Literature review with annotated bibliography

Name:

Student No#: 141639

Unit Name: Tertiary Music Studies

Lecturer’s

name:

Title: Literature review with annotated bibliography

Paul Taylor

Assessment

No#:

Due Date: Week 6,

Assessment 1

5pm Friday, 17th October 2014

Many people have accredited Brian Epstein for The Beatles worldwide success, yet it seems

that he has been overlooked as an inductee into the ‘Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Non-

Performer Area’ for over 29 years. This review will focus on 3 major things Epstein did to

help the Beatles success which emerge repeatedly throughout the literature reviewed.

These are: His absolute belief in the band, his vision for the bands’ image, and the Beatles

musicality. This paper will primarily focus on whether Epstein contribution to The Beatles

success merits a place in the ‘Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Non-Performer Area’.

According to Spitz (2005) and Riley (2011) there are two different theories about how

Epstein was introduced to the music of the Beatles. Epstein himself states that he was first

introduced to the Beatles from a customer Raymond Jones when he requested a copy of ‘My

Bonnie’ from the NEMS record store that Epstein managed as part of the family business. “I

had never [before] given a thought to any of the Liverpool beat groups then up and coming

[sic] in the cellar clubs” (Spitz, 2005, p.266).

While Riley (2011) argues that Epstein knew about the Beatles long before he let on. As a

prominent record store manager, Epstein regularly advertised in Mersey Beats and was also

a columnist in the music driven newspaper. Riley (2011) suggests that “Epstein wanted his

Beatlemaniac readers to believe that he didn’t read anything in Mersey Beats except his own

ads” (Riley, 2011, p.141).

Regardless of the way Epstein discovered the Beatles, the one thing no one can deny is his

immediate attraction to the band and the belief that they would be one of the best. “I was

immediately struck by their music, their beat, and their sense of humour on stage. And even

afterwards when I met them again I was struck again by their personal charm. And it was

there that really it all started” (Lewis, n.d, para 7).

Almost a month after the Beatles had signed a management deal with Epstein, he was

becoming rather disappointed in there stage presence, appearance, and there abilty to

sequence set of songs during a live show. Spitz states

He insisted on some ground rules. From now on, eating onstage was out; so was

smoking and punching one another, cursing, chatting up girls, taking requests, and

sleeping. Lateness would no longer be tolerated – In addition to the above, the

Beatles were required to post their set lists beforehand and – this provoked heated

debate – bow after each number. And not just a casual nod – a big, choreographed

bow, which, by a silent count, was delivered smartly and on cue – Later on, he would

convince the others of the wisdoms in wearing suits (Spitz, 2005, p.280)

Lewis concurs that “He got the Beatles out of their mid-1950s leather and jeans look and

into very stylish early – 1960s mod suits. Without that they would have never got on TV

shows in that era (Lewis, n.d, para 11). There was no denying that there new image played a

major role in their rise to the top of the industry. Without this vast change, the Beatles

career could have been immensely different. The point that many historians miss is that

Epstein’s makeover was just from a visual perspective. The Beatles’ sound was their own.

The decision to not interfere with the Beatles music is considered one of the best decisions

that Epstein made. According to Liverpool Historian Spencer Leigh, “Epstein biggest triumph

was in leaving the Beatle’s music alone” (Riley, 2011, p.153) However, Epstein did influence

the Beatles when it came to single releases. During the release of A Hard Day’s Night Epstein

pushed to have “Can’t Buy Me Love” released as single instead of “Roll Over Beethoven”.

This song went on to reach No.1 in the US. Dolloff states “The very idea of a group writing all

of the music and lyrics themselves was unheard of in the early 1960s, but Epstein insisted on

it” (Dolloff, 2013, para