In 1967, The Beatles took part in the first ever live international satellite television event, Our World, by performing a new song for the first time to an audience of between 400 million and 700 million people in 31 countries.
The song was All You Need Is Love, a composition written mostly by John Lennon (according to Paul McCartney), and you can find excellent video of the live satellite debut performance at Sydney Urshan's Facebook page (you don't have to join Facebook to watch it; despite the fact that the page suggests you can embed the video, I haven't been able to).
It is hard to communicate just how extraordinary was the experience of watching the Beatles perform this song live "all over the globe."
Aside from capturing the world's attention with a truly newsworthy event, in 1967 the Beatles were at the height of their Indian meditation/LSD-influenced/Summer of Love "anti-establishment" rebelliousness, and the joy and freedom and sense of power they communicated to the world's youth cannot be overstated.
They literally and figuratively turned the world from black and white into color, as they do in this video - although ironically it was recorded in black and white and then carefully digitally colorized, using photographs of the period as color guides.
Although phenomenally popular around the world, and unarguably musical geniuses, the Beatles were not universally loved.
They were seen as a threat by some, there had been Beatles record-smashing and burning events in America (perhaps slightly jealous of the British band's global influence?) following John Lennon's assertion that the Beatles meant more to the youth of Britain than Jesus Christ, and their revolutionary (in terms of its music, certainly) album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - again with a seemingly powerful influence of drugs and Indian mysticism - had just been released on June 1 1967, and immediately banned by the BBC in Britain for its drug references.
The satellite performance of All You Need Is Love took place - in Britain, on BBC TV, ironically - just 25 days later, on June 25 1967. This was against a background of the Vietnam War, Civil Rights and many other issues which the song's message of love (love and peace were revolutionary tools, in the hands of John Lennon) undoubtedly addressed.
The initiator of the Our World international satellite production (a two and a half hour show, with segments from nineteen nations, including contributions from artist Pablo Picasso and opera singer Maria Callas - but with politicians deliberately excluded) was BBC producer, Aubrey Singer.
As Wikipedia reports, the project then passed to the European Broadcasting Union, but the master control room for the satellite broadcast remained at the BBC in London.
Satellites were still fairly new - the Russians had launched the first successful satellite, Sputnik 1, just ten years before in 1957, adding enormous fuel to the Space Race between the USA and USSR.
Apollo 11 wouldn't land on the moon until two years after the All You Need Is Love broadcast, and satellites were still largely the province of science fiction and spy movies.
So the once mop-topped Fab Four held the world in sway for the first ever satellite broadcast of its like, chewing gum for nerves as they performed, with a new song that opens with the intro to the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, and continues with "an assymetric time signature and complex changes" (Wikipedia).
The song, and the broadcast, also feature a group of assembled Beatles friends and celebrities, including Mick Jagger (who can be seen at 3:06 in the video), Marianne Faithful, Eric Clapton, Keith Moon and Graham Nash.
Together they join in the song's closing chorus (a 6/4 beat, compared to the rest of the song's 4/4):
"Love is all you need, Love is all you need..."
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