Beatles or Bieber?

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They screamed for Sinatra, they screamed for Elvis. But the scream that erupted when the Beatles came to America and went on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964 was like no scream before it, heralding the dawn of the youth culture frenzy we think of as the 60s.

In Justin Bieber’s Believe, a documentary that came out this winter, footage of the Beatles and their Beatlemaniacs is intercut with the teen singer’s fans, known as Beliebers. 

Is the comparison fair? Bieber and the Beatles (in their early days) share an interest in love as a subject, and say “baby” a lot. Bieber and the early Beatles alike earned the scorn of music critics. (Newsweek called the Beatles' Ed Sullivan performance “a near-disaster ... guitars and drums slamming out a merciless beat.”)

We talked with Beliebers who — on a scale of 1 to 10 — love Justin “infinite times an infinite amount of infinity,” and with Beatlemaniacs who swear loyalty to the end: “When I’m laid out in that little old coffin,” says one fan, “I'm going to have Beatles music playing in the background. No hymns, just Beatles. Especially Revolver.”  

→ Will Justin Beiber stand the test of time? Will he write his Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?
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Music Playlist

  1. All My Loving

    Artist: The Beatles
    Label: Universal Music
  2. Baby

    Artist: Justin Bieber
    Album: My World 2.0
    Label: Island
  3. Ask Me Why

    Artist: The Beatles
    Album: Please Please Me
    Label: EMI
  4. She Loves You

    Artist: The Beatles
    Label: Universal Music
  5. Boyfriend

    Artist: Justin Bieber
    Album: Believe 
    Label: Island Records
  6. She Said She Said

    Artist: The Beatles
    Album: Revolver 
    Label: Capitol