With the fiftieth anniversary of Abbey Road, I thought I would write an article about one of the greatest bands of all time. The Beatles has been my favorite group since February 9, 1964, when I watched their live debut performance on The Ed Sullivan show, when I was a boy at nine years old. Since then, I have been hooked on their music.
After that amazing show, I purchased Meet The Beatles as my very first record album. This amazing band consisting of John Lennon on guitar, Paul McCartney on bass, George Harrison on lead guitar and Ringo Starr on drums brought me so many great memories.
Over the years I had built an impressive Beatles library, but lost most of my record library over the many moves I made over the years. Then sometime back, I rebuilt my library on vinyl including many rare albums, imports, picture discs and albums on colored vinyl. Among some of my favorite albums are Beatles 65, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, The White Album, Let It Be and Abbey Road to name a few. Among my favorite singles is I Want To Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, If I Fell, Nowhere Man, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Hey Jude, Let It Be, Get Back, Come Together and so much more.
April 10, 1970 was a sad day for me when I learned that is a great band that I learned to love broke up. After the breakup, I started listening to their solo work even though John Lennon and George Harrison already had solo albums before the breakup.
The first solo album after the breakup was McCartney by Paul McCartney and the press for the album officially announced what the music press already suspected, that The Beatles had broken up.
Over the next few years, there were albums that impressed me as solo artists as much as what the Beatles did as a group such as All Things Must Pass, Living In The Material World and Cloud Nine by George Harrison, Mind Games, Imagine and Double Fantasy by John Lennon, Band On The Run, Wings At The Speed Of Sound, and Give My Regards To Broad Street by Paul McCartney and Sentimental Journey, Beaucoups Of Blues, and Goodnight Vienna by Ringo Starr.
The solo albums gave George Harrison and Ringo Starr the opportunities to work as songwriters and lead vocalists which were rare when they were with The Beatles. Over the years I managed to build quite an impressive solo vinyl library as well, with many more I need to add to this collection.
In November 1995 three of The Beatles, Paul, George, and Ringo did a television six-hour documentary called Anthology showing the history of The Beatles, plus unreleased performances and outtakes presented in roughly chronological order, along with two new songs based on demo tapes recorded by Lennon after the group broke up Free as a Bird and Real Love, both produced by Jeff Lynne.
We lost John Lennon due to his being murdered in December 1980 but he still appeared in archival interviews in the Anthology series. The three volumes of the music from the Anthology documentary appeared on Vinyl and CD in 1996.
There were also other collections of archive music such as their Live At The BBC Volumes One And Two released on 11 November 2013. The two rarest collections in my Beatles library were the January 1973, two pirated Beatles box sets which appeared in the United States, Alpha Omega Volumes I & II: The Story Of The Beatles. These four-LP collections were advertised on TV and radio stations in the Midwest and were sold by mail order. Instead of taking legal action, Capitol Records countered by putting out two official Beatles anthologies, The Beatles 1962-1966 (the red album) and The Beatles 1967-1970 (the blue album) which I later purchased on the red and blue colored vinyl. However later, a $15 million lawsuit was filed by manager Allen Klein on behalf of George Harrison, along with Capitol and Apple Records, against the manufacturers and distributors of the pirate package, and against American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., who had been advertising it. So anyone that has these collections, has a rare find.
Over the years I have just enjoyed listening to my albums and movies of The Beatles such as Hard Days Night, Help, Yellow Submarine, Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be, and not hearing any bands that gave The Beatles some justice. In 2017 had the opportunity to hear a Beatles tribute band out of Nashville, Tennesee called the WannaBeatles featuring Dennis Scott on guitar and vocals, Bryan Cumming on guitar and horns, Nathan Burbank on keyboards and bass and David Toledo on drums. Their tribute to The Beatles is amazing. If you closed your eyes you can picture The Beatles actually playing complete with their amazing harmonies. These guys also show their great personality and humor as shown with Dennis’s great impersonation of Ed Sullivan, old commercials and more. The WannaBeatles showcased the great career of The Beatles from She Loves You, Help, Hard Days Night, Something, Here Comes The Sun and more to Sgt Peppers and many more Beatles classics. With George Harrison dying of cancer on November 29, 2001, only Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still remain of this amazing group and both are still performing live shows and recording albums.
If I had to name the greatest band of all time, I would definitely say it is The Beatles. Their music will live on forever.