When you think of "The Beatles," what springs to mind? John, Paul, George, and Ringo? The mop-topped British boys who changed music forever? The greatest rock group of all time? A shiny, winged insect? (Just kidding.)
Let's take a guess: The Beatles are the band that you probably decided you were never going to ever like when you were about eight years old, simply because your parents loved them and anything your parents loved was deathly uncool. And then, one day, you actually decided to pop in a CD—you know, see what all the hype was about—and BOOM!, you were hooked.
Yoko Ono once said of the group
: "I am sure there are people whose lives were affected because they heard Indian music or Mozart or Bach. More than anything, it was the time and the place when the Beatles came up. Something did happen there. It was a kind of chemical. It was as if several people gathered around a table and a ghost appeared. It was that kind of communication. So they were like mediums, in a way. It's not something you can force. It was the people, the time, their youth and enthusiasm."
The Beatles changed music as we know it. They and their sixties contemporaries, like Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, wanted to shake things up. The Beatles were many things: pretty boys, trendsetters, socially and politically volatile, thoughtful and profound, catchy and entertaining. They experimented with drugs, played psychedelic rock, made ladies swoon, and became perhaps the most commercially and critically successful band of all time. They sold over one billion records internationally. After their messy breakup in 1970, all four went on to successful solo careers.