Dismissing Piero Scaruffi views on the Beatles

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This article purpose is to counteract Piero Scaruffi claims against the Beatles. It's not to say who invented what or who did what first. It's just to counteract Piero Scaruffi claims against the Beatles.

Section 1 Piero Scaruffi main article on the Beatles

Piero Scaruffi’s arguments are at best poorly-reasoned opinion, and at worst an uneducated diatribe. Dismissing the Beatles influence because of their affluence is ignorant and utterly ridiculous.

"Let us remember that the British Invasion -- of which The Beatles were the vanguard -- set the stage for youth-oriented music supplanting the like of the Rat Pack. It's is arguable that The Beatles created an appetite for other British rock bands with a harder edge that might not have otherwise been able to break into the US market so soon. They took rock, interpreted it and fed it back to us, giving us an entirely new way of looking at our entire culture. They are therefore the number #1 most important band in recent history"

Scaruffi claims, “The Beatles only are played in supermarkets and they have no musical influence”.

Ultimately Scaruffi really gets stuck on the early Beatles material, which stood out from other bands because Paul and John realized early on that a good middle eight could make or break a song, and they were right. Thousands of gigs at the Star Club in Hamburg (and countless treks across England in awful conditions later, the Beatles took their deserved spot in history.

Scaruffi wrote

"The Beatles' lyrics were tied to the tradition of pop music, while rock music found space, rightly or wrongly, for psychological narration, anti-establishment satire, political denunciation, drugs, sex and death".

Really "Eleanor Rigby? A Day in the Life? Happiness is a Warm Gun? Piggies? Revolution? "Nowhere Man".

Scaruffi claims, “The influence of the Beatles cannot be considered musical. Music, especially in those days, was something else: experimental, instrumental, improvised, political. The Beatles played pop ditties. Rock musicians of the time played everything but pop ditties, because rock was conceived as an alternative to ditties. FM radio”.

Not true. To generalize a decade of music is easier to do with, say today’s crap- its all crap. The 60s had a whole lot more going on than just experimentation and jamming out. That was part of it, but the jam bands like Jefferson Airplane, Santana, and Credence all had their share of 2 minute pop songs. Likewise The Beatles didn’t just write pop songs. They jammed and experimented as well. Revolution 9"? I have arguments whether the latter is a song or not, but NO ONE, not even Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground had a tune like that.... Plus, there are plenty of brisk, pop songs on Pillow- "My Best Friend," "DCBA", "How Do You Feel" and on Warhol- "Sun. Morning," "Run Run Run". Tracks like "Strawberry Fields Forever" and “A Day in the Life" both tracks hugely influential on Progressive Rock and Art-Rock. Tracks like "Love You To", "Within You Without You" and the "Inner Light" are full blown Indian songs are hugely influential to World Music.

Scaruffi claims, “The Beatles never had a song without a refrain before 1967"

Another myth that Mr.Scaruffi has made up or not looked into. Songs with no refrain, include such as "It Won't be Long," "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," "Drive My Car. Add There's a Place," "I Should Have Known Better," "If I Fell," "No Reply," and "Norwegian Wood," neither a refrain nor a chorus is heard t to Hide Your Love Away," "Drive My Car. Add There's a Place," "I Should Have Known Better," "If I Fell," "No Reply," and "Norwegian Wood," neither a refrain nor a chorus is heard.

Scaruffi, “The Beatles were writing simple 3 minute pop ditties".

The Beatles from the start were more complicated then their mentors Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and their friends the Rolling Stones. The Beatles would use Bridge: a song's contrasting section [sometimes called the ‘middle-eight', regardless of the number of actual bars], often beginning in an area other than tonic and usually leading to a dominant retransition. They incorporated classic and world music elements to their songs (which helped the development of prog-rock and baroque pop and art rock. They experimented in the use of rare metric patterns and song structures (which helped the development of prog-rock. Songs like "Norwegian Wood" would include modes like Mixolydiaon and Dorian Modes in one song.‘Love You To’is clearly based on Indian modal practice: the tamboura drones sa and pa (tonic and dominant notes of the mode), the tabla sets forth a sixteen-beat tala (rhythm), the introductory improvisation in the alap follows Indian melodic practice, and as Harrison stated, he was trying to express himself in Hindu terms. This was a new turn for the Beatles and for rock music in general

Scaruffi claims “The Beatles influence can not be considered musical”

The Beatles ability to marry studio experimentation with a strong pop song structure is such a profound influence that it's taken for granted. I'd say it's their most important contribution. It's the very foundation of how music is still made, so I'd say their influence is very much evident today, even if not everybody knows it. I still say to this day the most prophetic record of the Sixties wasn't "Yesterday" or "Satisfaction" but "Tomorrow Never Knows," which sums up most of where music has gone. Minus the vocals, it's virtually an big beat/techno and modern electronic record that's as much Public Enemy as it is Philip Glass. Today's music is mostly about sound texture and the group that got us thinking about it the most is the Beatles. Some love to dismiss "Sgt. Peppers," and especially "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite," but I'll be damned if all that random splicing up of tape and punching it into a song for sound effects can't be found in Kanye West or many hip-hop crews of the last 25 years or so.

Whether we're talking Radiohead, Coldplay, U2, L.A. Reid or Raphel Saadiq, to mention a few, they still mention or show the Beatles' influence. The Smithereens recently covered the entire "Meet the Beatles" album. Phish has performed all of the "White Album" in concert.

Scauffi writes, “In their songs there is no Vietnam, there is no politics, there are no kids rioting in the streets, there is no sexual promiscuity, there are no drugs, there is no violence. In the world of the Beatles the social order of the 40s and the 50s still reigns. Their smiles and their choruses hid the revolution: they concealed the restlessness of an underground movement ready to explode for a someone who wanted to hear nothing about it. They had nothing to say and that's why they didn't say it”.

The Beatles had many songs with a message. "The Word" and "All You Need Is Love" certainly have a strong message. You don't need riots, racism, LBJ, Vietnam, etc-just love. "Taxman" the Beatles are calling out the names of British politicians, and "Revolution" another song calling out politicians. The song "Blackbird" is about the civil rights movement. GET A CLUE a good song is not based on how radical the lyrics are but the Beatles did address some serious issues. Oh it's laughable the Beatles did not write about drugs "She Said She Said" is about an acid trip and "Tomorrow Never Knows" is about the concept of psychedelia.

Scaruffi claims, “The fact that so many books still name the Beatles "the greatest or most significant or most influential" rock band ever only tells you how far rock music still is from becoming a serious art”. Jazz critics have long recognized that the greatest jazz musicians of all times are Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, who were not the most famous or richest or best sellers of their times, let alone of all times. Classical critics rank the highly controversial Beethoven over classical musicians who were highly popular in courts around Europe”.

Well, Beethoven is probably the most famous classical composer today; and even in his time, he was one of the most influential, successful, and well-known composers in the world.

Scaruffi writes, “Rock critics are still blinded by commercial success: the Beatles sold more than anyone else (not true, by the way), therefore they must have been the greatest”.

That's not at all the reason why rock critics rank the Beatles as the best. They were very successful, but that's not why they were good, it's the other way around.

Scaruffi, “Jazz critics grow up listening to a lot of jazz music of the past, classical critics grow up listening to a lot of classical music of the past. Rock critics are often totally ignorant of the rock music of the past, they barely know the best sellers”.

A contemporary rock critic who is reviewing the Beatles is reviewing the rock music of the past. And most rock critics tend to appreciate the 50s, 60s, and 70s as the best era for rock. Look at Rolling Stone's "500 greatest albums of all time" list: almost all the albums on the list were from the 60s and 70s. If the Beatles were a contemporary band that's successful, I could see this argument being made (those critics are just following success and don't know the classics of the past)... but the Beatles are the classics of the past.

Scaruffi, “No wonder they will think that the Beatles did anything worth of being saved. In a sense the Beatles are emblematic of the status of rock criticism as a whole: too much attention to commercial phenomena (be it grunge or U2) and too little attention to the merits of real musicians. If somebody composes the most divine music but no major label picks him up and sells him around the world, a lot of rock critics will ignore him. If a major label picks up a musician who is as stereotyped as one can be but launches her or him worldwide, your average critic will waste rivers of ink on her or him”.

Again, not true. Rock critics a) tend to prefer the classic stuff to modern music which they rightly deride as trash, and b) when it comes to modern music, they prefer obscure indie bands to the overproduced popular trash. Scaruffi might be looking more toward pop music critics, rather than rock critics... They're guilty of a lot of what he's saying.

The big difference between today and the 60's-70's era is that the bands that were good back then were also the successful bands. Some of the best rock music in history comes from very successful artists from the 60s and 70s: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Don McLean, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, Eagles, Iron Butterfly, etc. Today, success and quality often seem to be inversely correlated, as can be seen by the success of Nickelback, Linkin Park, Green Day, and all their ilk.

Scaruffi, “Buddy Holly & The Cricketts invented the modern rock band”

"The Beatles were unique at the time as they were truly a "band." Unlike Buddy Holly "and" The Crickets or Bill Haley "and" His Comets, or Little Richard, Elvis, etc., etc. The Motown groups were singers, not musicians. They sang and danced to choreographed moves. The Beatles were "The Beatles." They wrote their songs (their best songs, IMO were better than their covers), they played their instruments. The Beach Boys had hired session players to play instruments they were supposed to play".

Scaruffi claims, "Love You To" as being vaguely Oriental"

"Nonsense in its application to pop music there was nothing like it. In "Love You To”, we find a genuinely Indian-styled usage of mode, melody, rhythm and instrumentation. Even the form, which otherwise maintains a "neo-classical" boxy rock form preserves the Indian convention of an out-of-tempo improvised slow intro".

Scaruffi claims "The Beatles lucked into folk rock".

The Beatles had a skiffle background which was very folk influenced. This was noticed by musicians like Roger McGuinn

"I had noticed that they were using folk-influenced chords in their music. They used passing chords that were not common in rock’n’roll and pop songs of that time. I remember listening to them, and thinking that the Beatles were using folding chord construction. That comes from their skiffle roots, they will have learned those chords in their skiffle days, and just brought them into their own writing.” Roger McGuinn

Scaruffi writes, "In 1968 Great Britain became infected by the concept album/rock opera bug, mostly realized by Beatles contemporaries: Tommy by the Who, The Village Green Preservation Society by the Kinks, Ogden's Nut Gone Flake by the Small Faces, Odyssey and Oracle by the Zombies, etc (albums that in turn owed something to the loosely-connected song cycles of pop albums such as Frank Sinatra's In The Wee Small Hours (1955), the Byrds' Fifth Dimension, the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and the Beatles' Sgt Pepper). So, with the usual delay, a year later the Beatles gave it a try".

The concept album bug was highly influenced by the Beatles own Sgt. Pepper of 1967 which was a concept album of tracks linked togehter with artificial sounds. Sgt Pepper structure was unlike Frank Zappa Freak Out or Brian Wilson Pet Sounds. It influenced future concept albums with it's overture, reprise, finale, and the hidden track tacked on the end of the album. The point is the Beatles already went down this road before 1967. Abbey Road is not the first Beatles album to use a song cycle that would be Sgt Pepper. Abbey Road is neither a Rock Opera nor a narrative concept album. What it is a long song cycle in medley form in which the songs are segued into each other? It was also planned also, it should be noted that "You Never Give Me Your Money" was looped with "Sun King" and "Mean Mr. Mustard" were recorded as one song; "Polythene Pam" and "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" were recorded as one song; and "Golden Slumbers" and "Carry That Weight" were recorded as one song.

Scaruffi writes, "Hey Jude (august 1968), a long (for the Beatles) jam of psychedelic blues-rock, in reality another historic slow song by McCartney, came out after Traffic's Dear Mr. Fantasy and also after Cream's lengthy live jams had reached peak popularity".

Of course this was not the Beatles first long song they recorded. "Hey Jude" is not even remotely psychedelic in it's sound. There are many other songs by contemporaneous artists which break the three-to-four minute length barrier, though the examples which come immediately to mind use a variety of techniques, none of which is used in "Hey Jude": an extended improvisational break in the middle ("Light My Fire"), the stringing together of several shorter songs, medley-style ("MacArthur Park"), or simply a long series of verse/refrain couples ("Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands").

The Beatles opt here instead for an unusual binary form that combines a fully developed, hymn-like song together with an extended, mantra-like jam on a simple chord progression, and extremely long fade-out. The track is known for it's
two different halves that complement each other,
.
Scaruffi writes, "Sgt. Pepper is the album of a band that sensed change in the making, and was adapting its style to the taste of the hippies. It came in last (in June), after Velvet Underground & NICO (January), The Doors (also January), the Byrds' Younger Than Yesterday (February), and the Jefferson Airplane's Surrealistic Pillow (February) to signal the end of an era, after others had forever changed the history of rock music".

His statement totally ignores the Beatles albums that were before this like Rubber Soul and Revolver. It also ignores "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Rain" that was singles that were recorded in 1966. Also Sgt structure as a non-narrative concept album influenced many future concept albums. Sgt. Pepper structure with tracks linked togehter with artificial sounds. Sgt Pepper structure also was unlike Frank Zappa Freak Out or Brian Wilson Pet Sounds. It influenced future concept albums with it's overture, reprise, finale, and the hidden track tacked on the end of the album

The Beatles (Rubber Soul) 1965 Brian Wilson cited it as an inspiration for "Pet Sounds." This was where rock became a true art form. They incorporated different time signatures, new instruments, and other musical styles. This album also uses the studio as an instrument before Pet Sounds. "Think for Yourself" and "If I Needed Someone" has guitar tones and vocal harmonies closer to what would be the standard in the psychedelic movement.

The Beatles (Revolver) 1966 Revolutionary in early preoccupation with "psychedelic" effects as a studio instrument, including electronic/tape effects, sound distortion, influence of Indian music, and avant-garde.

The Beatles (Sgt Pepper) 1967 An album psychedelic classic with electronic music, avant music, world music, tape, Art SONG, reversed effects, varied time signatures with the songs that are in which the song are in either song cycle form or songs linked together.

Scaruffi claims, "1967 was the year that FM radio began to play long instrumentals. In Great Britain, it was the year of psychedelia, of the Technicolor Dream, of the UFO Club. The psychedelic singles of Pink Floyd were generating an uproar. Inevitably, the Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

How ignorant is this comment. With the release of Revolver for example "Tomorrow Never Knows" in 1966 which pre-dates Pink Floyds singles by 9 months. Revolver was certainly important in opening up a commercial market for psychedelic music. It would have happened anyway, but that doesn't change history. Revolver was a very big record for psychedelic music in '66. Classic Rock Radio related to FM radio. The origins of the classic rock radio format can be traced back to The Beatles' groundbreaking album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which would forever change several courses of the rock and roll format, especially with the slow rise of FM broadcasting.

Scaruffi claims, “The Beatles had always been obsessed by the Beach Boys. They had copied their multi-part harmonies, their melodic style and their carefree attitude. Through their entire career, from 1963 to 1968, the Beatles actually followed the Beach Boys”

No one makes music without influence and while the Beatles were influenced by the Beach Boys it was the Beatles who influenced Brian Wilson to write a more serious album.

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys

"Upon first hearing Rubber Soul in December of 1965, Brian Wilson said, “I really wasn’t quite ready for the unity. It felt like it all belonged together. Rubber Soul was a collection of songs…that somehow went together like no album ever made before".

Piero Scaruffi claims, “The sitar was used somewhere else in rock music”.

I guess he must have meant the Yardbirds "Heart Full of Soul". The Yardbirds hired a sitar player but the track was never finished. George Harrison actually played one on "Norwegian Wood" becoming the first rock guitarist to actually play one a record. George Harrison also would play the tamboura and swarmandal clearly influencing Brian Jones and other to play Indian instruments.

Scaruffi claims, “The White album wraps up with a long jam, more or less avant garde, (Revolution No. 9, co-written by John Lennon and Yoko Ono) two years after everybody else, and three years after the eleven minutes of Goin' Home, by the Stones”.

The Rolling Stones track was recorded in 1966 and it's a blues jam. "Revolution No. 9” is a full blown avant track based on loops, sound samples, and unrelated voice clips. The track was not recorded in real time or nor does it have a melody or rhythm so it can't be considered a jam. The song “Revolution No. 9” was recorded two years later not three years as Scaruffi remarks. The Beatles did record a 14 minute avant track in January of 1967 “Carnival of Light”. Showing again Piero Scaruffi incompetence on the Beatles history. “ Revolution 9"? I have arguments whether the latter is a song or not, but NO ONE, not even Andy Warhol’s Velvet Underground had recorded anything like “Revolution No.9

I will add more to this in the future.

Section 2

Some of the musicians who were directly impacted by the Beatles and changed the course of music like Folk Rock, Psychedelic Rock to name a few.

Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead

"The Beatles were why we turned from a jug band into a rock 'n' roll band," said Bob Weir. "What we saw them doing was impossibly attractive. I couldn't think of anything else more worth doing"

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys

"Upon first hearing Rubber Soul in December of 1965, Brian Wilson said, “I really wasn’t quite ready for the unity. It felt like it all belonged together. Rubber Soul was a collection of songs…that somehow went together like no album ever made before".

Jazz Musician Brian Bromberg

"So much of their song writing was from an era where songs were truly songs, that's why so many jazz artists have recorded Beatles tunes. Melodies, chord changes, and actual song structure. Because of that their songs will last forever because many of them are not trendy and time period based".

Roger McGuinn of the Byrds

"As I said, we were influenced by The Beatles, and we wanted to be a band like that, and when I was working with Bobby Darin, and then in the Brill Building, my job was to listen to the radio, and emulate the songs that were out there. I had already been working on mixing The Beatles’ music with folk music in Greenwich Village, and I had noticed that they were using folk-influenced chords in their music. They used passing chords that were not common in rock’n’roll and pop songs of that time. I remember listening to them, and thinking that the Beatles were using folding chord construction. That comes from their skiffle roots, they will have learned those chords in their skiffle days, and just brought them into their own writing.”

Pete Townshend of the Who

"In a 1967 interview Pete Townshend of the Who commented "I think "Eleanor Rigby" was a very important musical move forward. It certainly inspired me to write and listen to things in that vein"

Bob Dylan

"They 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.

BARRY McGUIRE

What were the key motivations behind your switch from the commercial folk you were doing with the New Christy Minstrels to folk-rock?

"But times changed, and I changed, and I didn't feel that way anymore. The Beatles were happening. I think that was probably the main thing. The Beatles just changed the whole world of music".

Jazz Musician John Beasley

"When I heard "Revolution," "A Long and Winding Road," and "Let it Be" I realized they were the first examples of pop-fusion music. The Beatles fused melodicism and harmony with the spirit of rock and roll. I was writing songs at an early age, so I incorporated this 'fusion' in my compositions. They paved the way for experimentation in the studio—whether it's Lennon doing a vocal track lying on the floor to create a different sound, they just let it be. When I'm in the studio, I keep that spirit of experimentation. Whatever goes!

I see their body of work mirror the arc of great jazz musicians. Their music changed from song to song and record to record. The Fab Four has inspired me to keep high standards of creativity with every project that I undertake".

Mic Jagger

"Keith liked the Beatles because he was quite interested in their chord sequences. He also liked their harmonies, which were always a slight problem to the Rolling Stones. Keith always tried to get the harmonies off the ground but they always seemed messy. What we never really got together were Keith and Brian singing backup vocals. It didn't work, because Keith was a better singer and had to keep going, oooh, ooh ooh (laughs). Brian liked all those oohs, which Keith had to put up with. Keith was always capable of much stronger vocals than ooh ooh ooh".

Keith Richards
"The Beatles) were perfect for opening doors... When they went to America they made it wide open for us. We could never have gone there without them. They're so fucking good at what they did. If they'd kept it together and realized what they were doing, instead of now doing Power to the People and disintegrating like that in such a tatty way. It's a shame. The Stones seem to have done much better in just handling success".

Bill Buford:

The Beatles. They broke down every barrier that ever existed. Suddenly you could do anything after The Beatles. You could write your own music, make it ninety yards long, put it in 7/4, whatever you wanted.

Karl Bartos of Kraftwerk

"Sampling has been around since the Beatles they did it all. There is no difference between using tapes and digital machinery." Yawn again

Robert Fripp on hearing the Beatles Sgt Pepper

Robert Fripp- "When I was 20, I worked at a hotel in a dance orchestra, playing weddings, bar-mitzvahs, dancing, cabaret. I drove home and I was also at college at the time. Then I put on the radio (Radio Luxemburg) and I heard this music. It was terrifying. I had no idea what it was. Then it kept going. Then there was this enormous whine note of strings. Then there was this colossal piano chord. I discovered later that I'd come in half-way through Sgt. Pepper, played continuously. My life was never the same again"

Some of the reaction towards "Strawberry Fields Forever"

"Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys said that "Strawberry Fields Forever" was partially responsible for the shelving of his group's legendary unfinished album, Smile. Wilson first heard the song on his car radio whilst driving, and was so affected that he had to stop and listen to it all the way through. He then remarked to his passenger that The Beatles had already reached the sound The Beach Boys had wanted to achieve. Paul Revere & The Raiders were among the most successful US groups during 1966 and 1967, having their own Dick Clark-produced television show, Where the Action Is. Mark Lindsay (singer/saxophonist) heard the song on the radio, bought it, and then listened to it at home with his producer at the time, Terry Melcher. When the song ended Lindsay said, "Now what the fuck are we gonna do?" later saying, "With that single, The Beatles raised the ante as to what a pop record should be"

Section 3

Arguments against Piero Scaruffi A Chronology of Rock Music timeline.

In 1965-1966 as compared to Brian Jones- George Harrison played the tamboura, swarmandal, and recording the guitar backwards. Jeff Beck and Roger McGuinn were not playing Indian instruments and predated Brian Jones. The Beatles also plays clavichord, fuzz bass trough a fuzzbox as a lead guitar instrument, harmonium and the mellotron also predates Brian Jones.

Scaruffi, "In 1965 The Supremes have four number-one hits and the Four Tops have two, all of them written by Tamla's team of Brian Holland, Lamond Dozier and Eddie Holland".

Well in 1964 the Beatles wrote seven number one songs on the America Charts. Six for the Beatles themselves and one for Peter & Gordon. Never done in Rock and Roll by a recording group.

Scaruffi, "The "British Invasion" exports to the USA the enthusiasm created by Beatlesmania in the UK"

George Harrison's resonant 12-string electric guitar leads were hugely influential also on the Animals, Brian Jones and Pete Townshend purchase the instrument; helped persuade the Byrds, then folksingers, to plunge all out into rock & roll, and the Beatles (along with Bob Dylan) would be hugely influential on the folk-rock explosion of 1965. The Beatles' success, too, had begun to open the U.S. market for fellow Brits like the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Kinks, and inspired young American groups like the Beau Brummels, Lovin' Spoonful, and others to mount a challenge of their own with self-penned material that owed a great debt to Lennon-McCartney. By the way Scaruffi it’s Beatlemania not Beatlesmania.

Scaruffi "The Beach Boys' Good Vibrations is the first pop hit to employ electronic sounds".

Well not true, The Tornadoes "Telstar" employs electronic instrumentation and the Beatles own "Ticket To Ride" uses a volume pedal.

Scaruffi, "The Byrds' Eight Miles High invents raga-rock".

Not really "If I Needed Someone" and "Norwegian Wood" both have strong raga and rock elements. Also not mentioned on Scaruffi time line. "Love You To" is considered to be the first pop song to emulate non-western form, in this case Indian music, in structure and instrumentation. The Dawn Of Indian Music In The West author Peter Lavezzoli

Scaruffi, "Eric Clapton of the Yardbirds uses the guitar to produce feedback and fuzz".

Well since Scaruffi is mentioning pop music charts.” I Feel Fine" 1964 is the first major pop hit with intentional guitar feedback. It also features a guitar riff driven riff. Both common elements in rock music.

Scaruffi, "June: the Byrds' version of Mr. Tambourine Man invents "folk-rock"

Well not true again the Byrds popularized folk-rock. In reality the Beatles were the band to influence the Byrds to go the folk rock route because of the Beatles chord progressions. Anyhow there were 1964 hits with a folk rock flavor by the Animal, The Beu Breummels and The Beatles.

Scaruffi, "Velvet Underground & Nico (January) introduces droning, cacophony and repetition (besides improvisation) to rock music, and connects rock music to the avant-garde"

Again who are you kidding 1966 "Tomorrow Never Knows" droning, cacophony and repetition are at its core elements on this track. Connects rock music to the avant-garde"

Scaruffi, "Millie Small's My Boy Lollipop is the first worldwide ska hit"

True but in Reggae [Relation to Rock & Roll] The early Beatles song 1964"I Call Your Name," for instance, has a ska break; a few years later, they would appropriate the reggae rhythm for "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da." Also in the 1967 recording "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number) has a whole ska section

Scaruffi, "Red Crayola's Parable Of Arable Land (march) turns psychedelic rock into abstract sound-painting"

I guess he has not heard of tracks like "Tomorrow Never Knows" or "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite". Both predate the Red Crayola.

Scaruffi, "The Silver Apples experiment with electronics in a rock and roll format"

Again, in 1966-1967 the Beatles experimented with electronic music and others in a rock and roll format.

Scaruffi, "The Doors (January 1967) fuses rock and roll, blues, psychedelic, Indian raga, free-form poetry and drama"

The Beatles (Revolver) 1966 Revolutionary in early preoccupation with "psychedelic" effects as a studio instrument, including electronic/tape effects and influence of Indian music avant-garde.

The Beatles release "Tomorrow Never Knows"- The Beatles, particularly McCartney, became heavily influenced by experimental German composer, Karlheinz Stockhausen. Beginning with Tomorrow Never Knows they began experimenting with tape loops, musique-concrète, backward music, repetition drum & bass sound, and effects which were crucial to the development of modern electronica.

Scaruffi, "Led Zeppelin's debut launches hard-rock and defines the LP as rock's medium of choice".

I don't get this one either. Hard Rock was well established before Led Zeppelin. Defines the LP as rock's medium of choice well the first year the rock album outsold the single format was 1968. The Beatles released no singles on Sgt Pepper 1967 and The White Album 1968 both outselling worldwide than Led Zeppelin debut album. Also Bob Dylan had a huge hand in this also.

Someone mentioned "Telstar" it went number one but it was written by someone else. They had the top five songs at the same time and all were self penned.

The Beatles truly revolutionized Rock & Roll.

Section 4

The Genres the Beatles helped influence or helped create.

Power-Pop

Writing for All music, John Dougan described the genre's origins:

"The musical source point for nearly all power-pop is The Beatles. Virtually all stylistic appropriations begin with them: distinctive harmony singing, strong melodic lines, unforgettable guitar riffs, lyrics about boys and girls in love; they created the model that other power-poppers copied for the next couple of decades. Other profound influences include The Who, The Kinks, and The Move, bands whose aggressive melodies and loud distorted guitars put the "power" in power-pop

Folk Rock

"But in my imagination this whole thing developed and I started mixing up old folk songs with the Beatles beat and taking them down to Greenwich Village and playing them for the people there".
Roger McGuinn

"The big turning point, really, was the Beatles' influence on American folk music, and then Roger took it to the next step, and then along came the Lovin' Spoonful and everybody else".
Barry McGuire

Jangle Pop

In 1964 The Beatles' use of the jangle sound in the songs "A Hard Day's Night" and "Words of Love" encouraged many artists to use the jangle sound or purchase a Rickenbacker twelve-string guitar. The Byrds began using similar guitars after seeing them played in the film A Hard Day's Night. Other groups such as The Who (in their early "Mod" years), The Beach Boys, The Hollies, and Paul Revere and the Raiders continued the use of twelve-string Rickenbackers. The Byrds, whose style was also referred to as folk rock, prominently featured Roger McGuinn's Rickenbacker electric twelve-string guitar in many of their recordings.

Progressive Rock

the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as showing the "earliest rumblings of progressive and art rock" while progressiverock.com cites the latter as its "starting point" although earlier albums such as Rubber Soul and Revolver had begun incorporating Eastern music and instruments not common in rock music. This would later be followed by progressive-rock acts such as Yes and King Crimson

Avant Pop

Avant-pop is a genre of pop music which uses conventional pop idioms like harmonic melodies, verse-chorus-verse structures in addition of little elements of experimentalism and avant garde music. The Beach Boys and The Beatles are the first pop music bands who began incorporating experimental instrumentation and sound recording techniques in their music on their albums Pet Sounds, Revolver and Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Also the psychedelic rock of Syd Barrett during his brief period in Pink Floyd with childlike songs like "Bike" and "See Emily Play" are early examples.

Psychedelic Rock

In late 1965, The Beatles unveiled their brand of psychedelia on the Rubber Soul album, which featured John Lennon's first paean to universal love ("The Word") and a sitar-laden tale of attempted hippy hedonism ("Norwegian Wood", written by John Lennon). Then it went to to more Psychedelic fusing of the genre with Revolver and Sgt Pepper.

Art-Rock- Starting with "Tomorrow Never Knows" maybe the first true Art-Rock. Music critic George Graham argues that "... the so-called Art Rock scene arose" in the 1960s, "when many artists were attempting to broaden the boundaries of rock." He claims that art rock "was inspired by the classically-influenced arrangements and the elaborate production of the Beatles Sgt. Peppers period" and states that the "style had its heyday in the 1970s with huge commercial success by Yes, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and later Genesis."

"Tomorrow Never Knows" had a big influence on (Techno/Electronica/Kraut Rock)
Combining swirling psychedelia with a repetitive melody and wicked sound effects, “Tomorrow Never Knows” could possibly be the first and only Beatles song that could put you in a trance and make you shake that thang simultaneously. The Chemical Brothers didn’t sample and loop the drum track and bassline from this song for nothing.

Are the Beatles the most influential rock act? Well that question has been debated for years and it would be idiotic to deny their influence.

Sure, Zep and Sabbath had a profound influence on rock; so where The Who, The Velvet Underground, and The Stones.

But The Beatles helped establish in rock music: concept albums, use of amp feedback in songs, electric 12 string, mixing world music (e.g., sitars and others) into traditional guitar 'n' drums rock, use of full orchestras in rock, backwards taping, pre-recorded loops, music videos, rock and roll movies, sampling, stadium venues, album-oriented rock, and more.

Stylistically, their music has been often imitated (but never duplicated) by anyone from The Monkees to Oasis to Panic at the Disco to Badfinger to Queen and many, many more.

Their fashion sense set the trend for bands (and pop culture junkies in general) throughout the 60s; and even afterwards, their fashions then are still copied today (the Sgt. Pepper baton jackets became a staple of rock fashion, especially with Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson).

There's simply no other band in history that had as much influence on rock as The Beatles did/do.

Here is an interesting interview and remarks from members of Can, Yes, King Crimson, and even Stockhausen comments on the Beatles.

King Crimson's Adrian Belew:
http://crawdaddy.wolfgangsvault.com/...ian-Belew.html

Quote:
Crawdaddy!: Your early influences were the Beatles?
Belew: Oh yeah, absolutely, as a drummer and a singer and a songwriter, and then as a guitarist as well. They were, for me, the whole library of [music] education. I studied their records so hard, from a production standpoint. You know—why did they use these saxophones and what are the harmonies they’re using here, and what is that bass part there and why is this there? It was more than just enjoying them, but of course I enjoyed them too.
Crawdaddy!: Do you have a favorite Beatles album?
Belew: Revolver remains my favorite because that’s the first one where I felt that they stepped outside the normal four-piece band and started experimenting in the studio. That album introduces a lot of things that are firsts. Things like Indian music and orchestras playing with the band and backwards guitar, a lot of things that I still really love.

Crawdaddy!: Your playing style kind of turns pop on its head.
Belew: Well, the idea [in the Bears] was not to write just another 10 or 12 pop songs. We looked at a specific area of, I guess, what would be called avant-garde pop, which the Beatles did. Our examples were songs which were a little more off the wall than the straightforward ones—the “I Am the Walrus” and “Strawberry Fields” or any number of songs that the Beatles did once they really cut loose and began to explore. They were very experimental themselves.
Crawdaddy!: Yeah, I’ve always felt that the Beatles became the first successful prog-rock band. I don’t think many mainstream Beatle fans feel that way, but some of the White Album stuff, and Magical Mystery Tour—it’s very proggy for its time, in my opinion.
Belew: Yes, there is so much in their music that is very avant-garde. Experimental songs, which first began as 20-minute jams, that a prog-rock band might do. I’m thinking of “Helter Skelter”, which I just read was originally a 27-minute jam! They edited that down to a three-and-a-half minute song!

Jon Anderson of Yes:

...When I think of all the influences…it goes on and on and on. Here are a few, starting when I could first remember… The Beatles..."

Michael Karoli of Can said he thought the Beatles were more interesting than Stockhausen. The Beatles changed Roger Czukay musical direction after hearing "I am the Walrus"

Can was into sampling and using tape loops. The Beatles were amongst the first rock related acts to use them prominently. "I Am The Walrus" by the way uses sampling at the fade out section.

Stockhausen called the Beatles greatest mediators between serious music and popular music

Author Comments: 

Piero Scaruffi’s arguments are at best poorly-reasoned opinion, and at worst an uneducated diatribe. Dismissing the Beatles influence because of their affluence is ignorant and utterly ridiculous.

Hey man a few things to consider...

- the mere fact that someone's arguing is flawed doesn't mean the same argument can't be made with better reasoning and less innacuracies. So the only thing you can really say after reading scaruffi's article alone is that it itself is (at least partially) messed up, not that it makes his stance wrong (meaning, not that you can't rate the beatles' artistic value using less fallacious arguments). In what you wrote ther are also some mischaracterizations of his actual article (he does mention "Rain" for example), but i'll leave that alone.

- there are certainly several things about the Beatles which were original, regardless of what he says (and he even agrees in a few places).

- they can generally be split into two categories: innovative techniques and innovative music

- as for innovative techniques (and people can talk about which were innovative and which weren't even), I (at least I) don't think this belongs in a discussion about music. basically i'm saying it shouldn't really matter how the sound was created (whether by a never-before-used-in-the-genre studio-based maninupalation of sound or a never-before-used-in-the-genre instrument)...what should matter is what the sound actually is and whether it was new. if someone made the same sound via different means, than the newness of the technique is irrelevant (i mean irrelevant in a discussion about the music itself...relevant in other disussions though).

- so for that reason, i think, for example, a discussion of tomorrow never knows shouldn't even mention the tape loops: i think if it's interesting, it's because they make an interesting new "sound", not because they are in fact tape loops (arguably a new "thing"). So to me, it'd be equally as interesting if he made those same sounds with a treated guitar or by making weird mouth noises, since they'd still be the same sounds. Also, suppose I Fee Fine really was the first rock song with feedback. The only thing it shares with something like the Who's Anyway Anyhow Anywhere is that that the sounds were made with the same process (the feedback-making process). The feedback sounds are totally different and might as well be two different things. While some might look at the Who song and call it "NOT the first with feedback", I'd call it the first with "THAT sound". I think to be fair we have to pretend we don't even know what the sound literally is(the "how") and instead focus on what it sounds like. When they used backward vocals on "Rain", it amounted to a slightly weird timbre for a few seconds. I think the question should be "how weird?" and has anyone ever made that timbre before, not has anyone done that reversal proces before.

- then as far as actually innovative sounds go (outside of techniques), you list several innovative sounds coming from the Beatles (i won't take issue with which i think are wrong or whatever). It all depends on your views on art in general, but many have an aesthetic that says that innovation doesn't matter in and of itself: instead what matters is what the actual sounds are, meaning what they sound like, and moreover what the overall feel/emotion/experience of the piece is as a result. To them it's still about innovation but in a different sense (innovative unfolding of emotion via sound). Suppose Tomorrow Never Knows didn't sound like anything in the genre before (as I said, a different and maybe more relevant point than the one about technology being new). Some would rate it highly in artistic terms for that mere fact, which is essentially juding it "on paper". But others might view it as having a sound that isn't particularly poginant for whatever reason (leave it to them to say). While a lot of their early songs have strange chords and harmonies for their genre, many would say it's all moot since they sound trivial to them.

- regarding influence, I don't think this belongs in a discussion about artistic value either. Instead we should compare to what came before. Suppose that compared to what came before it was not original. The fact that it was copied (or that the copiers took it to greater heights which can afterall be indirectly be attributed to them) would be irrelevant. Suppose it was original, but nobody heard it at all, it would still be what it is.

- You could of course talk about influence or about the opinions of contemporary artists (like Brian Wilson) as fact-stating (and not tie them in to artistic value) and or a means of refuting scaruffi (since he claimed otherwise). But it should be understood that Scaruffi's statement about what other artists thought of the Beatles is not tied to his arguement...it's just an aside, one which happens to be wrong.

So basically I think that when we're judging artistic value, we should listen to music without regard for it's influence or for how it was made (try to not even find out what instruments are used or "how"), and instead on the music itself (it's sound/style) vs. what came before. Then, when we're talking about the music itself, whether you have the "on paper" approach or the "feel" one, at least the bias is taken out.

There are just to many flaws in Scaruffi arguments about the Beatles. Just give you one example

"Scaruffi saying the Beatles were writing simple 3 minute pop ditties"

It depends on how you look at it.

There might be an argument to be made that Beatles was pushing the envelope more than Frank Zappa in different ways. I don't know if it's true but it could be debated.

BUT...the commercial success of The Beatles, coupled with their progressiveness - because, let's face it, "Revolver" and "Sgt. Pepper" were huge leaps - created an industry environment in which experimentation and exploration were encouraged, with regard of course for the bottom line but maybe (?) a little less blatant regard than today. (Maybe?)

My impression of FZ's early work is that it had a relatively small audience and it didn't have a major impact on the development of rock music, in general. I might be very wrong. I don't think he opened the door for "Prog Rock", Psych Rock, and Experimental Rock in the way that The Beatles did. He helped authorize a very adventurous approach to music, and I think that influence is present in some early Prog Rock albums, but...ultimately I see the Prog Rock era as an extension of "Rubber Soul," "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper" and "MMT" rather than FZ's work...whatever its merits. I've only ever heard one progressive rock musician mention FZ - Ian Anderson, in concert, a few days after FZ's death. But I've heard tons of praise for The Beatles by Prog Rockers. Isn't that commentary the sign of influence?

By the way, this was written by an FZ fan...just for the record.

I don't mind Scaruffi low ratings of Beatles albums or anyone opinion of what artistic value is. As it is Scaruffi does not seem to get is the Beatles have had thousands of their songs covered by prominent musicians. The quality of their songs speaks for themselves.

You can't dismiss the Beatles on how they recorded their music and it's impact on popular music. I agree the music is what matters but you can't dismiss what the Beatles did in the studio. Pet Sounds is a continuation of Phil Spector though the music is more complex and it influenced loads of musicians. The Beatles had influences as everybody else but the studio as an instrument for creating psychedelic effects via tape speed manipulation, backward music, and pre- recorded loops was different than what Brian Wilson and Phil Spector did.

Any doubters should go listen "Tomorrow Never Knows" immediately. There wasn't anything in 1966 that even resembles it. As nuts as Freak Out! and The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators probably were at the time, they're still essentially live-instrumental, blues-influenced records. They were not touching the sounds on that track. Nobody else was doing that stuff back then.

"BUT...the commercial success of The Beatles, coupled with their progressiveness - because, let's face it, "Revolver" and "Sgt. Pepper" were huge leaps - created an industry environment in which experimentation and exploration were encouraged, with regard of course for the bottom line but maybe (?) a little less blatant regard than today. (Maybe?) "

"You can't dismiss the Beatles on how they recorded their music and it's impact on popular music"

- I'm not dismissing their influence. I acknowledge it. And I think it's important and deserves mention (in a discussion about history), but it speaks nothing of their artistic merit (and doesn't belong in that discussion).

I totally agree with you regarding Tomorrow Never Knows. But the same comment can be made about other records for other reasons (the Fugs' Virgin Forest for example) and it's all a matter of degree. I'd give it an 8.5/10 (near masterpiece) at most and how this rating compares with the ratings I'd give other songs is what the real bottom line is to me.

I'm curious as to whether people here grew up with/had early musical experience with the Beatles or not....

I grew up with the Beatles. They have been a favorite band of mind from age 12 to current day. One of the only consistent ones too. But it hasn't stopped me from enjoying Scaruffi's picks, and for the most part, I agree with his comments on their alleged innovation, etc. They were not the first to do many things in rock. But they did synthesize and refine what was out there into something widely accessible to the public in a way we have rarely seen since (Radiohead is the only band that immedatiely comes to mind). And they wrote great pop songs, with melodies that (for whatever reason) are simply better and more universal than most pop that has followed. That's their true claim-to-fame. And, of course, they could rock okay too, but they're basically a pop band, IMO, the best pop band of all times.

Saying the Beatles were just a pop band is utterly ridiculous. Most things in rock music had precedents anyway every band including the Beatles or The Rolling Stones took their influences and created a new sound. The Doors or the Velvet Underground ALL they did was synthesize and refine what was out there and created a new sound. They Doors did not invent blues music or even psychedelic blues or even the Velvet Underground did not invent feedback or avant music either. It's how they combined their influences is how they created a new sound. When the Beatles came out they were the new sound go ask Bob Dylan or Roger McGuinn both citing the Beatles were leading the direction of rock music.

It depends if you consider "fusions" to be innovations. The Beatles incorporated experimental tape techniques, microtonal/Eastern melodies and a time change or two into pop song structure and rock instrumentation:, even if only for certain tracks. Certainly you can hear this on "Tomorrow Never Knows", "Love You To", "Strawberry Fields Forever", and "Blue Jay Way". This is certainly not 50's R&R rock this is pushing the envelope for pop music and rock music just as much as their underground counterpoints the Monks or the Velvet Underground.

Sonic Youth applies modernist instrument preparations and extended techniques to the established no wave/punk rock sound: experimental rock. Radiohead (at least on Kid A/Amnesiac and "Climbing Up the Walls") applies 20th century compositional concepts (extended techniques, microtonal harmony, modal changes) to pop song structure and rock experimentation, deliberately not sounding like rock music but still stemming from that post-rock, "this is not rock" tendency. so...how do you quantify if all of the above is experimental or not? all of the above apply already established 20th century techniques to already established rock structures.

Sgt Pepper the seeds of this started on Rubber Soul and Revolver. Like it or not- The Beatles influenced thousands of musicians. They also added a lot to rock music -with more interesting chord progressions and instrument arrangements (Eleanor Rigby, Strawberry Fields..) but also transformed the recording studio entirely and pioneered many recording techniques. Again no one in rock music was creating anything like "Tomorrow Never Knows" or even much of Rubber SOUL in 1965. The song is dominated by a droning sitar and a strictly repetitive drum part, creating a far-Eastern mood, and features ghost-like sounds weaving in and out of the music. These sounds were created while experimenting with analog tape. Musical excerpts were cut from various places and manipulated (sped up, slowed down, or played backward), including a George Harrison lead guitar part. Lennon's voice enters with the line, "Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream., Of course Frank Zappa was another one who was experimental for his time period but the Beatles were able to put it to insanely great melodies like "Strawberry Fields Forever" which is of course innovation.

Pet Sounds which was a response to Rubber Soul. Pet Sounds cohesiveness is the "Wall of Sound" styled production on every song. Mixed in the thick monophonic texture (Brian’s “Pet” sounds) favored by producer Phil Spector, this album is one of the most personal and timeless documents in the history of Pop and Rock music.

On In a direct reply to Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and The Beatles put together a theme album that many consider to be the greatest Rock recording ever made. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is a much different kind of album than any that had come before, a highly ambitious collection of songs that left both music critics and Rock fans in a state of amazement. The "concept" behind the album is not in the lyrics, but in the vaudeville/circus atmosphere that is created -- each song being a new scene in the overall show. The use of crowd noise and other sounds from everyday life was innovative, and added to the carnival atmosphere. The album starts with an introduction by the "host band" to the show, saying "sit back and let the evening go" as they bring on the opening act, fictional vocalist "Billy Shears," who is actually Ringo Starr. The song segues into "With a Little Help From My Friends," which is sung by Starr. The songs that follow lead the listener through a wide range of musical landscapes, as though you are wandering around at a carnival, spending a few minutes at each booth. The psychedelic experience is alluded to in "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds," Lennon's controversial song that was a favorite of the counter-culture during the 1967 "Summer of Love." The lyrics for "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" were taken from a Victorian-era circus poster, and a complex background of tape splices creates a very circus-like environment. George Harrison's "Within You, Without You" is a trip to an exotic Eastern land, continuing his experiments with the sitar and with Eastern philosophy. The album wraps up with a "Reprise" of the intro tune, a clever variation on the album's first track, this time saying "we hope you have enjoyed the show," and thanking the audience for attending. As an encore, the band rolls out one final number, possibly the best song on the album, "A Day In the Life." Truly a monumental pop song, this last piece is a complex and interesting "mini-drama" written primarily by John Lennon, with a middle "bridge" by Paul McCartney. A 40-piece orchestra was employed to create a slow rising-pitch crescendo that was used twice to create an amazing tension-and-release in the song. The album ends with the sound of a thick major chord played on four pianos by the band members, and held until the sound decays away naturally.

No one in rock music was creating music like that and it's really not their fault the numerous people who were influenced by it fell flat on their face.

Obvious troll is obvious.

A few thoughts:

(1) No one doubts the Beatles "fused" different influences together; they were very adept at playing with multiple genres as the White Album demonstrates. But what was the focus of all these experiments? Playing around with sounds and following your musical intuitions to discover new ways of making music (indeed, new genres), or starting off with a melody (not a revolutionary way of composing) and then finding different sounds/arrangements that amplify that melody? In other words, is the focus the melody and the experimentation an afterthought?

As an example, "I'm Only Sleeping" is first and foremost a pop song (an engaging and memorable melody, with verses and chorus) that the Beatles played with in the studio to sound cooler (the tape manipulation, backwards solo, etc.) It's a nice accomplishment but it's not creating new music in the way that Zappa does on his sound/song collage "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" (Absolutely Free, early 1967). That composition is certainly more revolutionary than "Day in the Life."

(2) "Tomorrow Never Knows" deserves credit. In fact, as far as I know, Scaruffi does not really rebut that song. At most, he calls it just a ditty underneath it all, but there are few precedents for this "ditty", and it's probably a masterpiece. I would be interested to know what rock bands were doing this kind of thing before the Beatles.

(3) You are definitely right about the "vaudeville/circus atmosphere" of Sgt. Pepper and how the album comes across as a show. It is a brilliant album, despite what Scaruffi says. But you have to give credit again to Zappa for Freak Out! and Absolutely Free (both released before Pepper) which are satirical critiques of American society, a more subtle form of concept album, where each song is linked together by thematic purpose, as opposed to being mere "scenes" of a narrative. In fact, Absolutely Free has both an introduction and a very obvious farewell to the audience.

(4) Finally, I was not trying to imply that the Beatles were unusual in synthesizing sources from the public domain (or even that they were the only ones to take from the public domain). It's just that their synthesis was about updating an older genre of music (vocal-based melodic pop), not creating new genres. Captain Beefheart took from Delta blues and free jazz, among other sources. But by the time he was done exploring/deconstructing/reconstructing those sources, he was following his own musical intuition to craft innovative melodies, rhythm, and music that has no obvious precedent. The Beatles cared (about 99% of the time) about the melody, so their synthesis was merely expressing traditonal, vocal-group pop in the style of the underground. Not to discredit that accomplishment, it's hard to do well, but that's what it was.

Have you read my article I guess you should read it first?

1. The Beatles were not just known for their melodies. Yes it's true they were great melodists but to center on that is wrong they were more to their music than that. The Beatles are maybe even more known for their unusual use of chord progressions or as songwriters. The Beatles use of as a studio as an instrument and the way they used was a huge influence on music. Remember Scaruffi is not a musician he does not know music theory so when classical musicians like Leonard Bernstein called Lennon & McCartney the greatest songwriters or people like Dylan, McGuinn, and others noticed the Beatles chord progressions first it carries more weight. Beatles' ability to marry studio experimentation with a strong song structure is such a profound influence that it's taken for granted. Much of Modern popular music is still made this way.

There is plenty of information and sources on the Beatles for example American musicologist Alan W. Pollack have a whole complete series discussing the Beatles music. Classical musician Howard Goodall's 20th Century Greats focuses on the Beatles.

"John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Their stunning roll-call of sublime melodies is perhaps only matched by Mozart in European history".Goodall says that in mixing pop and classical techniques, and cross-fertilizing them with Indian and electronic music, The Beatles refreshed and revitalized western harmony. They also transformed the recording studio from a dull box where you recaptured your live sound, into a musical laboratory, of exciting and completely new sounds".

As for "I'm Only Sleeping" is not a sound collage it's an early preoccupation with "psychedelic" effects as a studio instrument using reversed guitars and slowing down the drums. Whether it's a pop song should not matter in its quality or experimentation and it was certainly creating new music. "Tomorrow Never Knows" is a sound collage with its use of multilayered pre-recorded loops is nothing like what Zappa was doing on Freak Out. Not to take away anything from Frank Zappa they were using different techniques. As for "A Day in the Life" again not taking anything away from Zappa because they were different types of musicians but "A Day in the Life" is a great example of avant music with pop. As for it's composition is composed of two suites - one by Lennon, one by Paul McCartney - that are totally different in sound and texture, yet complement each other perfectly two different vocalists, and different time signatures. The song features two cacophonous crescendos from an orchestra, the final one climaxing in a single E major piano chord that lasts 42 seconds.

Paul McCartney was quoted on saying on Revolver that he wanted to create sounds no one ever heard of. So the experimentation was not an afterthought and they combined it with their strong sense of melody. Which I don’t get what is the problem of combining of both melody and experimentation? Honestly, would you actually WANT all the music to be a simple derivative of Chuck Berry/ Elvis/ Buddy Holly/ etc. or do you want some sort of variety to it? Do you expect everything to be Captain Beefhart?

2- "Tomorrow Never Knows" - with its loops, musique-concrète, backward music, repetition drum & bass sound, and effects which were crucial to the development of modern electronica. There is no precedent to this song and I might add "Strawberry Fields Forever" also.

3- Sgt Pepper" An album psychedelic classic with electronic music, avant music, world music, tape, Art SONG, reversed effects, varied time signatures with the songs that are in which the song are in either song cycle form or songs linked together. It's obviously a studio orientated album with a concept though loosely. Songs connected and the songs longer. A huge influence on British Progressive Rock/Art Rock.

4- Genres evolve and it's hard to pinpoint who invents genres because music evolves but the Beatles helped establish create numerous genres in music. Revolver was certainly important in opening up a commercial market for psychedelic music. It would have happened anyway, but that doesn't change history. Revolver was a very big record for psychedelic music in '66. Both Revolver and Sgt Pepper was a huge influence on Progressive Rock/Art Rock. "Tomorrow Never Knows" is one of the most influential electronic records it's almost techno/trance in it's concepts. Everyone knows that Roger McGuinn got the idea of folk rock from listening to the Beatles.

Did the Beatles create Progressive Pop? Likely with "A Day in the Life" as that is the track the "triggered" the Progressive Rock ball rolling w/o necessarily being included in it. Certainly Abbey Road medley too as well is a great example and still in a pop context.

Many have claimed the Beatles had a huge influence on other pop orientated genres like Power Pop, Avant Pop, and Psychedelic Pop.

Remember I am not saying the Beatles did these things on their own because of course others contributed and were doing different things.

The reason I ask is because I feel that this wank-fest over the Beatles stems from the fact that most people who like them either grew up with the idea that the Beatles are the height of musical genius and could latch on to their easy to digest songs, or had their first proper musical experience (all the awful stuff we all listen to as kids doesn't count) with the Beatles.

I'm the same way with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Bag out their latest stuff all you like, but I'll defend their mid 80s - mid 90's stuff to the death. But I can understand that is because I had my first proper musical experience with the RHCP, my opinion is biased towards them, and can understand why people don't love them like I do.

Your love of a band should be unaffected by what other say of them. Scaruffi says the Beatles weren't extremely original, and gives reasons why. So? How does it affect you? Why does it matter who invented what anyways? Wow, the Beatles invented folk rock and jangle pop! Who cares?

And this is in no way directed at you, callanyvegatable. You are one of the few Beatles fans who has managed to articulate your thoughts in a non-derogatory manner. Also, you named yourself after a bitchingly humourous Zappa song!

Most people like the Beatles because of their songwriting. Unlike most of their rock contemporaries, they were not content to simply throw three chords together and cobble together a melody. They took the songwriting craft very seriously, and as a result, their compositions were covered by a huge amount of recording artists, in vocal and instrumental forms. Perhaps their strongest talent, especially in the context of a rock aesthetic, was their ability to find the perfect expression of each song in the studio. While many rock groups took a loose, bluesy, improvisational approach to their music, the Beatles took a more formal, structured approach to their recordings. Every element of a track was worked out to perfectly blend with and complement the other elements of the song. In this sense they were like painters. Of course there is nothing wrong with blues-rock or I am saying the Beatles music is better but for the most part they were just different than most of their peers. This has a lot to with their popularity with huge amounts of musicians and people who like music.

They have literally millions of fans around the world that did not grow up with the Beatles and like them. The people who build up the Beatles are the media and the musicians who are influenced by them not by people like me. Some people who don't like Beatles are genuine in that feeling. Some it's very obvious are just jealous of their acclaim and popularity.

Take for instance Sgt Pepper. People were most impressed by Sgt Pepper because of its impressive technical achievements, its flowing "suites" of songs and by its strong psychedelic-feel to the tracks. Pepper was totally state-of-the-art in 1967, and it seemed to be a huge advancement over its two predecessors. There was a lot of public hype to that effect also. But I think that with years and decades of hindsight, many people now feel that the actual songs on Rubber Soul and Revolver are simply stronger and more timeless than the ones on Pepper. The musicians of Brit-Pop had something to do with this. Sgt Peppers decline from fans album of choice to Revolver and the White album is a more recent change in tastes that probably started around the Brit pop era in the mid nineties.

I think you are falling into the trap most Scaruffites do; raising innovation too high. There is zero doubt that the Beatles were a consistently good pop band, but in all honesty, someone who bags out the VU as much as you do has no idea. I'd really like to know what musical genres you listen to Jazz99.

Excellent post Jazz99.

Pierro Scaruffi tried to build a career on bashing the Beatles, and he is widely considered a moron. If anyone listening to Revolver Sgt Pepper and to say the Beatles were just following trends in rock music listen to any record at the time. If you think the only cache was the Beatles ability to set it to melody than Mr. Scaruffi I suggest you take classes on actual music. Listen to what people like Dylan, Bernstein, Wilson, and others were saying about them.

I like some of Scaruffi favorite albums like Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde, and the Doors. Anyone could review thousands of albums just go on Rate your Music many have done it. It's all a matter of taste but I seriously think people like Piero Scaruffi should know that albums like Revolver and Rubber Soul were more influential to popular music Red Krayola Parable of Arable Land. It's basic music history.

I don't think Scaruffi had to build a career bashing Beatles after his academic and professional accomplishments.

But, anyway, he is widely considered a moron by who? Beatles fanboys or actual music authorities?

I have one simple question for you does Piero Scaruffi have the knowledge to break down music theory? I don't have a problem with anyone knocking the Beatles or giving them low ratings but be factual at least. They have weak tracks like everyone else and they were not the greatest instrumentalists. They were influenced by other musicians but what musician is not influenced by other musicians? To me this just sounds like a guy that has a beef with the fab four and is trying to legitimize his dislike with lame arguments. I mean really the Beatles songs have been covered by so many musicians. Does Scaruffi know better than these guys?

Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead

"The Beatles were why we turned from a jug band into a rock 'n' roll band," said Bob Weir. "What we saw them doing was impossibly attractive. I couldn't think of anything else more worth doing"

Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys

"Upon first hearing Rubber Soul in December of 1965, Brian Wilson said, “I really wasn’t quite ready for the unity. It felt like it all belonged together. Rubber Soul was a collection of songs…that somehow went together like no album ever made before".

Roger McGuinn of the Byrds

"As I said, we were influenced by The Beatles, and we wanted to be a band like that, and when I was working with Bobby Darin, and then in the Brill Building, my job was to listen to the radio, and emulate the songs that were out there. I had already been working on mixing The Beatles’ music with folk music in Greenwich Village, and I had noticed that they were using folk-influenced chords in their music. They used passing chords that were not common in rock’n’roll and pop songs of that time. I remember listening to them, and thinking that the Beatles were using folding chord construction. That comes from their skiffle roots, they will have learned those chords in their skiffle days, and just brought them into their own writing.”

Pete Townshend of the Who

"In a 1967 interview Pete Townshend of the Who commented "I think "Eleanor Rigby" was a very important musical move forward. It certainly inspired me to write and listen to things in that vein"

Bob Dylan

"They 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

Mark Lindsay (singer/saxophonist) heard the song "Stawberry Fields Forever" on the radio, bought it, and then listened to it at home with his producer at the time, Terry Melcher. When the song ended Lindsay said, "Now what the fuck are we gonna do?" later saying, "With that single, The Beatles raised the ante as to what a pop record should be"

I welcome everyone to debate this topic if you want to.

My question wasn't whether contemporary musicians found the Beatles impressive. My question was whether music authorities have directly challenged Scaruffi on his views. In other words, replied to his arguments. I don't want to know what musicians in the 60's might have said to Scaruffi.

I honestly think musicians don't care or might even know who Scaruffi is. The only ones who care are fans of music. The Beatles place in history is well secured by the amount of musicians who love them. The Beatles were voted by their peers as the greatest rock act on some poll conducted by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2004.

Scaruffi did mention in his article that none of the Beatles peers had nothing nice to say about them. Why print something like that its not even close to being true? Some people did not like the Beatles but some people did not like the Stones either when they came out. People laughed at Dylan singing voice.

Well the amount of followers and songs interpeted by other musicians on the Beatles is enough for me. The Beatles are still big and I don't know Scaruffi but some people are just jealous. Even if you don't like the Beatles music you really can't deny they influenced hordes of musicians.

I agree that remark of his needs more context and clarification. If he simply means in terms of their instrumental prowess, then he may have a point. I think most musician comments are about their compositional skills, not how well they play their instruments. With all that said, I think Ringo is a fantastic drummer (ranked 10th favorite on my list here).

Well put it to you this way does it matter the Rolling Stones were not great jammers? Carol Kaye plays bass on Pet Sounds and the Velvet Underground were not great vocalists. The Beatles let say were good enough instumentally. The Beatles were songwriters and instrumentally people like Flea and Geddy Lee were influenced by Paul McCartney bass playing. The Byrds outright copied their vocal harmonies. When I listen to Dark Side of the Moon I hear Abbey Road vocal harmonies.

Rolling Stones not great jammers? Really?

Lou Reed is a great vocalist for what he's trying to do. Nico is an acquired taste, but her performance on "All Tomorrow's Parties" is riveting.

Vocal harmonies justifies Scaruffi's point that Beatles were too old-fashioned in their approach (merely updating the very established school of voice group pop)

Agree a bit about Dark Side, though. Which songs do you mean?

Finally, the reason why technical prowess would matter is it would explain why some musicians might not have held them in high regard in that relevant respect, that's all. Certainly, there are amateur musicians who have concocted some of the best rock of all time. (Cramps, e.g.; some would even say Ramones)

Ok we have to disagree Lou Reed is not even really a vocalist and using vocal harmonies is old fashioned in its approach sounds utterly ridiculous. Do you think using vocal harmonies on “Helter Skelter” is an old fashioned approach to using vocal harmonies? How many hard rock bands use vocal harmonies uh Van Halen or Nirvana to name a few.

Rock bands use vocal harmonies I mean even Frank Zappa used doo-wop styled vocals harmonies. The Velvet Underground used vocal harmonies on "There She Goes Again" so did Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, Yes, and The Grateful Dead. Vocal harmonies are part of the rock music. Do yourself a favor if Piero Scaruffi points that Beatles were too old-fashioned in their approach (merely updating the very established school of voice group pop) than add another dumb comment by Piero Scaruffi.

The Beatles use of vocal harmonies were hardly old fashioned either. On
“Yes It Is” is noted for it’s unusual dissonance in vocal harmonies.

“As their career progressed, vocal harmony was used more sparingly yet very imaginatively, emphasizing important text phrases, such as "Ah, look at all the lonely people" in "Eleanor Rigby", sometimes as a countermelody, as in the chorus of "She's Leaving Home", and often to accentuate the climax of a song, as in "I'm So Tired". By the end of their career, vocal harmonies were relegated to a chorus ("Revolution"), to a short phrase ("See how they run" in the bridge of "Lady Madonna") and in many songs are completely absent ("Only A Northern Song"). The manner in which the Beatles used vocal harmony as a structural device moved rock music away from the constant and predictable harmonization’s of 1950s rock 'n' roll to a musical style that often presents the song lyric in a poetic interpretation. Their use of harmony to express the meaning of the lyric was also an innovation that was greatly influential on the development of rock.” music.

Before you make anymore comments read this study on the Beatles.

Revolver as a pivotal art work:structure, harmony, and vocal harmonization. by Stephen Valdez

Lou Reed is a good vocalist. He has character and authenticity in his voice and delivery. That goes a long way in my book.

Of course, vocal harmonies are part of music, especially pop music, which leads us to the text you cited.

What about that excerpt does not illustrate the point that the Beatles were first and foremost a great pop band?

And, sorry, I commented without reading that study.

(BTW, the comment "merely updating the very established school of voice group pop" is a paraphrase of Scaruffi, not a direct quote)

edit:

While everyone tends to look back at Sgt. Pepper as the monumental Beatles album of the 1960s, when it comes to influence, I would have to say that Revolver was more influential than Sgt. Pepper. When Tomorrow Never Knows was released, it sent ripples throughout the fabric of the musical universe. By the time we got to Sgt. Pepper, the ripples had become waves. Piero Scaruffi calling it a dittie is way of the mark. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band not their best album, but there's no denying that rock's delusions of grandeur began here. Floyd, Moody Blues, Tull, Queen, Styx, Boston ... as disparate as you might seem, you all owe a big debt to that fateful record.

On Dark Side of The Moon, sound effects such as clocks, footsteps, etc. were mixed in with the music. Voices were incorporated into the songs, repeated loops. Numerous sound samples were used on the album. Sound effects or not, DSOM is one of the greatest albums ever, but as has been mentioned already, it follows in the concept album lineage first created by Sgt Pepper.

That does not mean there were not a few precedents. Pet Sounds was a big influence on Sgt Pepper. Pet Sounds still uses the Phil Spector Wall of Sound production ideas and their is no actual linkage of the songs. Sgt Pepper music production is very different and the direct linkage of songs with crowd noises, artifical sounds was a common effect in later progressive rock. Another album Absolutely Free musically complexed and with political and social satire that links songs. Sgt Pepper songs are wraped around symphony orchestras, loops, world music instrumental groups and other arrangements that I think were to arty compared to what Zappa was doing.

I agree with you about "Tomorrow Never Knows". While there are some 20th century musical precedents to that song, I'm not sure which rock bands were doing something like that before the Beatles. I would be interested to know in any case!

I agree with you about Dark Side, as well. Still one of my all-time favorites, production masterpiece or not. I would say it's even more of a concept album than Sgt. Pepper, though, because of the thematic linkage of the songs. Sgt. Pepper is only linked, really, by the conceit of a live performance of some vaudeville/novelty act. The songs aren't related to each other thematically or otherwise (the Sgt. Pepper reprise notwithstanding)

Thanks for paying dues to Absolutely Free. That is much a more impressive concept album to me than Sgt. Pepper because of its brazen satire, innovative atonal melodies, the tightness of the band and its superb jamming, and the wild collage masterpiece "Brown Shoes Don't Make It".

Out of interest who do you see as the most important member of the Beatles?

Paul McCartney, John Lennon? It's not that simple really. "A Day in the Life" is one example. John had nearly completed it but thought there was something lacking; Paul came along with the "Woke up got out of bed" bit that completed the song. "We Can Work It Out" was two half songs by John and Paul.

Paul wrote "Hey Jude", "Let it Be", "Yesterday", "She's Leaving Home" (virtually the whole of Sgt Pepper's and much of Revolver) are all fantastic songs. Lennon’s contributions - "I am the Walrus", "A Day in the Life", "In My Life", "Revolution",and "The Word" are also fantastic songs. Paul was best musicians and he actually knew what he was doing in the studio by 1966 as he by that time produced other people.

The main songwriting team in the Beatles was Lennon and McCartney. George Harrison wrote several important songs (and made significant contributions to the overall Beatles sound and band direction), he wasn't as major of contributor of songwriting ideas until Revolver. John and Paul wrote over 75% of the songs--and nearly all of the hits. Ringo was an important part of the overall Beatles sound and live performance energy, but was not a significant songwriter.

Elijah Wald’s "How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ’n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music". I think this book would be an interesting read for both Beatles fans and Scaruffites. It contradicts some of Scaruffi opinions on the Beatles. He likes the Beatles but I don't think there is anything wrong for a band to expand or go away from their past. Just putting this out anyway.

Elijah Wald

"When the Beatles abandoned live performances. Rather than releasing a new album every couple of months, each packed with chart-topping singles, the band headed into the studio for months to realize their artistic ambitions.

The brilliance of those releases ("Rubber Soul," "Revolver," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" among them) changed the way artists worked.

The album, rather than singles, became the focus, spawning the rise of FM radio and its broadcasting niches

edit:

edit:

He also doesn't totally dismiss them its important to note this

1962

Band (Beatles) BEST BAND OF 1962
Male Singer Frankie Valli
Female Singer Darlene Love (Crystals)
Guitar Steve Cropper (Mar Keys)
Keyboards Booker T. Jones
Drums/Bass Al Jackson (MG's)
String/Wind Steve Douglas (sax)
Composer Phil Spector

and this

Band Animals
Male Singer Eric Burdon
Female Singer Mary Weiss (Shangri-las)
Guitar Keith Richards
Keyboards Alan Price
Drums/Bass Charlie Watts
String/Wind Rob Lind (Sonics)
Composer (John Lennon) BEST COMPOSER FOR 1964

On In a direct reply to Brian Wilson's Pet Sounds, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and The Beatles put together a theme album that many consider to be the greatest Rock recording ever made. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt. Peppers really has lost it's reputation nowadays

The Beatles ability to marry studio experimentation with a strong pop song structure is such a profound influence that it's taken for granted. I'd say it's their most important contribution. It's the very foundation of how music is still made WELL THIS IS AWFUL NO WONDER ROCK PALES IN COMPARISON TO CLASSICAL MASTERPIECES
no one takes it seriously. Just a means to make money.

I still say to this day the most prophetic record of the Sixties wasn't "Yesterday" or "Satisfaction" but "Tomorrow Never Knows," which sums up most of where music has gone. even Rolling Stone magazine notoriously biased towards The Beatles said ( 1967 debut album, titled The Velvet Underground and Nico (which featured German singer Nico, with whom the band collaborated) was named the 13th Greatest Album of All Time, and the "most prophetic rock album ever made" by Rolling Stone in 2003.[4][5]) suck it.

Scaruffi, “Jazz critics grow up listening to a lot of jazz music of the past, classical critics grow up listening to a lot of classical music of the past. Rock critics are often totally ignorant of the rock music of the past, they barely know the best sellers”.

he meant ignorant of rocks past ( who invented innovated what) he has listed over 7000 bands reviews and history.

Again, not true. Rock critics a) tend to prefer the classic stuff to modern music which they rightly deride as trash, and b) when it comes to modern music, they prefer obscure indie bands to the overproduced popular trash. Scaruffi might be looking more toward pop music critics, rather than rock critics... They're guilty of a lot of what he's saying. I would say almost all critics are pop critics what a makes a good song is catchy maybe well written lyrics etc. hardly any serious criticism and when there is Fast n Bulbous is one who rates capt. beefheart and vu over the Beatles The Beatles rate 20th for ( best artists of the 20th century) why don't you get mad at him?

You know Sgt Pepper was voted the greatest album by Rolling Stone Magazine not the The Velvet Underground. It's alright for you to say Rolling Stone magazine praises the Velvet Underground when it's good for you LOL.

More often than not I think anti-Beatles sentiment is people trying to act cool by being contrarian beause The Beatles were/are popular and good Lord, we can't have that. No no, it's not cool unless it's so obscure that only 47 people have ever heard it and it's been oop since 1972...

You know that when voted by some of the greatest musicians and producers on the Rolling Stone Immortal List and also VH1 GREATEST ROCK ARTISTS the Beatles were voted the greatest rock artists. I don't even think Beefheart made it on the list. They know more than you and Scaruffi. Dude you are on a roll you basically went on a tirade on Listology on your ant-Beatles stance. Thanks for the laughs.

Rolling Stone magazine editors didn't vote for the albums themselves..

Your two pages are devoted on rants against the Beatles in a short period of time. Fast n Bulbous well thanks for telling me about this site at least. He has Revolver was ranked as his fifth best album ever and mentions the Beatles as helping rock music maturing. The Rolling Stones first original album was Aftermath in 1966 not really 1965. They were still a cover band with some original songs in 1965.

The bottom line you may not like the Beatles but that's fine. You can't deny their influence on countless bands and musicians. When they started out people in the record business were saying guitar groups were on the way out and British rock bands could not make it in America. The Beatles on both counts led the charge in establishing those movements. My reason for this article is to really dismiss or disprove Piero Scaruffi assertions on the Beatles. Sgt Pepper was not liked by Lou Reed as he called it the worst thing that could happen to rock & roll. That comment on one hand is telling because he is basically saying it was an overwhelming influence on music. Sgt Pepper on the other hand was well liked by future proggers which disproved Scaruffi comment that progressive rock was an attempt in getting rid of the the 3 minute pop of the Beatles.

What ever you might think of Sgt Pepper it basically opened the doors to progressive rock.

Of course they influenced a lot of band's.

Finally, us Scaruffians have a rabid asshole fanboy. NOW IT'S ON

Y'know, given how much Scaruffi loves originality, he'd probably rate you all a 5/10 at most since you're just poor imitations of him (the five marks comes from how fucking emotional you guys get).

You Scaruffi fan boys are all the same. I like the Velvet Underground but it took the Beatles to pave the way for acts like the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds. Before anyone ever heard of the Velvet Underground the Beatles already were pushing the limits of recording technology and rock music. If you guys don't think songs like Rain, Tomorrow Never Knows, and Love You To helped influence experimentation or popularize it then get a clue. Not to mention all those bands like the the Airplane or the Dead they helped onfluenced at the start their would be no psychedelic rock? Who the hell you think helped make the self contained rock band bigger than solo dominated acts of the 50's and early 60's.

Go and see Peter Gabriel interview talking about how much the Beatles influenced him. I know Robert Fripp and Phil Collins often talked of their influence. When Fripp first heard Sgt. Pepper's, he said that he'd never heard anything quite like it before, and it opened his mind up to the possibilities of what could be done with rock music.

Abbey Road, especially the second side, can be considered for that, though a lot of their earlier music, experimental as it was, widened the boundaries. Within You, Without You (raga/rock fusion--and a long song with a fairly long sitar/orchestral instrumental in the middle of it), Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite, with its time changes, The Sgt. Peppers "overture" and "reprise" at the end, and A Day in the Life, with its use of orchestra, unusual structure, time changes, sound effects and sometimes complete disregard for pop music conventions.

You're so boring.

I thought this argument had stopped, um um, quick. Say something to resolve this whole argument so we can move on with our lives and discuss other things.....MELONS! Yeah, get a load of them apples.

The comments about Sgt Pepper from Scaruffi are misleading and a disgrace in so-called rock journalism. Let's not forget that great albums Pink Floyd The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and The Pretty Things S.F. Sorrow were released after Sgt Pepper. So do they lose their greatness because it was released after Sgt Pepper?

The Beatles already experimented in psychedelia, sampling, loops, backward music, and avant influences already in 1966 while most of their colleagues like the Stones or the Who were at least year behind in incorporating those ideas. So to say Sgt Pepper was late is nonsense. Anyone even listening to Sgt Pepper will tell you it was completely different to what the Doors or the Byrds Younger than Yesterday were doing. I don't understand the anti-Beatles spew but Jazz99 you did a good job in pointing out some major flaws in Piero Scaruffi thoughts on the Beatles.

I don't think they lost any greatness

Scaruffi, “Jazz critics grow up listening to a lot of jazz music of the past, classical critics grow up listening to a lot of classical music of the past. Rock critics are often totally ignorant of the rock music of the past, they barely know the best sellers”.

He meant something like this - from an interview

I think you are referring to "rock" music, not music in general. My opinions on classical music or avant-garde music are probably more "standard," too. The problem is that rock music is still being interpreted as pure entertainment and not art. Worse: Most of its critics and historians are kids with very scant knowledge of music in general and even of rock music itself. Do you know any critic/historian of classical music who is not fluent in the entire history of classical music? Ditto for poetry, fiction, cinema, etc. Rock music is the one "art" in which the vast majority of critics are fundamentally ignorant (of history, of art, of music and even of rock music itself).

I try not to be influenced by what has been written before and what other critics/historians are writing today. Otherwise, what's the point of my writing a new book on a subject that has already been analyzed by hundreds of people? Thus, my new book on jazz is a little different from the traditional histories of jazz, even though I respect jazz critics/historians a lot better than rock ones.

He must have made all this up even I don't agree with most of it

Jazz99 does the usual Beatles propaganda (seen it over and over
and over again over the decades) based on obvious poor knowledge
of the music of the time.
If i had to correct all the sentences that are wrong
i would probably end up rewriting Scaruffi's essays.
So just read that one :-)

Without the commercial success of beatlemania (that had more to do with their good looks and hairstyle than with their musical skills) nobody would waste his time writing essays pro or against the Beatles, just like nobody writes lengthy essays on the Hollies.
Same is true of Michael Jackson and his moonwalk: remove the moonwalk and nobody would write essays pro or against Michael Jackson.
The history of pop culture is a history of commercial exploits not of artistic genius. Let's face it: they sell salami and we
buy them, and that's all there is to it. Scaruffi is an idealist
who still hopes that there is art to be found in salami;
Jazz99 is a gullible consumer of salami. End of debate.

Anyway, Scaruffi's new book (i think it just came out in 2009) hardly mentions the Beatles at all (good or bad), so i guess Jazz99 is picking a fight on something that happened a long long time ago.

I can't help but feel that when the heads in Haight-Ashbury first heard "Tomorrow Never Knows" they all of a sudden "knew". Rock music at it's best: drawing from past & moving into the future. I guess Andrea you have not read the musicians comments on the Beatles in this article. The Beatles were already the biggest thing in the U.K when they broke in America. I guess having over then thousand cover versions of their songs is based on their looks. If that was the case then the Backstreet Boys would have over 3,000 cover versions of "Yesterday". Their chord progressions and melodies that influenced a whole generation have nothing to with their looks. Please get real Andrea.

The real argument is whose groupies are worse on Listology -- Scaruffi's or the Beatles.

It's too close to call at this point for me, anyone else?

Yeah, close call. It's like asking which is worse, cancer or AIDS.

We're not AIDs.

Shotgun cancer, it's more eclectic. Although it's a bit mainstream for us. I suggest Kuru.

I consider Scarrufists to be a cult following. I am not saying they are bad people but a litle strange. They all speak or write in the same style. People who like Scarruffi fail to realize he lacks credibility when it comes to analyzing the actual music because the turd does not know music theory. So how can Scaruffi tell me if "Strawberry Fields Forever" is complicated or not. Then again early rock and roll is simple 3 or 4 chord music with a steady 4/4 beat in which the Beatles clearly stayed away from the most part.

The Beatles early original songs like "It Won't Be Long" which is basically Power Pop has more chords and the chord progressions are quirky. There is no country or blues influence on it at all. This is one of the songs that Bob Dylan would say that no one was using the harmonies and chord progressions the Beatles were using at the time. Now you have Bob Dylan who grew up with all sorts of types of music saying this not Piero Scaruffi so I think you should at least give some creedence to what musicians say and not Scaruffi.

Scaruffi lacks credibility when it comes to analyzing the actual music because the turd does not know music theory. Some of you should read this latest magazine about the Beatles

The Beatles and the Rock Band Generation by Guitar Edge

"Those songs seem so simple, but when you try to play them, you realize the chord choices are amazing,” offers Mutemath’s Roy Mitchell Cardenas. “Like the stacked chord at the end of ‘She Loves You,’ or how in ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ the F wouldn’t be a normal chord in the basic G progression they use. That’s why their songs stand the test of time, because they make it sound so simple but actually they’re so complicated.”

for one how do you know he knows nothing about musical theory.

no he doesn't lack credibility because of this, the only way to grade music is well... to actually grade what you're listening to and not what's on paper or the "theory" behind the music.

and if making complex music is what it's all about why aren't bands like dream theater topping your best of lists?

Look Scaruffi can comment on what he wants. I think he has an axe to grind when it comes to the Beatles and some of his comments are deceiving at best. His critique on Sgt.Pepper especially is dumbfounding. Though I prefer Magical Mystery Tour. Sgt. Pepper "the album" might just be more important than the music contained therein. The structure of the modern pop/rock album was highly influenced by this album, with it's colossal, rousing openers and even more epic closers. The further realization of the "concept album", utilizing characters, loose story lines, and artwork and lyrics to tie musical and conceptual ideas together became commonplace after Sgt. Pepper, inspiring an entire generation of progressive rock. Sorry this is absent on Frank Zappa first albums so called concept albums that was released before Sgt Pepper

I agree some of his comments aren't true such as contemporaries never spoke highly of them etc.

I also don't agree with his comments on the Beatles prior to 1967 not having a song built on a refrain. Most pop and jazz songs are thought of in A section, B Section, (AABA) terms and the Beatles used that form a lot. They had many songs prior to 1967 without a refrain.

There's a Place":

Intro
Verse 1
Verse 2
Verse/bridge link ("Like I love only you")
Bridge
Verse 1
Outro

"If I Fell"

Unique intro*
Verse 1
Between-verse turnaround (the Gm-A bit)
Verse 2
Bridge
Verse 3
Bridge
Verse 3
Coda

Unique in that it's made up of elements not repeated anywhere else in the song. "Do You Want to Know a Secret" is another Beatles song that fits this mold.

How about a song with no verses? That would be "Love Me Do." It starts with what has to be the chorus. After all, it has the title of the song three times, and is repeated FOUR times unchanged in the song. It can't be a verse!

Intro
Chorus
Chorus
Bridge
Chorus
Instrumental (over bridge chords)
Bridge/chorus link (the end of the harmonica solo)
Chorus
Outro

No verses!

yeah the Zappa album is missing those things but it doesn't mean it's not a concept album...what exactly is your point there

also try to make sure your sentences actually make sense this doesn't "Sorry this is absent on Frank Zappa first albums so called concept albums that was released before Sgt Pepper"

Scaruffi's website, histories, cronologies etc. are riddled with so many inaccuracies that its difficult to know where to begin offer an objective critique. Furthermore in my opinion it is evident that despite his extensive research he does not really understand what music is all about. Nowhere can I find an appreciation of sheer joy good music can bring to the listener. He contradicts himself frequently and throws out ludicrous one-liners (eg. Ringo was probably the most technically competent of The Beatles!) that are stunning in their banality.
He appears to have a comprehensive knowledge of his subject matter but closer examination reveals this to be superficial and lacking judgement. His comments for example about Jazz Giants Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and the later career of Thelonious Monk just indicate his shallow appreciation of the genre.
He is best ignored, (So why am I writing this ??!)

I dont know the beatles a whole lot but Ive heard about 13 of their songs and from what Ive read scaruffi seems like just a person who wants to get people mad at him and get attention or in youtube terms a troll.

you man are a totally moron. i'm not fan of scaruffi but of art in general, i listen jazz and clasical music, but rock music too. i always listened about the beatles and one day i listened to a few songs, i dont know how there are people who calls songs like "i wanna hold your hand" or "all you need is love" masterpieces, i always thought that a masterpiece was an outstanding piece of music, with a deep message and profund artistical meaning, compositions like "the four seasons" (vivaldi), the 15 symphony (shostakovic), gesang der junglinge (stockhausen) or albums like a love supreme (john coltrane), kind of blue (miles davis) are masterpieces of high level art. but the beatles songs are pure cliches. i didnt know nothing about scaruffi, then a friend told me that there was a man whit a website about rock as an art, then i entered www.scaruffi.com and listened his recomend albums and wow!, i thinked rock was an idiotic music, but then you listen albums like rock bottom or faust or irrlicht and you change your mind (i dont agree with all their "top albums" like bruce springsteen's river or another albums), incredible masterpieces at the same level of beethoven's symphonies. i read all your statements about scaruffi, like i told you, i'm not fan of him, but your "analysis" could not be considered musical. you talk about "influences", many musicians talking about how the beatles changed their lifes, you talk about robert fripp for example, i know king crimson, a group capable of make masterpieces like "the court of the crimson king" and you say that the beatles influenced that music,... impossible, in the court of the crimson king was an album with complex and dense pieces of music not pop ditties with clasical arrangments, the influence of the beatles was only "emocional" not musical, the same bob dylan, their music not sound like pop ditties but psicological essays on his generation and himself. you guess that influence is the same that consideration or admiration, NO, it's not the same, for example la monte young and john cale influenced the velvet underground, you can hear their music into the group's compositions. the beatles only influenced or mediocre acts like oasis or "artificial" bands like radiohead. people like you cannot see the "meaning" of a song, only when the song says you "nothing you can say that cant be sayd, it's easy, all you need is love" OMG! what a ridiculous and trivial statement, have you listened Faust?, no?, they created a song: Miss Fortune, the best rock song ever, in my opinion with lyrics like: "are we suposse to be or not to be..." and later: "to organize and analyse and at the end realize that nobody knows if it really happened", but the lyrics is only the last, in 16 minute they presented a composition about the human tragedy. you dont know analyze music, you only know listen and enjoy your pop ditties. then you talk about the beatles' influence on world music WTF! you think that introducing 1 or 2 minutes of sitar into a song is a great influence?, the really idiot here is only you, sandy bull, an american guitarrist created "fantasias for guitar and banjo" in 1962 with indian-ragas 20 minutes long, with the use of laud. the song "blend" mixed jazz,ethnic music, folk, psychedelia when the beatles was making stupid songs. years later in 1969 the third ear band created "alchemy" an oustanding masterpieces that turns world music into free jazz and avantgarde, and holger czukay created "canaxis 5" another masterpiece. nothing to do with 3 minutes ditties. the music of the beatles is only a simple way to help people that dont like rock music to believe that in rock music could find masterpieces, anyone who listened beatles then listened velvet underground and says: yeah, this is art. but beatles music is only pop with clasical arrangments, nothing else, dont matter if they use that or this chord prog, when you listen music you only listen the final result, not the form of composition, if an album took 2 days or 700 hours doesnt matter, if they use the most advanced technical innovations or only analogic instruments doesnt matter too, if you use an expensive cover for you album or a simple photo it doesnt matter too, the beatles fans are obssesed with the process of making the music, and the worst: tey think that a more complicated process increase music quality: NO!
you should read more history of rock music man (not scaruffi's history), buy another ears, no, no better buy another brain

no no no, better you buy a life!.