From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for The Beatles

So once upon a time four British guys changed music forever. No one has been able to duplicate not just The Beatles' popularity, but their direct impact on music itself. Although many, many have tried. I'm not even someone who would list The Beatles in my top ten bands, and I don't really listen to them regularly, but I can listen to my definite absolute favorites (*ahem* Billy Joel *ahem*) and see--or rather hear--pretty clearly how The Beatles paved the way.

So what made them so explosive and so seminal? How did they achieve the success that they did, and get away with shifting the music industry so significantly? That's a book-length topic right there, and many have been written, but here are a few leaves from their book I think we writers might be able to usefully incorporate.

1. The Beatles were genuine: If being themselves, being genuine, meant writing a song about yellow submarines, then they did it. Gritty lyrics had been done before, but I think they took it to a new level. And of course the music itself was totally new. I think they wrote music they wanted to hear, and it connected with that generation more deeply than any other music at the time. I think writers are doing this all the time. Think Ernest Hemingway or James Joyce or Hunter S. Thompson. Basically, don't be afraid to be yourself. Your readers will appreciate it.

2. The Beatles were prolific: How many albums did they make? How many songs? I don't know exactly, but it's a lot. I think this had a big part to play in keeping them on the forefront of peoples minds. Their was always something new from them to check out. And if someone maybe didn't like one album so much, they might fall in love with another. Example from the literary world? See Stephen King.

3. The Beatles were varied: The Beatles had everything from more hard-core rock to soft ballads to just plain weird. I think it not only kept things fresh, but again, gave them the opportunity to have something for everyone. They experimented and not just with...recreational substances. Sometimes their experiments were more successful then others, but they all helped shape The Beatles as a group and allowed them to change music the way they did.

4. The Beatles were British: Yeah, there's just no hope for some of us on this one. Bad luck us.

There's some quick thoughts on why The Beatles were so explosive. And I'll leave you with my favorite of their songs, one that I do listen to quite often:

What's your favorite Beatles song?

Sarah Allen


  1. I am the Walrus has to be up there as one of my favourites, but to be honest there are so many. I have very fond memories of Let It Be because that was our leaving song at school - it still makes me teary :')

  2. Wait, I'm British. I can totally be a Beatle!

  3. yay--i almost wrote about them--so glad you did--can't really pick a fav song--but john for sure :)

  4. From a total Beatlemaniac - excellent! I loved Abbey Road and Sergeant Pepper. Also, the White Album. They are amazing.

    Did you watch Nowhere Boy? Great film about John Lennon's relationship with his aunt and his mother.

  5. I'm old enough to be a solid Beatles fan. I still have my White Album with original posters proudly displayed in my office.

  6. My brother and I rushed out to buy their single "I wanta hold your hand". We nearly wore it out.

  7. Hard to pick one out but A Day in the Life is a great adventure. There's not been any other group that impacted on culture like they did.

  8. Hey Jude is my best.

  9. Nice work on the a-z challenge. I'm doing that on my other blog Collateral Damn-edge ...


    ... but I'm only doing Haikus daily. I'm not even sure if that's enough to qualify me - it's part of another challenge from Haiku Heights so .... I do enough writing to qualify just not as organized as you love the piece on the Beatles - keep it up :)

  10. The trouble with The Beatles is that just as I think I've picked my favourite song, someone mentions one I like even better...
    ...nope still can't decide. They were awesome!

  11. Favorite Beatles song? Hmmm. There are so many to choose from. It's between "A Day in the Life," "Something" and "Hey Jude" I guess.

  12. My daughter loves the Beatles. She is 17 and has loved them since she was 12. They play in our house all the time.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

  13. "the long and winding road" is my favorite Beatles song. I think it helped that they are all creative people as well. they do other things besides music. writers aren't just writers either.

    hope you have a sweet day.

  14. I have too many favorite Beatles songs, but I'd have to say Blackbird. MY favorite lyric of all time is "take these broken wings and learn to fly".

  15. I don't have any favorite Beatles songs, unfortunately, since I appear to be one of the few who don't like their songs. It is interesting how widely popular they still are, though.

    Jessica @ Visions of Other Worlds
    Twitter: @jmarcarelli, #atozchallenge

  16. I so wish that I had been alive during Beatlemania *sigh*

    Yesterday is in my top three.

    1. Eleanor Rigby
    2. Come Together
    3. Yesterday

  17. When I need a lift in mood or just feel nostalgic for being younger (same thing, isn't it), I like to put on the Beatles. "When I'm 64" is one of my favorite songs. The lilt in the tune. The words. And, now that I'm closer to that age. . .

  18. I wasn't born in the 60's but I love listening to The Beatles! :)

    (Na na na, na-na na na)

    And now this particular song keeps playing in my head.

    Sincerely,Miss Uncertain---sidetracked

  19. Hi..
    I'm from the AtoZ Challenge and its a pleasure to read your blog.
    Do come by if time permits :)
    Bhavya from Just Another Blog

  20. From a fun perspective, I like "Paperback Writer", and from a sing-a-long perspective, I like "When I'm 64".


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