The Beatles played their landmark session on North West Tonight 50 years ago today, and while many today may not have heard too much about the Fab Four other than people making dumb comments about One Direction being their heirs (come on, really?) their impact on music is as big as Mozart starting to play the piano.
Beatlemania was something unseen before the boys from Liverpool took on the world. Throngs of screaming girls and scores of copy-cat boys simply hadn't been seen on this scale before, with even Elvis Presley or Johnny Cash receiving this amount of unilateral, pan-continental fandom.
The Beatles were the first artists who needed a world tour, with fans all around the world clamouring for the mere sight of them that non of today's artists could even dream of experiencing.
When The Beatles appeared on North West Tonight and unleashed Love Me Do, they were releasing a musical kraken. Unlike anything that the general public had really seen before, they had given rock and roll and skiffle a catchier edge and more fun vibe. They had basically invented what we now know as pop.
Think about it. A four piece featuring two guitar toting vocalists, a bass player and a drummer is a blueprint that fits a lot of the world's most popular recording artists to this very day.
Not only this, but they basically started the idea of in-studio experimentation. Throughout their career, especially during their hazy times in the 1970s, The Beatles we constantly pushing the audio envelope and trying to use new and different sounds. The band used worldwide styles and instruments like no one had used before (now a common occurrence).
Perhaps the most underrated change they made in music was that they made the album matter again. Before The Beatles, it was all about the next 45 you were putting out, not about the LP you had in the pipeline that was just the three hits you'd had and some filler tracks in-between.
By making sure that their albums were jam packed full of killer material, the album became the main focus for the first time. And it's not shifted since.
Over half a century since they formed, The Beatles stand as one of music's greatest artists, even today they stand head and shoulders above 99.9% of music. For songs written in the 1960s and 70's, a huge amount of the Beatle's work simply hasn't aged a day. Ticket To Ride, Hey Bulldog or Eleanor Rigby could come out today and sound completely in line with a lot of this year's releases.
The Beatles are often regarded as the world's most influential artists. Between basically inventing what is still today the world's biggest music genre, opening the industry's eyes to sampling and technical trickery and changing the paradigm music was sold by it seems they deserve the tag.
So just go and do yourself a favour, go listen to Help. The whole album. It'll be the best thing you do all day.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith
Tagged in The Beatles