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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.


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.



I know, but that's where we're bogged down. People assume I'm denying The Beatles influenced the actual development of pop music, and post accordingly. But of course I don't. That would be absurd.


I argue that they weren't exclusively responsible either for the creation of pop and its sub-genres or every major development within each of them.


To find out why I bothered to argue that, you'd have to dig back to see what I was originally responding to. Good luck with that. (But do remember the trouble it took to demonstrate that The Beatles were not the first vocals-guitar-bass-drums band not playing doo-wop; I think Sneak still doesn't believe it. So I've not been fighting windmills.)


As it is, we're all generally at cross-purposes.

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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?



You missed the bit about if Lennon and McCartney had split up. In other words, if there hadn't been a Beatles phenomenon. Who knows who would have determined the development of pop? Someone would have (maybe not as big or fast; see Elvis).

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would you think the beatles had any effect on adrian belew?






Seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show quite literally changed the direction of my life and made me determined to be a recording artist.



please note that he was apparently not so inspired by his prior knowledge of the everly brothers or the beach boys.



Before the Beatles my pop influences were mostly singers like the Everly brothers, Roy Orbison, and the Beach Boys.


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Ozzy Osbourne says that he owes his whole career to the Beatles.

The former Black Sabbath frontman was speaking to the End The Silence campaign by charity Hope And Homes For Children, which has been encouraging artists from across the music world to reflect on songs that made a difference to their lives when they were younger.

Ozzy chose She Loves You by the Fab Four and adds: “That song changed my life. She Loves You had such an impact on me. I remember exactly where I was. I was walking down Witton Road in Aston, I had a blue transistor radio and when that song came on I knew from then on what I wanted to do with my life.

“This was so brand new and it gave me a great feeling. Then I became an avid Beatles fan – they were great.

“I owe my career to them because they gave me the desire to want to be in the music game.”



"That song turned my head around. My son always says to me, 'What was it like when The Beatles happened?'

"All I can really say to him is, 'Imagine going to bed in one world, and then waking up in another that's so different and exciting that it makes you feel glad to be alive."

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Note what Elvis Costello has to say:


I first heard of the Beatles when I was nine years old. I spent most of my holidays on Merseyside then, and a local girl gave me a bad publicity shot of them with their names scrawled on the back. This was 1962 or '63, before they came to America. The photo was badly lit, and they didn't quite have their look down; Ringo had his hair slightly swept back, as if he wasn't quite sold on the Beatles haircut yet. I didn't care; they were the band for me. The funny thing is that parents and all their friends from Liverpool were also curious and proud about this local group. Prior to that, the people in show business from the north of England had all been comedians. Come to think of it, the Beatles recorded for Parlophone, which was known as a comedy label.

I was exactly the right age to be hit by them full on. My experience — seizing on every picture, saving money for singles and EPs, catching them on a local news show — was repeated over and over again around the world. It was the first time anything like this had happened on this scale. But it wasn't just about the numbers.

Every record was a shock when it came out. Compared to rabid R&B evangelists like the Rolling Stones, the Beatles arrived sounding like nothing else. They had already absorbed Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers and Chuck Berry, but they were also writing their own songs. They made writing your own material expected, rather than exceptional.

They were pretty much the first group to mess with the aural perspective of their recordings and have it be more than just a gimmick. Before the Beatles, you had guys in lab coats doing recording experiments in the Fifties, but you didn't have rockers deliberately putting things out of balance, like a quiet vocal in front of a loud track on "Strawberry Fields Forever." You can't exaggerate the license that this gave to everyone from Motown to Jimi Hendrix.

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ray davies in 2010 looks back at john lennon.




I thought back to when I was a 17-year-old student in the recreation room at art college and heard John sing “Twist and Shout” on the record player, and how I was blown away by his directness. How his voice cut through all the nonsense and sent a message to me that said, “If I can do it then so can you, so get up off your backside and play some rock ’n’ roll,” as if to throw down a musical gauntlet.
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Saying that there would still have been pop if not for The Beatles, and that assigning them too much importance is falling victim to the "great man theory of history", is like saying there would still have been European history if not for Napoleon, and that assigning him too much importance is falling victim to the "great man theory". Sometimes individuals do make an enormous difference, causing things to occur far far differently than they would have without those people.

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joe strummer in the late 90s or early 2000s.



What did you think of Sex Pistols reunion?


I was for it, because I'm a Glenn Matlock fan. Remember nine-tenths of their career was with Glenn Matlock, and hey, he wrote the tune to "Anarchy in the UK." You gotta have a tune, you can't just shout gibberish. So when Glenn got back up whenever it was, I was well into it. To me, it was the revenge of Glenn Matlock. 'Cause he was sacked in not-a-nice way - a sort of publicly humiliating way. I think the word was, "He likes the Beatles." So he got sacked!

I'd like to see somebody try and beat the Beatles. Many people have tried.

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captain sensible is able to articulate wilfrid's problem:



Did you cover "Help" because you hated the Beatles?

Captain Sensible:
No, but the thing was that the Beatles loomed so large over my generation. It was a fucking pain in the ass. Sure, they were great songwriters, and sure, they were geniuses, but they were always there. So our "Help" was a bit of revenge [laughs]. And I deliberately didn't tune the bass guitar properly when we recorded it.


Captain Sensible: I wanted to make records as good as the ones I my record collection – Pet Sounds, the Seeds, the Prunes, Sgt. Pepper's … once again going back to the Beatles.
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