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The Beatles: Most overated band of all time?

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Showing 151-175 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on Aug 11, 2010 12:39:58 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2010 12:42:06 AM PDT
D. Mok says:
> I don't agree. John was just as talented as Paul. George wrote one of the greatest love songs of all
> time. "Something" has been called that, you know. Ringo was a mediocre drummer, but lovable.

The question was "Were The Beatles overrated", not "Were The Beatles good".

Ringo Starr was always recognized as a technically simple drummer (couldn't do rolls, apparently), but he worked very well for the music. Hardly "overrated".

John Lennon's music bores the living *&^% out of me. There's only one post-Beatles song of his I like -- "Imagine". He is arrogant, overrates himself, and the musical complexity that The Beatles were known for disappeared from his music the minute McCartney ceased to be involved. Lennon never wrote a song as melodically interesting as "Say Say Say", "Live and Let Die" or "I'd Have You Anytime". Plus:

- He unleashed Yoko Ono on us.
- When he heard the stone-cold classic "Let It Be", he thought it was crap because it was sentimental -- and this was from the guy who wrote the sugary, barely literate hippie lyrics of "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance".
- He was the one responsible for that moronic "bigger than Jesus" comment.
- He said rock died when Elvis Presley went in the army. Asinine, untrue and small-minded.
- He had enough pretension for all four Beatles. Just the title and cover of Two Virgins were enough.
- He wrote some truly awful songs -- like "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Whatever Gets You thru the Night" -- and he had the gall to slam McCartney's post-Beatles songwriting, which was way stronger than his.
- He is a tremendously overrated singer, bland and lacking in richness. Beatles-obsessed critics are so desperate to put him on a pedestal because of his assassination that they routinely put him above truly great singers like Michael Jackson, James Brown, Ray Charles, Jeff Buckley, and also Paul McCartney, whose pitch and expression Lennon could not match.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 12:49:37 AM PDT
Iceblossom says:
Donald -- There are plenty of people that disagree with me that don't get so defensive and answer the questions I ask because they know I am interested in the responses.

But again, may I point out, you are spending your time attacking me and not answering the questions. Again, not that you have to, you may continue to attack me if you'd rather, but I am here to discuss music.

So here's two recycled ones --

(1) If you had to listen and categorize random music from different genres and different time periods, without using any preconceptions on the songs or the bands that played them, and with the knowledge of the last 50 years of music -- what would you say about "I want to hold your hand" or, if you'd rather "Love Me Do". How would you categorize the songs in a sentence or less?

(2) Name a popular song from within the last ten years that you could/would compare in style or popularity with the early Beatles catalog. Since compare and contrast takes more than the synopsis in question (1) a couple of paragraphs could be used.

To say that there is nothing that compares is not a legitimate answer. If I am the ill-informed one and I can think of something, I'm sure you can do better than me.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 1:57:23 AM PDT
bella6626 says:
But, Iceblossom, the term "classic rock" did exist in my world. And, I am a baby-boomer. It may not have existed in your world, but it certainly did exist. You grew up in Alaska. I grew up all over the US and it's territories. I became musically aware in the mid 50s. The radio stations I listened to in the 60s did refer to previous rock as "classic rock" here in California.

I would never ridicule you for a personal opinion. Generalized statements are pretty dangerous, they can be misunderstood by many. Lizst, Gilbert & Sullivan, and Cole Porter were great, too. So were the Sousa marches. I listen to them every fourth of July. I'm a Navy brat, so they were part of my life, as well.

There are some Beatles songs that definitely can stand on their own in any era. Love Me Do stood out as one. Yesterday is another. All My Lovin, Any Time At All, I'll Get You, I Saw Her Standing There, and many, many more can all stand the test of time.

You have to remember, I AM a baby-boomer. I don't like Rap or Hip-Hop. My taste in music is very eclectic. R&B to me is a whole lot different than the R&B of today. Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Richard "Dimples" Keith are the R&B I listened to. There is no way I can separate the music from the times. I don't think the music I listened to is any more earth shattering than any of your music is to you. Music is very personal. People have different emotional needs and likes and dislikes. The Beatles brought about a new way of thinking and delivering music. They changed rock-n-roll forever. They made it possible for bands to experiment with all kinds of genres and instruments.

The fact that you don't think it has any more earth shattering significance than other music of other generations is a personal opinion. You are definitely free to believe that, but to millions of people all over the world it changed our lives and opened up more than was there before them. They were there and gone before you were musically aware. So, of course you are not going to feel their music the way I do. That doesn't make me right or you wrong. It just makes us different.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 2:37:45 AM PDT
Pepper says:
Bella6626: I am just a bit older than a baby boomer and never felt changed or made more aware of music because of the Beatles. That is what
the discussion started out with. Right? Whether they are/were overrated? But I still love Pink Floyd and Van Morrison. The Beatles did change the direction of pop music (because indeed, that's what it is), but other bands came along and improved upon what the Beatles started. I was in my 20's when they were popular and at that time, anything British would sell. Movies and music went over to the Isles for stars (remember "Alfie"?) and musicians (even Richard Harris!). Out of the 700 or so albums I have on CD (not counting vinyl), I may have one Beatles album. But the day John Lennon was shot, my son and I bought Lennon's last album that had just come out and it hasn't been opened since. We knew something important had happened.
I think these discussions are okay, but when the dickering starts, it becomes childish and boring. I offered my 5-cents just because I am a woman who was there when the Beatles made it.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 2:48:51 AM PDT
bella6626 says:
D. Mok, Now, see, all of your points are personal opinions. Yes, Paul was and still is extremely talented, but so was John. Have you seen Paul's Animated Movies? They are woderful. John didn't live long enough to write movie themes, except for HELP and A Hard Day's Night. John and Paul collaborated on most of their songs, but I preferred John. I liked his gritty sound better than Paul's sweetness. But, in reality, I loved their collaborations.

I didn't care for Yoko, either. That was his opinion about Let It Be, not mine. I did love Imagine and Give Peace A Chance. I was a hippie, and a peace activist, so they had a special significance to me. They WERE bigger than Jesus. It was an unfortunate choice of words, but in fact, it was true at that time. Rock did die when Elvis went into the Army. Elvis, post Army, was boring and mostly sang ballads. He was much more rock-n-roll during his Sun Records days. I don't think John was any more pretensious than Paul. He didn't beat up Stuart Sutcliffe, Paul did. I didn't like Starting Over either. Nor, Whatever Gets You Though The Night. I don't think Paul's songs were any stronger than his. In my opinion they were simple, short and repetitive. A few really stood out, but for the most part they just did not appeal to me. Paul didn't write protest songs. John did. Like I stated at the beginning of this post, I loved John's voice. I also loved the way their voices complimented each other. Some people have put John on a pedestal, but he was a man of peace who was taken from us for no reason. Your last statement is a matter of personal taste. While I do like James Brown, and Ray Charles and Paul McCartney, the only MJ songs I like were in his Thriller days. I don't remember who Jeff Buckley was.

You have your opinions and I have mine. I don't think the Beatles, as a band, were overrated. I think they were brilliant and perfect for the times.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 3:47:18 AM PDT
bella6626 says:
Iceblossom, you are asking questions that are impossible to answer. How on earth does one compare apples to oranges?

I think both IWTHYH and Love Me Do were brilliant.

As for the second question, I can't realy answer it. I haven't really listened to rock-n-roll in the last ten years, unless you consider Sting rock. I don't. I think of him more as jazz. In the last ten years I have been listening to mostly French, Italian, or Classical. I like two Rob Thomas songs and one Kelly Clarkson song, but most of today's rock leaves me cold. My kids listen to a lot of Gansta Rock and I hate it. They hate my music, too. lol

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 3:55:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2010 4:07:02 AM PDT
bella6626 says:
CrankyOldWoman, I never said The Beatles made me more aware of music. I said I became musically aware in the mid 50s. I was 8 or 9 when I became aware of who was singing what. Iceblossom was born only three years before the Beatles got here. I doubt that a 3 year old is aware of who is singing what or what the music means.

I hope you don't think that I was bickering. I was answering Iceblossom's questions. That's all. That is what she asked us to do.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 8:57:03 AM PDT
D. Mok says:
> Now, see, all of your points are personal opinions.

Of course they are. Isn't that the point of having a forum? And of course you can post what you believe in response. I know a lot of people are moved by John Lennon's music, especially the Plastic Ono Band era. I just can't relate in any degree.

But I'm going to take issue with your statement here:

> Rock did die when Elvis went into the Army. Elvis, post Army, was boring and mostly sang ballads.

He happened to be a great ballad singer. Besides, "Suspicious Minds"? "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"? The gospel material?

And "Before Elvis, there was nothing" (Another Lennon quotation)? Fats Domino? Chuck Berry? Little Richard? Robert Johnson? John Lee Hooker? B.B. King? Bill Haley and His Comets?

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 8:58:55 AM PDT
Janice Roman says:
Some people here are misunderstanding what i mean by overrated. I'll say it again: By overrated, I mean that their "musical creations", if you will, are not really that great. I completely acknowledge their massive impact on music, hell, on human society itself, but in my personal opinion, The Beatles are just not "the best band ever".

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 8:59:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2010 9:18:37 AM PDT
iceblossom :

RE : "I don't think it has any more earth shattering significance than the music of any other generation."
Name ANY rock or pop band you like that has come out since the Beatles.......they wouldnt exist without the Beatles. Part of the Beatles importance was how influential they were.

D. Mok :

Alot of your complaints about Lennon could also be made against Paul McCartney.
You say Lennon did "some truly awful songs".....What about 'Ebony and Ivory' by McCartney ? - talk about sappy and sugary. Or 'The Girl Is Mine' with McCartney & Michael Jackson (another artist you rate higher than Lennon). That has to be one of the sappiest songs in pop music. As for you not liking John Lennon because you dont like Yoko, that's just a stupid argument. Do you always judge someone, because you don't like their spouse/partner ? Alot of people don't understand or 'get' Yoko, that's ok, but it shouldnt alter your opinion of Lennon.
I like McCartney alot, but i also like Lennon just as much, and the Beatles wouldnt have been the same without either one of them.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 9:02:02 AM PDT
No, they are the best band of all time because they were the first, the prototype for all that followed.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 9:18:32 AM PDT
I love the Beatles, even as a 15 year old, way past their initial generation. But that's what makes the Beatles so great, perhaps even timeless. Their music never goes out of style, and their influence can be seen everywhere. Overated? I don't think so. My problem is that a lot of modern bands are unfairly ranked againsted "elites" such as The Beatles, mostly due to nostalgia and hype generated by people who have been lifetime fans of groups such as The Beatles. IMO, a band like Radiohead, relatively unknown compared to the Beatles, is at least an equal to the fab four in terms of talent and willing to change. The Beatles had "Hey Jude," but Radiohead had "Paranoid Android."

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 9:46:05 AM PDT
Dave Young says:
Kind of a silly question. It all depends on a person's taste in music. There are a lot of people that love the Beatles, and a lot that don't. It's that simple. If a billion people love them and think they are the greatest band ever, then that's their opinion, and of course there are going to be those that disagree.

Personally I love the Beatles and think they deserve the acclaim they have received and continue to receive.

Now take U2 for example. I wouldn't pay a $2 cover charge if they were playing at the pub up the road. But their legions of fans are willing to pay a whole lot more and fill up stadiums to see them play. And more power to them. I don't think this makes U2 overrated, it just means I don't appreciate them as much as their hardcore fanbase does.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 9:47:02 AM PDT
Now I'm defensive as well as dishonest...

Reading is fundamental. I told you that even though it came out in 63, IWTHYH sounds to me like 50s rock & roll and I love 50s rock & roll. If it came out to today, sounding exactly as it does, I would still like it because it sounds like 50s rock & roll. You didn't see my previous post where I wrote that?

There is all kinds of stuff that at least partially compares to the Beatles in popularity. As far as styles go, I really can't think of any. The most recent major Beatles sound-alike is Oasis. But they sound more like mid-period to late era Beatles...

I reviewed every Billboard number one for the last decade. I am in the process of reviewing every UK number one but it takes time...

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 9:48:25 AM PDT
Yes, yes and yes

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 9:51:49 AM PDT
Iceblossom says:

Thanks for attempting to answer my questions. A few years plus/minus does make a difference. To clarify I did not spend all my life in Alaska, I was an Army brat and lived there from the ages of 10-23, excepting a year in Idaho and summers in Wash DC (the year Nixon resigned) and Pennsylvannia. Especially when it comes to music, I have memories from much earlier than most people, I have "complete" memories back to kindergarten (no I can't tell you what I had for lunch on June 7, 1965, but I can certainly tell you where I lived, things about people who lived around me, what was on the radio, specific memorable events, things I did in kindergarten, etc.). I do have spottier memories when I was 3 and my father served his first tour in Viet Nam, I lived in Burien Washington in a two-bedroom house with wood floors and this strange green corrugated new fangled porch roof. Down the street is the grade school that later became unwantedly famous because it was where Mary Kay Letorneau taught. I do remember the first time the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan (mostly because my father was back home and I was allowed to stay up late), and I fully remember the second time and waiting with anticipation. I do, as I already said, remember going to the Beatles movies and having to stand in line for a full show in order to do so - and I remember the movies once I was inside. But anyway, I digress. And I do admit that I have the memories of a little girl, a little girl who listend to music all right, but a little girl.

However, hearing songs on the car radio when I was 5 was not the only time I heard the Beatles. I've mentioned before that by the time I heard the Beatles as "someone I would want to listen to" they had basically broken up. That doesn't mean that I didn't have them in my music collection and I didn't listen to them in my teens. It doesn't mean I haven't heard Beatles music for the last almost 50 years.

I would say though that the term "classic rock" today has a different sound and meaning than what the radio called classic rock in the 60s. There is no Bill Hailey and the Comets on a "modern classic rock station" (shudder the terms we come up with) The question is not so much the term but what is meant with the term, as is my using the term boy band that so many took instant umbrage with and who are set using their own definitions for it that are designed to exclude the Beatles from the definition (as I use mine, which I detaiied several reasons why I use the term) of insisting you could not be a boy band and still use instruments. Or that you weren't a boy band if you wrote your own materials (refusing to say anything about all the cover songs the Beatles did early in their career). Did any of you look at the wiki entry I linked on "boy band"? Honestly, I had never seen it since yesterday but I can see how some of you might think I have.

I'm not saying there are no classic Beatles song. In fact, in my first post I wrote that Paul & John did write many classics that can stand the test of time. They just aren't all classics.

Again, in my first post I said that it was the Beatles own desire to change and grow that did make it possible to open up music to other bands and possibilities.

No difference in our thinking there.

What I have been saying all along is that there is a difference between the early Beatles and the later Beatles. It is my belief that the early catchy poppy recordbreaking "boy band" music is what paid/allowed for them to be creative and to grow and change. Most record labels don't like change, they want you to recreate your hit over and over again.

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "Love Me Do" are indeed catchy, brilliant pop songs. I've got no problems with them on that level. But, as I've said in other posts in this thread, listening to them NOW as if they were any other recorded piece of music, without knowing them to be Beatles songs would you really describe them, on their own, as music changing masterpieces of rock? Would you describe them as rock at all?

Personally, I know I wouldn't. You may. It is natural that we think that the stuff we like is "better" when it is merely only "different". And before someone jumps in with "oh yeah, name 10 bands better than the Beatles" I'm not going there, although I could easily list 10 bands I listen to more than the Beatles. In fact I'll state that the Beatles as a band are better than many many other bands out there. But I'm still not declaring them the best band ever. Some of you may never have a point in your life when a Beatles song is not the perfect musical compliment, but for most of the last 35 years at least of my life at least, I've had other music to listen to.

But it is because I was not part of Beatles mania that I can see them more objectively. Objective does not mean negative. I can and do say nice things about the Beatles. I can and do sometimes enjoy their music even almost 50 years later, although I admittedly don't listen much to music from that time period. (Ok, I have my Dylan phases every now and then) In fact, other than the term "boy band made good" and asking one question about them sometimes not actually singing in concert, I don't believe I've said a single negative thing about the Beatles.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 9:59:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2010 10:07:57 AM PDT
D. Solomon says:
When your music is appreciated and widely purchased 40plus years after it is released, how can you call it overrated? Was Beethoven overrated? Was Louis Armstrong overrated? How about Elvis Presley? The point is, whatever your musical tastes, you may not care for their music, but by reputation alone, they cannot be overrated.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 10:05:25 AM PDT
I completely agree with this post and your first.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 10:05:49 AM PDT
Iceblossom says:

Ok, so you are going to like anyone who comes out with something that sounds like 50s rock and roll. Fair enough, I guess.

The point of my post before wasn't really to find something that sounds like the Beatles, it was to find something to compare the Beatles to, and how you would rank them if you took away any preconcieved ideas and personal attachments for the Beatles song in question.

If you are looking for something that sounds like the Beatles, the Australian band Jet (or at least their first album) has probably the most deliberate sound-like-the-Beatles of recent bands.

Their big song in the states was used in one of the first ipod commericals, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl", but "Look What You've Done" is definitely Beatles homage material.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 10:09:27 AM PDT
A pre-MTV boy band where they at least had to have talent, but didn't have to have 'the look'.
Remember, the marketing machine that the music industry is didn't exist then and if it did, talent or not, the Beatles probably wouldn't have been as successful.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 10:10:06 AM PDT
I like where you're going with this

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 10:21:50 AM PDT
Oh Carol, don't let m steal your heart away...

Up after midnight defending yourself I see.

"A band playing poppy music with catchy hooks that appeals primarily to tween and teen girls made up of 4 cute guys in matching outfits = a boy band."

At first glance in today's age that comment would make sense.
But at its time in history it doesn't hold together as well.

"playing poppy music with catchy hooks"

The Beatle music at that time was NOT considered pop.
Andy Williams
Pat Boone
Doris Day
Sammy Davis
Frank Sinatra
Tony Bennett
Perry Como

THAT was pop music

Artist like Chuck Berry and The Beach Boys were rock and roll

And some like Ricky Nelson were able to bridge that gap.

"appeals primarily to tween and teen girls"

Once again, Wrong.
The Beatles music appealed to masses of males too.

"made up of 4 cute guys"

Actually they dumped their best looking member and the one that got all the girls.
Pete Best
And brought in the not so good looking short Ringo.

"in matching outfits"

Didn't the bands backing up Count Basie and Sinatra, etc... all wear matching outfits?

Posted on Aug 11, 2010 10:42:17 AM PDT
"Beatles songs would you really describe them, on their own, as music changing masterpieces of rock? Would you describe them as rock at all?"

Top Singles of 1963
She Loves You
Louie Louie
Hey Paula
It's My Party
Be My Baby

To me, compared to the others ~ especially the primitive Louie ~ She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand DO sound like masterpieces.

Masterpieces of rock and roll that is.

[perhaps a new thread is in order : Where do you define the start of "ROCK" Music?]

By the way... I think Love Me Do sucks.

And I even have a thread where I state that I do not listen to anything pre-Rubber Soul.
It is TOO rock and roll for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 10:47:17 AM PDT
Iceblossom says:
SA --

I understand what you are saying about understanding the Beatles in their time and not taking them out of context.

I've been saying to take them out of context and to compare some of their songs just as music, not as the Beatles, not as the voice of the turbulent 1960s but to compare them to work by Cole Porter or Stephen Foster or someone from today or whoever.

I've never said that the Beatles did not appeal to males. I have said that the early music had a far greater fan female fan appeal. which Bella has backed up that at the two concerts she went to were mostly female with a scattering of males. The Beatles were a band that crossed various lines, but you can't make it out that everyone loved them back then either. That there weren't the detractors calling them Mopheads and later dirty hippies or whatever. As the Beatles progressed and changed they did acquire a larger and larger male following than what they had in the beginning.

As far as the artists you listed, yes, they still had songs on the radio in the 60s. But for popular I think you need to include more acts like
Bobby Vinton
Paul & Paula
4 Seasons
Leslie Gore

Still its a problem to have changing terms to describe anything. It's why the Catholic church used the dead language latin.

As far as the "cuteness" factor goes, I remeber contests about who's the cutest Beatle (usually Paul although there were always devotees of John and George and plenty of us who liked good old Ringo), but I sure don't remember any contests about who's the cutest Rolling Stone...

I already addressed the matching outfits part. Sure, part of that era was to have matching outfits. But it was their manager who made them wear them in the beginning -- for the appeal -- and they did until they had amassed enough power to say they weren't going to do that any more.

BTW, as far as defending myself until midnight, due to health issues (chronic pain and I'm losing my eyesight) I'm not currently working and my husband works a second shift. So I'm usually up until after midnight when the hubby comes home and then I say good bye to all of you and Hello Nurse! (no, he isn't a nurse it's sort of a joke for those that get the reference) But you can think it was something special if you want.

I've always rather liked Ricky Nelson. It's a shame he died as young as he did, would have liked to hear more of his later sound.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010 10:47:32 AM PDT
Congrats on being able to ID things when you were 5 years old

All I definitely recall were 3 things :
the bad : having to get on the bus that first day of kindergarten
the good : nap time in kindergarten
the trippy : there was a DEEP hole in the playground that we all thought went to hell
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