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#31 g.johnson

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:08 PM

Every time this question comes up, the anti-Beatles party claims a limited number of bands that sound like the Beatles, conveniently discounts the important bands that built on what they did (Smiths, Radiohead, etc), the bands that took their ideas about what pop music can do in a wholly different directions, and then erases the half million technical innovations of The Beatles. Influence is not synonymous with 'sounds like'.

Can you be specific about the technical innovations? (I'm not trying to be difficult.)
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#32 Adrian

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:13 PM


Every time this question comes up, the anti-Beatles party claims a limited number of bands that sound like the Beatles, conveniently discounts the important bands that built on what they did (Smiths, Radiohead, etc), the bands that took their ideas about what pop music can do in a wholly different directions, and then erases the half million technical innovations of The Beatles. Influence is not synonymous with 'sounds like'.


You're presuming. All I am inimical to is indirect influence. I am quite open otherwise.

It's as if I were to say the pro-Beatles faction will name every band simply because they must have heard the Beatles and influence can't be ruled out.

I think there's rational ground in between.


Yes, yes, of course. It's still impossible to look at music subsequent to the sixties without crediting The Beatles with a lot of came afterwards for better or worse. Electronic samples, the intentional use of feedback, expansive songwriting, the use of orchestration, and a half million other ideas that are commonplace in pop music that sounds nothing like The Beatles (even that Lana del Rey song that everyone is gaga over owes a bit to Yellow Submarine). I can't conceive of many (most?) modern pop ballads without The Beatles. Also, there's also a lot of music from the 70s onwards that exists in intentional opposition to what The Beatles are doing. Lots of other bands from that era had influence too - Stones, Dylan, Velvets, Kinks - I don't think that anyone was on par with The Beatles, even if you accept the debatable proposition that fewer bands sound like The Beatles than the others.

ETA: On innovations - vocal double tracking, close miking of instruments, other stuff I've read about but am unqualified to discuss. I'm sure others did it before. It's still relevant that The Beatles are credited for it.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#33 Wilfrid

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:14 PM

Well, there are the amusing sound effects on "Yellow Submarine."

#34 Wilfrid

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:16 PM

Adrian raises an interesting, if unanswerable question. If the unthinkable had happened and The Beatles had popped their clogs right after releasing "Love Me Do," would pop music have happened? Would The Stones and the other groups already playing have been enough? I think so, of course, but it may not have become a worldwide phenomenon as quickly.

#35 yvonne johnson

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:16 PM

OK, first on the list, posted by mongo on the other thread was The Verve. Here's from an interview with Nick McCabe.

In a rare interview, McCabe insisted his primary influences came from a much more unique sources.

'When I was 14 or so I listened to a lot of Joy Division, I loved the textures of their records, but now it's more John Martyn, his '70s albums in particular; that's where my textured guitar playing comes from, honestly. I had Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd forced on me when I was younger, and although I tend not to listen to that sort of thing now, I guess it's lodged in my brain. I won't say that bands like the Cocteau Twins were not an influence, but that's not the sort of stuff I really likeŠ I like Vini Reilly (from The Durutti Column) because he could be flashy, but he was really simple about it. I also like Funkadelic's Eddie Hazel who, to me, condensed the best bits of Jimi Hendrix. You can probably hear all my influences in what I play, whether it's recent stuff or old blues records.


Interview.
So, where are The Beatles?
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#36 mongo_jones

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:19 PM

OK, first on the list, posted by mongo on the other thread was The Verve. Here's from an interview with Nick McCabe.

In a rare interview, McCabe insisted his primary influences came from a much more unique sources.

'When I was 14 or so I listened to a lot of Joy Division, I loved the textures of their records, but now it's more John Martyn, his '70s albums in particular; that's where my textured guitar playing comes from, honestly. I had Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd forced on me when I was younger, and although I tend not to listen to that sort of thing now, I guess it's lodged in my brain. I won't say that bands like the Cocteau Twins were not an influence, but that's not the sort of stuff I really likeŠ I like Vini Reilly (from The Durutti Column) because he could be flashy, but he was really simple about it. I also like Funkadelic's Eddie Hazel who, to me, condensed the best bits of Jimi Hendrix. You can probably hear all my influences in what I play, whether it's recent stuff or old blues records.


Interview.
So, where are The Beatles?


in the sound.

e.t.a: isn't this a guy talking about guitar influences?

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#37 Adrian

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:20 PM

McCabe can say what he wants - just listen to the stuff!

The water effects on Yellow Submarine are remarkably similar to the "party" sounds in the background of verse two of Video Games. Just sayin'.

ETA: Cross posted with Mongo

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#38 yvonne johnson

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:23 PM

McCabe can say what he wants - just listen to the stuff!

Oh, I see, now we're getting into unconscious influences. Not what the musicians say their influences are.
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#39 Orik

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:23 PM

Every time this question comes up, the anti-Beatles party claims a limited number of bands that sound like the Beatles, conveniently discounts the important bands that built on what they did (Smiths, Radiohead, etc), the bands that took their ideas about what pop music can do in a wholly different directions, and then erases the half million technical innovations of The Beatles. Influence is not synonymous with 'sounds like'.


The reason I gave The Smiths as an example is, of course, that there was (and afaik, still is) a very large group of people who love that band but can't stand The Beatles, not realizing that there would be no Morrissey+Marr without Lennon+McCartney. You're absolutely right about their influences, and whether or not other bands were at about the same place as the same time simply makes no difference. All of that doesn't mean I'd voluntarily listen to their music, which I think is mostly garbage.
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#40 Wilfrid

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:24 PM

I am surprised nobody has disputed (much) the absence of influence in the genres I listed. Huge swathes of British pop and rock.

#41 Wilfrid

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:29 PM

For example, you don't need The Beatles for this progression:

Trad jazz/skiffle bands featuring blues (Barber, Donegan)
Musicians from those bands starting the British blues movement (Korner, Davies)
Self-identifying blues (anti-charts pop) musicians emerging from that (Clapton, Green and minor figures like McPhee and Webb)
The bands they played in (Yardbirds, Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack)
Gets heavy (Led Zeppelin, Cream)
Explosion of heavy metal and so on...

Massive part of post-1967 popular music. You might hear The Beatles in this or that track, but they are entirely dispensable as an influence.

#42 Adrian

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:29 PM


McCabe can say what he wants - just listen to the stuff!

Oh, I see, now we're getting into unconscious influences. Not what the musicians say their influences are.


Kiddo's just trying to be cool. I'm sure that he put on a playlist of "Lorelei", "Passover", and the entire second side of The Wall and synthesized it into the Beatles-esque pop of Urban Hymns. I'm sure.

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#43 Adrian

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:34 PM

For example, you don't need The Beatles for this progression:

Trad jazz/skiffle bands featuring blues (Barber, Donegan)
Musicians from those bands starting the British blues movement (Korner, Davies)
Self-identifying blues (anti-charts pop) musicians emerging from that (Clapton, Green and minor figures like McPhee and Webb)
The bands they played in (Yardbirds, Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack)
Gets heavy (Led Zeppelin, Cream)
Explosion of heavy metal and so on...

Massive part of post-1967 popular music. You might hear The Beatles in this or that track, but they are entirely dispensable as an influence.


Yeah, you can do that. It's a dialogue though, isn't it?

I think you need to interpret what I'm saying in a reasonable way.


#44 yvonne johnson

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:41 PM

Re The Smiths. Isn't it a bit of stretch to say if Lennon and McCartney hadn't existed Marr and Morrissey wouldn't?

This from wiki, I know, I know:

Harrison is mentioned as an influence, but The Beatles don't seem a big influence:

Marr's jangly Rickenbacker guitar-playing was influenced by Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, Neil Young's work with Crazy Horse, George Harrison and James Honeyman-Scott of The Pretenders. Marr often tuned his guitar up a full step to F# to accommodate Morrissey's vocal range, and also utilised open tunings. The guitarist devoted his focus to the production of the group's music. Citing producer Phil Spector as an influence, Marr said, "I like the idea of records, even those with plenty of space, that sound 'symphonic'. I like the idea of all the players merging into one atmosphere".[39] Marr's other favourite guitarists are James Williamson of The Stooges, Pete Townshend of The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan, Keith Richards and John McGeoch of Magazine and Siouxsie and the Banshees.[41][42]
Musically, Morrissey's role in the band was to create vocal melodies and lyrics.[22] Morrissey's songwriting would be influenced by punk rock and post-punk bands such as the New York Dolls, The Cramps and The Cult, along with 1960s girl groups, and singers such as Dusty Springfield, Sandie Shaw, Marianne Faithfull and Timi Yuro. Morrissey's lyrics, while superficially depressing, were often full of mordant humour; John Peel remarked that The Smiths were one of the few bands capable of making him laugh out loud. Influenced by his childhood interest in the working-class social realism of 1960s "kitchen sink" television plays, Morrissey wrote about ordinary people and their experiences with despair, rejection and death. While gloomy "...songs such as 'Still Ill' sealed his role as spokesman for disaffected youth", Morrissey's "manic-depressive rants" and his "'woe-is-me' posture inspired some hostile critics to dismiss the Smiths as 'miserabilists.'"


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#45 g.johnson

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 03:50 PM

ETA: On innovations - vocal double tracking, close miking of instruments, other stuff I've read about but am unqualified to discuss. I'm sure others did it before. It's still relevant that The Beatles are credited for it.

I think you could argue that most pop music from the mid-seventies onwards is a reaction against that sort of technical innovation.
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