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Old 10-16-2008, 05:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Beatles Influence on Progressive Rock

One thing I always noticed basically every early Progressive Rock artist from Yes to King Crimson cite the Beatles as a influence.

A Day in the Life", "I am the Walrus", "Within You, Without You", "Strawberry Fields"... not really blues tunes, are they (Doh?). They were able to draw from diverse sources, like Indian classical music (Within You uses a raga-like form that contains both major and minor thirds in different octaves, kind of a combination of mixolydian and dorian modalities). Lennon used forms similar to Tibetan chants. They were versed in the same types of cadential cycles that had evolved from Dixieland and Tin Pan Alley, the pop music of the previous era (and also a primary underpinning for jazz). And they invented many new forms in between. IOW, while most other bands of that era were still working within simple I-IV-vi-V frameworks, the Beatles had assimilated musical forms, languages and rhythms from around the world. They built their own unique musical sounds, and wrote some of the most widely recorded music in history.

Also I think they were one of the first rock groups to experiment in mixed time signatgures I think "She Said Said She" at one point is in 8/5. Their psychedelic style of Indian Instrumentation, tape loops, and electronica on "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" sounds like nothing else recorded at the time. I consider "A Day in the Life" a true progressive rock song.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The Beatles influenced experimentationbut they can hardly be called a big influence. Jazz had already been frigging around with time signatures way before McCartney though he was the schizz.
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Old 10-16-2008, 05:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe indian stuff, but everything else was done before them I think.
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The Beatles influenced experimentationbut they can hardly be called a big influence. Jazz had already been frigging around with time signatures way before McCartney though he was the schizz.

Yeh but we are talking about Rock Music not jazz. The Beatles were merging such foreign influences like Classical Indian, Avant Styled tape loops, strange time signatures in the realm or rock and pop music.
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Old 10-16-2008, 07:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've always considered the Beatles a huge influence on prog, and they definitely had some proggy songs themselves.

Though you do have to consider the other experimental forces of the time... Sun Ra, Beefheart, Velvet Underground, Hendrix, Zappa etc... and even the 20th century classical music. Psychedelic music in general was the main stepping stone.
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Jon Anderson of Yes has always said The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour albums) have always been a big influence on their music, especially in the early days of Yes. They even recorded a Beatles cover (Every Little Thing) on their debut album back in 1969.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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A Day in the Life is probably the closest you will come to prog in The Beatles' music.
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A Day in the Life is probably the closest you will come to prog in The Beatles' music.
I think "A Day in the Life" is progressive rock as is "Because", "I Want You She So Heavy" and the second medley on side two.

Or you could say their style of music bridges elements of Progressive Rock into more the mainsteam Pop Rock arena. Progressive Pop
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Lyrically to an extent but musically it would have to be such a minor influence that it can't be quantified.
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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In terms of experimenting, I think the Beatles certainly had an element of it, but were behind groups like Captain Beefheart, VU and the Beach Boys. Those bands were doing much more interesting stuff.

The Beatles, however, were the greatest force for popularizing whatever they dabbled in.
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