Before they broke-up, The Beatles sold far more singles that LPs. The album, as it became known, was a luxury item - well beyond the financial reach of the core teenage market. Singles generally outsold albums until the early seventies. The Beatles released a total of 63 singles worldwide By 2014, the official figure for US single sales was an astonishing 1.6 billion . Estimated world sales were over 2 billion . Studio Albums The Beatles officially released 13 albums, plus three anthologies They had a total of 21 Number 1 albums in the US. Total US album sales are estimated at around 177 million Album sales outside of the US are in excess of 600 million . The Beatles (The White Album) is the biggest selling studio album. It has sold over 24 million copies. Later acts, like Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and Michael Jackson, all benefited from the increasing availability of affordable stereo systems. Older fans were now buying Beatles albums in large numbers but these
Tamla Motown was a key influence on the early Beatles sound. They covered Tamla tracks like PLEASE MR POSTMAN and wrote songs in a similar style. THIS BOY (1963) for example is what George Harrison called 'John doing Smokey'. GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE (1966) is a later homage, first released on Revolver. It is one of Paul McCartney's most joyful and exuberant compositions, and perhaps The Beatles most danceable recordings. Even the hard-to-please Mr Lennon hailed it 'as on of Paul's best songs. Early studio versions, however, lacked energy and punch. It was the introduction of Memphis Stax-style horns that gave the song a new drive. Earth, Wind and Fire pick up on this dynamism in their 1978 cover. They give it the song treatment, amplifying the horns and harmonies in an exhilarating arrangement. Memphis or Haight Ashbury Wisely, they do not draw attention to the writer's revelation that the 'she' in the lyric is marijuana. "It's actual
Many of the best Beatles songs start and/or finish with a bang: the opening chord or A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, for example. The opening of A DAY IN THE LIFE is unusually muted in this respect, perhaps indicating shift into more subtle musical territory. Where A DAY IN THE LIFE delivers its knockout blow is in its finale. Originally recorded as a modest hummed E Major vocal chord, it evolved into what Jonathan Gould describes as: "a forty-second meditation on finality that leaves each member of the audience listening with a new kind of attention and awareness to the sound of nothing at all".  ByTom Swain www.tomswain.com CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11750716 This was achieved using absurdly primitive technology in today's term. Lennon, McCartney, Evans and Martin played the chord on three pianos. Each was then multi-tracked four times. For the final chord of A DAY IN THE LIFE Lennon had asked George Martin for a 'a sound like t
‘Good Morning’ is mine. It’s a throwaway, a piece of garbage, I always thought. The ‘Good morning, good morning’ was from a Kellogg’s cereal commercial. I always had the TV on very low in the background when I Was writing and it came over and then I wrote the song. John Lennon All We Are Saying , David Sheff During his Weybridge years, John Lennon was like Benjamin Braddock The Graduate (1967) a rich, successful young man angry at the suburban world he found himself in. Like Benjamin, this anger was largely expressed through petty acts of passive aggression against those surrounding him. In the mid 60s, Paul spent his Beatle downtime careering around London in his Mini Cooper, the pop world's Toad of Toad Hall. John stayed in Surrey moping around his mansion in his dressing gown, being surly to all and sundry. He did not (yet) alleviate his boredom by having an affair with an older married woman, but his self-absorption shut out Cynthia and Julian. It was not a happy home. On th
'Verse 1' consists of the chorus from SPLHCB Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band opens with the title track that establishes the concept (a reunion concert for the eponymous group). Crowd noise blends the sound of orchestral musicians tuning-up to create the illusion of a live performance. The song climaxes with the MC (McCartney) introducing 'the one and only Billy Shears' and the single chorus builds to a crescendo. Concept Arguably, the band reunion concept begins to fade at this point. Later Lennon would dismissively describe the album as 'a bunch of mainly Paul's songs'. This may be harsh but it was apparent during recording that the concept was not really sustained. The Beatles road manager, Neil Aspinall, pointed out that the fictional band appeared to disappear after the opening track. He suggested that listener needed to be reminded of the live performance on side two. The result was the penultimate track " Sgt. Pepper's Lone
Photo by Fleur on Unsplash In March 1967 John and Paul were under pressure to produce the final tracks for Sergeant Pepper. They decided to have what would now be called a brainstorming session at John's house. According to Hunter Davies, this was a bewilderingly casual event in which they spent much of the time flicking through magazines. From time to time they would sing out phrases or pick out bits of tunes at the piano. Ian Macdonald speculates that there was some method at work in that 'both writers 'found inspiration in moments where their conscious minds had fallen into abeyance.' Whatever the strategy, it worked. By the end of the day McCartney had a new song, 'The Fool on the Hill'. Lennon, meanwhile, plugged away at the chords to a tune with the working title Badfinger Boogie. This reflection on on a minor injury would eventually became better known as 'With a Little Help From My Friends'
In August 1963 The Beatles returned to the Cavern to play what proved to be their last gig there. It proved a chaotic event with frequent power-cuts causing frequent interruptions. During one of the forced intervals, Paul McCartney calmed the crowd by playing impromptu acoustic version of an old favourite.
John Lennon never showed much affection for The Beatles most celebrated album. Was this because the Sergeant Pepper concept was Paul's? Not according to what John says in this interview, recorded in 1971, at the height of his feud with his former song-writing partner: