The Bea­tles Have Come

The Bea­tles had sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on the birth and growth of China’s rock mu­sic in the 1980s and 1990s.

China Pictorial (English) - - CONTENTS - Text by Zhao Yong

On March 22, 2018, all al­bums by The Bea­tles, the most in­flu­en­tial and suc­cess­ful British band of all time, were re­leased in China in dig­i­tal form, avail­able on the coun­try’s ma­jor on­line mu­sic plat­forms. At the same time, their fi­nal al­bum Abbey­road went on sale in phys­i­cal shops in China, which will be fol­lowed by many oth­ers. Abbey Road sold over 20,000 copies on one dig­i­tal plat­form in a sin­gle day.

The ex­hi­bi­tion ti­tled “The Bea­tles, To­mor­row” has been on dis­play at the To­day Art Mu­seum in Beijing since March 24. The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures clas­sic mu­sic as well as hun­dreds of pre­cious pho­tos, videos, mem­o­ra­bilia and per­sonal items once owned by mem­bers of the band.

Formed in the early 1960s, The Bea­tles ex­erted di­rect in­flu­ence on the evo­lu­tion of rock mu­sic in the 1960s and later. The band was also tremen­dously in­flu­en­tial on the birth and growth of China’s rock mu­sic in the 1980s and 1990s.

Cao Jun was once gui­tarist for the Chinese band The Breath­ing. His ex­pe­ri­ence ab­sorb­ing The Bea­tles speaks vol­umes. In 1980, he chanced upon a cas­sette tape of The Bea­tles. At first he didn’t un­der­stand the lyrics, but still re­mem­bered the song “Yes­ter­day.” “It was so won­der­ful that I con­tin­ued to lis­ten to it de­spite not un­der­stand­ing the lyrics,” he re­calls. “Prob­a­bly the big­gest sin­gle in­flu­ence on my ca­reer was The Bea­tles.”

Xu Wei, born in 1968, is an­other fa­mous Chinese rock singer who pur­sued a mu­sic ca­reer be­cause of pas­sion for The Bea­tles. “British rock cul­ture in­flu­enced my com­pos­ing most,” he says.

Renowned rock singer Wang Feng, born in 1971, re­gards The Bea­tles as a sig­nif­i­cant part of his life. “When I feel help­less I lis­ten to their songs and think,” he says. “They make me feel hope.”

In the early 1980s, soon af­ter China im­ple­mented the re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy, few on the Chinese main­land had ac­cess to mu­sic from the West. Pop mu­sic from Hong Kong and Tai­wan, which im­i­tated its peers in Europe and Amer­ica, be­came the win­dow for the Chinese main­land to learn. Cui Jian, con­sid­ered the “found­ing fa­ther” of Chinese rock mu­sic af­ter re­leas­ing China’s first rock song “Noth­ing to My Name” in 1986, once said: “In the 1980s, hardly any­one knew any­thing about Western pop mu­sic.” How­ever, those who be­came fa­mil­iar with Western pop mu­sic have been lead­ing China’s mu­sic scene and help­ing the rise

The Bea­tles are hailed as the most in­flu­en­tial and suc­cess­ful British band of all time. In the sum­mer of 1968, The Bea­tles are pic­tured here at Old Street Sta­tion in Lon­don. From left to right: Paul Mccart­ney, John Len­non, Ge­orge Har­ri­son and Ringo Starr. IC

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