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Author Topic: Are The Beatles still relevant today?  (Read 2958 times)

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W_MM

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Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« on: October 23, 2012, 12:26:29 PM »

Hello!

For a course on popular culture, I'm writing a paper on today's social relevance of The Beatles. Although the band has split up over forty years ago, The Beatles still retain a large fan base all over the world. So, I'm wondering: why do people still like The Beatles? And what better place is there to start than an international Beatles forum!
So, I'd kindly like to request all you true Beatles fans out there to fill out this survey. It would really help me out a lot!


Questions:

1. How did you discover The Beatles?

2. What is your all-time favourite Beatles song? Why so?

3. Do you prefer The Beatles above today’s influential pop(ular) artists and bands (Muse, Lady Gaga, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Son’s, etc…). Why (not)?

4. In their songs The Beatles have addressed many different themes (ranging from love to eastern esotericism). Which themes appeal most to you? Why so?

5. While other bands that were popular in the sixties have largely been forgotten, The Beatles have retained massive popularity. Why do you think that is?


Thanks in advance!

Regards.
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Joost

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Re: Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 02:01:12 PM »

1. That's almost like asking "How did you discover sliced bread"? The music of The Beatles has always been pretty much everywhere, for as long as I can remember. It hard to not hear their music pop up somewhere every once in a while.

2. Either 'Let It Be' because of the atmosphere of the song, it almost sounds spiritual, or 'Here Comes the Sun', because few songs have captured the feeling of Spring better than that song.

3. Absolutely. I think that in the late 60s there was an explosion of good, adventurous new ideas and inspired songwriting. There's something exciting about almost all of the pop music that was made around that time. But by now, people have been creating pop music for about 60 years and almost everything has already been done. And if it hadn't been done yet, it's probably just because it's not a very good idea. The progression is pretty much gone and so is much of the excitement and inspiration. In many ways, music from the 1960s sounds fresher to me than today's music.

4. None in particular. I think that they just wrote lyrics that fitted the music. If you listen to 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' or 'She Loves You', those couldn't have been anything else than love songs. Songs like 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and 'I Am the Walrus' on the other hand wouldn't have sounded right without vague, psychedelic lyrics. It all fits.

5. There are a lot of bands from the sixties (or even fifties) that are far from "largely forgotten". Ever heard of The Doors, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Elvis, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Elton John, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan...? But the reason why The Beatles are the most popular band from the sixties now, is probably because they actually were the most popular band in the sixties.
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Yeshelloitsmehereagain

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Re: Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2012, 01:49:28 AM »

Questions:

1. How did you discover The Beatles?

I can only repeat what Joost has said here, that they have always been around. I was born in '88, my brother is 10 years older than me and when I was a child during the 90's we shared a room and had bunk beds. He had borrowed the 1962-66 Red Album from a friend (probably never gave it back) and would quietly play the music whilst smoking a cig late at night, I would often wake up to the strains of She Loves You, Norweigian Wood, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away, but the number I have the fondest memory of is And I Love Her. It had such an incredible warmth and simplicity to it and the wonderful riff... oh my, listening to that now takes me right back there. It just hit my half awake ears in a certain way.

2. What is your all-time favourite Beatles song? Why so?

Oooo. At the moment maybe it's Fool On The Hill. Just suits my mood. I am also a fool and I happen to live on a hill.

3. Do you prefer The Beatles above today’s influential pop(ular) artists and bands (Muse, Lady Gaga, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Son’s, etc…). Why (not)?

Yes. I have heard a few good things from the artists you list. But to put it simply and eloquently, compared to The Beatles they are sh*t.

Why? The quality and quantity of the music produced during 7 years of recording was, is and always will be unparalleled. It's a spiritual thing.

4. In their songs The Beatles have addressed many different themes (ranging from love to eastern esotericism). Which themes appeal most to you? Why so?

All of them. They are a pure direct result of all the good things about the 60's counter culture movement ensconsed in song.

5. While other bands that were popular in the sixties have largely been forgotten, The Beatles have retained massive popularity. Why do you think that is?

13 number one albums and 30 number one singles in 7 years. They manage themselves and don't allow their recordings on compilation albums with other inferior artists. They never got old, they went out on top and didn't have a thousand line up changes and still go out as The Beatles. They never became 70 year old men embarrasingly slag/loving each other off in public over ridiculous misunderstandings/understandings. In short... The Beatles beat them all.

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stevejrogers

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Re: Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 12:14:31 AM »

1. How did you discover The Beatles?
There really wasn't an OMG WHERE HAS THIS BEEN ALL MY LIFE moment with me.  The Beatles were always there since I was quite young (born in 1977) and I always seemed to know of their significance in pop culture history.

2. What is your all-time favourite Beatles song? Why so?
Hard question to ask, I could just rattle off a top 10 or so, but I can tell you my favorite era of the Beatles is probably their last as a strong collective unit with Pepper through the White Album (LOVE Let It Be and Abbey Road of course, but its clear that the end is near with both albums)

3. Do you prefer The Beatles above today’s influential pop(ular) artists and bands (Muse, Lady Gaga, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Son’s, etc…). Why (not)?
Yes.  I tend not to listen to today's music really, no particular reason.

4. In their songs The Beatles have addressed many different themes (ranging from love to eastern esotericism). Which themes appeal most to you? Why so?
Haven't thought about it really.  Never been much to go deep into the themes of songs in terms of preferring one over the other.  If I like the song, I like the song, if I don't like the song, it's not the fault of the subject matter.

5. While other bands that were popular in the sixties have largely been forgotten, The Beatles have retained massive popularity. Why do you think that is?
I'd think a lot of the early mystique came from the "are they ever getting back together" craze in the 1970s.  Also I think a lot of it also has to do with all 4 having successful, hall of fame in fact for three of them, solo careers.  If the four never amounted to much I don't think there would have been the large nostalgic kick that started up back in the 1970s.  Remember, the Beatles were the first group to ever have fan festivals/conventions done in their honor, and the first to have a full on tribute band done for them.
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Casbah

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Re: Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2012, 05:03:21 PM »

1. How did you discover The Beatles?

Didn't really discover them, I remember hearing them on the radio since 1968, So they were in my toddler soundtrack. Really turned onto them in 7th grade, when I started learning to play guitar and a local Beatle cover band played a jr high dance..

2. What is your all-time favourite Beatles song? Why so?
Hah! Good luck with this one!  I'll just say She Loves You. Its a rocker. (You would be better asking a Beatles fan which is their least favorite)

3. Do you prefer The Beatles above today’s influential pop(ular) artists and bands (Muse, Lady Gaga, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Son’s, etc…). Why (not)?

Yes! Todays music confuses me. I stayed with popular music until about 5 years ago. Now I have no idea whats going on. But the Beatles were always forefront in my listening choices.

4. In their songs The Beatles have addressed many different themes (ranging from love to eastern esotericism). Which themes appeal most to you? Why so?
Im a music first, lyrics 2nd kind of guy. They were called the BEAT-les for a reason and the driving sound of their songs is what I liked the most. I also liked how they would play with words and write some witty lines in their early years, but the lyrics didn't mean much to me. It was their sound. I am actually interested less in songs like "All You Need Is Love" etc. I prefer my Beatles aloof and pop-ish.

5. While other bands that were popular in the sixties have largely been forgotten, The Beatles have retained massive popularity. Why do you think that is?

The Beatles were 4 cute guys that wrote simple, fun songs who progressed and not only helped write a soundtrack to, but transcended and shaped one of the most colorful decades of our existence. They had an X factor no one could explain, including themselves. It was just inside them and they knew how to create it together. They knew what worked and left an incredible legacy.
I feel nowadays their presence and popularity is starting to slip. For the first time in my life I am hearing kids ask who Paul McCartney is and why is he on TV? It's a little sad but we all knew deep down it would happen eventually.  Only time will tell if people still want to remember the Beatles. I have a feeling they will always be around in some form or another.
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stevie

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Re: Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 02:37:19 AM »

1. How did you discover The Beatles?   In 1970, when I was 8! My Aunty had some old E.PS of theirs and I just got into it and haven't looked back.

2. What is your all-time favourite Beatles song? Why so?   Tough one, as it changes all the time! Probably 'Penny Lane' as it shows the band at their collective best.

3. Do you prefer The Beatles above today’s influential pop(ular) artists and bands (Muse, Lady Gaga, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Son’s, etc…). Why (not)?    Of course! Music has been stagnating for the last 10 years. The problem is simple - all the great songs have already been written; same with films. Here's an exercise to highlight this: name the last truly classic song? Hard, isn't it?...

4. In their songs The Beatles have addressed many different themes (ranging from love to eastern esotericism). Which themes appeal most to you? Why so?   I don't think the lads set out to do this with their music. They were always changing, looking for something new to try. It just panned out that way. Also, no one had ever done some of the stuff they did, so they were always on new ground, and dragged the world along with them.

5. While other bands that were popular in the sixties have largely been forgotten, The Beatles have retained massive popularity. Why do you think that is?    See my answer to question 3... ;D

« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 02:39:09 AM by stevie »
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Klang

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Re: Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2012, 08:39:45 AM »

For me, the real question is: Are the people of today relevant?

1: 'She Loves You' on the radio, 1964.

2: 'I Feel Fine' - Innovative, energizing, perfect song.

3: Yes. It's good music.

4: All themes. It all works together.

5: See above.

 :)

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W_MM

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Re: Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2012, 11:17:22 AM »

Thanks for the replies! You helped me out a lot. :-)
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In My Life

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Re: Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2012, 03:03:53 AM »

Am I too late?

1. How did you discover The Beatles? Because of my sister and brother, who were quite a bit older than me. I watched them on the Ed Sullivan show that first night. I was only 7 months old but I've been told that I really did watch...and scream, but only between songs. The rest of the time I stared, probably at Paul.  I started listening to my sister’s left behind albums in second grade.

2. What is your all-time favourite Beatles song? Why so? "In My Life" because the message has helped me deal with the loss of my parents, as well as and my sister and brother.

3. Do you prefer The Beatles above today’s influential pop(ular) artists and bands (Muse, Lady Gaga, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Son’s, etc…). Why (not)? Most definitely. I don't dismiss new music out of hand and I have heard some things that I like but I rarely buy it or even think much about it.

4. In their songs The Beatles have addressed many different themes (ranging from love to eastern esotericism). Which themes appeal most to you? Why so? Love! But I really like the trippier stuff too. It's kind of a safe mini-dose of real mind altering substances.

5. While other bands that were popular in the sixties have largely been forgotten, The Beatles have retained massive popularity. Why do you think that is? I think people are fascinated with the way in which The Beatles continually evolved. They had distinct phases and were like several bands in one, plus each member continued to perform on their own after the break-up. With such a body of work there is something for most everyone and once a person is drawn in they usually come to appreciate it all. Besides the amazing music they also are a window into the culture of a decade that many people find interesting.

I read a lot of current novels and it is very common to find Beatles references in them, regardless of the age of the author.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 03:06:38 AM by In My Life »
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Kelley

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Re: Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2012, 05:58:42 AM »

1. How did you discover The Beatles?   I turned right at Greenland.

2. What is your all-time favourite Beatles song? Why so?   Lately, it's I'm Looking Through You.  And I prefer the early take.

3. Do you prefer The Beatles above today’s influential pop(ular) artists and bands (Muse, Lady Gaga, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Son’s, etc…). Why (not)?   Yes.  I never heard of those artists you mentioned.

4. In their songs The Beatles have addressed many different themes (ranging from love to eastern esotericism). Which themes appeal most to you? Why so?   I like The Beatles' love songs the best especially Paul's compositions.

5. While other bands that were popular in the sixties have largely been forgotten, The Beatles have retained massive popularity. Why do you think that is?   Not all of the 1960s bands have been forgotten.  I suspect that some of today's great bands will not be forgotten 45 years from now too.
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ibanez_ax

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Re: Are The Beatles still relevant today?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2012, 03:10:15 PM »

1. How did you discover The Beatles?  My mom actually told me about them in 1964 and let me watch on the Ed Sullivan show.

2. What is your all-time favourite Beatles song? Why so?   Penny Lane at the moment.  I think it's the perfect pop song.

3. Do you prefer The Beatles above today’s influential pop(ular) artists and bands (Muse, Lady Gaga, Florence + The Machine, Mumford & Son’s, etc…). Why (not)?   Yes for the most part.  I'm not a total dinosaur; I like some modern stuff, but give me The Beatles any day.

4. In their songs The Beatles have addressed many different themes (ranging from love to eastern esotericism). Which themes appeal most to you? Why so?   They weren't the first 60s band to do so, but I like how they broke away form just love songs and starting writing about a lot of topics.

5. While other bands that were popular in the sixties have largely been forgotten, The Beatles have retained massive popularity. Why do you think that is?
Actually, a lot of 60s bands are still popular (and still exist), but The Beatles do have a mystique that people do like.  Plus, they were just so darn good!
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