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The Beatles

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When people hear the name "The Beatles" most people

think of lead singer, John Lennon. However, the role of

Paul McCartney is often overlooked. It was McCartney,

not Lennon who was the driving force behind the Beatles.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney were in many bands

together before the forming of the Beatles. In 1962, along

with Ringo Starr1 and George Harrison, they formed the

rock group known as "The Beatles". The group featured a

modern rock that was new and popular during the period

with John and Paul composing and doing the leads on most

of the songs. They were backed by George on rhythm and

bass guitar and Ringo on drums. George and Ringo also

assisted on backing vocals. When they first began playing,

the main influence inside the band was John Lennon, who

had an uncanny ability to compose songs at a moments

notice with an inspiration that others missed. He pushed the

members of the band during their touring years and was

able to achieve the best possible results from the group.

The band began playing in a Music Hall style that is very

effective for the audiences but was lacking on their albums.

Together with Paul, John began to evolve the band. As the

years began to pass, the band was obviously beginning to

grow musically. They had moved from simple lyrics like

"Love me Do" to harshly aware reflections of life in their

home country in "Eleanor Rigby"2. There were attempts,

some more successful than others, to incorporate the other

Beatles into the idea stage. George Harrison made this leap

successfully with such tracks as "I want to tell you",

"TAXMAN", and the psychedelic "Love you to". Ringo

was featured in the humorous "Yellow Submarine" As the

group matured, their creativity began to rely more on the

effects and manipulations that they were able to produce in

the studio. The Beatles agreed to end their touring career

after an American tour of large halls that they failed to fill. It

was around this time, that John Lennon began to search for

himself. He began using any means that he thought might

help him connect. This era was marked by the Beatles visits

to the Maharashi Mahesh Yogi, and the beginning of heavy

drug use 3. As Lennon began to use LSD in greater and

greater quanti-ties4, the other Beatles began to have more

and more influence in the production of the albums. Lennon

began to become almost reclusive, and often delayed

recording sessions.By the time that they were recording

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, Lennon

would simply propose songs and themes, and McCartney

was left to execute the plans and tie together whims. They

began to make demands of the crew:Beatles songs were

quite simple in the early days, you couldn't play around with

them too much. But by 1967 we were building sound

pictures and my [George Martin] role had changed-it was

to interpret the pictures and determine how best to get

them down on tape. Paul was fine-he could express what

he wanted, the sounds he wa nted to have. But

John...would make whooshing sounds and try to describe

what only he could only hear in his head, saying he wanted

a song to 'sound like an orange'.5 As soon as the Sgt.

Pepper album was underway, Paul McCartney came up

with the idea of actually creating a band and preforming the

songs as that band. They took the Idea from there and Sgt.

Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band came into existence,

never to see the outside of studio 2 at Abbey Road. They

spent nearly a year recording various tracks for the album

and John's state of mind was steadily declining. In 1969

when they issued Abbey Road it was no longer difficult to

distinguish between the writings of Paul and John . John

was producing works like "I want you (she's so heavy)"

which had the lyrics: I want you so bad it's driving me mad

She's so heavy6 And the more musical and thoughtful work

of McCartney, such as "Golden Slumbers" which was

almost a lullaby: Once there was a way to get back

homeward Once there was a way to get back home Sleep

pretty darling do not cry And I will sing a lullaby Golden

slumbers fill your eyes Smiles awake you when you rise

Sleep pretty



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