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Wilfrid, my point is that this is a very similar argument structurally to the one you (and Sneak) were making on the other thread. By looking at things with sufficient granularity, you can find some examples to cherry pick and draw too broad a point from them. Surely there were white bands that played their own instruments, in the US, before The Beatles but that doesn't imply, when taking a broad view, that The Beatles didn't have a massive impact that changed the course of American pop music.

 

Emphasis added. The only reason you could possibly think I'm saying that, is that you're not really following along. I would say the opposite of that, of course.

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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.

Wilfrid, my point is that this is a very similar argument structurally to the one you (and Sneak) were making on the other thread. By looking at things with sufficient granularity, you can find some examples to cherry pick and draw too broad a point from them. Surely there were white bands that played their own instruments, in the US, before The Beatles but that doesn't imply, when taking a broad view, that The Beatles didn't have a massive impact that changed the course of American pop music.

 

Emphasis added. The only reason you could possibly think I'm saying that, is that you're not really following along. I would say the opposite of that, of course.

 

Sorry - that The Beatles weren't necessary the development and explosion of four piece rock bands in the USA. Though there exists some plausible counter factual where another band causes the four piece to take off, though it would have done so in a vastly different way.

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yes, but you seem to be arguing, with your usual relentlessness, that the beatles were not the direct cause of the explosion of (structurally similar) american rock bands post their arrival in the u.s. at least i assume this is the purpose of your bringing up the names of bands that either were nothing like the bands that followed the beatles (the four seasons) or which had manifestly not had that galvanizing effect despite being around for 2-3 years previous (the beach boys). as such, adrian's analogy looks right on to me. in fact i am going to award him three gold stars and a purple heart.

 

perhaps your argument is simply that there were bands before the beatles--if so, the answer is, "no shit". alternative history is always fun, but the one we have is very clear on the direct influence of the beatles, far more than anyone else, either before or alongside them, on the explosion of rock bands in america.

 

of course, if you want to play alternative history, a very viable one might be one in which without the beatles the british invasion would have been more like a brief skirmish, and even back in britain the scene might have gone instead in the direction of more and more tedious white blues outfits in the vein of the bluesbreakers, and even the stones and the who remaining on the trajectory of their first albums: covers of american r&b and rock and roll with little original material.

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Of course The Beatles added huge impetus, just as Presley did to rock and roll - but they no more created a trend than he did. We'll never know how it would have grown in their absence, but there were enough subsequently important bands around before them for it to be a reasonable assumption that "pop groups" were the coming wave.

 

Here's another example. I can keep digging these up.

 

cd-cover.jpg

 

Look at that mic use there. You can almost here them singing "Oooh!" (that great Beatles hook).

My memory of those times is that Midwestern teenage guys didn't think that the Four Seasons were cool, unlike with the Beatles. They were popular, granted, but in a more novelty act / freak show kind of way. They were perceived as a vehicle for Frankie Valli's unique voice rather than a group. Their instrumental sound was rudimentary & uninspiring. They didn't make anyone want to go out & be in a similar band, even though everybody went around screaming "Sherry baby" in their worst falsetto for several months.

 

The Beach Boys were a different matter.

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This is unnecessary, but:

 

Everything I said about the Beach Boys also goes for the Four Seasons (who also had a year or two on the Beatles but also didn't cause a rock band explosion in the U.S., and who were also perceived as a vocal group rather than a vocal/instrumental band).

 

The only difference is that, as ghostrider mentioned, the Four Seasons never got taken seriously by the college crowd. It's worth noting that their second attempt (after an album of Dylan covers that went nowhere) was an album called Genuine Imitation Life Gazette (which I quite like, actually) -- a very blatant attempt to imitate the Beatles.

 

I don't get the constant presentation of purported counter-factual examples whose historical ineffectuality has actually been tested.

 

(And will repeat, this isn't a claim that the Beatles were so very original. It's a claim that that's how the U.S. perceived them, and their supreme historical importance [and hence critical untouchability] here followed accordingly.)

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yes, but you seem to be arguing, with your usual relentlessness, that the beatles were not the direct cause of the explosion of (structurally similar) american rock bands post their arrival in the u.s. at least i assume this is the purpose of your bringing up the names of bands that either were nothing like the bands that followed the beatles (the four seasons) or which had manifestly not had that galvanizing effect despite being around for 2-3 years previous (the beach boys). as such, adrian's analogy looks right on to me. in fact i am going to award him three gold stars and a purple heart.

 

perhaps your argument is simply that there were bands before the beatles--if so, the answer is, "no shit". alternative history is always fun, but the one we have is very clear on the direct influence of the beatles, far more than anyone else, either before or alongside them, on the explosion of rock bands in america.

 

of course, if you want to play alternative history, a very viable one might be one in which without the beatles the british invasion would have been more like a brief skirmish, and even back in britain the scene might have gone instead in the direction of more and more tedious white blues outfits in the vein of the bluesbreakers, and even the stones and the who remaining on the trajectory of their first albums: covers of american r&b and rock and roll with little original material.

 

This is what I've been trying to say.

 

Of course, we expect English professors to be more incisive than lawyers.

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The only difference is that, as ghostrider mentioned, the Four Seasons never got taken seriously by the college crowd. It's worth noting that their second attempt (after an album of Dylan covers that went nowhere) was an album called Genuine Imitation Life Gazette (which I quite like, actually) -- a very blatant attempt to imitate the Beatles.

I was in high school then & the Four Seasons weren't taken seriously there either. They were mostly the subject of mockery. I'm not sure who actually bought their records outside of Jersey. They didn't resonate with the record-buying / instrument-buying crowd I knew.

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(And will repeat, this isn't a claim that the Beatles were so very original (Addition: when they first came to the US, pre-Rubber Soul). It's a claim that that's how the U.S. perceived them, and their supreme historical importance [and hence critical untouchability] here followed accordingly.)

 

Bolded addition goes without saying (but nothing goes without saying here).

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The only difference is that, as ghostrider mentioned, the Four Seasons never got taken seriously by the college crowd. It's worth noting that their second attempt (after an album of Dylan covers that went nowhere) was an album called Genuine Imitation Life Gazette (which I quite like, actually) -- a very blatant attempt to imitate the Beatles.

I was in high school then & the Four Seasons weren't taken seriously there either. They were mostly the subject of mockery. I'm not sure who actually bought their records outside of Jersey. They didn't resonate with the record-buying / instrument-buying crowd I knew.

 

I was even more subcollegiate then than you. But in New York, we LOVED the Four Seasons. I have to stay that I still like them more than the kind of rockist groups that you (and Steve R.) seem to like from that period.

 

Which brings us to another interesting point about the Beatles. In England, they are still regarded as a pop group rather than a rock band. In the U.S., we never articulated that distinction* (although you can tell by the differences between ghostrider's taste and mine that the distinction exists). One reason the distinction never got articulated, I think, is because here the Beatles were always regarded as both a pop and a rock band -- their appeal to both camps was equal. Ghostrider loves them and so do I. FM free-form radio played the hell out of them just as AM did. So pop and rock didn't seem as antithetical here. The Beatles showed that some artists could just steamroll over the distinction.

___________________________________________________________________

* When the Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, George remarked sarcastically that it was surprising they got that honor since "everyone says we're a pop group." I think maybe 1% of the people listening in America knew what he meant.

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(Although I have to note that when I uploaded my Beatles albums to my iTunes library, iTunes classified them as "Pop" and I changed it to "Rock". I don't remember how the Beach Boys were classified by iTunes, but I'm pretty sure I made sure they ended being classified as "Pop".)

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...The Beatles weren't necessary the development and explosion of four piece rock bands in the USA. Though there exists some plausible counter factual where another band causes the four piece to take off, though it would have done so in a vastly different way.

 

Just as in the UK. Good: we agree. :)

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yes, but you seem to be arguing, with your usual relentlessness, that the beatles were not the direct cause of the explosion of (structurally similar) american rock bands post their arrival in the u.s....

 

No, absolutely not. I am arguing what Adrian just said (i.e. not a necessary condition...).

 

alternative history is always fun, but the one we have is very clear on the direct influence of the beatles...

 

Yes it is. Of course. I keep saying that. Although, as I also noted, the kind of post-Beatles bands Sneak rightly recalls fondly sound an awful lot more like the Stones.

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I don't care, as should be obvious, whether The Four Seasons or The Beach Boys (or any of the other instrumental-vocal groups which preceded The Beatles) were good/popular/taken seriously. They simply support my contention that the move towards such units, in popular music, was well underway before The Beatles made any impact - just as it was in the UK where nobody supposes The Beatles caused the existence of all their peers (although they surely influenced them in various ways).

 

(I note the cultic aspect of Beatles appreciation raising its totalitarian head again, with me being accused of arguing with "relentlessness" - when what I'm saying, properly understood, is simply correct. Can't say anything which even sounds like it questions The Beatles unique supremacy. Beatles, Beatles, uber alles.)

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