Portal:The Beatles

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The Beatles portal

Photograph of The Beatles as they arrive in New York City in 1964
Original ABBEY ROAD photo corrected and cleaned with a Beetle car added (31 March 2007)

The Beatles were a highly successful and popular British rock band from Liverpool, England. They are widely regarded as the most influential rock band in history and are known world-wide. The Beatles continue to be a major influence on music well into the 21st century, having sold over a billion records overall. The Beatles paved the way for new musical styles and influenced cultural revolutions in the 1960s and 1970s. The members of the most famous line-up of the Beatles were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

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Paul McCartney performing at the 2007 BBC Electric Proms

Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942), formerly of The Beatles and Wings, is the most successful musician and composer in the history of popular music. McCartney is a multiple Grammy Award-winning English singer-songwriter, poet, composer, multi-instrumentalist, entrepreneur, record producer, film producer, painter, and animal rights and peace activist. He gained worldwide fame as a member of The Beatles, alongside John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. McCartney and Lennon formed one of the most influential and successful songwriting partnerships and wrote some of the most popular songs in the history of rock music. After leaving The Beatles, McCartney launched a successful solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda Eastman McCartney, and singer-songwriter Denny Laine. He has worked on film scores and classical and electronic music, released a large catalogue of songs as a solo artist, and taken part in projects to help international charities.

McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the most successful musician and composer in popular music history, with 60 gold discs and sales of 100 million singles. His song "Yesterday" is listed as the most covered song in history—by over 3,700 artists so far—and has been played more than 7,000,000 times on American television and radio. Wings' 1977 single "Mull of Kintyre" became the first single to sell more than two million copies in the UK, and remains the UK's top selling non-charity single.

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Recording of "Give Peace a Chance"
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First and foremost I am a drummer. After that, I'm other things.... But I didn't play drums to make money. I played drums because I loved them.... My soul is that of a drummer.... It came to where I had to make a decision—I was going to be a drummer. Everything else goes now. I play drums. It was a conscious moment in my life when I said the rest of things were getting in the way. I didn't do it to be come rich and famous, I did it because it was the love of my life.
— Ringo Starr (b. 1940)
 from The Big Beat: Conversations with Rock's Great Drummers. (1984)

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"The Long and Winding Road" was the last official single the band released, and the addition of a female choir and strings by Phil Spector angered Paul McCartney, who cited it as one of his six reasons for The Beatles' breakup in court. It was one of his main inspirations for releasing Let It Be... Naked - a "de-spectorised" version of the Let It Be album.

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