Why is Liverpool the musical centre of the universe?

April 16, 2012


Photograph of The Beatles as they arrive in New York City in 1964

via wikipedia

Every now and then there is a city in the world that seems to churn out a statistically improbable number of great bands, think of New York in the late 70’s, Seattle in the late 80’s Manchester in the early 90’s and Glasgow at the start of the new millennium.

When these geographical musical events happen it’s easy to think there must be something being poured into the water supply, more often than not though the media soon gets bored of the city and moves on to the next musical hotspot.

Whether there really is some kind of cosmic alignment over these cities or whether they are just the creation of overzealous music journalist, is certainly up for debate, but there is one city that has bucked the trend and not only has it always remained a musical hotspot, it has also produced some of the biggest and best bands the world has ever know and that city is Liverpool.

Liverpool has such a good track record of producing brilliant musician that it is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the World Capital City of Pop. The City has produced a staggering 56 number one singles and both the most successful male band and girl group in global history have contained Liverpudlian members.

You’ve probably heard that The Beatles are from Liverpool, but even before The Beatles Liverpool was a hotbed of musical talent, from blues to jazz, classical and good old rock ‘n’ roll. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra is the oldest surviving professional symphony orchestra in the UK.

Liverpool’s most famous sons, The Beatles, were at the vanguard of the Beat Music movement that gathered so much momentum that it became a worldwide phenomenon commonly referred to as the British Invasion.

The global influence of both Liverpool’s musicians and many other cultural exports, led American poet Allen Ginsberg to herald the city as “the centre of consciousness for the human universe”.

The city has given birth to so many notable musicians over the years it would be madness to start listing them, but a few worthy of mention are Billy Fury, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Echo and the Bunneymen, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and more recently The Zutons who originally wrote Valarie, the song that pushed the late Amy Winehouse into the mainstream stratosphere.

However it is as the birth place of The Beatles that Liverpool is best known and to this day Liverpool hotels are crammed with people still high on Beatle Mania. There are many places to visit in Liverpool that have played an important role in the story of The Beatles from the Cavern Club to Penny Lane and The Beatles childhood homes and schools.

Liverpool is well worth a visit for its musical heritage alone.

As a final thought have a listen to some of Liverpool’s finest moments in music.


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