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How many records have The Beatles sold?

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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

How were The Beatles introduced to marijuana?

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The Beatles first met Dylan during their second visit to the US in August 1964. He came to visit them  in their suite at the Delmonoco Hotel in New York, accompanied by his friend Al Aronowitz.  Eager to please their super-hip guests, The Beatles offered Dylan and champagne and amphetamines. Dylan said that he only drank cheap wine and suggested that they ‘smoke some grass’ Brian and the Beatles looked at each other apprehensively. “We’ve never smoked marijuana before,” Brian finally admitted. Dylan looked disbelievingly from face to face. “But what about your song?” he asked. The one about getting high?” The Beatles were stupefied. “Which song?” John managed to ask. Dylan said, “You know…” and then he sang, “and when I touch you I get high, I get high…” John flushed with embarrassment. “Those aren’t the words,” he admitted. “The words are, ‘I can’t hide, I can’t hide, I can’t hide…'”    From The Love You Make Peter Brown Let's not Twist again In fact,  according to George Harr

Best Beatles Cover? Got to Get You Into My Life

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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

Best Beatle Cover Versions? With a Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker

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By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8063909 The best known interpretation of a Beatles song, performed in sensational fashion at Woodstock in 1969. On Sergeant Pepper With a Little Help From My Friends is a charming sing-along, ideally suited to Ringo's vocal range. Joe Cocker takes it to a different place.  Paying tribute to the late Sheffield singer Paul McCartney said:   I remember him and [producer] Denny Cordell coming round to the studio and Saville Row and playing me what they recorded. It was just mind-blowing. He totally turned the song into a soul anthem, and I was forever grateful to him for doing that."

Best Beatles cover versions? Golden Slumbers by George Benson

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There have several thousand covers of Beatles songs but a short list of those which work well. Twist my arm and I’d go for George Benson’s interpretation of Golden Slumbers   from his extraordinary The Other Side of Abbey Road (1971) Benson was a young jazz guitar prodigy at a time when the form appeared to have hit the buffers. To purists, his attempt to take on The Beatles was the first in long series of contemptible sellouts. His musical peers saw it differently, with Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, and Sonny Fortune all contributing to what was essentially a new take on the a tradition pioneered by the Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks. Golden Slumbers is a highlight that draws on the unusual genesis of the original. This was famously inspired by  Paul McCartney coming across his step-sister's sheet music for a piece called Cradle Music left on the piano at his father's house in Liverpool. Intrigued, but unable to read the 'black dots on the page' Paul invented a melody an

How did John meet Paul?

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On Saturday the 6th July, 1957 St Peter's Church held it a annual summer fete in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton. After the usual stalls and games for children in the afternoon, a new skiffle group played in the church hall in the evening. They were named The Quarrymen, after the school the band-leader attended. His name was John Lennon. John with the Quarrymen a few hours before meeting Paul Paul McCartney was only just fifteen, eighteen months younger than Lennon. He lived a bus ride away and went to a different school. But he and Lennon shared a mutual friend, Ivan Vaughan. Vaughan invited McCartney to the fete, promising that there would be girls there. “You can meet my mate John, too,” he added. “He plays guitar like you…” Read full piece free on on Medium    3 min read with video The Beatles Teaching Pack  free download during pandemic BBC Witness (audio): The Band That Made The Beatles

What was George Harrison's first guitar?

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When he was thirteen, George was admitted to hospital with what turned out to be a minor kidney problem. As with Ringo, a spell on the children’s ward proved to be the catalyst for obtaining his first musical instrument.  To cheer up his sick son, his father agreed to buy an old classmate’s Dutch Egmond flat-top acoustic guitar. Dutch Egmond Acoustic — George Harrison’s first guitar What George would later describe as a ‘cheapo, a horrible little guitar’ had a selling price of £3 ($4). This was a large sum for a poorly paid bus driver, though it would prove an inspired long-term investment. In 2003 it was sold for $800,000 at auction. Progression This Egmond proved very difficult to master. His mother, Louise, observed his painful struggle with it. George tried to teach himself [the guitar]. But he wasn’t making much headway. ‘I’ll never learn this,’ he used to say. I said, ‘You will, son, you will. Just keep at it.’ Early progress was also hampered by an ill advised experiment. Curiou

How did Yesterday change the way The Beatles wrote and recorded songs?

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The melody for YESTERDAY came to Paul McCartney in a dream but in other respects it was the most complex Beatles project until that point.  McCartney worked on  the  song for 18 months. He was still writing the song during the filming of Help!. This irritated director, Richard Lester so much that he banned him from playing the then Scrambled Eggs on the set.. George Harrison was similarly unimpressed, remarking ‘Who does he think he is? Beethoven?’  The Arrangement When George Martin suggested adding strings, McCartney was uneasy (‘No vibrato, George. I don’t want to sound like Mantovani!’). Realsiing this would be unnatural for a modern string player, Martin followed McCartney's instructions when writing the part but then asked him to help supervise the arrangement, knowing that this would demonstrate the issue. ‘As a result of which,{McCartney} added the cello phrase in bar 4 of the middle eight (1.25–27) and the first violin’s held high  A in the final verse.’ Macdonald. The Rec

Why was the sound quality so poor at Beatles concerts?

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In February 1962 The Beatles played at a youth club in Liverpool, using the church hall. The venue was modest but fit for purpose. With its low ceiling and wooden floors it provided excellent acoustics for the local fans who managed to squeeze in. Two years later they travelled to Washington DC in the immediate wake of their triumph on the Ed Sullivan Show. A concert was hastily arranged in a venue used for basketball and boxing, It set the template for all the live shows that were to come: An 8000-voice choir performed last night at Washington Coliseum in the premiere of what is likely to become an American classic. Call it in B for want of a better name. The choir was accompanied, incidentally, by four young British artists who call themselves the Beatles. Their part was almost completely obscured by the larger choral group, The 'thin voices' of the visiting group could not compete with the thousands of screaming teenagers.  This problem would plague The Beatles for their rem

Where did the title Tomorrow Never Knows come from?

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Tomorrow Never Knows took The Beatles into previously unexplored musical territory. Its use of tape loops, a mellotron, Tibetan chants and various Musique Concrete techniques were startling innovations for a mainstream pop record.  The title, however,  was inspired by a more homely source: I took one of Ringo's malapropisms as the title, to sort of take the edge off the heavy philosophical lyrics. Where did this  'heavy' philosophy come from? The Tibetan Book of the Dead via  The Psychedelic Experience by Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (1964). Leary notoriously promoted the use of LSD as the key to what Huxley had termed the Doors of Perception.  Lennon discovered the  The Psychedelic Experience when browsing the shelves at the Indica Bookshop in London:  John began to scan the shelves. His eyes soon alighted upon a copy of The Psychedelic Experience, Dr Timothy Leary's psychedelic version of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.  John was delighted and settled down