25 Remarkable Things Every Music Fan Should Know About The Beatles

Posted by , Updated on March 22, 2024

The Beatles indisputably hold a vital place in both pop culture and the music industry, possibly surpassing legends like Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, and Michael Jackson. With over a billion records sold globally, they stand as the top-selling music act in history and altered the way audiences perceive and resonate with music indefinitely. Their impact is astutely encapsulated in Icons of Rock: An Encyclopedia of the Legends Who Changed Music Forever, the definitive text on twentieth-century music, which provides an illuminating exploration of the Beatles’ phenomenon.

The Fab Four revolutionized the sound, style, and attitude of popular music and opened rock and roll’s doors to a tidal wave of British rock acts. Their initial impact would have been enough to establish the Beatles as one of their era’s most influential cultural forces, but they didn’t stop there. Although their initial style was a highly original, irresistibly catchy synthesis of early American rock and roll and R&B, the Beatles spent the rest of the 1960s expanding rock’s stylistic frontiers, consistently staking out new musical territory on each release. The band’s increasingly sophisticated experimentation encompassed a variety of genres, including folk-rock, country, psychedelia, and baroque pop, without sacrificing the effortless mass appeal of their early work.

So, in case you’re a member of the younger generation who might not know much about the most famous music band in history, or you’re someone from the older generation who needs a refresher course in all things Beatles, here follow 25 Remarkable Things Every Music Fan Should Know About The Beatles.

Feature image: flickr; Roger


John Lennon founded the group in 1957 and named it the Quarry Men; he later asked Paul McCartney to join, who also brought in George Harrison. Ringo Starr would shortly after replace Peter Best as drummer, and thus the most famous and successful band in history became a reality and global phenomenon.

The BeatlesSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

The band changed its name many times before they came up with the Beatles. Other than the Quarry Men, they were also named Johnny and the Moondogs, the Rainbows, and the British Everly Brothers. Thank God they ended up with the Beatles.

Beatles signSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

Even though no one can be positive where the group’s name came from, most fans believe that John Lennon liked the name the Crickets after Buddy Holly’s band. Other sources suggest the main influence was the Beetles, the rival gang in Marlon Brando’s The Wild One. According to this source, Lennon changed the spelling to “Beatles” to reflect Beat music and the Beat Generation.

Marlon BrandoSource: nme.com, Image: YouTube

The Beatles got the inspiration for their first UK number one single “From Me to You” from the NME letters page (a British magazine), which was then called “From You to Us.” They wrote the song on a coach bus during a tour supporting Helen Shapiro.

busSource: nme.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

John Lennon was really fond of cats. He had ten while living in Weybridge with first wife, Cynthia. His mother once had a cat named Elvis because she was a big Presley fan. No wonder Lennon would later claim that “Before Elvis there was nothing.”

catsSource: nme.com, Image: YouTube

The band originally wanted to call Abbey Road “Everest,” but when their record company suggested the band visit the Himalayas to shoot the cover there, they decided to stick with the name of the street the recording studio was on.

Mount EverestSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

You probably didn’t know this, but it was John Lennon and Paul McCartney who wrote the first hit for their major rivals, the Rolling Stones. “I Wanna Be Your Man” was released in 1963, peaking at number twelve on the British charts. Afterward Lennon jokingly stated, “We weren’t going to give them anything great, right?”

The Rolling StonesSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

John Lennon wrote “Good Morning Good Morning” after being annoyed by a Kellogg’s Cornflakes TV commercial.

Kellogg corn flakesSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

During the week of April 4, 1964, the Beatles held twelve positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, including all top five songs. So far this record has lasted fifty-two years and most music experts believe that with the state of the music charts as they currently are, it won’t be broken anytime soon.

signSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Beatles have sold 178 million units in the United States, more than any other artist in US music history.

Golden recordSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

1966’s “Got to Get You into My Life” was originally believed to be about a girl, but McCartney would later claim in an interview that it was actually written about marijuana.

marijuanaSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

If you listen closely to the legendary “Hey Jude,” you will hear Paul clearly saying “Oh f***ing hell” after he made a mistake while recording the song.

vinyl recordSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

Many people wrongly believe that the first time the term “Beatlemania” appeared in print was in a 1963 review by the Daily Mirror. However, this term was actually invented by a Canadian hack named Sandy Gardiner and first appeared in the Ottawa Journal back in November 1963 to describe “a new disease” sweeping across the globe.

Daily MirrorSource: nme.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Mae West initially refused the offer to have her image on the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but she changed her mind after receiving a personal letter from the group. Other famous women on the cover include Marilyn Monroe and Shirley Temple.

Mae WestSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

Frank Sinatra often publicly expressed his admiration for the band and once said that “Something” was the greatest love song ever written.

Frank SinatraSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

John Lennon said the only true songs he ever wrote were “Help!” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.” He claimed they were the only songs he wrote from experience and not by just imaging himself in certain situations.

John LennonSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

In March 1966, John Lennon controversially remarked that Christianity was in decline and that the Beatles had become more popular than Jesus. His remarks resulted in protests in the American South, where the Beatles’ records were publicly burned. The protests even spread to other countries, such as Mexico, South Africa, and Spain.

The Last SupperSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, while all four members were also inducted individually from 1994 to 2015.

Rock n' Roll Hall of FameSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

As of 2016, the Beatles still hold the record for most number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100, with twenty. Elvis Presley and Mariah Carey share the second spot with eighteen number one songs each. The Beatles also hold the record for the most number one albums on both the US and UK charts.

Billboard ChartsSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

The Beatles were so fascinated by J. R. R. Tolkien’s work that they wanted to star in a film version of The Lord of the Rings and wanted Stanley Kubrick to be the director. Thank God both Kubrick and their record company didn’t find this idea appealing, and a few decades later Peter Jackson would deliver the cinematic masterpieces we know today.

Lord of the RingsSource: nme.com, Image: YouTube

Nobody can be 100 percent sure why the Beatles broke up. What we know for a fact, however, is that when Paul McCartney was asked why the band broke up, he claimed, “Personal differences, business differences, musical differences—but most of all, because I have a better time with my family.”

Paul McCartneySource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

The closest the band ever came to reuniting after their 1970 split was at Eric Clapton’s wedding when he married Patti Boyd in 1979. George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr played together, but unfortunately John Lennon didn’t attend (probably to avoid such an occurrence).

Eric ClaptonSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

The Beatles auditioned for Decca Records on January 1, 1962 but were turned down because “groups with guitars are on the way out” and because “the band members lacked talent.” Decca instead picked a group called the Tremeloes that no one remembers today. This is widely considered to be the greatest mistake in twentieth-century music history.

Decca RecordsSource: nme.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

In 1967, the Beatles were at the peak of their acid-dropping, weed-smoking phase, so naturally they decided to buy their own island. They bought a beautiful private island in Greece a la Onassis with the hopes of living there together, away from screaming fans. Unfortunately, when the band broke up, they inevitably sold the island too.

Greek islandSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia

Some scientists have suggested that several songs by the Beatles may help children with autism and other disabilities. Specifically, they cite the songs “Here Comes the Sun,” “Octopus’s Garden,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Hello Goodbye,” “Blackbird,” and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Keep in mind that John Lennon was dyslexic and legally blind, and during his youth he thought he suffered from autism too.

autistic kidSource: nme.com, Image: Wikipedia