Posted tagged ‘The Beatles’


November 17, 2010

The new technology age – or perhaps, the Apple era – has come to full maturity as the Beatles finally make it to iTunes. This has taken so long because of various copyright issues which presumably are now resolved (the Beatles’ own record label was also ‘Apple‘). Within hours of the launch, their greatest album, Abbey Road, has made it into the top 10 albums. I am told that a whole generation of young music fans who don’t buy CDs will now hear the Beatles more or less for the first time.

It is of course extraordinary that a band that was together for eight years or so and disbanded 40 years ago should be able to create such a splash now.


Generations, part II: All You Need is the Beatles

August 12, 2009

Hot on the heels of my recent post here about intergenerational communications comes a report in the New York Times that suggests that the Beatles may be shaping up to be the bridge between today’s young generation and all who went before, except for those over 65 (thereby keeping the group’s song ‘When I’m 64’ just on the right side of the divide…). According to the report, the Beatles rank in the top four favourite musical acts of every generation up to that age. It is what we have in common, and apparently this has had the effect of softening the friction between generations.

This is indeed remarkable. Today’s 16-year-olds are listening to music that was recorded over 40 years ago. Back when I was 16, to achieve the same effect I would have had to listen to something recorded in 1930 or earlier. And in case you’re not immediately on the ball as regards what was hot in 1930, here’s the chart. I’ve only ever heard of two of the acts, and I’ve heard only two of the songs (or at least I don’t remember coming across the others). Maybe if there had been some real musical influences in common we would have had a better understanding with our parents back then. Indeed, maybe she wouldn’t have been Leaving Home.

Remarkably, the Beatles – whose successful musical output was recorded really only over eight years – have dominated modern music more than anyone before or since, with perhaps the exception of Mozart and Beethoven. Beyond music, they influenced style, opinion and fashion; and not just one generation, but many generations. Their influence is recognised by everyone (except my spellchecker). So as we struggle to connect, it appears that The Beatles Are All We Need.