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A World Apart

It is worthwhile to note how different the Beatles were from other groups at the time, and not just in terms of their mammoth popularity. By the time A Hard Day's Night was emerging, they were writing and performing all of their own songs. Until this time, songwriting was considered out of the range of most pop stars; most pop singers simply rearranged other writers' songs for their hits. Beatles' songs were also very consistent and incredibly catchy, even the songs that would end up on the B-sides of singles. The songs were varied enough to offer something for almost everybody, which was a key to their popularity. Their audience reached further than just the teenage crowd, and into all age ranges. The Beatles were clearly more than the sum of their parts: They were four distinct personalities, each of which made a vital contribution to the whole. Most pop groups at the time typically featured one main star with some nameless side players. Not so with the Beatles.

They closed out 1964 with an enormous tour of the United States—twenty-four cities, 24,441 miles, and thirty performances. Even with all of their unbelievable, unprecedented success, it all began to slowly take its toll on the group. They had lost some of the initial euphoria at achieving such heights. Moving from venue to venue, they would be trapped in their dressing rooms. Policemen and bodyguards had to escort them to their hotels, and they rarely went out in public alone, if at all. By any account, they were essentially living in a fishbowl. Most of the next two years of their career would be dominated by touring. The touring life so controlled their world that they eventually decided to move away from it completely to focus on their next frontier: perfecting their recorded sound.

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Musician BiographiesThe BeatlesBeatlemania - Beatle Hair, Beatle Boots, They Want To Hold Your Hand, A World Apart