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Old 05-04-2009, 11:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
Piss Me Off
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Nominated by Double X

The Beatles

Clockwise, from top left: Paul McCartney, bass, lead vocals, Ringo Starr, drums, few lead vocals, John Lennon, rhythm guitar, lead vocals, George Harrison, lead guitar, some lead vocals.


STOP! Before you vote against the Beatles please consider – this is a hall of FAME. As in: a hall of famous groups. Even if you despise them for their technical skill, songwriting, vocals, hairdos or whatever, they are still the most famous band on this planet. Go to anywhere in this world today and ask “do you know of the Beatles” and as long as they are over 10 they most likely have at least heard of them. That alone should put them in this group. They sold a boat load of music too, most in the world for any band.

…Well, this shouldn’t all be about fame – I mean Britney Spears is pretty famous, but it would be kind of hard to convince me to be in a Hall of Fame because her music sucked. So how are the Beatles so great musically?

My closest friend has a younger 14 year old brother who is one of the biggest backlashers of ‘em all. Let’s call him Timmy for now. Timmy said the Beatles never really created anything new, they just stole brilliant new ideas and converted it to a pop formula (he mostly listens to progressive metal and hardcore metal). A ton of haters claim the Beatles don’t deserve all the revolutions they supposedly started. Mostly true. The Beatles didn’t create rock and roll, they copied it from the 1950s heroes like Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, etc. The Beatles also copied psychedelia from the West Coast. Bob Dylan created the ‘intelligent pop' music first as well.

(They were the first to use Eastern influences in their music though)

People look at it in the wrong light. They didn’t steal this work, they refined it with catchy melodies and great lyrics and dispersed it. They were ones to spearhead the British Invasion and to explode psychedelic music across the globe. The greatest thing about them though was the way they introduced new ideals to music by copying them made them similar to uh…a virus maybe?

Well, calling anything a virus never sounds good, but hear me out. The Beatles, with their amazing work ethic, constantly developed themselves using new ideas (or ‘copied’ ones) while retaining the best of their previous skills.

Don’t believe me?

Look at one of their earlier albums, like ‘Hard Day’s Night’ where they showed off their amazing voices and harmonizing skills. They retain this as they go on to work with new ideas in a later album, such as ‘Rubber Soul’. In this groundbreaking album they kept their vocal talents but their instrumental skills were catching up (i.e. Norweigan Wood, In My Life). Rubber Soul had more lyrical development throughout the album as well.

‘Revolver’ developed further their lyrical and instrumental skills, while maintaining their beautiful vocals. Songs like ‘And Your Bird Can Sing’ and ‘She Said She Said’ shows the ever increasing musical skill, coupled with their vocals and songwriting.

Finally, they take a huge step forward with ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, where they retain all their previous skills but take their musical production to an unheard of level.

Wrap Up of the members (in case you haven’t been convinced)

Ringo Starr

In terms of singing and songwriting, he was never much. His voice is rather soothing though and Lennon and McCartney often wrote some songs for him to sing. His biggest songwriting contributions were ‘Octopus’ Garden’ and ‘Don’t Pass Me By’. His most famous song is a Lennon/McCartney (mostly Paul) children song ‘Yellow Submarine’.

Ringo gets slammed way too much for his drumming. A friend who drums from my art class (who loves Tool) said to me: “I can’t agree with the Beatles being the best band ever because I can play the drums better than Ringo.” Well I doubt he could play as good as Ringo, but Ringo was actually pretty innovative. He never filled like Keith Moon, it was usually a quick cymbal hit. His drumming on ‘She Loves You’ is quite essential to the mood of the song, and his drumming on ‘A Day In The Life’ is complex. Lennon/McCartney could take most of the attention of the listener and Ringo didn't need to show off.

"If you have ever been in a band where you had to recreate Beatle songs, you would have realized Ringo Starr was no slouch. Those drum parts were very tricky and subtle. He did have a special ability to create interesting rhythmic structures within the music. This gave the Beatles a unique sound without loosing distinctive drive in rock and roll. ..." – Mike Finkelstein

Ringo ultimately was the one of the 4 kooky characters in the group and was probably the least talented member. Still was a pretty darn good member though.


George Harrison

An essential part in the band, I can’t think of a better musician who fit in with John and Paul’s sound. His backing vocals were astounding and voice is quite distinct. He introduced the Beatles to Indian music and it became a key part of their sound. He never broke into mindless solo’s like other lead guitarists, but when he did do solos they were very compact and nice.

His songs in the Beatles catalog are considered among their best work. ‘Something’ and ‘Here Comes The Sun’ are all favorites by the vast majority of Beatles fans. ‘Within In Without You’ is my favorite of his work. I loved how while Lennon/McCartney just seemed to be able to pump out songs (in their early years especially) that didn’t always mean a lot to them, Harrison wrote directly about what he was feeling and his songs often contained a ton of introspective lyrics that are great messages of peace. He is my favorite Beatle (barely beats Lennon out) and definitely important to the band.

Paul McCartney

When I was younger, whenever I listening to the Beatles I always though of Paul as one of those musicians who has a really nice voice and just played bass to ‘get in’ the band without being instrumentally skilled and had a great voice.

Then I started playing bass. I looked up some of their tabs and watched some videos of the Beatles and he played bass so differently. He had so many different styles, from the relaxed, peaceful style on ‘Pepper’, to the bouncy early stuff, and then to an independent melody style on the white album. He also played piano, guitar, and drums frequently.

What more is there to say about his vocals? He had incredible range and its schlocky-ness was perfect to counteract Lennon’s biting sarcasm. Personal favorites are ‘Got To Get You Into My Life’ and ‘Get Back’.

(watch the whole rooftop concert on youtube, it’s great)


John Lennon

A lot of people say his guitar is very poor, and I can agree with that. However, his guitar playing held the Beatles together in their early years before George could get off his feet. His main role in the band was the lead singer and innovator.

From ’65-’67 he was drastically changing the Beatles sound. He started using backwards tapes and crazy sounds. Eventually Paul caught up a little at the end, but for the most part it was John making the crazy noises like ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ and ‘A Day In The Life’

And of course his voice is one of the most emotional, honest, and beautiful voices I have ever heard. I think he has the greatest voice in music. Almost any sincere rock song I have listened to, I always think, ‘John Lennon could have sang this better’. My favorite song by him is ‘Dear Prudence’.

Even when they broke up, they all went on to release great solo albums. Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Band On the Run, Ram, All Things Must Pass (the best of ‘em), are all classics.

They were elected in their first year eligible to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. Let’s do the same here and elect the greatest band ever to the Music Banter Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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