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Beginning of the End

1966-1968

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Beginning of the End

Paul McCartney has been the most prolific, and most successful of all the former Beatles.

Courtesy Library of Congress

The band released just two albums in 1966, one of them a US compilation of previous UK-only releases (Yesterday and Today). Although the other, Revolver, is considered to be one of the Beatles' best albums, the sands beneath the Beatlemania behemoth were obviously beginning to shift.

In the summer of 1966 the band was attacked by an angry crowd in the Philippines after turning down an invitation to breakfast at the Presidential Palace. That disastrous tour had no sooner ended when Lennon set off a huge wave of record burning protests when he suggested in an interview that "Christianity is dying" and that the Beatles "are more popular than Jesus now."

In August 1966, the band made what would turn out to be its last public performance -- at Candlestick Park in San Francisco -- lasting barely over a half hour. The decision was made to stop touring and concentrate on writing and recording.

Although they had lost some of their luster, The Beatles continued to produce critically and commercially successful albums: in 1967, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the soundtrack from their third feature film, Magical Mystery Tour.

The band spent the first part of 1968 in India, studying transcendental meditation under the tutelage of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. When they returned, they announced the creation of their own label, Apple Records, and went to work on the double album, The Beatles (also known as The White Album) which was released in November 1968.

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