The Beatles

By: Erica

It is often stated that the Beatles is the greatest band that has ever existed. While that is an
opinion and can obviously be debated, it is nothing less than fact to say that
they were one of the most—if not the absolute most—influential bands that the
world has ever seen. With bold accusations in many of their songs, it was made
very clear that the Beatles feared no one in power at the time. They believed
that the consequences for speaking their minds would never be worse than
keeping their mouths shut to begin with. For that reason, and many others such
as fashion choices, music style and their ability to still be relevant and
relatable to this very day, the Beatles have forever changed Popular Culture.

What started as a small four man pop-rock group from
England quickly grew into a world-wide phenomenon known as “Beatle-mania”. Woman
literally fainted upon witnessing them simply cross the street into the Ed
Sullivan studio for their famous live concert broadcast. However, very soon it
became apparent that these four musicians had much more to offer within the
text of their songs than they did with their pretty faces.

Armed
with a strong message hidden in the lyrics, the Beatles followed the third
definition of ideology referring to “ideological forms” which is “intended to
draw attention to the way in which texts always present a particular image of
the world. This definition depends on a notion of a society as conflictual
rather than consensual, structured around inequality, exploitation and
oppression” (Storey 4). With insanely popular songs like “Revolution” and
“Imagine”, they encouraged the younger generation not to sit back and let the
greed of men take over their government and dictate their lives. They wrote
songs such as “Tax Man” and “Working Class Hero” to express their utter outrage
in regard to the extremely high tax rates in England at the time.

The
Beatles problems with greedy men existed not only at home in England, but in
their new home as well. John Lennon’s particular dislike of then President of
the United States Richard Nixon was well-known within the states, expressed
most famously in the song “Just Give Me the Truth”. Lennon was adored by the
American people for questioning the morals of the man in power and for
demanding the truth in light of the recent Watergate Scandal of ‘73. Realizing
he would in all likelihood lose the next election, Nixon attempted to have
Lennon deported. He was unsuccessful. The fact that the leader of one of the
most powerful nations in the world was so afraid to lose an election because of
one man, speaks volumes to how very influential the Beatles were in American
society.

The
Beatles inspired people to pay attention to politics and encouraged people to
fight for the peace, love and revolution that they each deserved. In the
readings, Storey muses that “ideology is the means by which certain values—such
as individual freedom, progress and the importance of home—are made to seem
like natural, inevitable aspects of everyday life” (Storey 23). The inevitable
aspect is exactly what the Beatles encouraged the world to question. Nothing is
just handed to you (such as individual freedom) you have to be willing to fight
for your right to have it. That is a concept introduced by the Beatles that is
still encouraged to this day.

The
influence that the Beatles had over the American people was not strictly
political. The Beatles were trend setters in every sense of the term. New
fashion crazes swept the nation and grew to be world-wide trends thanks to the
Beatles live appearances and cover art. The Bob hair cut paired with a nice
suit was the look of the early 60’s which, a decade later turned into long hair
and an unshaven face. The Beatles introduced the hippie look that eventually
took over the 1970’s. Their hair and clothing always mirrored what they wanted
their songs to express. These young men unintentionally changed male fashion
forever. To this day people still wear the “John Lennon sunglasses” and sport
the long hair from the 70’s.

Fashion
was not the only trend the Beatles get credit for starting. In fact, the
Beatles actually introduced a new genre of music later referred to as Pop. This
genre never really existed until the Beatles burst on the scene and has yet to
die out. It is one of the most common forms of music in Popular Culture today.
They later evolved into something entirely different with the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
It was, yet again, a new form of music that the Beatles created. It reflected
their experimental drug use but also their experiments with the way in which to
make music. Perhaps one of their most important trends set was that Beatles
wrote their own music. They were pioneers when it came to writing song lyrics
and millions have followed in their footsteps hoping to be at least half as
successful.

The
Beatles are a timeless group because they have very agreeable ideology within
their music and their message. For example, unlike most of my friends, I did
not happen to grow up on the music of the Beatles. I knew, of course, who they
were and had some idea of their impact on the world, but I never took the time
to go through all of their music and develop a love for them like virtually
everyone else I knew. Instead, I waited until the movie musical “Across the
Universe” came to theatres. Immediately, I was hooked. The music captured me in
a new way that no other form of music had before it. I knew it was not just the
arrangement of the songs nor was it, the singers nor the plot of the movie that
had such a strong hold on my heart; it was the music itself. The words took me
on a thought-provoking journey unlike any I had ever encountered. I discovered
love just like so many before me.

This
experience just proved to me that the Beatles are a timeless group. Not only
are the fashion trends and music style that they originally set still relevant
today, but they are an integral part of today’s Popular Culture. The Beatles
were the building blocks for musicians and fashion designers to model
themselves after for decades to come. Without the Beatles, thousands of bands,
hair styles, fashion trends and music styles would not have even existed. Their
political message of spreading peace and love through protest and revolution is
still widely used today and because they are successfully able to bridge the
gap between their generation and the current generation Y, the Beatles will
never go out of style.

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About psupopa

I like to run.
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