Beatlemania

Beatlemania was the intense fan frenzy directed towards the English rock band the Beatles in the 1960s. Their popularity started growing in the United Kingdom in late 1963. By the next year, their worldwide tours were characterised by intense levels of hysteria and high-pitched screaming by female fans, both at concerts and during the band's travels.

In February 1964, the Beatles arrived in the US, and their televised performances on The Ed Sullivan Show were viewed by approximately 73 million people. In addition to establishing the Beatles' international stature, their arrival changed attitudes to popular music in the US,[1] whose own Memphis-driven musical evolution had made it a global trend-setter.[2] From 1964 to 1970, the Beatles had the top-selling US single one out of every six weeks, and the top-selling US album one out of every three weeks. In 1966, the frenzy became so much that they stopped touring and became a studio-only band.

The use of the word "mania" to describe fandom predates the Beatles by more than 100 years. It has continued to be used to describe the popularity of musical acts, as well as popularity of public figures and trends outside the music industry.

Explanations and precursors

Fans and media swarm the Beatles at Schiphol Airport in 1964.

In February 1964, Paul Johnson wrote in The New Statesman—in an article that the magazine now describes as its "most complained-about piece"—that the mania was a modern incarnation of female hysteria and that the wild fans at the Beatles' concerts were "the least fortunate of their generation, the dull, the idle, the failures."[3] A 1966 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology rejected this assertion. The researchers found that Beatles fans were not likelier to score higher on Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory's hysteria scale, nor were they unusually neurotic. Instead, they described Beatlemania as "the passing reaction of predominantly young adolescent females to group pressures of such a kind that meet their special emotional needs."[4]

Beginning in 1841, fans of Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt showed a level of fanaticism similar to that of the Beatles. Poet Heinrich Heine coined the word "Lisztomania" to describe this.[5] At the time, the word was used to indicate that the fan behaviour was a genuine mental illness—an implication that was not part of the later Beatlemania. Like the later Beatlemania, there was no agreement on why Liszt had such a fanatical fan base.[citation needed]

One factor in the intensity of Beatlemania may have been the Post–World War II baby boom, which gave the Beatles a larger audience of young fans than Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley ever had a decade earlier.[6] Some commentators have argued that the Beatles' famous moptop haircuts signaled androgyny and thus presented a less threatening version of male sexuality to teenage girls, while their presentable suits meant they seemed less "sleazy" than Elvis to middle-class whites.[7]

Other Languages
čeština: Beatlemánie
Deutsch: Beatlemania
español: Beatlemanía
français: Beatlemania
galego: Beatlemanía
한국어: 비틀마니아
Bahasa Indonesia: Beatlemania
italiano: Beatlemania
עברית: ביטלמניה
ქართული: ბიტლომანია
polski: Beatlemania
português: Beatlemania
русский: Битломания
slovenčina: Beatlemánia
српски / srpski: Битлманија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Beatlemanija
svenska: Beatlemania
українська: Бітломанія
Tiếng Việt: Beatlemania