Monday, March 1, 2010

Are The Beatles Overrated?

Point: Yes, their music does not stand the test of time nearly as well as most people think.

Counterpoint: Are you crazy? Their music holds up quite well.

P: Most opinions are influenced by the mythology that surrounds the Beatles. We have been conditioned to like them.

CP: It could be that. On the other hand, they have that tremendous collection of great songs, too.

P: The Beatles are a band that created some catchy tunes. Those tunes were played over and over to everyone.

CP: Isn't that a sign of greatness?

P: Familiarity does not equal greatness.

CP: So, if they had played Jonas Brothers songs over and over, we would be having the same discussion about them?

P: That is a little extreme but people have been trained to love The Beatles.

CP: Most successful bands made a name for themselves with heavy radio rotation. All bands that fit that description are not highly regarded like the Beatles.

P: True but I find that The Beatles songs are predictable and quite basic.

CP: Simplicity has always been a trademark of The Beatles. None of their riffs are especially complex. This makes their songs even more impressive. They did not need million dollar studios to make quality music.

P: I'd much rather listen to Oasis or Green Day than The Beatles. Any band that came after The Beatles would have learned from them. They improved on their work so the arrangements are more complex, the sound is denser, and the production is better.

CP: Complexity doesn't mean something is better. It seems like you are equating technology enhancements with a better musical product. Those two are basically Beatles tribute bands with better equipment.

P: The Beatles influenced them. They influenced most rock bands.

CP: So you don't deny that The Beatles were important?

P: Absolutely not. the band was important and influential. Unfortunately for them, their influence and importance does not make their music any better. Bands today have the advantage of superior technology and knowledge passed down from bands like The Beatles.

CP: There is a genius to creating a sound and melody that resonates with tons of people before and now.

P: The Beatles had many things going for them like the British Invasion, their domination of the charts, the ladies loved them, they had the hair, the Maharishi era, the Eastern influence, their early breakup, and Lennon's death. These things all worked together to create the giant thing that is The Beatles. If a person is told over and over how great something is people believe it.

CP: Those things certainly helped but before The Beatles, a typical album had a couple singles and a bunch of filler. The Beatles were huge because their albums were loaded with great tunes.

P: They're quite talented but I'll take U2's "Joshua Tree" over "Abbey Road" any day.

CP: "Joshua Tree" is fine album but The Beatles have many that were better. The Beatles created the framework of pop music more than anyone before them.

P: I understand that The Beatles are culturally significant and important in rock music's progression.

CP: But any band that came along after them is better?

P: Yeah, pretty much. I'm not from that era. They will always be a band with which I cannot identify.

CP: I suppose deciding who is the best band ever is a matter of opinion.

P: To me, they are just another old rock band like Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Guess Who, The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.

CP: Those are great bands or they wouldn't be relevant anymore. Saying U2 or Oasis is a better band than The Beatles is crazy talk. As The Beatles career progressed, their music and lyrics evolved into some of the best pop music ever. What did U2 progress to?

P: Yeah, their last cd kind of sucked. Do you realize that The Beatles were nothing more than the first boy band?

CP: I think we are done here.

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