The Beatles

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The Beatles
The Beatles logo.svg

Ringo Starr, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney (1967, from left to right)
Ringo Starr , George Harrison , John Lennon , Paul McCartney (1967, from left to right)
General information
origin Liverpool
Genre (s) Rock , Pop , Beat (in the early phase), Psychedelic Rock (in the late phase)
founding 1960
resolution 1970
Last occupation
John Lennon († 1980)
Vocals, guitar , bass , piano
Paul McCartney
Vocals, lead guitar , sitar
George Harrison († 2001)
Drums , percussion, vocals
Ringo Starr (from 1962)
Early members
Stuart Sutcliffe  (1960–1961; † 1962)
Chas Newby (1960)
Tommy Moore (1960; † 1981)
Norman Chapman (1960; † 1995)
Pete Best (1960–1962)
Allan Williams (1960–1961; † 2016)
Brian Epstein (1961-1967; † 1967)
Allen Klein (1969–1970; † 2009)
George Martin (1962–1970; † 2016)
Norman Smith (1962-1965; † 2008)
Sound engineer
Geoff Emerick (1966–1969; † 2018)
Road manager, assistant
Mal Evans (1963-1970; † 1976)
Neil Aspinall († 2008)
Tony Barrow (1962–1968; † 2016)
Press officer, head of Apple Corps press office
Derek Taylor (1964/65; 1968–1970; † 1997)

The Beatles were a British beat and rock band in the 1960s. With more than 600 million records sold - according to estimates by their record company EMI even more than a billion - they are the most successful band in music history.

The musical origins of the group lie in rock 'n' roll of the late 1950s, in which stylistic elements of Liverpool beat music flowed. Their first single Love Me Do was released in 1962. The Beatles achieved their worldwide breakthrough in 1963 with the single I Want to Hold Your Hand . Due to their then new style of music and their public appearance until 1966, they quickly developed into one of the most popular bands.

They reached the peak of their careers between 1964 and 1969, when they topped the charts in almost every country. In 1970 the band members John Lennon , Paul McCartney , Ringo Starr and George Harrison parted ways due to internal tensions. The musicians then successfully pursued their own music projects.

Most of the band's compositions are by McCartney and Lennon. Harrison is featured as a composer 18 times on the Beatles' albums.


Early Years (1956-1960)

The later Beatles emerged in the late 1950s from a number of forerunners around the Liverpool student John Lennon . The music-loving 16-year-old founded the skiffle group The Quarrymen in Liverpool towards the end of 1956 , named after the Quarry Bank High School he attended. The first members of this school band were Lennon (vocals / guitar), guitarist Eric Griffiths , drummer Colin Hanton , banjo player Rod Davis , bassist Len Garry and Pete Shotton on the washboard . The line-up of the Quarrymen, who made their first appearances at private celebrations and school parties, changed constantly, which was due in no small part to the eccentric, capricious band leader Lennon. The group's repertoire included pieces by music greats of the time such as Buddy Holly , Eddie Cochran and Lonnie Donegan .

St Peter's Church Hall: On July 6, 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney met at a parish garden party

The most important day in the young band's history was July 6, 1957, when the Quarrymen performed at a garden party in the parish of Liverpool-Woolton. After the first of the two concerts, Lennon was introduced to 15-year-old Paul McCartney by his school friend Ivan Vaughan . Lennon was impressed when McCartney wrote a version of Cochran's Twenty Flight Rock . A few days later he was accepted into the group. The first joint appearance took place on October 18, 1957 in Liverpool's New Clubmoor Hall .

The inclusion of McCartney meant for Lennon on the one hand the loss of his unconditional leadership position, but on the other hand artistic competition at eye level and a profitable source of inspiration. Lennon said of McCartney, “It crossed my mind that I couldn't get him [Paul] out of line when I picked him up. But it was good, so it was worth it. He also looked like Elvis. I liked it. […] Would it be good to have a member who was better than the others? Should the group be strengthened or should I? Instead of me as an individual, we opted for the stronger formation - equality. ”In the summer of 1957, Lennon and McCartney began composing their own pieces together, the first being Too Bad About Sorrows and Just Fun . Many of these were created in the McCartney family's living room at 20 Forthlin Road .

Instruments from The Quarrymen

On February 6, 1958, George Harrison , a 14-year-old friend of Paul McCartney's, attended a Quarrymen concert at Wilson Hall in Liverpool-Garston. After he played the instrumental piece Raunchy to Lennon on a bus trip , he too was accepted into the group. John Lennon said of George Harrison, "I picked him and that was the three of us, and the rest of the group was practically kicked out."

Due to Harrison's rather reserved character and the slight age difference, he remained in the shadow of Lennon and McCartney for the time being, whose friendship grew even closer after Lennon's mother Julia was killed in a car accident on July 15, 1958. McCartney's mother had died of breast cancer in 1956 .

Around the spring or summer of 1958, The Quarrymen, which now consisted of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Colin Hanton and the piano player John Lowe, recorded the songs That'll Be the Day (a Buddy Holly composition) and In Spite for private purposes of All the Danger (a McCartney / Harrison composition) in Percy Phillips' home recording studio in Liverpool. The songs were recorded directly on a shellac record. The record with these first recordings of the later Beatles was sold by Lowe to Paul McCartney in 1981 and published for the first time in 1995 as part of the Anthology .

To qualify for an appearance on British television, the band members John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison took part in a talent competition of the entrepreneur Carroll Levis under their new name Johnny and the Moondogs . After the group had qualified for the finals in Manchester on November 15, 1959 , a victory seemed possible, but the final took place without the Moondogs, as the group had to take the last train to Liverpool for financial reasons.

In January 1960, John Lennon's art school friend, budding painter Stuart Sutcliffe , joined the Moondogs as bassist. On Lennon's advice, the musically inexperienced Sutcliffe bought a bass guitar with the proceeds of one of his paintings. A short time later, the group was renamed, based on the Buddy Holly band The Crickets (The Crickets) , The Silver Beetles and, in July 1960, The Silver Beatles , the Beatles being a conceptual combination of the musical style beat and the English word for “beetle “, Beetles , manufactures. In an article Lennon wrote for Liverpool music magazine Mersey Beat , he ironically explained that the idea came from a man on a burning cake who appeared to them in a vision.

“Many people ask what are Beatles? Why Beatles? Ugh, Beatles, how did the name arrive? So we will tell you. It came in a vision - a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them 'From this day on you are Beatles with an «A»'. 'Thank you, Mister Man', they said, thanking him. "

“A lot of people ask what are the Beatles? Why Beatles? Huh? Beatles? How did you come up with the name? Well then, we'll tell you. The name came in a vision - a man appeared on a burning cake and said to them: 'As of today you are Beatles, with an' A ''. 'Thank you very much, Mr Mann,' they said, thanking him. "

- John Lennon : Mersey Beat , 1961

In May 1960, the Silver Beetles accompanied the singer Johnny Gentle on a tour of Scotland , which was arranged through the agency of the manager Larry Parnes. But the hoped-for breakthrough turned into a fiasco. During the week-long trip, the as yet unknown group had to deal with a sparse audience, hunger and exhaustion. One of the partially neglected hotels had to be abandoned head over heels due to lack of money. In addition, the then drummer Tommy Moore was injured in a car accident. From August 1960, the group renounced the addition of Silver in their name and called themselves from then on The Beatles .

Apprenticeship in Hamburg and Liverpool (1960–1961)

Looking for English music groups for his Hamburg nightspots, the German promoter Bruno Koschmider turned to his Liverpool business partner Allan Williams in the summer of 1960 . He had temporarily taken over the management of the Beatles and offered them a corresponding commitment. On August 16, 1960, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe as well as the drummer Pete Best, who had been recruited a few days earlier, arrived in Hamburg.

The Indra Club, 2007

On August 17, 1960, the group gave their first concert in Hamburg's red-light district St. Pauli under the name "The Beatles". From now on they played every day in the "Indra", a strip club on the notorious Große Freiheit . Gradually, the group members adapted to the tense environment of violence, alcohol, drugs and sex. The work days, which lasted up to nine hours, increased the repertoire, spontaneity and self-confidence. The club owner's request to do a “show” resulted in wild stage performances that attracted the audience and made the band the hippest insider tip of the Große Freiheit.

In Hamburg, the Beatles met the photographers Astrid Kirchherr and Jürgen Vollmer as well as the budding artist Klaus Voormann , who later decisively shaped the style and appearance of the group in terms of clothing and hairstyles (" mushroom head ", English moptop ). In addition, Kirchherr, who especially made friends with the reserved bassist Sutcliffe, was the first to be photographed by the band as part of professional photos. The Beatles haircut, the so-called “mushroom head” hairstyle, was created by the German photographer Jürgen Vollmer. He had cut this hairstyle himself long before Astrid Kirchherr and Klaus Voormann met him. In the Paul McCartney biography Many years from now by Barry Miles McCartney is quoted as follows:

"[...] to get back to the haircut. I should know! We saw a guy in Hamburg, whose hair we liked. John and I were hitchhiking to Paris. We asked him to cut our hair like he did his. He was living in Paris. He was sort of an artsy guy, a photographer friend of everyone. His name was Jürgen […] ”

“[...] to come back to the haircut. I should know that! We saw a guy in Hamburg whose hairstyle we liked. John and I hitchhiked to Paris. We asked him to style our hair just like his. He lived in Paris. He was a kind of artist, a friend and photographer who was popular with everyone. His name was Jürgen [...] "

Also in an interview given by John Lennon in 1967 - quoted in The Beatles Anthology  - it says:

Drummer Pete Best , 2005

“Jürgen had a flattened-down hairstyle with a fringe in the front, which we rather took to. We went over to his place and there and then he cut - hacked would be a better word - our hair into the same style. "

“Jürgen had hair combed down with bangs, which we liked pretty much. We went to his apartment and were dressed in the same way by him - although the word snipped would be more appropriate. "

Vollmer recalled meeting Lennon and McCartney in an interview in September 1961:

"They glanced at my hair and said 'Yes, we want that funny haircut too'."

"They looked at my hairstyle and said 'Yes, we'd like that weird haircut too'."

Because the Indra Club had to be closed due to disturbance of the peace , the Beatles moved to the Kaiserkeller at the beginning of October . The group Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, also from Liverpool, performed here with their drummer Ringo Starr . On October 15, 1960, the two groups united for a private recording of the title Summertime in a small studio at Kirchenallee 57. Over the years, however, all nine pressed records of this first joint production by Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr were lost.

At the end of November, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Pete Best were expelled from Germany. George Harrison, since he was only 17 at the time, the other two for alleged arson. John returned to the UK in December. Only Stuart Sutcliffe stayed with his girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr in Hamburg, where he died of a cerebral haemorrhage on April 10, 1962 at the age of 21 . In the following two years, the Beatles completed four more seasons in the Hanseatic city, one of them in the Top Ten Club , the rest in the renowned Star Club .

On December 27, 1960, the Beatles played a concert at Liverpool's Litherland Town Hall, at which the group cemented their status as "the best band in town" and saw the first signs of rising popularity. At this appearance and three others, Sutcliffe was represented by the student Chas Newby. A little later, Paul McCartney finally took over the role of bassist, and the Beatles became a four-man band.

Today's Cavern Club in Liverpool

The lasting effect of their concert in the Litherland Town Hall enabled the Beatles to appear in numerous clubs in Liverpool and the associated increase in their level of awareness. On February 9, 1961, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Best made their debut at the Cavern Club (the Quarrymen first played there on August 7, 1957), a smoky, somber basement eatery on Mathew Street that quickly became the group's hangout and that is now has achieved cult status through 292 documented appearances.

First Beatles record as a backing band for Tony Sheridan under the name The Beat Brothers , 1961

During their second stay in Germany between June 22 and 23, 1961, the Beatles accompanied the British singer Tony Sheridan on some recordings for the Polydor record company in the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Hamburg-Heimfeld , including the pieces My Bonnie , The Saints ( When the Saints Go Marching In ) , Why (Can't You Love Again) , the Harrison / Lennon instrumental composition Cry for a Shadow Nobody’s Child , Ain't She Sweet and Take Out Some Insurance on Me . These first professional recordings by the group (later referred to as The Beat Brothers on German releases ) were produced by German composer and band leader Bert Kaempfert . The entire recordings were only released in April 1964 under the album title The Beatles' First .

On June 28, 1961, a contract was signed between John Lennon and the music publisher Alfred Schacht, which came into force on July 1, 1961 and was initially valid for one year. At the request of Brian Epstein , the Beatles were released early on May 25, 1962 from this contract; the day before they had recorded Sweet Georgia Brown and Swanee River with Tony Sheridan . My Bonnie was released in Germany on October 23, 1961; 100,000 copies were sold here, also because of intensive airplay on Radio Luxembourg .

Brian Epstein and George Martin (1961–1962)

On October 28, 1961 a customer commissioned Brian Epstein, the Liverpool manager of the record store NEMS, to procure a copy of the Tony Sheridan / Beatles single My Bonnie, which was released in Germany . After further inquiries, Epstein researched the whereabouts of the group. On November 9, 1961, he attended a Beatles concert at the Cavern Club with his assistant Alistair Taylor. He was impressed with the charisma of the band members and a few weeks later offered them to manage them. The takeover of management by Brian Epstein meant far-reaching changes in style for John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best, who had previously performed in leather clothing and without a fixed program. Epstein insisted on proper suits, a steady stage program and appropriate behavior on stage. On December 9, 1961, the Beatles made their southern England debut in the Palais Ballroom in Aldershot in front of just 18 spectators.

Brian Epstein made it possible for the Beatles to audition at the Decca record company in London , where the group played 15 pieces at the Decca Audition on January 1, 1962 (including: Money , Till There Was You and Besame Mucho ). In the end, Decca directors Mike Smith and Dick Rowe decided on Brian Poole & The Tremeloes because, in their opinion, “guitar groups would go out of style”.

On March 7, 1962, the Beatles first produced pieces for a BBC radio show in Manchester . Three months later, on June 6, 1962, another audition was due at London's Abbey Road Studios , where the group performed in front of Parlophone producers George Martin and Ron Richards. Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Best played Besame Mucho , Love Me Do , PS I Love You, and Ask Me Why . After the audition, Martin, who had actually been looking for a solo artist with an accompanying group in the style of Cliff Richard and The Shadows for his label, offered the Beatles a record deal.

Ringo Starr , 1964

Shortly before the first recordings, the Beatles surprisingly dismissed the popular drummer Pete Best and replaced him with Ringo Starr, who had just performed in Skegness with his group Rory Storm & the Hurricanes. The reasons for breaking up with Best have never been fully clarified. The drummer was probably an outsider within the band due to a lack of sociability, and George Martin had also spoken out in favor of a change after the first test recordings. The first joint concert by Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr took place on August 18, 1962 at Birkenhead's Hulme Hall .

George Harrison said of Ringo Starr: “I got it all started back then, I really wanted Ringo. I chatted Paul and John until they finally found the idea a good one. "

On August 22, 1962, the Beatles were filmed by a Granada TV crew performing at the Cavern Club - the group's first TV appearance. On New Year's Eve, the group played their last concert in the Star Club in Hamburg. The live album Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 , which appeared in 1977, was recorded during December's stay in Hamburg.

The breakthrough (1962–1964)

Entrance to Abbey Road Studios
Beatles live, 1964
The Beatles outside the Ritz Cinema , Fisherwick Place, Belfast , November 8th 1963
Concert poster for performances by the Beatles at the Olympia Theater in Paris, 1964
Beatles single Come on, give me your hand , 1964

On October 5, 1962, the Beatles' first official single, Love Me Do , was released in Great Britain. Ringo Starr had initially been replaced by the experienced studio musician Andy White during the recording by producer George Martin in order to record the drums. In the end, however, Martin agreed to Ringo Starr.

Love Me Do , an original composition that John Lennon and Paul McCartney had pushed through against Martin's favorite How Do You Do It , rose to number 17 in the British single charts . The second single Please Please Me was released on January 11, 1963 and made it to number 2 on the British charts.

The success of their first records and the resulting radio and television appearances made it possible for the Beatles to increasingly make guest appearances outside of the Liverpool catchment area. The new road managers Neil Aspinall - an old friend of Paul McCartney - and Malcolm “Mal” Evans , the former bouncer of the Cavern Club, drove the group with their instruments in a used minibus to their performance venues.

On February 2, 1963, the Beatles, managed by the Arthur Howes Agency - which had all Gaumont and Odeon theaters and other cinemas under contract - started their first professional tour of Great Britain at the Gaumont in Bradford as the opening act for 16-year-old singer Helen Shapiro . Also present were Dave Allen , Danny Williams and Kenny Lynch. The second tour showed the band from March 9th alongside Tommy Roe and Chris Montez . After initial audience reactions, the Beatles were announced as the main group a day later. This was followed by top-class appearances at the Swinging Sound show in London's Royal Albert Hall (April 18, 1963) and in front of 10,000 spectators at the NME Poll Winners concert in the Empire Pool at Wembley (April 21, 1963).

The first official Beatles album Please Please Me was released on March 22nd, 1963. Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr had recorded the LP on February 11th in just twelve hours in the Abbey Road studios, using mainly pieces from their live - Used repertoire including I Saw Her Standing There , Do You Want to Know a Secret, and Twist and Shout . Please Please Me rose to the top of the British charts , as did all the Beatles LPs that followed until 1970 (with the exception of Yellow Submarine 1969).

The third single From Me to You was released on April 11, 1963. The A-side was composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney on the tour bus. The record reached the top of the British charts a little later with 650,000 copies sold and marked the beginning of an impressive series of successes: By February 1967 the Beatles had taken first place on the British charts with all their singles.

The Beatles' first meeting with the still rather unknown Rolling Stones , who were about to release their first single, took place on April 14, 1963 in the Crawdaddy Club of the London Station Hotel. Later, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who became friends with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards , left the group with their composition I Wanna Be Your Man . The title was released as the second single by the Rolling Stones and reached number 12 on the British charts.

From May 18 to June 9, 1963, the Beatles completed their third tour of England, this time alongside Roy Orbison and Gerry & the Pacemakers . Orbison also resigned as headliner after the first show in favor of the Beatles . During the tour, the group received their own weekly radio show, Pop Go to the Beatles , on the BBC. In July and August five week-long guest appearances each followed in holiday resorts (including Margate and Bournemouth ).

Because of the recordings in the Abbey Road studios and the numerous appearances in radio broadcasts, the Beatles had already moved to London at the beginning of the year. Visits to Liverpool became increasingly rare because of the tight schedule. On August 3, 1963, the group played their last concert in the Cavern Club in front of 274 spectators.

With their steadily increasing notoriety, the group made the ecstatic and increasingly out of control admiration by female fans to create, which reached unimagined proportions after the release of the next single She Loves You on August 23, 1963. Public appearances turned into mass events, many of the concert halls could only be reached and left with strong police protection. She Loves You became one of the best-selling British singles with 1.6 million copies sold.

The Beatles' final breakthrough came on October 13, 1963 with an appearance on the popular ATV show Sunday Night at the London Palladium , which was watched by 15 million people. Hundreds of screaming fans caused traffic chaos in front of the theater. After extensive television, radio and press reports, the hysteria known as “ Beatlemania ” became a surefire success for seven years. In allusion to their fame, they were now often called "Fab Four" (famous / famous / fabulous four).

In late October 1963, the Beatles completed a short tour of Sweden , which included appearances in Stockholm , Borås and Eskilstuna , plus radio and television recordings for the local press. When they landed back at Heathrow on October 31st, American show host Ed Sullivan happened to witness a phenomenal reception. Despite pouring rain, thousands of screaming fans were waiting for the homecomers. Sullivan had never heard of the Beatles but immediately booked them for his show. The following day the group went on tour of Great Britain again, this time as the main group from the start. The partly chaotic tour was accompanied by strong police forces who were supposed to counteract the hysterical expressions of sympathy by female supporters. In order to escape the fans, the Beatles dressed up as police officers in Birmingham . In Plymouth , they managed to escape through the city's canal system while police used water cannons in the streets .

On November 4, 1963, the Beatles played in the annual Royal Variety Performance in front of the British Queen Mother Elizabeth , Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret at the Prince of Wales Theater in London. The program also included appearances by Marlene Dietrich and Harry Secombe . The final track, Twist and Shout , was announced by John Lennon with the words:

“For our last number I'd like to ask your help: Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands? And the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewelery! "

“For our last piece, I ask for your help: Could the people clap along in the cheap seats? And the rest of you: if you just rattle the jewels! "

The London Times criticized the Beatles' performance as too loud for the unobtrusive environment of the evening:

“The Beatles exercise the combination of musical naivety with electronic sophistication which suits their engaging, irreverent cheerfulness and the loudest common chords since the end of Ein Heldenleben .

"The Beatles perform a combination of musical naivety and electronic sophistication that matches their captivating, irreverent good mood and the loudest hackneyed chords since the end of Ein Heldenleben ."

The second Beatles album With the Beatles was released on November 22, 1963. The LP contained six cover versions (including Roll Over Beethoven by Chuck Berry ) the Lennon / McCartney pieces All My Loving and I Wanna Be Your Man and the first George -Harrison's composition Don't Bother Me . The single I Want to Hold Your Hand followed on November 29th , for which there were a million pre-orders in England alone.

From December 24, 1963 to January 11, 1964, the Beatles performed as part of a specially rehearsed Christmas show with music and sketches in London's Finsbury Park Astoria. There were among others Cilla Black and Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas . This was followed by a three-week guest performance at the Olympia Theater in Paris, but only as the opening act for the then very popular artists Trini Lopez and Sylvie Vartan . In the local Pathé Marconi studios, the Beatles recorded the pieces Can't Buy Me Love and Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand und Sie Liebt Dich auf, which were intended for a release on the German market.

America and the World (1964–1965)

Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon, 1964
King's Hall, Belfast , 1964
Paul McCartney and John Lennon, 1964

Shortly after the Beatles' first successes, their manager Brian Epstein tried to establish the group on the US market. British musicians traditionally had a hard time in the USA in this regard. The US record label Capitol Records , which actually took care of the US distribution rights for EMI, initially rejected the release of Beatles records. In February 1963, the small label Vee-Jay Records jumped in , which released the single Please Please Me / Ask Me Why in the USA. The single From Me to You / Thank You Girl followed at the end of May . Both publications could not place in the US charts. The next single - She Loves You / I'll Get You was released in the United States in September 1963 on the Swan Records label . It wasn't until December 1963 that Capitol Records was ready to release a Beatles record - the single I Want to Hold Your Hand / I Saw Her Standing There - in the United States. Capitol was doing a promotion, newspapers wrote about the strange group from England, and the radio DJs started playing the single. On January 16, 1964, the group members received the news in their Paris hotel room that I Want to Hold Your Hand had taken the top spot in the US charts. The group's breakthrough in the US market was achieved. As a result of this success, Vee-Jay Records re-released the earlier records and in January 1964 released the album Introducing ... The Beatles . There were legal disputes that hindered the systematic distribution of the Beatles singles in the USA. The result was that four record companies released Beatles records in competition. In April 1964, Vee-Jay Records and Capitol Records agreed that Vee-Jay could continue to sell the 16 Beatles songs that had already been released by the label until October 15, 1964. Subsequently, the publication rights fell to Capitol.

With a number one hit, the Beatles traveled to their first appearances in the USA, including on the show by Ed Sullivan , who had booked them months earlier. On February 7, 1964, the Beatles landed in a PanAm plane at New York Airport , where 5,000 fans and 200 journalists met them on the tarmac. A big press conference took place in the airport building, which the group mastered in a humorous way:

Question: "Will you sing something?" ("Are you singing something for us?")
Lennon: "No, we need money first." ("No, not without prior payment.")
Question: "What is the secret of your success?" ("What is the secret of your success?")
Starr: "We have a press agent." ("We have a press officer.")
Question: "What do you think of the campaign in Detroit to stamp out the Beatles?" ("What do you think about the campaign in Detroit to wipe out the Beatles?")
McCartney: "We have a campaign to stamp out Detroit." ("We have a campaign to wipe out Detroit.")
Question: "What do you believe is the reason you are the most popular singing group today?" (“What do you think is the reason that you are the most popular music group right now?”)
Lennon: “We've no idea. If we did we'd get four long-haired boys, put them together, and become their managers. " ("We have no idea. If we knew, we would find four long-haired boys and manage them.")
Question: "What do you do when you're cooped up in a hotel room between shows?" ("What are you doing while you wait in the hotel room for their performances?")
Harrison: "We ice-skate." ("We're skating.")
Question: "How did you find America?" ("How did you find America?" [This formulation is just as ambiguous in English as in German])
Lennon: "We went to Greenland and made a left turn." ("We turned left near Greenland.")

On February 9, 1964, the Beatles performed five tracks ( All My Loving , Till There Was You , She Loves You , I Saw Her Standing There, and I Want to Hold Your Hand ) on the popular Ed Sullivan Show . 73.7 million viewers on the television screens followed the live broadcast.

During the show, moderator Ed Sullivan read out a telegram of congratulations from Elvis Presley and his manager Tom Parker . After concerts in Washington and at New York's Carnegie Hall , the group flew to Miami Beach ( Florida ), where during a short break to meet with the boxer Cassius Clay took place. After another appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 16, the Beatles returned to London on February 22, 1964.

The Beatles land at Schiphol Airport , 1964

The musical dominance with which the Beatles dominated the hit lists in April 1964 is unmatched to this day: In the USA they occupied the first five places on the singles chart on April 4 (at the top the one on March 16, 1964 with 1.7 Million pre-orders released single Can't Buy Me Love ), in Australia it was even the first six places. In addition, the group was in the US Top 100 with seven other tracks. In the USA, Capitol Records compiled independent studio albums between 1964 and 1966, which are not identical to the original British albums, starting with the album Meet the Beatles! , which appeared on January 20, 1964. In the USA there were also other single releases, and it was similar in Germany.

Because of its continued success, the Beatles were advised to try their hand at the film business as well. On March 2, 1964, filming for the musical comedy Yeah Yeah Yeah (Original title: A Hard Day's Night ) began at London's Marylebone station , directed by Richard Lester . The title track A Hard Day's Night was composed by John Lennon according to a phrase invented by Ringo Starr: After a long day at work, he left the recording studio and wanted to say “It's been a hard day”, but while he was saying it, he noticed that it was already was dark and added a “'s night” in its typical way. The black and white film celebrated its world premiere in London on July 6, 1964 and became a box-office hit. On July 10th, the accompanying soundtrack album was released, which for the first time only contained compositions by Lennon / McCartney (including Things We Said Today , I Should Have Known Better , And I Love Her and If I Fell ) and the single A Hard Day's Night .

Paul McCartney, George Harrison, drummers Jimmie Nicol and John Lennon, 1964

After a one-month vacation, the Beatles went on a world tour for the first time on June 4, 1964. Since Ringo Starr suffered from severe tonsillitis, he was replaced by session drummer Jimmie Nicol at performances in Europe and Hong Kong . Only in Sydney did Starr meet up with the band again. In Adelaide , the group was welcomed by 300,000 fans in the city center - the largest crowd that had ever gathered in Australia .

The Beatles in Australia; June 1964

On July 10, 1964, the Beatles returned to Liverpool for the North England film premiere of A Hard Day's Night , where they were greeted on the streets by 203,000 people. At the end of the month the group visited Sweden again.

From August 19 to September 20, 1964, the Beatles completed their first major US tour, which was like a triumphal procession. The Beatles refused to perform in stadiums where racial segregation was practiced, so it was lifted for concerts. In addition to appearances in San Francisco , Kansas City , Dallas and New Orleans , the group played on August 23 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles . Recordings of the concert were partially released in 1977 on the album The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl . On August 28th, Bob Dylan visited the band in their hotel suite in New York and introduced them to the use of marijuana . John Lennon on Bob Dylan: “When I met Dylan, I was completely speechless. […] Instead of putting myself in a situation, I tried to express my personal feelings about what I did in my books. I think Dylan helped me a lot with that - not with discussions or the like, but by listening to his pieces. "

The Beatles at Wellington Airport , New Zealand , June 21, 1964

Just three weeks after their return, the Beatles started another month-long tour of Great Britain on October 9, 1964. On November 23, the single I Feel Fine was released. The album Beatles for Sale was released on December 4, 1964 and, according to critics, was showing signs of fatigue. Only 8 out of 14 pieces were original compositions, including Eight Days a Week , Baby's in Black and I'm a Loser . In fact, the many concerts and other commitments had barely left the four of them time to write new songs, which was the reason for the six covers on the album. The year ended with the second edition of the Beatles Christmas Show at London's Hammersmith Odeon , which included 39 appearances in three weeks.

On February 23, 1965, filming began in the Bahamas for the second Beatles film, Hi-Hi-Hilfe! , this time in color. The director was Richard Lester again, while supporting actors include Victor Spinetti and Eleanor Bron . Further recordings were made in Obertauern , London and on Salisbury Plain near Stonehenge . The rather shallow slapstick comedy celebrated its world premiere in London on July 29, 1965 in the presence of Princess Margaret . The single Help! was released on July 19, the soundtrack album of the same name (including You've Got to Hide Your Love Away , Another Girl and You're Going to Lose That Girl ) on August 6, 1965.

The ninth Beatles single Ticket to Ride was released on April 6, 1965. Two months later, on June 14th, the group produced one of their most famous pieces, Yesterday , at Abbey Road Studios . Paul McCartney had written the ballad, with the working title Scrambled Eggs , from a tune that occurred to him one day when he woke up at his friend Jane Asher's house . The song, recorded as a McCartney solo and backed by strings, was not released as a single in Great Britain, but as part of the Help! -LP and published on an EP . Today it is one of the most famous pop pieces in music history.

The Beatles at Madrid Airport , July 1, 1965

From June 20 to July 3, 1965, the Beatles completed a two-week European tour. Just a month later, they went back to the United States. On August 15, 1965, the group played in the sold-out New York Shea Stadium in front of 55,600 spectators (including Mick Jagger , Keith Richards , Barbara Bach and Linda Eastman ) the biggest live performance of their career. It was the first time that a pop group performed in an open stadium and the largest paying audience to date at a concert. The noise level from the female fans during the 30-minute show was so high that, despite 40,000 watt amplification systems, neither the audience nor the Beatles, who did not use monitor boxes at concerts , could hear the music.

The Beatles in August 1965 during a press conference

After the Beatles had already met stars like Bob Dylan , Del Shannon , Joan Baez , Peter Fonda and Peter, Paul and Mary during the tour , the long-awaited meeting with their idol Elvis Presley took place on August 27, 1965 in his house in Bel Air instead. They talked and then went on to a jam session . Allegedly a cover version of You're My World was recorded on tape.

On June 12, 1965, the British royal family announced that the four Beatles would be awarded the MBE medal by Queen Elizabeth II for their services to the British export industry . The ceremony took place on October 26, 1965 at Buckingham Palace in London . 4000 fans and journalists waited in front of the building. The hysteria surrounding the award of the medal, however, was not without consequences. It was mainly the military (some veterans) who saw their decades-long fulfillment of duty in the service of the crown diminished by the award of the same order to a pop group and then returned their MBE medals. Harrison and McCartney wore their medals in 1967 on their Sgt. Pepper costumes.

New sounds and the end of the touring (1965–1967)

On December 3, 1965, the Beatles released the double A-side single We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper and the album Rubber Soul . The pieces on the LP, including Drive My Car , Nowhere Man , Girl and In My Life , show the first signs of a musical and spiritual maturation process among the group members. In Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) , George Harrison, at a request from John Lennon, played a sitar , an Indian instrument that he played while filming Help! had got to know. Paul McCartney contributed an Anglo-French ballad with Michelle . George Harrison concluded about the album: “Rubber Soul was my favorite album, even then. I think it was the best we did and we knew for sure that we were making a good album. "

At the same time, the Beatles started their sixth and final UK tour (with The Moody Blues as a support act, among others ). During this tour they also made their last appearance in their hometown of Liverpool on December 5, 1965. Many of their friends and relatives were in the audience.

On May 1, 1966, the Beatles were on a British concert stage for the last time as part of the NME Poll Winners concert. The release of the US album Yesterday and Today in June 1966 caused some excitement . The cover photo showed the Beatles surrounded by raw meat and broken dolls (Butcher Cover) . After fierce public protests, the LP was withdrawn and a new cover was released. On June 10, 1966, the single paperback Writer hit stores.

From June 24 to July 4, 1966, the Beatles completed another world tour, which included six concerts over three days in Germany as part of the BRAVO Beatles blitz tour ( Munich , Essen and - for the last time on June 26 - Hamburg ). Protests by traditionalists in Japan caused unrest, who refused to allow the group to appear in the Budōkan (June 30 to July 2), a hall in Tokyo mainly reserved for martial arts . The four Beatles drew a painting together in their hotel room in Tokyo, which they named Images of a Woman and which they then gave to the Beatles Fan Club director in Tokyo. In Manila the group played two concerts in front of a total of 80,000 spectators. The tour ended with a scandal when Brian Epstein declined an invitation from the Filipino dictator's wife Imelda Marcos to dinner on behalf of the band . During the hasty departure that followed, the Beatles and their staff were attacked by " security forces " at the capital's airport . Ringo Starr went down after a hook on the chin, and a chauffeur suffered a broken rib.

The release of the album Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys inspired Lennon and McCartney to new heights. On June 10, 1966, the single paperback Writer by Paul McCartney and Rain was published by John Lennon. For the first time, professional music videos were shot for advertising purposes for the single . George Harrison: “The Beatlemania made it very difficult to get around. And because it was more convenient, we didn't go to the TV studios as often to promote our records. We preferred to produce our own little films and put them on television. ”On August 5, 1966, the album Revolver was released , with which the Beatles broke new musical territory in terms of sound and instrumental range, which prompted individual contemporary critics to prematurely call the album“ Suicide weapon ”of the quartet. The cover of the album was designed by Klaus Voormann , the friend from Hamburg days . The lengthy sophisticated, partly arising under the influence of drugs pieces, including Eleanor Rigby , Taxman , Good Day Sunshine , I'm Only Sleeping , For No One and the psychedelic -inspired Tomorrow Never Knows , had been consuming enriched with classical elements and tape loops from the studio . At the same time, the popular single Yellow Submarine was released, a nursery rhyme that Paul McCartney had composed for Ringo Starr, who has a somewhat limited voice. The single reached “only” number 2 in the hit lists in the USA. Paul McCartney said of the musical changes: “I heard Stockhausen , a piece consisted of a lot of plink-plonks and interesting ideas. Maybe our audience wouldn't mind a few small changes, we thought, and if they did, bad luck! We always just followed our own nose - almost always anyway. "

On August 12, 1966, the Beatles started their fourth US tour in Chicago . The incidents in Asia and the fact that due to the enormous noise level during the performances there was hardly any music to be heard, made the group members increasingly disaffected. New excitement arose after the publication of a remark by John Lennon from an earlier interview that the Beatles were "already more popular than Jesus ". On August 22nd, John Lennon and George Harrison spoke out against the Vietnam War during a Beatles press conference in New York City . After nerve-racking press conferences, public record burnings and demonstrations by the Ku Klux Klan , the group decided not to go on tour anymore and to move their work exclusively to the studio. The tour ended with the last public appearance of the band on August 29, 1966 with a concert in front of an audience of 25,000 (admission price was five US dollars at the time) in Candlestick Park in San Francisco . John Lennon said, “We've had enough of the gigs forever. I can't think of any reason that could lead us to another tour. We are honestly exhausted. It doesn't give us anything anymore - it's really not fair to the fans, we know that, but we have to think of ourselves. "

In the fall of 1966, the Beatles granted themselves an almost three-month vacation, which resulted in a radical change in image. John Lennon's mushroom head was trimmed in Celle , where he stood in front of the camera for the Richard Lester film How I won the war . Also in the fall, Paul McCartney composed the soundtrack for the feature film The Family Way (German title: Honigmond '67 ), which George Martin orchestrated and produced in November 1966. The suits of the live shows were a thing of the past and were replaced by colorful clothing. In addition, the four band members had a mustache .

On December 10, 1966, the compilation album A Collection of Beatles Oldies was released in Great Britain and several other European countries. In the Federal Republic of Germany, the compilation album The Beatles' Greatest , which contains seven songs from A Collection of Beatles Oldies , was released on June 18, 1965 , so Odeon decided against a timely publication; the album was not released until February 24, 1971 in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Despite all rumors of separation, the group began recording a new album on November 24, 1966. On February 13, 1967, the double A-side single Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane was released , on which the Beatles dedicate themselves musically and nostalgically to their hometown Liverpool. For the first time since 1963, the record did not reach the top of the British charts, but stayed at number 2, which is due to the fact that the sales of the single were divided by two in order to be listed as two individual singles in the British charts.

John Lennon, 1967

For five months Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr worked at Abbey Road Studios on their LP Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band , which went down as one of the first concept albums in music history.

The unlimited recording time made it possible for the Beatles to use all studio resources and spend weeks honing individual music or text passages. Pieces like With a Little Help from My Friends , Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and When I'm Sixty-Four were created . A 41-piece orchestra took part in the recordings for A Day in the Life . For the cover photo, the Beatles were photographed in costumes in front of a wall of pictures of famous personalities (including Stan Laurel , Mae West , Bob Dylan , Shirley Temple , Aleister Crowley and Marlon Brando ). Sgt. Pepper was published on May 26, 1967, accompanied by great media interest . Paul McCartney said of the album: “The mood of the album corresponded to the zeitgeist because we ourselves fit into the mood of the time. There was clearly a popular movement there [...] We weren't really trying to satisfy that movement - we were just a part of it as we had always been. I claim that the Beatles were not the leaders but the speakers of their generation. "

Peace & Revolution (1967–1968)

After Bob Dylan introduced the Beatles to the drug marijuana in 1964, group members also resorted to psychedelic drugs over time . John Lennon and George Harrison had come into contact with LSD as early as 1965 . George Harrison's experience with psychedelics fueled his interest in meditation and Hinduism. He commented, “It was like lightning to me. The first time I took LSD, something that was inside of me opened up in my head and I realized a lot of things. I didn't learn it because I already knew it, but that was the key that opened the door to reveal it. From the moment I had that, I always wanted it - these thoughts about the yogis and the Himalayas and Ravi's music. ”Paul McCartney announced during a television interview in June 1967 that he had consumed LSD four times.

On June 25, 1967, the Beatles performed the peace hymn All You Need Is Love, composed by Lennon, on the BBC's satellite television program Our World Live , which was watched by 400 million viewers. Guests at Abbey Road Studios, where the recording took place, included Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton , Keith Moon and Marianne Faithfull . The single All You Need Is Love was released on July 7, 1967. It brought the group back to the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

At the end of July 1967, the members of the Beatles went on vacation to Greece with their wives . The idea of ​​buying a private island and the associated establishment of a recording studio was rejected after the Greek government used the visit to attract tourists. Ringo Starr's second son Jason was born on August 19, 1967 in London.

At Pattie Harrison's suggestion, the Beatles attended a lecture by the Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi on August 24, 1967 , who was promoting the techniques of Transcendental Meditation in London . The group was invited to Bangor for an introductory weekend . Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull were also there. During the course, the Beatles received news that their manager Brian Epstein had been found dead in his apartment on August 27, 1967.

Shocked by the death of their boyfriend, the Beatles began filming their third film, Magical Mystery Tour, on September 11, 1967 . The psychedelic comedy based on an idea by Paul McCartney was created without a script. McCartney largely took on the role of director, which made Lennon and Harrison upset. The soundtrack album Magical Mystery Tour , including The Fool on the Hill and I Am the Walrus , was released in the US on November 27, and a double EP with six songs was released in the UK. The single Hello, Goodbye was released on November 24th. On December 26, 1967, Magical Mystery Tour had its world premiere on BBC television, only to be panned by the press and critics shortly afterwards - as the first failure.

Beatles, 1968

In mid-February 1968 the Beatles traveled with their wives to Rishikesh ( India ), where the Maharishi held a meditation course lasting several weeks . Other participants were Mia Farrow , Mike Love and Donovan . Ringo Starr returned to England at the beginning of March, Paul McCartney followed three weeks later. John Lennon and George Harrison didn't leave India until mid-April after Lennon's friend Yanni "Magic Alex" Alexis Mardas spread the rumor that the Maharishi sexually molested Mia Farrow and other female students - a rumor that Farrow himself never confirmed and for which George Harrison is said to have later apologized to the Maharishi. During the trip to India on March 15, 1968, based on the style of Fats Domino , the single Lady Madonna was released . According to Paul Saltzman, author of an illustrated book about those days, the stay in Rishikesh was the Beatles' most creative time: 48 songs were composed in these seven weeks.

Apple uses a green Granny Smith apple as its trademark

On May 11, 1968, John Lennon and Paul McCartney flew to New York , where they at press conferences and television appearances the new - on the advice of the Beatles' tax advisors and on the advice of Clive Epstein (brother of the Beatles manager) - brought into being by Brian Epstein Beatles company introduced Apple . The group with departments for music, film and art should dedicate itself primarily to the discovery and promotion of talent of all kinds. As head of their press office, they hired the journalist Derek Taylor , who had already worked as press spokesman for the group once in 1964 . In the following years, however, Apple developed into a millionaire grave due to the lack of business acumen of the Beatles and their employees. Brian Epstein, who had taken care of the financial affairs until then and was a kind of father figure for the four musicians, had also died. As early as December 1967, the Beatles opened an Apple boutique in Baker Street in London - painted by The Fool - which, however, had to be closed after a few months due to a lack of income. The discovery of the singer Mary Hopkin and the Badfinger group by Paul McCartney were among the few artistic bright spots .

The progressive love affair between John Lennon and Yoko Ono  - he had met the Japanese avant-garde artist on November 9, 1966 at one of her exhibitions in London - led to the separation from his wife Cynthia in May 1968 . The extremely close relationship between the young couple ultimately also had a negative effect on Lennon's collaboration with the other Beatles, as Ono insisted on being present for all of the group's studio recordings. John Lennon said: “And suddenly we were both together all the time, mumbling and giggling in one corner. And on the other hand, Paul, George and Ringo, who said to each other, 'What the hell are they doing? What's the matter with him? ' And I didn't pay any attention to them anymore. Mind you, that wasn't on purpose, I was just completely and totally absorbed in what we were both doing [...] And then we looked around and realized that we didn't think it was great. "

On May 30, 1968, the Beatles began recording a new album; In view of the abundance of pieces composed in India, the decision was made to produce a double album . The work, which partly took place separately due to the deadline pressure, was characterized by an increasingly bad mood between the group members. In addition to the open dislike that McCartney, Harrison and Starr harbored for Yoko Ono, there were also artistic differences. After an argument, Ringo Starr left the group, but was persuaded to return. Ringo Starr: "I left for two reasons: I had the feeling that I wasn't playing very well, and I had the feeling that the other three were really happy with each other and that I was outside." Despite all the difficulties, the Beatles managed to record from songs like Back in the USSR , Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da , Dear Prudence , Helter Skelter and Happiness Is a Warm Gun . In George Harrison's composition While My Guitar Gently Weeps , the group was supported by Eric Clapton , who played the electric guitar solo. Paul McCartney said of the album, “I think it was a very good album. It was just great, but producing it wasn't a pleasure. On the other hand, such things are sometimes conducive to creativity. "

Yellow Submarine , a cartoon based on the song of the same name, had its world premiere on July 17, 1968 in London. The accompanying soundtrack album was only released on January 13, 1969 and wasthe second and last album by the Beatlesafter the compilation album A Collection of Beatles Oldies , which did not reach number one in the British charts up to and including 1970 - possibly because the second side of the album only contains instrumental music in the "classical style" of George Martin and there are only four unreleased songs on the album.

With the release of Hey Jude on August 26, 1968 (for the first time on the Apple label ), the group achieved another global success. The piece composed by Paul McCartney about the situation of John Lennon's son Julian after the separation of his parents became the most successful Beatles single ever. On September 4, the group played the song on the British television program Frost on Sunday  - the Beatles' last television appearance together. The album The Beatles , also known as the White Album ( German : 'White Album') because of its completely white cover , was released on November 22, 1968. The first editions were numbered consecutively so that each cover was unique .

On November 1, 1968, George Harrison released his first solo album Wonderwall Music , which is the soundtrack for the film Wonderwall . On November 12th, John Lennon and Yoko Ono followed with their avant-garde LP Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins , which caused a stir mainly because of the cover image showing Lennon and Ono naked.

The separation (1969-1970)

On January 2, 1969, the Beatles began filming the musical documentary Get Back (later: Let It Be ) in the film studios of London- Twickenham . According to Paul McCartney's idea, the group should be watched by cameras during the production of a new album and the preparation of a live show. The pieces should be recorded without orchestral accompaniment and double-track recordings. The director was Michael Lindsay-Hogg . After just a few days, tensions developed again between the band members. While John Lennon was increasingly indifferent and Yoko Ono could speak for himself when making decisions, Paul McCartney repeatedly took on the role of production manager. George Harrison and Ringo Starr debated the extent of the planned live show. Harrison left the recording studio on January 10, 1969 after being criticized by McCartney for playing the guitar in front of cameras. After a clarifying conversation, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr continued filming twelve days later in the newly established Apple Studios in London. Keyboardist Billy Preston was there and helped calm the situation down.

Savile Row 3 , location of the last live performance

The planned live performance finally took place on January 30, 1969: on the roof of the Apple Studios in London's Savile Row , the Beatles (with Billy Preston) played the so-called rooftop concert in the open air . There was a risk of traffic chaos due to the numerous onlookers , and some residents felt harassed because of the disturbance of the peace. Therefore, the police appeared on site and the Beatles stopped the show after 42 minutes. The concert ended with John Lennon's words:

"I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition."

"I would like to thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves - and I hope we passed the audition."

After filming was over, the Get-Back project was temporarily put on hold in February. On March 12, 1969, Paul McCartney married the photographer Linda Eastman in London. At the same time, George and Pattie Harrison were arrested for drug possession and later fined by drug investigator Sergeant Norman Pilcher, who had already arrested John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the fall of 1968.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Amsterdam

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married on March 20th at the British Consulate in Gibraltar . Instead of a honeymoon, the couple decided to demonstrate for peace for a week in a hotel bed in Amsterdam (bed-in) . More peace protests followed, including another bed-in in Montreal , several appearances in sacks ( Bagism ) and the return of Lennon's MBE medal .

In the spring of 1969, the Beatles' business problems escalated when Dick James and his partner Charles Silver bought their shares in Northern Songs Ltd. , which contain the Lennon / McCartney composition rights, to Associated Television Corporation (ATV). In the course of the repurchase efforts, it emerged that Paul McCartney had increased his stake without John Lennon's knowledge. Lennon, Harrison and Starr caused additional complications on May 8 when they appointed businessman Allen Klein as the new Beatles manager against McCartney's will.

On April 11, 1969, the Beatles released their single Get Back . The Ballad of John and Yoko, recorded exclusively by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, followed on May 29 . On May 9, the second avant-garde album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, entitled Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions and George Harrison's second album, also an avant-garde album, entitled Electronic Sound . In July 1969 John Lennon released his first solo single, Give Peace a Chance, under the name Plastic Ono Band .

Despite personal and business differences, the Beatles began recording a new album on April 16, 1969. Because the group members wanted to concentrate on their music and the producer George Martin supported the return to the style of earlier work, the production was largely harmonious, resulting in classics like Come Together , Golden Slumbers , Oh! Darling , Octopus's Garden (a composition by Ringo Starr) and Here Comes the Sun and Something by Harrison. The last four of the Beatles were in the studio on August 20, 1969, and the last photo shoots took place two days later in Tittenhurst Park .

Paul and Linda McCartney's first daughter, Mary , was born in London on August 28, 1969. On August 31st, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr attended a Bob Dylan concert with their wives during the Isle of Wight Festival. On September 8, 1969, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison (Ringo Starr was in hospital for an examination that day) met in Savile Row for a meeting , topics included a possible new single before Christmas and the follow-up album by Abbey Road . Lennon suggested that he, McCartney and Harrison should each claim four songs and Starr two songs, the authorship of Lennon / McCartney should be ended.

The End: Memorial plaque in the
Hard Rock Cafe in Munich

On September 13, 1969, John Lennon had his first live performance with the Plastic Ono Band at a rock and roll revival festival in Toronto , on that day he told his accompanying musicians Eric Clapton , Klaus Voormann and manager Allen Klein that he the Beatles will leave. On September 20, 1969, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr signed a new royalty agreement in London with EMI and Capitol Records . When McCartney suggested a number of other Beatles concerts during the meeting, John Lennon announced his departure from the group, which he did not make public at the request of Allen Klein.

Paul McCartney said: “I said, 'I think we should do little gigs again - basically we're a great little band. We should go in search of our roots. Maybe we'll break it up then, or we'll come to the conclusion that we still have it. ' John looked me in the eye and said, 'I think you're stupid. Actually, I didn't want to tell you until after we signed the contract with Capitol. I'm leaving the band. ' [...] 'You mean you're getting out? That’s about it with the Beatles. ' Only later, when we slowly digested the fact, were we really upset. "

John Lennon: “Then we were in the office discussing something with Paul and Paul was talking something - that we should do something and so on, and I just said 'no, no, no' to whatever he suggested. Paul asked: 'What do you actually want?' And I replied, 'I mean the group is over. I get off!' I started the band. And I dissolved them. As simple as that […]. But finally I found the courage to tell the others that I - I quote - wanted a divorce. "

George Harrison: “Now the group had got to a point where they were suffocating us. It placed too many restrictions on us […]. I would have liked to have left myself. Without the band, I saw a far better future for myself. It wasn't fun anymore and it was time to go [...]. "

Ringo Starr: “We held the group together to end Abbey Road . But basically it was all over by then. After we finally decided to split up, I felt relieved. [...]. "

George Martin: “They had practically been locked up for over ten years, and actually I was astonished that they had endured each other for so long. So I wasn't at all surprised that they split up because everyone wanted to lead their own life - not least myself. It was a liberation for me too. "

Six days after Lennon announced his departure, the album Abbey Road , on the famous cover of which the Beatles cross the zebra crossing of London's Abbey Road, was released. The LP ends after a multi-part medley with the piece The End , which closes with the words:

"And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make."

"And in the end the love you receive is the same as the love you give."

The shooting of the promo film for the single Something , which was released on October 6th, and the recording of a Christmas record for the fan clubs in November were already carried out separately. On October 9th, Giles , the second son of George Martin, was born. On October 17th, John Lennon's second solo single, Cold Turkey , followed , in which Ringo Starr also played. On November 7, 1969, Life Magazine published an interview in which Paul McCartney said, among other things, that “the Beatles thing was over. It exploded, partly because of what they did and partly because of other people. ”This statement was not followed up by the public or the press. According to a television and press poll, John Lennon was voted Man of the Decade on December 2, 1969, alongside John F. Kennedy and Mao Zedong . On December 12, 1969, the film Magic Christian was released in the UK, in which Ringo Starr starred opposite Peter Sellers . Another concert of the Plastic Ono Band took place in the Lyceum Ballroom in London on December 15, 1969. It was under the motto peace for christmas (Benefit for UNICEF ) . In addition to John Lennon and Yoko Ono, George Harrison, Eric Clapton , Klaus Voormann and Billy Preston with.

In October 1969 and the beginning of the 1970s, the White Album came into the focus of the global public again, as the double album played a role in a series of murders in Los Angeles , which aroused great media interest due to the prominence of the victims and the investigation of the murders in this Period occurred. The cult leader Charles Manson and his followers believed they could hear messages from individual songs published in them ( Helter Skelter , Piggies , Blackbird , Honey Pie, Revolution 9 ) and subsequently initiated a series of murders, the most prominent victim of which was the heavily pregnant actress Sharon Tate (see: Manson's “Helter Skelter " ). The Beatles distanced themselves from Manson's interpretation of their songs. The sales of the White Album rose sharply in the USA due to the media hype surrounding the process. The White Album is still the Beatles album with the most awards from the RIAA in the USA.

While John Lennon was with his wife Yoko Ono in Denmark , Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr worked with George Martin on January 3, 1970 at Abbey Road Studios on the Harrison composition I Me Mine . A day later, the three Beatles completed Let It Be , which was released as a single on March 6, 1970.

Paul said at the time after John Lennon left the group, “George, Ringo, and I kept calling each other occasionally for three or four months to say, 'How about? Is it really over? ' It wasn't like our record company kicked us out. The question of whether we would get back together was still in the room. Nobody knew for sure whether this wasn't one of John's little extra tours again. We clung to that hope for a few months, but eventually we realized, 'Oh dear, the band no longer exists. That's it It's over for good. '"

Due to the rumors about the imminent end of the Beatles, this topic was raised in interviews. George Harrison, for example, gave an interview for the BBC on March 11, 1970, in which he said that the Beatles will get together again in 1970 to record music. Regarding the Beatles split-up rumors, Ringo Starr said in another BBC interview on March 25 that the group was still in agreement and accused the music press of creating rumors.

Without the knowledge of Paul McCartney and George Martin, John Lennon, George Harrison and Allen Klein had commissioned producer Phil Spector to mix the January 1969 tapes. Lennon first worked with Spector on January 27, 1970 recording his third solo single, Instant Karma! together with Harrison as a guitarist. Phil Spector remixed the album in March and changed the original get-back idea of ​​a simple recording technique and added three songs with orchestral accompaniment. As part of this work, the last Beatles recording session took place on April 1, 1970, when Ringo Starr recorded drum overdubs for three of the pieces at Abbey Road Studios . The soundtrack album was finally released as Let It Be on May 8, 1970. Paul McCartney and George Martin were very dissatisfied with the musical makeover of Spector. The film of the same name celebrated its world premiere in London on May 20 and was awarded an Oscar for best film music a year later .

On March 27, 1970, Ringo Starr's first solo album Sentimental Journey was released . In the run-up to the release of Let It Be there was a dispute between Paul McCartney and the other Beatles over the coordination of the release dates of his first solo album and the last Beatles album. John Lennon and George Harrison wrote a letter to Paul McCartney on March 31, 1970, stating that Let It Be would be out on April 24 and that they had instructed EMI to withhold McCartney's solo album until June 4. Ringo Starr delivered the letter to McCartney and tried to mediate, but was sent away by an angry McCartney. On April 9, 1970, Paul McCartney informed John Lennon by phone that he, like Lennon the year before, would be leaving the Beatles. On April 10, 1970, Paul McCartney sent the British press an interview included in the advance copies of his first solo LP McCartney , in which he announced the breakup of the Beatles:

Question: "Are you planning a new album or single with the Beatles?" ("Are you planning a new album or a new single with the Beatles?")
McCartney: "No." ("No.")
Question: “Have you any plans for live appearances?” ("Do you have any plans for live performances?")
McCartney: "No." ("No.")
Question: "Is your break from the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones?" ("Are you separating from the Beatles temporarily or permanently, and is the separation based on personal or musical differences?")
McCartney: “Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I do not know." ("Personal, business and musical differences, but above all so that I have more time for my family. Temporary or permanent? I don't know.")
Question: “Do you see a time when Lennon / McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again?” ("Do you see a future for the musical collaboration of Lennon / McCartney?")
McCartney: "No." ("No.")

George Harrison retrospectively commented on McCartney's press release: “By the time Paul released his press release, everyone else had already left the band. That annoyed John terribly. 'Hey, I got out a long time ago and he pretends everything was his idea' ”.

Ringo Starr said: “The opportunity to continue was still there. But then Paul put out his solo album and spread this statement saying the Beatles had broken up. "

Paul McCartney commented, “It wasn't me who dropped out with the Beatles. The Beatles left the Beatles. "

On April 10, 1970, the Beatles' last official press release appeared:

April 10, 1970: Spring is here and Leeds play Chelsea tomorrow and Ringo and John and George and Paul are alive and well and full of hope. The world is still spinning and so are we and so are you. When the spinning stops - that'll be the time to worry. Not before. Until then, the Beatles are alive and well and the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... "

"10. April 1970: Spring is here and Leeds are playing Chelsea tomorrow and Ringo and John and George and Paul are alive and well and full of hope. The world goes on turning like us and like you. Only when it stops spinning - that will be the time to worry. Not previously. Until then the Beatles are alive and well, and the beat goes on, the beat goes on ... "

Between 1963 and 1970, the Beatles reached number one in the singles chart a total of 20 times in the USA, 17 times in Great Britain and eleven times in Germany. In the album charts they reached this position by 1970 in the USA 14 times, in Great Britain eleven times and in Germany nine times.

John Lennon: “The Beatles are over, but John, Paul, George and Ringo… God knows what their relationship will be like in the future. I have no idea, but I still love these guys! Because they will always be the people who were that part of my life. ”“ If you want to reminisce, you still have the old records. All that great music hasn't gone away. "

Paul McCartney: “You felt like the Beatles had been around forever, but in fact it was only ten years. The time seemed very, very long to me. But I enjoyed it. ”“ Despite our separation, we are still closely connected. We are the only four people who experienced the Beatles hysteria from within, and that binds us forever, no matter what. "

Ringo Starr: "For me, the Beatles were a really great rock band and we made a lot of great music that still has an audience today." "The four of us were really close."

George Harrison: “We have had close ties over the years. The Beatles can never really break up because as we said at the time we broke up, it doesn't really make a difference. The music and films are still there. Everything we did is still there and will not go away. "

The time after the separation (1970-1993)

On December 18, 1970, Beatles fan club members in Great Britain and the USA received the album The Beatles Christmas Album , comprising seven singles that were sent to members of the official fan club at Christmas from 1963 to 1969 .

After the separation of the Beatles, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr were also commercially successful, especially in the 1970s, with 16 number one hits in the USA alone (Lennon: 2, McCartney: 9, Harrison: 3, Starr : 2) and 13 number one albums (Lennon: 3, McCartney: 8, Harrison: 2) (as of February 2019) .

After the quarrels about Let It Be and Paul McCartney go it alone when the separation was announced, the relationship between him and the rest of the Beatles was shattered at the beginning of the 1970s. None of the group members attended the world premiere of the film. John Lennon, who processed the end of the Beatles in his composition God on his album John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band , dispelled any hopes of an early reunion in an interview with Jann Wenner from Rolling Stone magazine . On December 31, 1970, McCartney sued the remaining ex-Beatles and Apple in the London High Court for termination of business relationships with one another. The trial ended on March 12, 1971 in McCartney's favor.

Despite the Beatles split, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr stayed in more or less close contact through the 1970s. However, there was no longer a joint meeting of all four.

John Lennon wrote his pieces I'm the Greatest (1973), Goodnight Vienna (1974) and Cookin ' (1976) for Ringo Starr, in which he also participated musically. Paul McCartney supported Starr musically on the recordings of You're Sixteen and Six O'Clock (1973) and Pure Gold (1976). George Harrison worked with Lennon in 1971 on the LP Imagine and with Starr on his singles It Don't Come Easy (1971) and Back Off Boogaloo (1972) as well as on the album Ringo (1973), for which he directed Ringo's Rotogravure (1976) he contributed a composition. Ringo Starr himself was featured on several solo albums by his former colleagues, including John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band (Lennon 1970), All Things Must Pass (Harrison 1970), Living in the Material World (Harrison 1973), Dark Horse (Harrison 1974), Somewhere in England (Harrison 1981) and Cloud Nine (Harrison 1987). George Martin still worked occasionally with McCartney in the 1970s, in the early 1980s he produced the albums Tug of War (1982), Pipes of Peace (1983) and Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984), which also included Ringo Starr and Geoff Emerick participated.

The most difficult was the relationship between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. McCartney personally attacked his former partner in 1971 with the song Too Many People from his album Ram . Lennon countered with the malicious composition How Do You Sleep? from the album Imagine , on which George Harrison also played guitar. McCartney responded with the forgiving song Dear Friend from the album Wild Life . It was not until 1972 that the two ex-Beatles came together. The close friendship from the Beatles' days, however, should not be revived.

On May 12, 1971, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr attended the wedding of Mick Jagger and Bianca Morena de Macías in Saint-Tropez . Starr played George Harrison's concert for Bangladesh on August 1 at Madison Square Garden, New York . When the song I'm the Greatest was recorded on March 13, 1973, Lennon played the piano and took over the backing vocals, George Harrison played the guitar, Ringo Starr sang and played drums. Only Paul McCartney was missing for a Beatles reunion. However, the bass was played by Klaus Voormann and the organ by Billy Preston . The song was released on Starr's solo album, Ringo , which McCartney also played. On March 17, 1973, the recording session at the UK's Melody Maker headlined Beatles To Record Again! mentioned. A version of the song with which John Lennon sings was released on the 1998 album John Lennon Anthology . In a September 1980 interview, Lennon said that Harrison and Preston asked him to start a new band while they were recording, but he declined.

In March of the following year, the three attended a Capitol Records business meeting in New York. On April 2, 1973, the hugely successful greatest hits albums 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 , also known as "Red" and "Blue Album", were released. The “Blue Album” reached number one in the USA. In the fall, Ringo Starr bought the Tittenhurst Park estate from John Lennon, who had moved to New York with Yoko Ono in late 1971 . On November 2, Lennon, Harrison and Starr sued their ex-manager Allen Klein for embezzling royalty payments. The process was decided in their favor a year later.

The Beatles' December 1974 Separation Agreement, on display in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Paul McCartney, September 1976

During the recording of Harry Nilsson's album Pussy Cats , the only known musical collaboration with Paul McCartney occurred after the Beatles split up. McCartney, who briefly visited John Lennon in Los Angeles with his wife Linda , was invited by Lennon to a full-day jam session , which was also attended by Stevie Wonder . During the recordings, Lennon sang the lead and played guitar. Paul McCartney sang the secondary voice and played the drums. The recordings took place on March 28, 1974 at Burbank Studios and were only released on bootlegs . Another musical collaboration with Paul McCartney that John Lennon had planned was not realized. It was the last time Lennon and McCartney made music together in a recording studio. On December 19, John Lennon missed a joint appointment at the Plaza Hotel in New York , at which the termination of the Beatles business partnership should be officially sealed. He didn't sign the contract until a week later at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort in Florida .

Former roadie and close friend of the Beatles, Mal Evans , was shot dead by police on January 4, 1976 in Los Angeles. On January 26th, the Beatles record deal with EMI finally expired. After a re-release of all Beatles singles in Great Britain, the group was represented in the Top 100 charts with 23 songs in April. On April 24, a few weeks after the Beatles had been offered a seven-figure reunion, Paul McCartney was staying with John Lennon in his apartment in New York's Dakota House . In the evening they watched the NBC television program Saturday Night Live together when presenter Lorne Michaels offered the Beatles "the collectively agreed minimum wage " (around US $ 1,000) if they came by during the show. The two thought the idea was "cool", but then decided against a spontaneous appearance. A day later, McCartney came to visit again, but was turned away by Lennon at the door. It was the last meeting of the two musicians.

From 1976 EMI was authorized to publish compilation albums without obtaining the approval of the Beatles. First the double album Rock 'n' Roll Music was released , which in the broader sense includes rock songs by the Beatles, followed by other themed albums in the following years: Love Songs (1977), Rarities (1979), The Beatles Ballads (1980), Reel Music (1982) and 20 Greatest Hits (1982).

On May 2, 1977, a recording of the last Beatles concerts in the Hamburg Star Club from December 1962 was recorded on the album Live! at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; Published in 1962 . This was followed four days later by the LP The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl , which contains live recordings from 1964/1965, which reached number one in Great Britain.

The Beatles parody The Rutles - All You Need Is Cash (starring George Harrison, Eric Idle , Bill Murray , Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, among others ) premiered on NBC on March 22, 1978 . In the same year, Apple Corps sued the then emerging computer company Apple Inc. for infringement of trademark rights . An agreement was reached in which the computer company undertook to limit itself to the field of computers and not to be active in the music business.

On May 19, 1979, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr attended the wedding of Eric Clapton and Harrison's ex-wife Pattie Boyd in Ewhurst, Surrey . During the celebration, the three ex-Beatles played a surprise concert with several rock 'n' roll classics. On October 24, 1979, Paul McCartney, who was also commercially successful in the 1970s with his new band Wings , was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as "most successful composer of all time" with a rhodium record. According to himself, George Harrison visited John Lennon in the Dakota Building (in the second half of the 1970s), it was their last meeting. (According to Keith Badman's book The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break-Up 1970–2001 , their last meeting was on September 28, 1980 in Los Angeles)

John Lennon and Yoko Ono 1980, portrayed by Jack Mitchell

On November 15, 1980, John Lennon met Ringo Starr for the last time at the Plaza Hotel in New York, where he presented Starr with a music cassette containing four songs. It was planned joint recordings in January 1981 for the Ringo Starr album Stop and Smell the Roses , in which McCartney and Harrison should also participate. On November 28, Lennon signed an affidavit that provided for a one-time Beatles concert as an advertising campaign for the planned documentary The Long and Winding Road .

On December 8, 1980, the 40-year-old John Lennon, who had just initiated his musical comeback with the album Double Fantasy , was shot in front of his home in New York by the mentally disturbed fan Mark David Chapman . Paul McCartney (currently in London), George Harrison (in Henley-on-Thames ) and Ringo Starr (in the Bahamas ) were informed of the death of their ex-partner by telephone. Starr flew to New York with his girlfriend Barbara Bach on December 9 and visited Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon at the Dakota House .

“After all we went through together I had and still have great love and respect for him. I am shocked and stunned. To rob life is the ultimate robbery in life. This perpetual encroachment on other people's space is taken to the limit with the use of a gun. It is an outrage that people can take other people's lives when they obviously haven't got their own lives in order. "

“After everything we've been through, I still really like and respect him. I am dismayed and stunned. Robbing someone's life is the worst robbery one can commit in life. This eternal intervention in the free space of other people is driven to the extreme by the use of a weapon. It is an abomination that you can take someone else's life when you are not in control of your own. "

- Press release by George Harrison

When Ringo Starr married actress Barbara Bach in London on April 27, 1981 , Paul and Linda McCartney as well as George and Olivia Harrison were among the 70 guests. During the celebration, McCartney, Harrison and Starr performed as an all-star band with Harry Nilsson and Ray Cooper . On May 11th, George Harrison released the John Lennon tribute single All Those Years Ago , which includes musical contributions by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Starr's October 27 album Stop and Smell the Roses included two McCartney and Harrison compositions.

The Paul McCartney LP Tug of War , released on April 26, 1982, contains the John Lennon tribute track Here Today . Ringo Starr played drums at Take It Away . On May 24th, George Harrison and Ringo Starr attended the screening of the film The Cooler (with Starr and McCartney) at the Cannes Film Festival . On June 23, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr played a concert in front of fan club members at Elstree Film Studios in Hertfordshire .

Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr discussed the possible buyback of Northern Songs at a meeting on July 25, 1983 at the Gore Hotel in London. In September the three ex-Beatles sued against the publication of the Beatles Fan Club Christmas singles from 1963 to 1969. At another business meeting with Yoko Ono on December 1, the future of Apple was discussed.

On October 25, 1984, the world premiere of the Paul McCartney movie Broad Street was in New York. The film and the soundtrack Give My Regards to Broad Street were created in close collaboration with Ringo Starr. In December, the three ex-Beatles prevented the release of the album The Beatles Sessions , which would have contained previously unreleased recordings.

In 1985, the business disputes between the ex-Beatles flared up again. On February 25, Paul McCartney was sued by George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono for allegedly secretly increasing his royalty rates on the Beatles' records. On April 4th, the film Water - The Film , produced by George Harrison, premiered, in which Harrison sings the song Freedom with Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton, among others . On August 10, Michael Jackson bought the rights to all 251 Lennon / McCartney compositions for $ 47.5 million . The defeated bidder Paul McCartney was appalled when Yoko Ono had assured him that an offer of five million dollars would be enough. On October 21, 1985, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were guests of Carl Perkins , who recorded the television special Blue Suede Shoes - A Rockabilly Session with Carl Perkins and Friends at Limehouse Television Studios in London .

From February 26, 1987, all Beatles albums were released on CD for the first time . Sgt. Pepper rose to 3rd place on the British charts for the 20th anniversary. On June 5th, George Harrison and Ringo Starr performed together at the Prince's Trust Rock Gala at London's Wembley Arena . Starr played drums on Harrison's album Cloud Nine , which was released on November 2 and also includes the Beatles tribute song When We Was Fab .

George Harrison and Ringo Starr attended the induction of The Beatles into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on January 20, 1988 . Paul McCartney stayed away because of the ongoing business differences. Harrison and Starr gave an all-star concert with Bob Dylan , Mick Jagger , Bruce Springsteen and Mike Love . On March 5, 1988, Harrison and Starr appeared on the Aspel & Company show as interview guests. On March 8, the albums Past Masters Vol. 1 & 2 were released, which contain a summary of all Beatles singles and EPs.

On November 8, 1989, the record companies EMI and Capitol were sentenced to pay 100 million dollars in unpaid royalties to the ex-Beatles. Later that month, a press release from George Harrison said the Beatles would not reunite "as long as John Lennon remains dead."

In April 1990, four asteroids discovered in 1983/1984 were renamed Lennon , McCartney , Harrison and Starr by the International Astronomical Union . In October 1991, the second legal battle between Apple Corps and the computer company Apple ended in an out-of-court settlement. On November 13, 1991, the documentary The Beatles: The First US Visit was released on VHS videotape, on February 9, 2004 it was released on DVD.

On April 6, 1992, Ringo Starr performed at a charity concert organized by George Harrison for the benefit of the meditation organization Natural Law Party at London's Royal Albert Hall . On October 8, McCartney, Harrison and Starr met with Yoko Ono for a business meeting at MPL's London headquarters.

On April 16, 1993 Paul McCartney gave a concert at the Hollywood Bowl ( Los Angeles ). During the last song Hey Jude , Ringo Starr came on stage and sang in the choir.

Anthology (1994-2001)

As early as 1970 and 1980 there were plans for a large-scale television documentary under the working title The Long and Winding Road , in which Neil Aspinall was supposed to work on the history of the Beatles. Shortly before the murder of John Lennon, negotiations with the ex-members, who even agreed to a live performance together as part of the advertising campaign, were well advanced. In October 1987 McCartney, Harrison and Starr finally agreed at a meeting in London on the realization of the project The Beatles Anthology , which in addition to the television production and a book also provided three albums and three new singles. Directed by Geoff Wonfor, filming began in May 1992 for the lavish documentary, in which the ex-Beatles tell their own story in hours of interviews that are stocky with original sound and film recordings. In addition to comments from close confidants George Martin, Neil Aspinall and Derek Taylor, archive quotes from John Lennon were also included.

On January 19, 1994, John Lennon was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as solo performer in the presence of Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York . At the press conference that followed, McCartney confirmed the rumors of an imminent Beatles reunion. Ono gave McCartney four demo tapes made by Lennon in the 1970s, which contained previously unreleased pieces.

Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr began recording the first new Beatles single in 25 years in McCartney's home studio in Peasmarsh, Sussex on February 11, 1994 . Under the production of Jeff Lynne , the newly recorded vocal and instrumental tracks were added to the digitally cleaned Free as a Bird demo tape by John Lennon with the help of the latest technology .

“It's crazy really, because when you think about a new Beatles record, it is impossible, because John is not around. So, I invented a little scenario; he's gone away on holiday and he's just rung us up and he says' just finish this track for us, will you? I'm sending the cassette - I trust you. '”

“This is really crazy because if you think about recording a Beatles album without John there, it's impossible. So I told myself he was going on vacation and called us to say, 'Just finish this recording, okay? I'll send you the cassette - I trust you. '"

- Paul McCartney

During the filming of the documentary Anthology , a jam session in June 1994 by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr was recorded in a home recording studio, which was released on March 31, 2003 as part of the Anthology - DVD box re-release . The following songs were partially played: Baby What You Want Me to Do , Raunchy (instrumental) , Thinking of Linking , Blue Moon of Kentucky and Ain't She Sweet .

A cross-section of the Beatles radio recordings from 1963 to 1965 was released on November 30, 1994 on the double album Live at the BBC , which topped the UK charts. Ringo Starr's former wife, Maureen Tigrett, died on December 30 at the age of 48 in Los Angeles from complications from a leukemia - bone marrow transplant .

On February 6, 1995, the group in Peasmarsh began work on their second new single Real Love . The production turned out to be more difficult this time because the sound quality of the demo tape was technically inferior. Completion of the other new tracks, Now and Then and Grow Old with Me , was canceled a month later due to differences of opinion.

In the presence of George Martin, the Beatles began on May 22, 1995 in London's Abbey Road Studios with the selection and mixing of the songs for the planned three anthology albums which should contain outtakes and unreleased pieces by the group. Her long-time friend Klaus Voormann was commissioned to design the cover. In October and November filming took place for the video clips for Free as a Bird and Real Love .

Accompanied by a very extensive advertising campaign, the first part of the five-hour documentary The Beatles Anthology had its world premiere on US television on November 19, 1995 . Two days later the double album Anthology 1 with titles from the years 1958 to 1964 was released. It reached the top of the US hit parade. On December 4th, the single Free as a Bird hit stores, which, contrary to all expectations , stayed at number 2 on the British charts behind Michael Jackson's Earth Song .

On March 4, 1996, the second comeback single Real Love was released , which was banned from the British BBC radio because of "sound technical reasons" from the program. Anthology 2 (with titles from 1965 to 1968) was released on March 18 and rose to the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Beatles producer George Martin was knighted on June 15th . The anthology was released on October 7th in an eight-part VHS video box.

In a press release on October 17, 1996, McCartney, Harrison and Starr announced that there would be no further joint recordings. The double album Anthology 3 (with titles from 1968 to 1970) released on October 28th again reached number 1 on the US hit lists. The Beatles are the only group of which three albums reached the top of the US LP charts twice within twelve months (1964 and 1996). In total, the group received 15 multi-platinum records and three Grammy Awards for the three-part anthology .

On March 11, 1997, Paul McCartney was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace in London . Two months later he released the album Flaming Pie (named after Lennon's comment on the creation of the name "Beatles"), which contains musical contributions by Ringo Starr. McCartney returned the favor a year later on his CD Vertical Man , on which George Harrison also played a musical role. On October 14, the two ex-Beatles attended the world premiere of McCartney's orchestral work Standing Stone at the Royal Albert Hall . Derek Taylor , the Beatles' press secretary, died on September 8, 1997, and worked for Apple Corps until his death .

In May 1998 Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr successfully sued a recording company that had released a recording of a Beatles Star Club concert on CD. On June 8, McCartney, Harrison and Starr attended in London participated in the memorial service for Linda McCartney, who on April 17 in Tucson ( Arizona her) breast cancer suffering had succumbed. On December 28th, the Beatles were immortalized with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame .

On September 14, 1999, the digitally restored cartoon Yellow Submarine was released on DVD. At the same time, Yellow Submarine Songtrack was released , a newly compiled and mixed soundtrack album. In June 2012 it was published in Blu-ray format. At the end of the year, the Beatles were voted the Most Important Artists and Best Musical Group of the 20th Century in a nationwide poll of 600,000 British citizens . Sgt. Pepper’s won the vote for Best Album .

On December 30th, George Harrison was injured in the chest area in a knife attack in his villa in Henley-on-Thames .

George Harrison and Ringo Starr were guests on September 17, 2000 at a party hosted by Formula 1 driver Damon Hill in Hambledon (Surrey), where they gave a short concert with Leo Sayer . On October 5, the book The Beatles Anthology was published with the transcripts of the interviews for the television documentary of the same name. With the Greatest Hits Album 1 released on November 17th , the Beatles returned to the top of the charts in 34 countries, including Germany, Great Britain and the USA. The best-selling CD of the year qualified for 35 platinum records worldwide in the first week alone and sold over 24 million copies by 2006.

George Harrison, 1996

Already in August / September 1997, George Harrison had after removal of a swollen lymph node in London a radium - radiotherapy subjected. In January 1998, a treatment at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester ( Minnesota ) followed. Harrison was hospitalized again on March 21, 2001 with suspected lung cancer . During the subsequent operation, a malignant cancerous tumor was removed from the lungs. Paul McCartney visited him on May 8th while he was on vacation in Tuscany . Just a week later, doctors at the Bellinzona Cancer Clinic diagnosed a serious brain tumor . The last meeting of Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr took place on 12 November at the University Hospital of Staten Iceland ( New York instead) where Harrison with a strong chemotherapy was treated.

George Harrison died on November 29, 2001 at the age of 58 in Los Angeles, California.

“His music will live on forever, as will his personality. We had just so many beautiful times together and that is what I am going to remember him by. He was just my baby brother and he will sorely missed. I understand the end was a very peaceful, golden moment - that's a blessing. "

“His music will live on forever, as will his personality. We had such a wonderful time together and that's what I will always remember. He was like my little brother and I will miss him very much. As I know, the end was a peaceful and golden moment - that's a blessing. "

- Paul McCartney

Development since 2002

Giles Martin , 2006

Paul McCartney and Gerry & the Pacemakers performed at a memorial concert for George Harrison at the Empire Theater in Liverpool on February 24, 2002. In July of the same year, the two ex-Beatles McCartney and Starr took part with George Martin at a memorial service for Harrison in his house in Henley-on-Thames. On November 29th, the Concert for George was held in London's Royal Albert Hall . In addition to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr u. a. Eric Clapton, Tom Petty , Jeff Lynne , Billy Preston and the comedy troupe Monty Python .

In September 2002 the restored feature film A Hard Day's Night was released on DVD, a newly restored release in Blu-ray format followed in June 2014.

The Ringo Starr album Ringo Rama , released on March 25, 2003, contains the George Harrison tribute Never Without You . The Beatles Anthology documentary was released on March 31 in a 5-DVD set. On September 24, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono attended a pre-premiere of Concert for George at the Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, Los Angeles County . On October 28, 2003, the four Ed Sullivan Shows from February 1964 and September 12, 1965 with a total of 20 live recorded titles by the Beatles as well as appearances by other artists under the title The Four Historic Ed Sullivan Shows Featuring The Beatles as VHS - Cassette / double DVD released. On November 17, a "raw version" of the Beatles album from 1970 was released under the title Let It Be ... Naked , which dispensed with orchestral editing by Phil Spector .

On February 3, 2004, the documentary film The Beatles - The First US Visit was released on DVD. This documentary is essentially based on the documentary film What's Happening! That was shot in February 1964 . The Beatles In The USA by Albert and David Maysles . In addition, scenes from the Ed Sullivan shows have been added.

On September 9, 2004, the Beatles were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame . Former Quarrymen guitarist Eric Griffiths died on 29 January 2005 at the age of 64 years in Edinburgh to stomach cancer . On December 15 of the same year, Apple Records sued the EMI group on behalf of the ex-Beatles for evading Beatles royalties amounting to 30 million pounds.

The box The Capitol Albums Vol. 1 was released in November 2004 , it contains four US albums from 1964, followed in April 2006 by The Capitol Albums Vol. 2, which contains four further US albums from 1965.

After the conflict flared up again in 2003, the process between the Beatles company Apple Corps and the computer group of the same name began on March 29, 2006 in the London High Court . However, the court did not recognize the electronics company using the Beatles' proprietary apple logo for music. The Apple logo would only be used for hardware programs around an online music service, but not for music sales as such.

Former Beatles keyboardist Billy Preston , who was involved in the recordings of Let It Be and on several solo recordings by Lennon, Harrison and Starr, died on June 6, 2006 at the age of 59 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr attended the world premiere of the official Beatles musical show Love , created in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil , at the Mirage in Las Vegas on June 30, 2006 .

In August 2006, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was voted "Best Album of All Time" in a BBC poll.

In the top ten of this survey there are three more Beatles albums, Revolver (6th place), Abbey Road (8th place) and The Beatles ("White Album", 10th place). On the occasion of the album hit parade that has existed for 50 years, listeners were able to choose from all the albums that could place themselves at the top.

Love was released on November 17, 2006 . This album is a new mix of well-known Beatles pieces by George Martin and his son Giles Martin . The basis for this album is the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name in Las Vegas .

On February 5, 2007, announced corporation Apple Inc. , led by its CEO Steve Jobs to the Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd. made a new comparison. According to the settlement, Apple Inc. is the owner of all trademark rights that have to do with the name Apple and will license certain rights to the Beatles company. Financial details were not given. Already in the course of the presentation of Apple's iPhone at the Macworld Conference & Expo 2007 it became apparent that at least negotiations were being conducted with Apple Records, as the Beatles' record cover Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was shown in connection with the mobile phone, among other things , whose music was not available through the iTunes Store until November 16, 2010 .

From 2007 onwards, albums / songs by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were distributed via iTunes . The 13 Beatles albums and the compilation albums Past Masters , 1962–1966 and 1967–1970 were first published in download format on November 16, 2010 on iTunes. In the following years, the compilation albums Anthology Highlights (2011) and Tomorrow Never Knows (2012) were released exclusively via iTunes.

In November 2007 a new release of the film Help! from 1965. The film was released in a double DVD special edition. A making-of and a documentation about the restoration of the film are included as extra material. In June 2013, it was released in Blu-Ray format.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the recording of the Beatles song Across the Universe , NASA broadcast the song on February 4, 2008 at 7 p.m. EST (February 5, 2008, 1 a.m. CET ) in the direction of the Polar Star , constellation Ursa Minor (Little Bear) , via their Madrid system  , which is part of the deep space antenna network. The date marks three more events: NASA was founded 50 years earlier, 45 years earlier it founded the Deep Space Project , and 40 years earlier the United States had launched its first NASA satellite, Explorer 1 . The song, which is encoded as MP3 and is around four minutes long, takes 431 years to reach the Polar Star region, 2.5 billion kilometers away, in 2439. The song was written by John Lennon, who would later call it one of his best compositions. Paul McCartney asked NASA in a greeting message to send his "greetings to the aliens". Yoko Ono spoke of the "beginning of a new age in which we will communicate with billions of planets". Beatles fans announced February 4, 2008 for Across the Universe Day and played the song worldwide at the time of transmission. NASA broadcast the event live via the Internet, accompanied by a video that illustrates the song.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, 2009

Norman Smith , the Beatles' first senior sound engineer , died on March 3, 2008 at the age of 85. Neil Aspinall died on March 24, 2008 in New York at the age of 66; he was CEO of Apple Corps until 2007 .

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr took the stage together for the first time since 2002 at a benefit concert by the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace on April 4, 2009 at Radio City Music Hall, New York. The motto of the concert was Change Begins Within ; With the proceeds, the foundation wants to give socially disadvantaged children the opportunity to learn Transcendental Meditation : the meditation technique that the Beatles learned in 1968 in Rishikesh, India, from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi . Other contributors were: Donovan and Paul Horn (companions on the trip to India at the time), Ben Harper , Sheryl Crow , Pearl Jam's front man Eddie Vedder , Moby , Bettye LaVette and Jim James .

Shortly after the benefit concert in New York, it was reported that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr want to continue working together musically. On the Starr album Y Not , the duet Walk with You was released with Paul McCartney in January 2012, who also played bass on the song Peace Dream .

Allen Klein , the last manager of the Beatles, died on July 4, 2009 in New York at the age of 77.

After four years of preparation, all 13 studio albums of the Beatles were released in a mastered version on September 9, 2009 . For the first time, all Beatles albums are available in stereo on CD. The CDs are available individually or in the The Beatles Stereo Box Set with 16 CDs. A mono version of the album, originally released as a single version, the new mastering in the box The Beatles in Mono available.

On July 7, 2010, Ringo Starr played on his 70th birthday with the All-Starr Band in the Radio City Music Hall in New York , towards the end of the concert Paul McCartney came on stage and both played the song Birthday live together.

The restored film Magical Mystery Tour was released on DVD and Blu-ray in October 2012 .

In November 2013, a second part of the 1994 album Live at the BBC was released under the name On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 . Simultaneously Live at the BBC a remastering subjected and re-released in a new design. The digital compilation The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 followed in December 2013 and is only available on iTunes . It contains 59 previously unreleased recordings from 1963, including 15 studio outtakes, 42 BBC recordings and the two demos Bad to Me and I'm in Love .

The US Albums box was released in January 2014 and contains 13 US compilation albums. The Japan Box followed in July 2014, containing five Japanese compilation albums. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr played the McCartney song Queenie Eye live on January 26, 2014 at the Staples Center during the 2014 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles .

The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles was a television tribute concert for the Beatles, it was recorded on January 27, 2014 and broadcast on CBS onFebruary 9, 2014. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, first appeared separately and on the songs With a Little Help from My Friends and Hey Jude together.

On April 1, 2015, Cynthia Lennon , the first wife of John Lennon, died at the age of 75. The album 1+ was released on November 6, 2015 , some versions of the re-release contain a DVD / Blu-Ray, which contain all 27 music videos of the songs on album 1.

From December 24, 2015, the core catalog (13 studio albums) and the Past Masters , 1962–1966 , 1967–1970 and Love albums were also made available from providers other than iTunes and from streaming services. Album 1 was also available from other providers from June 17, 2016.

George Martin , the producer of the Beatles, passed away on March 8, 2016 at the age of 90.

On September 9, 2016, the live album Live at the Hollywood Bowl was re-released in a revised version. On November 18, 2016, the film The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years was released on DVD / Blu-Ray. The film was shown in cinemas from September 2016, it essentially documents the tours and live performances of the Beatles from 1962 to 1966. The director was Ron Howard .

On December 30, 2016, Allan Williams the first manager of the Beatles died at the age of 86.

For the 50th anniversary, on May 26th 2017, the album Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was re-released. Giles Martin remixed the album with sound engineer Sam Okell. The album was re-released in six versions and reached number one in the UK charts.

For the songs We're on the Road Again and Show Me the Way , which are on Starr's album Give More Love , McCartney contributed bass, and the first song also provided background vocals. The album was released in September 2017.

On December 15, 2017, the 7 ″ single box The Official Beatles Fan Club The Christmas Records was released, this contains reprints of the seven British Christmas singles that were sent to the members of the British fan club from 1963 to 1969.

Ringo Starr was also knighted on March 20, 2018.

Geoff Emerick , who was intermittent sound engineer for the Beatles between 1966 and 1969, died on October 2, 2018 in Los Angeles at the age of 72.

For the 50th anniversary, on November 9, 2018, the album The Beatles was re-released, it was again remixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell. On May 22, 2019, the concert film Live at The Washington Coliseum, 1964 was released separately via iTunes.

Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney played the song Get Back on December 16, 2018 at the O 2 Arena in London and the songs Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) and Helter Skelter on July 13, 2019 at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles during two McCartney concerts.

On September 27, 2019, Abbey Road was released for the 50th anniversary, remixed by Martin and Okell. McCartney and Starr headed for the release party at Abbey Road Studios on September 26, 2019 . Abbey Road again reached first place in the British charts.

Ringo Starr's studio album What's My Name was released in October 2019 , Starr and McCartney recorded the Lennon composition Grow Old With Me for the album . On November 22, 2019 a box with 23 Beatles 7 ″ vinyl singles was released under the title The Singles Collection Box .

Records in Music

The Beatles set a considerable number of records during their musical career, some of which still stand today.

Although they only made records over a period of eight years, the Beatles are the group with the best-selling records in the world. According to their record company EMI , the number of units sold is over a billion.

The Beatles have received more multi- platinum awards than any other artist (13 in the US).

The Beatles had more number one singles than any other group or singer (22 in the US, 23 in Australia, 23 in the Netherlands, 22 in Canada, 21 in Norway, 18 in Sweden, 12 in Germany).

The Beatles had more number one albums than any other individual artist and group (19 in the US and 15 in the UK).

The Beatles spent most of the counted weeks at number 1 on the album charts (132 in the US and 174 in the UK).

The Beatles achieved their most successful first week of sales for a double album with The Beatles Anthology Volume 1 . In the period from November 21 to November 27, 1995, the album was sold 855,797 times in the United States.

Lennon and McCartney are the most successful composers in pop history to date, with 28 No. 1 singles in the US for McCartney and 21 for Lennon (19 tracks were written together). Lennon was responsible for 21 number-one singles in the UK, and McCartney had 23 hits there (18 tracks were co-written).

During the first week of April 1964, the Beatles held the top five spots on the Billboard Hot 100 , which no one had done before. The five tracks were Can't Buy Me Love , Twist and Shout , She Loves You , I Want to Hold Your Hand and Please Please Me .

In the week of April 11-17, 1964, the Beatles held 14 places on the Billboard Hot 100 . Before the Beatles, nine was the highest number of simultaneous songs by an artist on the Hot 100 (Elvis Presley, December 19, 1956).

The Beatles were the only ones to surpass themselves twice in first place on the Billboard Hot 100 . They achieved this feat at the beginning of 1964. The track I Want to Hold Your Hand was followed by She Loves You , and after this single Can't Buy Me Love came in at number 1. Boyz II Men , OutKast and Elvis Presley each succeeded once, to replace yourself with your own title from first place.

The Beatles were the first to have their live performance televised worldwide. This broadcast took place on June 25, 1967 with the participation of 26 countries under the title Our World and had 600 million viewers worldwide. Each country made a contribution. For example, you could witness a birth in Mexico. And you were there when the Beatles played the song All You Need Is Love live in England , only part of the instrumentation was playback . Many friends of the Beatles sang along at the end of the song as it slowly faded out, e.g. B. Mick Jagger , Keith Richards , Marianne Faithfull , Eric Clapton and Keith Moon . The performance took place in Studio 1 of Abbey Road Studios , where they recorded most of their tracks from 1962 to 1970.

In the USA they were honored for the sixth time on June 14, 2005 with a Diamond Award, which the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) gives for more than ten million albums sold in the USA. The Greatest Hits Compilation 1 , released in 2000, exceeded this impressive number. The Beatles' best-selling album in the US is still the "White Album" The Beatles , released in 1968 . In total, sales of the Beatles' records in the United States totaled 170 million albums (as of 2008).

Musical meaning

Beatles suits. 2005 in the new HardRock Cafe in NYC
Höfner 500/1 electric bass, Gretsch country gentleman electric guitar and Vox AC30 guitar amplifier

The Beatles are often referred to as the most important pop band of the 1960s and have had a lasting influence on almost all genres of pop / rock music . By 2012 they had sold more than 600 million records . Initially, they gave the music genre the beat . This was a guitar-heavy style of music that was characterized by fast 44 time and catchy melodies. Its importance lies in the fact that it established an independent rock style in Great Britain for the first time, thus enabling musical independence from the American models.

From 1964 the Beatles began to develop musically and to experiment with other musical styles. The album Beatles for Sale shows clear influences from folk and country music . The following album Help! Contains guest musicians for the first time, namely - as regularly below - from the classical field: Among other things, the ballad Yesterday is a piece in which the singer (McCartney) is accompanied by a string quartet in addition to his acoustic guitar . Indian influences were first heard on the album Rubber Soul , released in 1965 . The 1966 album Revolver impressed with a wide range of different pop derivatives. This showed an essential strength of the Beatles: They were able to serve a wide variety of tastes without losing their own character.

With the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band from 1967 they presented one of the first concept albums in pop history, which is also inspired by Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys . Sgt. Pepper was also the first record in pop history to have the lyrics of the songs printed on the cover. With the double LP The Beatles - commonly known as the “White Album” because of the cover - the Beatles once again demonstrated their entire musical spectrum, including Helter Skelter , one of the first hard rock pieces Rock history.

Thus, the music of the Beatles served styles from rock 'n' roll, beat and ballads to country, folk, music hall and blues to psychedelic rock, classical music and hard rock. The musicians also received great praise from Pierre Boulez and other “ e-musicians ”.

The music magazine Rolling Stone voted the Beatles first in 2004 among the 100 greatest musicians of all time .

Importance to pop culture

Up until the Beatles, only Frank Sinatra in the 1940s and Elvis Presley in the 1950s triggered a similar wave of enthusiasm and fanatical admiration. The Beatles took on the role of the "good boys" compared to the Rolling Stones and remained lyrically true to the harmless hit for a long time. However, as part of the intellectual and social changes of the late 1960s, the Beatles changed their style. From 1965 onwards, inspired by Bob Dylan, the lyrics gradually became deeper and more personal. The compositions and arrangements became increasingly complex.

In songs like She Said, She Said they processed the experiences they had with LSD from 1966 onwards . They dealt with Indian spirituality and in 1967 confessed to the Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his meditation technique . Ultimately, the Beatles understood masterfully how to adapt to the respective social currents without exposing themselves too much. In 1967 they experimented with psychedelic elements in music, but remained much more moderate than Pink Floyd at the same time. Not least through their films - especially through Yellow Submarine (1968) - they exerted a lasting influence on pop culture and contributed to the development of music videos , as they occasionally shot short films especially for their new single appearances and sent them to the television stations . Their clips for Paperback Writer , Rain , Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane were the first music videos in pop history in which the band did not just play their song, but in which other things also happened. However, at that time they were still recorded on film and not on video. Starr and Harrison later said they made these films to avoid having to show their titles live in television studios.

The Beatles also had their fan base behind the Iron Curtain , although the authorities generally classified Western rock music as subversive ; Artemy Troitsky, a culture reporter, explained the impact of the band's songs went deep. Nikolai Wasin, who himself is probably the most famous fan in Russia, brought out a book that described this cultural influence. The book's title, Rock on Russian Bones , alludes to the underground technique of making records from old X-ray images . In April 2018, a Beatles sculpture that had existed since 2006 was dismantled in Donetsk .


The Beatles' discography varied around the world until the end of the 1980s, due to the fact that the publication policies differed internationally. Since 1987, in which all Beatles albums were published on CD for the first time, the discography has been subject to a so-called "Beatles canon", which means that the Beatles' studio albums are published internationally as they were originally published in Great Britain.

Studio albums

year Title
Label Catalog No.
Top ranking, total weeks / months, awardChart placementsChart placementsTemplate: chart table / maintenance / without sourcesTemplate: chart table / maintenance / monthly data
(Year, title, label catalog number , rankings, weeks / months, awards, notes, title list)
Remarks Track list
DE DE AT AT CH CH UK UK US USTemplate: chart table / maintenance / charts non-existent
1963 Please Please Me a d
• DE: HZE 117 (mono), SHZE 117 (stereo), Odeon ZTOX 5550
• CH: Odeon ZTOX 5550
• UK: Parlophone PMC 1202 (mono), PCS 3042 (stereo)
DE4 (7 months)
AT75 1 (1 week)
CH74 1 (2 weeks)

(76 weeks)UK
US155 6

(1 week)US
First published: March 22nd, 1963
New edition: February 26th, 1987 (CD)
New edition: September 9th, 2009 (remaster)
Sales: + 1,695,000
With the Beatles d
• DE: Odeon O 83658 (mono), STO 83658 (stereo)
• CH: Odeon O 83658 (mono), STO 83658 (stereo)
• UK: Parlophone PMC 1206 (mono), PCS 3045 (stereo)

(13 months)DE
- CH73 2 (2 weeks)

(57 weeks)UK
US179 6

(1 week)US
First published: November 12, 1963
New edition: February 26, 1987 (CD)
New edition: September 9, 2009 (remaster)
Sales: + 7,522,500
1964 A Hard Day's Night a b d /
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! A Hard Day's Night (alternative title in DE)
• DE: Odeon O 83739 (mono), STO and SMO 83739 (stereo)
• UK: Parlophone PMC 1230 (mono), PCS 3058 (stereo)
• US: United Artists UAL 3366 (mono ), UAS 6366 (stereo)
DE1 (7 months)
AT66 1 (1 week)
CH60 1 (3 weeks)

(46 weeks)UK
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(56 weeks)US
First published: June 26, 1964
New edition: February 26, 1987 (CD)
New edition: September 9, 2009 (remaster)
Sales: + 5,110,000
Beatles for Sale d
• DE: Odeon SMO 83 790 (stereo)
• CH: Odeon SMO 983 790 (stereo)
• UK: Parlophone PMC 1240 (mono), PCS 3062 (stereo)
DE1 (10 months)
AT68 1 (1 week)
CH65 1 (3 weeks)

(50 weeks)UK
First published: November 13, 1964
New edition: February 26, 1987 (CD)
New edition: September 9, 2009 (remaster)
Sales: + 2,760,000
1965 Help! b
• SHZE 162 (stereo)
• CH: Odeon SMO 84 008 or SMO 984 008 (stereo)
• UK: Parlophone PMC 1255 (mono), PCS 3071 (stereo)
• US: Capitol MAS 2386 (mono), SMAS 2386 (stereo )
DE1 (46 weeks)
AT62 1 (2 weeks)
CH53 1 (3 weeks)

(44 weeks)UK
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(46 weeks)US
First published: August 6, 1965
New edition: April 30, 1987 (CD)
New edition: September 9, 2009 (remaster)
Sales: + 3,610,000
Rubber Soul c
• DE: Odeon SMO 84 066 (stereo)
• CH: Odeon SMO 984 066 (stereo)
• UK: Parlophone PMC 1267 (mono), PCS 3075 (stereo)
• US: Capitol T 2442 (mono), ST 2442 (Stereo)

(41 weeks)DE
AT53 1 (2 weeks)
CH51 1 (3 weeks)

(59 weeks)UK
Six-fold platinum
× 6
Six-fold platinum

(70 weeks)US
First published: December 3, 1965
New edition: April 30, 1987 (CD)
New edition: September 9, 2009 (remaster)
Sales: + 7,555,000
1966 Revolver c
• DE: SHZE 186 (stereo)
• CH: Odeon SMO 74 161 (stereo)
• UK: Parlophone PMC 7009 (mono), PCS 7009 (stereo)
• US: Capitol T 2576 (mono), ST 2576 (stereo)
DE1 (34 weeks)
AT48 3 (4 weeks)
CH44 3 (5 weeks)
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(58 weeks)UK
Quintuple platinum
× 5
Quintuple platinum

(85 weeks)US
First published: July 28, 1966
New edition: April 30, 1987 (CD)
New edition: September 9, 2009 (remaster)
Sales: + 6,010,000
1967 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
• DE: SHZE 401 (stereo)
• CH: Odeon SMO 81 045 (stereo)
• UK: Parlophone PMC 7027 (mono), PCS 7027 (stereo)
• US: Capitol MAS 2653 (mono), SMAS 2653 (stereo)

(70 weeks)DE
AT3 4 (17 weeks)
CH2 4 (19 weeks)
18 times platinum
× 18
18 times platinum

(… Where.)Template: chart table / maintenance / preliminaryUK
Diamond + platinum
Diamond + platinum
Diamond + platinum

(229 weeks)US
First published: May 26, 1967
New edition: June 1, 1987 (CD)
New edition: September 9, 2009 (Remaster)
New edition: May 26, 2017 (Remix)
Sales: + 32,000,000
Magical Mystery Tour EP
• DE: SHZE 327
• UK: Parlophone PCTC 255
• US: Capitol MAL 2835 (mono), SMAL 2835 (stereo)
DE8 (20 weeks)
AT59 1 (1 week)
CH64 1 (3 weeks)

(10 weeks)UK
Six-fold platinum
× 6
Six-fold platinum

(93 weeks)US
First released: November 27, 1967
Reissue: July 1, 1987 (CD)
Reissue: September 9, 2009 (remaster)
Sales: + 7,207,500
1968 The BEATLES
• DE: Apple SMO 2051/52 (stereo)
• UK: Apple PMC 7067-7068 (mono), PCS 7067-7068 (stereo)
• US: Apple SWBO 101
DE1 (26 weeks)
AT4 3 (13 weeks)
CH6 3 (16 weeks)
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(40 weeks)UK
Double diamond + quadruple platinum
× 2
Double diamond + quadruple platinum
× 4
Double diamond + quadruple platinum

(215 weeks)US
First published: November 22, 1968
New edition: August 24, 1987 (CD)
New edition: September 9, 2009 (Remaster)
New edition: November 9, 2018 (Remix)
Sales: + 14,130,000
1969 Yellow Submarine
• DE: Apple SMO 74 585 (stereo)
• UK: Apple PMC 7070 (mono), PCS 7070 (stereo)
• US: Apple SW 153
DE5 (4 months)
- CH69 5 (1 week)

(10 weeks)UK

(25 weeks)US
First published: January 13, 1969
Reissue: August 25, 1987 (CD)
Reissue: September 9, 2009 (Remaster)
Sales: + 1,447,500
Abbey Road
• DE: Apple 1C 062-04 243
• UK: Apple PCS 7088, PCS 7070 (stereo)
• US: Apple SO 383

(61 weeks)DE
AT2 3 (18 weeks)
CH3 3 (21 weeks)
Triple platinum
× 3
Triple platinum

(40 weeks)UK
Diamond + double platinum
Diamond + double platinum
× 2
Diamond + double platinum

(… Where.)Template: chart table / maintenance / preliminaryUS
First published: September 26, 1969
New edition: October 20, 1987 (CD)
New edition: September 9, 2009 (Remaster)
New edition: September 27, 2019 (Remix)
Sales: + 30,000,000
1970 Let It Be
• DE: Apple 1C 062-04 433
• UK: Apple PCS 7096
• US: Apple AR 34001
DE3 (21 weeks)
AT52 1 (3 weeks)
CH48 1 (3 weeks)

(54 weeks)UK
Quadruple platinum
× 4
Quadruple platinum

(61 weeks)US
First release: May 8, 1970
Reissue: October 20, 1987 (CD)
Reissue: September 9, 2009 (Remaster)
Sales: + 4,920,000

gray hatching : no chart data available for this year


aFirst published in Germany under the alternative title Die Zentral Tanzschaffe of the world-famous four from Liverpool .
bAppeared in the USA as the soundtrack for the film of the same name; Songs not included in the US version are marked in the table with , songs in other forms are marked with .
cAppeared in the USA with partially different title lists; Songs not included in the US version are marked with in the table .
d The original British version of the Beatles' first four albums was not released until 1987 in the USA, and the songs appeared on compilation albums in the USA.
EPFirst released in Great Britain and Germany as a double EP with the same title. The data for these countries refer to the double EP. The track list is that of the larger LP; Songs not included on the double EP are marked with .
1 Chart entry Austria: September 25, 2009, Switzerland: September 20, 2009. Chart listing albums Austria / Switzerland only from 1973/1983.
2 Chart entry Switzerland: September 20, 2009. Chart listing Swiss albums only from 1983.
3 Chart entry Austria: September 18, 2009, Switzerland: October 6, 2019. Chart listing albums Austria / Switzerland only from 1973/1983.
4th Chart entry Austria: September 15, 1978, Switzerland: September 20, 2009. Chart listing albums Austria / Switzerland only from 1973/1983.
5 Chart entry Switzerland: September 27, 2009. Chart listing Swiss albums only from 1983.
6th Chart entry USA: December 4, 2010.
nv Recording was not released in the country.

The core catalog

The Beatles' so-called “core catalog” consists of the band's twelve studio albums and the double EP Magical Mystery Tour in an LP version that has been expanded for the US market. This compilation contains most, but not all, of the Beatles' songs. Among other things, songs that were released in Great Britain on the compilation album A Collection of Beatles Oldies are missing , including the hit singles She Loves You , I Want to Hold Your Hand , I Feel Fine and Paperback Writer . If you add the Past Masters compilations to the core catalog , the entire studio work of the Fab Four that was published up until the band split up is covered - a total of 226 songs. On the album Yellow Submarine, however, the seven film music titles composed or arranged by George Martin on page 2 as well as the songs Yellow Submarine and All You Need Is Love must be deducted, as they were already included on earlier albums. There are also two different versions of Love Me Do , Across the Universe , Get Back and Let It Be , so that there are 213 different Beatles songs, 188 of which are original compositions - including German-language recordings of She Loves You and I Want to Hold Your Hand - as well as 25 cover versions . With the anthology series and the two double albums Live at the BBC and On Air - Live at the BBC further songs were released.

In front of parlophones

The British music magazine Mersey Beat reported in its July 20, 1961 issue that the Beatles had signed a record deal with Polydor Records in Hamburg. According to Mark Lewisohn , the contract began on July 1, 1961, although the first studio session for Polydor took place on June 22, 1961. In fact, the contract was signed on July 1, 1961 between the Beatles and Bert Kaempfert Produktion and was valid until June 30, 1962. Before July 1, 1961, the four Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Pete Best , were only paid as studio musicians by the record company Deutsche Grammophon .

On June 22 and 23, 1961, on the stage of the auditorium of the Friedrich-Ebert-Gymnasium in Hamburg-Harburg - an auditorium serving as a concert hall and not a recording studio - Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers produced eight recordings under the direction of Bert Kaempfert Titles planned, of which My Bonnie / The Saints (Polydor NH 24673) was selected as the single . It was published in Germany on October 23, 1961, in Great Britain on January 5, 1962 (there Polydor NH 66 833). Out of eight recordings, the Beat Brothers were Tony Sheridan's backing band for six, only with Cry for a Shadow (instrumental) and Ain't She Sweet Sheridan does not appear on the cast list.

The following songs were recorded with a portable two-track tape recorder, Bert Kaempfert was in charge of production and Karl Hinze was the sound engineer:

05 My Bonnie (announcement in German),
06 My Bonnie (My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean) ,
07 The Saints (When the Saints Go Marching In) ,
08 Why (Can't You Love Again) ,
09 Cry for a Shadow ,
10 Nobody's Child .
11 Ain't She Sweet ,
12 Take Out Some Insurance on Me .

The single My Bonnie / The Saints sold around 20,000 copies in Germany.

On December 21, 1961 Tony Sheridan recorded ten more songs for his album My Bonnie without the Beatles. On May 24, 1962, the music tracks for Sweet Georgia Brown and Swanee River with Roy Young (piano) were created, which were sung about on June 7, 1962 by Tony Sheridan. While Sweet Georgia Brown is included on the Sheridan EP Ya Ya (catalog number EPH 21 485), which appeared in Germany in October 1962, Swanee River is no longer archived and has not yet been found. The master tape for the album My Bonnie (Polydor 237 112), recorded on December 21, 1961, was completed on March 26, 1962. Since the LP was released in April 1962, the Swanee River contained on it cannot be the version recorded on May 24, 1962.

In April 1964, the Beatles ' eight Polydor recordings were released on the album The Beatles' First .

Publications in Great Britain


On June 4, 1962, the Beatles got their contract with Parlophone and recorded their first single on September 4 of the same year. It was unusual for the time that the first publication by an unknown group contained two original compositions. Love Me Do and PS I Love You were both from Lennon / McCartney . The single, which was released on October 5, 1962, did not reach the top of the charts - and it is said that Brian Epstein bought a large amount himself to help make the record a success, but sold well enough to get a second Launch single with The Beatles.


George Martin had chosen the song How Do You Do It composed by Mitch Murray for the second single , from which a recording was made, but the Beatles were of the opinion that it was not their style and therefore wanted to record their own material again. The Beatles suggested Please Please Me , written by Lennon, and after it was revised it became the A-side of the second single, which came out on January 11, 1963. The B-side Ask Me Why was also written by Lennon and McCartney. The record sold more than 300,000 copies in the UK, made it to the top of the charts and was awarded a Silver Record.

On March 22, 1963, the debut album was released, which was named Please Please Me after the successful single . The album went on March 27, 1963 at number 9 in the British album hit parade and reached number 1 on May 8, 1963, where it could hold for 29 weeks. More than 500,000 copies of the album were sold.

The group's third single was released on April 11, 1963. From Me to You (B-side: Thank You Girl ) reached number 1 on the charts and sold more than 250,000 copies.

The Beatles' first EP was released on July 12, 1963 . The record was titled Twist and Shout and contained four tracks, all of which were taken from the album Please Please Me . The EP sold so well that it made it to fourth place on the singles chart.

On August 23, 1963, the fourth single She Loves You (B-side: I'll Get You ) was released. The single had pre-orders of 500,000 copies and She Loves You reached number 1 on the hit parade on September 4th. By the end of 1963, 1.3 million singles had been sold. Thus was She Loves You the successful release of the year 1963rd

The Beatles' second EP was released on September 6, 1963. The Beatles' Hits included the three A-sides of their first singles and the B-side of their third single.

In November 1963, three more Beatles records were released. It all started with The Beatles (No. 1) , the third EP released on November 1st. It contained four tracks from the album Please Please Me . On November 22nd, 1963, With the Beatles , the Beatles ' second album, was released. On November 27, the album entered the British album hit parade at number 1, replacing Please Please Me . On November 29, 1963, I Want to Hold Your Hand (B-side: This Boy ), the group's fifth single, was released. There were more than 940,000 pre-orders for this single just before it was released. It entered the charts at number 1 and held the top position for six weeks.


On February 7, the fourth EP was released with the title All My Loving . It contained two pieces each from the albums Please Please Me and With the Beatles . The first new material was found on the sixth single Can't Buy Me Love (B-side: You Can't Do That ) from March 20, 1964. The enormous popularity of the Beatles was reflected in the unprecedented number of one Million pre-orders in the UK alone for this single, which like its predecessor immediately took first place on the singles chart, where it remained for four weeks. Long Tall Sally , the Beatles' fifth EP, was released on June 19, 1964. Unlike the group's other EPs, it contained previously unreleased material. It contained cover versions of the rock 'n' roll pieces Long Tall Sally , Slow Down and Matchbox as well as the original composition I Call Your Name . The EP came to first place on the EP hit parade, where it could last for seven weeks. Almost a month later, on July 10th, the seventh single with the title track for the Beatles' first feature film was released. A Hard Day's Night (B-side: Things We Said Today ) did the same as its two predecessors and immediately took the top spot on the charts. The album A Hard Day's Night was released on July 10th . Page 1 contained pieces that had been seen in the feature film. Shortly afterwards, EMI released two EPs based on titles from the album. In early November, Extracts from the Film A Hard Day's Night was released , which, according to the name, contained four songs from the film from page 1 of the album. Extracts from the album A Hard Day's Night was later released with four songs from page 2. The intensive marketing of the same material was far less successful than with the previous EPs. Neither EP made it into the top 30 singles charts.

The eighth single was released on November 27, 1964. I Feel Fine (B-side: She's a Woman ) built on the success of the previous singles and came in at number 1. By December, a million copies had been sold, bringing the Beatles five Singles have sold more than a million copies in a row in the UK. In the United States in 1964, 60 percent of all singles sold were Beatles productions.

In time for the Christmas business, EMI released the Beatles' fourth album on December 4, 1964. Beatles for Sale immediately took first place on the album charts - previously occupied by A Hard Day's Night .


On April 6, 1965, the EP Beatles for Sale was released . It contained four pieces that had already appeared on the album of the same name in 1964. On April 9, 1965, Ticket to Ride (B-side: Yes It Is ) was the first single of the year. Like its four predecessors, it immediately reached number 1 on the British charts and held this position for five weeks. On June 4, 1965, the archives were again reached and the EP Beatles for Sale (No. 2) was put together, for which again it was possible to use pieces from the album from the previous year.

Almost a week before the premiere of the second feature film , the title track Help! Was released on July 23, 1965 . (B-side: I'm Down ) released as a single. Once again, a Beatles single reached the top spot on the British charts. There were pre-orders of 300,000 copies for the single. Half a million records were sold in the first week after publication. The album for the feature film was released on August 6, 1965. Help! immediately placed first on the British album charts.

Parlophone released the third single and the second album of the year on December 3, 1965 at the same time. Day TripperWe Can Work It Out was the Beatles' first double A-side single. This single also immediately made it to the top of the charts.

Rubber Soul , the sixth album by the Beatles in Great Britain, followed the example of the single and took number 1 on the album chart, which it could maintain for the next twelve weeks.

The last release in 1965 was the EP The Beatles' Million Sellers , which included four songs, each of which had sold more than a million copies as a single.


Beatles fans had to wait until March 4, 1966 for the group's first release of the year. On that day, Yesterday , the Beatles' eleventh EP, was released. This EP did not contain any new recordings, but four tracks from the album Help! : Yesterday , Act Naturally , You Like Me Too Much and It's Only Love .

The Beatles' twelfth single was released on June 10, 1966. On the A-side was the McCartney composition Paperback Writer , on the B-side Rain by Lennon . The single entered the charts at number 2 and reached number 1 on June 22, 1966.

Not quite a month later, on July 8, 1966, Nowhere Man , the twelfth Beatles EP, was released. Once again, only well-known pieces were found on the sound carrier, this time the four songs came from the album Rubber Soul : Nowhere Man , Drive My Car , Michelle and You Won't See Me .

On August 5, 1966, the Beatles single Eleanor RigbyYellow Submarine and the seventh studio album Revolver came on the market. Eleanor RigbyYellow Submarine was the group's 13th single and also the second double A-side single. Revolver was the first album with Geoff Emerick as a sound engineer , who replaced Norman Smith , the longtime employee of George Martin. The single and album reached the top of the charts, with the album going straight to number 1 and maintaining this position for seven weeks.

The compilation A Collection of Beatles Oldies was released on December 10, 1966, just in time for the Christmas business . This album remained the only Beatles greatest hits compilation released during the group's active days. For buyers in Europe, the album brought a title previously only released in the United States, a cover version of Larry Williams' rock 'n' roll piece Bad Boy . A Collection of Beatles Oldies came to number 6 on the British charts, making it the first Beatles album that did not reach the top position.


It was the first year in which the Beatles fully concentrated on their work in the recording studio, after they had decided not to give concerts after their USA tour in August 1966.

The Beatles' 14th single was released on February 17, 1967. Penny LaneStrawberry Fields Forever was the third double A-side single. Originally planned for the upcoming album, these two pieces were pre-released. Since both sides were counted separately, this Beatles single did not reach first place on the charts, but only number 2.

The result of the intense time the Beatles took in the studio was released on June 1, 1967. The eighth album by the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band , was a milestone in the group's work and influenced numerous musicians. In the UK, 250,000 copies of the album were sold in the first week. It immediately rose to number one on the UK album charts and held that position for 22 weeks.

After the Beatles represented Great Britain on June 25, 1967, on the first worldwide broadcast live television program " Our World " with the specially composed piece All You Need Is Love , the 15th Beatles single came out shortly after on July 7, 1967 the market: All You Need Is Love with the song Baby You're a Rich Man on the B-side. The single reached first place on the charts.

The Beatles received news of the death of their longtime manager Brian Epstein on August 27, 1967 . His death had an impact in the period that followed, particularly in the lack of organization of the film project Magical Mystery Tour .

It was not until November 24, 1967, before a new Beatles record was released. The single Hello, Goodbye (B-side: I Am the Walrus ) entered the charts in third place, reached the top position a week later and stayed there for the next six weeks.

The soundtrack for the film Magical Mystery Tour was released on December 8, 1967 in the form of a double EP with six titles. The reason for this unusual format was that there weren't enough tracks for an album, but too many for a single EP. The EP also contained a 24-page booklet with pictures and information about the film. The best position in the singles charts was second place - behind the Beatles single Hello, GoodbyeI Am the Walrus .


This year was heavily influenced by the group's stay in India. The Beatles traveled to Rishikesh with their wives in February to deepen their studies in Transcendental Meditation . Numerous new compositions were written in India, most of which were published later that year.

On March 15, 1968, the single Lady Madonna (B-side: The Inner Light ) was released. The Beatles had recorded the single before they left for India . The B-side The Inner Light was written by George Harrison. It was the first Harrison composition to appear on a Beatles single. The single entered the UK charts at number 6 and then climbed to number one.

It was not until August 26, 1968, before another record came onto the market with the single Hey JudeRevolution . This single was the first Beatles release on their newly formed Apple label . Apart from the collage Revolution 9 , Hey Jude is the Beatles title with the longest playing time with a running time of over seven minutes. The single entered the British charts in third place and then took the top spot for three weeks.

The group's tenth album was released on November 22, 1968. It was simply called The Beatles , but was soon given the unofficial name White Album ('White Album') because of the white cover . Because of the large number of new compositions, the Beatles decided on a double album. The album reached number one on the UK charts and held that position for nine weeks. It was the first double album to reach first rank.


After there had already been tensions within the group in 1968, this development continued. The Beatles spent the beginning of the year working on their Get Back project , where the conflicts escalated further and led to George Harrison's temporary departure.

The first release of the year was the album Yellow Submarine , which was released on January 17, 1969 - with a delay, originally it was supposed to be released in December 1968. It was the soundtrack for the cartoon Yellow Submarine . The album only contained four new pieces by the Beatles. A third place in the charts was the highest position.

Work on the Get Back project was initially completed on January 31, 1969. Two of the pieces that were created while recording this project appeared on April 11, 1969 on the single Get Back (B-side: Don't Let Me Down ), which stayed at number one on the British charts for five weeks .

On May 30, 1969, the second Beatles single of the year followed: The Ballad of John and Yoko (B-side: Old Brown Shoe ). The piece on the A-side was from Lennon, who described his wedding to Yoko Ono and the following actions for peace - such as Bagism - during their honeymoon . On the B-side there was another composition by George Harrison. It was the Beatles' first single to be released exclusively as a stereo version. The single was number 1 on the charts for two weeks.

The conflict-ridden work at the beginning of the year and the technically simple recordings - the band almost completely dispensed with overdubs and played the pieces live - that came about during the Get-Back project was followed by the Beatles' last collaboration as a group. On September 26, 1969, the result of the effort was published under the title Abbey Road . The album entered the UK album charts at number 1 and held that position for 18 weeks.

At the urging of the new Beatles manager Allen Klein , the single SomethingCome Together was released on October 31, 1969 . It was a double A-side single, so for the first time a piece by George Harrison was found on the A-side of a Beatles single. Position 4 was the best placement on the British charts.


With one exception, the material came from the recordings made at the beginning of 1969. The project, which was now called Let It Be and had become a documentary with accompanying soundtrack , was further delayed. In the meantime the differences in the group had increased. On January 3rd and 4th, 1970, McCartney, Harrison and Starr met for the last time at Abbey Road Studios to record overdubs for the soundtrack of Let It Be . Even before the premiere of the film, Paul McCartney announced his departure from the group and thus the de facto end of the Beatles.

On March 6, 1970, Let It Be appeared with the B-side You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) , the Beatles' last single in Great Britain. Your best hit parade placement was a second place.

The Beatles' last album was released on May 8, 1970. Let It Be was the soundtrack for the film of the same name. The album was number 1 on the British album chart for a total of six weeks.

Publications in the USA


In 1963, the Beatles released three singles in the United States. Since Capitol Records in the USA, but not in Canada , refused to publish recordings of the Beatles, the first recordings appeared on the US label Vee-Jay Records .

On February 25, 1963, the Beatles' first record came with the single Please Please Me / Ask Me Why on the US market. The single didn't make it into the charts. On May 27, 1963, Vee-Jay released the second single. From Me to You / Thank You Girl was just as unsuccessful as its predecessor.

The third American single was She Loves You / I'll Get You and was released on September 16, 1963. This single was released on the US label Swan Records . At first just as unsuccessful as all previous Beatles releases in the USA, the single rose to number 1 in the US charts in February 1964 - after the group's breakthrough in America.

On December 26, 1963, I Want to Hold Your Hand / I Saw Her Standing There was the Beatles' first single on Capitol Records . Originally it was planned to bring this single on January 13, 1964 on the market. After I Want to Hold Your Hand had been included in numerous radio stations' programs since mid-December 1963, the date was moved forward. The single rose to number 45 on the Billboard charts on January 18, 1964 . Two weeks later, I Want to Hold Your Hand topped the charts. It was the Beatles' breakthrough in the United States.


The Beatles' first American album was released on January 10, 1964, under the title Introducing ... The Beatles. The title composition was largely similar to the British debut album Please Please Me , with the difference that the songs of the first US single were not initially on the album. Shortly after the release, Capitol Records took legal action to prohibit Vee-Jay Records from distributing Beatles records. A slightly different version of the album Introducing ... The Beatles appeared about February 10, 1964. Vee-Jay did not have the necessary licenses for the songs Love Me Do and PS I Love received and exchanged these pieces to Please Please Me and Ask Me Why from . Introducing ... The Beatles took second place on the Billboard album hit parade.

Ten days later after the album Introducing… The Beatles was released, Meet the Beatles! . On April 10, 1964, the third album, The Beatles' Second Album , followed, which Capitol Records saw as the second album by the Beatles.

From February 7 to February 22, 1964, the Beatles went on a promotional tour of the United States. On February 7, 1964, the Beatles landed at New York Airport , where 5,000 fans and 200 journalists received them on the tarmac. On February 9, 1964, the Beatles appeared on the popular Ed Sullivan Show with five songs . 73.7 million viewers on the television set followed the live broadcast. The Beatles' first concert in the United States took place on February 11, 1964 at the Washington Coliseum ( Washington, DC ), the second concert took place in New York's Carnegie Hall , followed by another appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 16, which took place at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach .

A Hard Day's Night followed on June 26, 1964 ; it only contains music from the film of the same name. Since United Artists had financed the Beatles' first film, the US film company also got the right to distribute the soundtrack , so the seven songs on page one of the original British album and the title I'll Cry Instead were used. It was Capitol Records allowed, songs of the album A Hard Day's Night to publish on their own albums, as long as they are not marketed it as a soundtrack album, the album was on July 20, 1964 Something New published. Shortly before Christmas 1964, Capitol Records decided to release Beatles '65 , another stand-alone album, largely based on the British album Beatles for Sale .

A total of six Beatles albums, which were released by Capitol Records , were released in the USA in 1964, including the documentary album The Beatles' Story . Vee-Jay Records released the album Introducing… The Beatles under the album titles Songs, Pictures & Stories of the Fabulous Beatles and The Beatles vs. The Four Seasons . On February 26, 1964, Vee-Jay released the album Jolly What! The Beatles & Frank Ifield on Stage , it contained four previously released studio recordings of the Beatles. The remaining tracks were live recordings by Frank Ifield . In November 1964, Vee-Jay Records released an interview album entitled Hear the Beatles Tell All in the USA .

From August 19 to September 20, 1964, the Beatles completed their first major and commercially very successful US tour. In 1964, the Beatles topped the US Billboard chart with six songs: I Want to Hold Your Hand , Love Me Do , She Loves You , Can't Buy Me Love , A Hard Day's Night and I Feel Fine .

The musical dominance with which the Beatles ruled the hit lists in April 1964 is unmatched to this day: In the USA they occupied the first five places in the singles charts on April 4 (at the top the one on March 16, 1964 with 1.7 The single Can't Buy Me Love released millions of pre-orders ), and the group was in the US Top 100 with seven other tracks.


On March 22, 1965, a replacement for the album Introducing ... The Beatles , entitled The Early Beatles , was released, as Vee-Jay Records was only allowed to publish Beatles records until October 15, 1964 for legal reasons. The album Beatles VI was released on June 14, 1965 , it contains the six songs from the British album Beatles for Sale that did not appear on the album Beatles '65 , the album also contains three songs from the British album Help! . In the USA, the American version of the album Help! Was released on August 13, 1965 . . In contrast to the British version, this album only contains music from the film of the same name, the seven songs from the first page of the British album Help! , as well as the instrumental pieces that were not recorded by the Beatles or George Martin , but by Ken Thorne .

In August the Beatles went on tour in the United States again. On August 15, 1965, the group played the biggest live performance of their career in the sold-out Shea Stadium in New York in front of 55,600 spectators. It was the first time that a pop group performed in an open stadium and the largest paying audience to date at a concert. The noise level from the female fans during the 30-minute show was so high that neither the audience nor the Beatles could hear the music.

The US version of Rubber Soul was released on December 6, 1965 and contains only twelve songs instead of 14, two of which were already on the British release of the album Help! were included.

In 1965, the Beatles reached number one on the US Billboard charts with five songs: Eight Days a Week , Ticket to Ride , Help! , Yesterday and We Can Work It Out .


In June 1966, the compiled album Yesterday and Today was released for the US market , it contains a selection of previously unreleased in the US or only available as singles songs.

On August 12, 1966, the Beatles started their fourth US tour in Chicago . The events in Asia and the fact that due to the enormous noise level during the performances hardly any music could be heard caused increasing dissatisfaction among the group members. New excitement arose after the publication of a remark by John Lennon from an earlier interview that the Beatles were "already more popular than Jesus ". After nerve-racking press conferences, public record burnings and demonstrations by the Ku Klux Klan , the group decided not to go on tour anymore and to move their work exclusively to the studio. The tour ended on August 29, 1966 with a concert in front of an audience of 25,000 (admission price was five US dollars at the time) in Candlestick Park in San Francisco .

The US version of Revolver contains only eleven instead of 14 songs, as three tracks had already been released on the US album Yesterday and Today at the request of Capitol Records .

The single paperback Writer reached number one on the charts.


In the USA, the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band , which was released in June 1967, was the first British studio album to be taken over without significant deviations.

In November 1967, Magical Mystery Tour appeared in the USA because Capitol Records did not agree with an EP release, as in Europe. The missing titles for an album release were supplemented by five songs that had previously only been released as a single in 1967.

The songs Penny Lane , All You Need Is Love and Hello, Goodbye reached first place in the charts.


In November 1968, the release of the double album The Beatles took place .

The single Hey Jude was number one on the US charts.


In January 1969 the soundtrack album Yellow Submarine was released , which, in contrast to the British release, had minor changes in the cover design. Abbey Road was released in the US on October 1st.

The two songs Get Back and Come Together reached number one in the US charts.


In February 1970 the album Hey Jude was released ; it contains songs that had not previously appeared on a Capitol Records album released in the USA. The album Let It Be followed on May 18 . It was the Beatles' 14th album, which reached number one in the US charts, and after their separation five more compilation albums reached number one there.

The last two number one hits in the USA were the songs Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road , with which the Beatles reached this position 20 times between 1964 and 1970.

Awards (selection)

Beatles star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame


United Artists was responsible for the theatrical distribution of these films. The distribution of the soundtrack for the film A Hard Day's Night was carried out in the USA and Canada exclusively by its subsidiary United Artists Records and the track list differed significantly from the British version.

Video games

Timeline of the members of the Beatles

See also


  • Brian Roylance, Nicky Page, Derek Taylor : The Beatles Anthology (Chronicle Books, San Francisco 2000) . Ullstein, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-550-07132-9 .
  • Andy Babiuk: The Beatles Sound . PPV, Presse-Project-Verlag, Bergkirchen, ISBN 3-932275-36-5 .
  • Rainer Bratfisch: The Beatles Lexicon . Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-89602-701-6 .
  • Michael Baur, Steve Baur (Eds.): The Beatles and Philosophy - Get smarter with the best band of all time . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2010, ISBN 978-3-608-50402-6 .
  • Rolf Berger: The compositional styles of John Lennon and Paul McCartney . epOs Music, Osnabrück 2006, ISBN 3-923486-81-2 .
  • Hunter Davies: A Hard Day's Night - The Beatles. The only authorized biography. Update 2002 . ISBN 3-85445-089-3 .
  • Carsten Dürkob : "Words are flying out ...". The text history of the Beatles . In: The Sixties . tape 1) . Igel, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-86815-554-9 .
  • Geoff Emerick , Howard Massey: Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles . ISBN 1-59240-179-1 .
  • George Harrison: I, Me, Mine . Genesis Publications, ISBN 0-7538-1734-9 .
  • Mark Hertsgaard : A Day In The Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles . ISBN 0-333-62824-1 .
  • Tim Hill: The Beatles - The story of the four boys who changed the world . Transatlantik Press, 2007, ISBN 978-3-89736-339-7 .
  • Thorsten Knublauch, Axel Korinth: Come, give me your hand. The Beatles in Germany 1960–1970 . Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2008, ISBN 978-3-8334-8530-5 .
  • Allan Kozinn : The Beatles . Phaidon, London 1995, ISBN 0-7148-3203-0 (New edition: The Beatles. From the Cavern to the Rooftop. Phaidon, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-0-7148-5946-0 ). .
  • George Martin: Summer of Love. How Sgt. Pepper came about . Henschel, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-89487-271-3 .
  • Ian MacDonald: Revolution in the Head. The Beatles Records and the Sixties . 2005, ISBN 1-84413-828-3 .
  • Rainer Moers, Claus-Dieter Meier, Matthias Bühring, Franz Budéus: The Beatles, history and chronology . 2000, ISBN 3-88619-698-4 .
  • Mark Lewisohn : The Beatles: All These Years, Volume One - Tune In . 2013, ISBN 978-0-316-72960-4 .
  • Mark Lewisohn: The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years . 2006, ISBN 0-600-61207-4 .
  • Mark Lewisohn: The Complete Beatles Chronicle . 2006, ISBN 0-600-61001-2 .
  • Hans Rombeck, Wolfgang Neumann: The Beatles: Their career, their music, their successes. With a complete discography . Gustav Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1977, ISBN 3-404-00588-0 .
  • Thorsten Schmidt, Thomas Rehwagen: Take a look! The Beatles in Hamburg . Culture book Bremen, Bremen 1996, ISBN 3-926207-12-4 .
  • Steve Turner: A Hard Day's Write. The Beatles. The story for every song . Rockbuch, Schlüchtern 2002, ISBN 3-927638-10-2 .
  • Klaus Voormann : Why don't you play Imagine on the white piano, John? Heyne, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-453-87313-0 .


Web links

Commons : The Beatles  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files


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