The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the most influential band of all time and were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and popular music’s recognition as an art form. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock ‘n’ roll, their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways; the band later explored music styles ranging from ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As pioneers in recording, songwriting and artistic presentation, the Beatles revolutionised many aspects of the music industry and were often publicised as leaders of the era’s youth and sociocultural movements.
Led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, the Beatles evolved from Lennon’s previous group, the Quarrymen, and built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over three years from 1960, initially with Stuart Sutcliffe playing bass. The core trio of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, together since 1958, went through a succession of drummers, including Pete Best, before asking Starr to join them in 1962. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act, and producer George Martin guided and developed their recordings, greatly expanding their domestic success after signing to EMI Records and achieving their first hit, “Love Me Do”, in late 1962. As their popularity grew into the intense fan frenzy dubbed “Beatlemania”, the band acquired the nickname “the Fab Four”, with Epstein, Martin and other members of the band’s entourage sometimes given the informal title of “fifth Beatle”.
By early 1964, the Beatles were international stars and had achieved unprecedented levels of critical and commercial success. They became a leading force in Britain’s cultural resurgence, ushering in the British Invasion of the United States pop market, and soon made their film debut with A Hard Day’s Night (1964). A growing desire to refine their studio efforts, coupled with the untenable nature of their concert tours, led to the band’s retirement from live performances in 1966. At this time, they produced records of greater sophistication, including the albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), and enjoyed further commercial success with The Beatles (also known as “the White Album”, 1968) and Abbey Road (1969). Heralding the album era, their success elevated the album to the dominant form of record consumption over singles; they also inspired a greater public interest in psychedelic drugs and Eastern spirituality, and furthered advancements in electronic music, album art and music videos. In 1968, they founded Apple Corps, a multi-armed multimedia corporation that continues to oversee projects related to the band’s legacy. After the group’s break-up in 1970, all principal members enjoyed success as solo artists and some partial reunions have occurred. Lennon was murdered in 1980 and Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001. McCartney and Starr remain musically active.
The Beatles are the best-selling music act of all time, with estimated sales of 600 million units worldwide. They hold the record for most number-one albums on the UK Albums Chart (15), most number-one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (20), and most singles sold in the UK (21.9 million). The band received many accolades, including seven Grammy Awards, four Brit Awards, an Academy Award (for Best Original Song Score for the 1970 documentary film Let It Be) and fifteen Ivor Novello Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, and each principal member was inducted individually between 1994 and 2015. In 2004 and 2011, the group topped Rolling Stone’s lists of the greatest artists in history. Time magazine named them among the 20th century’s 100 most important people.
1 is a compilation album by the English rock band the Beatles, originally released on 13 November 2000. The album features virtually every number-one single the band achieved in the United Kingdom or United States from 1962 to 1970. Issued on the 30th anniversary of the band’s break-up, it was their first compilation available on only one CD. 1 was a commercial success and topped charts worldwide. It has sold over 31 million copies.
Since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking US album sales in January 1991, 1 is the fourth best-selling album in the US, the best-selling album of the 2000s decade in the US, as well as the best-selling album of the decade worldwide.
1 was remastered and reissued in September 2011. It was remixed and reissued again in several different deluxe editions in November 2015, the most comprehensive of which is a three-disc set entitled 1+, which includes video discs of Beatles promotional films.
As of June 2015, 1 was the sixth best-selling album of the 21st century in the UK, having sold over 3.1 million copies.
1 was compiled by producer George Martin and former band members Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The album contains the 27 Beatles songs that went to number one in the United Kingdom on the Record Retailer Top 50 chart or in the United States on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Despite Harrison’s “For You Blue” charting at number 1 on Billboard, along with the A-side “The Long and Winding Road”, Capitol Records treated “For You Blue” as strictly a B-side and did not promote it as an A-side. “Day Tripper” was included on 1 since it charted at number 1 in the UK as a double A-side with “We Can Work It Out”, while in the US, only “We Can Work It Out” was number 1. Two singles written by John Lennon and released in both the UK and US were omitted as they did not top either the Record Retailer chart or the Billboard Hot 100: “Please Please Me” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”. The former was the Beatles’ first UK number one single in all British charts except Record Retailer, reaching the top spot in the music magazines New Musical Express, Melody Maker and Disc. “Strawberry Fields Forever” was part of a double A-side single with “Penny Lane”, which reached the top spot in Melody Maker and peaked at number 2 in the other UK charts, behind Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Release Me”.
The album is a combination of both the US and UK versions of the 1982 compilation 20 Greatest Hits, with the addition of “Something” (which was left off 20 Greatest Hits because of time constraints). On 1, “Hey Jude” was included in its original full-length version (slightly over seven minutes), whereas the American version of 20 Greatest Hits contained a shortened version.
Before 1, all 27 songs were mainly available on two remastered CD releases: firstly on the respective Beatles studio albums released in 1987 (as well as Past Masters, Volume One and Past Masters, Volume Two, released in 1988). The second remastering was made available on the CD versions for 1962–1966 and 1967–1970, released in 1993.
The songs on 1 were remastered specifically for the release in 2000. According to the liner notes of the album, the original analogue masters were “digitally remastered at 24 bits resolution, processed using Sonic Solutions NoNoise technology and mastered to 16-bit using Prism SNS Noise Shaping”. The remastering was overseen by Peter Mew of Abbey Road Studios and took place there. In 2011, 1 was remastered and reissued on CD. In 2015 it was remastered again and remixed by Giles Martin; when Martin began to assist with fixing up the audio tracks for the 1+ video clips, he realised that his goal of making them “more immersive” should also apply to 1. For the remixing project, Martin commented: “The remasters went back to these final mix tapes and remastered them. They cleaned them up and then they EQ-ed them and released them. What we’re doing is remixing. We’re going not to the final mix, we’re creating our own mixes.” About his remixing approach, Martin said: “My approach was to be respectful of everything, I had sessions and sessions where I flipped between previously remastered stereos, the mono remasters, and the remixes we’ve done. I flip between everything and make sure I prefer what we’ve done.”
The package of 1 was intended to be simplistic and ambitious at the same tme. Its cover was designed by Rick Ward, and consists of a pop art-style yellow number one on a red background. The emphasis on the 1 digit was used on many of the compilations of number-one hits by different artists that followed this album; for example, ELV1S by Elvis Presley and Number Ones by the Bee Gees. The album’s back cover features the famous photos of the Beatles taken by Richard Avedon and copyrighted on 17 August 1967. The design exclusively uses variations of the Helvetica typeface.
Apparently, there was a gap in the Beatles’ catalog, after all — all the big hits weren’t on one tidy, single-disc compilation. It’s not the kind of gap you’d necessarily notice — it’s kind of like realizing you don’t have a pair of navy blue dress socks — but it was a gap all the same, so the group released The Beatles 1 late in 2000, coinciding with the publication of their official autobiography, the puzzlingly titled Anthology. The idea behind this compilation is to have all the number one singles the Beatles had, either in the U.K. or U.S., on one disc, and that’s pretty much what this generous 27-track collection is. It’s easy, nay, necessary, to quibble with a couple of the judgment calls — look, “Please Please Me” should be here instead of “From Me to You,” and it’s unforgivable to bypass “Strawberry Fields Forever” (kick out “Yellow Submarine” or “Eleanor Rigby”) — but there’s still no question that this is all great music, and there is a bit of a rush hearing all these dazzling songs follow one after another. If there’s any complaint, it’s that even if it’s nice to have something like this, it’s not really essential. There’s really no reason for anyone who owns all the records to get this too — if you’ve lived happily without the red or blue albums, you’ll live without this. But, if you give this to any six or seven year old, they’ll be a pop fan, even fanatic, for life. And that’s reason enough for it to exist. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)
George Harrison (guitar, percussion, vocals on 24. background vocals)
John Lennon (vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica, bass, percussion)
Paul McCartney (vocals, bass, keyboards, guitar, drums.percussion, drums on 23.)
Ringo Starr (drums, percussion, vocals on 15., background vocals on 21.)
Mal Evans (bass drum on 21.)
George Martin (piano on 06.,17.+ 18.)
David Mason (trumpet on 17. + 18.)
Billy Preston (organ on 24. + 26.,piano on 24. + 27.)
Ronnie Scott (saxophone solo on 20.)
Andy White (drums on 01,)
01. Love Me Do 2.22
02. From Me To You 1.58
03. She Loves You 2.23
04. I Want To Hold Your Hand 2.27
05. Can’t Buy Me Love 2.13
06. A Hard Day’s Night 2.35
07. I Feel Fine 2.20
08. Eight Days A Week 2.46
09. Ticket To Ride 3.12
10. Help! 2.20
11. Yesterday 2.07
12. Day Tripper 2.50
13. We Can Work It Out 2.17
14. Paperback Writer 2.20
15. Yellow Submarine 2.40
16. Eleanor Rigby 2.08
17. Penny Lane 3.01
18. All You Need Is Love 3.49
19. Hello, Goodbye 3.29
20. Lady Madonna 2.19
21. Hey Jude 7.05
22. Get Back 3.14
23. The Ballad Of John And Yoko 3.01
24. Something 3.03
25. Come Together 4.20
26. Let It Be 3.52
27. The Long And Winding Road 3.37
All songs written by John Lennon & Paul McCartney
except 24. written b y George Harrison
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