How the Beatles swept the Billboard chart in 1964.

Hit Parade: How the Beatles Swept the Charts in 1964

Hit Parade: How the Beatles Swept the Charts in 1964

Half a century of pop-chart history.
May 26 2017 5:12 PM

Hit Parade: The Fab Four Sweep Edition

How a major label screw-up helped the Beatles sweep the Billboard top five.

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The Beatles on stage at the London Palladium during a performance in front of 2,000 screaming fans.

Michael Webb / Getty Images

Listen to Episode 2 of Slate’s Hit Parade:

In Episode 2, Chris Molanphy takes a look at the historic week the Beatles swept the entire Billboard top five. You can see that chart right here. It’s a feat that’s never been repeated. But the Fab Four’s total domination of the pop charts was both a reflection of their massive popularity and a huge screw-up by their American record label. Here’s the story of how Capitol Records nearly sabotaged the biggest rock band of all time.


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Podcast production by Chris Berube.