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The Beatles

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Mar 12, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
Thats the thing, I didn't embrace any of the bands you list. I embraced The Replacements, and Iggy Pop, and The Dead Kennedys, and The Jesus Lizard, and dinosaur jr, and other bands that really didn't start out with 16 year old girls screaming their names only to discover that pot was fun to smoke and that people who were high would fall for things that sound deep.

Just started looking through this thread. I 've never much liked the Beatles but I accept that the early 60's was a different world. But you listen to The Jesus Lizard so RESPECT. Oh and the thing about you not understanding what Lennon saw in Yoko? It's called **ssy and it can make men do horrible, unspeakable things.
I think the Beatles were overrated.**

But the Who, Goodness ! Help !!! For bands, like that, even if it's beyond my principle, I consider re-establishing censorship. That was not music, that was noise.

** I also think Harrison was the best. McCartney had very good songs with the Wings and was creative. I can't stand Lennon. Ringo ... I'll talk about him later.

Some people say, the Beatles were fairly influential. In a way, that's true. But the most influential 60's band are the Byrds, in my opinion.

The Beatles are said - by McGuinn, himself - to have invented folk rock. Can be true (it's close with the Everly's). But McGuinn and Clark were already singing folk rock songs of their own in the Troubadour in L.A. before they knew about the Beatles and before creating the Byrds. A song like Beatles' What You're Doing (1964) is very Byrd-like but was no influence on McGuinn, just a model, the sound he was looking for.

McGuinn realised that Harrison was playing with the Rickenbacker 12 strings (US Tour 1964) and wanted the same. Mr Rickenbacker offered it to George.
McGuinn didn't know a 12 string eletric guitar existed.

However McGuinn's play with the Rick was far richer than Harrison's. He finger-picked it and rolled it while George probably only picked it, which produced the famous Byrds' jangle sound (the use of the compressor also helped that). McGuinn played the Rick like he played banjo (which he did before).

In the end, McGuinn was the one who influenced George. His arrangement on Seeger's Bells of Rhymney inspired George's If I Needed Someone.

Another influence by the Byrds was psychedelia and the use of sitar. Ravi Shankar's music was discovered by Jim Dickson, Byrds' manager. Dave Crosby loved it. While they were on a tour in Britain, Crosby introduced the work of Shankar to Harrison. They would be the 1st to use it (Norwegian Wood). At about the same time, Gene Clark was composing 8 Miles High, which was the Byrds 1st exploration in Psychedelia, long before the Beatles' Revolver. However you can't say the Byrds pioneered the genre. But McGuinn added arrangement to the song. That would be his attempt to transfer Coltrane's atonalities from his saxophone to the Rickenbacker (Jazz fusion?). On the song Why - b-side of Eight Miles High - these arrangements are emulation of the sitar sound on the Rick. They didn't need a sitar. On the Beatles' hits, the sitar is just decoration, but Why is really the first song you can call "raga rock".

Third genre that both groups explored is country rock. Country influenced the very first rockers but rather lost this influence. Again the Everly Brothers' Gone Gone Gone may be called country-rock, I can't really say (it's from 1964). In 1965 Ringo sang with the Beatles the country hit Act Naturally (performed by Buck Owens, written by Johnny Russell who would later perform it). A few months later the Byrds will cover Satisfied Mind, a classic country hit performed by Porter Wagoner in the 50's. The jangle sound was great on that version by the Byrds. But they were yet to write a song in the country-rock genre. The Beatles never did that as far as I know.

McGuinn's Mr Spaceman is a rock song with psychedelic overtone and a somewhat country rythm, I think. The real first country-rock songs by the Byrds were Hillman's Time Between and Girl with no Name. Hillman also had a huge influence on Buffalo Springfield's bluegrassish folk rock hit Go and Say Goodbye.

The Beatles are also said to have explored and influence the prog rock genre with Sgt Pepper (well my personal opinion is that Morricone's stuff was already somewhat prog rock but I don't know anybody who agrees with me on that :D), baroque pop (with Yesterday, that was definitely not rock but a French "chanson" and I'm sure some French chansonniers wrote songs with orchestras before) and hard rock (but that doesn't give them credit !!). Byrd's Gene Clark wrote very good baroque pop songs, solo but the Byrds never explored prog rock and hard rock, as far as I know.

My conclusion: The Byrds and the Beatles made a huge contribution to the progressiveness of music, much more so than the Stones who made good music but always came later and were very lucky to have had a great guitarist among them, namely Mick Taylor, to become a great live band (+ influence of Gram Parsons). The Byrds were, I think, better musicians/technicians than the Beatles, had better musical knowledge and were as creative, if not more. Whether the Beatles were better singer is a question of taste.

Oh yeah, the Byrds are known as a Dylan cover band. That's a myth. Dylan praised Clark's talent as a songwriter.
Jul 23, 2009
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Carboncrank said:
Playing bass and singing at the same time is very very hard.
Think about it. How many lead singer these day play bass.
Sting is good at it.

Paul McCartney was the best at it I ever saw.

A great bass player too.

Aren't the Beatles great!!!

Always thought that Geddy Lee handled this well.