I once dressed up as John Lennon for Halloween.....i kid you not.
Historical Reasons: Gerdon mentioned that Frank Zappa is considered by many to have put out the first concept album of all-time. Fair enough. Despite Freak Out! being released almost a year ahead of Sgt. Pepper, though, Frank Zappa wasn’t exactly a household name at the time. The Beatles, however, were. I suppose in my mind, the significance of someone much more significant doing something different, makes it more……well, significant. Maybe that’s a simple-minded approach, but its how I feel.
Popular Culture Reasons: Not having grown up in the 60s makes this next concept difficult for me to fathom particularly, but The Beatles made music that appealed to practically everyone. Maybe its due to the oversaturation of practically every type of music there is nowadays, but that just doesn’t happen anymore. The Beatles were the Will Smith of the 60s. People disliked their hair, and things they said, but I get the feeling that most people at least enjoyed their music. I suppose that, at its definition, is what pop music is all about, though. That being said, then The Beatles essentially created pop music as we know it today. Never before had a band been so appreciated and loved worldwide for the music they were creating.
But I suppose if all of my reasons involved “well, they were the first…..” that wouldn’t be very interesting. Plus, it might suggest that I’m that way about all my interests. For example, I hate old, “historical” pioneering television shows and movies. I can’t stand watching I Love Lucy, or The Andy Griffith show or shit like that. And I can’t possibly begin to fathom why Citizen Kane is the greatest movie of all time. So, there has to be more to my liking of The Beatles other than they were the first BIG band.
The Music: I’m always impressed on basically ever album (once they started getting creative) the variety of every song over the course of the album. Taking Sgt. Pepper for instance….you’ve got good ol’ fashioned rock songs (both Sgt. Pepper and the Reprise), you’ve got spaced out psychedelia (Lucy), circus music (Mr. Kite), excellent pop songs (With a Little Help, Getting Better), Indian sitar songs (Within You Without You) and epics such as A Day in the Life. I just don’t think you see this with other bands. Beck is probably the best modern day versatile artist I can think of, and he's not even close to doing what The Beatles did. The vast difference from song to song makes each album listen an experience. But its not JUST this difference, the songs are DAMN good!! Gerdon mentioned that they are considered great simply because they wrote catchy pop tunes, and while that might be true to an extent, it was this universal appeal combined with the quality of the songs that make The Beatles so great.
The reason I think a lot of people don’t like The Beatles is simply because they’ve been overexposed in our society. At this point, every aspect of what The Beatles did has been copied and overplayed to death. Bands have been making modern versions of Beatles songs ever since The Beatles stopped. Even Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds, considered by many to be another of the greatest albums of all time was his attempt to create the perfect Beatles album. They’re just everywhere. And a lot of times, people don’t want to like what everyone else is liking. Its almost cooler to not like something popular. That’s a problem with a lot people in the indie world….everybody loved Death Cab until they joined a major label and had songs appear on The O.C. Then, in the indie world, it became almost more popular to criticize and mock their success rather than talk about that fact that the music was still good.
So, these are reasons why I like The Beatles. Let me know what you think. Feel free to agree with me, or tell me that I’m full of shit (more likely). Let’s keep the discussion going. As for Gerdon’s dislike, he’s completely entitled to his opinion, and it’s very interesting to hear why someone doesn’t like The Beatles. Personally, I think he’s wrong. But, that’s why we’re here and that’s what makes this so fun. So, if you haven’t taken much time to listen to The Beatles, maybe you should…..and pick up Pet Sounds while you’re at it.
Sorry this post was so long, but it just took a lot of words to say what I wanted to say. And I’ll leave with this comment directed at Gerdon….If you were required to pick a best album of all-time what would it be? Don't mean to put you on the spot, but I think these kind of discussions are fun. Personally, Sgt. Pepper wouldn’t be #1 on my list and for that matter, no Beatles album would be #1, but I guess the point of my post is that I can understand why someone would put it there. As for my #1…..hmm, well that’s a post for another time. But I’d like to hear your opinions and explanations for those opinions. What is your Best Album of All-Time??
Stay classy RadioKGB.