It was 50 years ago today… The Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show. I was just a kid, but I still remember it. It was the first music I listened to, followed, and saved my money to buy the albums. I think albums were around $4.00 at the time. I still have a few of my originals: Beatles '65, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road...
If you watch the press conferences from that time, it seemed the press kept trying to trip them up with serious questions, since they were just kids in a pop band… but they always seemed to have witty and clever responses. And remember, they were all under 25 years old when they arrived in 1964.
It's also interesting to remember how shocked people were about their long hair. Seriously. Look at their 1964 pictures, and think about how shocking this long hair was at the time. Seems silly today.
A few years later, some religious groups gathered to burn Beatles records, because they decided they were evil, for some reason. Even as a kid, it seemed silly to me at the time. Just because they were new and inventive was no reason to fear them. At that time, I actually decided, that as I grow up, I should give new things a chance. I still think of that today. If I hear music that I don't like, I try to pause, give it a chance, and try to understand where they're coming from, and what they're expressing. I still might not like it personally, but everyone has a right to their voice, and their point of view. Truly inventive, creative people are sometimes not immediately understood, because they're ahead of their time, with new ideas.
I recently read a comment from someone who asked what's the big deal, The Beatles were just another pop group. But I'm not sure that person realizes the context. What did music sound like before The Beatles, and what happened after they started writing and performing their own music?
The Beatles Anthology CD's are amazing. There are 3 volumes, with 2 CD's each. They are chronological, so in Volume 1, you hear some early covers they did of other people's music. As time progresses, they start writing their own music, and you can hear the sound developing. These CD's also include early takes in the studio of music they later released. I love hearing the process of creativity, so these CD's are amazing as you hear their rough demo tapes then get developed into what eventually became the finished song.
You can probably download the music, without actually having the CD, but the liner notes of these CD's describe what you're hearing, and add a lot to the audio as you listen.
The Beatles changed popular music, and we're still listening, 50 years later.