The Beatles were so influential for a number of reasons, the main one being the genius songwriting partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Lennon and McCartney met as teenagers and wrote and played the music that appealed to them, no matter the genre. Add into the mix George Harrison, who over time developed his own unique writing style and penned some of The Beatles most moving songs. The Beatles did what they felt was the right move for them and their band, not what the establishment or the fans wanted.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney are regarded as the best and most prolific songwriting duos in history. By refusing to be one genre and doing what they wanted, The Beatles remain the most influential and significant band in the music industry.
The Beatles Influence On Music
Before The Beatles burst onto the music scene, original content wasn’t as popular as it would become. In the early days, The Beatles enjoyed playing their favourite rock ‘n’ roll songs by the likes of Little Richard. So what was different about The Beatles and what influenced their songwriting talent? From a young age, John Lennon enjoyed writing short stories and poems. Although John didn’t live with his mother Julia, her musical influence on his life was significant. Julia taught John how to play the banjo and ukulele and they enjoyed listening to music together.
John Lennon and his mother Julia Lennon
Paul came from a musical background, his father played the piano and Pauls memories of his childhood recalls a home life and family get togethers that were filled with music. When John and Paul started playing music together, often at Paul’s house, they soon started penning their own songs as it came naturally to them. Whilst they still played covers in the early days, this was because they enjoyed the songs and their audience did too, not because they didn’t have the talent to write their own.
Paul McCartney and his father James ‘Jim’ McCartney
After The Beatles made original music their modus operandi, other artists took note of their own words’ popularity. They wrote their lyrics for the times they were living in, and as their experiences changed their lives, so it changed their music.
Their actual music was also self-written. This is where the genre-bending came into play, as they did not write underlying “Pop” or “Rock” music. They played around with sound until they found the sound that they felt went with that song.
The Beatles not only played with genres but also with musical styles. They were some of the first musicians to change the song forms within a song. A basic song form is a verse, chorus, and bridge. Lennon and McCartney were famous for adding another part, a fourth section that was a mix-up of these portions, as in “A Day In A Life.”
Some of the most influential artists of the day would be inspired by The Beatles. Some who have publicly acknowledged the influence that the Fab Four have on their music are:
|14.||The Mamas and The Papas|
The above are only a few artists who have willingly admitted to the degree with which The Beatles have influenced their musical style.
The Beatles Changed How Music Was Listened To And Released
The Beatles influenced how music was made. They changed how it was released to the masses and how it was listened to. Before The Beatles, music was mainly recorded and released on .45 records. These records primarily contained two songs and maybe some extra filler media. The whole point was to sell their singles, so that is what was released.
The Beatles felt the entire record was the goal. They released whole albums, often not including their singles on them at all. They also normalized album art, creating some of the most beloved album covers ever. They are much imitated but never really repeated.
The Beatles also created what would become known further on down the road as music videos. Their films A Hard Day’s Night and Help! were telling the story of the songs through visual and lyrical means. Richard Lester worked on both of them and would become know as “the father of the modern pop music video” by MTV.
The Beatles Redefined How To Perform Live
Before The Beatles, live music was completely different. Not only did they drive their fans crazy by performing on television shows, but they also created what would become known as the stadium tour.
The Beatles had their first tour across America as they released A Hard Day’s Night and right after their stratospheric appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. The year 1964 was a huge year for The Beatles, topping the charts at the FIVE top spots on April’s singles chart of 1964.
|1.||Can’t Buy Me Love|
|2.||Twist and Shout|
|3.||She Loves You|
|4.||I Wanna Hold Your Hand|
|5.||Please Please Me|
The Beatles embarked on a tour like no other, booking venues that other artists had never even thought of playing. No one had ever thought of playing Shea Stadium and in 1965, The Beatles played there to 56,000 fans, selling out in under twenty minutes.
Final Thoughts On Their Influence
Their impact is still felt across not only the music industry today but also the world. The Beatles decided that they would be true to themselves musically at a young age, and they never wavered – even when it caused the band to break up. Without The Beatles, the musical landscape would be very different.