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Why Are The Beatles So Popular?

Discussion in '60's Music' started by Metal Health, Dec 27, 2014.

  1. nedkelly

    nedkelly Senior Member

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    As Fred Frith, the rock sociologist once said: "If any other band in the '60s had been packaged as well as the Beatles, they would have been as popular too."
    Ponder people ponder.
     
  2. OldHippie

    OldHippie Resident Yooper

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    Short and sweet, either you get them or you don’t.
     
  3. BikerDude

    BikerDude Dude

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    In one respect it's a matter of context.
    Sgt. Pepper came out in 1967.
    The number one song from 1966 was "The Ballad of The Green Berets".


    The sound of the Beatles was so much more imaginative than what was going on at the time that it was like an earthquake.
    It opened up so many possibilities.
    And that is really genius. Once somebody else does it it's a lot easier to follow suit.
    But to totally reinvent popular music... that's another thing.

    The same was true for someone like Elvis and Dylan.
    They appeared so suddenly and were such a contrast to what was happening that it changed everything.
    All of these seminal band are in a sense "of a time and place".
    Everybody follows suit afterwords and it becomes a bit more difficult in that light to see what was so special about them. Because they change everything else.

    You have to remember it was a very different world without cable TV and internet.
    When Elvis came along white kids had never heard rhythm and blues before at all.
    It had been around for decades but it wasn't sold to white people.
    Same was true for all but the most nonthreatening folk music.
    Folk music was the music of the American labor movement. It was protest music.
    But all most people ever knew was This Land Is Our Land.
    Most people who digested popular music just weren't used to the kind of social consciousness and outspokenness of a Dylan.
    He came from folk music and began writing folk songs from the voice of middle class people rather than poor itinerant workers. That was new.
    Imagine a song like Masters of War which came out in 1963.
    The top 3 songs from 1962 were
    1 "Stranger on the Shore" Acker Bilk
    2 "I Can't Stop Loving You" Ray Charles
    3 "Mashed Potato Time" Dee Dee Sharp
    4 "Roses Are Red (My Love)" Bobby Vinton

    Then you get Dylan singing Masters of War.
    It's like in the Big Lebowski when they call the Dude the right man for his time and place.
    It was such a contrast and so much more relevant that it changed everything.



    The real question is will there ever be another?
    Now that regionalism and cultural pockets are gone.
    Nothing like Blues or Jazz or Bluegrass music can develop in a pure environment.
    Everybody everywhere knows music from everywhere.
    For the people where a lot of folk and bluegrass came from it was just music.
    It grew out of the context like grass below their feet. It was a true pure expression of a culture. Untainted by outside influences. Except cultural history. Irish and Scottish music.
    Same for the blues. Other forms didn't intrude. It developed independently.
    And stood out as a result. It matured in it's own context. And then was "discovered" by the wider culture. It's explodes.
    Can't happen any more.
    The British invasion was mostly British people discovering American music.
    Blues in particular and turning Americans onto their own music that most of them had never heard before.


    Now all of the colors from the box of paint have been mixed up.
    There are no more bright reds and blues to be discovered.
    Media/technology/internet has in fact united the world.
    There are a lot fewer "holy shit" moments.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  4. nedkelly

    nedkelly Senior Member

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    ^^^^^I, like millions out there, didn't get the "holy shit" moment from the Beatles, we got it from the Rolling Stones.
    Einstein was right: "Everything is relative":):):)
     
  5. Bigdawg62

    Bigdawg62 Member

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    Everything started with the beatles. They did west coast before the mamas. They invented rock on revolver They did sabbath before sabbath did sabbath with lennons unique progressions in she's so heavy on Abbey Road. Sabbath copied the beatles
    The beatles took what was already there and improved it
    Above they created just about everything we have now .
    Sadly, as solo artists they were relatively second rate at best..but that is the same for so many great bands when they split
     
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  6. shewins

    shewins Junior Member

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