The Beatles and the Spectacle of Youth

  • John Muncie


The Beatles have long been viewed as one of the key icons — perhaps the key icon — of the 1960s. Between the release of ‘Love Me Do’ in 1962 and their disbanding in 1970, they produced more than 200 songs and sold more than 200 million records. Their early appearances provoked unprecedented scenes of mass hysteria. The group whose popularity was to be variously gauged as greater than that of Elvis Presley or Jesus Christ are widely acclaimed as one of the most significant forces in the history of popular music, as being a symbol for teenagers worldwide and for revolutionizing British pop culture. Thirty years on, we routinely find their albums appearing in lists of the greatest records of all time (usually Revolver, Abbey Road and Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band), and they are widely regarded as a key reference point for the emergence of Britpop in the mid-1990s.


Popular Music Youth Culture Musical Style Lysergic Acid Diethylamide Rolling Stone 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abrams, Mark (1959) The Teenage Consumer. London: Press Exchange.Google Scholar
  2. Adler, Bill (ed.) (1964) Love Letters to the Beatles. London: Blond.Google Scholar
  3. Brake, Mike (1980) The Sociology of Youth Culture and Youth Subcultures. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Braun, Michael (1964) Love Me Do: the Beatles’ Progress. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  5. Chambers, Iain (1985) Urban Rhythms. London: Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clarke, John (1976) ‘Style’, in Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson (eds), Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Postwar Britain. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  7. Cohn, Nik (1969) Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.Google Scholar
  8. Davies, Hunter (1968) The Beatles. London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  9. Davies, Hunter (1980) ‘Twist and Shout: the Early Days and the Beatle Years’, in George Darby and David Robson (eds), John Lennon: the Life and Legend. London: Sunday Times Magazine.Google Scholar
  10. Davis, John (1990) Youth and the Condition of Britain. London: Athlone.Google Scholar
  11. Ehrenreich, Barbara, Elizabeth Hess and Gloria Jacobs (1992) ‘Beatlemania: a Sexually Defiant Consumer Culture?’ in Ken Gelder and Sarah Thornton (eds), The Subcultures Reader. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Frith, Simon (1983) Sound Effects. London: Constable.Google Scholar
  13. Fyvel, T. R. (1961) The Insecure Offenders: Rebellious Youth in the Welfare State. London: Chatto & Windus.Google Scholar
  14. Hall, Stuart (1969) ‘The Hippies: an American Moment’, in Julian Nagel (ed.), Student Power. London: Merlin.Google Scholar
  15. Hall. Stuart and Tony Jefferson (eds) (1976) Resistance through Ritual: Youth Subculture in Postwar Britain. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  16. Harker, Dave (1980) One for the Money: Politics and Popular Song. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  17. Hebdige, Dick (1976) ‘The Meaning of Mod’ in Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson (eds). Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Postwar Britain. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  18. Hebdige, Dick (1979) Subculture: the Meaning of Style. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  19. Hebdige, Dick (1981) ‘Skinheads and the Search for White Working Class Identity’, New Socialist, 1: 38–41.Google Scholar
  20. Hebdige, Dick (1988) Hiding in the Light. London: Comedia.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hoffman, Abbic (1968) Revolution for the Hell of It. Chicago: Dial.Google Scholar
  22. Jefferson, Tony (1976) ‘Cultural Responses of the Teds’, in Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson (eds), Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Postwar Britain. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  23. Melly, George (1970) Revolt into Style. London: Allen Lane.Google Scholar
  24. Mungham, Geoff and Geoff Pearson (eds) (1976) British Working Class Youth Culture. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Norman, Philip (1997) ‘Spice Lolly’, in The Sunday Times Magazine, 21 September 1997.Google Scholar
  26. Osgerby, Bill (1998) Youth in Britain since 1945. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  27. Palmer, Tony (1971) The Trials of OZ. London: Blond & Briggs.Google Scholar
  28. Palmer, Tony (1977) All You Need is Love: the Story of Popular Music. London: Futura.Google Scholar
  29. Polsky, Ned (1971) Hustlers, Beats and Others. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  30. Rock, Paul and Stanley Cohen (1970) ‘The Teddy Boys’, in Vernon Bogdanor and Robert Skidelsky (eds), The Age of Affluence. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  31. Sheff, David and G. Barry Golson (eds) The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. New York: Playboy Press.Google Scholar
  32. Stansill, Peter and David Mairowitz (1971) BAMN: Outlaw Manifestos and Ephemera 1965–70. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  33. Thornton, Sarah (1995) Club Cultures: Music, Media and Subcultural Capital. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  34. Wenner, Jann (1971) Lennon Remembers. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  35. Wolfe, Tom (1969) The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. New York: Bantam.Google Scholar
  36. Yablonsky, Lewis (1968) The Hippie Trip. New York: Pegasus.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Muncie

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations