Beatles Relevance

Samuel Des

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Jeff's thoughts in the previous thread:
Unlike most other bands, The Beatles were able to create a library of music that is still relevant today.
Got me wondering. I actually disagree with this statement. They seem less relelvant today to me. I can certainly still hear influences, like on Elliott Smith. I'm interested in hearing other examples of current artists. (I know I'm missing alot, as I am not at all current!)

Actually, now that I think of it, they continue to sell very well. But it is difficult to decide from this whether there is a new generation listening though.
Any other thoughts? I mean, there are among the most influential bands around or ever. But are they still relevant?
To me, they seem less relevant to today's listener. But they will always be relevant to me... even if I don't listen to them as often. I have very fond memories of discovering each album, positive feelings that I hope other people will experience as well.
 

Dean DeMass

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I don't think their music is nearly as relevant today as it once was. However, even I will agree that their influence and ability to perform whatever music they wanted, helped change Rock music as we know it. They have influenced many bands that we now hear, but I feel their influence is slowly giving way to other bands. Even though I am not a huge Beatle fan, I wish that some good sounding CD's would be released. For being one of the biggest bands ever, their CDs sure do sound horrible. The vinyl releases sound so much better. When was the last batch of CDs released for them? Are the current releases the same as the original releases? They haven't seen any Re-masters, have they? If they haven't, that is a damn shame.

The one band that I can really hear a Beatles influence in is Stone Temple Pilots, especially their last release.

-Dean-
 

Mike Broadman

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If a band does not consider to be one of their biggest influences, then the bands that influenced them do.

Would you want everyone to be a Beatles' clone? Music changes.

The same could be said about Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington. So what?

And bands like Hootie and the Blowfish, Oasis, Train, et al still probably point to the Beatles as their #1 influence.
 

KeithH

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I don't feel the Beatles music style or subject matter is too relevant today, but that is not to say that their music is not influential to today's musicians. I'm sure it is. In addition, I'm sure many people are buying their first Beatles CDs today simply because the Beatles are musical and cultural icons and because they know the songs.
 

Carl Miller

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Some of the Beatles music, especially some songs that have social or political messages/commentary seems a bit dated to me, and I guess this might chip away at their relevance to some degree. Though I don't think this applies to even half their music. For every Love is All You Need that gives me that dated feeling, there's a Taxman that is every bit as relevant today as it was 30 whatever years ago.

For some listeners, I imagine the Beatles also sound extremely tame compared to all that rap/metal or whatever you call it stuff that is popular today. And this too I guess would make the Beatles seem a little less relevant to some people.

For me though, the Beatles are still very relevant and remain one of the few bands whose hits I can still listen to without changing the station. I think I've heard Revolution and Stairway to Heaven many hundreds of times by now, and though I still love Led Zeppelin, there are some Zep songs I just can't bear to hear anymore. I can't say the same about the Beatles for some reason.
 

Jack Briggs

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This is the thread that should have been started today! *hint, hint*

"Relevance" can be taken on so many levels. First, let's turn to chord progressions: How many chord changes are there in the first line of the band's breakthrough hit, "Please Please Me"? Or what about the band's next hit, "From Me To You"--note the use of diminished chords.

And this is the supposedly "simple" early stuff.

So, in terms of musicianship and composition, the band's relevance comes and goes--but always comes back again. Presently, only bands on the extreme "alternative" edge seem to put much emphasis on the craft of writing and composing songs.

To The Beatles, it was natural.

Topicality: Of course, the middle-period and later stuff holds sway today. "A Day in the Life" is for the ages.

Ultimately, it's about the party we are still enjoying. This thing we call "rock music" most likely would not be with us still had there been no quartet from Liverpool.

Relevance? The Beatles could not be more lasting in their influence. On a social level, my hair is long enough to have gotten me into some big trouble in certain parts of the country and world in the mid-'60s. Today? No one bats an eyelash. Yawn.

The Beatles, therefore, have a reach that extends well beyond the stifling confines of "popular" music. This band even touched the realm of "serious" music.

There is no estimating how far the band's influence reaches. It is staggering, really.

So much so, in fact, that, basically, you have The Beatles--and then everybody else.

Now, keep it up y'all. This is more like it!
 

Jeff Ulmer

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Jack is going where my point was. Being relevant doesn't mean that every band is trying to sound like you. The craft that The Beatles brought to the music scene has been filtered by the generations that followed - you may not be hearing direct influence, but are hearing it second or third generation.

Yesterday is still one of the most recorded and played songs of all time. Their music is timeless. Their impact is immeasurable.

On a personal level, I find the diversity of their catalogue to be something sorely missed in modern music. The world of marketing has forced artists into branded moulds, and very few have the tenacity to free themselves of arbitrary restrictions. It's very difficult to categorise The Beatles other than something like "popular music." They were about experimentation, and pushing the boundaries, and that spirit is a large part of their influence on me.
 

Carlo Medina

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To be honest, judging by the stuff I hear on the radio today (KROQ and other "rock" stations in L.A.) I would be proud to say that the Beatles have *no* relevancy at all to "today's music" (I think they are much better)

As a musician (amateur), I am still influenced by them, especially the post-Help albums.
And a band *can* be influenced by the Beatles and not sound like them.
 

Rick_Brown

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I heard a musician being interviewed on the radio last year. He was a heavy metal player. They asked him his biggest influence and he said The Beatles. When asked what he liked about them he replied that "On virtually every Beatles album almost every song is written in a different key". He said that "They write in keys I can't even begin to get my head around. Don't even get me started on the chords they use!"

I think musicians can help us to understand what we non-musicians feel but can't express about the Beatles and the extensive variety of their catalog of songs. And...let's not forget...their total output was released in the space of just 7 years. Most bands today are lucky to put out 2-3 albums in that time!
 

Chuck L

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I honestly have to say that though I have never been a fan of the Beatles, compared to the music of today, they are okay.

The Beatles music that I have heard falls into two catagories for me....like it or hate it. There is no middle crowd and honestly their isn't any of their music that I simply "love."

I agree with the people that have posted that if you listen to the radio today, it is a far cry and lightyears away from what the Beatles created. In this age of Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, J-Lo, Ja-Rule and the like, it is almost like the Beatles never happened. And those bands that were influenced by the Fab Four are the mostly the ones that you will not here on the radio these days.

I also can't help but get the feeling that most of the music makers of today simply say, "Yeah, the Beatles were a big part of my life," aren't simply saying it to be musically politically correct.

I do feel that there are many in music that have shaped the music of today, yet don't get anywhere near the exposure that the Beatles do. From the 60's there is Janis Joplin, who taught the world that a woman could not only be strong, but weak at the same time. She also proved that 'looks' was not what was needed for pure talent. Jimi Hendrex. While he is listed by many as a influence, he hasn't had the constant over-exposure that the Beatles have. Same thing goes in country music. In country music there is a lot of artist that have been forgotten over time, but yet they shaped the music of today. Ask the average twenty year old who Patsy Cline was? They will not know. Ask them about Barbara Mandrell and what she is known for is the variety show and not so much for the string of hits that she had for twenty years. But yet these two country artist and many others forged what is today's country, though they has something today's doesn't, class.

While they, the Beatles were a main source of inspiration for many an artist...the music world has changed. The Beatles were artist that a message and meaning. It was not music that was supercharged with sexual energy and the overt nature of today. To change, in the case of music, is NOT always to grow.
 

Samuel Des

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Ultimately, it's about the party we are still enjoying. This thing we call "rock music" most likely would not be with us still had there been no quartet from Liverpool.
That's a great insight, but I wanted to put in a counter point. I guess maybe what is happening is that, the Beatles may not have lost any relevenace. Maybe it is that rock is dying or is dead! Mention was made of the tameness compared to rap/metal, &c. Although we can hear parts of rock in it, can we still consider these "outside" genres rock? Again, maybe rock really is dead!
 

Mike Broadman

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Sam, any conception of what rock has to be was destroyed in the 70s, when bands as wildly different as Black Sabbath, Sly & the Family Stone, and Jethro Tull were all considered "rock." (But all three were influenced by the Beatles
).
The thing is, can you honestly expect a younger audience to fall in love with the Beatles all over again? How much of their status is a "you had to be there" kind of thing? I can look at their chord progressions all I want, but it's never gonna hit me the same way it did for someone who heard this in 1965.
The only truly timeless music, IMO, is instrumental music, because it doesn't get caught up in period themes. To me, "Revolution" just sounds like a stupid song. "But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow." ??? Maybe in 1968 this was a big deal, but to this 24 yr old it sounds silly. And yes, I know what the song is about and its context, it's just... it's still silly to me.
Their music is 60s music and it sounds like 60s music. Of course this isn't a criticism (what else is it supposed to sound like, right?), but a teenage rebellious kid isn't going to want to listen to his father's records. He's going to blast Eminem or Puddle of Mud.
NP: Miles Davis, Live at the Plugged Nickel, disc 2, CD
 

Samuel Des

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Sam, any conception of what rock has to be was destroyed in the 70s, when bands as wildly different as Black Sabbath, Sly & the Family Stone, and Jethro Tull were all considered "rock."
Hm... good point... I see what you mean. Although called rock, it's not rock....
I can see the influence on Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull. But honestly, I wouldn't say that Sly was influenced by the Beatles!
I'm a big Sly fan, btw.
 

Al B. C

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I honestly can't believe the well thought of, and articulate comments that were made after this first opening sentence.
Please I need some examples. Are they just OK compared to Linkin Park? Are they just OK compared to P. Diddy? Are they just OK compared to Pink?
Exactly who are you comparing them to?
 

Al B. C

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I don't know Mike. Look how many copies of their greatist hits CD they sold last year. It wasn't just old timers like me purchasing them.
 

Ken_McAlinden

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Has anyone heard Musiq's recent cover of "Something"? How about the lists of artists assembled for the "I am Sam" soundtrack? Current artists from diverse backgrounds (jazz, bluegrass, pop, rock, R&B) still seem to think they are relevant. As a matter of fact, their importance seems to hold-up to constant critical re-evaluations pretty steadfastly.
The fact that they accomplished what they did in only eight years of recording with such a high batting average from both critical and commercial perspectives is pretty astonishing. The fact that their output remains ubiquitous and pretty darn near globally popular thirty years after they stopped is even more impressive.
I mean, I'm even willing to go out on a limb and say that they are bigger than the Dave Clark Five and Paul Revere and the Raiders combined.

But honestly, I wouldn't say that Sly was influenced by the Beatles! I'm a big Sly fan, btw.
You would be wrong, then. Sly was influenced by the Beatles just like the Beatles were influenced by Chuck Berry, Elvis, Buddy Holly, and Motown.
Regards,
 

Samuel Des

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I don't know Mike. Look how many copies of their greatist hits CD they sold last year. It wasn't just old timers like me purchasing them.
Another point to consider is that "Yesterday" is reputed to be the most covered song in history. If it is a standard, then this must be some evidence of permanence... or irrelvancy, depending upon how old you are.
 

Chuck L

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Al-

I wasn't really thinking when I wrote that statment....what I really meant to say in that line was compared to what is in music today, the Beatles are fine, classic and great.

I did not mean 'okay' as in, their music is just okay...it is a lot better and will always be.

Sorry about the confusion on that. Having never been a true fan of their music, I am in the middle of the road on them. Compared with today's crap though....the Beatles had it going on. It was not meant to be a negative.

SORRY again.
 

Zen Butler

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The Beatles are far more than relevant, they are the one band you could say is interwoven into the fabric of rock. It's too huge to even fathom.
So much so, in fact, that, basically, you have The Beatles--and then everybody else.
but I will swing a tinge off-topic and say no J.S. Bach, no Beatles. So there is J.S. Bach and
then everybody else.
 

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