Pioneers of rock? Yes, to a certain extent. But I do not see what is so appealing about The Beatles. Their music is simplistic and personally, I don't find it "great music", nor do I believe they are one of the greatest bands that ever lived. Sure the 60's were a time where rock was just beginning, but the Rolling Stones emerged at that time and are far more diverse and advanced. Maybe I just have a problem with simple music... (?)
What do you guys think?
You could call it luck. You could call it being in the right place. However, if the Beatles were not truly gifted at songwriting, why didn't anybody else make it like them. Chad and Jeremy, Jerry and the Pacemakers, etc. Yes, they had a brilliant manager (Brian Epstein). Yes, they had a brilliant producer (George Martin). However, they were assigned the task of delivering a hit every six months. I don't think they ever needed to even wait that long. The mere fact that all 12 songs were either hits or catchy is another genius fact. I can't name very many artists that I've like where I've like every song. Music labels used to hold onto great songs and just release one or two per album. That's how ordinary most (BIG) artists are. There was never any need to hold onto their songs. They were all simply great. The only comparable artist that has done what they have is Mozart.
There was a cultural earthquake in the 1960s and the Beatles were at the epicentre. Their musical evolution mirrored the societal revolution, The apotheosis of this Symbiotic relationship was Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Read "Revolution in the head" by Ian Macdonald for a masterly survey of the Beatles music and their cultural importance.
If you really listen to the Beatles albums over the last 50 years...You will discover why they are so great. Their music made you feel "glad all over"...Without the use of assistance. They were the epitome of cool...& made you feel happy to be alive. I will never forget the moments in the past shared listening to their music...Which takes you to a different place...Unlike the ridiculous music of today.
Not many songwriters or bands can claim to have such a catalogue of songs, and hits, such as theirs. Musically they were geniuses - as they were exceptionally creative. Their music still sounds as good after 40-50 years. I doubt that could be said for most of the rubbish being released today!
The sound that The Beatles have is not for everyone, of course; that's true with everything. Many of their ideas were simple, but many were not. Even with the simple ones, they made it in a way that was still musically deep and never-before-heard. David Grohl once said "Well, it seemed simple…they sound easy to play, but you know what? They’re hard!" When it comes to influence, they were huge in the development of baroque rock (Eleanor Rigby, For No One, Yesterday), electronic (Tomorrow Never Knows, Here Comes the Sun (one of the first major songs by a major band to use a synthesized instrument)), progressive rock (pretty much everything from Revolver on), and even heavy metal (Helter Skelter). There ideas were unique and creative, and the Fab Four and their manager George Martin (a man who truly helped them to be as good as they were, and who I consider the "fifth Beatle") revolutionized music.
This revolutionary creativity, along with their musicianship, skill and teamwork (for awhile, at least...) made them a great band overall.
I never was a big fan of The Beatles. They have some really good songs that I enjoy, but as a 20-something adult, they're just not my kind of sound. But I will give them credit; at their time, they were one of the first bands to introduce a modern sound to the music scene, something revolutionary that nobody had heard up until their arrival. And look at how many bands today have that Beatles influence. They're certainly a band that revolutionized music, love them or despise them.
I personally believe that the Beatles only became popular because they were different. They wrote their own songs, dressed and acted differently, and in America, Beatlemania only happened because the band was British (The fact teenage girls were their main audience has something to do with their looks). The did help set a lot of precedents for music, but at the same time, they are incorrectly attributed for others. For example, they DID NOT invent the concept album- Woody Guthrie and Frank Sinatra were creating them 30-40 years before- and let's not forget about Frank Zappa either. The band was lucky to come around when they did, as they started gaining ground when the music industry was starting to modernize. Any band could have been the first to use certain chords, write their own songs, or use multi-track recording- it just happened to be the boys from Liverpool. All that put together says they are still a good band, but they were simply hype and well-timed if it is really thought about.
Society today has a big problem with assuming just because something was the first, it must be the best. Many assume just because The Beatles were pretty much the first modern band ever they must be the best. Because they sold the most albums every they must be the best, right? No. The Beatles are the boy band of the 60's. They are no better than Justin Bieber in their earlier material. They pandered to teenage girls to sell albums and acquire fame. Those are the only people who actually cared about the Beatles until later in their career when they decided to write some real and decent music.
Every Beatles "fan" I've ever met says the same thing. "They changed the way music is made," or some variation of that. You know what I mean. And that is just wrong. The Rolling Stones were equally as popular and influential as them, and are by far better than the pandering and overrated Beatles. Also, The Rolling Stones are still best friends and playing live shows to this day. The Beatles barely survived themselves.
Also just putting this out there, Ringo Starr is a terrible drummer.
I would rather listen to the worst Rolling Stones album 100x than listen anything by the Beatles, because they are simply overrated and just happened to show up in the right place, at the right time.