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Top 10 Beatles Moments

VO: Rebecca Brayton
John, Paul, George and Ringo: time and time again, these four boys from Liverpool have been called the greatest rock 'n' roll band in history. They spawned Beatlemania and launched the British invasion of America so its little wonder that The Beatles are the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed act in the rock music era. For this list, we start at the beginning and go through the moments in The Beatles’ career that we felt specifically related to their music or that impacted their music making. Join as we take a look at the Beatles’ top 10 musical moments.

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These four boys from Liverpool spawned Beatlemania. Welcome to, and today we’re taking a look at the Beatles’ top 10 musical moments.

For this list, we start at the beginning and go through the moments in The Beatles’ career that we felt specifically related to their music or that impacted their music making.

#1 – Live in Germany
The Hamburg Residencies (August 1960-December 1962)

After finding drummer Pete Best, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe spent months building their repertoire and perfecting their live playing in Hamburg, Germany. Despite Sutcliffe’s departure, word of the Beatles’ talents spread to their hometown and led to their discovery by a man who would become one of the most instrumental figures in their career: future manager and so-called “Fifth Beatle” Brian Epstein.

#2 – The Fab Four
Classic Beatles Line-Up (1962)

Now managed by Epstein, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Best were all set to record their first songs with the other “Fifth Beatle,” George Martin. However, after the producer expressed dissatisfaction with Best, Ringo Starr was brought in to solidify the classic Beatles line-up. Martin quickly proved himself vital to the band’s sound when he helped them snag their first number one a few months later.

#3 – Please Please Everyone
First Number One Single and Album (1963)

After only reaching the UK top twenty with their first single, The Beatles followed the advice of Martin to turn their second recording from a slow ballad into an up-tempo track. Within weeks, the catchy and energetic “Please Please Me” was number one in the UK. Their rush-released debut helped keep rock ‘n’ roll in UK consciousness after it topped the charts for a staggering thirty weeks.

#4 – Love Them Do
First American Live Performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” (February 1964)

Teenage girls went wild when the Fab Four brought Beatlemania to North America in 1964. With 73 million viewers, their February 9th appearance gave Sullivan the best ratings of his career. It also sparked the British Invasion and opened the door for other UK acts to break into the U.S. Less than two months later, twelve spots on Billboard’s Hot 100 belonged to the Beatles, including one through five.

#5 – Ticket to Ride, Ticket to Shea Stadium
Record Audience at Their First Stadium Show (August 1965)

The Beatles made history and loads of money when 55,600 fans filled the seats of New York’s Shea Stadium in 1965. As the first major stadium gig, the extremely successful August 15th show paved the way for future massive outdoor concerts. The fact that no one, including The Beatles themselves, could hear anything besides frenzied screaming further cemented the show’s place in rock ‘n’ roll memory.

#6 – In Their Life
The Mature and Complex Rubber Soul (December 1965)

As they started to grow out of their teen pop and simple love song formula, The Beatles sought to challenge themselves artistically in the mid-‘60s. The result was the folk rock classic, Rubber Soul, with its more personal and mature lyrics, complicated arrangements and use of exotic instruments. Despite growing tensions, this exceptional musical achievement set the template for their later and even more ground-breaking efforts.

#7 – We Can’t Work It Out
Last Commercial Concert at Candlestick Park (August 1966)

Tired of the deafening screams, and facing backlash for both Lennon’s Jesus-related comment and their rejection of an invitation from the Philippines’ First Lady, the band played their last gig in front of a paying audience on August 29th, 1966 at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. After four years and over one thousand shows, the band replaced the boredom of touring with the freedom of studio experimentation, allowing them to craft elaborate pieces that were difficult to duplicate live.

#8 – With a Little Help from Sgt. Pepper
Rock’s Most Famous and Influential Album (June 1967)

By successfully mixing musical genres and using varied sounds, The Beatles shaped the sound of psychedelic rock with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In fact, some of the most ambitious and artistically creative compositions resulted from their experimentation with orchestral and instrumental effects on the chart-topping and multiple-Grammy winning masterpiece. With “a little help” from this best-selling concept album, pop music and pop culture were forever changed.

#9 – Helter Skelter
Death, Misguided Spiritual Enlightenment, Yoko Ono and The White Album (1967-1968)

The shocking and unexpected death of their manager sent The Beatles searching for answers during a transcendental meditation retreat with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Though they were left spiritually unsatisfied, all was not lost: their time in India spawned more than thirty songs. Many of these were recorded for The White Album later that year, which topped charts amid increasing internal conflicts and Lennon’s romantic fixation with Yoko Ono.

#10 – End of the (Abbey) Road
Breakup: Final Live Performance, Studio Recording and Albums (1969-1970)

Though the Apple “Rooftop Concert” on January 30th was their last, they put aside recording problems with Let It Be to instead work on Abbey Road. Unfortunately, that album’s lengthy and unusual “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” was the last song they recorded in studio as a foursome. Despite Abbey Road’s success, things unravelled further and culminated with McCartney officially leaving the band before Let It Be hit stores.

Even with solo careers and the deaths of Lennon and Harrison, The Beatles’ legacy lives on. Which is your favorite Beatles moment? Be sure to subscribe to for more entertaining top 10s.

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