So why did the Beatles and their contemporaries use harmony in the way that they did? I would like to answer this question by the term "exploding functional harmony." ...
It's not a coincidence that it's bVII and II, the two major chords closest to respectively IV and V on the circle of fifths, that are used more freely. There are two reasons for this:
1) The further away from the tonic one moves on the circle of fifths, the greater the risk that melody notes will collide with chords and create unwanted dissonances. Using for example a F# major chord in the key of C will mean a very great risk for clashing with the melody -- not to mention the drastic contrast in the chords themselves. The closer to the tonic one stays on the circle of fifths, the lesser the risk for such clashes.
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