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Are The Beatles any more "overated" than Elvis Presley, Micheal Jackson, Led Zeplin, Jimmy Hendrix, The Doors, Nirvana, .. .

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Showing 51-75 of 187 posts in this discussion
Posted on Jan 9, 2012, 6:24:34 PM PST
Name anyone and I (or someone else) can dig for examples of borrowing, plagarizing, sampling is a sweet word to use...okay you can find fault with Elvis and the Beatles but you can't really look at yourself in the mirror and say someone else is better...maybe you can mix and match the type 5 but your not going to be able to say Deep Purple or the Eagles are better than the Beatles, because they just don't have the track record or the influence...influence has alot to do with rankings...the Eagles were a great singles band but in terms of originality and influence it's just not there...but you can't disavow someone or a group that lasted 30 years or so even if it wasn't'll be interesting to see who gets in the rock and roll hall of fame this year the nominees are between Laura Nyro who was a great songwriter not a big hit selling artist, guns and roses who had 3-4 great selling albums before fizzling into obscruity and coming back a little in recent years...there's a couple more knocking on the hall of fame's door...but as the years past it gets harder and now we're up to 1986 or so in the year of who breaks in that gets a new nominee hopeful...this was the period not alot of great artists were breaking in...i think Pearl Jam is a no brainer...Nirvana will get in...not sure about Dave Matthews band, my guess they will because a lack of thereof...and they did influence alot of people already believe it or not.

Posted on Jan 9, 2012, 8:08:53 PM PST
MH says:

"Since you want everyone to move on, I am wondering why you posted a comment continuing the discussion."

I was actually tired of reading yet another plagiarism debate about Led Zeppelin. It's the same things being said over and over and I honestly don't see the need for that. Everyone in the forum knows about these issues, so why not try to focus on the music for once. That's why I suggested everyone to move on, knowing well it would never happen.

What made me want to comment your post was the fact that you put The Beatles as the moral compass when it comes to decent behaviour vs. plagiarism. You know, one of the songs Led Zeppelin got pummeled for is "Whole Lotta Love". Zep settled out of court with Dixon, who wrote "You Need Love" for Muddy Waters. Listen to both songs and you will find no similarities apart from some phrases song by Plant. The melody is entirely different.

Now try and listen to Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me", where the second verse goes:

"New Jersey Turnpike in the wee wee hours
I was rolling slowly 'cause of drizzlin' showers
Here come old flattop he was movin' up with me
Then come wavin' goodbye
In a little old souped up jitney
I put my foot in my tank and I begin to roll
Moanin' sirens, t'was the state patrol
So I let out my wings and then I blew my horn
Bye-bye New Jersey I become airborne"

John Lennon got his "inspiration" for the lyrics to "Come Together" from this song, even the old flattop is included. I don't think it went to court, but it is every bit a theft as Plant using a few phrases from "You Need Love".

"Whole Lotta Love" is now credited Bonham, Jones, Page, Plant and Dixon as it should be.

"Come Together" is still credited Lennon where it should be credited Lennon and Berry.

In my view the "Whole Lotta Love" issue is closed, it's settled, the history is now correct. But the issue is not settled for "Come Together". The credits are not right, the history is wrong. May I ask why you don't feel "Come Together" is a bigger issue than "Whole Lotta Love"? Here at least it makes sense to fight to get the credits right, doesn't it?

Another example of Beatles "borrowing" from other artists can be found in Shangri-La's "Remember Walkin' in the sand", where the verse is exactly the same as the bridge in "Free As a Bird" sung by Paul first, then by George.

Take a listen to

and you will recognize the same part used in "Free As a Bird".

It seems to me you should be equally outraged about Beatles and Zeppelin. But I sense you find excuses for Beatles and call them lazy, which is a much milder verdict than using the terms "big guys", "wealthy", "getting them out of an unpleasant predicament". Beatles are benign and can be excused. Zep are a bunch of unsympathetic bullies that cheat the innocent and poor songwriter out of the last penny.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2012, 11:06:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2012, 11:35:16 PM PST
I wasn't going to respond to your post because, as you said, it's time to move on, and this argument shouldn't be taking over this thread. Besides it's very late and it's time to be logging off. However, I did want to clear up one issue.

You misinterpreted my comment about the standard set by the Beatles. I was not making them a moral compass or referring to anything having to do with plagiarism or ethics. I said, "a self-contained band writing, singing, and performing their own music, the standard set by the Beatles." Before the Beatles no one expected performers to write their own music. Some like Buddy Holly did. Others didn't. It was no big thing. Then the Beatles came along with the Lennon-McCartney songwriting team and changed everything. It soon became an EXPECTATION that a band should write their own music. And, herein lies the problem. I'm sure many of these artists feel tremendous pressure to compose and write lyrics. It's no longer enough to be a terrific vocalist or musician ...if an artist doesn't write their own songs, many people don't consider them the real thing. I'm sure seeing how much more money you make if you write your own music is an added incentive!

But songwriting doesn't come naturally to everybody the way it did to Lennon & McCartney. George Harrison admitted that it was a struggle for him.

I'm sure you know the story of how the Stones manager put Jagger and Richards in a room and said he wasn't going to let them out until they wrote a song (and they proved themselves equal to the task!).

So, the standard set by the Beatles that I was referring to was to be a self-contained band, writing the songs, singing the songs, and playing the instruments. That was what every band now aspired to be. Just one of the many ways the Beatles influenced the musical landscape.

Posted on Jan 12, 2012, 12:41:10 AM PST
But what's the point if the Beatles, George Harrison, John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, Elvis or anybody whoever released music for the world to consume may have lifted something from another doesn't change the fact of all the joy and inspiration these artists created...sure we can find negative things about any artist that ever performed/recorded but to bring it up is's like reading a book that's completely negative what's the point? Get over it! The Beatles, Elvis, Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Led Zep etc etc etc were great artists.

Posted on Jun 5, 2012, 11:12:23 AM PDT
Steelers fan says:
Lennon was indeed taken to court over "Come Together" by Morris Levy, who owned the rights to Berry's "You Can't Catch Me". To compensate Levy, John agreed to record some oldies, and the "Rock n' Roll" album mess began.

Posted on Sep 25, 2012, 7:44:00 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 25, 2012, 3:32:42 PM PDT]

Posted on Sep 25, 2012, 8:48:23 AM PDT
Fischman says:
Not a big Oliver Stone fan here, but it's almost impossible to overstate what an @$$ Jim could be, at least if you put any stock in "No One Here Gets Out Alive," IMO a far better, more complete and more accurate depiction of Jim. Having said that, I must add that the Doors were exceptional musicians, totally unique, and remain a very impressive band today despite their frontman's many failings.

As for the core of this thread, as much as I don't care for the Fab Four, I must acknowledge that they did some amazing things with music, rather than just with a particular style or flash, which puts them far ahead of most of the folks on the list. Yeah, they're dreadfully overrated, but certainly not moreso than most of the folks on this list.

Posted on Sep 25, 2012, 8:54:21 AM PDT
D. Mok says:
No, because "overated" is not a word, and there are no musicians named "Micheal Jackson" or "Jimmy Hendrix", and no group called "Led Zeplin".

As for "overrated"...emphatically, yes. The Beatles are overrated by more people than any other group or artist. The most fervent fanatics of every group and artist (Elvis Fan, anybody? Or E.P. "Meade Skelton" Haufe?) match the fervour of Beatle fanatics, but The Beatles have more of these fanatics than anybody else.

Posted on Sep 27, 2012, 8:28:33 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 27, 2012, 8:28:58 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2012, 9:25:01 AM PDT
You left out The Afghan Whigs.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2012, 10:32:29 AM PDT
Overrated to me is a combination of how many really special years that artist had and, perhaps even more importantly, did they find a very specific sound and stick very close to the formula. Therefore:

Nirvana - yes. had nowhere to go
Elvis - yes. needed collaborators
Doors - no. just consistently dark
Zeppelin - no. 6 great albums
Hendrix - maybe. probably nowhere to go
Michael Jackson - yes after "Off The Wall" and "Thriller"
Beatles - 63 to 67 can never be overrated

Posted on Oct 12, 2012, 8:14:48 AM PDT
Overrated is a nice word to pull out and use if you don't like the artist/band but, it is not the fault of the listener to enjoy that artist/band. Maybe, just maybe The Beatles, Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, The Doors and Nirvana were underrated and you don't know it yet...

Posted on Oct 12, 2012, 9:31:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 12, 2012, 9:32:51 AM PDT
Regarding the plagarism thing, it's pretty common among self-taught musicians who never learned to read music. All of the greats plagarized, Lennon, Harrison, the Stones, Zepplin and, especially, Bob Dylan. He even admitted it. Bob Dylan was a great song memorizer....on hearing a song once or twice, he could commit the entire song to memory. Typically, he would change a few things, write new words and take full credit as composer. He often lifted lyrics as well. He is notorious for this...he's worse than ever today. Now, he just lifts blues classics in their entirety, puts new lyrics on them and claims them as original compositions. That said, I love Dylan and consider him one of the greatest artists of all time.

Posted on Oct 12, 2012, 11:10:50 AM PDT
IMHO, old blues songs are so classic and were classic even at the time of Led Zeppelin's interpretations of them that they are kind of like fair game for everyone to play with, sort of like classical music of the 'masters' (you know Beethoven, Mozart, JS Bach, etc.) I forget what they call it, something like 'eminent domain' but I'm pretty sure that has to do with property...
Their interpretations WERE unique to their particular chemistry between the musicians in the band and SHOULD be allowed as such. And you know, when I first heard some of those blues songs on early Zeppelin albums, I pretty much could tell that they HAD to be OLD blues songs re-discovered by these young, talented, sexy musicians and I think we should leave 'em alone because they are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good. However, I do understand why lawsuits might have been filed by living, original composers who felt slighted or 'ripped' off financially, but most of them would never have had their songs near as popular as a great group like this made them. (same goes for The Beatles as well.)

Posted on Oct 13, 2012, 9:39:53 AM PDT
Steelers fan says:
The Stones didn't plagiarize, although they certainly venerated blues, R & B, and Chuck Berry. J. Page did--he stole without giving credit. Bob Dylan modelled himself on Woody Guthrie personally, and musically, as much as any artist has ever imitated another.

Posted on Oct 13, 2012, 10:05:29 AM PDT
K.J. McGilp says:
There is a point where they all become over-rated. I would think Dylan knew he was over-rated as soon as he realized how popular he was getting. The Beatles too. At that point you don't say anything! Just enjoy the ride and somehow try to live up to the hype.

Posted on Oct 13, 2012, 1:55:05 PM PDT
I don't care for the word 'overrated'. Maybe you could imply that term to mean a resturant or possinly a film. But music? It's a very common thing to say, but I can't possibly say the Beatles are overrated. They were the continuation and yet beginning of an new era. Sure there were other groups around, but something made them special. There were special, they continue to be special. No one has touched them when it comes to sheer genius, creativity and universal love. That is unique. Who woke up the astronauts every morning with 'Good Day Sunshine' - the Beatles. Whose voice has been projected into space billions of miles away to hopefully make contact with other souls - the Beatles. Why not Mozart, Bach? I don't know. I think they (you know THEY) did. Forty-fifty years from now most of us will be long gone and if there is such a thing as as an MTV program on the greatest bands, I'm pretty sure the Beatles will still be no. 1. Who knows, maybe when our essence is out there we will hear a faint sound and it will be the Beatles reaching billions of miles from earth.
Don't get me wrong, there are great artist amongst us. For me Jimi Hendrix is a god, he's one man who did it all.
Dylan is right there and should be, if nothing else, awarded the Nobel prize for poetry, for no one is greater.
Bonnie our

Posted on Oct 13, 2012, 2:36:07 PM PDT
Fischman says:
"No one has touched them when it comes to sheer genius, creativity and universal love."

Poppycock. I hear as much or more genius in so much more music. Ditto creativity (and I'm in no way denying that the Beatles were highly creative). "Universal" is also a common thing to say, and equally as often abused; I'm part of the universe and yet I don't love the Beatles.

Your statement is exactly the kind of statement that leads many to think of the Beatles as "overrated." They were fantastic; a singular phenomenon to be sure, but there are so many things ascribed to them that just don't apply.

BTW, film and music are both art forms. Why could "overrated" apply to one and not the other?

Posted on Oct 13, 2012, 2:55:06 PM PDT
D. Mok says:
> No one has touched them when it comes to sheer genius, creativity and universal love.

Hardly "universal".
However, The Beatles were and are the most popular rock group. That is unlikely to change in the next one or two generations.

As for "genius" and "creativity", there is no objective yardstick.

> Maybe you could imply that term to mean a resturant [sic] or possinly [sic] a film. But music?

Ridiculous. Anything that can be liked or disliked can be "overrated" or "underrated". And that basically means every single thing on earth.

Nobody likes every single music act equally. If you love Justin Bieber, you might hate Arch Enemy. If you love The Geto Boys, you might hate The Three Tenors. If you love Diana Krall, you might hate Pussy Galore.

Posted on Nov 9, 2012, 10:09:08 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 9, 2012, 10:58:01 PM PST]

Posted on Nov 16, 2012, 10:30:07 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 16, 2012, 10:30:16 AM PST]

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 12:57:06 AM PST
Hinch says:
Anyone, or anything, can be overrated or underrated, depending on who you ask.

If you think a certain artist is overrated, it only means more people like that artist and give the artist more praise and attention than you think the artist deserves. Underrated means the artist doesnt get the attention you think he deserves.

The thoughts of someone being overrated or underrated are usually accompanied by feelings of resentment. It's all based on one's likes and dislikes.

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 1:18:53 AM PST
The term overrated is overrated.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2012, 1:22:29 AM PST
Hinch says:

Posted on Nov 17, 2012, 4:39:02 AM PST
If it sells and has an audience still trying to search it out, making new fans, it ain't overrated. Well, maybe, but eveything dates. I was crate digging, picked out oodles of mono King Family Lps (ugh!) and an Al Jolson 2 Lp set, and put them back before I went to the register. I was listening to a Regis Philbin album (1968 oddball thing) and got the definite vibe he was patterning his vocal style on Al Jolson, like Pat Boone apes Bing when he croons.

The thing I caught on back in the early '80s when searching through garages was how many people were (and ARE!) keen to unload easy listening, pop orchestra, Andy Williams, '60s pop singers (Williams, Martin, Sinatra, Davis, Davidson, folks who stood on a stage with a mike in their hand and wearing a tux, with a house pit orchestra sawing away on standards), Eddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, Tammy Faye Bakker, Herb Alpert, Streisand, etc... middle-of-the-road white pop, but we had a devil of a time trying to find guitar-based C&W, rock 'n' roll, and bar band black r&b with honking tenor sax as lead instrument. Whitepeople thought that stuff was trash, unspeakable, and never had any of it, and anyone who had the "good stuff" wouldn't part with it, but pushed us towards the pop orchestra dreck. Only black acts that came up with any frequency were tons of Nat Cole's pop stuff and Billy Eckstine. Occasionally saw a few Ink Spots or Mills Brothers, always the later stuff.
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Initial post:  Jan 6, 2012
Latest post:  Feb 12, 2014

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