didn't know about joe meek
just googled and found that his technical ingenuity was responsible for the 1956 hit record bad penny blues... the piano of which paul borrowed for lady madonna (learned that on this website! ) at the time george martin was the a&r of the record company that released that single. he surely knew of meek's innovative work. cool !
and it seems that meek wrote a psychedellic concept album in 1960 !!! . . . but it was shelved
it was called outer space music fantasy/i hear a new world and it combined skiffle/rock with unusual sound effects, harmonies & studio wizardry to approximate what music was like on other planets.
just checked it out and it gives tomorrow never knows a run for its money. nice !
meek was given the chance to work with the beatles and passed it up. he would go on to describe them as "just another bunch of noise, copying other people's music" lol
anyway-> as far as using the studio as an instrument . . that breakthrough really goes to Les Paul
for unusual use of orchestra in a pop song.... can't forget spike jones ! a big influence on the beatles ! (did some youtubing and (besides the unorthodox use of orchestra) kept hearing all the barnyard animals of good morning, sound effects of yellow submarine etc)
Again it's nothing like "Tomorrow Never Knows". The track is one or two chords it depends on how you see it. They added multiple loops layered them by them fading in and out all over the track, processed vocals, one bass line note and Ringo basically playing a drum bar loop. The style of that track basically all over the place in pop music today to the point even people in hip-hop have acknowledged it's influence. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,588111,00.html
There so many things.
Pete Townshend implicitly made the distinction when he said 'The Beatles brought songwriting to rock 'n' roll'. That's not to say that the legacy of Three-Chord Trick classics, from Chuck's 'Johnny B Goode to the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction” aren’t great songs. But the point is the Beatles that they were using a complete arsenal of resources. The Beatles dramatically broadened the potential of the pop song.
The 12 string Rickenbocker was the instrument George Harrison influenced Roger McGuinn to use which became the sound of the Byrds and much of folk rock, power pop, and jangle pop. The Who and the Animals also used the instrument.
"They the Beatles were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid. They were pointing the direction music had to go”.
There have been plenty written how the Beatles harmonic and melodic tendencies differed from the American rock and roll and R&B music that came before them.
Do you actually know anything about music theory again? I don't know anyone prior to rock and roll whose music that had classical musicians compare rock artists to the Schubert like flow of musical invention and that was Leonard Bernstein saying that. Also the Beatles went way beyond their rock and roll and pop roots. Yeh they were well versed in pop, country, R&B, assorted styles in rock and roll, European Folk and Skiffle. But went way beyond that with, bolero, ska, reggae, vaudeville, cabaret, musical hall, modern aleatory, musique concrete, atonality, electronic music, avant garde, jazz, baroque and the extended dissonant sonorities George Harrison would explore on "I Want to Tell You” and "Only a Northern Song". Again people like George Gershwin did nothing of the sort. The Beatles freely added jazz harmonies, unusual time signatures and employed varying styles of vocal harmonies to their music. They composed long songs, short songs to songs with many parts. Any listen to songs like "Blue Jay Way" or "Within You Without You" and they went way beyond the norms of popular music convention.