The Beatles

Posted: October 2, 2009 in Music

I don’t really want to do this, but I must keep up my bashing of Gen’ Y. I have heard a few things come out of the mouths of Gen’ Yers that have made me a little concerned. The main thing that has to my attention is the belief that a number of Gen’ Yers have that The Beatles are lame and overrated. They don’t seem to realise that The Beatles were the most influential rock group ever and that popular music would be much different today, for better or worse, if John, Paul, George and Ringo had never met.

Now I must say that the Gen’ Yers that have outright called The Beatles lame had very awful musical tastes themselves. One of them was a country music fan, while the other was into Limp Bizkit-esque crap and thought that a turn-tablist and a drum machine programmer were considered musicians. The truth is that many of today’s musicians owe a debt of gratitude to The Beatles whether they know it or not.

Where would pop music and rap be today without sampling. Early this year Kid Rock had a number 1 hit with a sang that plagiarised sampled Warren Zevon’s Werewolves of London and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama, while a couple of years ago Alicia Keys sampled Stevie Wonder’s Superstition. Sampling probably didn’t become a popular technique until the late 80s and early 90s when MC Hammer sampled Rick James and Vanilla Ice ripped of Queen, but The Beatles used a few samples in their more psychedelic songs. However, The Beatles did not use someone else’s blood sweat and tears to form the basis of their songs, but instead sampled interesting sounds and compositions that they themselves made in the studio.

Heavy metal is not a genre of music normally associated with The Beatles yet there are a few examples that may suggest that they were one of the early pioneers of heavy metal. Songs such as Revolution, Hey Bulldog and Yer Blues by John Lennon really rock whilst surprisingly The Beatles heaviest moment belongs to Paul McCartney’s Helter Skelter. McCartney is best known for his sugary sweet ballads and love songs yet Helter Skelter is undoubtedly one of the great early metal songs.

As I mention above McCartney was well known for his syrupy ballads and he is directly to blame for singers like James Blunt. Still for every piece of rubbish like The Long And Winding Road that McCartney wrote there are always some of his greater ballads like Yesterday and Hey Jude that are two of the most perfect pop songs ever written.

Emo music is a derivative of what us Gen’ X’ers called Goth and is music that displays lots of self loathing and hopelessness. Lennon’s Yer Blues contains the ultimate Emo lyrics “I’m lonely, want to die, if I ain’t dead already, girl you know the reason why…’, whilst even Help! was a cry for Help and hopelessness mixed in with upbeat jingly pop.

I could go on and on about how great and innovative The Beatles were but I believe that the best thing (and easiest thing) to do is just to list some of their more brilliant songs and show how diverse their song writing was. Ultimately it is not easy to dismiss The Beatles as it is to dismiss a band today, as they are a band who didn’t have just one style but were very diverse musically. Today most bands just find one style and never divert from it.

• Come Together
• Yer Blues
• Don’t Let Me Down
• Something
• Here Comes The Sun
• Back In The USSR
• While My Guitar Gently Weeps
• Helter Skelter
• Help!
• Ticket To Ride
• Yesterday
• Let It Be
• Two Of Us
• Get Back
• Magical Mystery Tour
• Strawberry Fields For Ever
• I Am The Walrus
• Hello Goodbye
• Penny Lane
• Twist And Shout
• I Saw Her Standing There
• Day Tripper
• Paperback Writer
• Eleanor Rigby
• A Day In The Life
• All My Loving
• Hey Bulldog
• Baby, You’re A Rich Man
• Yellow Submarine
• A Hard Day’s Night
• Can’t Buy Me Love
• I Feel Fine
• Eight Days A Week

I really could go on and on with this you know…

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