Fleece(d by) the Beatles

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ZOMG! It's 09-09-09, Beatles Day. Forty years after they recorded their last album, baby boomers are still trying to wrest control of popular culture by reminding us yet again that the Beatles were the. Greatest. Band. Ever! The Beatles were so great in fact they are giving us the opportunity to buy their albums yet again for only $200 (in stereo or mono). Oh and you younger kids who like to play video games instead of sitting on a bean bag chair, headphones on, listening to Abbey Road, here's a $249.00 video game where you can play Beatles songs too!!!! I'm surprised all the Beatles songs weren't released in Muzak form for Grandma, A Kidz Bop set for those too small for video games, and their catalog re-interpreted by Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood for Country Music fans. Come on, where's the cross marketing people!

Now don't get me wrong, I like the Beatles just as much as the next guy. I've got most of their songs on the I-pod, I watched a bunch of stuff on VH-1 this past week, heck I even like that movie Across the Universe. They were a great band that basically created youth culture and the standard 2 guitars, bass, and drum set-up that most band still adhere too. Yes, they were great, baby boomers are Gods because they existed while they were growing up, and everyone else will never be as cool because they weren't there.

I guess for me, 40 years later, I'm done with it all. I don't need to buy their albums yet again. I don't need to read yet again, why the Beatles broke up in the pages of Rolling Stone, how creative George Martin was, and the importance of the Number 9 in Beatles lore. We've gone over all that we get it, lets move on already. Besides save something for the 50 year anniversaries that are coming up in the next decade. Also has an album aged any worse than Sgt Preston's Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band? Beside's the goofy costumes, there are only about 4 songs that really hold up 42 years later.

I guess marketers are trying to re-create that time when everybody (and when I say everybody I mean popular youth culture) all liked the same thing. The story is that when Sgt. Prestons Peppers came out, you could walk down the street and hear it from every window. Now days musical tastes are so stratified and divided into a specific niche or genre, that we've lost that community aspect that popular music used to bring. Does anyone even know what's in the top 10 these days? I just wish instead of bringing up some re-treads, as great as they were, that the music industry would embrace a new act or two that could move us much like the Beatles did 5 decades ago.

92 Comments

4 songs that hold up? There's at least 8 by my count.

Also has an album aged any worse than Sgt Preston's Lonely Hearts Club Band?

Too many to list.

I would go with:

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Getting Better
She's Leaving Home (my favorite Beatles song btw)
Day in the Life

Some other songs are close, I could be talked into 6.

I would say SPLHCB has fallen so far because it started so high. Considered the greatest album of all time for many, many years.

I'm pretty sure that Taylor Swift is in the top 10 and will be as long as she decides to keep a regular single-release schedule.

I'm sorry...am I missing something? Is there a reason that someone who claims to like "the Beatles as much as the next guy" keeps referring to one of the greatest musical masterpieces in history as Sgt. Prestons Lonely Hearts Club Band?

I think even a non-fan wouldn't screw that one up...Sgt. PEPPERS Lonely Hearts Club Band.

First of all - no bangin' on the boys. They are far too universally loved (and have been for 45+ years)to deserve any of that snarky crap your spewing out. They were all screwed out of so much money when they were still together that the ones who we are still lucky enough to have with us and the estates of the ones who are gone deserve every cent they can still get. The people who truly love them, appreciate them, and all they accomplished in such a short period of time will always be hungry for more and better and we really don't give a rat's ass how much it costs or how many times it's recycled - it's still them, and that's all that matters. You can't even begin to measure the joy they've brought to generations - past, present and future, so don't even try. It's obvious to any real fan that you just don't get it. And don't hold your breath waiting for the music industry to embrace anything that even remotely comes close to what they did and continue to do. In comparison, everyone and every thing are poor imitations. They were certainly the greatest band of the 20th century, and now they are well on their way to being the greatest band of the 21st century. Deal with it!

Right, I am just the (senior citizen)mother of a Beatles fan and knew it was Sgt. PEPPER's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Good call, Erika. Great call. But you know kids today...none of them can spell.

D'oh. Fixed that. I knew it was wrong but I think I lost too many brain cells at the 7 Corners bar Sgt Preston's.

I once read, "Nobody can overemphasize how much The Beatles and Bob Dylan contributed to popular culture." Being born in the late 70's, I obviously wasn't present for the wave of Beatlemania that took over the world in the mid 60's. But I can say after becoming a discriminating music listener in the late 90's, that no other band evolved and meant as much to the world and subsequent generations as The Beatles. They changed EVERYTHING. Not just the physical makeup of bands, but recording, creating, and even delivering music. Just compare their evolution from '64 to '67. NO OTHER ARTISTS CAN EVEN COMPARE. They averaged two masterpieces a year. It now takes an average of two years for an artist to turn out an album that most people cannot even remember the title of after 6 months, let alone the track list. Please don't try to trivialize anything the Beatles ever did. And please give up on any new group ever inspiring even a marginal amount of people the Beatles did. It's just not remotely feasible. Yeah, the Black Eyed Peas just broke the record for 'longest consecutive string of number one hits' on the charts. That would imply that A LOT of people are listening to them. You really want to compare "Boom Boom Pow" or "My Humps" with "Eleanor Rigby" or "A Day in the Life?" Go ahead. Let me know how that works out.

Considering that Paul McCartney is worth about $1.5 billion, I'm not going to get all verklempt thinking about how much money he should have made.

As for "Sgt. Preston", I can only think you meant Billy Preston, and I'm sure he was only a Corporal.

I'll not be spending one nickel on the Bea'les.

"They changed EVERYTHING. Not just the physical makeup of bands, but recording, creating, and even delivering music. Just compare their evolution from '64 to '67. NO OTHER ARTISTS CAN EVEN COMPARE."

Never heard of Chuck Berry, huh?

"Never heard of Chuck Berry, huh?"

Yep...also heard of Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie, Jimmy Rodgers, Muddy Waters, and the entire Sun Records roster. With the utmost respect, they all inspired what became the rock and roll generation. But none of their works were as far-reaching and as art-changing as The Beatles.

I am completely baffled as to their concern about piracy. ANYBODY can go get the Beatles catalog, burn the CD's and post the resulting tracks anywhere for anybody. But they're concerned that some profiteering employee of EMI is going to rip them off? ANYBODY can rip them off!! This is ridiculous. I can't see myself ever buying a CD again. Not Beatles, not anybody. Electronic distribution just makes too much sense. It is, simply, by far the easiest way to GET music. Even easier than looking for a pirated version. As for me, I am a big Beatles fan, but as long as I can burn the tracks I want from CD's I check out at the local library, I will never give the Beatles a dime. If they are concerned about getting screwed, maybe they should look in the mirror. Requiring users to buy entire CD's when they want just a song or two (or four or six or eight) is piracy itself. Making their songs available online is the only way The Beatles will ever get a nickel from me.

FWIW, Billy Preston did play Sgt. Pepper in the movie.

Wow - you appear to have hit a nerve. I'd like to hear the new mixes but not at that price. I'm afraid it falls into the same category for me as the recent Neil Young box set. I'll spend my entertainment dollar on music I don't already have in some form or another. That said, if the local library makes the investment I'll be happy to give the new/old mixes a listen.

You're on the money about the industry being too stratified for a Beatles like phenomenon to happen today. A lot of people (generalization here) pick a genre or two and then profess to 'hate' everything else. I hate country, I hate rap, I hate the Black Eyed Peas. And, if you like it, you're an idiot. There seems to be a lot of hate going around ...

Right there with you, free. Great music, classic songs, undeniable influence - but enough already.

Hey klallen,

For God sake no one, and I mean no one, is comparing My Humps to anything the Beatles have done. Let's drop that straw horse right now.

But c'mon, For the Benefit of Mr. Kite? Most of Magical Mystery Tour? Let's Do it in the Road? Octupus Garden? The Beatles DID release some wretched stuff. Doesn't take away from the wonderful stuff but let's leave the deification for Guided By Voices.

I like the Beatles and their music, and I realize the impact they had on music and culture, and we all could go on and on about their accomplishments. But the fact is they were just musicians, just people, and they were entertaining. Some will say I am not a “Fan” for talking like this, that’s fine, maybe I am not; I guess it depends on how you define a “Fan”. I guess that I do not like to place so much importance on any one person or group, whether it is politics, sports, or the arts. When people do, it starts too look to much like worship, and that’s just weird. I do not want to understate what they did, but I do not want to overstate what they did either. They were great musicians, enjoy their music, and let’s all keep it in perspective.

Hey, staggerLee
I have to agree with you. alot of hate going around. its to bad.

I agree that Sgt. Pepper's is a bit overrated. But it has at least five famous songs that are still played on the radio today and an honorable mention for "She's Leaving Home," which isn't famous but is still a beautiful piece of music. That's still better than anyone today can manage. However, it's NOT the best album of all time. That distinction should still go to the Beatles, but for Rubber Soul instead of Sgt. Pepper's.

I know I'm in a small small minority, but the best album of 1967 was easily, easily The Velvet Underground and Nico. Just for a start, drug song that tells you something about drugs in both its music and lyrics: "Heroin" or "Little Help from My Friends"? As for slow ones, "Sunday Morning" kicks "She's Leaving Home"'s ass.

And now I know what I'm going to blog about at my place. Thanks, Free!

I agree that Velvet Underground with Nico is a much stronger album that SPLHCB. Actually it's no contest as every song on VUwN is quite strong. Heroin gives me goosebumps to this day.

But... "Sunday Morning kicks She's Leaving Home's ass"?!?? Them's practically fightin' words!

I agree with everthing you wrote,and that last comment about the black eyed peas, ACE....I'm still laughing. Don't get me wrong, I like the black eyed peas but you nailed it...

You are an idiot.

isnt it great we can voice our opionions like this ? LOVE LOVE LOVE.......

I'd have to say that the Beatles album that best stands the "test of time" is Revolver. Great stuff.

On the opposite side, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" might be the worst song ever written.

There is no song in The Beatles catalog named "Let's Do It In The Road." It only takes a few seconds to look up correct names and spellings. Also, the correct title is "Being For The Benefit of Mr Kite".

Ah yes, there's always one who says yeah the Beatles were good, but. Actually there is no "but." If you weren't there, you can watch all the VH1, Rolling Stone, blah, blah you want. But there is no way to explain or underestimate what they did. It was actually quite supernatural. I won't try to explain.

I am only early twenties but I am a big fan of "the beatles".. Thank you for this post.

I am only 21 years old but I can appreciate how big an influence the Beatles had on the world. My sister is at university in Liverpool, UK and the streets are littered with reminders of this rock band. I love how they completely polarise opinion, you either love them or you hate them.

The Beatles rock! What's wrong with "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"?

I have lots of Beatles memorabilia.

The Beatles leaves a great Legacy!

In my opinion sgt. pepper is perfect from start to finish. I love all of the songs and within you without you (for example) is just as essential as lucy in the sky with diamonds.

This is great! Thanks for writing

Wish I could sing like them, I love Hey Jude !

I agree that Sgt. Pepper's is a bit overrated. But it has at least five famous songs that are still played on the radio today and an honorable mention for "She's Leaving Home," which isn't famous but is still a beautiful piece of music. That's still better than anyone today can manage. However, it's NOT the best album of all time. That distinction should still go to the Beatles, but for Rubber Soul instead of Sgt. Pepper's.

C'mon they still rock.

I agree with Senor Obrien when he touches on piracy. Anybody can rip them off when it comes to copying their tunes. The industry has changed. It has been forced to change. The major labels that were in a primo place to embrace that change (ie universal, sony, bmg etc.etc.) made the choice to try and hang on in futility to the huge profits from record sales that no doubt peaked pre-Napster. The music is no longer the product, it has become the hook. Now the game is about driving traffic with music, not trying to sell something a 7 year old can with a computer can get for free. A perfect example is Radiohead making their album available for "what ever you will pay". I heard some fans paid upto 150 dollars for it - obviously many more downloaded it for nothing. The point is radiohead has embraced the new reality of the internet and the music industry and as a result the album debuted in the US, UK and Canada at no.1. It is a new world and those who don't get it, will lose it.

Doesn't it take up a lot of time to keep your blog so interesting ?

Beatles still rock on radio right now

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