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The Beatles Chords

The Beatles

Looking for The Beatles chords? We got you covered, with all Beatles chords for guitar, ukulele and piano. It has been 50 years since The Beatles went their separate ways, leaving a permanent mark on the music industry and pop culture. From an unlikely friendship between two Liverpool teens to a career and legacy that, to this day, remains unmatched by any other group or artist; the “Fab Four’s” history is a unique one.

The fateful summer day that started it all

The year was 1957. 16-year old John Lennon was warming up to play a gig with his band The Quarrymen when the bassist of the band introduced John to a classmate of his, who was going to join the band for a guitar solo: Paul McCartney. Not long after that, The Quarrymen offered Paul a permanent spot in their group. The Quarrymen went through many line-up changes, including the addition of guitarist George Harrison, a friend of Paul. Eventually, the group got reduced to the trio of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, who would continue to tour as The Quarrymen throughout the late ‘50s.

The dawn of The Beatles & the Hamburg years

Many stories exist around the origin of the band’s name, but the most widely accepted one states that it was Lennon, together with a friend from art school, who thought of the name. Stuart Sutcliffe, temporary bass player of the Quarrymen at the time, and John came up with a combination of the words “beetles” and “beat” — The Beatles.

Their manager arranged for them to play in clubs on Hamburg’s legendary Reeperbahn. Still missing a full-time drummer, they recruited Pete Best in the summer of 1960. For the better part of the next three years, they played gigs in the German city. Even though Sutcliffe exited the band during this period, it was a transformational time for The Beatles, with Lennon later saying: “It was Hamburg that did it. That’s where we really developed.”

In the midst of their self-proclaimed Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll phase in Hamburg, they sporadically went back to Liverpool to play a few shows. It was during one of these performances in their hometown that they were discovered by Brian Epstein, who immediately fell in love with their sound. In January 1962, The Beatles signed a five-year contract with him, and he became their manager.

Rise to fame

June 1962 marked the first time that Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Best recorded at the Abbey Road Studios in London, a location that today is synonymous with the band. Shortly after, Pete Best got fired. Whether it was due to personal conflicts or a failure to keep up musically with the band, no one really knows. He was promptly replaced by 21-year old Ringo Starr, and thus the Fab Four were complete.

After swapping their leather jackets and jeans for suits and the iconic mop hairstyle, The Beatles set out to take the world by storm. After releasing their debut single “Please Please Me”, they performed for the first time on U.S. Television in 1964, which was the unofficial starting point of “Beatlemania”. Consequently, by April 1964, the top five best-selling singles in the U.S., as well as the two best-selling albums, were by The Beatles.

A record-shattering streak

Everything that The Beatles shared with the world within the next six years would become a smashing success. No less than 12 studio albums, spawning 22 singles, 13 EPs and even five movies make up The Beatles’ jaw-dropping catalogue. Most of their musical endeavors ended up topping the charts in one way or another, and they managed to reinvent themselves with every release, without ever sacrificing the essence of the band.

When they weren’t recording or writing new material, they were touring the world, playing for millions of excited fans. This rigorous cycle would prove to be tiring, and by 1966, the four Brits had grown frustrated with their own live shows, being drowned out by thousands of fans. Their show in San Francisco in August that year would be the last “real” concert The Beatles ever played, and they all knew it. Reportedly, Harrison said on the flight back to Los Angeles: “That’s it, then. I’m not a Beatle anymore.”

The beginning of the end

The Beatles were now a “studio band”, focusing all their energy and artistry on their records. In August ‘67, a year after they conquered the Summer Of Love, things began to fall apart. Brian Epstein died from a drug overdose, leaving the four-piece without a manager. Still determined to keep going, they released more music, and some even say that it was in this dark chapter that they produced some of their best material.

Still, it was clear that things had changed. Lennon and McCartney were drifting away from each other, both personally and professionally. On top of that, George Harrison was tired of feeling like a “junior” next to Paul and John. Things got so tense that on two separate occasions, both Harrison and Ringo Starr quit the band for a short period of time.

January 30, 1969 would mark the very last time the group ever played together, when they climbed the roof of their London office for an impromptu live session, which was quickly shot down by the police.

The end of the (Abbey) Road

Although recorded separately and individually by the band members, Abbey Road would somehow become the group’s most united effort in years. But despite the critical and commercial success of the album, the sun had set on The Beatles’ reign. The March ‘70 release of the cruelly well-titled song “Let It Be” marked the end of the group, as McCartney officially quit.

The end of The Beatles was long and messy. Personal and professional feuds, countless songs written by McCartney and Lennon to directly and publicly attack each other, and even a lawsuit followed. Still, for years the world hoped for a reunion. These hopes were quashed with a heartbreaking finality when John Lennon was assassinated in 1980. In 2001, George Harrison died of lung cancer, leaving Starr and McCartney as the last two surviving members of the most iconic band of all time. What remains is a legacy that will never diminish, a moment in music history that will never be forgotten.

Chords for all of The Beatles hits can be found here, with guitar, piano and ukulele chords for every Beatles song.

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