Insights from the UK and beyond
Are The Beatles overrated?
A framed handwritten report card from 1950 on the wall of Mendips, John Lennon’s childhood home in Liverpool, states:
“John has worked quite well this term. His oral work is very good, his written work is good, but he chatters far too much.”
Lennon, born in 1940, had been living on Menlove Avenue with his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George for five years when that report was issued.
In retrospect, the remarks may have hinted at Lennon’s later prolific songwriting talents.
Despite his aunt’s academic encouragements, Lennon left Liverpool’s Quarry Bank High School in 1957 without qualifications, but with the foundations of his musical career established in his skiffle group the Quarry Men.
Their band, The Beatles, which has sold more than 600 million albums worldwide, went on to become arguably the world’s most successful pop band.
On Wednesday, Apple and EMI will release digitally re-mastered versions of The Beatles’ UK studio albums. Simultaneously, a Beatles computer game will go on sale.
The Beatles broke up in 1969. Neil McCormick of the Daily Telegraph refers to their original albums as a “holy grail, the font of pop culture, when four incredibly talented individuals experienced a kind of collective, accelerated musical growth that untapped all the latent potential of pop.”
Do you think The Beatles are worth the bother or are they overrated?