The Beatles' impact on popular music is inestimable. They changed the face of rock & roll, introducing new concepts and techniques again and again throughout their career, influencing both their contemporaries and the next several generations of rock & roll. In the early '60s, when the golden age of Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis had given way to prefabricated teen idols and bland, diluted versions of real rock & roll and R&B, the Beatles' brash, effervescent blend of '50s vintage sounds and bold, electric pop saved the world.
Not content with reviving rock & roll almost single-handedly, the Beatles continued to innovate. Borrowing a bit from John Lennon's hero Bob Dylan, they pioneered the progression from generic love songs to more personalized, introspective subject matter. Let loose in the studio, they were among the first in the pop world to use backwards tapes, feedback and exotic instrumentation (George Harrison's well-documented love affair with Indian music inspired a thousand sitar-infested pop tunes). Lennon & McCartney (and occasionally Harrison) were phenomenally gifted tunesmiths who merged a pre-rock harmonic vocabulary with R&B influences and a visionary streak to create a timeless body of work.