Portal:The Beatles

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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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The Cavern Club is a rock and roll club at 10 Mathew Street, Liverpool, England, where Brian Epstein was introduced to the Beatles on 9 November 1961.

Brian Samuel Epstein (/ˈɛpstn/; 19 September 1934 – 27 August 1967) was a British music entrepreneur, and the manager of The Beatles. Through his family's company, NEMS (North End Music Stores) he also managed several other musical artists such as Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Cilla Black and The Remo Four.

The Beatles recorded a demo in Decca's studios — paid for by Epstein — which he later persuaded George Martin to listen to, as Decca was not interested in signing the band. Epstein was then offered a contract (after Martin had auditioned the group) by EMI's small Parlophone label, even though they had previously been rejected by almost every other British record company.

Epstein died of an accidental drug overdose at his home in London in August 1967. The Beatles' early success has been attributed to Epstein's management and sense of style. Paul McCartney said of Epstein: "If anyone was the Fifth Beatle, it was Brian."

Image credit: George Groutas

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The cover of The Beatles' eponymous album
  • ...that "I Will", from the album The Beatles (pictured), required 67 takes to perfect?
  • ...that the "Four of fish and finger pies" lyric in "Penny Lane" was British slang? "A four of fish" refers to four pennyworth of fish and chips, while "finger pie" was sexual slang of the time, apparently referring to intimate fondlings between teenagers.
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My idea in "My Sweet Lord", because it sounded like a "pop song," was to sneak up on them a bit. The point was to have the people not offended by "Hallelujah", and by the time it gets to "Hare Krishna", they're already hooked, and their foot's tapping, and they're already singing along "Hallelujah," to kind of lull them into a sense of false security. And then suddenly it turns into "Hare Krishna", and they will all be singing that before they know what's happened, and they will think, "Hey, I thought I wasn't supposed to like Hare Krishna!"
— George Harrison (1943 – 2001)
 Interview with Mukunda Goswami

4 September 1982

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During their first trip to Hamburg, Tony Sheridan used The Beatles (credited as the 'Beat Brothers') on an album he was recording: My Bonnie. The title track, "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean", was the first ever single release featuring The Beatles. The recording features Pete Best on drums, and is one of the few recordings to do so, as Best was dismissed from the band before they began recording their first single, "Love Me Do".

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February 2016
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