The Beatles, a music phenomenon from Liverpool England, began their trek to super stardom in 1956 as the Quarrymen. Formed by music genius John Lennon, the group later added Paul McCartney and in 1958, included George Harrison and Stu Sutcliffe. With name changes such as Johnny and the Moondogs and The Silver Beatles, the group finally (and wisely) adopted the name The Beatles in 1960's. At that time, the group consisted of four members; John Lennon (rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Peter Best (drums). Member Stu Sutcliffe left the group that year, dying of a brain hemorrhage only months later.
With their first hits “Love Me Do” in 1962 and “Please Please Me” in 1963 (which topped the charts for an astonishing thirty weeks), they quickly became Britain's top rock group. That popularity quickly spread to the United States and worldwide. In 1964, The Beatles released “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, selling more than one million copies andmarking the beginning of the Beatlemania phenomenon in the United States.
One month later, on February 9, The Beatles stormed the United States and made their first guest appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, which was watched by an estimated seventy-three million viewers.
In the same year, The Beatles began their film adventures. A “Hard Day’s Night”(a comedy-musical), followed in 1965 by “Help!”(a much smaller venture than the first), were widely received by American audiences and turned out to be large commercial successes. The Beatles’ movies personified their Fab-Four image of energetic, devil-may-care, comical English lads.
After achieving such commercial success in the movies, they went back into the studio where they completed the album “Rubber Soul” in 1965, and Revolver in 1966. Songwriter’s Lennon and McCartney and even Harrison were making a change in their writing styles, as these two albums proved. From the earlier style of boy-girl love songs, their work was becoming more introspective and they began experimenting with new and innovative instrumental sounds in the studio.