314: THE BEATLES

When it comes to The Beatles, it is simply impossible to overstate the impact they have made on musical culture. Within a period of just ten years, they made a bigger influence on rock and pop music than any other group in recorded history.

While they started as a 50s rock and roll band, the rate at which The Beatles sought out and absorbed increasingly eclectic influences is just one example of what made them so singularly groundbreaking. Pop, folk, and psychedelic elements all featured heavily and, somehow, the four of them were able to juggle all of these disparate events effortlessly.

This brings us to what I think was the single most important thing about The Beatles, and a large reason why their position as the most influential band in history remains unrivalled. The Beatles were masters at creating catchy, popular music that would capture the zeitgeist. This is why ‘Beatlemania’ was a thing. They commanded an incredible popularity and fervent adoration – something that was not at all common at the time, certainly as part of the 1960s counterculture movement.

But beyond this uncanny ability for tapping into, and directing, popular music at the time, The Beatles were also incredibly experimental and innovative. The band who effortlessly produce the kind of song that would have hundreds of thousands of teenagers screaming would also eagerly experiment and innovate with countless musical influences. This eagerness to innovative made them pioneers many times over, but it was the inherent ability to produce globally adored and mainstream-accepted music that give them the platform for this culturally lasting impact.

It’s hard for a lot of people to even comprehend just how influential The Beatles were. If you weren’t to understand the weight carried by those four names – John, Paul, George, and Ringo – you might struggle to understand why they’re so revered. I mean, they sound like everyone else, right?

Actually, that’s because everyone else sounds like The Beatles. In one way or another, they all do. Because every example of popular music, all of it, somewhere in there, it can be traced back to The Beatles.