My first memory of the Beatles was of the song “Yellow Submarine”. Myself and several cousins used to run around singing this song at the top of our lungs, subsequently annoying various moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandmas, and most anyone else within earshot.
I have continued to love the music of the Beatles throughout the years. It was only as an adult that I learned to appreciate them as artists. I have read many books and articles over the years regarding them and their music. These are my feelings on how they changed the world of music forever.
The Beatles were always trying to push the envelope of music. They understood how imagery was critical to the success of a band. They had to constantly evolve their image to stay ahead of the imitators than soon came to follow. I feel that this imitation, and the subsequent changes, set the groundwork for the over the top imagery of bands that we have seen throughout the years and even today: David Bowie, T-Rex, Slade, The Sweet, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Slipknot, Gwar, etc, etc. I feel we owe the Beatles thanks for the image of these and countless other bands. I, for one, appreciate a great show to go along with my music.
As for the music, I feel the same thing occurred but with some interesting twists. When the success of the Beatles was fully realized, the recording industry (even those who had previously turned down the Beatles) clamored to find their own “version” of the Beatles. Catchy, poppy songs were everywhere trying to catch that “Beatles sound”. I feel that this forced the Beatles to evolve their music to stand apart from the masses. This led to studio wizardry that is used today. Tape looping, back masking, multi-tracking, it goes on and on. Also the attempt to out do each other by John and Paul led to to some iconic songs. George in his attempt to be taken serious as a musician wrote some of the greatest music to ever be recorded. Ringo, well he was the drummer……
Sadly, it became to much to hold it all together and rather than forcing the issue and giving sub-par music and performances, they walked away from it all. Love them or not, the Beatles, in my opinion changed the face of music and will continue to do so forever. Do yourself a favor and take a listen to the Beatles music and see if you can hear some of your favorite bands in their music.
Here’s a nod to those I annoyed with this song:
Thank you John, Paul, George, and Ringo, thank you from my heart and ears.