The Beatles were an English rock band from Liverpool, one of the most successful and influential musical groups in history. They were formed in 1960, reached international fame by 1964, and broke up in 1970. During their time together, they released 12 studio albums in the United Kingdom, 11 of which went to #1 in the album charts. In the United States, the Beatles' popularity was the peak of the British Invasion, when many British bands found great success with their rock and roll music.
- John Lennon - vocals, guitar (1960–1970)
- Paul McCartney - vocals, bass (1960–1970)
- George Harrison - vocals, guitar (1960–1970)
- Ringo Starr - vocals, drums (1962–1970)
- Stuart Sutcliffe - bass (1960–1962)
- Pete Best - drums (1960–1962)
In 1957, John Lennon formed a skiffle band called the Quarrymen. Paul McCartney joined later that year, George Harrison in 1958, and Stuart Sutcliffe in 1960. They then changed their name to "The Beatles", and in August 1960 went to Hamburg, Germany, to play in clubs. For these shows, they invited Pete Best to join them.
After Brian Epstein took over their management in 1961, he got them a recording contract with Parlophone Records, headed by George Martin. The band then recorded several songs to release as singles in 1962, but Martin was not satisfied with Pete Best's drumming skills, so he was replaced by Ringo Starr, another musician from Liverpool. After their second single "Please Please Me" reached #2 on the UK charts and led to the sudden explosion of their popularity, they recorded their first album, also called Please Please Me, and released it in 1963; it became a #1 album.
In 1964, the Beatles went to the United States and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Their concerts all over the world were attended by thousands of screaming fans, but they stopped touring after 1966. In 1969, John Lennon announced he was leaving but this was kept secret until 10 April 1970, when McCartney announced the breakup. Each member went on to have a solo musical career.