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Apr. 9th, 2007 @ 08:00 am Rant #13
To All You Elitists: Let It Be

The sixties and the seventies were a great era of music. That itself is an understatement. It has become, quite literally, THE era of music, the era by which all other artists that came after must be compared too.

I love classic rock, you guys know that. Don't get me wrong. But I absolutely HATE that the music and artists of the sixties and seventies are put on such a pedastal. Classic rock is basically touted as the peak of music itself, and that it's all gone downhill from there, and that every artist from that era is the end-all, be-all of their kind. Um, FYI folks--we still have musicians today. What is it exactly that you want them to do? Accept that they'll never write any worthwhile music and just go ahead and join cover bands?

Accept change. No, there will never be a band that is "the next Beatles". There will never be another band that has that sort of impact on a generation. I personally think they would've been a phenomenon no matter what, but a lot of the mass hysteria surrounding them had to do with timing. They are the ultimate example of "right place at the right time." And I doubt anybody else will ever achieve the same massive popularity. That sort of thing happens once in a blue moon.

But in a way, there are many bands today that are lyrically (and on occasion musically) better than the Beatles. Okay, so maybe not musically. The one thing you can't deny about Beatles tunes is how infectiously catchy they are. But there are plenty of damn fine melodists today, and like I said, we've got some damn good lyricists too, lyrics that resonate with me a lot more than some of the best Beatles songs. No one will ever have the same charm as the Beatles, but don't put a band down because they aren't the Beatles. No one ever will be. And there's plenty of good music to be had today if you'd give it a chance.

And as much as I love The Beatles, don't tell me that they're untouchable. I happen to love hearing cover versions of their songs (I happen to love covers in general), and I know that there are some god-awful ones out there. But just because a person decides to cover the Beatles, don't flame them to death with "OMG IT SOUNDS NOTHING LIKE THE ORIGINAL!1!!elevety!!" That's the point of a cover. God forbid we get creative with a Beatles song.

It's 2007, guys, not 1967. Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it.
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macca
abromeds:
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From:safelybeds
Date:April 9th, 2007 02:21 pm (UTC)
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Hee, for whatever reason your style of putting forth your point amuses me. (In a good way!)

Anyway, giggles aside, I agree with you -- to a point. I prefer to listen to Classic Rock because, yes, I honestly believe modern music hasn't come close. That isn't to say I don't like me a little They Might Be Giants (don't laugh!) or emo rock (don't laugh again!) when the mood strikes. :)

But your point about the Beatles and timing interested me. Personally, I feel that while the boys were hugely talented and deserved to be discovered in such a way, I don't think that The Beatles as we know them today would ever have existed in another time. That sort of public adoration just isn't possible anymore. Not everyone tunes into one variety show program. The exposure wouldn't be the same. They would probably be popular, but the pressure cooker of creativity that they were forced to enter into due to the constant demand for new material would never have happened. I honestly feel like they would have fizzled out pretty quick.
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From:padawansguide
Date:April 9th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)
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I think the problem is that a lot of people today find the Beatles lame because in some ways they can't live up to artists now, who use fancy computerized recording studios, and have benefitted from and been influenced by 50 years of rock history. Beatles music has been heard so much, that it's lost some of the wow-factor, and people today don't understand that context, and don't understand that it was new and exciting and revolutionary at the time.

It's hard for there to be another Beatles, because we're not really at the advent of rock anymore - we've had rock music for 50 years now. That doesn't mean there aren't good bands though.

I was trying to think of bands that could be considered as iconic as the Beatles, and the only one I could come up with was Nirvana, as far as starting a new movement in rock, added with Kurt Cobain's tragic death giving it some mystique.

Maybe it's off topic, but I'd be curious what other more recent bands people would put in this category.

Anyway, and interesting rant, but my love of the Beatles doesn't make me hate modern music at all. I love rock music of all decades, and my other favorite bands (Crowded House and Barenaked Ladies) were big in the 80s and 90s respectively.
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From:pauls_left_hand
Date:April 10th, 2007 07:41 pm (UTC)
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Ooh, great topic if it's not too much off topic. I was discussing this with my husband and sons at dinner last night (iconic bands that is) and it isn't easy. I think possibly because we have a diversity now that wasn't there in the 60s. The Sex Pistols though epitomised the zeitgeist in England at least, in the late 70s. How about Bowie, early-mid 70s? Sadly Duran Duran are probably iconic of the 80s although that cuts out a whole swathe of indie music. Mind you, The Beatles being iconic of the 60s, whilst appropriate, cuts out the whole jazz scene that was huge in this country at any rate. Late 80s can be summed up in one word; 'Aciiiiid!' so, possibly M People.

The 90s becomes more problematic as music really begins to diversify, but probably the Spice Girls, unfortunately, and the whole explosion of Britpop so, Oasis/Blur. Late 90s, probably Eminem.

I think it's too early to tell for the noughties, it's only looking back that gives us that perspective but indie influenced guitar groups such as the Kaiser Chiefs and the Arctic Monkeys are making a resurgence.

I should imagine your perspective is very different from over there - what do you think?

But I quite agree with you, good music is good music, whenever it was made. The 60s certainly had no monopoly on that, it was just much fresher. We were also talking about early influences on later genres: Polythene Pam - the first punk record and Hit The Road Jack (Ray Charles) - the pre-cursor of Hip Hop.

Sorry if I've gone too off topic. I will of course delete it immediately if anybody objects.:)
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From:padawansguide
Date:April 10th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
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Definitely an interesting topic! It's hard to define what an iconic band is though - is it someone that the majority of people have to have heard of? There are plenty of great, obscure bands, but an iconic one has to be well-known and representative of a new kind of music, or have an original statement to make. But at the same time be commercial enough for that widespread popularity. The Beatles were at the forefront of rock, but there's no arguing they were commercial. And I think most people have heard at least one Beatles song even if they're not a fan.

I could see the Sex Pistols as epitomizing punk, though I've never listened to them. I think David Bowie is pretty iconic. I don't see anything really wrong with Duran Duran, even though I'm not a huge fan - that sort of music was big in the 80s. Not sure they are iconic, though I think they're somewhat representative of 80s music. Same era is Madonna and Boy George, for that specific look and feel that was so very early 80s.

I guess we listened to different things in the late 80s - I've never heard of M People! I'm not sure I really even know what acid rock is! Late 80s for me is what was on the radio at the time, and I don't know if I could peg a specific group, but rather songs that remind me of the time. With or Without You. Don't Dream It's Over. Anything by George Michael. I also think of Erasure and Depeche Mode for mid to late 80s. Oh, and there's the "hair bands" of the late 80s. Poison, Def Leppard, Scorpions, Tesla, Warrant, etc. Bands like that always had some big slow ballad song. Some of them were kind of a joke, but some of them were ok. Guns'n'Roses was big - they weren't really metal but weren't really one of those hair bands either. Other heavier groups like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, AC-DC were really popular in the 80s. So along with the glam rock, electronica music sounds, there was heavy metal.

90s was grunge - like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and a hundred other copycats. And alternative - Smashing Pumpkins, Live, Weezer, REM (though they were 80s too)..

Well, if we are including Spice Girls, which is so targeted towards "tweens", then I guess we have to include Menudo and Tiffany and New Kids on the Block and more recently NSync and all those of their ilk. (Note, I've never listened or liked any of them!)

I'm not sure Oasis and Blur are really iconic either. I don't think enough people are familiar with their music. I could probably only name one song by Blur (Song 2) and I'm not sure I could name any by Oasis. My familiarity with them is because I know they fight a lot and have been compared with the Beatles, which I don't understand! Eminem, maybe - is he iconic or a fad? Hard to say. I'm not a fan either! (But that's ok, I don't have to be a fan myself to believe a band could be considered iconic!)

I've never heard of the Kaiser Chiefs or the Arctic Monkeys. :-)

I guess different bands are popular in the UK than here - though right now I think there's kind of a drought of good "popular" bands. Not much on the radio lately has interested me much. That's not to say there aren't good bands, but bands I like that no one has heard of don't really seem like they are heading for icon-hood if no one has heard of them! :-)

Wow - that was long - such an interesting topic though - trying to classify musical sounds by decade, and pick out which the classic bands of that era will be - not easy!
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From:zyzzybalubah
Date:April 9th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
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Does "accepting change" mean that I should listen to music I don't like just because it's new? If I have to make a choice to listen to The Beatles or Fall Out Boy...I'm choosing The Beatles. Not beacuse the Beatles are from the '60's but because The Beatles are about a zillion times better than Fall Out Boy. I don't care how much modern recording technology they use...YOU CAN'T POLISH A TURD.

There are a lot of modern bands and performers I enjoy but there are no musical entities today that are anywhere near as creative and consistently great as the Beatles. Build a boat, sail down denial and deal with it.
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From:abromeds
Date:April 9th, 2007 03:52 pm (UTC)
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YOU CAN'T POLISH A TURD.

BWAHAHAHHAAHAAAAA!!!

That is all.
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From:zyzzybalubah
Date:April 9th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
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I was hoping someone would appreciate that. LOL
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From:oh_johnny_
Date:April 9th, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
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But...but...but Fall Out Boy has the best. Lyrics. Ever.

I assume. I can't actually understand them. I'm fairly sure he isn't singing, "I'm a little man, oh so evil, also into cats," but wouldn't it be cool if he was? I mean, really. Makes the whole Oh Darling/Oh Johnny debate seem like simplicity itself.

Plus you can't underestimate the power of Pete Wentz's dick all over the internet. *shudder* I'm still having nightmares.
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From:zyzzybalubah
Date:April 9th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
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LOL. Well, I've only ever bothered listening to a few Fall Out Boy songs so it was probably mean of me to single them out as an example of modern music that is lame. But whatever...LOL
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From:chester_bnngton
Date:April 10th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
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*lol* good one, although I love Linkin Park, a band that a lot of people seems not to like hahaha and that's actually my fave band ever (I got into them way before than I did with The Beatles). But I think it all depends on different tastes.... I don't really listen to nowadays music, the newest music I like is Korn and bands like that and still, they aren't that new either.

People will never agree in these kind of subjects, 'cause we all like different things and nothing can change that xD.
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From:queenpeladon
Date:April 9th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
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I can't really think of anything that's been made in the last ten years that I've even remotely liked, which sucks for me, but I do listen to a variety of music from the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties. I certainly couldn't subsist on the Beatles alone. I am an elitist, but that doesn't mean I'm hung up on the Beatles - it just means I demand a certain standard, a certain integrity from artists.

And everyone knows how superior I think David Bowie's version of 'Across The Universe' is :) That song needed working on to reach its full potential.
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From:zyzzybalubah
Date:April 9th, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC)
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I prefer Elton John's version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and also Joe Cocker's version of "With a Little Help from My Friends". Just thought I'd share. LOL
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From:padawansguide
Date:April 9th, 2007 05:43 pm (UTC)
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I preferred Billy Joel's cover of "In My Life", which I've only heard live - he's never recorded it. It was beautiful.
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From:adaveen
Date:April 9th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
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I think we agree.

In fact, I don't think "Classic Rock" is the be-all, end-all of music. There have been a handful of bands in each decade that are supreme, untouchable, but I don't think they were all in the 60's-70's.

I love the Beatles - they completely RULED the 60's, and their music is still excellent and relevant today. The same as Queen from the 70's is still supreme and relevant today. The way U2 from the 80's is, and Nirvana from the 90's.

I consider myself a musical elitist, but certainly don't base that elitism around the 60's and definitely NOT around the 70's. In fact, my generation becames so fed up with the classic rock style in the 70's, adopted by faceless corporate rock bands, that we had to invent Devo, for pete's sake.

There's plenty of 60's bands I do NOT like - The Who and The Doors, for example.

There's plenty of great music now. I'll agree heartily, and maybe in a few years we'll find out which handful of bands have ruled the 'oughts'. There's quite a few great bands out there, and yes - lyrically and musically, they give "Beatle" quality. If they truly ARE great, they'll also match them in range, breadth and creativity, and the only thing that tells that is time.

I usally don't like recordings of covers much (live covers are fine), but it depends. If it's done very, very well, I'm hugely impressed all out of proportion.

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From:padawansguide
Date:April 9th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
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I love Queen! I'm not a huge U2 fan - though I like some of their stuff. But they just don't do much for me generally. Which is such a hugely subjective thing. Crowded House does it for me, but I'm probably way in the minority there!

Anyway - there are some great bands from every decade, and plenty of crappy ones. I think it's we're still too close to modern bands to tell whose music will stand the test of time, but it's easier to see that for the 60s and 70s.
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From:chester_bnngton
Date:April 10th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)
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I applauded the fact that you mentioned Nirvana but it broke my heart that you don't like The Doors hahahaha I'm way obsessed with that band too hahaha. (I'm only a real fan of these four bands: The Beatles, The Doors, Nirvana and Linkin Park) there you can see my tastes are not only from the 60's.... oh and if I add that I love Elvis and Buddy Holly, then, I do like the 50's too hahaha, I need a band to fill the 80's so I'd have a band/artist per generation. *lol*
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From:oh_johnny_
Date:April 9th, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC)
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I've been a Beatle's fan for about 40 years now, and I don't see that fading any time soon. But a lot of the music from the 60s and 70s was crap. As is a lot of the music today. Or from 1945. Or any other era of music.

That's the deal. There's a lot of pop out there, a lot of one-hit wonders (who occasionally win awards - Milli Vanilli, anyone?), but every now and then a band comes along that makes every one sit up and take notice. In the 60s it was the Beatles.

Nowadays? Well, I'm a little biased, but my current obsession (Green Day) fills that role for me.

Whether you agree with that assessment or not, the point is that the good stuff stands out precisely because there is so much crap being published.

BTW, I note that there's an album of covers of John's music coming out in May to benefit Amnesty International. Green Day is covering Working Class Hero. My inner fangirl is awash with squee!
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From:chester_bnngton
Date:April 10th, 2007 03:49 am (UTC)
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Exactly, there's always the good, the bad and the ugly, right now there's a lot of plastic music out there, but there's also good music, I can't say that I hate nowadays music 'cause I'm a Linkin Park fan, and I do think their music is good, in their own way and style like all the artists.

It's all a matter of taste, that's why colours were made, that's why music is different,... each their own ^^
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From:adaveen
Date:April 10th, 2007 12:12 pm (UTC)
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GREEN DAY!!!!

*whimper*squee*

I'm definitely going to have to check that album out.
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From:chester_bnngton
Date:April 10th, 2007 03:43 am (UTC)
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Firstly, I don't like to compare musicians, so you'll never hear me say "They're not like The Beatles" or well, that would be the OBVIOUS thing 'cause no one is like anybody else and it happens with bands and musicians too, is like the people that compares Oasis with The Beatles, that totally annoys me, not because I think The Beatles are better or whatever, but because I hate when people compares bands, that's something I can't stand.

And I do listen to all kind of music, sure, I rather listening to Elvis than Justin Timberlake, but not because of that Justin doesn't make good music, maybe he's good in the kind of music he does, or maybe he's just a good product of marketing, we'll never know, maybe the Beatles were another good product in the right place in the right moment, but being the fact that they were the FIRSTS, the never seen before, that's why they're gonna always be in the top of the tops, and yes, maybe there are better bands nowadays, but they weren't the firsts.... c'mon, The Beatles ARE bigger than Elvis *lol*.

What I'm trying to say, is that I don't think ol' music is better, I just say that they did it first. (If that makes sense to you as it makes sense to me xD hahaha) I can explain it in Spanish, but I think I'm not making any sense in English xD haha.

Oh and for the record, I appreciate all kind of music, in English, in Spanish, old, new, in between.... I'm addicted to MUSIC ^^
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From:zyzzybalubah
Date:April 11th, 2007 03:37 am (UTC)
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I agree with all that except for the Oasis thing. Oasis clearly go out of their way to bite off of the Beatles so I can see comparing them or at least saying that they are trying to rip off the Beatles. They are essentially the modern day version of what ELO was in the 70's and 80's.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 11th, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
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Hey there, it's your friendly neighborhood ranter. I'd just like to say that my rant is more directed towards the adults in my life, e.g. my dad, who have this sort of attitude. From reading everybody's comments, I can see that most of you lovely folks aren't on the extreme end of this sort of elitism, and I was interested to hear what everybody had to say. And no, I'm not saying that you have to like today's music if you don't want to. Just give it a chance. Again, this isn't so much aimed at the Beatle fans of LJ, just a general thing I notice in adults in my life. Thank you--it was something I had to get off of my chest, and I'm glad it sparked such a lively discussion ^_^