The Beatles

Known as one of the most successful British bands of all time, the Beatles paved the way for boybands all over the world. After cutting their teeth playing covers at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany, the Beatles were discovered at Liverpool's Cavern Club by record store owner Brian Epstein, who became their manager and signed them to Parlophone Records where they established a long, fruitful partnership with producer George Martin. John Lennon and Paul McCartney quickly became the brains behind the group, writing original songs and achieving their first UK number one with their catchy second single "Please Please Me" in 1963. They quickly became an international phenomenon, revolutionising pop music and effectively inventing a whole new youth culture with their mop-top haircuts and irreverent humour. Beatlemania swept the world and their music developed fast as they embraced alternative ideas, resulting in the ground-breaking albums Revolver (1966) and Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). Their debut album, along with eleven of their twelve albums, reached the number one spot in the UK Albums Chart, along with 17 singles which also managed to top the charts. The band's fourth single, "She Loves You," was, at the time, the fastest-selling single ever, selling 750,000 copies in its first month. In 1964 the Beatles embarked on a journey to the States where they gave their first live US television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show watched by an estimated 73 million people. Although American critics didn't seem to take too kindly to the boys from Liverpool dominating their airwaves, the public certainly did as crowds turned out in their thousands just to get a glimpse of the Beatles. As the band's fans grew up, so did their music, and their 1965 album Rubber Soul was widely critically acclaimed, with the band showing a new side and complexity to their sound with songs like "Norwegian Wood" and "Drive My Car." In 1966 John Lennon gave his famous interview to London's Evening Standard newspaper and was quoted as saying "We're more popular than Jesus". The statement alienated a large portion of their fanbase and their music was banned in several countries. The following year they released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the album that would go on to spend 27 weeks at number one in the UK and 15 weeks in the States. The album won four Grammy Awards including Best Contemporary Album and Album Of The Year and reassured their fans that they were back on track. Later that same year, their manager and long-time friend Brian Epstein passed away at the age of 32. Struggling initially to carry on without Brian Epstein by their side, the band resolved to continue writing and recording music and they released an EP soundtrack to the Beatles' documentary Magical Mystery Tour. The film was widely discredited, with many believing they had sold out for the money. After the release of Let It Be, tensions started to rise within the band and they announced their split in 1971 after just eleven years together. In 1980, John Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman and in 2001, George Harrison passed away from metastatic lung cancer. In the decades since their split and member deaths, the Beatles have sporadically continued to dominate the charts, breaking the record for the fast-selling album of all time with 1, their compilation of chart-toppers released in 2000, and live albums like 2013's On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 and 2022's Get Back – The Rooftop Performance. In 2022, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr joined forces for a new version of "Let It Be" with Dolly Parton, Peter Frampton, and Mick Fleetwood, and contained on Dolly Parton's 2023 album Rockstar. In October 2023, the group made headlines again with the release of new song "Now and Then," the demo for which was first worked on in 1995—built from a recording created by John Lennon a few years before his death—and later revived and finished using the same AI technology employed by celebrated director Peter Jackson for his 2021 documentary The Beatles: Get Back.

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Stations Featuring The Beatles

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