I suspect he just means there were allot of others that were ENGLISH, .. . but THAT's really about it.
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I think it needs to be stated and understood that the term "rock" or "pop" ( they're actually interchangable ) recall just means CONTEMPORARY music of any kind, not just necessarily Rock n Roll as such. And the oafus who wrote this essay doesn't seem to realize that fact. Also, social radicalism seems to be a crucial factor in measuring a musical act for him.
So The Beatles weren't really "Rock and roll" as such? . .. So what? What's so important about being Rock and roll ( to the point where something "sucks" or is "mediocre" or "overrated" if it isn't )? .. . I'm starting to wonder if THAT is possibly what's really overrated ( that's what this idiot essay really has me thinking ).
Thread title made me chuckle. Out of curiosity i downloaded the complete Beatles Discography (yes i know tut tut) and listened to most of it to find it did nothing for me at all. I thought i was the only person in the world who just didn't get it. I since asked my parents what all the fuss was about and they came back with a gem of a one liner "you had to be there!".
Yes, last time I played Abbey Road (a few months back) I was awestruck by it's brilliance and originality.
It almost sounds like the blueprint for the rock & pop music of the 70's and beyond.
Totally agree with the article, although it is somewhat incomplete. The Beatles were not quite the innocent, family-friendly, socially safe band the article says. They promoted the most dangerous drugs actively and relentlessly. Have they ever apologized for the thousands they helped send to the psychiatric ward? Can any Beatles fan account for the disgusting "butchered babies" photo shoot of 1966, because I can find no excuse for it. Maybe Sir McCartney can explain. John Lennon was an abusive father. He had communist wet dreams and imagined there were no countries, yet fortunately was able to move to another country to settle in Manhattan's Upper West Side. And people admire that, just as they admire today's politicians who tour the world in private jets lecturing on how people should stop driving cars.
And yes Beatles music is mediocre. It almost looks like a giant social experiment to test how much the masses could cope with dumbed down popular music, and as it turns out they will cope with a lot. And no rock' n' roll, no black influences please. I'll take one Elvis song over ten Beatles songs any day. Steely Dan came up just a few years after the Beatles mania. Fagen and Becker are at least ten times the songwriters and musicians the Beatles could ever hope to be. There was zero Beatles influence on Steely Dan, as well as on much the British pop of the late 70s and 80s which had countless bands with way more talent than the Beatles... but which the rock industry and critic world and the public continue to ignore. In a normal world, people like Fagen and Becker would enjoy the status of Lennon and McCartney and not the reverse. There would be no Beatles without the enormous marketing and financial machine behind them at the time, just as there would be no Gagas and Rihannas today. People need to wake up. The author is right in saying that critical artistic judgement - I would add, even moral judgement - should be applied to rock and pop artists just as with jazz and classical if they want to be called artists.
"Pompous, self-indulgent, pretentious" define the attitude of most pop stars. I don't mind as long as they have actual talent.
I would disagree that nobody forces anyone to listen to The Beatles, The Beatles and others like U2 or the Rolling Stones are forced upon listeners generation after generation, they get a new media campaign and new remasters every decade or so, while true talents like Lucinda Williams get to crowdfund their projects. As a teenager my confidence in my own tastes was undermined when my father (who didn't even like the Beatles) and even some of my friends tried to explain to me Dead Can Dance or Van Halen (I had eclectic tastes then as I have now) sucked and almost forced some Beatles albums into my hands. I already had a couple and didn't think they were great, and my opinion didn't change with Abbey Road or the White Album. There's no way on earth The Beatles are a better band than Dead Can Dance, for instance, and who is even aware of Dead Can Dance? The Beatles were glaringly ignored by countless later Brit pop talents, for being boring, uninteresting, pompous etc. yet they're still being painted as the greatest band in history, so a conspiracy of some sort is quite obvious to me.