They were the greatest and most important act of the rock era, and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century. They were among the few artists of any authority that were at the same time the best at what they did, and the most popular at what they did. Steadily creative and experimental, the Beatles grabbed a hold of the international mass notice in 1964 and never let go for the next six years, always staying ahead of the bunch in terms of creativity, but never losing their ability to communicate their increasingly stylish ideas to a mass audience. Their dominance as rock icons remains unchallenged to this day, decades after their breakup in 1970.
It is hard to put into words the range of the Beatles' achievements in a simple paragraph or two. They created all that was good about early rock & roll, and changed it into something original and even more exciting.
They established the first of its kind for the independent rock group that wrote and performed their own material. As composers, their skill and musical originality were second to none, and key to the development of rock from its blues/R&B-based forms into a style that was far more assorted, but equally natural. As singers, both John Lennon and Paul McCartney were among the best and most meaningful vocalists in rock; the group's harmony was difficult and exciting. As performers, they were thrilling and camera-friendly; when they got back into the studio, they were involved in original highly developed techniques and multi-layered arrangements. They were also the first British rock group to achieve worldwide fame, initiating a British Invasion that made rock truly an international trend.
More than any other top group, the Beatles' success was very much...