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Author Topic: Contemporary Beatles Reviews  (Read 5648 times)

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AngeloMysterioso

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2010, 02:26:22 PM »

…. I remember reading (in Rolling Stone? ) that a rumour was going around hippydom in 67 that their next project was putting the bible to music. Expectations were indeed high…
Hence the reason why John said that The Beatles were now more popular than Christ.

Sorry. Couldn’t resist the opportunity. ha2ha
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stevie

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2010, 09:22:50 PM »

The Beatle's songs were that good they didn't need boring solos to enhance them. Listen to a lot of other ban'd songs from the same period - the production is way less than the Beatles.
I cannot imagine any Beatle song being improved by guitar solos.
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AngeloMysterioso

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2010, 03:58:58 PM »

I read the two reviews again, and something obvious slipped from my scrutiny. The first one is British, from an established Times journalist; while the other came from an American Student’s review.

Now, one has to go back to the specifics of 1968 to understand the huge difference in perspective. Peace and Love, waned in favour of the 1968 buzzword: Revolution! And that was much more specific in the US with the turning point of Vietnam war, Civil Rights unrest, Presidential campaign and campus uprisings. More than anywhere else – except in France. And Harvard U was at the epicenter of a significant debate: Timothy Leary had been expelled from it a few years before and now displayed overtly leftist political views, while running for governor of California. I suggest that expectations were stratospheric that The Beatles endorse wholeheartedly the passion and aggressiveness of its US young followers; not unlike the Rolling Stones, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix and others that were significantly involved in a confrontational attitude with the establishment. The White album, in these circumstances, might have been viewed by some as a qui tacet consentit, if you will. Thus, for better of for worse, back in 1968 (and the few years that followed) many viewed everything as political: wearing long hair was considered a political statement of sorts. And popular music would not escape that huge movement. Might be hard to understand for today’s youth but – for a significant chunk of listeners – an overamplified electric guitar solo communicated some kind of reaction against political inertia.

*  *  *
Be that as it may, and as already said, far from being a superstar guitar hero, I believe that George had always done a good job with the Beatles, by blending in instead of standing out. But I suggest that he was also innovative in many subtle ways. Wasn’t he the one who incorporated sitar in pop music, back in 1966? Who brought a moog synthesizer, during the Abbey Road sessions? An who introduced oriental mystics to many of us, and so on and so forth?
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Kevin

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2010, 04:29:20 PM »

^ Nice. I need to ponder, but some quick thoughts:
definately to be cool in 1968 you needed to embrace the "revolution." But I don't think anyone expected The Beatles to actually come out and wholeheartedly reject it. John's sneaky "yes" in the album version doesn't imo make up for the fact that Revolution is nothing more than a plea for the status quo, and could have been sponsored by the government. The triolgy of All You Need Is Love, Revolution (and maybe Let It Be, but I think that's more about personal issues) present a nice, cosy insurance company friendly version of what youthful upheaval should be about. Certainly a far cry from Ohio, Street Fighting Man, For What It's Worth, Something In The Air etc.  Even Elvis gets more radical than The Beatles with "In the ghetto."

Re the sitar thing: this is from an earlier discussion about this:
"The Yardbirds brought in an Indian chappie to play one on Heart Full Of Soul (early 65) but I've read that either he couldn't cope with the 4/4 time or the sound was too thin, so they dropped it and distorted Beck's guitar to sound like a sitar.
So it seems The Beatles were first band to release a song featuring a sitar (that sounded like a guitar) while The Yardbirds were the first to record with a sitar (though not a band member) and the first to release a song with a guitar made to sound like a sitar. Phew. Whether one is more important than the other, or either or both are important at all, escapes me."
We also know that The Kinks and The Byrds and David Crosby were fooling around with sitars and eastern rhythms.
And using exotic instruments in a pop record wasn't new either. The pop charts were full of novelty instrumentation before 63 when the Beatles themselves made guitar bands the required sound. I've always thought it interesting that they get credited with introducing "unusual" sounds to the charts when it was they that had killed off "unusual" in the first place.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 04:34:26 PM by Kevin »
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tkitna

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2010, 05:07:42 PM »

I cannot imagine any Beatle song being improved by guitar solos.

Seriously? So you think all Beatle songs are perfect just as they are? Thats being a bit biased isnt it?

Just for sh*t and giggles, I might make a list of Beatle songs I think would have benefitted from a good guitar solo. I'm not going to list the songs that I think had crappy solo's either. Just songs that could have been better in my opinion with the use of a solo period.

AngeloMysterioso

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2010, 05:43:35 PM »

^ Nice. I need to ponder, but some quick thoughts:
definately to be cool in 1968 you needed to embrace the "revolution." But I don't think anyone expected The Beatles to actually come out and wholeheartedly reject it. John's sneaky "yes" in the album version doesn't imo make up for the fact that Revolution is nothing more than a plea for the status quo, and could have been sponsored by the government. The triolgy of All You Need Is Love, Revolution (and maybe Let It Be, but I think that's more about personal issues) present a nice, cosy insurance company friendly version of what youthful upheaval should be about. Certainly a far cry from Ohio, Street Fighting Man, For What It's Worth, Something In The Air etc.  Even Elvis gets more radical than The Beatles with "In the ghetto."

Re the sitar thing: this is from an earlier discussion about this:
"The Yardbirds brought in an Indian chappie to play one on Heart Full Of Soul (early 65) but I've read that either he couldn't cope with the 4/4 time or the sound was too thin, so they dropped it and distorted Beck's guitar to sound like a sitar.
So it seems The Beatles were first band to release a song featuring a sitar (that sounded like a guitar) while The Yardbirds were the first to record with a sitar (though not a band member) and the first to release a song with a guitar made to sound like a sitar. Phew. Whether one is more important than the other, or either or both are important at all, escapes me."
We also know that The Kinks and The Byrds and David Crosby were fooling around with sitars and eastern rhythms.
And using exotic instruments in a pop record wasn't new either. The pop charts were full of novelty instrumentation before 63 when the Beatles themselves made guitar bands the required sound. I've always thought it interesting that they get credited with introducing "unusual" sounds to the charts when it was they that had killed off "unusual" in the first place.
Thanks Kev, for the sitar thing. You refreshed my aging brains: I now did remember reading that somewhere.

Be that as it may, I only wanted to stress out the fact that George, far from being the long-awaited-Guitar-God – as discussed at length – contributed to a level of innovation within the Beatles context. Far behind Paul, needless to say (I always found that John’s input – in that department – has a tendency to be overrated) he nonetheless brought something in. Oh, I also forgot, the use of feedback as bona fide musical element, but you got the point.
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maywitch

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2010, 09:01:13 PM »

Quote
If you listen carefully to the separate tracks on Sergeant Pepper… (the song), you can see that Harrison came pretty close to that, even before Monterey Pop Festival publicly spreaded out Hendrix newfangled way of playing.

I'm pretty sure Paul plays lead guitar on Sgt Pepper(the song), I've seen that in numerous places.

As for guitar solos, I like a good guitar solo but I prefer relatively "brief and to the point" to long and meandering which is what I think alot of them were at the time.  I find guitar solos, mostly, boring.  I don't mean every single one but generally speaking very few of the so-called Guitar Gods can keep my interest for longer than 15-30 seconds, in terms of the solos, except Hendrix.  After that I tend to be like "Can we get back to the song now?" :)
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Kevin

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2010, 01:52:21 PM »

Thanks Kev, for the sitar thing. You refreshed my aging brains: I now did remember reading that somewhere.

Be that as it may, I only wanted to stress out the fact that George, far from being the long-awaited-Guitar-God – as discussed at length – contributed to a level of innovation within the Beatles context.
And there my friend, is the rub, and never a truer word spoken. In the context of The Beatles. I think all of us at some point confuse "in the context of The Beatles" with "in the context of popular music." I was browsing Songfacts the other day and someone seriously suggested that Eleanor Rigby was "one of the first pop/rock singles to feature orchestration." Someone here once tried to suggest that George was the first person to combine rock and spirituality. I think thrre is "danger" that viewing the sixties/seventies soley through the eyes of a Beatles fan can lead to some very distorted assumptions.
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tkitna

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2010, 11:32:01 PM »

I think thrre is "danger" that viewing the sixties/seventies soley through the eyes of a Beatles fan can lead to some very distorted assumptions.

This is a good point. Were the Beatles innovators? Sure, but not to the extent that a lot of people might think. Its easy to get credit when all eyes are on you even when its not necessarily deserved.
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