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Kevin

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Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« on: February 15, 2010, 10:01:19 AM »

Okay, here we have William Mann's (the Aoellion Cadences man) 1968 review of the White Album.
A couple of things to note:
I don't think his pompous style lends itself to pop critique.
He regards The White album (and Pepper before it) as essentially backward looking and too much of a p*ss-take of other peoples music, and that The Beatles really need to come up with some new ideas if they are "to continue their race against other progressive composers."
And he smugly announces that he can identify the different songs of each Beatle (and "will confidently continue" to do so) but seems to have failed completely to identify one Harrison song and incorrectly credits Helter Skelter to Lennon.
He also makes an interesting comment that some people (who exactly? ) regard George Martin as the first, not the fifth Beatle. A sentiment I don't wholly disagree with.

THE ARTS
The new Beatles album By William Mann, Music Critic
The most important musical event of the year occurs today. It is, of course, the publication of the new two-disc album from, by, and simply entitled The Beatles. Thirty tracks by those four - one by Ringo, three by George Harrison, the rest by that prodigiously inventive two-headed magic dragon still identified as Lennon/ McCartney, though devotees may now have begun to attribute their songs to either or t'other separately (Fool on the Hill was by Paul, I Am the Walrus by John, don't you agree'?) and will confidently continue so to divide their music on the new album.

It is the first Beatles collection of songs since Magical Mystery Tour, and their first L.P. since Sergeant Pepper; but it does not include any of the songs newly composed for the Yellow Submarine film - a pity, especially since some of the tracks on The Beatles are scrappy or pot-boilers. The album comes from Parlophone on the Beatles' own Apple label, has a plain white sleeve, but inside includes a huge colour poster of snapshots, and a new colour photograph of each. The words of all the songs are printed on the back of the poster, and the poetic standard varies from inspired (Blackbird) through allusive (Glass Onion) and obscure (Happiness is a  Warm Gun) to jokey, trite, and deliberately meaningless. The Lennon/McCartney songs are as provocative as ever. Nine of the 26 are superbly inventive, and in the same class is George Harrison's Long, Long, Long, a melting love song in slow waltz tempo-though, as with several other tracks. I am in two minds how much of the appeal is due to the brilliant scoring of George Martin (whom some regard as, not the fifth. but the first Beatle).

I say inventive rather than creative. Even more than in Sergeant Pepper, the Lennon/McCartney numbers retrace charted territory either to mock or to explore further. There are overt references to their own earlier songs (brilliant and delightful in Glass Onion, especially the touch of recorders for Fool on the Hill), to Bob Dylan (Yer Blues), Chubby Checker and the Beach Boys (Back in U.S.S.R.), the Ska of Desmond Decker and the Aces (Obladi). There are near-quotes from Alan Price's Simon Smith, the Harlem Shuffle, and from Indian and Greek poetry. Some songs adopt the style of Talking Blues, Shouting Blues. Rock 'n' Roll (especially Elvis Presley), the New Vaudeville Band (itself a pastiche of old-style pop). the quasi-improvisatory songs of the Incredible String Band, Nashville Country and Western, Latin America, Calypso, Indian traditional music (inevitably), musique concrete, flamenco, and even the slushy ballad (Good Night had me collapsed in laughter. but I suspect that it will be a regular request for the Jimmy Young Show - it is as well constructed a ballad as any that won Sinatra or Humperdinck a golden disc, though obviously genuine pistachio). There are doubtless other allusions and pastiches and quotations that I haven't yet identified- several fleeting reminiscences had me smiling but stumped for recognition. And there are, as in Sergeant Pepper, a quantity of musical and verbal references to drug- taking and hippy experiences, some less communicative to my antacid self than others. The flip side of Hey Jude was an up-tempo song called Revolution.

Side four of the new L.P. includes a slow version, slightly varied in places, called Revolution One, and a Cage-style indeterminate montage of assorted sounds (interesting, narcotic, but rather too long-though the stereo recording. as with the whole album, adds artistic point and detail that mono listeners will miss) entitled Revolution 9 - a private reference is implied, since the credit titles list acknowledgment to all at No. 9. There are too many private jokes (they remind me of the Before-the-Fringe revues) and too much pastiche to convince me that Lennon and McCartney are still pressing forward with their race against other progressive composers.

The genius is all there, though. The girls emerge well, Prudence, Martha, Julia, Sadie, and Mother Nature, not to mention Sexie Sadie and Desmond's Mollie. Nature is figured as well, with the blackbird and the piggies (are they Chicago police or just company directors ?), the son, may monkey, the eagle who picks my eye, the elephants and tigers in Bungalow Bill, the lizard on a window pane. There is a gourmand's banquet in Savoy Truffle. John Lennon's Helter Skelter, a Rock number, is exhaustingly marvellous, a revival that is willed by creativity (yes. the word is apposite here) into resurrection, a physical but essentially musical thrust into the loins. It is, once again, a brilliant feat of invention. The next Lennon/ McCartney anthology must, imperatively, look forward rather than back. But these 30 tracks contain plenty to be studied, enjoyed, gradually appreciated more fully, in the coming months. No other living composer has achieved so much this year.

« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 01:53:18 PM by Kevin »
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Kevin

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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 05:14:03 PM »

For contrast, here's the Harvard Crimson ( a student mags) 1968 review of The Beatles. Again, it's not over flattering, hinting that The Beatles have lost their place as the number one progressive rock band and this is a backward step by the band. They too seem to have trouble distinguishing Lennon and McCartney songs, and most bizarrely name Birthday as the albums best song.
They seem a bit confused about Rubber Soul as well.

ON ONLY ONE of their albums have the Beatles taken a fundamental step forward to compare with their achievements on the singles. That record was Rubber Soul, which brought about the supreme liberation of rhythm-and-blues by injecting an unprecedented controlled melody into the rigid structure of thumping drums and bass. In doing so, Rubber Soul significantly dissolved this structure by making it technically and spiritually possible to fuse a lurching tune onto stuttering, free drums. This development led the Beatles directly through the half-successful numbers "Rain" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" to its culmination in the masterpiece, "Strawberry Fields."
The Beatles does not contain the seeds of such a revolution. It is a traditional Beatle album and as such it consists of a collection of measured and highly crafted songs; therefore it is mandatory to have it around. Nevertheless, even within this limited perspective the record leaves one with a nagging sense of non-fulfillment.
Among "non-revolutionary" songs there are--to make further categorical (timidly, pun intended) distinctions--"good" songs, "bad" songs, and "arresting" songs. Once, the Beatles had a near-monopoly on good and arresting songs--this is no longer true. Leaving aside such heavyweights as the Rolling Stones and the Who, even lesser luminaries like Donovan, the Kinks, and Traffic have produced their share of Beatle-quality rock-and-roll. This being so, one is proportionately less impressed with the Beatles as the quantity of their quality work declines. When, out of 30 songs that are clearly not setting new standards, so very few of them are worth frothing over by one's old standards, one cannot restrain a certain sense of dismay. In fact, the Beatles have provided us with such moving delights in the past that it would be unworthy of us not to be disappointed by their failure to live up to our wildest expectations.
Arresting Songs:
"Birthday" comes through as the outstanding song on the album, fitting into the great "It Won't Be Long"-"Anytime At All"-"Daytripper" tradition with a strong and majestic Harrison guitar line, complemented by shouting hard-rock singing. It is a fertile blend of rhythms featuring a vivid piano (Nicky Hopkins?) answering Harrison's tasteful and beautiful guitar breaks.
"Happiness is a Warm Gun" is a terrifying song about suicide written no doubt by Lennon. For all his self-parody in "Glass Onion" Lennon does handle images masterfully in this song to convey a real sense of personal anguish. He speaks of himself in the third person,
Lying with his eyes while his hands are busy Working overtime
A soap impression of his wife which he ate
And donated to the National Trust.
Done in the "Walrus" style with its affinity for messages of impending doom the song leaves me frozen, dreading for Lennon.
The sneaking suspicion that the Beatles stayed away from the blues for so long because they were incapable of it disappears after "Yer Blues." Lacking a guitar virtuoso like Jeff Beck or Clapton, the Beatles have fashioned their own version of the medium, a kind of pop-blues that is faithful to the spirit and style of the real blues. It is so exciting to hear the Beatles play the blues that one is tempted to wish that they might fully commit themselves to it.
George Harrison has come up with one of his finest songs in a long time with "Savoy Truffle," which is all about getting your teeth pulled out because you have had too many irresistible desserts to eat. Written with uncommon (for Harrison) felicity the song is uncommonly (for Harrison) witty
You might not feel it now
But when the pain cuts through
You're going to know and how
The sweat is going to fill your head
When it becomes too much
You're going to shout aloud --Creme tangerine.
Bad Songs
Using the term "bad" for the Beatles always means using it in a relative sense. Nevertheless, the entire slew of slow love songs on the two records, presumably McCartney's work, are surprisingly undistinguished. The '30's type ballads ("Sexy Sadie," "Honey Pie") have lost their novelty and much of their charm, remaining now as just so much old-fashioned schmaltz, "I Will" and "Julia," the love songs, are not inventive or gripping enough. McCartney's great period of love ballads seems over because he has not done much since the fervent days of "Things We Said Today" and "And I Love Her" and "Girl." Songs like "Blackbird" and "Mother Nature's Son" are done much better by the Incredible String Band and that is that.
Good Songs
The rest of the songs on the album are of varying degrees of goodness, with many many Beatle-like touches of genius (the glittering horns and Paul's singing in "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"; the two tempos in "Helter-Skelter"--Ringo's medium and George's very fast and the precise interchange between them; the ponderous massive build-up to an electrifying flourish in "I'm So Tired"); but they are too often only unsustained touches.
Typical of such half-heartedness is the treatment of the song "Why don't we do it in the road?" A song with such a simple structure needs, and is ideally suited for, extensive musical exploration. The Beatles waste this opportunity with pedantic and sluggish guitar work and a generally uninspired musical conception, though Ringo tries hard. As a result the song falls flatter than it might have; particularly so because the shock value of the first line--"Why don't we do it in the road?"--is undercut by the second line which goes "No one will be watching us."
When the Beatles sing good night it is to "Everybody Everywhere," and it is true because we are all caught up in this fierce love-hate (but mostly love) affair that we will never be able to explain to our children. Mad records and glad records and bad records and sad records and one day it will all end. But it hasn't yet, I don't think. Where is the foolhardy soul who dares to admit that he thought in 1965 that the Beatles were all washed-up?
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Bobber

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« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 08:06:10 AM »

For contrast, here's the Harvard Crimson ( a student mags) 1968 review of The Beatles. Again, it's not over flattering, hinting that The Beatles have lost their place as the number one progressive rock band and this is a backward step by the band. They too seem to have trouble distinguishing Lennon and McCartney songs, and most bizarrely name Birthday as the albums best song.
They seem a bit confused about Rubber Soul as well.

Thanks for posting that. Interesting to read that Why Don't We Do In The Road is a wasted opportunity. Never looked at it that way.
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Kevin

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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 09:07:08 AM »

Thanks for posting that. Interesting to read that Why Don't We Do In The Road is a wasted opportunity. Never looked at it that way.

Do you think they mean that with a decent, inventive guitarist (axe heroes were all the rage) this could have been a decent song?
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Bobber

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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 09:11:03 AM »

Do you think they mean that with a decent, inventive guitarist (axe heroes were all the rage) this could have been a decent song?

I don't see how. But I'm interested to hear any moves into that direction.
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AngeloMysterioso

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 04:25:10 PM »

Thanks for them fascinating reviews, Kevin. Literally pulling me back in time.

Now, help me… with my limited understanding of the english language: didn’t pedantic and sluggish guitar work meant, back in that 1968 context, exactly the opposite of what it would… nowadays? I always found George guitar embellishments (generally speaking, and also for that short song) precise, subtle and minimal rather than grand and approximate.
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Kevin

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 05:35:19 PM »

Thanks for them fascinating reviews, Kevin. Literally pulling me back in time.

Now, help me… with my limited understanding of the english language: didn’t pedantic and sluggish guitar work meant, back in that 1968 context, exactly the opposite of what it would… nowadays? I always found George guitar embellishments (generally speaking, and also for that short song) precise, subtle and minimal rather than grand and approximate.
I'm fairly confident that in 68 it means what it means now - unimaginative, uninspired and pedestrian.
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AngeloMysterioso

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 06:46:22 PM »

I'm fairly confident that in 68 it means what it means now - unimaginative, uninspired and pedestrian.
Semantically, fair enough.

But musically speaking, I was under the impression that what was then deemed as some bland guitar accompaniment was done in comparison with something more technically elaborate, attempted by a few contemporaries of the 1968 Beatles such as Cream, Hendrix, the late Yardbirds or even Pink Floyd. And that some kind of ad lib guitar solo of sorts was to be expected, or should have been attempted within the open loose frame of Why don’t we do it…
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tkitna

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2010, 08:24:29 AM »

Interesting reading, thanks Kevin.

I dig this quote - "Lacking a guitar virtuoso like Jeff Beck or Clapton, the Beatles have fashioned their own version of the medium, a kind of pop-blues that is faithful to the spirit and style of the real blues."

I know thats what you guys have been talking about the last few posts, but it really hit me over the head when I read it. Its true. I just realized that theres very few moments in the Beatles catalog that I listen to a guitar solo and say to myself that it was awesome. Naturally 'The End' would be one of those moments, but even thats more because of the outcome rather than the playing itself.

The Beatles are already the biggest band ever, but has anybody ever sat back and wondered how huge they would have been if they had a guitar player with the skills of a Beck, Clapton, or Page? It would have been off the charts. Now George, Paul, and even John had their moments and I dont want to sound complaining, but some 'knock you on your ass' solo's would have been even more beneficial in my opinion.

(This is all just opinion and imagining though as most bands dont have a Beck, Clapton, or Page.)

Kevin

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2010, 12:50:14 PM »

Interesting reading, thanks Kevin.

I dig this quote - "Lacking a guitar virtuoso like Jeff Beck or Clapton, the Beatles have fashioned their own version of the medium, a kind of pop-blues that is faithful to the spirit and style of the real blues."

You're right. That's a very astute observation on their part. It seems to me that in 68 rock was splintering and to stay at the front you had to go with either the new blues boom of bands like Cream, Free, Fleetwood Mac or the Prog Rock road of Yes and Pink Floyd. Either way a big guitar man was an essential ingredient. This was the days of Gutar Heroes. It could/should have been the death of The Beatles. Three minute pop songs just weren't cutting edge anymore and let's face it, George just couldn't cut the mustard. Yet The White Album and Hey Jude manage to sound earthy and bluesy without a Beck, though as we know they did knick Clapton. Maybe something else we should be grateful to George Martin for?
It's hard to deny that the Beatles must have been a better band with a better guitarist. George is clearly out of his depth post Beatlemania. But then you could argue that their position as one of rocks top bands proves it wasn't necessary. But the reviews of 68 all agree on one thing - that the crown of chief innovators that The Beatles wore in 1966 had well and truly slipped by 1968. They were resorting to parody at the expense of invention.
I think we talked  ages ago about Abbey Road being a very early AOR album. Again though this is down more to George Martin's slick production, and besides most people think inventing AOR was about as beneficial to the human race as inventing cancer. No Abbey Road might mean no REO Speedwagon.
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AngeloMysterioso

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2010, 03:33:34 PM »

You're right. That's a very astute observation on their part. It seems to me that in 68 rock was splintering and to stay at the front you had to go with either the new blues boom of bands like Cream, Free, Fleetwood Mac or the Prog Rock road of Yes and Pink Floyd. Either way a big guitar man was an essential ingredient. This was the days of Gutar Heroes. It could/should have been the death of The Beatles. Three minute pop songs just weren't cutting edge anymore and let's face it, George just couldn't cut the mustard. Yet The White Album and Hey Jude manage to sound earthy and bluesy without a Beck, though as we know they did knick Clapton. Maybe something else we should be grateful to George Martin for?
It's hard to deny that the Beatles must have been a better band with a better guitarist. George is clearly out of his depth post Beatlemania. But then you could argue that their position as one of rocks top bands proves it wasn't necessary. But the reviews of 68 all agree on one thing - that the crown of chief innovators that The Beatles wore in 1966 had well and truly slipped by 1968. They were resorting to parody at the expense of invention.
I think we talked  ages ago about Abbey Road being a very early AOR album. Again though this is down more to George Martin's slick production, and besides most people think inventing AOR was about as beneficial to the human race as inventing cancer. No Abbey Road might mean no REO Speedwagon.

Very well summed up, Kevin.

There is no doubt in my mind that George was not, and never, ever became a guitar hero, with or after the Beatles. But from 1968, in my view, he did became musically constrained, more or less, inside the Beatles context. If one listens closely to the lead guitar tracks that were dropped from Come Together final mix; or to his innovative rythm guitar playing with Clapton within Badge – recorded in late 1968… I think he could have gone further.
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Kevin

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2010, 04:06:43 PM »

Very well summed up, Kevin.

There is no doubt in my mind that George was not, and never, ever became a guitar hero, with or after the Beatles. But from 1968, in my view, he did became musically constrained, more or less, inside the Beatles context. If one listens closely to the lead guitar tracks that were dropped from Come Together final mix; or to his innovative rythm guitar playing with Clapton within Badge – recorded in late 1968… I think he could have gone further.

That's a good point. Maybe the type of songs he was required to play on simply didn't allow him room to develope. Then again he just didn't come from the same blues background as The Yardbirds Boys.
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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2010, 05:26:29 PM »

Apart form Yer Blues, songs like Hey Bulldog, Revolution, Helter Skelter, While My Guitar Gently Weeps or Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey (to name a few from 1968 only) has good guitar works and/or solos. I also like It's All Too Much, I Want You (She's So Heavy), The End, I Me Mine...among others from 1969.I dont miss a guitar hero in The Beatles,their songs have what the songs needed and some have some "heavy" guitars or even some kind of "guitar hero" solo, tho most of the times they are quite brief. 1966 was another good year for them guitar work speaking, in my opinion, begininng with Day Tripper (Dec 1965).
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tkitna

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2010, 08:30:13 PM »

It's hard to deny that the Beatles must have been a better band with a better guitarist.

I agree with this and i'm really not coming down on George. Its just a fact. Again, the Beatles are/were the biggest band ever, but a guitar hero would have cemented that even more.

Quote
But then you could argue that their position as one of rocks top bands proves it wasn't necessary.

I almost went there but didnt. I think its a tribute to the killer song writing that didnt have to depend on the normal equation (which included guitar solos).

Quote
But the reviews of 68 all agree on one thing - that the crown of chief innovators that The Beatles wore in 1966 had well and truly slipped by 1968. They were resorting to parody at the expense of invention.

I'm split on this. The reason being is that they had just created maybe the greatest or important physchedelic album of all time with Sgt. Peppers in 67' and although the progression seemed to stop with the White Album, how were they suppossed to top Peppers. That would have been one hell of an encore and in all fairness, a lot of people feel they succeeded. The creativity wasnt gone. They had a double album full of tunes coming from all different genres. Pretty impressive when you stop and think about it even if the packaging was somewhat confusing (meaning if they would have stripped away the rubbish and made a single record with the best from the White Album,,,,look out).

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2010, 08:40:40 PM »

That's a good point. Maybe the type of songs he was required to play on simply didn't allow him room to develope.

I'd have to throw the bullsh*t flag on this one. Songs dont dictate how good or creative a person is. They either have the skill or knack or they dont. I guarantee Clapton or Beck would have played some solo's on some Beatle tunes that would have knocked the socks off of some people. Even going as far as having some of those songs being remembered for the solo itself rather than the song as a whole. Look at 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. People remember that song for Claptons solo playing (although I dont think it was great by any stretch of the imagination. Georege could have played that.) and not for the song structure in my opinion.

Quote
Then again he just didn't come from the same blues background as The Yardbirds Boys.

This is debatable too.

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2010, 08:43:39 PM »

The Beatles could definitely be classified as a band that mastered the art of style over speed. Although some of the early guitar solos have always sounded cheesy to me, especially those fed to George by Paul note by note, later on George became a really stylish guitarist.

Kevin mentioned Fleetwood Mac, which I think is interesting. While it's true that, at the time of the White Album, Fleetwood Mac did have a virtuoso guitarist in Peter Green, they didn't really achieve great success outside of the UK. When they did achieve worldwide success later on, with the Fleetwood/J. McVie/C. McVie/Buckingham/Nicks lineup, they no longer had any real instrumental virtuosos. The fastest Buckingham guitar playing I can think of is "Eyes of the World" from the Mirage album, which features arpeggiated, cascading guitar notes of a similar style and speed as Harrison's fastest sustained (as in more than a quick, short burst) guitar work with the Beatles in "And Your Bird Can Sing".

My point is, Fleetwood Mac with its classic lineup was also very much a style over speed band, like the Beatles.
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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #16 on: February 17, 2010, 09:06:44 PM »

Great discussion guys, nice one Kev. What occurs to me is, the thing with a brilliantly technical guitarist, is that it would have changed their whole approach and dynamics and perhaps this just wasn't in them. I mean they were the perfect presenters of songwriting rather than a virtuoso jam band that spent hours locking in together. I'd be cheeky enough to say they were amazing buskers in the early days. Both approaches work but in this case, their 'limitation' always allowed them somewhere else to go rather than become don of one style or sound, transcending most acts to the masses. I find that a refreshing quality and the longevity speaks for itself. I particularly like the White album and I imagine them being very anti 'industry machine' by this point.
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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2010, 09:43:11 PM »

Great discussion guys, nice one Kev. What occurs to me is, the thing with a brilliantly technical guitarist, is that it would have changed their whole approach and dynamics and perhaps this just wasn't in them. I mean they were the perfect presenters of songwriting rather than a virtuoso jam band that spent hours locking in together. I'd be cheeky enough to say they were amazing buskers in the early days. Both approaches work but in this case, their 'limitation' always allowed them somewhere else to go rather than become don of one style or sound, transcending most acts to the masses. I find that a refreshing quality and the longevity speaks for itself. I particularly like the White album and I imagine them being very anti 'industry machine' by this point.
Dead on, AAB, dead on. If an electric guitar virtuoso would have replaced George – or if I would have became one of these – the group (as a whole) dynamics, and ultimately music, would have unavoidably shifted in another direction.

In that respect, it must also be pointed out that the solo-electric-guitar-as-a-bona-fide-musical-instrument – in other words, its syntax, grammar and vocabulary, if you will – with long awaited more powerful amps and hardware, only surfaced in mid-1967 with Jimi Hendrix. For those who can remember, we can reasonably suggest that from 1968 onward, every single lead guitarist wanted to sound more or less like Hendrix. And that was less than a year before the White Album sessions began. 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.

Again, one can only realize how incredibly fast popular music evolved in the sixties.
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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2010, 10:24:05 PM »

Fascinating discussion, especially as I listened to the White Album today for the first time in ages. It was so apparent that they'd just got back from India, with the whole Donovan finger-picking thing going on.

I sometimes feel they did have a brilliant guitar soloist, but it was the bass guitar that he played instead!  ;)  The drum solo on Abbey Road works better than a guitar solo would for me.

If you want the Beatles to have had a Beck/Clapton/Page equivalent, well, the Beatles did have the real Clapton play on a few songs, and to me he sounds like an impression of George Harrison rather than 'ten minute solos' Clapton from Cream. It really could have been George playing. Perhaps Eric felt a little awed by playing with the Beatles, and stuck to what he thought they wanted? Just a thought.  For the record, I've never liked those self-indulgent hours of twiddlydiddly throttling a chicken solos anyway, thank goodness there's none of that nonsense in the good ol' Beatles.

If they had a superduper guitar hero, they would have gone in a totally different direction, and probably wouldn't have lasted as long, as guitar heroes often have a 'style' that dates them. Also they seem to come attached to huge egos, and that's not good for band harmony!
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Kevin

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Re: Contemporary Beatles Reviews
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2010, 09:35:19 AM »



My point is, Fleetwood Mac with its classic lineup was also very much a style over speed band, like the Beatles.

Good point, but I was considering the position of these bands as innovators, not as sellers of records. Frank Zappa and Freakout in 66 is the kind of thing I was aiming at. Being progressive isn't always good for the bank account.
I agree with TK that topping Revolver/Pepper was always going to be impossible. 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.
For the record I'm no fan of big guitar solo's either.
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