There are many reasons why The Beatles remain the biggest band on the planet, even 52 years after they split up. Undoubtedly, the main explanation is that between the four now-legendary members, they wrote a myriad of classic songs. Be it ‘Love Me Do’, ‘Norwegian Wood’, or the psychedelic masterpiece ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’, the band had a knack for writing an iconic piece, and their meandering career is the most illustrious in all of music history.
Without the efforts of The Beatles, popular music as we know it today, in all its weird and wonderful forms, would not be the same. They asserted difference and iconoclasm as key features in the career of the modern musical artist and opened up the door for unprecedented cultural development.
Whilst at the start of their career, The Beatles were more of a sugary rock-pop group, but they still did things differently from their contemporaries. Famously, the band recorded their debut album, the legendary Please Please Me, across a single day on February 11th, 1963. Although their producer, George Martin, added a few piano overdubs afterwards, the vast majority of the album was completed over that day in what remains a tremendous feat for the era.
For the recording of the album, the Beatles set up and performed in their local stomping ground, Liverpool’s Cavern Club. Showing just how tight the band were, most songs only required a few takes before Martin was satisfied. The opening track, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, needed a few attempts, but ironically, the first take would be the one that made it onto the album.
However, the band would really find their form when recording the album’s final song, ‘Twist and Shout’. A rip-roaring, throat shredder of a track, The Beatles truly arrived with the recording of this track. There’s no coincidence why it’s the best-beloved song from their early period.
The song was saved until the end of the day because of the harsh effects the screaming would have on John Lennon‘s voice. At the time, the frontman was already suffering from a cold, and you can actually hear him coughing at points across the album. What he produced during the end of the day would go down as one of the finest moments in all of his career.
It became a stellar example of digging in deep and giving the last bit of energy to deliver something truly brilliant. Nearly 60 years later, Lennon’s infectious energy is palpable. This is just one story out of many of why The Beatles remain so lauded.