The Birth of Beatlemania

(Gibson) The Beatles were a hard-working, scrappy rock band for little more than a year when their tuneful sensibility and gift for hooks led Paul McCartney and John Lennon to write "Love Me Do." Their first single, the song propelled them to the forefront of the British pop scene. But it was "I Want to Hold Your Hand," which was first released in the U.K. on November 29, 1963, that created the initial wave of international "Beatlemania" and made them superstars, changing the field of rock songwriting in the process.

The tune was their first #1 hit on Billboard's pop chart and marked the beginning of the British Invasion with its 15-week stay in the Top 50. It was also an innovative recording for Lennon, McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr their first cut on four-track gear.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" was not only a success, it was a calculated one. The band's manger Brian Epstein troubled by the group's lack of presence in America asked Lennon and McCartney to write a song that would appeal to the U.S. market. Anticipation on both sides of the Atlantic was high when the disc's imminent arrival was announced. One million copies were ordered by retailers in advance. more on this story

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Copyright Gibson.com - Excerpted here with permission.

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