The Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the 1960’s

Published: 2021-08-02 10:05:06
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Category: music, 1960s, Beatles

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"If you want to know about the sixties, then listen to the music of the Beatles". This quote sums up the impact of the Beatles, who have become unaccountably linked with the sixties decade and all that it involved. The appeal of groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones has transcended the generations and created an interest among young people today. Is this purely an interest in reminiscence or are there other factors, which have continued to attract fans?
At every stage in history, there are a number of forces that contribute to creating the climate for change, and the 1960's were no exception. For the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the 1960's one of these factors was the baby-boomer generation. This was when there was a big increase in the quantity of children being born. This was due to people putting off having children during the war, but now it was over they were able to do so. This meant that there were more teenagers during the 1960's than usual.
So any trends or fads that became popular with youngsters became loved by hundreds. Another factor is that teenagers were starting to have more of an impact in the society and culture at the time. This was mainly because they had more money to spend on clothes, magazines and records etc, so they had more power on what was going to be popular at the time. This resulted in the Beatles and Rolling Stones music being bought and listened too much more, compared to if no one had any money. A further big factor was the advances in new technology at the time, for example television and radio.



This meant that everyone could listen to the new music that was appearing and they were able to be the first to find out who was number one - which was essential at the time. There was also the transistor radio, which allowed people to listen to music wherever they were. A cause for the two bands being successful was also about being in the right place at the right time, pure luck. If they had released their singles in the 1950's, they may not have been so successful because of the popular cultures present at the time. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones also helped to "knit together a youth sub culture".
They were the ones who encouraged them to live their lives as they wanted too, and not how they were always being told to live, by their parents - they taught them to be independent, and that it was acceptable to be independent. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones brought a new energy and a distinctive sound to their performances, which helped them to match the moods of the 1960's. The Beatles had an enormous ability to satisfy their fans, and they had a great freshness in each single that they released. The image that youngsters were seeing from the Beatles was young and vibrant - exactly what they wanted to see.
They were clearly normal people, with qualities such as humour, charm, wit, inventiveness and cheek. The Beatles also had regional accents - which has not been seen before! They were regular guys trying to make it big - and they did! These characteristics can be seen clearly in some interview footage that we watched, with Paul's humour and George's cheekiness, showing that everyone loved them. The people of the sixties loved these characteristics; they felt that they could connect with the Beatles, as they were no different to them.
Every song of the Beatles was written by one of the band members, as was the music, which accompanied the lyrics. This meant that they had unique sound and were original, compared to others around at the time. Each song released by the Beatles was enthusiastic and participatory for their audiences, whatever their age, meaning there was not a soul that didn't like what was being drummed into their ears. This can be seen through the song "Yellow Submarine" - the fans wanted Ringo to write a song and perform it, so he did.
He knew that he wouldn't be successful performing the song, so he wrote a humorous song. This also shows the characteristics that he had. It furthermore shows that the Beatles were so popular, that they didn't mind releasing a single that could end in a complete disaster, because whatever they did release was loved! Previous music that had been released was mainly by solo artists, whereas the Beatles was a band, the first "boy band". They, along with other bands around, like the Rolling stones, marked the move away from the individual style to the importance of the group.
One thing that can be said about the Beatles is their distinctive style. When Brian Epstein became their manager he changed the way they looked, with new, fashionable haircuts and an innovative style of clothes. This meant that they were appealing to every class in the UK - nobody considered them to be too posh or too poor, they were just right, meaning no one had objections to them - not even the older generation who were very much against the changes in culture that were currently taking place.
This meant that the Beatles were popular with everyone, meaning they impacted everyone's lives, with people beginning to follow the style of the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones would never have made it without the phenomenal amount of help they received from their managers, from advertising and commercial success. Andrew Oldham made the Rolling Stones what they were. He was a very dominating manager, and liked to be in control of everything that they were doing at any one time.
This can be seen from when he locked the band in a room till they had their own music and lyrics, this seems a cruel thing to do, however it made the Rolling Stones produce original and unique music, which everyone loved. Andrew Oldham was also responsible for the rebel image that the Rolling Stones had during the sixties, this encouraged people to follow in the footsteps of their image ideas, it also encouraged the youth of the century to become rebels and independent. Brian Epstein changed the Beatles from common looking boys to professional looking men.
He cleaned up their image, changing it from jeans and T-shirts to suits. This impacted the Beatles in a big way, as it meant that older people, who were previously against the Beatles, were now agreeing with the band, condoling the band and buying their music. This growth in the age range that they were selling to caused a huge increase in their profits, purely because of a change of clothes, instigated by Brian. The Beatles also changed to ensure that they were the profile that the record company wanted, so they would be able to continue producing excellent music.
Brian Epstein also encouraged a mass amount of the fans that the Beatles had in the beginning, to bring others to like them. Brian decided that to make the Beatles look massive from the beginning he would give money to people to buy their merchandise and pay girls to scream - resulting in everyone following what these people were doing, known as Beatle mania. This was a very wise move for Brian; at it meant the Beatles became enormous in no time. Brian also set rules for the band that would make more people think they were appropriate, such as don't smoke in public and always keep your girls in the background.
He furthermore had a part to play in who was actually in the band, he was the one who chose the final band, with the last member being Pete Best - Ringo Starr, even though he had no personality Brian thought he fit the band well, and he was correct. In addition to doing all the background work for the band, he produced money for them in times of need; this made the band successful as it meant they were able to do what needed to be done to become big, due to their amazing manager. Brian basically decided where they went, who they saw, whom they spoke too and created advertising deals for them!
Without this great input into their career, they would be nowhere. Another major person in the success of the Beatles is George Martin, their record producer, without him their music wouldn't have sounded like it does. He was the one who sat for hours and listened to the raw music which the band produced and mixed it and made it fit, resulting in it sounding amazing. George also ensured that new sounds were brought into their music regularly, he's the one responsible for keeping them fresh throughout their careers.
He furthermore holds a vast amount of the responsibility for the band being so successful, as he's the one that actually decided which songs would be released, and which songs would be binned. Without the expertise of George Martin the music of the Beatles wouldn't sound like it does today! Without the amazing input of George Martin the Beatles wouldn't have had that fresh, unique sound to their music, it wouldn't be the greats material it is considered today!
The increasing amount of Television ownership and advertisement played a huge part in the fast success and impact of the Beatles. The Television brought the Beatles to a wider audience, on shows such as Juke Box Jury and Top of the Pops. Without these programmes, the Beatles wouldn't have been known by so many people so rapidly. The Television also meant that the Beatles were impacting more into people's lives, with live performances of their songs, with their styles and with the attitudes that they are showing their viewers.
The mass amount of advertisement that the Beatles received meant that people assumed they were excellent, because they were everywhere, resulting in people buying their music, whether they liked it or not. Without the huge input of advertising on Television and Radio the music of the Beatles wouldn't have been known throughout the country so much, and wouldn't have been loved by everyone. The impact of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles was greatly due to their ability to adapt to the changing moods and culture in the sixties.
One thing that the Beatles were excellent at was changing with time. They were continually innovative in their music and their appearance, for example; their change in clothing style with the hippies and the change in music style with the increase in drug use - Lucy in the Sky of Diamonds. This resulted in them being loved by everyone, and influencing them on what they were wearing and what they were physically doing. The music of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones was constantly eclectic, experimental and extremist, they were not afraid of the results of their music!
For example: the Beatles during the era of drugs released two songs basically telling people to take them: Lucy in the Sky of Diamonds and Strawberry Fields. This showed that they were not afraid to release what they wanted too, and they were experimenting with a different style. They later released Black Birds, supporting the civil rights movement - showing they care about important matters in the world -, which is a great difference to the drug songs they had previously released.
Also, to try and bring peace to the world once again they released 'Back in the USSR', which was a pro communist song. This shows that they are not afraid of being different from the other bands around; they are willing to take a risk and broadcast what they are feeling. The people of the sixties loved this about the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, hence their huge impact on their lives, as no matter what the song words were the song was loved. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were also constantly breaking down barriers in their society, which was a constant feature of the trends of the 1960's.
Barriers such as parents and older people being against anything new, different or independent for the youth of the sixties, but the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were so good that they even managed to get these generations on their side. Other artists that were around at the time were still providing easy to listen to music, but the Beatles and the Rolling Stones took the risk and released what they wanted, rock music! Older generations were initially against this, but because of the factors previously mentioned they managed to get this generation on their side, meaning they were impacting everyone's lives, and were valued by everyone.
Both the Rolling Stones and the Beatles were at the front of new modes of self-presentation, which was a feature of the trends of the 1960's. The Rolling Stones and the Beatles had their own, unique fashion throughout their careers, both having great influences on fashions at the time. The Beatles were suited, clean-cut boys with mop-top haircuts and The Rolling Stones showed the opposite image; messy, and posing for publicity photographs. This made them very popular to many girls for their bad boy image; this soon made them a teen idol group.
The behaviour that they were showing on and off stage began to shock many people in society. One example of this is that they were taking drugs. In February 1967 a raid occurred during one of the regular parties, and police discovered a moderate amount of cannabis. The raid also served as the start of made-up stories, mainly about the appearance and behaviour of Mick Jagger's girlfriend Marianne Faithful, which only served to increase their reputation for their bad behaviour.
It was also rumoured that the raid was delayed on police instructions to allow Beatles guitarist George Harrison to leave, who was among the guests. Richards was charged and a few months later stood trial for allowing drug use in his home. Jagger was charged with possessing amphetamine tablets. Richards was sentenced to a year's imprisonment and Jagger to four months, prompting this created even more publicity for them. So their actins were starting to create many shocked reactions among the public. This created a great impact, especially on the youth of the sixties.
The two biggest bands at the time encouraged them to rebel against parents, relatives, etc and to take drugs. Many saw this as the bad part of their careers, however it all depends on your personal opinion. The Beatles also had a magnificent achievement during their careers, and this was that they were the first British band to break into the American market, successfully transporting "Beatle mania" to the USA. During 1964 the Beatles swept through the great US cities, drawing tens of thousands to airports just to get a mere glimpse of them.
They played for no more than half an hour at each concert, however this hard work guaranteed them star status. A British band conquering America was also a sign of international cultural exchange, and it marked the first of many exchanges between the two countries. The Beatles also made a stand for what the believed in, as they refused to play in segregated audiences, this influenced the people as they saw that it was ok to stand up for what you believed in, and it encouraged different races to mix and become one.
The Rolling Stones also made a stand, as they decided to provide music for both their black and their white audiences. In conclusion, both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones had an enormous impact of the people in the 1960's. They encouraged people to relax and live life as they wanted to. Many things influenced their continuing success, including their normality, their style, their music and their behaviour throughout their careers. The Beatles success can be seen clearly through Beatle Mania, wherever they went Beatle Mania followed.
They couldn't help this; it was a form of real love for them. George said many years later: "The world used us as an excuse to go mad, and then blamed it on us", but there is a parallel theory that it was time for the world to go that sort of mad - get down a bit, loosen up and have some fun. This amazing change in the people of the world was hugely down to the distinctiveness, uniqueness and influential music that the Beatles and the Rolling Stones wrote and released.

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