50 years after The Beatles split, experts hail their enduring legacy while fans remember how band conquered Scotland and then the world

It was the one-word, two-letter answer heard around the world.

“No”, replied Paul McCartney, after being asked if he would ever write songs with John Lennon again.

The question and his terse, incendiary reply, included in a press statement issued 50 years ago, would spell the end of the Fab Four, the biggest band in the world. As fans lamented, The Beatles split.

But, if half a century ago, on April 10, 1970, the band ended, their influence and legacy was only just beginning.

“Their enduring popularity is almost mystifying,” said Beatles expert Ken McNab. “They are one of those bands who cross all generational barriers. They still have millions of downloads and streams every year and the biggest selling vinyl album in 2019 was Abbey Road, which was incredible.

“For cultural influence and longevity of song, they are out on their own. They changed the world for the better, a world where the Second World War was still on people’s minds.

“They transformed the ’60s from monochrome to colour, making the world a happier place for everyone.”

It was while promoting his solo album that Paul McCartney revealed he was no longer working with the group.

In reality, the Fab Four had fractured some months earlier, after recording the Abbey Road album, when John Lennon said he was out but there had been no definitive, irrevocable announcement.

With hindsight, the interview issued by McCartney in a press release was not absolutely, conclusively ruling out a reformation, but that is how it was reported.

The band who hurtled out of Liverpool via Hamburg to conquer the world, had taken Scotland early in their career. For The Beatles, especially Lennon and McCartney, the 1960s began here and ended here.

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