The Beatles Essay, Research Paper
T H E B E A T L E S The Beatles were very in tune with the world around them and were greatly influenced by many ideas, cultures, and religions. In turn, their innovations and music influenced the world, even today. Early in their career, The Beatles were strongly influenced by American music. They especially idolized artists such as Bill Haley ( Rock Around the Clock Tonite ), Buddy Holly ( Peggy Sue ), and many Rhythm and Blues artists such as Willie Dixon. It s clear in The Beatles evolution that these roots were a strong influence on the music that The Beatles created. Paul and John obviously combined these various genres of music with their indigenous skiffle, obviously a Lonnie Donnegan influence. With this combination of styles and origins, the music that The Beatles played and composed was a revolution in itself, something that hadn t been thought of before. Some precise examples of these earth-shattering compositions are the #1 hit Please, Please, Me , and also a #1 hit She Loves You . These early Beatles tunes were instrumental in crafting their own musical style.As The Beatles matured, they began to be more perceptive to events all throughout the world and their tremendous popularity was growing day by day. Their manager Brian Epstein realized that in order for The Beatles to make it in the London scene, they needed a new look. He dressed them in matching suits, a complete turnaround from the jeans and leather jackets they were accustomed to wearing, and had a photo shoot. Brian released these photographs and The Beatles took off in London. The exponential growth rate of fans was so large that The Beatles were the first rock group permitted to play in, not to mention sell out the London Palladium, a grand achievement. The Palladium, until then, was a very exclusive and elegant concert hall usually reserved for the likes of the London Symphony Orchestra. Although selling out the Palladium was quite a feat, the 15 million viewers that watched the concert on the BBC was an even greater one. This was the first time in England that a rock group had established so much credibility that The Beatles were invited to play at a Royal Command Performance for the Queen. The influences of traditional British society, although already evident in their choice of attire, began to permeate their music. For example, Yesterday began as a heavy rock tune, but the poetic influences of Brits such as William Shakespeare turned it into the love ballad it is today. Another good example of the London influence on The Beatles in Yesterday is the string quartet from the London Symphony Orchestra that plays the melody. This was indicative of the influence that The Beatles had on the English music, social, and political scenes, as well as the ways in which traditional English society influenced The Beatles.
1966 began a new Beatles trend full of psychedelic drugs. Their recent release of Revolver marked the beginning of this new trend. Revolver was strongly influenced by American Professor Timothy Leary. Leary was an exceptional influence on The Beatles, especially John Lennon. Dr. Leary popularized the hallucinogen LSD, and was a major American proponent of peace and free will. Interestingly enough, when Timothy Leary decided that he was going to run for governor of California, in order to have the influence needed to truly make peace in the world, John wrote Come Together for Leary s campaign. Leary also sang Give Peace A Chance with John and Yoko Ono. The strong drug influences are evident particularly in Strawberry Fields Forever , in phrases such as Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about and Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. These key phrases are obvious descriptions of their recent experimentation with LSD. Songs describing John s trips are great in number on the Magical Mystery Tour album that was released in 1967. Examples of these are Penny Lane and I Am the Walrus . Penny Lane deals with John s interpretation of a trip while crossing Penny Lane, and while in the park on Penny Lane. I Am the Walrus is one of the first true examples of Paul s drug use and identifies with his fantasy of being a walrus. Drugs had a strong influence on The Beatles, and their musical interpretations caused by drugs helped to influence drug culture in the world, not just among their fans, but among many youths.Another Beatles innovation was the utilization of Indian instruments in their music. They began to implement use of the sitar and tabla in many songs, especially on the White Album, which was released in 1968, a year coinciding with a Beatles visit to India. The sitar is a complex guitar-like instrument where both the bass line and melody are played on the same instrument. The tabla is complex drums that produce a wide range of tones. Meditation and finding oneself also became an important part of Beatles life. This Hindu and Buddhist ritual appealed to the band because it helped them to write better songs. This led to the downfall of The Beatles as they began to argue over songs and styles; their excursions within themselves had backfired and turned them against each other.The Beatles were the most influential rock group in all of history, but they couldn t have had such a great effect on the world without their many inspirations. They seemed to take the best of different cultures and combine them in their music to create a diverse and interesting sound. Without The Beatles, the world would be a much different place today.