Sociology Index

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The Beatles

The Beatles acquired the nickname 'the Fab Four' as Beatlemania grew in Britain, leading the 'British Invasion' of the United States pop market. Beatles incorporated elements of classical music, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways. I'll buy you a diamond ring my friend if it makes you feel alright, I'll get you anything my friend if it makes you feel alright, 'Cause I don't care too much for money, money can't buy me love. Beatles experimented with a number of musical styles, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. Beatles' musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's socio-cultural movements. For the young, the Beatles' performances reignited the sense of excitement and possibility that momentarily faded in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and helped make way for the revolutionary social changes to come in the decade. Their hairstyle, mocked by many adults, became an emblem of rebellion to the burgeoning youth culture.

During the 1964 US tour, the group were confronted with the reality of racial segregation in the country at the time. Lennon stated: "We never play to segregated audiences and we aren't going to start now … I'd sooner lose our appearance money." -"The Beatles Banned Segregated Audiences, Contract Shows". - BBC News. 18 September 2011. City officials relented and agreed to allow an integrated show.

On 8 May 1970, Let It Be was released. Its accompanying single, "The Long and Winding Road", was the Beatles' last; it was released in the US, but not in the UK. The Let It Be documentary film followed later that month, and would win the 1970 Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.

Sunday Telegraph critic Penelope Gilliatt called it "a very bad film and a touching one ... about the breaking apart of this reassuring, geometrically perfect, once apparently ageless family of siblings."

In December 1980, Lennon was shot and killed outside his New York City apartment. Harrison rewrote the lyrics of his song "All Those Years Ago" in Lennon's honour. With Starr on drums and McCartney and his wife, Linda, contributing backing vocals, the song was released as a single in May 1981.