The Beatles BY VERONICA WHIT TAKER Biography Paul McCartney • Born in Liverpool on June 18th 1942 • Displayed a passion and talent for music at a young age • Began performing at churches in Woolton during his early years • Met John Lennon shortly after while performing at a church picnic • During this time Lennon established his own band; “The Quarryman” John Lennon • Born October 9th 1940 in Liverpool England • Lennon soon took notice to McCartney's guitar playing skills and asked him to join the “Quarryman” • The band soon added George Harrison as lead guitar and Pete Best to the drums • From this point John Lennon and McCartney begin writing and playing music together • Lennon playing backup the band soon changed their name to “The Beatles” Before Discovery Early performances at “The Cavern” Brian Epstein • November 9, 1961 The Beatles were performing at “The Cavern” to a full house during a lunch time show when Epstein heard them perform live • The music store manager fell in love with the band almost instantly • He credited them soon after saying; “The group would become internationally famous.” • Epstein spoke with George Martin head of EMI's Parlophone label in May of 1962 and signed the Beatles • In August of 1992, Pete Best was asked to leave the group. He was then replaced by Ringo Starr Changing their Image The Beginning of “The Beatles” • With Ringo now apart of the band and George, Lennon and Paul McCartney all on board; The Beatles were an instant success • On March 22, 1963 the Beatles released their first ever single; "Love Me Do” • The following releases proved to be just as popular and on April 4, 1964 The Beatles occupied the top five spots on the billboard hot 100 singles chart with; • #1 “Cant By Me Love, • #2“Twist and Shout”, • #3“She Loves Me”, • #4“I want to hold your hand” and #5“Please Please me.” Meeting the Queen of England • Following the renown success of The Beatles, one of the greatest accomplishments they achieved was shortly after in June of 1965 when the queen of England announced that the Beatles were going to be awarded with the MBE also known as the (Member of the Order of the British Empire) • On October 26, 1965, Lennon did the unthinkable and tried to return his MBE medal in a gesture to pose for the antiwar movement in 1969 • It proved unsuccessful, for the honor can not be returned and Lennon remained with the MBE. Controversy surrounding the Beatles The summer of 1966 John Lennon spoke to the British Newspaper Reporter stating; • “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now.” Thus causing an immediate uproar • The group had been scheduled to tour two weeks before the outbreak, shortly after Lennon's speech they received death threats • Following this was the uproar from anti-Beatles advocates in both the U.S as well as the UK • John Lennon apologized shortly after at a Chicago press conference • The Beatles soon after gave up touring on August 29, 1966 and stuck with in studio recording sessions Documentary-”Bigger Than Jesus” The documentary discusses the controversy surrounding John Lennon's famous quote; "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that. I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity." The Beatles Change their Sound • The Beatles sound began to take a dramatic turn after this point, as such that they began experimenting with exotic instruments such as tape abstractions as heard in; “Strawberry Fields Forever.” • The popular song filled the year long gap between albums and left fans curious at what was to come such as; “Taxman” and “Love You to.” • The album was released in June of 1967 titled; “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” with its electronic songs and unique mix of rock and psychedelic sounds its was no surprise it sold over 8 million copies Break up of the Beatles • • • • • • In 1968 John Lennon married Yoko Ono, which caused much conflict between the band members Yoko Ono has been credited as being the sole reason the band split Paul McCartney announced on April 10th 1970 he was leaving the Beatles. McCartney went on to form his own band called the; “Wings.” Which soon gathered much success Soon after followed by McCartney's successful solo career which featured Ringo Starr by his side They recently toured throughout the US and UK through the early 2000's, and then into now Where are the Beatles now? • • • In 1973 Lennon moved to Los Angeles and soon after Yoko and Lennon prepared to have a son Lennon shortly after chose to leave music and focus on being a full time father and husband to his family. In the year 1980 Lennon recorded “Double Fantasy,” not soon after it was released to the public Lennon was shot and murdered by Mark David Chapman outside the entrance of his home in New York City on December 8, 1980 • • George Harrison in 1997 was diagnosed with throat cancer and passed away on November 29,2001. He died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones and his family. Ringo Starr pursed his solo career with Paul McCartney off and on through the 20th century, as well as started his acting career which was short lived. Ringo Starr released his solo album titled; “Liverpool 8.” Composition History “I am the Walrus” • “I am the Walrus” was written by John Lennon in 1967 • John Lennon claimed that the first two sentences of the song were written on two different acid trips that he had experienced • Lennon composed the unique song by combining three different pieces of music he currently had been working on • Lennon also added an entire verse of nonsense lyrics to the song, when he found out his primary school teacher was having his students analyze and critique The Beatles music and lyrics. • Music critic Ian MacDonald argued that “I Am the Walrus” was Lennon's “final creative water mark” with the Beatles “A Day in the Life” • “A Day in the Life” according the the Rollings Stones is the 26th greatest song to be written of all time • The song is a combination of two different songs that were written, one by Paul McCartney and the other by John Lennon • The track was the final piece on the Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and The Beatles 1967 album • The first article was featured in the Daily Mail in 1967, and regarded the growing amount of potholes that occupied a town in Lancashire, otherwise known as Blackburn • The inspiration for “A Day in the Life” came from Tara Browne who died on December 18, 1966. Imagine • Imagine was released in 1971 and was the first track featured on the “Imagine” album • It was solely written and performed by John Lennon and it's message was that of world peace • The song was written during the Vietnam War, and was targeted to all members of society and not just to The Beatles devoted fans and audience • Imagine called for social reform and was very political in that it addressed the war and society as a whole during that vital time period • The song was John Lennon's best-selling single of his solo career • “Imagine” sold over 1.6 million copies in the UK alone Listening Guide “I am the Walrus” 0:00- Introduction The song starts with the siren-sounding electric keyboard playing, while the maracito shakers play into the first verse. The intro is seven measures long; which flows into the second measure when the orchestra begins to play, shortly after the drums merge into a dynamic forte. 1:01-Chorus The chorus immediately starts out with Lennon singing; “I am the eggman, they are the eggmen, I am the Walrus, Goo goo g'joob.” The vocal line rising with each chord that is being sung, followed with each measure the cello playing a slurred down tempo. Ringo playing a light tapping of the drums following the next verse. 2:18-Bridge The song returns back to the refrain, John explains; “Goo, goo, gajoob, ga, goo, goo, gajoob.” During this portion we hear the radio playing; “The Tragedy Of King Lear.” Coda 3:26Next comes Mike Sammes singers (“ho, ho, hee, hee, ha, ha, ha.”) The cellos rising in the last and final measure of the piece, and the orchestra instruments repeating the same mysterious rhythm, that gradually descends and fades out. Outro-4:00 Static from BBC broadcast eventually fades completely out at 4:13, and the static dissipates. “A Day in the Life” 0:00-Introduction Guitar starts playing from 0:00-0:08 when it gradually begins to pick up in tempo and rhythm. Then slowly emerging from the background and gradually gathering recognition is the subtle plucking of the “C” string on the cello, which creates an additive balanced overall texture to the piece while McCartney begins to sing. 1:15-Chorus The cello continues to pluck, as well as the strumming and faint guitar emerging after the drums on each beat. McCartney opens singing; “ I saw a film today, oh boy.” As heard in Verse 1. Followed then by; “The English Army had just won the war.” The drums begin to pick up tempo now, adding to the rhythm. 3:50-Bridge Then the piano picks up in the melody and Paul sings; “I'd love to turn you on...” Then the orchestra begins to pick up in tempo, starting into a lively crescendo as Paul finishes his line. 4:03-Coda The song starts to come to an obvious close, as the orchestra picks up pace again in a skewed and assortment of notes. Then the piano is pounded, in one quick motioning sound and the note's are carried out until they fade into the rhythm and cease into a calando. 4:46-End “Imagine” 0:00 - Introduction The song starts with nothing but piano repeating a simple yet elegant 8 bar melody at a somewhat slower and deliberate tempo that evokes a calm and almost ethereal quality. 0:41 - Refrain 1 The drums kick in over the piano as it then changes into a slightly different chord progression with the rhythm. While the tempo remains constant, the simple addition of percussion over such a sparse piece escalates the song through the chorus. The lyrics in the chorus suggest to us what the results would be in the world we are asked to imagine during the verse. 1:34 - Bridge With a slight hesitation at the end of the chorus as the dynamics shift here at 1:42, we are lead into the most musically and lyrically contrasting portion of the song. The Piano and string melody are distinctly altered, and the lyrics speak about the singer directly for the first time in the song. 2:40 - Bridge repeated The bridge repeats with the same lyrics as before. Arguably this could make it a chorus, however, the contrast the bridge brings both musically and lyrically to every other portion of the song seems more typical of a bridge in concept. 3:01 -Bridge resolves into Coda This second bridge also serves as a coda as it devolves musically into an outro in the last few measures with the lyrics finishing over the top. 3:07- Ends Bibliography "." . N.p., 18 June 2014. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.beatlesbible.com/people/john-lennon/songs/imagine/>. "World Biography." Beatles Biography. N.p., 22 June 2014. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ba-Be/Beatles.html>. Polkow, Dennis, "The Beatles." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004, "Beatles." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2003, "Beatles, The." Encyclopedia.com. HighBeam Research, 1 Jan. 2004. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/The_Beatles.aspx>. "Biography." IMDb. IMDb.com, 23 Jan. 2004. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1397313/bio>. "Top 50 Beatles Songs." Ultimate Classic Rock. N.p., 16 June 2014. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://ultimateclassicrock.com/beatles-top-50-2/>. ""I Am The Walrus" song by The Beatles. The in-depth story behind the songs of the Beatles. Recording History. Songwriting History. Song Structure and Style.." "I Am The Walrus" song by The Beatles. The in-depth story behind the songs of the Beatles. Recording History. Songwriting History. Song Structure and Style.. N.p., 16 June 2014. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.beatlesebooks.com/walrus>. "John Lennon - Imagine - Lyrics Meaning." - Song Descriptions, Song Meanings, Music Videos. N.p., 13 June 2014. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.musicbanter.com/lyrics/John-Lennon-Imagine.html>. "The Beatles - A Day in the Life - Lyrics Meaning." - Song Descriptions, Song Meanings, Music Videos. N.p., 18 June 2014. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.musicbanter.com/lyrics/The-Beatles-A-Day-in-the-Life.html>. The Beatles â€ “I Am the Walrus." Last.fm. N.p., 20 June 2014. Web. 1 July 2014. <http://www.last.fm/music/The+Beatles/_/I+Am+the+Walrus>.