The Beatles catalogue becomes available on nine streaming services: Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Prime Music, Tidal, Deezer, Microsoft Groove, Napster/Rhapsody and Slacker Radio.
The Beatles win the Grammy for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and Best Music Video, Short Form for Free As A Bird, and Best Music Video, Long Form for The Beatles Anthology.
The Beatles (with Billy Preston), perform a rooftop concert on top of the Apple building on Savile Row in London. It is the last time The Beatles perform live. They play Get Back, Don’t Let Me Down, I’ve Got A Feeling, The One After 909 and Dig A Pony. Crowds of people gather below and watch from windows in nearby buildings. Lennon ended the performance by saying:
I’d like to say ‘Thank you’ on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition.
The BBC commissions the group to write the song for the United Kingdom’s contribution for Our World TV Series. The brief for the song was that it had to be simple so that viewers around the world would understand it. The show is seen by approximately 400 million people across five continents. Starr:
We were big enough to command an audience of that size, and it was for love. It was for love and bloody peace. It was a fabulous time. I even get excited now when I realise that’s what it was for: peace and love, people putting flowers in guns.
The Beatles complete the sessions for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at Abbey Road. The final recordings are a short section of gibberish and noise which are to follow ‘A Day in the Life’, in the run-out groove. They record assorted noises and voices, which engineer Geoff Emerick cuts up and randomly re-assembles backwards. At John Lennon’s suggestion, they also add a high-pitch 15 kilocycle whistle audible only by dogs. These are omitted from the American version of the album.
I was sitting at the piano when I thought of it. The first few bars just came to me, and I got this name in my head … “Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church”. I don’t know why. I couldn’t think of much more so I put it away for a day. Then the name Father McCartney came to me, and all the lonely people. But I thought that people would think it was supposed to be about my Dad sitting knitting his socks. Dad’s a happy lad. So I went through the telephone book and I got the name “McKenzie”.
The band releases Paperback Writer. The background vocal harmonies at the beginning of the third chorus are provided by Lennon and George Harrison who sing the title of the French nursery rhyme Frère Jacques in several slow incantations. These harmonies occur at a little over one minute into the track. Lennon:
I think I might have helped with some of the lyrics. Yes, I did. But it was mainly Paul’s tune.
The band records Harrison’s song, Taxman, at Abbey Road’s Studio 2 from 2.30pm-12.50am. Martin produces, Emerick and Lush engineer. 11 takes are recorded. The last take features the count-in and vocals, and becomes the basic of the final version. Track one of the four-track tape features guitar, bass and drums; Harrison adds two lead vocal overdubs onto tracks two and three; and the fourth track has a lead guitar solo by McCartney, tambourine by Starr, and backing vocals by McCartney and Lennon, who sing “Anybody got a bit of money?” in falsetto, instead of the “Mr Wilson/Mr Heath” parts, which are added later. Harrison:
I was pleased to have Paul play that bit on Taxman. If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me.
We Can Work It Out is the last of six number one singles in a row on the American charts, preceded by I Feel Fine, Eight Days a Week, Ticket to Ride, Help!, and Yesterday. This is the first double A side released single for the group, with the other A side being Day Tripper. Spends five weeks at the top of the UK charts. McCartney writes the words and music to the verses and chorus then takes the song to Lennon.
I took it to John to finish it off, and we wrote the middle together. Which is nice: ‘Life is very short. There’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend’
The band release Ticket To Ride. The song features a coda with a different tempo that extends the song’s length past three minutes. Lennon says this double-time section (with the lyric “My baby don’t care”) was one of his “favourite bits” in the song. The single spends 3 weeks at the top of the UK charts. Harrison:
We are always worried with each record. With Ticket To Ride we were even more worried. There’s bound to be a time when we come in at 19 (on the charts). But this ‘number one’ business doesn’t seem to stop — great while it lasts — but now we’ll have to start all over again and people will start predicting funny things for the next one.
The band release I Feel Fine, the 8th British single for the band. I Feel Fine is one of the earliest examples of the use of feedback as a recording effect in popular music. The song is the first Beatles single to be released almost concurrently in the US and the UK. 1.41 million copies are sold in the UK.
We went to do a job, and we’d worked all day and we happened to work all night. I came up still thinking it was day I suppose, and I said, ‘It’s been a hard day…’ and I looked around and saw it was dark so I said, ‘Night!’ So we came to ‘A Hard Day’s Night.
The Beatles’ sixth British single, released with the b-side You Can’t Do That was written by Paul McCartney while the group were in Paris for a 19-date residency at the city’s Olympia Theatre. Can’t Buy Me Love is the first of the group’s singles to feature just one singer. The record is no 1 in the UK for 3 weeks.
We wrote a lot of stuff together, one on one, eyeball to eyeball. Like in I Want to Hold Your Hand, I remember when we got the chord that made the song. We were in Jane Asher’s house, downstairs in the cellar playing on the piano at the same time. And we had, ‘Oh you-u-u/ got that something…’ And Paul hits this chord and I turn to him and say, ‘That’s it!’ I said, ‘Do that again!’ In those days, we really used to absolutely write like that — both playing into each other’s noses.
The band releases She Loves You. McCartney and Lennon were inspired to write this after a concert at the Majestic Ballroom in Newcastle when they were part of a tour with Roy Orbison and Gerry & the Pacemakers. The song is the Beatles best selling single of all time. McCartney:
We were in a van up in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. I’d planned the song where a couple of us would sing ‘She loves you’ and the other ones would answer ‘Yeah Yeah.’ We decided that was a crummy idea but at least we then had the idea of a song called She Loves You. So we sat in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it; John and I, sitting on twin beds with guitars.