Close to the end of the last century, the quintessentially English band, Stackridge, recorded a song called, Something About The Beatles.
‘Turning on, tuning in, everyone believing in love. Making the world go round’.
Just like everyone else on the planet, for the past half century and more, Stackridge felt that John, Paul, George and Ringo, collectively, The Beatles, made the world go round… and not just the world of music. There really was something about the Beatles that seemed to reach out to everyone. From royalty to those who simply wanted to touch them, share the same air as them or, if all else failed, to buy the records and bathe in their magical melodies and their wonderful words.
So, here are some fun facts about The Beatles…
- For the week ending April 4th 1964, The Beatles held the top 5 slots of the Billboard Hot 100. They also had another seven positions lower down the chart. One week later, they still had three discs in the top 5 and a further 11 slots within the Hot 100.
- In the UK, the mono version of the Please Please Me album was rush-released by EMI on March 22nd 1963. The stereo version was released in late April. All other albums up to and including Yellow Submarine in January 1969 were issued in stereo and mono simultaneously.
- According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the album selling the most copies in the United States is Abbey Road. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is a close second followed by the White Album.
- August 20th 1969 was the last time that all four Beatles recorded together, they finished on ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy’).
- ‘Strawberry Fields’ refers to a Salvation Army home near to where John lived in Woolton, Liverpool, except that the place has no ‘s’ on the end; it is Strawberry Field.
- In the UK, The Beatles have topped the charts with fifteen different albums.
- In America, there have been 20 singles that topped the Billboard Hot 100 and 19 albums that made No.1 in the Billboard album charts.
- On the Help! album sleeve the semaphore letters that the four Beatles are spelling out with their arms does not say H E L P, but N U J V.
- When they were known as ‘The Silver Beetles’, they did a seven-date tour of Scotland backing singer Johnny Gentle.
- Countries in which the Beatles have had the most No.1s include Australia, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Canada and Norway.
- The Beatles had eight No.1 hits in Zimbabwe and Switzerland, but only two in Ethiopia.
- A Hard Day’s Night is the first album entirely written by the Beatles – all thirteen tracks are by Lennon & McCartney.
- The mono mix of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds is a semitone lower, than the stereo version and therefore slightly slower.
- After recording Love Me Do, P S I Love You, Please Please Me and Ask Me Why in 1962, the remaining 10 tracks for The Beatles first album, Please Please Me, took just ten hours to record.
- It took 129 days and 400 hours of studio time to record and complete Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band established the trend for artists to include their lyrics within the LP’s design.
- There are around seventy famous, and not so famous, people on the cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band including, Aleister Crowley, Mae West, Carl Jung, Edgar Allen Poe, Bob Dylan, Stuart Sutcliffe, Aldous Huxley, Marilyn Monroe, Laurel and Hardy, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll, Albert Einstein, Marlene Dietrich and Diana Dors.
- The Beatles have been named, collectively, as among the 20th Century’s most influential people.
- The first Lennon & McCartney composition to top the UK singles chart by another artist was Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas’ Bad To Me in August 1963.
- The first Lennon & McCartney composition to top the US singles chart by another artist was A World Without Love by Peter and Gordon in June 1964.
- The Get Back single, issued in 1969, also saw a stereo only release in North America and a mono only release in the UK. It would be the next single, The Ballad Of John And Yoko, that would see the first UK Beatles stereo 45 disc, even if the matrix numbers stated otherwise.
- The Beatles’ first album, Please Please Me, topped the UK charts for thirty weeks before being replaced by With The Beatles, which stayed there for 21 weeks.
- Among the food and drink mentioned in Beatles’ songs are eggs, onion, cornflakes, honey, coffee, marshmallows, cherry, truffles, ginger, pineapple, honey, octopus, turkey, marmalade, coconut fudge, tangerine, strawberries, mustard and pies. But there are no ‘scrambled eggs’, Paul’s original working title as he was composing, ‘Yesterday’.
- Of the fourteen tracks on Please Please Me only eight were written by Lennon and McCartney (actually billed on this sleeve as McCartney-Lennon). On With the Beatles, seven songs were not written by the Lennon & McCartney – one of those being Don’t Bother Me, by George Harrison.
- The Beatles received fifteen Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
- George Martin played keyboards on almost every Beatles album.
- Of all The Beatles albums released in the UK in the 1960’s A Hard Day’s Night is the only one not to feature a vocal from Ringo.
- Six of the fourteen tracks on Beatles For Sale are cover versions – they are all American rock ‘n’ roll records that were seminal influences on the band in their early days.
- From Me To You is the shortest Beatles single clocking in at one minute and 57 seconds.
- While the soundtrack to Help! was The Beatles’ fifth UK album, it was their eighth Capitol album in America.
- Among the people who sing backing vocals on All You Need Is Love are Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Marianne Faithfull, Jane Asher, Mike McCartney, Pattie Harrison, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Keith Moon, Hunter Davies, and Gary Leeds of the Walker Brothers.
- The first Lennon & McCartney composition to chart in America was Del Shannon’s cover of From Me To You.
- There are more than 3,000 recorded versions of Paul McCartney’s ‘Yesterday’.
- By the time the Revolver album was ready for release, three of its tracks had already appeared on the American album Yesterday and Today so the North American edition contained only 11 titles. The version released elsewhere had the complete album.
- Eric Clapton plays lead guitar on While My Guitar Gently Weeps. George and Eric first met in December 1964 during the Beatles’ Christmas Show in London on which the Yardbirds, including Clapton, also appeared.
- After the inclusion of Larry Williams’ Dizzy Miss Lizzy on the UK Help! Album, every song would be an original composition by one or more of The Beatles on subsequent albums of new material.
- The last song of their last concert on August 29th 1966 at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park was Long Tall Sally.
- Don’t Bother Me on With The Beatles was the first George Harrison composition to appear on a Beatles UK album release.
- George Harrison sings lead vocals on two of the tracks on the Please Please Me album; Do You Want To Know A Secret and on Chains when he shares lead vocals with John and Paul.
- The BBC banned I Am the Walrus because of the reference to ‘knickers’ in the lyrics. The BBC also banned Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Fixing a Hole and A Day in the Life because they decided they all referred to drugs.
- George Harrison took inspiration for his composition Something after he heard James Taylor’s Something in the Way She Moves from his apple album, which was being recorded at the same time as The White Album.
- The photograph on the sleeve of their Please Please Me album was taken in EMI’s then offices at 20 Manchester Square, London W1 by Angus McBean. He and they later returned to the same location in 1969 to take similar shots initially planned for use on their upcoming Get Back album, but eventually used them on the 1962-1966 (red) and 1967-1970 (blue) albums in 1973.
- The version of Love Me Do on Please Please Me, features session drummer Andy White; Ringo drums on the version originally issued as a single in the UK.
- Cher’s first single, released under the name of Bonnie Jo Mason, was Ringo, I Love You; it was produced by Phil Spector. Ella Fitzgerald also recorded Ringo Beat the same year she covered Can’t Buy Me Love.
45. The Beatles are the greatest…
Visit the official The Beatles online store here