The Beatles

CBS’s Unwatchable Anniversary Special Illustrates How Not to Celebrate 50 Years of the Beatles

Last weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America and their initial, ratings-shattering performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. You may have heard about this anniversary. It’s been mentioned a few times! The half-centennial came to a head last night on CBS, which aired The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, a two-and-a-half-hour mixture of documentary tribute and performance footage. The performances were reportedly culled from a four-hour concert the night after this year’s Grammys; one can only imagine what was left on the cutting room floor, considering the depressingly disastrous stuff that aired. … Read More

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Intimate Behind-the-Scenes Photos of The Beatles at the Height of Beatlemania

Fifty years after The Beatles first came to New York to conquer America, photographer Harry Benson’s book, The Beatles: On the Road 1964-1966  (Taschen), gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the most important band of the 20th century, during the period of their career when Beatlemania in the UK gave way to full-on international superstardom. From Ringo flirting to John sleeping, these black-and-white photos provide an intimate glimpse of a band caught in a whirlwind of publicity the likes of which the world had never seen before. … Read More

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The 15 Worst Movie Musicals Ever Made

There are a lot of great movie musicals — in fact, some of the best movies ever made have been musicals. But that doesn’t mean the genre isn’t full of cinematic disasters. For every All That Jazz, there’s an A Chorus Line, and for every Fiddler a Yentl. Relive the biggest mistakes in movie musical history in this rundown of some of the worst ever made.  … Read More

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6 of Music’s Most Controversial Samples

Today marks a momentous occasion in the history of pop music: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, she who can do no wrong, admitted to doing something wrong. “XO,” a track off of Queen Bey’s recent surprise album, features about six seconds of audio from a NASA public relations officer narrating the 1986 Challenger explosion. Apologizing for the perceived insensitivity to ABC news, Beyoncé wrote: “My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster…The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.” The mega-star is hardly the first to provoke a backlash with sampled material, however. Here’s our list of clips that ruffled a few feathers. … Read More

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The 25 Most Memorable Moments in TV History

It’s not an oft-celebrated anniversary, but 62 years ago this week, television as we know it was launched. It was 1951, and President Harry Truman was speaking before a conference in San Francisco about the treaty that officially ended the country’s post-WWII occupation of Japan. That’s not what was noteworthy — it was how he did it. The speech was broadcast across the nation, with 87 stations in 47 cities picking up Truman’s remarks via microwave technology. So for the first time, people all over the country could watch the same thing, at the same time. And thus was born television’s greatest purpose: as a uniting force, on which we all saw the same things, and came together to react to them with laughter, shock, joy, and tears. In honor of the occasion, we’ve selected the 25 most memorable television moments from the ensuing… Read More

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9 Pop Songs With Secret Queer Subtexts

This week on Noisey, blogger Ryan Bassil comes up with a pretty wild conspiracy theory: that Hot Fuss, the 2004 debut album from The Killers, is actually all about “a murderous homosexual relationship.” Sure, it sounds a little far-fetched, but using pop lyrics — which are a lot of the time pretty vague — to back up a theory is a fun thing to do. So it got us thinking: how many other popular songs have secret queer subtexts? You might be surprised to see what we dug up.  … Read More

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The Albums That Flavorwire Staffers Heard Too Early

Earlier this month, we surveyed Flavorwire central for a selection of the books we read too early. The responses we got were both informative and a whole lot of fun, so we decided we’d extend the concept into some of the other areas of culture that we enjoy here — starting with the world of music, and the albums that various staff members listened to at perilously tender ages. From the raunchy through the political to the mildly disconcerting, here are the albums that we listened to too early (including, curiously, not one but two Beatles records.) What are yours? … Read More

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The 50 Greatest Summer Albums, 1963-2013

Summer officially arrives this week, bringing with it afternoons in the park and rooftop parties and beaches. The thing is, though, every summer needs a soundtrack, and while every year there seems to be a rush to anoint a certain tune The Song of the Summer™, Flavorwire decided to go one better and choose a quintessential summer album for every one of the past 50 years, as something of a sequel to last month’s list of the 50 albums you need to own, 1963-2013. Click through and get… Read More

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