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The Beatles are overrated

Radar

Member
Messages
2,455
The fact that so many books still name the Beatles as "the greatest or most significant or most influential" rock band ever only tells you how far rock music still is from becoming a serious art. Jazz critics have long recognized that the greatest jazz musicians of all times are Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, who were not the most famous or richest or best sellers of their times, let alone of all times. Classical critics rank the highly controversial Beethoven over classical musicians who were highly popular in courts around Europe. Rock critics, instead, are still blinded by commercial success. The Beatles sold more than anyone else (not true, by the way), therefore they must have been the greatest. Jazz critics grow up listening to a lot of jazz music of the past, classical critics grow up listening to a lot of classical music of the past. Rock critics are often totally ignorant of the rock music of the past, they barely know the best sellers.

In a sense, the Beatles are emblematic of the status of rock criticism as a whole: too much attention paid to commercial phenomena and too little to the merits of real musicians. If somebody composes the most divine music but no major label picks him up and sells him around the world, most rock critics will ignore him. If a major label picks up a musician who is as stereotyped as can be but launches her or him worldwide, your average critic will waste rivers of ink on her or him. This is the sad status of rock criticism: rock critics are basically publicists working for major labels, distributors and record stores. They simply highlight what product the music business wants to make money from.

Hopefully, one not-too-distant day, there will be a clear demarcation between a great musician like Tim Buckley, who never sold much, and commercial products like the Beatles. At such a time, rock critics will study their rock history and understand which artists accomplished which musical feat, and which simply exploited it commercially.
 

Riffmaster227

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BA465570-9207-4AAA-8537-99925B9D2A35.jpeg
 
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I agree[. Important, influential and iconic? sure. But I think the pedestal they've been put on is oversized. And I've had so much beatles music rammed down my throat for as far back as I have memories, that hearing their songs makes me want to blow my brains out. It's like ACDC but somehow 100x more overdone

I'm interested in watching the new doc though
 

fjblair

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
14,815
I agree[. Important, influential and iconic? sure. But I think the pedestal they've been put on is oversized. And I've had so much beatles music rammed down my throat for as far back as I have memories, that hearing their songs makes me want to blow my brains out. It's like ACDC but somehow 100x more overdone

I'm interested in watching the new doc though

Then you should probably take a pass on a 9 hour documentary.
 

BeeBaa

Member
Messages
1,564
I agree[. Important, influential and iconic? sure. But I think the pedestal they've been put on is oversized. And I've had so much beatles music rammed down my throat for as far back as I have memories, that hearing their songs makes me want to blow my brains out. It's like ACDC but somehow 100x more overdone

I'm interested in watching the new doc though

If you know that hearing Beatles songs will make you want to blow your brains out, does your desire to watch the documentary mean that you’re suicidal. Is this a cry for help.
 

cram

Member
Messages
14,012
I'm actually giving a go at wrapping my head around what you're putting out here -
Is your gripe that they are over-rated because they had too much success and therefore too many resources or attention given to them?
That seems sort of odd as it ignores the basis for life and interaction with the world. If you don't get out of bed in the morning, you go nowhere in life. If you get up and put forth effort; you get in return.
They were enabled and on the edge of developing a new sound in an isolated world-wide market; they blew up.
Not only did they get out of bed each morning, but they put in effort. I believe they had 3 album releases in one year - the year they released help & rubber soul. never mind what didn't make it and what was handed out to artists at the time through their label.

I am re-reading your OP and trying, but I don't get your sticking point for why they are rated too highly. They were THE hottest band at their time and at a time that wasn't diverse - very few delivery mechanisms and isolated markets for EU/US etc.
 




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