LONDON — Friday is Global James Bond Day, marking the 50th anniversary of the date when Britain’s most celebrated superspy first made it to the screen.
What other pop cultural phenomenon merits such half-centennial hype? The Beatles, maybe?
Well, the Fab Four also had their anniversary on Friday, a half century since the release of their first single, “Love Me Do.”
[I loved the Beatles, but not "Love Me Do" which made it to number 17 on the charts. ~ Ilene]
Simon Hooper at CNN remarked somewhat unkindly that the double anniversary offered “a certain kind of middle-aged male. . . an unmissable opportunity to wallow in nostalgia.” So here goes.
October 1962. What a time it was to be alive, and young — and British!
We didn’t know it then, but it marked the belated start of the Sixties, a much-maligned era of social change, and heralded a break with the lingering austerity and straitjacket mores of the postwar era…
The Beatles' debut tune that helped launch Britain into the Swinging Sixties and ignite a worldwide obsession for the four-man band from Liverpool celebrates its 50th birthday on Friday.
Even though it only peaked at number 17 on the British charts, "Love Me Do" was not only the group's first record but also their first hit.
"It's obviously the first single, but more importantly, it established their policy of only releasing songs that were written by the Beatles themselves," said Hamish MacBain, assistant editor at British music magazine NME.
"The fashion at that time was not for big groups to write their own material, so the Beatles were being quite radical in that sense by issuing a single that they had written themselves," MacBain told AFP.
"Love Me Do" was recorded in September 1962, though the so-called "fifth Beatle", producer George Martin, pushed for the release of another song, penned by British singer Adam Faith but performed by the Fab Four.
But the Beatles got their way, and "Love Me Do", written like so many of their succeeding hits by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, went on sale on October 5, 1962.
The group's insistence that their singles at least should be all their own work "established a trend that lasted obviously their entire career and became the norm for big groups that became rock bands", MacBain said.