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England, the 1960s, and the Triumph of the Beatles

Join best-selling biographer Michael Shelden for 12 vibrant lectures on how the 1960s shaped the Beatles-and how the band, in turn, defined the revolutionary spirit of the age.
England, the 1960s, and the Triumph of the Beatles is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 72.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Very Interesting Story This course presents a very interesting presentation of the history of the Beatles. Where they came from, what kind of start did they have, what lead to them being the phenomenon they were and how they ended up. The speaker is very good and holds your interest throughout the course. I liked it so much that I bought the course for my friends as I knew the would enjoy it as well.
Date published: 2022-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Theory of Beatles Effect on Culture I am not obsessed with the Beatles as some are. I probably know what the average person knows about the group. For example, I recognize most of the popular songs but could not tell you which song is on which album. So the length of this series was just about right for someone who wants to know a bit more about the Beatles but isn't going to dive deep and watch the movies or read anthologies on the band and its members. The speaker did have several theories on the band's influence on the culture of the 60's. A few seemed a bit short on evidence for me, so I gave this four stars instead of five.
Date published: 2022-11-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An interesting perspective I lived in England in the 60s so I thought I'd know most of the material, but was pleasantly surprised to learn a lot about the Beatles, especially about their background and the formation of the group.
Date published: 2022-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Get you Beatlemania on... First the presenter, Professor Michael Shelden, is absolutely wonderful. I had watched the course on George Orwell presented by him and was absolutely blown away. He has hit another homerun with his course on the Beatles. Graduating high school in 1970, the Beatles were a big part of my youth, and I have been a fan every since. They are definitely part of the sound track of my life. I learned a lot about the Beatles I did not know or had forgotten. I was never one to follow the gossip on music groups; I just listened to the music. This course follows the arc of the Beatles from their origins in Liverpool to their final break up, which surprised, sadden and perplexed me. For some reason, I just never explored the reasons why they did end the band. This course gives those. Plus it goes into good detail on the origin story of the band, and what each member brought to it. What would have made the course even better would have been sound clips from some of the songs, and videos clips from the movies. I am betting there are copyright issues that prevented that from happening, or perhaps the constraints of putting so much information in 12 short episodes. If you have any interest in The Beatles you will really enjoy this course.
Date published: 2022-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Course Professor Sheldon has put together a highly entertaining and engrossing series of lectures. He adeptly captures the personalities of the individual Beatles and the folks who supported their success, while relating their rise to fame to the cultural and social events of the times.
Date published: 2022-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it! This course was simply fun: No heavy reading and learning. A lot of nostalgia going on. Re-listening to the music with a bit more insight. Just fun and pleasure!
Date published: 2022-03-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointment This course consisted of mostly lectures. I did not find many photos. There was no music by the Beatles except short clips that you needed to listen to on another device. I did learn much about the lives if the Beatles that I did not know.
Date published: 2022-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Some Surprising Information Very informative course. I learns many things I didn’t know even though I followed them from the time I first heard the while in the US Air Force until ther end. The instructor was great and knowledgeable. I liked the each chapter indicated the songs the instructor was going to talk about. You could listen to them before each chapter. Great insight into the thoughts and writing skills of the Beatles. Great Course!
Date published: 2021-12-17
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Overview

In England, the 1960s, and the Triumph of the Beatles, best-selling biographer, Professor Michael Shelden offers a fresh look at how a pop band became one of the most compelling voices against the status quo. Taking you deeper than any simple music survey, these 12 lectures zero in on the story of how the Beatles emerged as a worldwide phenomenon-and the songs like Yesterday" and "Help!" that defined them."

About

Michael Shelden

There is much yet to discover, and lessons we can learn to help us chart a better path forward.

INSTITUTION

Indiana State University

Michael Shelden is a Professor of English at Indiana State University, where he has won the top award for excellence in scholarship, the Theodore Dreiser Distinguished Research/Creativity Award, three times. He earned his PhD in English from Indiana University. He is the author of six biographies, including Orwell: The Authorized Biography, which was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His other Great Courses include How Winston Churchill Changed the World; George Orwell: A Sage for All Seasons; and England, the 1960s, and the Triumph of the Beatles.

By This Professor

How Winston Churchill Changed the World
854
George Orwell: A Sage for All Seasons
854
England, the 1960s, and the Triumph of the Beatles
854
Reconsidering JFK
854
England, the 1960s, and the Triumph of the Beatles

Trailer

The Magical Mystery of the Beatles

01: The Magical Mystery of the Beatles

What happened between September 1963 and February 1964 to launch the Beatles toward international stardom? In this opening lecture, discover some of the major social and sonic factors at work in the transformation of these young musicians into a pop culture hurricane that would soon take over (or “invade”) America.

27 min
Fateful Intersections in Liverpool

02: Fateful Intersections in Liverpool

The Beatles were not born in a vacuum. Rather, they were a product of the many worlds contained within 1950s and 1960s Liverpool. Explore how the band soaked up this post-industrial and culturally vibrant scene, storing ideas and impressions that would later turn up, with surprising sophistication, in some of their early tunes.

27 min
Finding the Beat in the Beatles

03: Finding the Beat in the Beatles

The “beat” in the Beatles was about more than just the music—it was about the new group’s look and attitude. Explore the Bohemian fringe known as the beatniks; follow John, Paul, and George as they search for the right drummer; and consider the importance of the Beatles’ apprenticeship in Hamburg in refining their iconic sound.

26 min
Nowhere Men: The Dark Side of the Beatles

04: Nowhere Men: The Dark Side of the Beatles

Here, Professor Shelden reveals some of the less flattering characteristics of the Beatles. Chief among these: anger—both as a problem for John Lennon (who nearly killed a friend just months before the launch of Beatlemania) and as an outlet for creativity (best seen in one of the Beatles’ early successes, “Help!”).

26 min
Beatles for Sale: Brian Epstein’s Genius

05: Beatles for Sale: Brian Epstein’s Genius

Meet band manager Brian Epstein, without whom the Beatles would never have pushed their musical talents beyond the world of Liverpool. Discover how Epstein put the show on the road, and made sure that road went all the way around the world (and on The Ed Sullivan Show)—despite a strong degree of resistance to the band in its early days.

26 min
The Cold War, JFK, and the Beatles

06: The Cold War, JFK, and the Beatles

During the early 1960s, the Beatles became the West’s most irresistible export, as well as the best asset in the propaganda war with the East. Learn how the Cold War transformed the Beatles from a provincial act to superstars of the Western world. Also, consider new ways to think about the controversial song, “Back in the USSR.”

26 min
The Beatles Conquer America

07: The Beatles Conquer America

When the Beatles finally arrived in the United States of America, they did so with all the fanfare usually accorded to heads of state. How did so much sound and energy come from only four people? Plunge into the captivating fervor, communal spirit, and bacchanal of abandon that would soon be known as Beatlemania.

24 min
The Englishness of A Hard Day’s Night

08: The Englishness of A Hard Day’s Night

In summer 1964, the cinematic Beatles vehicle A Hard Day’s Night broke almost every rule in Hollywood at the time. Professor Shelden reveals what lies underneath the film’s surface charm and musical numbers: an overall attitude of irreverence and defiance in the face of authority, and a challenge for audiences to think for themselves.

26 min
Help! The Beatles at the Top in 1965

09: Help! The Beatles at the Top in 1965

Take a trip to Abbey Road, a welcome escape for John, Paul, George, and Ringo from Beatlemania. More than a home away from home, Abbey Road would allow the Beatles to operate—under the guidance of producer George Martin—with an unimaginable freedom that produced hits like “Yesterday” and the groundbreaking album Rubber Soul.

24 min
Crossroads: The Beatles in 1966

10: Crossroads: The Beatles in 1966

In 1966, the road ahead for the Beatles seemed limitless. Nevertheless, misfortune struck that year in the form of a changing American music market, and a disastrous summer tour to Germany, Japan, North America, and the Philippines that would leave the Beatles more disillusioned than ever with the show business demands of fame.

26 min
The Summer of Sgt. Pepper’s

11: The Summer of Sgt. Pepper’s

Go inside the invention of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an experiment in everything that was untried and risky that allowed the Beatles to start over as a different group. From “A Day in the Life” to “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” consider the album’s surreal, psychedelic appeal—both then and now.

27 min
Hello, Goodbye: The End of the 1960s

12: Hello, Goodbye: The End of the 1960s

In their last years together, all four of the Beatles seemed headed in new directions as they grew up—and apart. Nevertheless, witness how these final years brought a range of sounds, including protest songs, mystic melodies, anthems of friendship, and an iconic double album called simply, The Beatles, but better known as the “White Album.”

25 min