The Beatles are international cultural staples. People worldwide know their music and the iconic styles that made them incredibly popular during the 1960s. Today, the band’s worldwide influence can still be seen, and Paul McCartney shares when he knew The Beatles were “changing the world.”
The Beatles became a global success in the 1960s
The Beatles are one of the most successful artists ever. The four band members were born in Liverpool, England, and began their musical careers in the U.K. After finding success there, the band’s influence began to expand. Once the British Invasion reached the U.S., Americans became entranced by the music and style of The Beatles.
The Beatles had several hit records, including Abbey Road, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and The White Album. Over the years, these albums have been remixed and restored, giving fans an even better experience with their music. The compilation album 1 holds the record for the fastest-selling album. The Beatles also had several No. 1 hits, such as “Hey Jude,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” “Let it Be,” and “Love Me Do.”
Paul McCartney knew The Beatles were changing the world after success in America
In an interview for his website, Paulmccartney.com, Paul McCartney shared when he knew The Beatles were having a worldwide impact. The British artist says he knew the band was reaching the world after their success in the U.S. and seeing so many people copy the outfits from Sgt. Pepper’s on an international level.
“I suppose it was our first big success in America. I started to realize that the attention was not just local, and it was around the time of Sgt Pepper when we started seeing our clothes and the music we were making getting copied on an international level. Although this had happened before at home, with people getting the Beatle haircut and all dressing in a similar fashion, it was around about Sgt Pepper that you could feel the worldwide movement. You could feel that people in California were thinking about what you were thinking about. And that’s when people started saying to us, ‘Wow man, you know your music changed my life!’ So, I think around about that time I started to think it was changing the world.”
McCartney never felt a responsibility with the band’s fame
With The Beatles’ growing popularity, Paul McCartney shares that many wanted the band to be more responsible with their messaging and themes. The band often referenced drugs and sex, and many believed those themes should not be endorsed to young people. However, McCartney says they never felt responsible for anything and only wanted to share their experience.
“We’d have to give up if we felt responsible!” McCartney exclaimed. “People did say we should take some responsibility because we were writing songs that were sneakily about drugs or sneakily about sex and stuff, which we knew young people were listening to. But we just had to put it to one side and think, ‘No, this is what it’s like for us.’ And of course, the other thing to bear in mind is that a lot of our music had a good message too. A lot of peace and love, a lot of sympathy for each other, but even then, we didn’t feel the responsibility of passing on these themes to other people. You just had to get on and do what felt right.”