The Beatles
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When people hear the name “The Beatles” most people
think of lead singer, John Lennon. However, the role of
Paul McCartney is often overlooked. It was McCartney,
not Lennon who was the driving force behind the Beatles.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney were in many bands
together before the forming of the Beatles. In 1962, along
with Ringo Starr1 and George Harrison, they formed the
rock group known as “The Beatles”. The group featured a
modern rock that was new and popular during the period
with John and Paul composing and doing the leads on most
of the songs. They were backed by George on rhythm and
bass guitar and Ringo on drums. George and Ringo also
assisted on backing vocals. When they first began playing,
the main influence inside the band was John Lennon, who
had an uncanny ability to compose songs at a moments
notice with an inspiration that others missed. He pushed the
members of the band during their touring years and was
able to achieve the best possible results from the group.
The band began playing in a Music Hall style that is very
effective for the audiences but was lacking on their albums.
Together with Paul, John began to evolve the band. As the
years began to pass, the band was obviously beginning to
grow musically. They had moved from simple lyrics like
“Love me Do” to harshly aware reflections of life in their
home country in “Eleanor Rigby”2. There were attempts,
some more successful than others, to incorporate the other
Beatles into the idea stage. George Harrison made this leap
successfully with such tracks as “I want to tell you”,
“TAXMAN”, and the psychedelic “Love you to”. Ringo
was featured in the humorous “Yellow Submarine” As the
group matured, their creativity began to rely more on the
effects and manipulations that they were able to produce in
the studio. The Beatles agreed to end their touring career
after an American tour of large halls that they failed to fill. It
was around this time, that John Lennon began to search for
himself. He began using any means that he thought might
help him connect. This era was marked by the Beatles visits
to the Maharashi Mahesh Yogi, and the beginning of heavy
drug use 3. As Lennon began to use LSD in greater and
greater quanti-ties4, the other Beatles began to have more
and more influence in the production of the albums. Lennon
began to become almost reclusive, and often delayed
recording sessions.By the time that they were recording
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, Lennon
would simply propose songs and themes, and McCartney
was left to execute the plans and tie together whims. They
began to make demands of the crew:Beatles songs were
quite simple in the early days, you couldnt play around with
them too much. But by 1967 we were building sound
pictures and my [George Martin] role had changed-it was
to interpret the pictures and determine how best to get
them down on tape. Paul was fine-he could express what
he wanted, the sounds he wa nted to have. But
Johnwould make whooshing sounds and try to describe
what only he could only hear in his head, saying he wanted
a song to sound like an orange.5 As soon as the Sgt.
Pepper album was underway, Paul McCartney came up
with the idea of actually creating a band and preforming the
songs as that band. They took the Idea from there and Sgt.
Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band came into existence,
never to see the outside of studio 2 at Abbey Road. They
spent nearly a year recording various tracks for the album
and Johns state of mind was steadily declining. In 1969
when they issued Abbey Road it was no longer difficult to
distinguish between the writings of Paul and John . John
was producing works like “I want you (shes so heavy)”
which had the lyrics: I want you so bad its driving me mad
Shes so heavy6 And the more musical and thoughtful work
of McCartney, such as “Golden Slumbers” which was
almost a lullaby: Once there was a way to get back
homeward Once there was a way to get back home Sleep
pretty darling do not cry And I will sing a lullaby Golden
slumbers fill your eyes Smiles awake you when you rise
Sleep pretty

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