Why did The Beatles struggle to get a record deal


Despite their local success in Liverpool and Hamburg — and Brian Epstein’s best efforts — The Beatles struggled to get their first recording contract.
Columbia, HMV, Pye, Philips, and Oriole all turned them down. Dick Rowe at Decca signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes in preference. He always denied having said, ‘Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr Epstein’ but the remark became the 'Doctor Livingstone, I presume?' of The Beatles' story. It also conceals a broader truth: British 'beat' groups like The Shadows did appear to have peaked in popularity.
It is also true that he Decca audition went badly. Arriving after an overnight van journey, the arrived on New Year's Day morning, looking and sounding the worse for wear. The Beatles (or rather Epstein) essentially chose the wrong material (heavily weighted towards  standards) and played them poorly. In essence Decca were offered a lively covers band about which they were lukewarm.
The failure of the Decca audition, Brian Epstein was running out of options. Early in 1962 he managed to get a meeting with George Martin, the manager of Parlophone Records, an eclectic label owned by EMI.
Martin had doubts about the quality The Beatles musicianship. What charmed him was their personalities. “I wasn’t too impressed with the tape Brian Epstein had played me,” Martin told Desert Island Discs in 1996. “There was something there but I couldn’t find out whether it was worthwhile or not.”
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