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The Beatles -
Greatest band ever. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Not the greatest band ever. 100%  100%  [ 5 ]
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 Post subject: The Beatles, God
PostPosted: 090308 23:41 
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This thread was originally gonna be titled "The Beatles, and God", but eliminating the "and" just further proves my point.

If you know me, you know that I don't buy into the great Beatles hype. My dad never liked the Beatles much (he's a huge Stones fan), and I sort of inherited that opinion. That's not to say that I despise everything the Beatles have done. They have a few songs that I do like, and I think John Lennon was a pretty groovy dude, but overall, I'm not a Beatles fan. Normally, I'd just leave it at that. But with the Beatles, you can't just let them be, because everybody talks about them.

"The Beatles were the greatest band ever." "The Beatles influenced everything that came after them." "Everybody loves the Beatles." "If it weren't for the Beatles, nobody would even be playing or listening to music anymore."

In lots of "greatest guitarist of all time" lists, Jimi Hendrix tends to get similar praise. I'm more receptive to Jimi Hendrix, but then you don't hear about how he cured cancer as much as you do with The Beatles. Plus, I like guitarists a lot more than I like pop boy bands. But in one such "greatest guitarist" discussion, I remember reading a person's comment who said, "I don't believe it's a race for second place." In other words, it's not fair to install someone as the default first place, like Jimi Hendrix as the automatic greatest guitarist of all time, Stairway To Heaven as the automatic greatest song ever, or The Beatles automatically as the best band in the world. Even if the majority of people (polled) do feel that way, it doesn't leave much space for the minority opinions.

I just hear so much about the Beatles and how great they are, that it makes me want to deface them more and more. Everytime somebody says, "the Beatles are the best band in the world", I want to say "the Beatles suck" - simply because I feel like people should be exposed to that opposing worldview, i.e., the possibility that somebody could actually believe that the Beatles aren't the best band in the world, or are even all that good.

Most Beatles fans, in that case, resort to an ad populum argument, and argue that even if you don't like the Beatles, you still can't deny how influential they were, and that even if you don't think they were the best band in the world, you still have to concede that they were the most important band in the world, on account of their popularity and their influence, as if it were purely a matter of scientific fact, and not an actual opinion.

I won't argue that the Beatles were immensely popular, and also incredibly influential. But I still don't think it's a race for second place. Some people seem to think that if it weren't for the Beatles, nothing we know of in music today that occurred since their time would have happened. Like as if the success of every band to have released a song since the 60's should be credited solely to the Beatles. So a hot young band releases a hit single in November of 2008. One of the band's fans says, "isn't this band great? Their music is so good!" To which a nearby Beatles fan (because they're everywhere) responds, "sure, but they owe their talent to the Beatles, without which, their music wouldn't exist." At which point you just want to punch them in the face, am I right?

Now, I understand the implications of The Butterfly Effect. If the Beatles had never existed, things would be a lot different. But you could say the same thing about even the most insignificant band, or the worst group of high school dropouts banging on trash can lids in their garage. My opinion is this: if the Beatles hadn't existed, there would have been other bands to fill that space. The Beatles were not the only ones doing the things they were doing, and they were not the first, either. They may have been the most popular, and thus the most influential, but if they hadn't been so well known, just think - that would have allowed space for some of those other bands to have been more popular in their place.

So even if the Beatles hadn't existed, there would still be rock, there would still be psychedelia, there would still be prog, there would still be punk, there would still be heavy metal, there would still be grunge, there would still be alternative, there would still be rap, there would certainly still be pop...

The way that people worship the Beatles is, to me, starting to remind me of the way that religious fanatics worship their God. And you should know my position on God. I've already converted to misotheism, and these days, I have a lot of impulses towards misobeatleism. But don't get me wrong, I don't hate the Beatles as much as I hate God. I just wish their followers would be a little more open-minded towards opposing paradigms.

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 Post subject: Re: The Beatles, God
PostPosted: 090309 00:40 
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zharth wrote:
I just hear so much about the Beatles and how great they are, that it makes me want to deface them more and more. Everytime somebody says, "the Beatles are the best band in the world", I want to say "the Beatles suck" - simply because I feel like people should be exposed to that opposing worldview, i.e., the possibility that somebody could actually believe that the Beatles aren't the best band in the world, or are even all that good.


This seems sort of like the sentiment posted in the Gundam Wing thread about feelings toward DBZ and other popular series...


The Beatles are wildly, wildly popular in Japan, too. I'm not sure if it's because everyone seems to use their songs in English class or because they're semi-associated with Japan through Yoko Ono. Their songs are generally soft and vocal-centric, which makes them easier to understand (and do at karaoke!) than other popular rock songs, I think. It's really irritating because everyone is like "Beatles, Beatles, Beatles" or "Hannah Montana!!" here...


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 Post subject: Re: The Beatles, God
PostPosted: 090309 02:31 
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Interesting parallel. I don't think I was ever exposed to the "DBZ roxxors" crowd as much as the "DBZ suxxors" crowd, so that may have flavored my relatively defensive stance on the series.

It doesn't really surprise me that the Beatles would be popular in Japan, too. The thing with Hannah Montana is...you can't turn around in a Wal-Mart without finding her staring you in the face. She's everywhere. But in that case, I think it's more of a pop fad thing than an accepted elitism. If anybody says something to the effect of "Hannah Montana is the best pop star in the world", you can just write it off as "obsessive fandom". She may be a pop smash, but I at least don't think anybody is saying in a calm voice, "Hannah Montana is responsible for everything good that's happened in music, and even if you don't like Hannah Montana, you have to admit she *is* the best, I mean, it's self-evident, right?" And if they do, I doubt you're gonna take them seriously, whereas with the Beatles, this is normally intelligent and cultured and sometimes even balanced people making these kinds of statements, as opposed to twelve-year old girls.

(No offense to twelve-year old girls, of course :badgrin: )

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 Post subject: Re: The Beatles, God
PostPosted: 090309 02:37 
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Well, 30 years from now, if Hannah Montana is somehow still popular, you may have people saying that with other people saying that she was responsible for a pop revolution and almost everyone taking it completely seriously. Time is a miracle worker.


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 Post subject: Re: The Beatles, God
PostPosted: 090309 10:29 
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You know, a lot of people talk about how the game is changed, and how much more difficult it is for a pop act to have such a unified and worldwide following as the Beatles had back in the day, thus furthering their case for the Beatles as greatest band ever (past and future). I don't know exactly how pervasive Hannah Montana's popularity is across the globe, and I don't think she's exactly getting involved in politics, spreading messages of peace and love or whatever, but hey, maybe there's some potential for an act to make that kind of splash again after all. All 'Hannah' needs to do (and she's not a complete stranger to controversy) is be overhead saying that she's "bigger than John Lennon". The rest would be history. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: The Beatles, God
PostPosted: 090309 22:37 
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THAT is a slice of genius. The Beatles rose to prominence as a bubblegum pop act. All we need is an uberpopular pop douchebag who writes his own music to cross over into legitimate music. Could happen.

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 Post subject: Re: The Beatles, God
PostPosted: 090326 05:07 
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I've seen a picture of John Lennon naked - there isn't much out there that isn't bigger than him, really. It's not too mean, because every account I've heard makes him out to be a complete and utter douchebag to everyone around him. What a lot of people miss is that Ringo was, in many ways, the best musician among them and he at least seemed to be actually having fun with what they were doing rather than needing the attention for some sort of egowank.

They had some great albums at the start, and some ok work at the end, but I gotta be honest: The White Album makes me root for nuclear holocaust.

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 Post subject: Re: The Beatles, God
PostPosted: 090326 05:17 
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I think Zep's post would have been amazing had he stopped (just once) bashing religions. The post really didn't need it. Otherwise I agree that the Beatles are just the Beatles.

It's the past man, fuck the past.

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 Post subject: Re: The Beatles, God
PostPosted: 090326 17:48 
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Kashi wrote:
I think Zep's post would have been amazing had he stopped (just once) bashing religions. The post really didn't need it.

In all fairness, wasn't that actually the point of the post? I was comparing The Beatles to God. It's even in the title.

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 Post subject: Re: The Beatles, God
PostPosted: 090326 23:34 
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I don't know... I've become quite superficial. It's just that... so much of music is perception. It's smoke and mirrors, it's about crafting more than just good songs, it's about coaxing reality, making impressions. I feel like, if the Beatles managed to create this notion that they are the greatest band of all-time, then that alone makes them kinda cool. It's really not quite as superficial as it might seem... because in truth I make up most of the meaning behind music myself. My theory is that everybody does it, but I at least do for certain. The belief that there is deeper meaning there to discover is crucial.

The Beatles might not in reality be artistically superior to The Monkees. But the idea that they're so amazing makes them somewhat amazing for me. I really only like a handful of Beatles songs, but they were definetly an important band. I don't think they could compete for 10 seconds on their best day against Pink Floyd. I don't think they could compete for 10 seconds on their best day against Regina Spektor. But I gotta give props to anyone who is considered the greatest. Same goes for Radiohead.

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