In the year 1960, a British musical quartet from Liverpool, England rose to stardom. Originally, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr call themselves the Quarrymen but were later named the soon-to-be musical legends who will rock the 60s, The Beatles. Among its greatest hits were Let It Be, Hey Jude, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, and many more.
But after a decade of numerous concerts and tours around the globe, awards, and achievements, the group formally disbanded on the year 1970. A lot of speculation has spread about the real reason for the group’s breakup. Allegedly, it was Paul McCartney who was the first to leave the band. McCartney issued a press release on April 10, 1970, announcing his departure from the group, followed by Lennon who informed his other bandmates that he will also be leaving in September.
During their career, The Beatles created a huge impact not just in the musical culture but socially as well. And because the women were fascinated with the group, Beatlemania was born in the carefree youth culture of the 60s. Their music and style served as an inspiration to artists worldwide, which initiated musical innovation and revolution. In the entire career of the group, The Beatles releases 12 studio albums in the UK and 17 in the US, 6 live albums, 54 compilation albums, 22 video albums, 68 music videos, and so on. Since then, they generated tens of millions of royalties every year, aside from merchandising profits and concert fees. Several documentaries, home videos, films, and television series were produced for The Beatles.
When the band split up, fans and critics attributed this to several factors. Like the death of their manager Brian Epstein due to a drug overdose in 1967. Epstein was the band manager from 1962 until he died in 1967. Because of his brilliance in managerial expertise and financial management, he was a prime contributor to the success of the group. Epstein founded the company Northern songs Ltd to publish The Beatles’ songs and gave a 15% share to Lennon and McCartney.
On his sudden demise, the group was devastated, and eventually, Allan Klein replaced him. From the start McCartney did not like him, he wanted his soon-to-be in-laws to be their new handlers. But the other three, especially Lennon, were in favor of Klein. McCartney was very suspicious of their new manager, especially because the latter was notorious for financial mismanagement. With this, disagreements arose in the group. Meanwhile,
Yoko Ono had a great influence on her boyfriend, Lennon, one of which was his song compositions. Lennon’s worsening heroin addiction was also a factor. With this, the other members thought that Ono was keeping Lennon away from them.
And after the breakup, the four ex-Beatles pursued their musical interest either individually or with another band. McCartney formed a band called Wings, Lennon collaborated with his wife Ono, and Harrison and Starr became a legend under their names.
In the 1970s, the members occasionally teamed up for gigs or records. But never with all four members. And even though they had their solo careers, they still had songs that were inspired by their separation from the group. This includes God, Run of the Mill, Early 1970, Wah Wah, Too Many People, Dear Friend, and How Do You Sleep? Several entrepreneurs in the elite circle attempted to reunite the group either for a reunion concert, or just as television program guests, and even a concert-for-a-cause was proposed just to persuade the group. But their attempts were disregarded.
December 8, 1980, in the Upper Westside of New York, an obsessed fan shot Lennon while entering his Manhattan apartment. He sustained four gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead on arrival while en route to the hospital. The attacker was identified as Mark David Chapman and pleaded guilty to his crime. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and received sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. A section of Central Park was dedicated in Lennon’s memory. Harrison composed a song in honor of Lennon entitled All Those Years Ago. And on the years 1994 and 1995, the surviving members collaborated on an Anthology project using the latter’s demos.
After several years, the three continued to flourish in their solo careers. From producing hit globally albums to world tours. But the group suffered another blow when Harrison died of cancer in 2001.
In the peak of its glory, the group occupied the top five spots on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, they have recorded four of the Top Ten Greatest Albums of all Time, they earned jam-packed awards and nominations from international music award-giving bodies including the following:
- American Music Awards
- Awit Awards
- Billboard Music Awards
- Brit Awards
- Grammy Awards
- Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
- Grammy Trustees Award
- Grammy Hall of Fame
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Being one of the Best-Selling artists of all time, they have sold 800 million units worldwide. They gained 20 Multi-Platinum Albums, Six Diamond Albums, 16 Platinum Albums, and six Gold Albums in the US alone, while in the UK they garnered four Multi-Platinum Albums, eight Gold Albums, four Platinum Albums, and one Silver Album. To honor such treasure, UNESCO declared every 16th of January of every year as World Beatles Day. Indeed, these fabulous four have made a musical phenomenon that will continue to endure.