The Greatest Year for The Greatest Rock Band Ever
What was the greatest year of what was the greatest rock band ever, The Beatles? 1968. That might not be the first year that comes to mind for most, but let me present my case the Beatles year a little over 40 years ago.
The Beatles put out a handful of No. 1 records, including the most successful single of their career, "Hey Jude" backed with "Revolution". Also "Lady Madonna, while late 1967's single "Hello Goodbye"/I Am The Walrus was ending it 11 week at Number 1 in January of 1968.
The Beatles release a sound track, A couple controversial solo releases. A monumental double album, The Beatles AKA The White Album. Some say their artistic if not creative high watermark.
Business on three continents was exploding with The Beatles seeing their most lucrative year of their career... to that point. They also founded Apple Corp., an artist-controlled record label and media company.
They went on their legendary international spiritual sojourn with the Maharishi to India. The Beatles also produced a ground-breaking animated feature and subsequent soundtrack to Yellow Submarine.
John and Paul made appearances on some of the biggest TV shows on both sides of the Atlantic. While both experienced the beginnings of the defining romances of each of their lives with Linda Eastman and Yoko Ono. The Beatles also graced the covers of some of the most important magazines of the era, Life, Look and Rolling Stone.
In America, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is bestowed four Grammy Awards at the 1968 ceremony, including Best Engineered Recording, Best Album Cover, Best Contemporary Album and Album of the Year.
For any other band, it would have been a spectacular career. For the Beatles, it was just 365 often hard days and nights. In a career that had long since transformed them from mere pop stars into cultural icons whose international celebrity was rivaled only by Elvis and Muhammad Ali. 1968 was arguably the Liverpool quartet's busiest, most productive year. Freed from the grueling tour schedules of early Beatlemania, the band's creativity blossomed with the turbulent times - as did the personal tensions between them. 1968 was indeed the crescendo and the start of the coda of a brilliant career.