50 YEARS OF THE FAB FOUR
50 YEARS OF THE FAB FOUR
PART 1: THE GOLD STANDARD
By Beverly Calero
From their unique harmonies to their distinctive mop top haircuts, The Beatles were and still are one of the most influential groups in music history. They were one of the most popular bands in the world in the 1960’s and set a new standard for pop acts that audiences, even today, have come to expect and love from modern boy bands.
Like today’s male pop groups, The Beatles had something for everyone: John Lennon was known for his sensitivity and caring nature – which became evidenced in his solo work later in his career as both his social conscience and spirituality continued to evolve. Paul McCartney – often dubbed as Lennon’s complete opposite – was known for his care-free behavior and was often labeled as the “bad boy” of the group.
George Harrison was known as the “quiet” Beatle who, when he did speak, exhibited a keen sense of humor and a charming air. Finally, we have Ringo Starr who, initially known as the jokester of the group with a sweet demeanor, was ultimately labeled as the “soul” of the group.
The seamless blending of strong and varied personalities is essential to the success of any group. And beyond the music, a major portion of The Beatles’ legacy lies in the mold they created that countless acts would later follow. The styles of acts such as Menudo, New Kids on the Block, New Edition, Boys II Men, Take That, The Backstreet Boys, ‘N Sync, Hanson and, more recently, the Jonas Brothers and One Direction in way or another ode to the Fab Four.
Devoted fans of The Beatles may, initially, take offense to any analogy that draws parallels between a group of skilled musicians and pure songwriters and the carefully crafted and choreographed pop groups of today. But look beyond the critically acclaimed lyrics of John and Paul and consider the fan frenzy known as “Beatlemania,” the full exploitation of the band as a brand through television appearances, films and merchandise and the sheer impact the group had on popular culture – particularly young people – during their heyday, and an image of the Fab Four as the prototypical boy band begins to take shape.
And while it’s likely that a true successor to The Beatles’ throne will not surface any time soon, if ever; perhaps the most lasting impact of the Fab Four is that, as long as there are instruments and a microphone, acts of the present and future will aspire to inspire the sort of hysteria and hit-making that became as synonymous with The Beatles as their black trendsetting suits.
Stay with Wiles all month long as we celebrate the enduring legacy of The Beatles in our serial tribute “50Years of the Fab Four.”