The Beatles were an English rock band who influenced music, widely and profoundly, through their innovation and unprecedented success. Their most popular line-up was known as the Fab Four and comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Here are 10 major achievements and accomplishments of the most successful band in history.

 

#1 Their first album topped the U.K. charts for thirty weeks

The Beatles tasted early success. Released on October 5, 1962, their first single “Love Me Do” peaked at number seventeen. Their second single “Please Please Me” reached number one on every chart in U.K. except Record Retailer, where its highest position was number two. Due to the success of these two singles their first album titled Please Please Me, was rush-released. It topped the U.K. charts in May 1963 and remained there for thirty weeks.

Love Me Do Cover Art
Cover art of the first single by The Beatles – Love Me Do

 

#2 11 of their first 12 albums reached number one on the national charts

Please Please Me started a run in which eleven of the twelve albums released by the Beatles reached number one on the national chart. The band’s third single “From Me to You” also started a run in which seventeen out of eighteen singles released by the Beatles in the next six years topped the charts in U.K. They also topped the U.S. charts regularly. For 6 ½ years in U.S., they had the top-selling single one out of every six weeks, and the top-selling album one out of every three weeks.

Please Please Me Album Cover
Cover of the album Please Please Me

 

#3 The Beatles expanded rock music with their innovations

Through their initial releases the Beatles revolutionized the sound, style, and attitude of popular music. However they didn’t stop at that. They spent the rest of the 1960s expanding the boundaries of rock with their each new release. The band’s increasingly sophisticated experimentation encompassed a variety of genres, including folk-rock, country, psychedelia, and baroque pop. The musical innovations of the Beatles combined with their commercial success, inspired musicians worldwide perhaps more than any other act in history.

The Fab Four Beatles lineup
The Fab Four Beatles lineup. Clockwise – Lennon, McCartney, Starr, Harrison

 

#4 The Fab Four were made MBE for their contribution to music

In 1965 Queen Elizabeth II appointed all four Beatles Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). At that time the honour was primarily given to military veterans and civic leaders. Hence a controversy erupted and in protest some conservative MBE recipients returned their own honour. John Lennon justified their inclusion by saying, “Lots of people who complained about us receiving the MBE received theirs for heroism in the war – for killing people… We received ours for entertaining other people. I’d say we deserve ours more.”

The Beatles with their MBEs
The Beatles with their MBEs

 

#5 Sgt. Pepper’s was ranked the greatest album of all time by Rolling Stones magazine

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is considered the greatest album by the Beatles. It was released in June 1967 to worldwide critical and commercial success. The album won four Grammy awards and in 2005 it was placed at number one on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

Sgt. Pepper's Album Cover
Album Cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

 

#6 The Fab Four won an Oscar for the Best Original Score for the film Let It Be

Let It Be Movie Poster
Poster of the movie Let It Be

Let It Be is a 1970 documentary film about the Beatles rehearsing and recording songs for the album Let It Be. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr collectively won an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for the film.

#7 The Beatles won 10 Grammy Awards

The Beatles have won ten Grammy awards including Best New Artist in 1965 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. They have received three Brit Awards, the British equivalent of the American Grammy Awards. The Beatles have also received fifteen Ivor Novello awards, which are presented annually in London for songwriting and composing.

#8 The Beatles is the best-selling band in history

The Beatles is the best-selling band in history. EMI records state that they have sold more than a billion units worldwide. In Britain they have had more number one albums (15) and sold more singles (21.9 million) than any other act. Even in America they have sold more units (177million) than any other artist. As of 2015, they hold the record for most number one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20.

 

#9 They were included in TIME’s list of the most important people of twentieth century

Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Artists
The Beatles were ranked number 1 in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 greatest artists

The Beatles were collectively included in Time magazine’s compilation of the 20th century’s 100 most influential people. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the Beatles as the best artist of all time. In 2008, the group topped Billboard magazine’s list of the all-time most successful “Hot 100” artists.

#10 They used their influence to impact several prominent movements

Counterculture of the 1960s was an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that began in the U.S. and Britain and then spread through the west. The Beatles were icons of the 1960s counterculture and they contributed significantly in the spread of Bohemianism and various social and political movements such as women’s liberation, gay liberation and environmentalism.

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