Beatles Music Appreciated by Newer Generations

My book about the Beatles, (on Amazon) is not a biography but rather “A Fan’s Tribute” at 11,082 words – A Fan’s Tribute to the Beatles (link at end of this article), is not intended to be a biography or a novel about them. It is simply ‘a tribute’ but his article does not contain excerpts from the book.
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I have been a fan of The Beatles since my teens and I’m still a fan now in my 50s (this is year 2016). I’m a fan of many other groups as well. With my being a Christian, I hear some fellow Christians state out-right or they strongly imply that Christians should never listen to worldly music. And yet, I have experienced having this attitude launched toward me, only to find that the people who did so, had big collections of Country and Western albums. One guy I knew who thinks it’s despicable to listen to classic rock groups, had a big collection of Elvis Presley records displayed near his turn-table console. While he didn’t say so, my belief is that he felt Elvis was an exception because he recorded Gospel music, in addition to belting out rock tunes (e.g. “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock”). As for country music, which I also like but mostly the classic artists like Johnny Cash, Jack Greene, The Statler Brothers, Merle Haggard, Gatlin Brothers and country/rock crossover artists like Linda Ronstadt.
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When I hear people who are adverse to classic rock but they think classic or present day country music is innocent and clean, I laugh to myself. Johnny Cash put out some very brash stuff in the 60s. In his Folsom Prison Concert he sings “I took a shot of cocaine and shot my woman down”. He and lots of the other early country music artists recorded ‘drinking’ and ‘honky tonk’ songs by the 100s (not worse but not more innocent than rock music lyrics). Let me add to the point in my previous paragraph by also saying that I have yet to become well-acquainted with other Christians who did not indulge in some form of worldly entertainment. This includes things like TV shows they never wanted to miss a single episode of and sports that some get into so heavily that you hear them talk about these far more than they talk about their Christianity. I’m sure most of them will turn a channel playing a raunchy show or look away when the cheerleaders are doing drills on the field during a football game. I do the same thing and I will turn my car radio to a different station or I will skip past a song on a CD I might be listening to.
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A final thought I will add in this area, is using the example of The Beatle song “Helter Skelter” that legend/myth says caused the Charles Manson murders. Another mass murderer says he was directed by a dog, so anything can be pinned-to the criminally insane. In reality the song is about an amusement park ride in England. QUOTE: “A helter skelter is a funfair or amusement park ride with a slide built in a spiral around a high tower. … The ride inspired the Beatles song of the same name”: Source-Wikipedia. With these things said, let me get to my general subject, The Beatles. Often the younger generations see the group as being lame and their music as being weak compared to today’s hard rockers. The fact is however, that The Beatles covered almost every music genre during their near 10 year career as a group. They all continued to have hit records as individual artists as well but none of them achieved the magnitude of music they recorded as a group.
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Their soft rock and love songs are my personal favorites by the group because of the songwriting and the harmonies they created that will never be matched. As I mentioned, ‘some’ young people who have been born over the past couple of generations and hold to the opinion that The Beatles are ‘lame’, is due to their only hearing a scant number of their songs on radio, usually from their early years. Strangely, some teens think the only great music is the head banger type (ultra-hard rock and heavy metal). Not only are they missing out on some of the best music ever recorded but listening to classic rock (and pop) songs, are literally a history book on music and how it evolved and transitioned. How could diversity in listening to different genres be a lame thing to do (peer pressure certainly has some strange nuances doesn’t it)? There is a huge difference between The Beatles recordings from 1963 and ’64 (but also great tunes) and those that came only a few years later (1965 to 1970). The group took huge leaps in their music, without which, many of the rock artists today would probably not exist. Some groups have emulated their for-runners; others have gone torrid directions, much like TV and movies have.
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Many of the hard rock groups ‘Van Halen’ and ‘Boston’ and forward, to include many others, directly benefited from The Beatle’s music innovations. A blogger with a page titled: “Beatles Songwriting Academy”, shows approximately 25 well-known rock groups, whose greatest influence was The Beatles (you may be surprised at who they are). Each group has a member’s quote of how The Beatles are their favorite group. In England, even early rock groups were stated as performing/recording pop music. They called all of the old rock groups as being in the “pop music” genre, which to them simply meant “popular music”. This way, if a group was mostly putting out folk music, others covering country or soft rock, etc…, they could be placed under the same umbrella as playing popular music. The Beatles were inducted into The “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”, by Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stone’s first hit rock song was given to them by The Beatles (“I Wanna Be Your Man”), which he made mention of in his induction speech.
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Keith Richards, the main lead and rhythm guitar player for The Rolling Stones, is quoted as saying lead and rhythm guitarist – George Harrison of The Beatles had a “thin guitar sound”, especially in their earlier songs. However, the Stones have always had a strong rivalry with The Beatles and even Mick Jagger at times has also expressed a degree of disdain for them. The fact is however, that the Stones (another favorite group of mine as a teen) were always a year behind what the Beatles were innovating and their rivalry was/is largely a jealousy issue. As for Keith saying George had a ‘thin guitar sound’ at times, of course he did because some songs call for low-key rhythm and lead guitar. As stated earlier, The Beatles covered folk music, love songs and soft numbers in general, with the majority being rock. Some of the Stone’s own songs had a light rhythm guitar backing them, such as in their mega-hit “Satisfaction” (strong, very famous guitar riff, with low-volume rhythm guitar backing it) and others like “Under My Thumb” (the fuzz bass being more prominent on the latter-mentioned one). What about their song “Ruby Tuesday”? Could it, among others they recorded also be called “pop” by today’s definition, rather than “rock”?
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Led Zeppelin, recognized as one of the first heavy metal groups – forming in 1968, also largely played a significant number of folk music songs (e.g. “The Rain Song” and many others). Diversity of music like the Beatles played is not uncommon for even the hardest rock groups. Why? Because for ‘some’ listeners, one type of music can become boring over time. It is believed that The Beatles recorded some of the first heavy metal on their 1968 “White Album” (and possibly earlier on their “Revolver” album – 1966). Among the other very few groups that recorded metal songs between the mid and late 60s, was “Jimi Hendrix” and “Cream”. To end my article-dissertation on The Beatles let me conclude that they remain the number 1 rock group in popular music history. This is stated by the major rock music authorities, including Rolling Stone Magazine and VH1, to name only two. They also remain the highest selling group, in spite of having disbanded 46 years ago (this being year-2016). So, the younger generations out there who call the Beatles lame, are flying in the face of major music authorities, the opinions of other most popular rock groups, billboard chart history and record sales. The numbers of albums, singles and re-releases reported by the music charts, place unit sales for the Beatles at 1.6 billion worldwide while others say that number is higher. Their umber of albums certified as multi-platinum in the U.S. is 15 but 19 of them total, were #1 albums in the USA. They have also been awarded “10 Grammies”,”15 number 1 albums in the UK” and “21 Billboard Hot 100 – number 1 hits” (the main song chart of the American music industry).
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All of this reported before Beatles songs and albums were released on download sites such as Apple ITunes. This venue has given even more rise to their history of record sales. Ringo Starr joked at The Beatles Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, saying “some people have called us a pop band” – his realizing that “pop” eventually became a category of its own, to describe so-called bubble gum groups and soft-rock-only groups. Not only were the Beatles a rock group (who also recorded folk, pop and ballads, etc…) but they are “The” most influential group in the category of rock music; actually in the history of music itself.
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2 thoughts on “Beatles Music Appreciated by Newer Generations

  1. Hi there James – thank you for mentioning my Beatles Songwriting Academy site (www.beatlessongwriting.com)!

    It’s interested to note that even bands that didn’t revere the Beatles were still inspired or influenced by them. Two examples: Though the Stones were rivals in public actually they were helped by The Beatles in many ways – George Harrison recommended Decca sign them, John and Paul gave them ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ as a single and more importantly seeing them at work writing the song inspired Jagger and Richards to attempt songwriting too. In later years the bands would discuss and coordinate single and album releases so as to not clash.

    Led Zeppelin’s Rain Song was actually written as the result of a direct challenge by George Harrison that Led Zeppelin never wrote any mellow songs. Jimmy Page gave a subtle nod to Harrison by starting the song with the same descending chord progression that Something also starts with – major tonic chord to major 7th tonic to dominant 7th tonic. And for bonus trivia the song is called The Rain Song because another section ‘borrows’ the rising chord progression from ‘Raining In My Heart’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks much Matt for those great comments and very, very interesting ones at that! The re-released “Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl”, made the top 10, basically not heard as a set by the public for 40 years. I watched an old interview from the late 60s and Jimmy page with Robert Plant were praising the Beatles. Jimmy simply said “I think they’re great!”

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