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Trivia: The Beatles

The Beatles are the Trope Namers for:

Other Trivia:

  • Americans Hated The Beatles: Some of them did. After John's comment that the band was "more popular than Jesus" (taken out of context), many American communities, particularly those in the Bible Belt, did things like mass Beatle record burnings (with Lennon's reaction being to point out they had to buy the records to burn them) and throwing objects at them during their concerts. They received no backlash of that sort in their homeland of Britain, where the comment was mostly ignored note . On the other hand, their records sold just as well in America after the controversy as they had before.
    • The Phillippines are an even better example. Brian Epstein's fumbling of an invitation to visit First Lady Imelda Marcos when the Beatles played the Phillippines in 1966 led to violent anger from Filipinos. The resulting chaos played no small part in the group's decision to stop playing live concerts.
    • As for the record sales booming despite the controversy, the Beatles themselves rather sardonically noted that in order to burn their albums, one had to purchase them first. There are also numerous anecdotes of kids publicly burning their Beatles albums before then secretly sneaking into record stores and replacing them. And, of course, despite all the hoopla this was mainly happening in a relatively small part of the country.
    • There were also some American rock and roll fans, particularly in the very early stages of Beatlemania, who resented the group for displacing the more home-grown sounds of rockabilly, doo-wop, surf music, etc. from the pop charts.
  • Artist Disillusionment: One of the key motivating factors behind the band's decision to stop touring was that they couldn't even hear themselves play over all the screaming fans, which both affected how well they were playing and resulted in low morale — it made it clear that most of the fans weren't bothering to listen. So perfunctory was their stage act at the end that by the time of their last paid concert (in 1966 in San Francisco), not one song from their then-new album Revolver was on their performance list.
    • Recordings of their late live performances indicate just how sick they were of touring, with many of their songs being played at near-double speed, in order to get the concert over and done with as quickly as possible.
    • George Harrison in particular was vocal about how, for him at least, the appeal of being a Beatle had worn off around 1966-1967, because of the above and because he was getting tired of Lennon and McCartney constantly treating him as the younger sibling of the group with regards to his own efforts at writing.
  • Artistic License: The cover of Help! features the Beatles supposedly spelling out 'HELP' in semaphore, but in actuality, they're spelling out 'NUJV'. This is because they realized that their intended message looked rather awkward in semaphore form, so they instead went for a gibberish message in order to get a more aesthetically pleasing image.
  • Ascended Fanon: Apple Corps has more or less made The White Album an official subtitle to The Beatles.
  • Author Existence Failure: The "new" Beatles songs "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" from The Beatles Anthology, both of which were crafted from old, poor quality John Lennon recordings 15 years after Lennon's death. "Free as a Bird" was especially controversial because John got the verses, Paul and George got bridges one and two respectively, and the difference between John's vocal levels and the others' was noticeable.
  • Bad Export for You: Many American fans and the band themselves perceived the American releases prior to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band this way, as tracks were removed and added to the running orders. Some fans, however, particularly those who grew up in The Sixties, protested the "restoration" to the British running order in the CD era.
  • Breakthrough Hit: "Please Please Me" in their home country, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" worldwide.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: During the sixties and since 1989. A re-release by the Beatles is as newsworthy as a new release by U2.
  • Christmas Episode/Missing Episode: The Beatles sent flexidiscs with holiday greetings and Sketch Comedy to their fan club between 1963 and 1969, which were compiled onto an LP (also a fan club exclusive) in 1971. All these releases are long out of print. They've never been legally available to the general public, except for the first one, which is unlockable content in The Beatles: Rock Band.
    • An edited version of the 1967 message ("Christmas Time Is Here Again", the closest they ever came to doing an actual Christmas song) was, however, officially released as a B-side of the "Free as a Bird" single in 1995.
    • "Carnival of Light" is an experimental track and Missing Episode. It's (probably) still floating around out there somewhere.
      • Paul McCartney apparently has the recording and keeps making noises about releasing it. George Harrison supposedly vetoed it when he was still alive, but a decade later and it's still nowhere to be found. With as many leaked studio sessions and bootleg albums as there are out there, it's arguably one of the last truly rare Beatles recordings left.
  • Creative Differences: And how. Let It Be is basically what happens when you take a band that is already fracturing due to this trope and put them on film — even more fracturing.
  • Creator Backlash: John Lennon hated a lot of the songs he wrote for the Beatles. In some cases this is due to Values Dissonance - he particularly detested "Run for Your Life" for its severe misogyny, which is perfectly understandable. For a lot of them it just seemed he was being churlish though.
  • Creator Breakdown: John Lennon's songs, particularly in later years, tended to be more introspective and autobiographical in nature. Not that Paul McCartney or George Harrison were averse to this trope; in their last two albums especially, a lot of slightly bitter songs about the legal wranglings and friendship meltdowns going on around them can be heard.
    • Though they also averted this spectacularly at least once: "Here Comes The Sun" was born of one "just sick of everything" moment, but the song itself is going in the opposite direction of such feelings.
  • Executive Meddling: Glyn Johns took the tapes of the "Get Back" sessions and produced the kind of mix which the Beatles envisioned. Then Allen Klein heard that mix and didn't like it, so he called in Phil Spector.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • The "Fab Four", the "Fabs". During the Putting the Band Back Together era, fans often referred to Paul, George and Ringo by the Punny Name "The Threetles".
    • Also, "Macca" for Paul.
    • And their only double album is seldom known by its official name, The Beatles; even the Beatles themselves call it The White Album.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Americans love "Eight Days A Week."
    • "I Should Have Known Better" reached number one in Norway.
    • They became popular enough in Jamaica in 1964 that The Skatalites recorded instrumental Cover Versions of "This Boy" and "I Should Have Known Better".
    • In Russia the Beatles, as most other Western rock bands, were very popular because they were seen as rebellious against Soviet Communism. A very interesting documentary How The Beatles rocked the Kremlin was made in the 2000s about their popularity there.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
  • Hitless Hit Album:
    • Several of them. The reason for this is that for most of the band's career singles were not included on albums and album tracks weren't released as singles. With the Beatles, Beatles for Sale, Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and The Beatles ("The White Album") did not feature any songs released as singles. Several tracks from these albums were later released as singles after the band broke up.
    • This was standard practice for most British pop albums of the period: hit singles were generally kept off of albums. This was opposite of American practice, and was part of the reason why early Beatles albums (up through Revolver) were recut for American release.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The music videos are MIA, and (fittingly) a legal imbroglio prevents a Let It Be DVD release.
    • Yellow Submarine suffered this for a while (rights issues kept it from being released on VHS until 1987, and it was pulled about a year later, only being released again - on both VHS and DVD - in 1999. A re-release only came out in 2012.)
      • Help! suffered the same fate for a while. (but Apple's first DVD release came earlier in 2007)
    • Their only official live album, The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, was never issued on CD.
    • There are many recordings that haven't been officially released but have been widely bootlegged. The Get Back sessions are popular, as well as recordings from their formative years (for example, their audition for Decca Records, including the songs not on The Beatles Anthology 1).
    • For completists, or Americans who want to hear the original Capitol releases the way they heard them in The Sixties, Capitol/Apple released two four-CD boxed sets of remasters of those albums, with both stereo/fake stereo and mono mixes: Meet The Beatles!, The Beatles' Second Album, Beatles '65 and Something New (on Vol. 1), and Help! (with Ken Thorne's soundtrack music), Beatles IV, The Early Beatles (basically a Capitol repackaging of Vee-Jay Records' Introducing The Beatles [itself a Please Please Me repackage/resequence] released after Capitol bought the American distribution rights to the 1963 material from Vee-Jay) and the American "Rubber Soul" (on Vol. 2). Because of slow sales, a "Volume 3" was not released, so Yesterday And Today, the American Revolver and the 1970 compliation Hey Jude (and whatever other content a fourth disc might include, if any) remain unreleased. Also unavailable is the American A Hard Day's Night soundtrack with George Martin's orchestral pieces, originally released on the United Artists label.
    • A full rerelease of the American albums finally happened in 2014, as a boxed set, individually packaged, and digitally, albeit using the 2009 mixes. Each CD does contain mono and stereo versions of each album.
    • Chances of the animated TV series ever getting an official DVD release are slim to none. However, episodes can be found here and there on YouTube for the curious.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Lennon and Harrison didn't see what all the fuss about Sgt. Pepper was about. Lennon cited The White Album as his favourite Beatles release. To be fair, there is a substantial contingent of listeners and critics who agree with him.
  • Meaningful Release Date: The remastered albums were released on 09/09/09. Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine...
  • Missing Episode: The ever elusive "Carnival of Light" and "Now and Then". The 27 minute version of "Helter Skelter" may count as well.
  • The Pete Best:
    • The Trope Namer was kicked out of the band when George Martin said that he'd sign them on with the proviso that they use a studio drummer on their recordings, because Pete wasn't cutting it. John, Paul, and George, however, had decided that they wanted this fellow they'd befriended and hung out with a lot in Hamburg and who filled in for Pete whenever he missed gigs named Ringo in the group... so Brian Epstein gave Pete the bad news. He was later given his own band by Epstein (twice, since he refused the first offer), only to retire from music and then eventually get back into it. There was also Stu Sutcliffe, a fellow art student of John's who was roped into playing the bass in spite of his lack of musicianship, but he left the band of his own volition in 1961 to live in Hamburg with Astrid Kirchherr and pursue painting... and tragically died less than a year later of a brain aneurysm.
    • Colin Hanton, Eric Griffiths, Len Garry, Pete Shotton, and Rod Davis were, along with John Lennon, the original members of the original incarnation of the Beatles in the 1950s, back when they went by the name the Quarrymen. In 1957, Lennon unilaterally invited Paul McCartney to join the group, and the following year, McCartney brought in his old friend, George Harrison. Hanton, Griffiths, Garry, Shotton, and Davis all slowly drifted away from the group, which moved decisively from skiffle to rock and roll. When Sutcliffe joined in 1960 only Lennon remained of the original lineup, and he suggested that the band rename itself. The surviving five original Quarrymen reunited in the late 1990s and, with minor lineup changes (Griffiths died in 2005 and Shotton retired shortly thereafter) they continue to tour into 2011.
    • Then there's Jimmie Nicol who replaced a sick Ringo Starr for six concerts over the span of two weeks in 1964.
  • The Shelf of Movie Languishment: Let It Be was recorded before Abbey Road, but got put on the shelf for a year.
  • Throw It In:
    • The guitar feedback at the beginning of "I Feel Fine" was "a found object" made by accident when John left his guitar leaning against an amp.
    • Several other examples can be found on the trope page.
    • The Beatles are apparently so well known for this trope, that there's a whole website about it...
  • Troubled Production: The tense recording sessions for "The White Album" and the famously miserable "Get Back" sessions for the album and documentary that eventually became Let It Be.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Its often been mentioned by Yoko and Paul in interviews that if John Lennon had not been killed, The Beatles would likely have reunited - for a one-off concert, for a tour, for a charity single, for good; it's unknown exactly what - in either 1981 or 1982.
    • When Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live offered the Beatles $3000 to appear on the show in April 1976, both John and Paul were in New York City watching the show. They were intrigued with the idea of going over right then and perform on SNL, but were both too tired that night. This was such a big What Could Have Been moment people made a movie about it.
    • Some of George's finest compositions, most notably All Things Must Pass, only made it to his solo albums because they were rejected by the band.note 
    • Then there's the additional Beatle movies that never got made, most notably the Joe Orton-scripted Up Against It.
    • There was an attempt to have the Fab Four appear in a Doctor Who episode The Chase where the Beatles would perform as their younger selves and then appear later in the episode as aged resistance fighters against the Daleks. Scheduling conflicts made it difficult to film, and they ended up using a clip of a televised performance instead.
      • Made even freakier by a recent photo release of The Beatles hanging out with a guy who looks EXACTLY like Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor). Cue immediate suggestions by almost everyone that an episode HAS to be filmed with Eleven meeting the band...
    • The Beatles Anthology has revealed a lot of examples of this trope. For example, they originally planned on releasing "One After 909" as an early song, but were unable to get a satisfactory recording at the time, and it ended up being one of the last they released. There are also recordings of very different versions of the songs, such as "Rocky Raccoon" with a totally different introduction and "Your Mother Should Know" in a completely different style.
    • On at least one occasion there was debate amongst the Four to invite Eric Clapton to be the fifth Beatle.
    • It's been speculated that Brian Epstein could have been able to deal the band's Creative Differences and keep them together, if only in the way Monty Python managed to reform regularly for years for various projects.
    • One early idea was that Abbey Road was to be called "Everest" ("after the cigarettes I smoked", according to John) and feature the band posing on top of the titular mountain. This proved unworkable, so the band settled for calling it Abbey Road and taking the cover photo outside their studio.
    • While the Beatles were rehearsing and recording for Get Back/Let It Be, there were suggestions about promoting Billy Preston to full-time band member (to which Paul bitterly retorted that "it's bad enough with four"). It didn't happen, but the "Get Back" single was credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston".
    • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was to feature "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" as album tracks, but they wound up as singles. Also, a sequel to Pepper was to be released, with a track called "One Of The Beautiful People" being a prospected track, before it was rewritten into "Baby You're A Rich Man".

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