The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential act of the rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented with several musical styles, ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock, often incorporating classical elements in innovative ways. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as "Beatlemania", but as the group's music grew in sophistication, led by primary songwriters Lennon and McCartney, they came to be perceived as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the counterculture of the 1960s.
The Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960, with Stuart Sutcliffe initially serving as bass player. The core of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison went through a succession of drummers, most notably Pete Best, before asking Starr to join them. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act, and producer George Martin guided and developed their recordings, greatly expanding their popularity in the United Kingdom after their first hit, "Love Me Do", in late 1962. They acquired the nickname "the Fab Four" as Beatlemania grew in Britain the next year, and by early 1964 became international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market.
From 1965 onwards, the Beatles produced increasingly innovative recordings, including the widely influential albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (commonly known as the White Album, 1968) and Abbey Road (1969). After their break-up in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers of varying lengths. McCartney and Starr, the surviving members, remain musically active. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001.
Browse our unique collection of The Beatles photos and prints below
John Lennon in New York City in 1974, this was during the period when he recorded 'Walls and Bridges'.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono In the White Room in Ascot, 1971 where the classic video clip for ‘Imagine’ was shot
This iconic 'Umbrella' image of The Beatles was taken in Scotland in 1964 on the banks of Loch Earn.
John Lennon & Yoko Ono in the kitchen of their home in Tittenhurst Park Ascot, UK in 1971, taken after an on-site press interview.
The Beatles having fun at Cliveden House whilst taking a break from filming the comedy, Help in May 1965.
Iconic photo of John Lennon with a flower in his eye, fondly known as 'Adoration'.
A very relaxed looking John Lennon taken by photographer Robert Whitaker at his studio in London.
John Lennon relaxing at Brian Epstein's house in London whilst at the launch party for their album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'.
At Brian Epstein's house in London during the launch party for The Beatles album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'.
The Beatles outside Brian Epstein's home in Belgravia, London during the launch party for 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band' in 1967
Shooting promotional films for the singles Rain & Paperback Writer at Chiswick Park Gardens in May 1966
Keith Haynes 'Spines' print of The Beatles classic album covers, painstakingly recreated by drawings based on their original fonts & designs
John Lennon performing at Madison Square Gardens, New York in August 1972
Contact sheet of The Beatles taken at the press reception for the screening of their Yellow Submarine film in July 1968.
Graffiti tribute to The Beatles on Abbey Road Studios in 1996, this shot was thought to best represent the groups ‘Anthology’.
Limited edition of Morgan Howell's original painting of the cover of The Beatles' 'Love Me Do' vinyl single
Limited edition of Morgan Howell's original painting of the cover of The Beatles' 'Yesterday' vinyl single
Paul McCartney and George Martin in an editing suite in Abbey Road Studios in 1984
John Lennon, Paul McCartney & George Harrison by the swimming pool at Cliveden House in 1965
John Lennon attending an Apple party at the Mayfair Hotel, London in 1968
Photo shoot of the fab four taken at Sheriff Road, London in 1965
Iconic Beatles shot taken at Sheriff Road Studio, London in 1965. used on the cover of Mojo to celebrate The Beatles Anthology release
The Beatles ascend the steps to the stage at Tokyo's Nippon Budokan for a matinee concert on 2nd July, 1966
John Lennon captured by legendary music photographer Brian Duffy in 1965
George Harrison celebrating the opening of Apple Tailoring at Club Dell'Aretusa in Chelsea in 1968.
Beatle George Harrison photographed with his guitar collection at his home in Henley on Thames in 1979
John Lennon at the pre-opening party at Club Dell’Aretusa for Apple Tailoring in the King's Road, Chelsea in May 1968.
Drummer Ringo Starr of The Beatles performs live with his All Strarr Band at City National Civic Auditorium, San Jose, California in 2014