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The Beatles - now I think I "get it"

fishman919

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
383
Throughout my formative music years (early 70's through mid 80's) I never really "got" the Beatles. Talented for sure, but when I started to pay attention to popular music, I considered them overplayed and overhyped. Abbey Road was the only LP I had, and it was actually purchased by my older sister. Of course they were still played all over the radio but I generally ignored their music.

Over the past few weeks I've been listening to their entire catalog with a good set of headphones, chronologically starting at the beginning. While they won't will be one of my favorites, what amazes me is quality and quantity of their songs over a relatively short period of time. For those who's formative period was 10 years before mine, I think I "get it" now.

I know, this is old news for most.

So my question is: In the current climate of streaming, Youtube, social media etc. will anyone be able to duplicate what they accomplished musically? Over 10 studio albums in 7 years seems not possible now, especially at comparable quality levels of songwriting, musicianship, and innovation.

Thoughts?
 
Messages
2,629
I don't think anybody is willing or able to put out essentially two albums per year like the Beatles did, even if they have the songwriting output to allow it. Artists spend much longer in the studio and in production and new recordings come out every few years or every several years. Considering how successful the Beatles were you'd think more artists would emulate their keep-it-fresh approach.
 

ddhr

Member
Messages
390
I don't see how it can be repeated. Their output was amazing over a short period of time and they took advantage of the evolution of studio technology. I think the biggest change (and not just the Beatles) is how much a shared experience music was. We have so much choice now (not bad), that everyone can have a very personalized musical experience. Back then, and for a while, everyone heard a lot of the same songs. Everyone listened to radio or were turned on to new music by friends or various publications. The source for information was much narrower than today. Again, not bad, but different. I don't think we are going back. I would love to experience a repeat!
 

Laurence

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,197
So my question is: In the current climate of streaming, Youtube, social media etc. will anyone be able to duplicate what they accomplished musically? Over 10 studio albums in 7 years seems not possible now, especially at comparable quality levels of songwriting, musicianship, and innovation.

Thoughts?
Musically, solely musically, where someone or a group of someones could evolve and grow and improve from point A to point Z in songwriting, arranging and production? Not talking about popularity, records sales, international fame and influence? It could be done without any general media awareness or involvement, and maybe it has been done several times already unbeknownst to us. The potential of expression and growth is almost limitless and doesn't need to be noticied to be real.
 

wgs1230

Fully Intonatable
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,248
All the conditions that made them what they were no longer exist.
A short list would include the relative novelty of:
1. Their African-American influences, which made many of their cover versions serve as an introduction.
2. Multitrack recording, stereo sound, the LP and signal manipulation of electric guitars.
3. Teenagers with access to disposable income.
4. LSD
5. Toward the end of their run, the advent of FM radio.

You can't unring those bells.
 
Messages
501
I have always loved and respected the Beatles but I also realize that when you're one of the pioneer's in a field everything is much more wide open for you than for those who follow. The Beatles really didn't have to worry about people saying you're just ripping off Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers, The Eagles, Aerosmith, etc. They could just let their incredible imaginations go and everything they put out was new and fresh.
 

StanG

Member
Messages
4,694
A short list would include the relative novelty of:
1. Their African-American influences, which made many of their cover versions serve as an introduction.
2. Multitrack recording, stereo sound, the LP and signal manipulation of electric guitars.
3. Teenagers with access to disposable income.
4. LSD
5. Toward the end of their run, the advent of FM radio.

You can't unring those bells.
It's been written up in many places, but the effect of playing onstage, literally nonstop, in Hamburg, both got them really tight musically, and because they had to cover a lot of different pop music, exposed them to much than the usual rock/blues/country song forms. Tin Pan Alley and the Great American Songbook got into their musical dna and came out later in the wonderful songs they wrote that can still surprise.
 
Messages
1,811
Evolving from Please, Please Me to the Sun King Medley and everything in between.

And EVERYTHING about them evolved! Their music, their style, their consciousness, their approach to music, their studio techniques.....and they took their entire fan base with them! They evolved personally as well and it was that personal evolution that contributed to their demise as band. To this day it never gets old, I still get feels all the time from their music. Epic the the nth degree in so many ways.
 

Killed_by_Death

Senior Member
Messages
18,301
I was probably the only one of my peers to own the White Album as far back as high school. My friends absolutely hated it when a track from that would come on in between Metallica, Testament, or the Ramones.
I got it, even back then, but I don't pine for Beatles stuff. Hearing what little I do on the radio is enough, Come Together, argh, drawing a blank right now...

I've come to enjoy some covers more than the originals:

 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,362
THe thing to realize about non Beatle fans is that most of their heroes WORSHIP the Beatles. I was and still am a Bealtes Superfan from the age of 9 in 1964, the first day they went on Ed's show. WHen I was a kid, I thought there was something wrong with you if you didn't like the Beatles, it did not make sense.
 

SamBooka

Member
Messages
2,222
Even more amazing when you watch the PBS series "sound breaking" and hear George Martin saying that the Beatles were so busy all the time that they would be out digging for a couple weeks and then a day at the studio then off for another Couple of weeks before they can get back to the studio
 






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