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This Elvis Presley biography Beatles Rock and Roll History page is dedicated to providing the site visitor with quality Elvis Presley information, The Beatles life story, music downloads and movie videos as well as pictures and articles about rock and roll famous musicians and movie stars for your entertainment. The contents of this Elvis Presley biography site is written by a fan for his fans. Beatles Rock and Roll History

The Beatles Music

Unlike their contemporaries the Rolling Stones, the Beatles were seldom directly influenced by blues.

Though they drew inspiration from an eclectic variety of sources, their home idiom was closer to pop music.

Their distinctive vocal harmonies were influenced by early Motown artists in the U.S. Chuck Berry was perhaps the most fundamental progenitor of the Beatles' sound; the Beatles covered "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Rock And Roll Music" early in their careers on record (with most other Berry classics heard in their live repertoire).

Chuck Berry's influence is also heard, in an altered form, in later songs such as "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me And My Monkey" (1968) and "Come Together" (1969) (when "Come Together" was released, the owner of Chuck Berry's copyrights sued John Lennon for copyright infringement of his song "You Can't Catch Me", after which the two reached an amicable settlement, the terms of which including that Lennon cover some Chuck Berry songs as a solo artist).

Some people claim The Beatles' biggest influence was Elvis Presley BR>
This is a matter of debate. Paul was quoted in an interview as saying that Elvis was the reason he picked up the guitar. John was also said to have loved Elvis' music.

But others claim that, given that The Beatles sound little or nothing like Elvis, and little of his handprint can be seen in their catalog, and also given that they have so many other influences in chamber pop, R&B;, soul, and early rock, Paul and John must have obviously gotten that feeling from a lot of other artists, and Paul would have surely picked up a guitar due to that feeling he got from any of the myriad other influences.

The Beatles were fond of Little Richard, and some of their songs ≈ especially their early work ≈ featured falsetto calls very similar to those Little Richard offered as punctuation in his own songs, notably Long Tall Sally.

The Beatles picture In 1962 he took the Beatles with him on a tour of Hamburg, and they performed together at the Star Club. Long Tall Sally was a permanent fixture on their concert performances and McCartney's effort on the album version is widely regarded as his all-time best rock vocal recording.

A significant and acknowledged musical composition influence on McCartney was Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, who was, in turn, spurred on by the work of the Beatles.

Brian Wilson acknowledges that the American Version Rubber Soul challenged him to make Pet Sounds, the album which in turn inspired McCartney's vision of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Another example is the song "Back in the USSR", which, based on a suggestion by Mike Love to McCartney, contains overt allusions to the Beach Boys' "California Girls".

The Everly Brothers were another major influence on the Beatles, with Lennon and McCartney consciously trying to copy Don and Phil Everly's distinctive two-part harmonies.

Their vocals on two 1962 recordings, "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me" owed much to the Everly's powerful vocal innovation on "Cathy's Clown" (1960), the first recording to ever reach number one simultaneously in the USA and in England.

The song-writing of Gerry Goffin and Carole King was yet another influence upon the Beatles, and it could be said that one of the Beatles' many achievements was to marry the relative sophistication of Goffin and King's songs (which used major-seventh chords, for example) with the simplicity of Buddy Holly, Berry and the early rock-and-roll performers.

Lennon and McCartney's songwriting partnership had initially been inspired by Goffin and King; Lennon and McCartney's goal when they started was to become the next Goffin and King.

John Lennon's early style owed a huge debt to Buddy Holly and to Roy Orbison ("Misery" from 1963 and "Please Please Me" from 1963).

"That'll Be the Day" was the first song Lennon learned to play and sing accurately, not to mention the first song the proto-Beatles ever put to vinyl. McCartney admitted that "At least the first forty songs we wrote were Buddy Holly influenced". Lennon offered that Holly "made it okay to wear glasses.

I WAS Buddy Holly." The naming of the Beatles was, of course, Lennon's way of paying tribute to, and recognizing the name of Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets. The Beatles covered Holly's 'Words of Love' in their 'Beatles 65' album.

After becoming acquainted with the work of Bob Dylan, Lennon became influenced heavily by folk music ("You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and "Norwegian Wood" from 1965).

young John Lennon

Lennon played the major role in steering the group toward psychedelia ("Strawberry Fields Forever" Tomorrow Never Knows and "I Am the Walrus" from 1967), and renewed his interest in earlier rock forms at the close of the Beatles' career ("Don't Let Me Down" from 1969).

Paul McCartney is perhaps best known as the group's romantic balladeer: beginning with "Yesterday" (1965), he pioneered a modern form of art song, exemplified by "Eleanor Rigby" (1966) and "She's Leaving Home" (1967).

Meanwhile, McCartney maintained an affection for the driving R&B; of Little Richard in a series of songs which John Lennon dubbed "potboilers", from "I Saw Her Standing There" (1963) to "Lady Madonna" (1968). "Helter Skelter" (1968) ≈ arguably an early heavy metal song ≈ is a McCartney composition.

McCartney's mastery of the piano and keyboards played huge roles both in his role as a composer and as a versatile musician/composer in the studio. Neither McCartney nor Lennon ever learned to read music.

Originally, The Beatles' work focused around themes of optimistic, giddy, love akin to that of a boy who had just fallen in love, as typified by their performances of songs on The Ed Sullivan Show, such as "All My Loving", "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand".

George Harrison derived his early guitar style from 1950s rockabilly greats such as Carl Perkins, Scotty Moore (who worked with Elvis Presley), and Duane Eddy. "All My Loving" (1963) and "She's A Woman" (1964) are prime examples of Harrison's early rockabilly guitar work.

In 1965, George Harrison broke new ground in the West by recording with an Indian sitar on "Norwegian Wood".

A result of his long and continued collaboration with Sri Ravi Shankar, a famous Hindustani musician, many of his following compositions were based on Hindustani forms, most notably "Love You To" (1966), "Within You, Without You" (1967), and "The Inner Light" (1968).

Indian music and culture also influenced the band as a whole, with the use of swirling tape loops, droning bass lines, and mantra-like vocals on "Tomorrow Never Knows" (1966) and "Dear Prudence" (1968).

Harrison retained Western musical forms in his later compositions, where he emerged as a significant pop composer in his own right, occasionally reprising major themes that indicated his new relationship with Hindustani music and the Hindu god Krishna.

His later guitar style, while not displaying the virtuosity of Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, became distinctive with its use of clear melodic lines and subtle fills ("Something" [1969], "Let It Be" [1970]) in contrast to the increasingly distorted riffs and rapid-fire guitar solo work of his contemporaries.

Ringo Starr's contributions to The Beatles' sound are less known compared to the other Beatles, as Starr himself rarely actually wrote songs.

While he is mostly appreciated for his gentle comic baritone ("Yellow Submarine" 1966, "Octopus's Garden" 1969), steady drumming, and everyman image, he was likely responsible for the group's occasional interest in surprisingly authentic country sounds ("What Goes On" 1965; "Don't Pass Me By" 1968) and his own performance on Buck Owens' "Act Naturally".

In the Beatles' later music, the pace of the songs tends to be moderate, with more of the interest usually (but not always) coming from the melody and the orchestration than the rhythm.

"Penny Lane" (1967) is a good example of this style. Their earlier songs were often a bit faster paced. Throughout their career, their songs were rarely riff-driven. "Day Tripper" (1965) and "Hey Bulldog" (1969, recorded 1968) are among the exceptions.

There was an abrupt change in direction due to the Beatles' decision to stop touring in 1966. Reportedly stung by criticism of "Paperback Writer", the Beatles poured their creative energies into the recording studio in a determined attempt to produce material they could be proud of.

There had already been a clear trend towards progressively greater complexity both in technique and style, but this now accelerated noticeably, as was evident on "Revolver".

The subject matter of the post-touring songs was no longer you, I, love, boy meets girl, etc., and this took them very far from the days in 1963 when their material had shown some similarity with, say, the work of The Hollies.

Now all manner of subjects were introduced, from home repair and circuses to nonsense songs and others that defied description.

The extreme complication evident on Sgt. Pepper's reached its height on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album.

Parts of this, specifically "It's All Too Much" and "Only A Northern Song", were left over from 1967 and ended up being used only on Yellow Submarine in January 1969 apparently because the Beatles themselves weren't much interested in this as a project and didn't feel inclined to greatly exert themselves producing a lot of new material for it.

After the Revolver/Sgt. Pepper's phase, the creative surge seemed to exhaust itself, and their self-titled double album, largely written in India, reverted to a much simpler style and sometimes to simpler subjects (for example "Birthday").

Some of it (for example "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" and "Wild Honey Pie") were far less complex than much of their material from just a year or two before, and in 1969, the band began to disintegrate during sessions for the abortive Get Back project (which eventually emerged in 1970, much altered, as Let It Be)

which had been intended to be a return to more basic songs, avoiding massive editing or otherwise artificial influences on the final output (ironically Let It Be was heavily overdubbed and edited by producer Phil Spector's wall of sound technique).
Not wanting to leave things like that, the last album the Beatles recorded, Abbey Road, represented a mature attempt to integrate what they knew, and use recording studio techniques only to improve the songs, rather than to experiment to see what happened.

It represented one final effort, as McCartney once put it, to "leave 'em laughing".

Beatle music is still performed in public by tribute bands such as the Bootleg Beatles, and shows like Beatlemania!.

They are also the basis for Eric Idle's parody band, The Rutles (1978).

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