Why The Beatles were the Best Band in the World – Pt 2

The next phase of the Beatles progress was their Teeny Bop years. Now this normally would be the kiss of death. Who can possibly take anyone seriously when they are catering for a bunch of prepubescent girls? Certainly bands like Take That are the biggest turn-off for me. The testimony to the Beatles quality was that they squared the circle and pulled it off – and they did it in style. Their songs had a quality that appealed beyond the horizons of their teenage audience. Not only that, but the production, organised by George Martin, was perfect.

 

The series of singles continued unabated. The quality did not drop despite the pressures on them and the immense workload. Those singles were innovative and all different. They did not fall into the rut of repetition. Even so the material they produced was lyrically limited and focussed almost entirely on love songs.

 

Brian Epstein was very canny. Not only did he harness the four characters into a harmonious group but he sorted out a distinctive image utilising the design skills of Stu Sutcliffe’s girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr who designed the collarless jackets and combed forward hairstyle that made them so distinctive.

 

Phase two was based around their two early films – A Hard Day’s Night and Help – with Beatles For Sale sandwiched in between.

 

It also was based around their massive breakthrough into the States. They took the place by storm. At one point they had seven singles in the US Top Ten and the radio stations played nonstop Beatles music. They even had LPs in the singles charts. It was unprecedented. This was Beatlemania at its most rampant.

 

What gave the group impetus, apart from their obvious musical prowess, was their engaging, chirpy personalities. They were masters of the ready quip, the humorous aside and cheeky answer. It gave them a media presence and even appealed to parents – who found the friendly moptops unthreatening (little did they know). They worked together as a foursome very well and handled the media in a manner that made them universally popular.

 

The two film albums were made up entirely of Beatles songs (apart from three tracks on Help) – even George got the odd look-in. Their song writing skills were to the fore and they produced some lilting pop songs along with the rockier numbers. Beatles For Sale was the last of their non-film albums to feature cover songs.

 

Overnight the sugary sweet PopRock was blown away. The Beatles paved the way for the British invasion and a host of bands a lot tougher and more blues based than the Mersey bands swept in – The Stones, Pretty Things, Them, Yardbirds, Who, Animals, Smallfaces, Manfred Mann, and Downliners Sect crashed through the open door with their original sounds.

 

The Beatles had established themselves as the undisputed best band in the world. Even the Stones (those unkempt, long-haired, scruffy oiks that the media so liked to put up against them in the first battle of the bands) had to play second fiddle.

 

It was on their American tour that they met Bob Dylan and were blown away themselves.