Revolver is the album that made the Beatles recording artists in the absolute sense of the term. Their previous six albums had demonstrated John Lennon and Paul McCartney's increasingly ambitious songwriting skills and the group's competence with a range of musical styles. But the productions, while strong, were undistinguished.
On 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States (and legendary appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show), Guitar World celebrates the 50 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.
As a musician, Paul McCartney is probably best known for his creative, melodic Beatles and Wings bass lines. But he's always been a guitarist at heart. The guitar was, after all, his first instrument (if you ignore the trumpet his father gave him for his 14th birthday), and it's always been his main songwriting tool.
Although the last thing the red-hot Beatles needed in early 1964 was a "secret weapon," that's exactly what they got—in a beautiful Fireglo finish. George Harrison got his first Rickenbacker 12-string in February of that year, during the Beatles' first U.S. tour. The guitar was given to him by Francis C. Hall, owner and president of the California-based Rickenbacker company.
The powerful and bluesy "I've Got A Feeling," which John Lennon jokingly called "I've Got A Fever," is a true Lennon/McCartney composition. It blends — via alternation and superimposition — two incomplete songs, one by Paul McCartney, one by Lennon.
There was no mania quite as manic as Beatlemania, and it was at its undisputed height in 1964. In February, The Beatles had conquered the United States, the birthplace of their rock and roll idols, appearing twice on the Ed Sullivan Show and performing pandemonium-inducing shows at the Washington Coliseum and Carnegie Hall.
Christmas time is here again! So sang the Beatles on their 1967 Christmas record, one of several now-collectable flexi-discs issued annually to members of the band's official fan clubs in the UK and the US. The records, which often were mini-masterpieces in their own right (1966 and 1967 in particular), featured spoken and musical messages from all four members of the band.
Having opened a Pandora's box with their critically acclaimed and commercially successful album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles faced serious competition from a variety of openminded artists who were expanding rock music's barriers.
Just as an overworked Lennon and McCartney came up with an overnight masterpiece in 1964 with "A Hard Day's Night" amid a stressful filming and recording schedule, the Beatles responded to time constraints in 1965 with another monumental step forward called Rubber Soul.