The Beatles History

The Beatles are recognized as one of the greatest rock bands of all times. Their roots go back to 1957 Liverpool, England, where John Lennon and Paul McCartney formed the nucleus of their first band, the Quarrymen. Soon thereafter, guitarist George Harrison joined the group. The bass player at the time, Stuart Sutcliffe, was the one who gave the group its famous name. They travelled frequently to Hamburg, Germany to play gigs with Pete Best signing on as drummer. Sutcliff was to die two years later of a brain hemorrhage.

Ringo Starr replaced Best as drummer in June 1962. Their songs started gaining popularity. Three early chart climbers were "Love Me Do", "P.S. I Love You" and "Please Please Me", which was also the name of their first album. Sales of the album kindled over a decade's worth of adoration known early on as "Beatlemania". Soon, Beatle tunes were topping the charts, including "She Love You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand". Crowds grew out of control as the band was greeted everywhere by worshipping, excited fans.

The band toured Sweden in 1963 for five days and returned to a near riot at Heathrow Airport. Their second album, With The Beatles, was released in November 1963 to great acclaim in Britain. At the time, The Beatles had been having business problems in the U.S. with Capitol Records, which delayed their success somewhat. By December 1963, sales were picking up, which led the way to the "Fab Four" making their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in February 1964 before 74 million viewers. They appeared a second time later in the month, and dominated the Billboard charts with a dozen songs in the top 100.

Over the next couple of years, The Beatles made two movies, A Hard Day's Night and Help!, both wildly successful. Help! featured many songs written and sung by John Lennon. By 1965, the band entered a new, drug-laden and Indian-influenced phase with the release of Rubber Soul in December, with "Norwegian Wood" featuring George Harrison on the sitar. The years 1966 through 1970 marked the band's abandonment of live performance in favor of the recording studio. Their music evolved in complexity as many famous groundbreaking albums were released, such as Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club's Band, and Let It Be. Tensions grew, and the band split up in 1970. John Lennon was killed on December 8, 1980, and George Harrison died in 2001. John Lennon memorabilia is especially valued today, decades after his death.