Papers should be 3-5 pages, double-spaced, 12-point font, and in a word document. Your paper should include footnotes (or endnotes), bibliography and a discography. Your research should include at least three sources (reviews, articles, books). For more information about proper formatting please visit:
Papers should include a thesis statement and a conclusion and include your own insights and ideas about the facts that you gather. I am not looking for a strictly “historical” paper but a paper that includes your assumptions and opinions (supported by other articles, etc.).
Select one of the following topics to write about:
1) There are two Beatles left: Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Discuss one of their current careers. Do you think they should have retired with the band? Why or why not? What do you think of the fact that they are touring? Should a musician ever retire? Has his style changed since their Beatles days?
2) Write a paper on a modern-day production that uses the Beatles music. This can include a musical such as “Rain,” Cirque du Soleil’s “Love,” or a discussion of the ballet music written by Paul McCartney,”Ocean’s Kingdom,” which premiered September 22, 2011, to name a few examples.
3) Are the Beatles still one of the greatest bands ever? Why or why not? Are they still important? If so, how? Locate articles that may support your argument.
4) Compare the Beatles with another rock group of the era such as the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd. How were they similar and different? Select a specific album or time frame (early rock or psychedelic rock) to support your claim.
5) Discuss the life and contributions of ONE of the Beatles after the group disbanded. What was his music like post-Beatles? Was his work as strong as it was in the Beatles?
6) Many people still blame Yoko Ono as the reason for the Beatles break-up, though Ono continues to be an artist and activist in her own right. Does she deserve this hostility? Why or why not? Please locate articles/interviews to support your claims.
7) Many bands have gone on to cover the music of the Beatles. Discuss various covers and how they are different or similar. Do they take away from the original or keep the world wanting more Beatles music?
8) First, read the article about “Paul-is-Dead”
and then discuss the 1969 hoax. How did this tale emerge as one of rock’s most enduring urban legends? Have there been similar ones since then with other rockers?
9) Discuss how the women in the Beatles’ lives changed them or influenced them.
10) John Lennon made the following comment in 1966 which has been since called “The Jesus Controversy.” Lennon said that Beatles had become “more popular than Jesus.” Discuss the situation. What was happening at the time in the U.S. and England? What do you think of his statement? Was it incorrect or an opportunity for a media frenzy?
Here is a short documentary on the issue:
Jesus – John Lennon Controversy (Part 1 of 4) (Links to an external site.)
Jesus – John Lennon Controversy (Part 1 of 4)
11) Discuss the role of manager Brian Epstein in shaping the image and success of the Beatles. Do you think he was successful? Had he lived longer what do you think his influence would have been?
12) How do you think George Martin contributed to the studio explorations of the Beatles? Discuss his history as a musician and producer and his long-standing relationship with the group.
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