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MS4 Music Pack: The Beatles, AC/DC and Leonard Cohen

Rob Miller | Friday October 03, 2014

Categories: A Level, Eduqas (WJEC) A Level, WJEC A2, WJEC A2 Media Studies, Key Concepts, Ideology, Hot Entries, Music, British Pop Music, Fan Websites, Music Distribution, Music Industry, Music Promotion

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Below is an analysis of three music artists to assist research for MS4, Music Industry. For details of alternative artists, and a breakdown of admin related to the unit please see MediaEdu’s MS4 Music Pack: Beyonce, One Direction and Green Day.

WJEC permit one historical case study only from three chosen texts and The Beatles will be this first case study, also evidencing a British band that has received commercial, global success. AC/DC are originally an Australian rock band who now have achieved significant commercial success and have a global following while Leonard Cohen remains an independent artist representing counter culture. WJEC state: two texts must be contemporary (within the last five years) and one text must be British.

The Beatles

The Beatles are an iconic, global brand whose success has endured over five decades, long after they split. The Beatles formed in 1960 and took advantage of the appetite for rock n’ roll and pop music generated by the ‘birth of the teenager’ as a construct in the 1950s encouraged by artists like Elvis Presley. The band were from a working class Liverpool background and enjoyed other new electric guitar based sounds in the late 1950s and early 1960s as much as creating it themselves. Early members of the band came and went with the line up most fans recognise, and the line up that endured for the duration of the band’s career as Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Early fans were young, female, C1, C2, D 14-19 year olds who famously became hysterical at gigs with the sight of their icons – sexual attraction was important in the early marketing of The Beatles as one of the first ‘boy bands’ and within two years they had broadened their target market to 14-25, female and male both in the UK, and crucially became the first British band to break into the US market.

Audiences were positioned through aspirational representations of...

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