No. 8

In the past year and upcoming year, we have come upon two great 50th anniversary milestones in the rock and roll history of the British Invasion. The Rolling Stones spent 2013 back together on their 50th anniversay tour, even though bassist Bill Wyman's role was limited. The Stones were on top of their game and 70-year old Mick Jagger still was full of energy and moves. On 25 November 2012, the Stones kicked off their 50 & Counting tour at London's O2 Arena, where they were joined by Jeff Beck. At their second show in London on 29 November the group were joined onstage by Eric Clapton and Florence Welch. Their third anniversary concert took place on 8 December at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York. The last two dates were at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on 13 and 15 December, and the band were joined by Bruce Springsteen and blues rock band The Black Keys on the final night. They also played two songs at 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief. The Stones played nineteen shows in the US in spring 2013, before playing three shows in Europe, one at Glastonbury Festival 2013 and two in Hyde Park. On Richard Bacon's BBC Radio 5 Live show on 3 April 2013 it was announced that the Stones would hold a concert in Hyde Park as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations.

The spot where The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first met is to be marked with a plaque. The pair first met at a railway station on Kent on October 17, 1961 when they were teenagers. The recognised each other because they had both gone to Wentworth Primary School before Jagger went onto study at Dartford Grammar. Richards was traveling to Sidcup Art College carrying his guitar on the day they met, while Jagger was en route to the London School of Economics carrying some records. The next year, they formed The Rolling Stones, who were an integral part of the counterculture of the 1960's and instrumental in making blues a major part of rock and roll. The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them fourth on the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time" list and their estimated album sales are above 250 million. They have released twenty-nine studio albums, eighteen live albums and numerous compilations.


On February 11th, 1963, the Beatles gathered at Abbey Road studios in London to make a debut album and in a single day, with just a 400 budget, they recorded 10 songs for an album, including some of their most indelible early performances: "I Saw Her Standing There," "There's a Place," "Do You Want to Know a Secret," "Baby It's You." The day's session ended sometime around 10:45 PM, with John Lennon struggling hoarse through two takes of "Twist and Shout". Almost all the songs were recorded live, with only a few overdubs. McCartney's vocal in "A Taste of Honey" was doubled, to an eerie effect, they added hand claps to "I Saw Her Standing There," and Lennon overdubbed a harmonica part on "There's a Place".

For the most part, the Beatles grinded out song after song, take after take, with no hesitations. There were 13 takes of "There's a Place," 12 of "I Saw Her Standing There," and 3 of "Anna (Go to Him)." They nailed Ringo Starr's vocal showpiece, "Boys," in a single take. Finally, just around 10 p.m., the Beatles had completed nine songs. No one was sure what to do for the final number. Someone suggested the Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout," a barnburning fixture of the Beatles' live act, with Lennon on lead vocals. Lennon was suffering from a cold; after 12 straight hours of singing, his voice was nearly shot. He sucked on a couple of throat lozenges, gargled a glass of milk and headed onto the studio floor. Two takes later, the album was a wrap. This year marks the 50th anniversary of their debut album Please, Please Me.

The Beatles went on to release 14 albums. After their break-up in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers. While John Lennon was murdered in December 1980 and George Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, remain musically active. According to the RIAA, the Beatles are the best-selling band in the United States, with 177 million certified units. They have had more number-one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act. In 2008, the group topped Billboard magazine's list of the all time most successful "Hot 100" artists; as of 2013, they hold the record for most number-one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20. They have received 7 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award for Best Original Score and 15 Ivor Novello Awards. Collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people, they are the best-selling band in history, with EMI Records estimating sales of over one billion units.


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