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Old 01-19-2011, 09:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Lady Gaga has been putting out albums for about two years. When the Beatles were at that point in their career they were still releasing regular old insipid pop music that even their biggest defenders are unlikely to describe as pushing any kind of envelope. I really don't see a distinction between them and Lady Gaga.
Ah, that is true. Yet, until Gaga is to do anything more interesting than the bland pile of rehash she's doing, she's not really worthy of the same level of protection. Especially with the ridiculous insane amount of exposure she's getting.

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Plenty of modern classical/avant-garde/early psych rock artists/bands from the 50s and 60s (and even earlier for the modern classical artists) did all of these things before them, in a much more interesting, shocking and paradigm-shifting way. Yes, The Beatles did some good work with it, but they did not invent this style of studio work. Just because nobody was paying attention to innovation when it happened, does not mean that The Beatles started it, nor does it mean they deserve credit for bringing it to the masses.
Look, I'm not saying the Beatles are Partch, AMM, Cage, or Varese here. I am saying that they dug deep to the absolute bottom of obscurity to present what they were doing. Whether it was original or not, they were drastically different than the mainstream pop acts 20-30 years from when they started in their post-Revolver. Where as Gaga at the moment is stunningly similar to mainstream pop acts 20-30 years before now. Therefore, in comparison, deserve some consideration.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Look, I'm not saying the Beatles are Partch, AMM, Cage, or Varese here. I am saying that they dug deep to the absolute bottom of obscurity to present what they were doing. Whether it was original or not, they were drastically different than the mainstream pop acts 20-30 years from when they started in their post-Revolver. Where as Gaga at the moment is stunningly similar to mainstream pop acts 20-30 years before now. Therefore, in comparison, deserve some consideration.
"Absolute bottom of obscurity"... How exactly is what they did the 'absolute bottom' when you've just stated four artists who have gone beyond what they did experimentally? And those are just general experimentalists... Plenty of other rock bands of the era still went far beyond The Beatles' level of experimentation. The absolute bottom they are not.

Also, plenty of psychedelic sixties bands had a similar sound to The Beatles. Many of them were also very popular. A few years later even, many bands started the whole psychedelic-rock flare up again in a commercial setting, mimicking many of The Beatles' trademarks and getting plenty of recognition for it. Perhaps not at the Beatles level of success, but they were being heard, and it's also not fair to bring popularity too deeply into this as Beatlemania did most of the work for them. Thus, they really weren't drastically different from many other pop acts at all. In the late 60s, many artists got famous off of The Beatles' rush and nobody really even cared about the mild differences in between the two artists.

To claim that The Beatles deserve a place in history for doing half of what other musicians of the time did, except while in a spotlight, is really demeaning to those who actually went the extra mile. I was reading a section of a history book the other day actually, that talked about the rock music of the 50s and 60s in order to show how it affected the people of the time, and all it could really discuss was their popularity. The utter RIOTS they created among fans. Mind you this same book had an entire section devoted to how Stravinsky's Rite of Spring made people go bonkers based off of its visceral, shocking performance. Whether or not The Beatles deserve it is up to you to decide, but they're easily going down in history as a successful band, and not one that inherently pushed any envelope.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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"Absolute bottom of obscurity"... How exactly is what they did the 'absolute bottom' when you've just stated four artists who have gone beyond what they did experimentally? And those are just general experimentalists... Plenty of other rock bands of the era still went far beyond The Beatles' level of experimentation. The absolute bottom they are not.

Also, plenty of psychedelic sixties bands had a similar sound to The Beatles. Many of them were also very popular. A few years later even, many bands started the whole psychedelic-rock flare up again in a commercial setting, mimicking many of The Beatles' trademarks and getting plenty of recognition for it. Perhaps not at the Beatles level of success, but they were being heard, and it's also not fair to bring popularity too deeply into this as Beatlemania did most of the work for them. Thus, they really weren't drastically different from many other pop acts at all. In the late 60s, many artists got famous off of The Beatles' rush and nobody really even cared about the mild differences in between the two artists.

To claim that The Beatles deserve a place in history for doing half of what other musicians of the time did, except while in a spotlight, is really demeaning to those who actually went the extra mile. I was reading a section of a history book the other day actually, that talked about the rock music of the 50s and 60s in order to show how it affected the people of the time, and all it could really discuss was their popularity. The utter RIOTS they created among fans. Mind you this same book had an entire section devoted to how Stravinsky's Rite of Spring made people go bonkers based off of its visceral, shocking performance. Whether or not The Beatles deserve it is up to you to decide, but they're easily going down in history as a successful band, and not one that inherently pushed any envelope.
I did not mean absolute bottom as in terms of quality, I mean as in terms of how deeply a lot of things were buried(and they're buried deeper now).

Besides, my original reply did say they were knocking off a popular sound. My thing was, they were at least knocking off the popular sound of their time, and - trying - to expand on it. Not just rehashing what was big in the 40s assuming everyone forgot it, or didn't have access to learn about it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I did not mean absolute bottom as in terms of quality, I mean as in terms of how deeply a lot of things were buried(and they're buried deeper now).

Besides, my original reply did say they were knocking off a popular sound. My thing was, they were at least knocking off the popular sound of their time, and - trying - to expand on it. Not just rehashing what was big in the 40s assuming everyone forgot it, or didn't have access to learn about it.
To which I retort with the exact same shpeel - plenty of others were able to mimic exactly what The Beatles did and get rich off of it (thus their music does not merit being worshiped if anybody can mirror their accomplishments), and The Beatles were not the first to do basically anything in the studio, but had the popularity to convince everyone that it was so. The Beatles were not the first to reinvent, and they weren't even the most intriguing at it, so what gives, really? I understand applauding those who gave it a try and did well at it, but claiming they deserved that excess press, the literal obsession that people had with them while other artists pushing harder envelopes (while still maintaining a moderately poppy merit, mind you) were starved of attention? Pass the love around if you ask me, and allow for more than just one flower to flourish.

Also, you seem to be forgetting The Beatles' first few albums, and the fact that their early kitschy sentiment still carries through their entire career, albeit it dies slightly as time wears on. They never did truly 100% escape the whole "We are painfully white and play rock and roll music." frame of mind.

I've just been reminded of how much I dislike talking about this band's acclaim. For every time I mention their purposefully-misspelled name, it gets another Google hit, the hype monster grows stronger regardless of the musical merit, and I die a little inside. And it's especially hurtful when I really don't even hate their music, but wish that that was what they were judged upon and not their sales figures - but I digress.
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:37 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Eh, Stones are worse, in my eyes. They took less risks when they got more famous.
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:37 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I did not mean absolute bottom as in terms of quality, I mean as in terms of how deeply a lot of things were buried(and they're buried deeper now).

Besides, my original reply did say they were knocking off a popular sound. My thing was, they were at least knocking off the popular sound of their time, and - trying - to expand on it. Not just rehashing what was big in the 40s assuming everyone forgot it, or didn't have access to learn about it.
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Old 01-20-2011, 12:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Eh, Stones are worse, in my eyes. They took less risks when they got more famous.
What has taking risks got to do with being a good band?

Since when do you need musical eclecticism to be able to write good songs.

That's not to say the Stones didn't have any considering if you actually listen to their stuff rather than just a few overplayed hits you could hear anything from Rock n Roll, R&B, Garage Rock, Pop, Country, Soul, Funk, Blues, Disco, Gospel, Psychadelia and even Reggae.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:03 PM   #18 (permalink)
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What has taking risks got to do with being a good band?

Since when do you need musical eclecticism to be able to write good songs.

That's not to say the Stones didn't have any considering if you actually listen to their stuff rather than just a few overplayed hits you could hear anything from Rock n Roll, R&B, Garage Rock, Pop, Country, Soul, Funk, Blues, Disco, Gospel, Psychadelia and even Reggae.
Good songs, not amazing songs like they're given credit for. I'd never consider the Stones a bad band, I just don't know why exactly they're put on a pedestal above the thousands of other blues rock bands doing the exact same thing. I've never seen them doing it all that much better.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:06 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well i've listened to loads of Blues Rock albums & quite honestly none of them touch Exile On Main Street.
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Old 01-20-2011, 01:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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All of this boils down to one thing: music is personal. Everyone keeps trying to come to some consensus on how we should view certain music, but really it would just be like beating your head against a wall. For every person who thinks the Beatles were god's gift to humanity there will be 2 more trying to prove that person wrong. This same argument then gets cycled over and over.

I think someone kind of went into this earlier, but music is also about context. If the Beatles were around in the time of Mozart or any "classical" composers, their music would have been completely ignored. Why? Because music was high class back then. You didn't get to listen to the good stuff unless you were royalty or stinking rich. With the advent of recording technology, being able to play music in your home no longer meant you were special. It shifted to the common man's form of entertainment. The Beatles were perfect in THAT scenario. There are also still plenty of composers around making classical music, but most people don't know who the hell they are.

If we really want to start judging music in any consistent way, then we should focus strictly on how it makes us feel. Classical music can evoke the same emotions for me that a really great pop song can. Pop songs can sometimes have the complexity that would require the skill of a professional composer. You just have to take what that artist did and think "Can just anyone make something like this?".

Composers surely have more theoretical knowledge than a pop musician, but I don't think that has any bearing on who is the better musician. In fact, I think people can get bogged down with the specifics when they go a lot into theory. Music becomes more rigid. Anyway...I'll stop rambling. Everyone's opinion is going to be different.
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