Globalization - The fab four as global phenoms



Defying the label Americanization, the Beatles epitomized globalization. They emerged in the new era of rapid travel and electronic communications, influenced by black rock 'n' roll brought to Liverpool by American sailors and spurred by their initial fan base from nightclubs in Hamburg, West Germany. Beatlemania seized England in 1962, grew in popularity in Australia, and emerged on the Continent. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" broke the Beatles into the lucrative U.S. market in January 1964, the first song by a British artist to top the American charts. The hit spread to the non-English-speaking world. The Fab Four then debuted in the United States on the Ed Sullivan Show, playing to a television audience of 73 million people, about 60 percent of total U.S. viewers. Mass global hysteria set in. Between 1963 and 1968, they sold $154 million worth of records and became the first band to sell out sports stadiums worldwide. In 1965 the queen honored them for their contribution to the British foreign trade balance. Two years later, they took part in the first live global satellite broadcast, representing Britain on "Our World," a special originating in eighteen countries on five continents. Wit, cleverness, and aggressive marketing catapulted the Beatles to fame, but they also tapped into the growing cohesion of youth worldwide that attested to the cultural and economic pressures of globalization. Timing the release of their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, for maximum exposure, they caused a mini-explosion within the Beatles craze itself, as youth across the planet apparently bought the record and played it in unison. It was a moment of unified pop culture. The Beatles flowed across borders, commercially and culturally, exploiting communications technology and open markets—elements of the globalization process.



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