, greatly expanding their domestic success after their first hit, “Love Me Do“, in late 1962. As their popularity grew into the intense fan frenzy dubbed “Beatlemania“, the band acquired the nickname “the Fab Four”, with Epstein, Martin and other members of the band’s entourage sometimes given the informal title of “fifth Beatle“.

The Beatles were international stars by early 1964, leading the “British Invasion” of the United States pop market and breaking numerous sales records. They soon made their film debut with A Hard Day’s Night (1964). From 1965 onwards, they produced increasingly innovative recordings, including the albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), and enjoyed further commercial success with The Beatles (also known as the “White Album”, 1968) and Abbey Road (1969). In 1968, they founded Apple Corps, a multi-armed multimedia corporation that continues to oversee projects related to the band’s legacy. After the group’s break-up in 1970, all four members enjoyed success as solo artists. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001. McCartney and Starr remain musically active.

The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with estimated sales of over 800 million albums worldwide. They are the best-selling music artists in the US, with certified sales of over 178 million units, and have had more number-one albums on the British charts, and have sold more singles in the UK, than any other act. The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and all four main members were inducted individually between 1994 and 2015. In 2008, the group topped Billboard magazine’s list of the all-time most successful artists; as of 2019, the Beatles hold the record for most number-one hits on the Hot 100 chart with twenty. The band have received seven Grammy Awards, an Academy Award (for Best Original Song Score for the 1970 film Let It Be) and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. They were also collectively included in Time magazine’s compilation of the twentieth century’s 100 most influential people.

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