The Beatles was the Biggest Musical Phenomenon of the 20th Century
Only Elvis Presley's emergence in the mid-50s can compete with the Beatles' in terms of width or depth of cultural influence.
The Beatles was widely believed to have sold more records than any other musician or musical group in history. In 1985, before their albums were re-issued on CD, their record label EMI announced that they had sold over one billion (1,000,000,000) units of Beatles music.
The Beatles was also one first band to take albums seriously (as opposed to just singles). They released 12 proper albums in their 10 year career, almost all which are hugely critically acclaimed. As well as their influence on music, the Beatles have also had a massive influence on fashion and culture. The 60s saw a world of increasing independence and hedonism, and a burgeoning western economy boosting the spending power of the young. The Beatles provided an aspirational focus for the rise of the 'independent teenager', their every clothing choice or verbal statement directly influencing the views and attitudes of fans. Their mop-top haircuts were widely copied at the height of their popularity, and whatever they wore suddenly became a popular look worldwide.
However perhaps the Beatles' biggest contribution to western culture was that, in appealing so very much to so many people, they boosted the popularity of 'pop' music to the extent that it became the pre-imminent art form to the vast majority of ordinary people (as it still is today). Recording music was becoming a source of enjoyment and an unifying force for millions anyway, but the music of the Beatles unified hundreds of millions of people unlike anything else in history.
Best Price: The Beatles Stereo Box Set