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the elvis analogy is the best formulation of wilfrid's argument that I've seen in this thread. (I haven't read the whole thread.)

 

 

the elvis analogy only makes sense if you think that anyone is arguing that but for the beatles rock and roll would have stopped or not developed in some other way. no one is arguing that. the point instead is that the actual development of pop/rock that followed the beatles was influenced by them (in musical and non-musical ways) to a staggering degree.

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This might be worth further analysis.   Something which occurred to me last night was that The Beatles, for all the hysterical female following of their early days, are musical Action Men. Their so

"Back in the USSR" in which Russia is a metaphor for womankind.

Not sure why, but I just got a kick out of you choosing to not use one screen name but use the other.

Oh Mongo, of course the moderately talented Lennon, the glib hack McCartney, the plagiarist Harrison, and the...yeah...were influential, not least because of their crazy commercial success.

 

But they were not the essential fulcrum around which musical history necessarily turned. That history would have done fine, in a different way, without them. Maybe better, given how dreadful and regressive some of their music was.

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Lex just salutes the Great Men theory.

 

Pete Townsend, Eric Clapton, Ray Davies, Van Morrison, Jagger and Richards, Christine McVie, Steve Winwood, Jimmy Page, Eddy Grant, and so many others would have made such an impact, maybe a different impact, if L and M had split up. It just seems silly, and somewhat disparaging, to deny it.

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Lex just salutes the Great Men theory.

 

Pete Townsend, Eric Clapton, Ray Davies, Van Morrison, Jagger and Richards, Christine McVie, Steve Winwood, Jimmy Page, Eddy Grant, and so many others would have made such an impact, maybe a different impact, if L and M had split up. It just seems silly, and somewhat disparaging, to deny it.

 

The idea that some or all of those people could have had a Beatlesque impact is possible. Just like it's possible that I could have invented the microprocessor or you could have written Macbeth and King Lear. But we didn't. And those artists, great as they are, didn't eclipse the Beatles.

 

Notice that you're focusing on individuals and I'm talking about a band which was more than the sum of its parts. The solo careers of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison were very successful indeed but they never approached the level they attained when they were writing and performing together. That collective success was unprecedented.

 

You mentioned Christine McVie so lets talk about Fleetwood Mac. They were similar to the Beatles in that they had multiple composers and singers. Very talented indeed. Sold lots of records. But they didn't eclipse the Beatles.

 

If all these artists were equivalent why didn't that happen?

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