The Beatles were one of the biggest influences on music during the 1960's and 70's. They brought new sounds and ideas in their music and they revolutionized the idea of Rock & Roll. They marked their career with controversy1), chart-topping2) hits3), unique lyrics and calls for change.
Pioneer of British Invasion 英伦入侵先行者
The Beatles were a rock band that originated in the United Kingdom. The band consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). They first started playing small shows in Hamburg, Germany in 1960. By 1962, the band had a single that made it to the charts; the title of this song was "Love Me Do", which reached number one on the U.S charts in May of 1963. The Beatles' fame began to spread to the United States, and they were invited to play on The Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964 and again in September of 1965. The Beatles' first appearance in particular is considered a milestone in American pop culture and the start of the British invasion of music itself. The show captured a 60% share of the night time audience, 73 million people (This remains, by percentage of population, one of the largest viewing audiences ever in the US). This large number of viewers ensured the booming popularity of the Beatles in the United States. This sudden publicity boom in the United States greatly aided the Beatles in their influence over Rock & Roll.
Unique Sounds and Ideas 独特的声音和思想
The Beatles used unique sounds in their music; these sounds are most dramatically4) seen in the album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", released in 1967. They used many studio effects including reverberation5), echoes, and reverse tape effects. Some of the sounds on the album even came from recordings of a fairground organ6), which were spliced7) and inserted8) into the album. All these things were rarely used by bands in the 1960's, but none the less9), the Beatles experimented with the sounds and had made great success.
The Beatles are also known for incorporating10) drug references into their works of music. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is the most known song with this attribute11). The song describes many odd "fantasy", or "dream like" scenes. Many people believe the song describes hallucinations12) resulting from consumption of LSD13), the initials of the song. Lennon has denied that the song is about such things.
The Beatles' unique sound and interesting lyrics made their popularity spread throughout the world. Much of the popularity of the Beatles in US can be attributed to the rising rebellious14) youth in the 1960's and 70's, often times referred to as the hippie movement. Many youths began experimenting with drugs, which may have made the Beatles musical aesthetics15) relatable references for which the youth to link themselves to.
Songs of Protest 抗议之歌
Like the Nueva Cancion16) music of Chile and Latin America, the solo works of John Lennon were often songs of protest. In June of 1969, John Lennon and his girlfriend Yoko Ono had a short "bed-in" in a hotel room bed in London during which they sang and recorded the song "Give Peace a Chance" in protest of the Vietnam War. Dozens of journalists were present to the recording of the song, making it a much publicized event. Lennon not only protested the war, he also released an anti-sexism song in 1971 called "Woman is the Nigger17) of the World". The song however was banned from airways18). Lennon only managed to play the song once to the public during an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show. These two songs played by Lennon were monumental accomplishments; he not only used his fame to try to change the world, but he risked his career in doing so.
Concert on Roof Tops 屋顶演唱会
The Beatles changed the context of a concert forever in January of 1969 when they played their final live performance on the roof of the Apple Corps19) building in London. The concert consisted of about 43 minutes of music before the police came as a result of a noise complaint. The Beatles sang on the windy day to people walking below as crowds gathered on top of adjacent20) buildings to see the unique scene. This concert is possibly on of the most momentous concerts in history, because of its location and its occasion. There have certainly been very few concerts performed on roof tops, and even fewer have marked the final concert for the band. The Beatles broke up roughly a year after the concert, and John Lennon died ten years later.
The Beatles were and are one of the most popular bands, and they have paved the way for other rock & roll groups. They have changed what people think of rock & roll, and how people play it. They tried to change the world with their songs, and they continue to influence people today.
10. incorporate [In5kC:pEreIt] vt. 包含,加上
11. attribute [5AtrIbju:t] n. 属性;特性
12. hallucination [hE7lu:sI5neIFEn] n. 由幻觉产生的形象(或声音等)
13. LSD: abbr. lysergic acid diethylamide,麦角酸酰二乙胺(一种致幻药物)
14. rebellious [rI5beljEs] adj. 反叛的;桀骜不驯的
15. aesthetics [i:s5WetIks] n. 美学;审美学;美的哲学
16. Nueva Cancion: 新歌谣运动,拉丁美洲在上世纪50〜60年代间兴起的一场音乐运动,一般认为该音乐运动的先驱是阿根廷早期著名的民歌手Atahualpa Yupanqui。新歌谣运动中的乐手表达的题材大多是贴近民众的、底层的:贫穷、上帝赋予人民的权力、统治者的暴行、帝国主义、民主、人权和宗教自由等等。这也使得新歌谣运动更大范围地流行起来。
17. nigger [5nI^E(r)] n. 社会地位低下的人
18. airway [5eEweI] n. [~s] <美口> 电波;(无线电或电视)广播
19. Apple Corps: 英国苹果唱片公司,拥有披头士乐队的音乐版权。
20. adjacent [E5dVeIsEnt] adj. 邻近的,毗连的