On February 7, 1964, “Beatlemania” arrived. The Beatles, had scored their first No. 1 U.S. hit, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, just six days before. They were greeted by 3,000 screaming fans. Two days later, The Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, an estimated 73 million U.S. television viewers, or about 40 percent of the U.S. population, tuned in to watch.
In August, the Beatles first feature-film, A Hard Day’s Night, was released and Beatlemania was epidemic the world over. Andrew Sarris of The Village Voice, labeled A Hard Day’s Night “the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals.” They took a film that cost 189K pounds to produce and turned it into a $12M blockbuster. In 1965, they released Help! to mixed reviews. This sophomore film for the Fab Four had a $1.5 M budget and grossed over $12M. They followed these up with Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine. The band officially broke in April of 1970 and John, Paul, George and Ringo all went on to solo careers. In 1980, John Lennon was murdered in New York City.
In 1994, Paul, Ringo and George came together for the Anthology project. The Beatles Anthology is comprised of a television documentary, a three-volume set of double albums, and a book focusing on the history of the Beatles. John Lennon appears in archival interviews.
The Beatles left an indelible mark on our culture. Their music will forever be a part of the “fabric of our lives”. The genius of The Beatles brought us so many songs that touched our souls (Yesterday) or just made us want to dance (Twist and Shout). No matter what type of music you like there is probably at least one Beatles song on your playlist. The world would be a much darker place if the Beatles had never existed.