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The Beatles: Most overated band of all time?

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In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 8:36:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2010, 8:40:05 PM PDT
Iceblossom says:
Don, did you by any chance read the wiki I linked earlier about the definition of Boy Band? I realize Wiki is not an authoritative source but it is someone other than me...

Since I doubt you did, let me copy in entirety a couple of paragraphs:

Although not a manufactured band, The Beatles set a precedent for boy bands to follow both in terms of marketing to young girls and certain aesthetic and musical conventions. The merchandising, whether it was films like A Hard Day's Night or novelty goods were possibly the first aimed at a certain demographic on a large scale for a group. This made them a proto-type for boy bands, such as The Jackson 5 and The Monkees. Musical conventions that boy bands adopted from The Beatles were less their technical proficiency as musicians and more the catchy pop hooks, melodies and harmonies combined with their marketability. Their marketability was based the idea that there was something for everyone, whether it is the music or the personality of John Lennon or Paul McCartney or their sex appeal.

The Beatles were more directly an influence on boy bands that use rock band instrumentation. The precedent for this was when TV Producers Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson got four members to perform catchy pop tunes while also acting in a television series. The Monkees are often considered as the original pioneers among boy bands. Formed in 1965 under the supervision of Don Kirshner, the group became dissatisfied with Kirshner's control and became independent two years later, and worked on their own up to 1970.

Edited to add --
I know you are going to doubt my truthful statement that I had never seen this entry until I posted in this thread about it. But it is funny how it uses some of the same examples and same words even. Maybe because calling the Beatles a boy band made good isn't an original thought -- which I never said it was.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010, 9:09:46 PM PDT
Calling the Beatles a boy band makes about as much sense as calling them a heavy metal band. No one used the term boy bands back 1964-70. The Beatles are either a rock & roll band or a rock band. "The term "boy band" did not exist until the 1990s."

"Boy bands" aren't bands. "Despite the term "band", boy band members usually do not play musical instruments, either in recording sessions or on stage, although exceptions do exist."

They are the male equvilant of girl groups (also not bands), except that terms boy groups or guy groups don't have the same feel. "Boy bands are similar in concept to girl groups."

Were the Runaways or the Bangles or the Go-Gos girl groups? No, they're rock bands.

"In most cases, their music is written, arranged and produced by a producer who works with the band at all times and controls the group's sound - if necessary, to the point of hiring session singers to record guide vocals for each member of the group to sing individually if the members cannot harmonize well together. A typical boy band performance features elaborately choreographed dancing, with the members taking turns singing and/or rapping. Boy bands generally do not compose or produce their own material, unless the members lobby hard enough for creative control."

The Beatles wrote and controlled their own sound. They didn't need session singers or players. Their harmonies were the best since the Everly Brothers.

"The key factor of a boy band is being trendy. This means that the band conforms to the most recent fashion and musical trends in the popular music scene"

The Beatles didn't follow trends, they set them.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010, 9:21:34 PM PDT
Iceblossom says:

I believe I've mentioned several times in this thread about the difficulty in using a term like boy band that didn't exist at the time.

But, let's look at the music and not the words.

Was George Martin a Beatle? Or did he control a lot of the sound, especially by adding strings. Not to mention Phil Spector. If they did not control the sound, then why was it necessary/desirable to release Let It Be Naked?
Let It Be... Naked

I've already covered numerous times the cover songs on the first Beatles albums, save Hard Day's Night. To be completely fair, it was much more common for bands in the 60s to cover other current songs. Often multiple versions of the same song would chart fairly close together, especially when looking at the Euro and American versions.

I'll agree that the Beatles did set many trends in America. However, while they were on the cutting edge of fashion in Britain they were not setting trends as much as following them.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 9:30:07 PM PDT
ronct says:
Suspicious Minds: "Though you are definitely the first person I've "met" who dislikes this song."

Make that 2 as that whole era of Elvis after 1958 makes me want to hurl! what a lounge singer he became I always hated that song almost as much as "In The Ghetto" and "Burning Love".

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 9:35:42 PM PDT
ronct says:
DKPete: "a very interesting comment from George Harrison during a mid-seventies interview. Harrison was asked if he thought that The Beatles were overrated."

I would take anything George stated about the Beatles in the mid 70's with a grain of salt as he was very bitter at the time with his failing solo career & marriage.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010, 9:42:17 PM PDT
Iceblossom says:
To the community --

I'd like to point out that (other than this post) I did not initiate any new posts today that were not responses to other posters.

I'm sure after 10 pages of a lot of the same old/same old pretty much everyone is tired over the quibbling with the definition of boy band. Within the 10 pages though there are a number of other interesting points of view.

I will say one final time in this thread: I consider the Beatles a case of a boy band made good. I'm not taking back my statement. I fully back my statement and my terms and I have given numerous examples of why i feel the way I do, and I fully expect to say the same thing in the future because it's my opinion and I've held it for years if not decades. But one can only say the same things so many times, repeat the same examples, post links to other people saying the same thing before it gets very tiresome. Obviously, I am comfortable with my statement and am not likely to change my mind -- although I did go to the wiki page to see if I was way off base, which I don't feel I am.

I can understand why some of you can look at the same things I look at and come to different conclusions. I don't think any of you are likely to change your minds either. So it all seems rather futile to keep rehashing the same point of contention.

I like a lot of the Beatles output, but it is simply not music I listen to very often. I like a lot of their solo output, some of that I do listen to but again, rarely. I don't think some of the music holds up as well as others, but some of the songs and performances are indeed classic.

Wouldn't it be a great world is bands like N Sync and Backstreet Boys also "made good"? No offense to fans of the genre, some of it is pretty darn catchy music especially when you are young and dancing. Not all music has to be classic -- some (a lot of radio play) of it is what I consider disposable. You hear it for awhile and then you let it go and replace it with something else.

I'd be happy to discuss other Beatles related questions or other posts directed at me. But I'm simply going to "just say no" to any more of the boy band thing.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010, 9:58:47 PM PDT
ronct says:
I've been reading the whole thread and anyone with any common sense knows there is no way the Beatles can ever be considered overrated if for the fact they are still causing discusions as this after calling it quits over 40 years ago. Maybe you personally don't care for them but they are hardly overrated. I doubt any other band in the last 40 years will be able to make that claim in years to come because folks will still be listening to the Beatles. We haven't stopped listening to Mozart just because he is dead and created music may years ago. The Beatles have been called the composers of the century for a reason and their songs like Mozart will still be heard hundreds of years from now.

The Beatles were the top selling artist of the 1st decade of the new millennium and that speaks for itself and more about the quality of music now being created. Styles of music come and go but it all boils down to the use of 8 notes on a musical stave and the Beatles were the master's of crafting them into a song.

Iceblossom no disrespect but your posts make you sound like you really have no real understanding of music at the time in 1964. You have to put things into perspective and when "I Want To Hold Your Hand" came out it was fresh kick-A$$ rock that inspired a generation to pick up a guitar. I for one still listen to their early stuff all the time and no boy band ever made a record that had the impact of "I Want To Hold Your Hand".

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 10:07:29 PM PDT
ronct says:
Iceblossom: "Wouldn't it be a great world is bands like N Sync and Backstreet Boys also "made good"?"

See, this is where you are playing the same game and try to inject a jab back to the "boy band" comment to keep it going. Using "made good" as a statement referring to the Beatles, N Sync, & Backstreet Boys in the same light shows your true colors and ability to discuss this issue. You lose all credibility and it shows your lack of musical knowledge when your refer to N Sync and the Backstreet Boys as bands.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010, 10:19:39 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2010, 10:19:57 PM PDT
D. Mok says:
> Calling the Beatles a boy band makes about as much sense as calling them a heavy metal band.

The Beatles *were* a boy band. Possibly the first. Teen idols as part of a group rather than a solo artist like Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley.

> "Boy bands" aren't bands. "Despite the term "band", boy band members usually do not play musical
> instruments

Who says?
The Jackson 5 were a boy band (Tito and Jermaine Jackson played instruments). The Jonas Brothers are a boy band. Hanson was a boy band. And there's no negative implied in the term. "Boy band" is simply a group of boys performing music, who appeal unusually strongly to a young female (especially teenaged) fanbase.

> Were the Runaways or the Bangles or the Go-Gos girl groups? No, they're rock bands.

Of *course* The Bangles and The Go-Go's were girl groups. The Runaways weren't popular enough to get to that kind of level. But The Bangles and The Go-Go's were very much teen idols, and they were marketed with emphasis on their looks, with their image cleaned up (in many ways, "Disneyfied") to make sure parents weren't offended. Doesn't mean they didn't have musical chops or songwriting ability. On the other hand, Sleater-Kinney, Vixen and LaBelle weren't girl groups. They weren't marketed to that demographic with that image.

The Beatles *were* a boy band. They just had the muscle to break out of that marketing approach and do more experimental music.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010, 10:24:22 PM PDT
Iceblossom says:
So now you want to quibble about the word "band"?? Funny, they were in the music aisle at the record store.

What would you call them?

From wiki (again, I've already said they weren't an authoritative source but hey it's quick and easy), If you really want I'm sure I can find thousands of references to them as 'bands'. You would prefer performance artists? I mean, really...

Backstreet Boys
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Backstreet boys)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the band.

N Sync (stylized as *NSYNC) was an American boy band. The band has sold more than 56 million records worldwide.[2]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 10:27:02 PM PDT
Stupid thing to ask..

Posted on Aug 11, 2010, 10:38:21 PM PDT
S. Jacobson says:
No disrespect intended, iceblossom, but I think part of the issue is that you don't really understand what they accomplished. Lennon and McCartney are considered by many to be among the foremost composers of popular song, and are legendary among songwriters in that regard. Many of the early songs are considered classics as well (although their arrangements certainly reflect the basic practices of the day). Forget boy bands - no bands can match their catalog, period. And this catalog still generates substantial royalties from covers of their songs by other performers even today, 40-50 years later. George Martin did not "control" their sound. He wrote some excellent orchestral arrangements to certain of the songs, but once they became successful he worked for them, not the other way around. (And how does writing a string arrangement constitute "control" anyway?) Paul, in particular, was the main influence on their overall sound. There is no shortage of written record on this score (no pun intended) should you care to investigate further. And Phil Spector simply added a bunch of orchestral "gunk" to Let It Be without the Beatles consent. It was a travesty that the "Naked" release finally and belatedly corrected.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010, 10:42:28 PM PDT
Alt9999 says:
"Wouldn't it be a great world is bands like N Sync and Backstreet Boys also "made good"?"

What would be great is if "bands" like those never existed. A world where music was never prefabricated product blueprinted in thinktanks. Where music was simply an expression of an artist's passion and creativity.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 10:45:56 PM PDT
C. Harmon says:
It's Frank Sinatra, who was first to make use of the album format to sustain a concept with every track. However, the Beatles are to be credited for not using singles and 'filler' for their albums (not including the US Beatles albums, which were re-worked by Capitol).

Posted on Aug 11, 2010, 10:47:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2010, 10:54:05 PM PDT
Iceblossom says:
S. Jacobson --

I have said time and time again that Lennon and McCartney were great songwriters and wrote many classics. Trust me, I understand what they have accomplished, among other things the most covered song of all (modern) time. To dissect that claim, however, I bet more people have sung say Ave Maria, but anyway, not to take away from Yesterday.

The remarks about George Martin and Phil Spector were in response to a claim that the Beatles could not be "that term" because they completely controlled their sound. It isn't completely true which is why I brought up the Naked album as my rebuttal to that claim.

Is there any where in this thread where I have said that the Beatles were not the voice of many of their generation (the other voice probably Dylan...)? That they did not help forever change the music scene? That they did not influence many things?

Edited to add --

I really think to completely dismiss George Martin's contribution to the Beatles sound to be not accurate. As said... "There is no shortage of written record on this score (no pun intended) should you care to investigate further."

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 10:55:59 PM PDT
Alt9999 says:
@ D Mok:
The term "boy band" is absolutely negative. It implies a lack of creativity or integrity from the persons singing and dancing. It implies that the "band" is not a collective united to express the creativity of the various members, but rather they are a group of actors in roles created by some invisible third party who has control of everything from the bassline to what pants the boys wear.

I think you are wrong about the Go-Gos. Their genesis is similar to that of Sleater-Kinney. Belinda Carlisle played drums for the Germs.
They had plenty of cred as artists.
To compare them(as well as the Bangles) to acts like Expose, The Spice Girls, etc doesn't make sense to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 11:09:23 PM PDT
You're just as igrunt as IB. Which one of the Jacksons was their drummer? Which one of the Jonas Brothers plays bass?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 11:17:28 PM PDT
Iceblossom says:
I had to look up the Jonas Brothers, hey there are only 3 of them, sort of hard for them to fill a band by themselves.

So... is Tom Petty a (argh)! "that term" because he doesn't play lead guitar? The logic seems to be the same as "well the Jonas Brothers don't play bass".

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 11:32:31 PM PDT
...and the Heartbreakers

Posted on Aug 11, 2010, 11:33:02 PM PDT
S. Jacobson says:
Iceblossom, its just a little silly to claim you understand how great the Beatles were after some of your other statements (including minimizing their work before Pepper, claiming Martin and Spector "controlled" their sound, comparing them to boy bands such as N Sync Backstreet Boys et al).

And why in the world would you claim that I "completely dismissed George Martin's contribution to the Beatles sound"? I said no such thing. I gather you just like to argue for the sake of arguing and will say anything to keep it going. I'll pass.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 11:48:12 PM PDT
Iceblossom says:
S Jacobson --

Please show me where, any where, where I compared the Beatles to either N Sync or the Backstreet Boys? Other than I used the term separately and far away of calling the Beatles (sigh, you guys just won't let it go) a boy band made good. And I thought how nice it would be if other bands also "made good".

And to be fair, I made my claims about John & Paul being heckuva set of writers in my very first post as well in repeated posts.

So basically, when someone who is more pro-Beatle than I am says some outlandish claim like they wrote all their own material, I'm just arguing for the sake of arguing when I point out that they didn't? When I let go a statement about boy bands being told what pants to wear and I didn't make a reminder about "well, yeah, so did the Beatles" I'm arguing for the sake of arguing?

So when I applaud the Beatles for growing and changing and taking control of their own sound in the later part of their career I'm minimizing what they did before? Ok, maybe I am a bit... but I'm also saying that it was because of their huge success because of their ability to write and perform the great sappier stuff (when taken out of the 50 year context and compared to music in general) that they were able to go past that?

Dudes -- some of you are just getting silly. Like the N Sync is not a band line. Y'all may say I don't have credibility but y'all are just looking desperate in some of your posts to do anything you can to take one or two words out of my posts to misrepresent my general positive statements about the Beatles.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2010, 11:50:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 12, 2010, 12:06:27 AM PDT
Iceblossom says:
Jonas Brothers and their backing band...

BTW, before you say a band without a name is not a band, Weird Al's band has been together for what... 30 years??? without a name.

Edited --

Actually, let's just let this one go because I can't comment on the Jonas Brothers, I've never heard them sing, I don't really know anything about them other than the vast Disney merchandising team.

Hanson is a good example of talented kids growing up and continuing to perform even though they are no longer in the media spotlight. If you think you know all about them by Mmmbop you might be surprised.

Posted on Aug 12, 2010, 12:24:42 AM PDT
Peter Smith says:
OK, it is 2010. I still have Sticky Fingers, Exile, Beggar's, and Let it BLEED, etc., in regular rotation in my CD changers in my home and my car. I don't even own a Beatles CD. Could Lennon/McCartney have composed an end of an era epic like Keith Richards' Gimme Shelter? Monkey Man? Bitch? I got into music at a very young age and always thought the Stones were the real deal while the Beatles were going through the motions and were bored and just cranking out bouncy, non-threating tunes. Did the Stones ever have to make a cartoon like the dreadful Yellow Submarine?

I have been playing guitar and bass for almost 40(! ahh) years now, and I will admit Bill Wyman was not your prototypical rock star and they buried his bass in the mix, when Keith played all the guitars on Happy and Gimme Shelter I was really inspired. What Is Life is OK, but did any Beatle ever write anything like Satisfaction? They were raw and sloppy and drunk and that is why the Rolling Stones are "The World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band".

That is probably the reason now I only like heavy stuff like Iron Maiden, Priest and the late, great Dio.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2010, 12:55:24 AM PDT
Alt9999 says:
IB, the difference is that rock n roll bands in the early 60's wore matching suits. That didn't separate them from other bands. That was the norm. It was expected. Doo-Wop groups wore matching suits, so did R & B acts. That's the way it was. The Beatles didn't need to be told what to wear. They assumed that was the proper attire.

Posted on Aug 12, 2010, 1:33:03 AM PDT
Josh says:
Who thinks whoever started this post is overrated?
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