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Thread: The Beatles appraised

  1. #16
    Christabel
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanAntone View Post
    The Beatles were a band I listened to when I was a teenager (I'm 68). It was just what was on the radio, along with a lot of other music I liked just as much. But it didn't take long to realize that they were different, their records got progressively more complex and just better than the music around them. The Beach Boys kept up for a while - and then the Beatles were gone.

    I don't listen to them (or any of that kind of music) hardly anymore, and think of them as a great band from the '60s and leave it at that.

    I am not interested in mythologizing them, like it appears to be the case with the documentary posted (of which I watched the first few minutes, but turned it off as the first YouTube ad kicked in).
    Howard Goodall is a composer himself and he has made quite a lot of programs on music - from popular to classical. He isn't mythologizing The Beatles, neither is he doing the same to Cole Porter - another subject of his "Twentieth Century Greats". He analyses what they did in musical terms and discussed this, which you would have seen had you followed the program to its end. Yes, the ads are infuriating!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    I forgot to mention in my opening comments that the reason I brought up this topic is that Ringo turned 80 yesterday.
    And to think back in 1964, when he was asked what he would do after leaving the Beatles, he said he'd open a couple hairdressing shops.

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  4. #18
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    Howard Goodall is a composer himself and he has made quite a lot of programs on music - from popular to classical. He isn't mythologizing The Beatles, neither is he doing the same to Cole Porter - another subject of his "Twentieth Century Greats". He analyses what they did in musical terms and discussed this, which you would have seen had you followed the program to its end. Yes, the ads are infuriating!!
    I don't know but IMO subjecting their music to musicological analysis is the kind of "mythologizing" that I was referring to. Maybe "mythologizing" is the wrong word, but I generally prefer to listen to the music instead of a dissection of it.

    That said, they were arguably the greatest pop band to appear in the last half of the 20th century.
    Last edited by SanAntone; Jul-09-2020 at 00:24.

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  6. #19
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    The Beatles.

    Nothing like them before or since.

    Absolutely influential on music. They'll be remembered for well over a hundred years.

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  8. #20
    Senior Member pianozach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post

    A documentary was made about the Beatles by Howard Goodall: he gives an excellent account of these missions and this is highly recommended:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQS91wVdvYc
    THIS video was truly interesting . . . . he did occasionally take longer than needed to make a point, but that's OK.

    There was so much else about their music, their influence on other aspects of culture, their legacy . . . and he surely just didn't have the time. Obviously he's a fan . . . he just drops several songs live . . .

    Last edited by pianozach; Jul-09-2020 at 06:31.

  9. #21
    Christabel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manxfeeder View Post
    And to think back in 1964, when he was asked what he would do after leaving the Beatles, he said he'd open a couple hairdressing shops.
    Given that part of their livery was "mop-tops" I think the hairdressing motif is interesting and ironic!!!

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  11. #22
    Senior Member SONNET CLV's Avatar
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    I remain a fan of The Beatles music. I grew up in the era of Beatlemania, and I've heard a lot of the debates about how great they were or were not and if they were a great performing band or rather a talented song-writing team, etc. etc.

    That all aside, one of the most critical lasting effects of The Beatles is how many other bands they influenced into existence: how many bands sprang up from kids who got interested in playing a musical instrument and forming a "band" because they wanted to be like these guys from Liverpool, England. Popular music enriched greatly because of The Beatles, and I don't know of any other performer that actually had so profound an effect upon young people wanting to be musical.

    My Beatles collection (a rather substantial one) is alive and well and constantly spinning on my turntables or CD decks. And when I'm not listening to The Beatles on my stereo, I may be found strumming their songs on my ol' guitar. And I don't expect that to change during my lifetime.

  12. #23
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    The range of types of songs and subjects of those songs that The Beatles explored and developed is quite remarkable. Everything from tight harmony singing, utterly pure Pop, exploring sounds previously unheard in popular music, and developing a whole world of druggy psychedelic music and lyrics--all this as noted previously inspiring a host of others to form bands and create music... Only Dylan can boast a record of similar influence, and it is significant that their careers so closely overlapped in the 1960s. The world of today makes it impossible to replicate the rise and development and influence of any contemporary phenomenon.

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  14. #24
    Senior Member Belowpar's Avatar
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    Sadly my ability to enjoy their hits is ruined today by complete over familiarisation, due to life these days having a soundtrack wherever you go - whether you want it or not. (A lot of other music I loved, has also been stolen from me in this way).


    Last week I listened to "Beatles for Sale" which I've never owned. The freshness, verve and vitality was all there. I'm old enough to remember the excitement they caused and how their quality helped change cultural appreciation of 'popular art'. They stand at the summit of popular music in the Rock and Roll era.



    Sad that I can no longer get pleasure from their mature works. Not the Beatles fulat at all, but still a shame.

    I read recently that Cage's 4'33" was a reaction to the musac you hear in elevators etc.... IMO Silence is much preferable to over familiarity, but it seems like I'm in a minority

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I like the way in which they were ahead of the curve at times - i.e. they were largely responsible for psychedelia in this country and then they unceremoniously kicked it into touch (with Lady Madonna) while the UK pop scene was still 'turning on'.
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

    ὃν οἱ θεοὶ φιλοῦσιν ἀποθνῄσκει νέος [Those whom the gods love die young] - Menander

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  18. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belowpar View Post

    I read recently that Cage's 4'33" was a reaction to the musac you hear in elevators etc.... IMO Silence is much preferable to over familiarity, but it seems like I'm in a minority
    Back in the '80s, I didn't listen to music at all, so my knowledge of '80s hits comes from elevators and doctors' waiting rooms. True story. Of course, many of the hits were repackaged into nonoffensive pablum, so when I finally heard them for the first time thanks to Spotify, it was shocking.

  19. #27
    Senior Member Dulova Harps On's Avatar
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    Huge fan here. You won't hear a bad word about them from me.

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  21. #28
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    Love the Beatles! Rubber Soul and Revolver are my favorites, but like them all (maybe not so much Let It Be). I'm also a huge Beach Boys fan, and I think the competition between these two bands produced some incredible music.

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  23. #29
    Senior Member SanAntone's Avatar
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    A little off-topic, but has anyone else seen the movie Yesterday? Interesting premise (has to do with The Beatles) and actually ended up being better than I expected.

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  25. #30
    Senior Member philoctetes's Avatar
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    tbh around May I rediscovered All Things Must Pass... during hard shutdown and lots of angry controversy... first when driving with Leon Russell and the Shelter People - Beware of Darkness - what a great great song... then wallowing at home on George's solo album for almost a week... it was just what I needed at the time...

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