The Beatles were a Rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960 - consisting of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are widely regarded as one of the most influential groups of all time and the most important in the rock genre.
Formation and pre-Beatles
In March of 1957, Lennon formed a skiffle group - The Quarrymen - with a group from Quarry Bank School. The then 15-year-old Paul McCartney joined after him and Lennon met that July. In '58, McCartney invited friend George Harrison to join the group. By 1959, Lennon's original bandmates had left and the three remaining members played rock and roll under the name Johnny and the Moondogs in various places wherever there was a drummer. At one venue - Bruno Koschmider's music club Kaiserkeller - the now-named Beatles met future drummer Ringo Starr, who was in a band of his own at the time. They recorded with him in the studio shortly after, at which point the three saw his drumming abilities and encouraged him to join the band.
Below left - McCartney and Lennon in The Quarrymen. Below right - Ringo Starr with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.
Now preforming as The Beatles, the four began performing in Hamburg over the next few years. On a New Year's day performance, the group met producer George Martin (often called the fifth Beatle) who signed them to EMI's Parlophone label.
Martin's first studio recording session took place with the group at the now famous Abbey Road Studios in London on June 6th 1962. Over the following month, they recorded 'Please Please Me', 'Love Me Do' and it's B-Side, 'P.S I Love You'.
Below - Abbey Road Studios.