The Beatles

In 1960, The Quarrymen became The Beatles (Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison) and added drummer Pete Best and bassist Stuart Sutcliffe before heading to Hamburg for several months of demanding gigs. Upon their return, all the bandmembers except for Sutcliffe, who had left the band for art school, performed around Merseyside and caught the attention of record store manager Brian Epstein,He soon became the band’s manager. Epstein got the band signed with Parlophone and coaxed them out of their leather jackets and into their signature tailored suits, ties, and mop-tops. At this time, Pete Best was ousted from the group and replaced by drummer Ringo Starr. The single “Please Please Me” established the group in the UK and they crossed the pond to the US with “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” What followed in the years after was Beatlemania in its purest form: No. 1 single after No. 1 single and screaming fans that drowned out the band’s playing at and between live shows. The Beatles cemented their image with the cheeky musical comedy “A Hard Day’s Night” and continued to release albums and singles that were both innovative and popular. With “Revolver,” the band added string quartets, Eastern-influenced sounds, and more complex lyrics and arrangements; “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” pushed into psychedelia; “The White Album,” mostly written while the band was taking a course in transcendental meditation in India, took their songwriting to new heights. The Beatles recorded subsequent albums amid growing tension between the band’s disagreement over how to run the band. The final album to be recorded, “Abbey Road,” appeared in 1969 and “Let It Be,” which was recorded prior to “Abbey Road,” came out in 1970, just two weeks after Paul McCartney released a solo album and announced that he was leaving the band. John, George and Ringo also went on to solo careers of their own. Today, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are the only surviving band members.

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