Beatlemania was the intense fan frenzy directed towards the English rock band the Beatles in the 1960s. Their popularity grew in the United Kingdom throughout 1963, and by the end of the year the press had adopted the term "Beatlemania" to describe the scenes of adulation that attended the group's concert performances. From the start of 1964, 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. It established the Beatles' international stature and changed attitudes to popular music in the US.[1][2] Similar success followed the band's subsequent visits to other countries. From 1964 to 1970, the Beatles had the top-selling US single one week out of every six weeks, and the top-selling US album one week out of every three weeks. In 1966, the frenzy became so much that they stopped touring and became a studio-only band. Although commentators speculated that the band's absence from the concert stage would lead to a decline in popularity, their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was critically acclaimed and revolutionised the music industry.

The use of the word "mania" to describe a popular phenomenon 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

Members of the media swarm the Beatles at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport in June 1964, as fans await them on top of the airport terminal.

In February 1964, Paul Johnson wrote an article in the New Statesman which the magazine now describes as its "most complained-about piece", and he stated 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, which was not implied in the term "Beatlemania". There was also 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 had a decade earlier.[5] Some commentators have argued that the Beatles' famous moptop haircuts signalled androgyny and thus presented a less threatening version of male sexuality to teenage girls, while their presentable suits meant that they seemed less "sleazy" than Presley to middle-class whites.[6]

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