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The Beatles were a well-known British rock group that were successful in the 1960s; their songs revolutionized music on many continents. The Beatles were made up of four men: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Star. These four men produced music that was widely embraced and had a huge influence on people. The Beatles’ songs were among the most popular albums of the twentieth century, and the band was also a member of the British Invasion movement. In the 1960s, British and rock and roll bands had a significant impact in the United States, which was referred to as the British Invasion. The Beatles gained their popularity in the 60’s when they released 30 songs that made it up to the top ten favorite songs in the Billboard magazine. The band was famous in the 60s and 70s period, but the music of The Beatles is adored up to date (Simonelli 21). The Beatles became famous across the world when they released their hit song, “Please Please Me” in 1963. The single hit by the band was on top of the British charts at the beginning of 1963, and it topped the list for 30 weeks’ time. Over the years, the music group continued to evolve as the band kept introducing a new style and trying new ideas in their music. Other hit songs by the Beatle are the “Yellow Submarine” that was released in 1966 and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”

“Yellow Submarine”

The Beatles were famous for composing music that had deep themes that reflected the social issues and controversies of the time. A song such as the “Eleanor Rigby” has a deep message that targets the lonely hearts encouraging them with the song lyrics (Simonelli 21). On the other hand, the lyrics of the “Yellow Submarine” song are quite simple, short and easy to understand. The Beatles released the “Yellow Submarine” song in 1966, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney composed it while Ringo Starr took over the role of lead vocals. The target audience for the song was young children although the music has the potential to impress people of all ages. The Beatles used simple and short words in the “Yellow Submarine” song.

The lyrics of the song are easy to comprehend which made it easy for all listeners, especially children to understand and also sing along. The “Yellow Submarine” is about a child who listens to a sailor to talk about the sea and getting to the land of submarines. The instruments that were used in the “Yellow Submarine” include the guitar, bass, tambourine and bass drum. The Beatles used the element of repetition a lot giving the song a certain rhythm that made the hit single easy to use as a nursery rhyme for children. The line “We all live in a yellow submarine, Yellow submarine, yellow submarine,” was repeated six times in the song making the music smooth and appealing to the young audience.

It is almost impossible to notice the background noises in the “Yellow Submarine” song. The Beatles also used other special effects in the song such as wave sounds, bubbles, and some voices of people that were all intentionally recorded in the studio. The use of the background effect gives the song some form of sophistication considering the lyrics were extremely simple. The song starts off with an acoustic guitar and maracas, and the background effects follow up and also the drumsticks tapping. The “Yellow Submarine” shows how the Beatles made progress in each album incorporating a variety of new styles and complicated vital sequences and modes in their music, allowing them to conquer different musical styles.

“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”

The Beatles group released the “I Want You (She Is So Heavy)” song before the disbandment of the Beatles band in 1970. The lyric of the music is simple as the whole song is made up of 14 different words that are alternated and repeated throughout the hit single. The line “I want you so bad, it’s driving me mad,” is repeated throughout the song; the music is about a man in love with a woman to the extent that it hurts him to the point of obsession “it’s driving me mad.” The “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” falls in the category of hard rock although it has a hint of blues within the music.

The Beatles used instruments such as the guitar, organ, bass, drums, and congas in the hit single. The use of a powerful guitar in the “I Want You (She’s So Heavy”) song gives it a heavy blue like feeling as the same guitar chords are played over and over in the song. Towards the end of the song, John Lennon let out a primal scream towards the end of the song; this reinforces the theme of human emotions on display. The most remarkable part of the song is the last 3minute stretch which comprises of Lennon’s and Harrison’s overdubbed guitars that play the same chord pattern repeatedly at full volume. The dramatic outro was a unique one, and the tone and melody of the song complement the lyrics and mood of the song as the listener can feel the burden, the pain of lost love.

“Please Please Me”

The Beatles released the “Please Please Me” song in 1963 and the hit single gained popularity in both the United Kingdom and in the United States. The “Please Please Me” song has a rock edge although it also employs harmonica. In the introductory part of the song, there is a loud metallic sound produced by a calliope that can be heard when the guitar is played in accord by harmonica and the hook. A calliope is usually associated with outdoor fun events such as carnivals or a circus; the fact that The Beatles uses it in the sound gives the music a fun theme making it lively and lighthearted.

The song starts with John on the harmonica and George is on the guitar; the first verse has 16 bars. The second verse is interrupted by an unexpected break where Ringo plays the drum just before the bridge. The lyrics of the song are about a man who recalls his experience with a lady about sexual encounters. The lines that suggest the song is about sexual matters are; “Please please me oh yeah like I please you,” “You don’t need me to show the way love,” and “I do all the pleasing’ with you.” The “Please Please Me” song also includes both shouted interjections and chromatic ornaments in the vocal line.

The lines in the “Please Please Me” song can be interpreted to refer to sexual frustration although the song could also refer to equality matters between a man and a woman. Throughout the song, the Beatles used call-and-response effect that was created by the “come on,” and the “oh yeah” lines; these lyrics were echoed between the response from McCartney and Harrison with that of Lennon. The effect created by the call-and-response was common in Black American music at the time, and the Beatles used the call-and-response to set a tone that suggested a mounting frustration from the lack of satisfaction.

Conclusion

The Beatles were famous in the 1960s, and they can be referred to as part of the most influential bands of the 20th century. The musical group had four members; John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Paul McCartney. The band gained popularity across the world for introducing a revolution in Rock and Roll. The main genres of The Beatles were rock and pop, and the band was active in the period between 1960 and 1970 before the complete disbandment of the group. The Beatles composed all their songs, and they also were keen in coming up with the lyrics of their music as each song was different from each other regarding the message contained in the music (Simonelli 19). The popularity of the Beatles music was referred to as Beatle mania in the United Kingdom in the United Kingdom, and when the band moved to the United States, the Beatles music had a profound effect attracting millions of fans and the outcome was termed as the British Invasion. The release of the ‘Please Please Me” song in 1963 was the major first break in the career of the band.

Works Cited

Simonelli, David. Working Class Heroes: Rock Music and British Society in the 1960s and 1970s. Lexington Books, 2012.

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