In reality the Beatles songs werent all that good

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Hopper
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02 Apr 2014, 6:35 am

Little Richard wrote:
awopbopaloobop alopbamboom


And, sincerely, that is one of the greatest song lyrics written. I hear that, and I start smiling. I don't know what he means, and yet I know exactly what he means.


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02 Apr 2014, 7:55 am

As a child of the '70s, I grew up during the post Beatles hangover. I love their personalities, I am fascinated by their story, but aesthetically, they just do not do it for me, neither visually (thinking of the gross yellow submarine aesthetic that made childrens books of the 70s puketacular) or sonically (a skiffle band with crude recording technologies. Although their music did evolve and get better, and they certainly helped drive the development of the modern recording studio). Their messages were important - but did anyone of influence learn much from these messages? No, I don't think so. The idea that love is all you need didn't really sink into the mindset of those who write foreign policy, many of whom were growing up when The Beatles were still together. The world seems like a more woeful place than ever, what with the creeping Nazism of our fascist overlords. A lot of their sentiment has become the stuff of hallmark cards and car commercials. I think some of their songs are great, but for the most part I find them tedious, and musically not so great. I find their music a bit depressing actually. I hate to say it, but I like Laibach's cover of the entire Let It Be album more. Their greatest impact was on pop culture and the bands of their day (thinking the beach boys, the byrds, even the stones etc). And their musical influence is still strongly felt today. But I do think they are more of historical importance than anything else. I think John Lennon became a better lyricist post Beatles. Don't have anything kind to say about Wings sorry. I love George Harrison's guitar work I must admit.

I'd rather listen to Zappa, or one of the hundreds of awesome unsung 60s garage bands like... The Elaztic Band



Prof_Pretorius
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03 Apr 2014, 7:08 pm

Zappa ?? Really ???
Recently I pulled up a biography of him on Youtube, and he truly is un-listenable. Which is too bad, the man was a genius, but his music was just atonal nonsense. Comparing him to the Beatles is like comparing Nirvana to Oasis.


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JakeDay
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03 Apr 2014, 8:53 pm

Prof_Pretorius wrote:
Zappa ?? Really ???
Comparing him to the Beatles is like comparing Nirvana to Oasis.


LOL!! !!



ASPartOfMe
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03 Apr 2014, 10:22 pm

JakeDay wrote:
As a child of the '70s, I grew up during the post Beatles hangover. I love their personalities, I am fascinated by their story, but aesthetically, they just do not do it for me, neither visually (thinking of the gross yellow submarine aesthetic that made childrens books of the 70s puketacular) or sonically (a skiffle band with crude recording technologies. Although their music did evolve and get better, and they certainly helped drive the development of the modern recording studio). Their messages were important - but did anyone of influence learn much from these messages? No, I don't think so. The idea that love is all you need didn't really sink into the mindset of those who write foreign policy, many of whom were growing up when The Beatles were still together. The world seems like a more woeful place than ever, what with the creeping Nazism of our fascist overlords. A lot of their sentiment has become the stuff of hallmark cards and car commercials. I think some of their songs are great, but for the most part I find them tedious, and musically not so great. I find their music a bit depressing actually. I hate to say it, but I like Laibach's cover of the entire Let It Be album more. Their greatest impact was on pop culture and the bands of their day (thinking the beach boys, the byrds, even the stones etc). And their musical influence is still strongly felt today. But I do think they are more of historical importance than anything else. I think John Lennon became a better lyricist post Beatles. Don't have anything kind to say about Wings sorry. I love George Harrison's guitar work I must admit.

I'd rather listen to Zappa, or one of the hundreds of awesome unsung 60s garage bands like... The Elaztic Band


Beatles claim to fame starting boy bands. yeah they did but this. Perfect example of Aspie-Autistic missing the big picture. I love it.

Before Sgt. Pepper act I don't think anybody put an orchestra in on a pop record.

All those stoned out 60's hippies who took "All You Need Is Love." as their anthem missed the whole point of the song as has pretty much everyone since. The song was just as a cynical take on the counterculture of the times as Revolution . Everytime after the "All You Need is Love" lyrics are sung the horns that follow are making a mocking sound. At the end they poke fun at themselves with the reference to She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah. I think the Beatles British styled humor and cynicism is missed here and in fairness also by many who worship them. In my opinion the whole 'Paul Is Dead" scare was something they intentionally did.

From what I see the critics here are looking at music from a advanced music study theory point of view. But most rock and pop music is not written to pass an advanced music theory class but to make people feel an emotion or get them to dance. I get into both really simple music that that has a great hook and Kate Bush.


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JakeDay
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03 Apr 2014, 11:07 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
All those stoned out 60's hippies who took "All You Need Is Love." as their anthem missed the whole point of the song as has pretty much everyone since. The song was just as a cynical take on the counterculture of the times as Revolution . Everytime after the "All You Need is Love" lyrics are sung the horns that follow are making a mocking sound. At the end they poke fun at themselves with the reference to She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah. I think the Beatles British styled humor and cynicism is missed here and in fairness also by many who worship them. In my opinion the whole 'Paul Is Dead" scare was something they intentionally did..


Actually that is so true, they were undeniably a bunch of funny guys.



BraveMurderDay
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03 Apr 2014, 11:10 pm

I can understand why people think the Beatles' most highly acclaimed works are good and innovative. I find them aesthetically unpleasing, the vocals and instruments sounding very limited to a narrowly accessible dialect and place in time.
To me someone like Nick Drake stretched far beyond those boundaries in his compositions and still sounds fresh today.



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03 Apr 2014, 11:16 pm

As far as early-mid 1960s Beatles, those tunes are listenable, just not really superior to other garage bands of the time.



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03 Apr 2014, 11:34 pm

rvacountrysinger wrote:
I respect Beatles fans- and I agree that the beatles changed music in a lot of ways and they did some interesting stuff, but if you really study their songs the lyrics were really not very good.

Like "She loves you- yeah,yeah, yeah. Catchy kind of, but really not very good songwriting there.

Then other songs "Well she looked at me, and I could see that before too long I fall in love with her". Ouch. I know that was early Beatles stuff. They got even worse later on. "Hey Jude take a sad song and make it better"...
One of their best songs "Yesterday" is so full of cliches. It sounds as if they were writing a jingle for anti wrinkle cream.

Those are just a few examples, granted, but I listen to their music. Its okay on the surface, but no where near genius level .They would never make it in Nashville as songwriters where songs count. I think they were more about image and style than anything else.
If you really study their lyrics and songs they were mediocre at best. They were at the right place/right time.


I think you're forgetting great lyrics from songs like Blackbird, Eleanor Rigby, and many others. Yes, a lot of them were just fun and groundbreaking, nothing to brag about lyrically. Many of them weren't made to be astute and have substance like that anyways, it's not what their audience wanted. Eleanor Rigby in particular didn't really catch on until a lot later, even though it's lyrics are pretty striking.


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03 Apr 2014, 11:42 pm

Willard wrote:
rvacountrysinger wrote:
I respect Beatles fans- and I agree that the beatles changed music in a lot of ways and they did some interesting stuff, but if you really study their songs the lyrics were really not very good.

Like "She loves you- yeah,yeah, yeah. Catchy kind of, but really not very good songwriting there.

Then other songs "Well she looked at me, and I could see that before too long I fall in love with her". Ouch. I know that was early Beatles stuff. They got even worse later on. "Hey Jude take a sad song and make it better"...
One of their best songs "Yesterday" is so full of cliches. It sounds as if they were writing a jingle for anti wrinkle cream.

Those are just a few examples, granted, but I listen to their music. Its okay on the surface, but no where near genius level .They would never make it in Nashville as songwriters where songs count. I think they were more about image and style than anything else.
If you really study their lyrics and songs they were mediocre at best. They were at the right place/right time.


When the rest of the civilized world, including the majority of experts and historians, uniformly agrees on the value of something and you can't see it, that usually says more about you than it does about the historical or artistic merit of the subject at hand. It says you don't have the sophistication to accurately comprehend what you're looking at - much like people who look at a Picasso and complain that it looks like a child's drawing - these people are ignorant of the intellectual purpose of the Cubist approach to painting.

Pop lyrics in general aren't required to make a lot of sense, they're supposed to be singable. It's the melody and the 'hook' that count, because that's what gets in your head and makes you want to hear (and sing) it over and over and over. Paul McCartney is an absolute f**king genius at coining hummable pop music hooks. I can't think of a single composer in the past century any more consistent and prolific at it - not Paul Simon, not Tom Petty - nobody does it better than McCartney. He's not my personal favorite songwriter or even my favorite Beatle, but I respect his innate talent (BTW commercial jingles sound the way they do, because they ape Pop Music).

Here's the deal - you go back and listen to ALL the Pop Music that was making the Billboard charts throughout the 1950s and into the 60s, in the order it was being released, month by month (I have) and listen to the gradual changes. No, "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" may not have been Shakespeare, it wasn't significantly any better or worse that anything else being done at the time, the novelty was more in the Beatles' unique harmonies than anything else. But then something happened. The Beatles met Bob Dylan, who turned them on to Mary Jane, which altered their perceptions of the very music they were making and, in turn, caused them to change their approach to making it. The opening bass note of 'I Feel Fine' was the shot heard 'round the world. Nobody had ever heard anything like it before and from that day forward, Pop Music blasted outward exponentially in every direction. A medium which had been giving the world Pat Boone, Patti Page and The Mills Brothers - a medium that found Elvis and the Beach Boys to be radicals - suddenly gave us Black Sabbath, Yes, Jimi Hendrix, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull, The Who and Led Zeppelin - in the space of 6 years, we went from Do Wah Diddy Diddy to Stairway to Heaven and The Beatles led the way. They changed everything, just by being themselves and that is artistic genius. Pop Music (other than Hip Hop, which is an intellectual degeneration), hasn't significantly changed since that period.

Nashville? Seriously? I mean, I'm a lyrics freak and love lyrical poets, like Morrison, Dylan, Ian Anderson, Joni Mitchell, Mark Knopfler, Kate Bush and Tori Amos, but seriously, if The Beatles had done 'Achy Breaky Heart,' or 'The American Honky Tonk Bar Association,' I'd have killed myself.


I think it's very understandable from one perspective that it is troubling how airheaded pop music can be. But oh well, people in general are airheaded and they have been so since ancient Rome and back. I don't think there is anything wrong with saying "where is the substance, what is the theme, what is the damned point", but we've been swimming in an intellectual ocean lacking in substance for as history and tradition keeping has been a thing. You toss aside the chaff and find the wheat. It's only natural to look back sometimes and say to yourself "what on earth did we see in that" and it doesn't make you dumb or hysterical if you disagree with everyone else when you say that. I highly doubt experts on pop music of all things are very strident when it comes to philosophical grounds for their work having any value. They value this or that simply because they do, and I don't begrudge them for it. There is just a whole lot of chaff when it comes to looking for substance in pop music and pop music critics.


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03 Apr 2014, 11:48 pm

Prof_Pretorius wrote:
Zappa ?? Really ???
Recently I pulled up a biography of him on Youtube, and he truly is un-listenable. Which is too bad, the man was a genius, but his music was just atonal nonsense. Comparing him to the Beatles is like comparing Nirvana to Oasis.


Hahahahaha, atonal music isn't nonsense! Lol. Yes, it's highly tedious to familiarize one's self with and can be exceedingly complex, but it's definitely not nonsense. Like others have said in this thread, some folks might say that cubism is nonsense.

Try out some xenakis as a good example:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB9mzIHNlP8[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Eq0R8zCUek[/youtube]

Does that evoke Greek folk music to you? Because that is the basis of his music. Hell, there are even guys out there like Carrillo who make white noise on a-tracks that is quite evocative and artistic if you understand it. Music is just sound-waves anyways, whatever form it takes it is highly interpretive and subject to the listener's impressions, however objective or lacking in objectivity the impressions are. We have simply been conditioned to like a certain kind of music. I don't doubt that Hindustani classical music or gamelan orchestras would sound terrible to the western ears here, even though hindus find their own music very sophisticated and emotional.


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04 Apr 2014, 12:44 am

The Beatles were just before my time. I have heard my elders talk about them at great length and in great detail. One thing an old surfer dude once told me was this: "their lyricism put an end to the woeful pop standards of the time." He offered up a great example of what he meant: a droll impersonation of 'How much is that doggy in the window?' while rolling his eyes.

regardless of my opinions or personal taste, The Beatles did expand what was possible in pop music lyrically, and for that I will always thank them.



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04 Apr 2014, 12:52 am

I never liked the Beatles much and I was a kid in the 60s. I didn't hate them, but I thought they were boring. I never would ever have listened to one of their songs intentionally. Then one day about 4 years ago I was in an art class and the teacher put one of their albums on. Within minutes EVERYONE in the room, including me was singing along. Shy people too. Everyone was smiling and laughing and we all knew most of the words. I'm not sure how I knew the words since I would never have listened to them, but they are that pervasive.

So now I have a couple of albums, but they just generally come up in my mix and I like them when they do.

I think it must be an amazing gift to think that you made people sing and smile and laugh all over the world for 45 years now, even after some of them are dead. I can rarely do that with people I'm in a room with!



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04 Apr 2014, 2:09 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZc5aGYdDLo[/youtube]

While I'm not a major Beatles fanatic, I like some of their songs, and I consider them to be a classic band. As well I can't deny that they had a major impact on the world of rock music, and that things would be a LOT different now if they had never existed.

Anyhow, "Helter Skelter" is one of my favorite songs by them. Along with "In a Gadda Da Vida" by Iron Butterfly, this can arguably be considered one of the first heavy metal songs ever recorded. By modern standards it's not that aggressive, but I can imagine it must have caused quite a stir back in the 60s. 8)

*For the record, I know that Charles Manson was obsessed with this song, and that he thought the White Album foretold of some race war, but this is not the "stir" I'm referring to. Charles Manson was a madman, plain and simple, and this song should not be blamed for the atrocities he committed.



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04 Apr 2014, 4:24 pm

The Bealtles psychedelic work changed the music world in large part because they were already incredibly popular. Those merseybeat pop songs was a big factor in Beatlemania


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