With the Beatles album and the emergence of Beatlemania
The Beatles' second album, With the Beatles, was released on November 22, 1963. It featured 8 original songs, including George Harrison's first song "Don't Bother Me", and 6 cover songs including "Roll Over Beethoven".
The artistic album cover featured silhouettes of the four faces of the Beatles. With the Beatles would be the first of five album covers shot by photographer Robert Freeman.
1) It Won't Be Long (Lennon/McCartney) 2) All I've Got To Do (Lennon/McCartney) 3) All My Loving (Lennon/McCartney) 4) Don't Bother Me (Harrison) 5) Little Child (Lennon/McCartney) 6) Till There Was You (Willson) 7) Please Mister Postman (Dobbin/Garrett/Garman/Brianbert) 8) Roll Over Beethoven (Berry) 9) Hold Me Tight (Lennon/McCartney) 10) You Really Got A Hold On Me (Robinson) 11) I Wanna Be Your Man (Lennon/McCartney) 12) Devil In Her Heart (Drapkin) 13) Not A Second Time (Lennon/McCartney) 14) Money (Bradford/Gordy)
Watch the Beatles in England in 1963 perform "She Loves You" and "Twist and Shout" from "The Beatles Come To Town" news report
American Rock 'n' Roll
Since most rock and roll music was being produced in the United States during the 1950's and early 1960's, no one ever dreamed that a band from Britain would surpass the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.
But the Beatles had an advantage over many American artists in their formative years.
Unlike most places in the U.S., in Liverpool, the teenaged Beatles were exposed to both black and white singers and musicians.
In the 1950's, the U.S. was still heavily segragated. The segregation extended to radio stations as well. Black singers were usually not played on white radio stations, and visa versa.
Living in Liverpool had a dual advantage for the Beatles:
1) Liverpool was a port where sailors would bring home records from the U.S. that most British teens were not exposed to due to the government controlled BBC, and
2) Liverpool had a racial diversity which enabled the white and black cultures to feed off of each other musically.
In 1963, The Mersey Beat sound was sweeping Britain, and Brian Epstein decided to manage more bands from Liverpool.
He offered songs penned by Lennon/McCartney to several other bands including Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas and Peter and Gordon, who as a result, found success under Brian's management.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney began writing songs together in 1957 after Paul joined John's group, The Quarrymen.
Buddy Holly provided inspiration as a songwriter who sang his own songs. In the early days, John and Paul wrote over 100 songs together, many of which were lost years later when Jane Asher (Paul's then girlfriend) threw them out by mistake while cleaning house.
There was no set formula of one writing the lyrics and the other writing the melody. Both John and Paul had talent in both areas.
After the Beatles became famous, John and Paul rarely wrote together, but continued to incorporate feedback from each other into their songs.
The unwritten rule was that whoever sang lead usually wrote the song.
As songwriters, Lennon and McCartney were both critically acclaimed on their individual merits.
But over the years, stereotypes evolved that Paul tended to write pop-style love songs ("Yesterday") and John wrote thehard-edged rockers ("Revolution").
Further analysis of their music catalog shows that Paul wrote rockers as well ("Paperback Writer"), just as John wrote love songs ("In My Life").
As a result, the partnership proved to be beneficial mainly as a competition. Whether consciously or sub-consciously, each partner's next song was influenced by their co-writer's last song. And each song was afforded two perspectives instead of just one.
Fun Fact: In 2013, a documentary was released about Freda Kelly, the secretary of The Beatles fan club. 'Good Ol' Freda' explores Kelly's personal and working relationship with The Beatles.
The Beatles in London, England
The Beatles were becoming more and more popular by the day in 1963. They had busy schedules making TV and radio appearances and performing live all over Great Britain. The Beatles appeared several times on BBC radio, and eventually they had their own radio series called "Pop Go the Beatles." (Many of these live performances were later released on a double-CD set called "Live at the BBC".)
The Beatles personal lives were changing just as rapidly. In the Summer of 1963, Brian and the Beatles decided they all needed to move to London.
By April 1963, John had a wife and child to care for. In August 1962, John married girlfriend Cynthia Powell after she discovered she was pregnant.
On April 8, 1963, Julian Lennon was born. Brian urged the couple to keep the marriage and the baby quiet for the sake of public relations, i.e. appeal to the teenage girls.
John and Cynthia move to an apartment in London.
In April 1963, Paul meets Jane Asher, a 17-year-old actress from a prominent London family. He moves into his own room in the Asher family house in London for the next two years, while dating Jane.
Meanwhile, George and Ringo share an apartment in London.
With a continuous string of hit records, The Beatles were becoming rich and famous.
They were so popular in England that they were asked to play at the Royal Variety Performance for the Queen of England on Nov. 4, 1963.
They were such a hit that the next day, they were the headline in all the papers. The Daily Express proclaimed "Beatles Rock Royals," while the Daily Mirror coined the term "Beatlemania."
Watch the Beatles' performance in November 1963 at the Royal Variety Show where John makes his famous remark:
"Those in the cheaper seats, clap your hands; the rest of you, just rattle your jewelry."
The Beatles were becoming known for their sense of humor
and charm especially when dealing with the press.
This ability to come up with sarcastic one-liners made a
huge impact when the Beatles first came to America.
While the Beatles were a huge success in England, they found little success in America by the end of 1963.
Since EMI had begun releasing Beatles records in 1962 in Great Britain, their U.S. affiliate, Capitol Records refused to release them in the United States.
As a result, Brian Epstein made deals with other records labels in the States to release early Beatles hits.
Vee-Jay released the singles "Please Please Me" and "From Me To You" with little success.
They also released an album in early 1964 called "Introducing the Beatles."
With the lackluster success, Vee-Jay turned down any future Beatles songs, so the Swan label released "She Loves You," also with little success.