The Beatles revolutionized the recording business. There, I’ve said it.
I still find it hard to credit the full extent of The Beatles’ impact on the machinery of the modern music industry. It’s not that I have any deliberate desire to underplay the massive songwriting talents of Lennon and McCartney or to understate the innovative musical achievements of the group, but I believe I stood too close to the core of Beatlemania to be completely objective about the wider significance of the whole phenomenon, namely the direct and forceful influence which The Beatles exerted on established industrial practices. Once they became sufficiently successful to wield the necessary power, The Beatles made specific proposals and demands which led to lasting and dramatic changes in some of the traditional strategies employed by UK record companies, particularly in their relationships with artists. This all had the effect of making the music business a more comfortable workplace for the recording artists who came after them.
All those years ago in the so-called swinging sixties, I worked at the centre of the small artists’ management team which surrounded The Beatles in the London headquarters of Brian Epstein’s NEMS Enterprises. Between 1963 and 1968, from my unique viewpoint as the Epstein organization’s in-house publicist for The Fab Four, I saw John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr learn the craft of record-making. I watched as their musical experiments threatened to outgrow the