Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
BitBuster

Beatles discussion

Recommended Posts

...so that the "Where are you from?" thread can get back on track. ;)

 

 

Beatles' best works are all towards the end, no musician on this planet will ever deny that.

 

Just out of curiosity...do you think that the quality of music can be objectively measured, or are you using "best" in a less dogmatic sense?

 

 

The Beatles, like Elvis and Dylan and NWA and the Sex Pistols, were enormously influential. No one who knows anything about popular music can deny that. But this doesn't mean that you have to like them. I happen to love the latter four people/groups, but if I'm going to start singing their praises to a neophyte, the last thing I'm going to talk about is their influence. Perhaps some people listen to music as a purely historical exercise...fine. But I can't relate to that line of thinking. I listen to whatever hits me at any given time. I don't care about the culture in which a certain song was released; so what if "Hound Dog" scandalized a nation? That's not why I listen to it. I listen to it because DJ Fontana's drumming is the most manic drumming this side of Keith Moon, because the first bars of Scotty Moore's second solo sound like Samson tearing down the walls of the temple, and because Elvis sounds dangerously psychotic (I still have no idea what he's saying at the very end, but I suspect that, for my own sanity, I don't want to know).

 

So back to the Beatles. With two or three exceptions, I don't get any hit off of their songs. Are they well-produced and well-crafted? Sure. Do their albums show a sort of evolution (in sound and approach)? Of course. Are they terrible? No. Britney Spears is terrible. My Bloody Valentine are terrible. The Ramones are terrible. The Beatles are just mediocre (this is all imo, of course).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Ramones are terrible? You're just asking to get flamed.

 

Anyway, the Beatles had the unique distinction of having four front men. You might disagree, but I've actually seen Ringo in concert.

 

Without the Everly Brothers, the Beatles would have had a harder time catching on. Without the Monkees, the Beatles would have had a harder time being accepted by the average American.

 

A lot of popular music isn't that good. I find that the best track on an album (yes, I'm old enough to say album) is often not a hit at all. (By best I mean the one I like the best.) For example, one-hit-wonder David & David (excellent band name!) is pretty much known for Welcome to the Boomtown. However the track "River's Gonna Rise" is a much better song. Or consider Boom Crash Opera, whom most American's can't place, but have heard their song "Onion Skin". A fun song, but there's a track called "Dancing in the Storm" which is better.

 

It is a little sad that in this age of downloadable singles, tracks like this rarely appear.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, I don't like American punk...what can I say. Gimmie Buzzcocks, the Sex Pistols, the Adverts, etc. any day.

 

I'll take the "four front men" approach a step further and say that The Band had five front men. And they were a genuinely great band, imo. Not that the multiple front men approach necessarily had anything to do with it...

 

Weren't the Monkees a parody of the Beatles? I thought they didn't come out until 1967-ish, long after Beatlemania had hit the States.

 

I tend to agree that an album's best track is usually not a hit single. Actually, I can think of a lot of artists for whom their best-known song is far from their best (a few examples: Prefab Sprout's "The King Of Rock 'n' Roll," Sandie Shaw's "Puppet on a String," XTC's "Dear God," Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit").

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Monkees premiered in fall of 66. What the show did was bring "long hair" into the living room. It made it more culturally acceptable, which I believe contributed to the success of Abbey Road and Let it Be.

 

XTC was an outstanding band. "Dear God" is held up as a great accomplishment, but frankly I'm not that impressed. Yes, it is a decent piece of work, but I happen to think "Peter Pumpkinhead" asks better questions, if you're into that whole philosophy-as-art thing. Nonsuch was a great album, but sometimes they got so dark that I missed the "Mayor of Simpleton" days.

 

I must admit that I am an Anglophile. Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, Danger Mouse -- I love it all. (Okay, Danger Mouse isn't a band, but still.) But I'm not exclusive -- I also loved Tears for Fears, and I like what Adam Lambert is doing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My favorite XTC albums are the two Apple Venus albums, but I like most of their output (including the first two albums). Nonesuch was indeed a great album. Skylarking gets all the raves, but I think The Big Express is a far superior exploration of similar themes.

 

Oh, and the Dukes of Stratosphear album/EP are great! Funny how one can have such admiration for a band while finding their primary influences (Beatles, Beach Boys) nearly unlistenable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...