Why The Beatles Were Bad

Saturday, 25 November 2006

[Picture of The Beatles posing]WHEN I was growing up one thing was patently obvious: young people were either this or that. Not a bit of this and some of that. It was black and white with no Grey.

It was whether you were a fan of ‘The Beatles’ or a fan of ‘The Rolling Stones’. It was that simple.

[Picture of the Rolling Stones tongue logo]The end of the 1950s ‘mods’ and ‘rockers’ era, had a shift, such that if you were a ‘rocker’, you generally liked ‘The Rolling Stones’, and if you were a ‘mod’ you liked ‘The Beatles’. Prepubescent, good, and white girls were usually in with ‘The Beatles’, gathering around ‘Dansette’ record players and ‘Radiograms’ to listen to the new ‘Pop’ music on ’45s’, while boys liked ‘The Rolling Stones’.

Sure, that is an over-simplification, for example, boys seemed to either like football or music, and the division between ‘The Beatles’ and ‘The Rolling Stones’ was not merely about gender, but about attitude, clothes and youth identity and culture. This ought to give you the gist of what it was like in broad terms back then.

[Picture of the fonz]As a family, we were ‘cool’ (like ‘The Fonz’) — we were more ‘The Rolling Stones’ than ‘The Beatles’. And I am comfortable with that, in fact I am glad for that.

To this day I think ‘The Beatles’ were fake and that they are an over-rated pop group. They were in existence from what, 63 to 70 — 7 or 8 years? And they went from ‘She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah’ to ‘Revolution No.9’. It was a mess.

[Picture of the Beatles -yellow submarine]I HATE ‘Oblidioblidah’ almost as much as I HATE ‘Yellow Submarine’.
Oh! How could anyone rate this group? They were awful in my opinion.

The main thing is that they had zero ‘street cred’ and they were merely the first to be exploited. If there is one thing that can be said about ‘The Beatles’ is that they were manufactured through-and-through. This is why I say the Beatles were bad; because of ‘The Beatles’ we have the record business, the teen-pop marketing machine, the fashion tie-in, the posed magazine photograph, and the cheeky interview.

The crowds of screaming teenage girls invented by Sinatra’s people and groomed by the Presley camp, were simply moved on to the next thing — and this tradition continues yet.

On the other hand, by contrast, ‘The Rolling Stones’ have continued — they still tour, they still sell lots of recordings, and they stuck to what was honest and truthful — themselves and their music.

‘The Beatles’ tried to be ‘cool’ and failed. They themselves turned their backs on the crass merchandising and the pop industry they had triggered into being. They even refused to accept their gongs from the Queen (what happened to those ideals, SIR Paul Mccartney??).

One would have expected more from each member after the split. Either in a pop music way (with hits) or in a serious progressive artistic creation. Neither happened.

Mccartney formed ‘Wings’ with his sad-looking wife, and launched with the worst and most childish gibberish ever imposed on the public. Lennon was even less talented, and his child-like endeavours were even less-well received than Mccartney’s. Ringo Starr did children’s TV voice overs and Harrison had a decent enough career away from the others.

 

[Picture of the Beatles -strip]

  • From their solo careers, it is patently obvious that ‘The Beatles’ were a creation. Whatever talent they may have had musically was early, manipulated and short-lived.

Probably the most amazing time in the history of music is the mid 1970s — when people could record on cassette tape from cheap radios and music centres, when synthesisers appeared, when types of music merged, when Progressive Rock was invented along with Punk, when the music business felt threatened by illegal taping, bootlegs, and the independents.

‘The Rolling Stones’ went onto even greater success, they exploited the laser shows, the big stadium gigs, the new instruments and recording techniques. The solo careers fitted the expectations and qualified ‘The Rolling Stones’ as a band of talent. Compare that with the same period for the solo careers of each ‘Beatle’! ‘C Moon’? ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb’? ‘Hi Hi Hi’???

[Picture of the Beatles][Picture of the Beatles cartoon]

Like so many manufactured pop bands, ‘The Beatles’ were short-lived and essentially cheap-throw-aways. They were cartoons, they were hairstyles, their songs should have been thrown away too; they are pop and therefore worthless.

[Picture of the Beatles being taught by George Martin]George Martin was very talented musically and he managed to take whatever was chanced upon and make something of it. He has milked that cash cow long and hard ever since — and is a crashing bore as a result. It is a great pity he cannot take the credit he is due. On the other hand I wish he would just leave it all alone to fade away as it really should.

I am not advocating ‘The Rolling Stones’, but I am trying to correct the rewriting of history: people seem to have forgotten the ‘Stones vs Beatles’ thing. People seem to have forgotten that ‘The Beatles’ were not cool.

Sorry world, but ‘The Beatles’ were made out to be more popular than they really were. They milked the media machine dry. They had no competition (unlike the world today). Their fanbase was preteen girls.

[Picture of Hendrix] [Picture of clapton of cream] [Picture of led zeppelin]

We were cool; we didn’t like ‘The Beatles’ in our neighbourhood. Boys went on to like Led Zeppelin, Cream and Jimi Hendrix — album bands, and girls filled the vacuum left by ‘The Beatles’ with ‘The Bay City Rollers’ a couple of years later.

Pop acts like ‘Sweet’, Alvin Stardust, David Essex, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Leo Sayer, ‘Bony-M’, Gary Glitter, The Osmonds, The Jackson Five, David Cassidy and ‘Abba’ took over the pop scene.

Girls and the preteens were the ones buying pop — they listened to (and recorded) the BBC pop chart every week. Teen Boys refused to have anything to do with pop music — they NEVER watched ‘Top of The Pops’ — they watched ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ and ‘The Tube’.

Now you know why ‘The Beatles’ were bad — they had little talent individually and musically, they were pretentious and fake and created all that is pretentious and fake in the pop world. Time to step out, stop believing the bullshit and hype, stop following the revisionism, let the truth be told! ‘The Beatles’ were bad!

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26 Responses to “Why The Beatles Were Bad”

  1. Liam Says:

    Well worth waiting for! Another fine posting. Food for thought and thoughts for dining out on!

  2. Maxim Says:

    The Emperor’s clothes!! Finally someone speaks out the truth!!! The Beatles were at best mediocre puppets. This a super blog!!!!

  3. Frank Black Says:

    I hate the beatles man! I play guitar and I got a beatles chord book and it did my head in the chords were hard to play but i kept on until I got a new beatles chord book and the chords were different and easier being as how they put a capo on!!!! Can I tell you how cheated I felt at that point in my life. I watched beatles footage and no way Harrison and Lennon could play those hard chords. I even wonder that they really did write those songs even if they are no good. I got sick of it all at that point and was saved by Hendrix and Page and yes Clapton is god. Seek the truth and rock forever! Love the blog man!

    • ohiodale Says:

      Lol, not true at all. Remember the beatles were in the 60s so judge them in context. Back then bands were not even popular. The Stones play many of their lead guitar parts with the guitars tuned to the key of G. Does this mean the Stones sucked? For you to say some chords are difficult to play prove you are not a good guitar player. I can play complex chords and I am not even close to being a good guitar player so your points are nothing more than opinion. I am not saying the Beatles were nearly the best musicians but as a band in the early 60s, not many other 4 piece bands could touch them live. Music is about the songs not the complexity. I hate to tell you this, most music on the radio is not that hard to play. I know 100s of local guitar players that can play better then any guitar player from the 60s with a couple of exceptions like Hendrick.

  4. truthfinder Says:

    If this is how things were perceived back in the day, regardless of being right or wrong, then that is valuable history. The mods fought with the rockers, and why you liked the stones or the beatles is because they had different audiences. You see that here in the comments to this day!!!! However in rewriting history ppl are making out that everybody used to like the beatles, and I mean everybody, and that is not true. It has gotten so bad that nobody is allowed to speak out against them. The truth hurts sometimes…!!!

  5. johnny Says:

    hahaha you think people who don’t like the beatles are pretending not to like them to be different!

    hahahhaahahahahah thats the stupidest thing ive ever heard

  6. johnny Says:

    the beatles are ‘rock ‘n’ roll’

    hahahahahah

    worst band ever.

  7. Sleeper Says:

    I suspect people are not reading the comments before posting their own comments, and I also even suspect that most do not really read the original post properly, rather that they are either already a Beatles fan or they are not.

  8. Sleeper Says:

    I better add that I am a Beatles fan!

  9. sandrar Says:

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  10. Margaret Blackley Says:

    The Beatles took 41 years to sell 19 million copies, compared with Shania Twain, who took just 12 years to sell 18 million copies. That’s almost as many in a fraction of the time. It is silly to compare the markets because the Beatles had no competition. Hendrix, The Who and so forth were not pop acts trying to chart, they were not producing single after single like the Beatles, they did not market haircuts and suits, have cartoons or films. Shania Twain sold her millions of records in direct competition with a massive pop market machine, producing American Idols, Pop Idols, MTV rappers, nostalgia, plus new dance and electronic markets, and indeed in an era of perfect digital duplication by means of computers and CDs (in other words, she sold that many in spite of illegal downloads and CD rips), an amazing feat by anyone’s standards.

  11. Pat Says:

    Check out http://clippednews.wordpress.com/2009/12/29/top-six-albums-of-the-decade/
    The Beatles compilation managed to make sixth place!

  12. Fred Says:

    The Beates? Don’t make me laugh.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_%28band%29#Legacy

    In 2006, Queen’s Greatest Hits album was the all-time best-selling album in UK Chart history, with sales upwards of 5,407,587 copies, over 604,295 more copies than its nearest competitor, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

    Queen’s Greatest Hits II album is the eighth best seller, with sales upwards of 3,746,404 copies.

    Queen has released a total of eighteen number one albums, eighteen number one singles, and ten number one DVDs worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists.

    Queen have sold over 150 million albums, with some estimates in excess of 300 million albums worldwide, including 32.5 million in the United States alone as of 2004.

    Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, Queen is also the only group in which every member has composed more than one chart-topping single, and all four members of Queen were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.

    …different class, my friends, different class!

  13. Chuck Says:

    They were a band, man, a band. Individual records don’t matter. Harmonies, tightness, composition…in other words, music is what mattered. Yes, pop. Of course they were pop. And you all take your favorite music stars so seriously, as if they weren’t part of the same business. That’s funny and ignorant. None of this is serious; so I laugh at all the oh-so-serious reviewers and historians. The Beatles didn’t even take themselves seriously, and that’s part of the point. If you don’t get it, than you are indeed too stupid to get them. Sorry, but they were smarter than you. Oh, and I love the Stones too; have rocked out to them for years and years. There’s room for them and everyone else in my collection.

  14. Brendan Says:

    Thank you so much, I needed this blog. We’re having our graduation from secondary school next week (I’m Irish) and the teacher in charge picked here comes the sun as the song we all sing at the end of the ceremony. I have two problems with that. Firstly not a grad song, secondly it’s an awful excuse for a song. When i said that i did not like the Beatles, so many people basically slighted me and gave out to me, one person even told me to leave the room. I’m friends with him but he got real mad. I’m just so happy other people can agree with me that they are treated like Gods when they’re not. They’re just a band and people should start treating them like just music. Personally I love bands like U2, Original GNR, AC/DC, The Smiths etc. I don’t go mad at people when they say they’re bad so why do i get marginalized and essentially bullied for not liking a band. Mr. Peacemaker John Lennon wouldn’t like that now would he? Also has anyone noticed the moptops look an awful lot like Justin Bieber?

    • Frank Hewson Says:

      Great, I also love U2 and The Smiths. And certainly I don’t like how Beatles are even on my soup. People treat them like the second coming and I think they are not that good.

  15. Andy Says:

    Its interesting reading all these comments, for and mostly against the beatles. I would like to say that so many of the big groups that were around or followed the Beatles took a lot of inspiration from them regardless of paul, john, ringo or george’s musicianship. they came along with a fresh new sound and look in the early sixties that took everyone by storm, they evolved over the next few years to a changing world and picked up new fans who possibly didnt care much for the earlier stuff. In truth the Beatles may have not known the real secret of their success at the time and just enjoyed it while it lasted, either way their influence is undeniable like them or not, but to dismiss them is folly. Come on guys lighten up ! some classic songs have been given to us, even kids of this generation still want to sing or play them, that should mean something dont you think ?

  16. lukemadigan Says:

    People do treat those stupid Liverpudlians like they made the world a better place, but they only made it irritating.

  17. Harry Special Says:

    I remember visiting this article some years ago and there were something like 60 pages of comments!!!

    I am glad that has been pruned down. Most of the comments were religiously, fanatically PRO-Beatles.

    So what I got that’s is worth adding to these comments? Only that I actually read the post and all the comments here (and back then too), and not many people seem to have understood what it is about.

    My take on it is that the author is saying a number of things.

    (a) The Beatles were musically fake – they couldn’t and didn’t write their songs without help from musicians and producers. The author’s evidence for this is what they did after they split, and the huge range in the quality of the output, from infantile to sophisticated. In addition, as someone commented above, the sheet music was complicated and gave the false impression that the Beatles could play difficult guitar chords. The author suggests that because the Beatles got away with this (and were the first to do so), that they have been BAD FOR MUSIC. That is ONE reason why the Beatles were bad. I find it hard to disagree that this aspect was oversold to the public. The author compares this with the Rolling Stones, who have clearly got a clearer musical identity and honesty.

    (b) The Beatles were fake in other ways. The fact that songs were ‘written by “Lennon & McCartney”‘ when they have since admitted that it was one or the other, is a simple lie. If they could lie about that, perhaps (a) is equally acceptable as a lie, and there was help for others that went just as unrecognised. The author suggests that this is different with bands like the Rolling Stones.

    Their hairstyles, suits, and image was not from them individually or as a band, it was done to them by what became “The Music Business”. They were the first – the template for fake bands, boy bands, girl bands and the pop industry ever since. This is another reason Why The Beatles Were Bad… this is now an accepted part of the music business – something against which people are judged on XFactor, American Idol and other “Talent” shows. Not good. The Rolling Stones showed that a band can be successful without that crap. Thanks for nothing, Beatles!

    (c) The Beatles were fake in that they were sold like a product. This is another reason that the Beatles were bad. The author compares them to the Rolling Stones to make the point. The Stones were targeted at people who wanted that kind of music, that clear identity or rebel cool. The Stones did not keep changing to sell to different markets.

    (d) The Beatles and Statistics. Record Sales come up all the time in comments and opinions about the Beatles.. Let’s clear this up once and for all. Numbers do not prove anything. Everyone, please stop this!

    The Beatles were bad because of the emphasis on record sales and having a number of hits in the same sales chart at the same time. This emphasis has skewed music into a sales oriented business – it is bad because it says nothing about quality, depth, complexity, enjoyment, art. The buzzfeed link in the comments above make this point BRILLIANTLY. Yes, other artists have sold more records than The Beatles ever did. Sales of songs is absolutely what is bad or wrong with society today.

    (e) The Beatles and their music machine/ business/ industry spotted the teenage American market as the single most important thing. Ever since, band have targeted that market – meaning that American accents have been used by non-American bands. Music for music-lovers or other places on the planet went by the wayside in favour of sales of product.

    Also the desire to play stadiums has been bad for music and for music lovers. The Beatles started that too. They are responsible for festivals and huge gigs that no-one really enjoys.

    (f) The author also says that he or she doesn’t like some of the Beatles songs. Deal with it.

    (g) The author says that she or he didn’t think of the Beatles as being as cool as the Rolling Stones. This is a report from the historical past, respect it.

  18. SharonWilkes Says:

    I totally get this. It’s a blog. It’s not historical record. It’s not journalism. There’s no need to have “balance” or to be “fair”. This is an opinion piece.

    Once you get that, you can read it better.

    She doesn’t like some of the Beatles’ songs, and she thinks they were used to create the evil music business. The band burned out as a result. The thing they helped create destroyed them in a very short time.

    The Beatles are still being fed to us by this evil machine, and because history has been rewritten by these evil music corps, we’re still on the hook, still buying and buying into them and it. So sad.

    She also wrote that it was (and is) possible to play a particular genre of music and stick true with it. Refuse to be made into cartoons and sold as pop products. the example is the Rolling Stones.

    The Stones are a perfect example because they are a type of music and that means that not everyone will like that type of music. They started at the same time as The Beatles, and they stayed together to this day. The best example of a contrast to the Beatles has to be The Rolling Stones.

    Thank you for your opinion on the music business and how evil and bad for us it has been using the example of The Beatles

  19. x-man Says:

    All you geniuses who say that the Beatles weren’t rock n roll really need to listen to a recording from ’62 in Hamburg. Nobody but NOBODY rocked that hard during that period.

  20. Liam Says:

    It’s all the big sell. The Rolling stones are over hyped as well. Beatles vs Stones is just a double bind, sales job. I find it strange that we so often define our identities in accordance with popular music categories, black music, country, punk…etc, or a particular band. It’s very weird. Products as identity. What clothing you wear, how you wear them, what cigarettes you smoke,( can’t be a man cause he doesn’t smoke, the same cigarettes as me), cars you drive, in a huge way they only identify us all as chumps. I am guilty of this sometimes too but it’s so odd. I love the rolling Stones. I love a lot of the Beatles stuff…but hey..it’s still doesn’t have a freaking thing to do with who am as a person. Stones fans always think of themselves as sort of rough and tough cool people as a posed to hippy Beatles fans. The fan base of any band always has all these wonderful attributes in their own minds. I love Lemmy from MotorHead bitching about how the early stones were only college boys groomed into toughs, while the Beatles were toughs groomed into something safe and marketable. However, yes, a whole lot of Beatle music is beyond terrible. Most of the Stones stuff stands up better over the long haul( for me). Does this make them better or safer musically? In the end I like 80’s, do it yourself, punk rock way better than both of them. None of those bands were close to Stones-Beatles musically but they were somehow healthier and funner. That music scene seemed to say, “play your own music, book your own shows, write your own fanzines. Get up onstage and be your own star. Play terrible music, unapologetically with guts. Write bad song after bad song, until you find your voice or at least try. Rip, rip, rip in your garage until your fingers bleed and your neighbors lose a portion of their hearing.” After you do these things, you’re still just some damn kid but hey you are learning something hands on. Going to a huge venue show, even to see a band I like, usually sucks for me. I find sitting their boring. Going to an early Replacements show, even when they still sort of sucked, was a fucking revelation. There would be only 25 people in the audience, and everyone just went wild. They were just the kids from down the block up there, doing what they wanted to do. Anybody could do it. There was absolutely no hype. The underlining feeling I get from big artists is, sit there and listen, shut up and buy, then go back to your miserable life. oh well, thats my old man rant for the day.

  21. ivysoul Says:

    Honestly? I like *some* Beatles songs, *some* Rolling Stones songs, but mostly, I LOVE THE BEACH BOYS! WHOOHOO GO BEACH BOYS!! Talk about cool music, man. ;)


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