The Instigator
Donlatt
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
Pluto2493
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

Sgt. Pepper is the most influential album in the history of popular music.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/8/2008 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,101 times Debate No: 3564
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (11)

 

Donlatt

Pro

The Beatles' 1967 Album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, is the most influential album in the history of popular music. It's impact on the course of music is greater than that of any other album.
Pluto2493

Con

I'd like to thank Donlatt for starting this debate and I ask that the voters vote on the better arguments, rather than one's own personal opinion.

With that out of the way, I have four main contentions:

1. The White Album was a better album than Sgt. Pepper. It sold more, and according to wikipedia, "The Beatles is often hailed as one of the major accomplishments in popular music." It featured some of the greatest Beatles' songs of all time, like Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da, Blackbird, Back in the USSR, While my Guitar Gently Weeps, and Helter Skelter.

2. Michael Jackson's Thriller sold more than any other album besides a greatest hits album. It sold approximatley 72 million more albums than Sgt. Pepper. This album influenced the current rap genre, which is the most popular genre of music today. And may I add, the folk-rock style employed by the beatles is dead now.

3. Various rock and rap albums make people, especially kids, have certain views or emotions. As a speaker named Dr. Mykee once said, "Rap music is all the same- I'm gonna shoot you, then sell drugs to you, then have sex with you... then shoot you again." Indeed, Rap and rock have had a significant impact on youth. It promotes various stereotypes and many parents worry when their kids listen to this type of music.

4. The burden of proof belongs to my opponent. He must prove to you that, in fact, Sgt. Pepper was not only influential, but more so than any other album in the HISTORY of music.

Thank you, I now await my opponent's rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
Donlatt

Pro

Regardless of album sales or Wikipedia's opinion, Sgt. Pepper is still more influential than The White Album and Thriller.

Although Sgt. Pepper may not sound innovative today, in 1967 it was the first of it's kind. In an attempt to recreate the psychedelic experience, The Beatles experimented with every aspect of their music, and created elaborate productions that questioned how much time and effort should be put into a song and album. What normally took bands a few weeks to write a record took The Beatles nearly six months. The arrangements of every song were extremely complex, containing a wide variety of instruments and effects that were a wakeup call to the industry and the artists within it. They were declaring themselves artists, and vinyl was their canvas.

The White Album, however, was hardly as influential as Sgt. Pepper. It had it's share of catchy songs, like every Beatles album, but it was really nothing more than a deliberate attempt to move away from the production values they embraced during the recording of Sgt. Pepper. I fail to see how something with such a lack of innovation could possibly influence artists or the record industry. The songs were nothing special, and it probably contains more half-hearted attempts at songwriting than any other Beatles album. I also find it ironic you cite 'Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da' and 'Back in the U.S.S.R' as influential songs. Paul McCartney wrote 'Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da' as a direct homage to the Reggae movement that was emerging at the time, proving he was actually influenced by other music when writing it. He also wrote 'Back in the U.S.S.R' which although catchy, was mainly a collection of parodies poking fun at The Beach Boys, 'Georgia's On My Mind' and Chuck Berry's 'Back in the U.S.A'. I'm sure they were popular songs in 1968, but they're no more popular than 'Help!', 'Eleanor Rigby', or 'We Can Work It Out'. I also believe the reason The White Album sold so many copies is because it directly followed Sgt. Pepper.

I will now further prove my opening statement. Sgt. Pepper's impact on the course of music is perhaps its greatest achievement. It was the official start of psychedelic rock. After Sgt. Pepper, more and more artists attempted to push the boundaries of music for the sake of LSD, and they frequently looked towards Sgt. Pepper for inspiration. LSD was the perfect excuse to experiment and be creative, and when combined with the fierce competition between bands, music was rapidly evolving into high art. It was this battle between bands to make the better psychedelic album that led to Progressive Rock, a hugely popular genre that would peak soon after Sgt. Pepper in the mid-70's.

Progressive Rock, or Art Rock, is rock music that pushes the technical and compositional boundaries of music. Prog Rock bands purposefully experiment with song structure, texture, and rhythm, and incorporates the latest technologies while doing so. It's basically viewing music artistically. It's very similar psychedelic rock, but the bands experiment for artistic purposes, as opposed to recreating the psychedelic experience. Prog bands were hugely popular until 1974, when the four biggest prog bands, Yes, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Genesis and King Crimson went on an indefinite hiatus. In essence, without Sgt. Pepper's enormous success, psychedelic rock would not have been as popular as it was in the late 60's, and thus progressive rock would not have been as popular. Bands such as Yes may have never existed. Sgt. Pepper's artistic and mainstream appeal opened the minds of a wide range of people, allowing them to realize there's more to music than guitars and drums, and verse and chorus. It helped create an artistic mindset towards music, and changed music forever.
Pluto2493

Con

Pluto2493 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Donlatt

Pro

Donlatt forfeited this round.
Pluto2493

Con

First off, if you look down at the comments you will see my name. I apoligize, but I ask that the dropped round not affect your decision.

With that said, I will return to the original arguments:

Now realizing that influence has not been defined in this round, I will define it for clarification. Influence- "the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others."

Dictionary.com

First off, my opponent does not sufficently respond to my arguments. Although he had a lot of arguments for his side, he did not respond to A: the Thriller argument and B: Rock and Rap having more influence.

I will take a look at these first. First off, rock in the late 60's and 70's, and still somewhat today have compelled more people to do things than the Beatles ever had. After all, it's 'Drug, Sex, Rock and Roll,' and not 'Drugs, sex, and early 60's light folk rock type music'.
Maybe that's not the best example, but the fact is, more people wanted to live the lifestyle that they see rockers as than the Beatles. It spawned loads of new fashion and a new sense of 'cool.' Observe: (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
Indeed, rock and roll has inspired many more people to take drugs and have sex than the Beatles, whose most sexually explicit song was 'I want to hold your hand.'
One last thing about rock. It allows people like Bono to speak about AIDS in Africa, Starr to talk about war, and Hendrix to talk about government. Sgt. Pepper never had any of this stuff. Hence, these artists' songs are much more influential for people to sing about when protesting their respective things. People now don't even listen to Sgt. Pepper when they take LSD. They listen to Hendrix or Clapton.

Also rap. Wow. Have I seen a bigger promoter of sterotypes, guns, sex, drugs, and bad music. According to the wikipedia article above, "While mainstream rock music was no longer able to shock or offend, new forms of music, particularly the punk scene in the late-1970s and rap and hip-hop in the late-1980s as well as some pop acts, emerged to fill this role."
"As the heyday was over rock lost a lot of its connection with sex while Rap, R&B and later on Pop have far more sexual content in there songs than rock and have also took over the idea of artists being sex symbols."

Again, rap is very influential to young people. It makes them feel like they need drugs and they are cool, along with sex and profanity. It promotes sterotypes and is frankly racist. This is where Thriller fits in.
Thriller was the first major R&B album that set off the rap craze. While it doesn't seem anything like the rap today, it set off other artists to make music like it. It evolved and evolved until rap reached where it is today. THAT'S influence.

I will now respond to some of my opponent's arguments-

<>

This whole paragraph should not matter. It does not matter how long or hard it was to make, we are questioning its IMPACT on society.

<>

I have enough offense to win this debate, so I conceed this argument and the fact that Sgt. Pepper was the most influential BEATLES' album. I am dropping this because it carries no weight in the round, seeing as how it is not called for by the resolution (being comparing the greatest beatles album). It also does not prove how influential the Beatles were to music.

<>

The arguments about Psycho and Prog rock do not matter. Those types of music are dead now. It was popular for about 5-10 years, and then it died. Plus, take a look at my next argument:

<>

First off, my opponent has absolutly NO proof that the artist's inspiration came from the beatles, let alone Sgt pepper.
Second, taking the drugs influence the public, and the Rockers were the ones taking the drugs. The general public were very muched influenced by the ROCKERS, and not the Beatles, who rarely blantently mentioned drugs in their songs.

<>

While prog rock may be a great type of music as my opponent describes, he loses this argument by jumping to the conclusion that the Beatles were responsible for this. All I must say is that, 'the Beatles are not responsible for this.' and the arguments must be weighed equally. In a wash argument, you negate.

I thank my opponent for this debate and those of you who have read this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Zerosmelt 9 years ago
Zerosmelt
ob-la-di, ob-la-da is widely seen as being one of the worst beatles songs of all time. it barely rises above a commercial jingle in creativity.
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
what? I did whitesoxfan.

"Again, rap is very influential to young people. It makes them feel like they need drugs and they are cool, along with sex and profanity. It promotes sterotypes and is frankly racist. This is where Thriller fits in.
Thriller was the first major R&B album that set off the rap craze. While it doesn't seem anything like the rap today, it set off other artists to make music like it. It evolved and evolved until rap reached where it is today. THAT'S influence."

~Me, R3
Posted by whitesoxfan450 9 years ago
whitesoxfan450
I wish you extended on why Thriller is more influential, I personally thing Thriller influenced many artists today! But, because you didn't, I have to vote Pro. EXCELLENT debate though!
Posted by DaniDyko 9 years ago
DaniDyko
I'll tell you what, Pluto...

How about you challenge me to a debate regarding Sgt. Pepper and/or (preferably both) The Beatles in terms of influence. We'll see how much of my "personal opinion" comes into play then ;)
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
Wow, thanks for that very in depth RFD.

But I have two questions (or comments if you will)- The resolution asks for INFLUENTIAL and influential is loosly defined. I don't don't think pro ever even told us that he meant the music industry. Moreover, it is not my job to disprove his points and opening argument- it's to disprove the resolution.

Second, I think this is unfair- "For another, he (sadly) doesn't know what he's talking about. Clearly anyone who knows anything about the history of the music industry is clued in to how much the Beatles changed the way music was written."

I believe that is your personal opinion. And yes, I know the Beatles did change music, but that doesn't mean he should win the debate on it.
Posted by Danielle 9 years ago
Danielle
I voted Pro.

Here's why: Although I like to judge pretty close to the resolution, Pro specified in Round 1 that by influential he was referring to the impact on the MUSIC industry, not society. Con chose to accept this debate after reading that, yet he still wrote (in Round 3), "This whole paragraph should not matter. It does not matter how long or hard it was to make, we are questioning its IMPACT on society." Yet all of Pro's previous arguments all dealt with MUSIC. Obviously there was some sort of miscommunication/misinterpretation and for reasons I already stated I will have to blame Con for that.

Plus - and I'm not positive about this - I believe I even saw Con addressing some of the Beatle's influence on MUSIC in Round 3, in which case he failed miserably. For one thing he didn't address a lot of Pro's arguments. For another, he (sadly) doesn't know what he's talking about. Clearly anyone who knows anything about the history of the music industry is clued in to how much the Beatles changed the way music was written, recorded and produced as Pro briefly touched upon.

Personally, I wish Pro would have included some more detailed accomplishments for Con and the readers to become aware of how EVERY genre of music today was influenced by the Beatles (i.e. their development of full length albums, just to cite one example...). But nevertheless I will vote based on the content of the debate only, and in that case, my vote still goes to Pro as I feel Con did not effectively argue any of Pro's points about musical impact. And btw - the Beatles DEFINITELY impacted society *MUCH* more than Con is giving them credit for!!! Pro just didn't touch upon that much in the debate. Oh well.
Posted by HoosierPapi 9 years ago
HoosierPapi
While I agree that Sgt. Pepper's is a terrific album, I agree with Con via his points, and think he, in the end, made a more logical argument. That being said, the Beatles are arguably the greatest band (see: not single artist) in modern music history, or at least a close tie with the Stones, Queen, and Zepplin.
Posted by Donlatt 9 years ago
Donlatt
Also, "It's impact on the course of music is greater than that of any other album" was a key sentence in my proposal, and it seems like you disregarded it.
Posted by Donlatt 9 years ago
Donlatt
Influence is a very broad term, and does not specifically apply to society.

I apologize for the forfeit in round three by the way.
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
4 votes? How did that happen?
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 9 years ago
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