Biography and History of Famous Rock Band The Beatles Part 3

About the famous singers and songwriters English band The Beatles, history and biography of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr.

The Beatles: John Lennon (1940- ), Paul McCartney (1942- ), George Harrison (1943- ), Ringo Starr (1940- ).

Beatle music displayed an unusual tonal complexity for rock; it had bright melodies, non-echo chamber recordings, and positive, romantic lyrics--a welcome relief from surfer instrumentals and the nonsense novelty tunes of the period.

Beatlemania continued due to worldwide concert tours, selected TV specials, and 2 films: A Hard Day's Night, which United Artists originally wanted only for the sound-track rights, but which director Richard Lester turned into a minor film classic; and Help!, a highly visual, but inanely plotted film.

Beatle music broke new horizons with almost every album, leading other groups into an eclectic musicland. Early recordings encompassed pop ("'Til There Was You"); rhythm and blues ("Long Tall Sally"); rock ("Please Mr. Postman"); and their unique Beatle music. Later songs included country-and-western ("Act Naturally"), and folk-rock ("You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"). Harrison mastered the sitar and explored Eastern philosophy ("Within You, Without You"). Lennon and McCartney coauthored songs of protest ("Revolution #9"); social comment ("Eleanor Rigby"); and stream of consciousness ("Come Together"). They stayed within the limits of the pop music tradition for "Michelle" and McCartney's "Yesterday"; advanced into avant-garde double themes ("A Day in the Life"); and introduced classical rock with George Martin's baroque piano solo recorded at a different speed ("In My Life"). Other themes included sexual satire ("Happiness Is a Warm Gun"), and psychedelic music ("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"). The recordings themselves became surrealistic with parts of "Rain" taped backwards. Paul wrote a song under a pseudonym, and it became Peter and Gordon's hit,-"Woman."

By 1967, the group had ended its concert tours, partly because of the time needed for complex recording sessions, but mostly because they had outgrown their interdependence. Each Beatle required the freedom to reach his artistic maturity as a creative individual.

George had married Patti, a part-time model and "extra" in Hard Day's Night. He introduced Ravi Shankar to the West, and became a disciple of the Maharishi in India. He popularized transcendental meditation, which combined Eastern mysticism with Western materialism. Harrison has been most altruistic, promoting the Concert for Bangladesh, which earned over $20 million. His songs include such spiritual themes as "My Sweet Lord."

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