A new direction
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out to be yet another eventful year for the Beatles. They
received MBEs (Member of the Order of the British Empire)
from the Queen (Lennon returned his in 1969), they played
in front of 56,000 hysterical fans at the Shea Stadium in
New York, they met Elvis Presley and participated in the
filming of their second movie Help! on locations all around
had of course new records to make.
taking into consideration how young the Beatles still were
at this point. In 1965, Harrison, the youngest, had just
turned 22, McCartney was turning 23, while Lennon and Starr
were going on 25.
men in their early 20s the Beatles had conquered the hearts
and minds of a whole generation of record buyers worldwide.
In addition, John Lennon and Paul McCartney had established
themselves as the world's most gifted song writers, although
now writing songs more independently from each other.
were always looking for new directions and new influences,
that's why their records sound so different. And 1965 marked
yet another turning point in their musical development.
year, John Lennon and George Harrison had been introduced
to LSD, a dangerous chemical drug which had gained popularity
among certain artists and intellectuals in the USA. LSD
was supposed to inspire artistic creativity through hallucinating
experiences, but the drug had nasty side effects and destroyed
some of the finest pop talents at the time, including Brian
Wilson of the Beach Boys.
in particular Lennon and Harrison, would start taking the
drug regularly between 1966 and 1968, but they were fortunate
enough to escape any form of lifelong mental illness.
sign of the Beatles' new musical direction came with the
release of the single Ticket
To Ride in April 1965. Penned mostly by Lennon, the
song had a slower tempo and a more passive approach than
earlier Beatles singles. It was also 3 minutes long, which
was considered over the "radio friendly" limit.
Ticket To Ride "only" topped the US charts for
one week, before it was replaced by Help Me Rhonda by the
Beach Boys. In the UK, the single held the no 1 spot for
To Ride was followed by the movie and soundtrack album Help!,
released in the summer of 1965. On the new album, two songs
in particular pointed to a new direction in the Beatles'
the title track, was according to Lennon himself a deeply
personal song, which described his emotions and anxieties
at the time. You've
Got To Hide Tour Love Away, also written by Lennon,
was a Dylan inspired folk-rock song, which appeared to be
somewhat critical of mainstream society.
also featured Paul McCartney's perhaps most famous Beatles
song to date, Yesterday,
which became a mayor hit in the US (it was the Beatles'
10th no 1 single in the US), and still is one the most played
songs on American radio stations.
On the American
version of Help!, some songs were, oddly enough, replaced
by instrumental soundtrack cuts by producer George Martin.
Nevertheless, the album topped both American and British
charts for nine weeks.
>> Next Chapter - Rubber Soul: a turning point
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