Award Winning Music Professor Glen Gass Beatles Course & How Piero Scaruffi is Totally Wrong About The Beatles!

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There are many music professors teaching Beatles coureses at good universities. One of them is award winning music professor and composer Dr.Glen Gass at Indiana University. He's been teaching a course on rock music and The Beatles since 1982. On his website for this course it says the main purpose of his course is to get students to have a better appreciation of this amazing group and their extraordinary recordings. Dr.Gary Kendal's Beatles course is the most requested at Northwestern University,and there is also a Beatles course taught at University of California. A music professor by the last name of Heinonen teaches a Beatles coursse at JYVASKYLA in Finland.

Piero Scaruffi says totally inaccurate ignorant crap about The Beatles,I suggest you read an excellent thorough book,The Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn which is a detailed music diary of their remarkable 8 year recording career. And see how their recording engineers Geoff Emerick,Norman Smith who went to work with Pink Floyd,Ken Scott who went on to work with David Bowie and Alan Parsons a highly impressed Beatles fan who was one of their engineers on their last 2 albums Abbey Road and Let it Be,etc all describe in details how truly innovative,creative and inventive especially John and Paul were in the recording studio and see how totally *WRONG* Scaruffi really is! Geoff Emerick says that John owned one of the first melotrons and their tape operator Jerry Boys says The Beatles used it in ways nobody had thought of!

I emailed Scaruffi back in the Fall of 2001 and he emailed me 3 ignorant reponses back so I gave up and didn't answer back. He told me in one of the emails that I was the most intelligent Beatles fan he ever communicated with because he I didn't mention how many records The Beatles sold as an example of why they are great. And he claimed that most Beatles fans only mention The Beatles big record sales,but I don't believe that's all they mentioned it's just all he payed attention to. He claimed that he wanted solid information to back up that The Beatles are great and why and not just their record sales,so I gave it to him by suggesting he read The Beatles Recording Sessions but he *still* doesn't get it! It's very obvious to me that Piero is a person who is really mad that his favorite groups are not the most popular and critically acclaimed so he has this inaccurate irrational thing against The Beatles!

I emailed a rock radio DJ and huge Beatles fan and expert who hosts a two hour radio show,Breakfast With The Beatles for years now on my local classic rock station and told him about Scaruffi's web site and the totally ignorant things he says about The Beatles,and he emailed me back and said that bozo gave higher ratings to The Fugs who I never even heard of.

Another inaccurate myth Scaruffi says is that The Beatles were mediocre musicians who just were very popular because of George Martin and marketing by Brian Epstein and that other musicians never spoke highly of The Beatles and couldn't really understand why they were held in such high regard. Jimi Hendrix played Day Tripper Live,and he also played Sgt.Pepper live in concert only 2 days after it was released. George Harrison played guitar on The Cream song Badge,and Eric Clapton said George was a fantastic slide guitar player when they were on a tour of Japan together in 1992 and were asked what they admired about eacch other. Eric Clapton also said John Lennon was a very good guitar player,and he would have known since he played live in concert with John as a member of his John Lennon Plastic Ono Band. There is an excellent web site called,The Evolution of Rock Bass Playing McCartney Style. And in it Stanley Clarke,Will Lee,Billy Sheehan and Sting all say what a great,melodic and influential bass player Paul has always been. The 1992 Rolling Stone All Music Guide calls Paul a remarkable bass player as well as calling John and Paul the greatest song writers in the history of rock. The All Music Guide Says these things about them too and also calls John and Paul among the best and most expressive singers in rock. Bob Dylan said about The Beatles early songs I Want To Hold Your Hand and She Loves You,that their chords were outrageous,and that they were doing things nobody had done before and that their melodies and harmonies made it all valid.

In early 1966 George Harrison played backwards guitar on John's song I'm Only Sleeping the most difficult way possible even though he could have taken the easy way. Geoff Emerick says it took him 6 hours just for the guitar overdub,and that he made it even more difficult by adding more distorted guitars,and Geoff says this was all George's idea and he did all of the playing. George also would stay up playing the guitar to 2 in the morning at age 14 trying to get the chords just right until his fingers were bleeding! And The Beatles worked hard to get where they got,they played for 2 years staight for 8 hours a night in the sleazy strip clubs of Hamburg Germany,wearing tight leather pants and jackets,smoking,cursing and hitting each other on stage taking speed pills just to stay awake and going to bed with many young women groupies.

The Rolling Stones were also big fans of and friends with The Beatles and Mick Jagger was at 4 Beatles recording sessions and Keith Richards was at two of them with him. The Beatles even wrote one of The Rolling Stones first real hits with the song,I Wanna Be You're Man in early 1964. Mick Jagger even came just to stand on the sidelines and watch and listen to them record their song,Baby You're A Rich Man in May 1967. His name is even on the tape box because he might have sang at the end verses.In The Beatles Recording Sessions,there is a big picture of Mick Jagger sitting in between John and Paul in their recording console during the Revolver sessions. Ozzy Osbourne has been a huge Beatles fan since he was a teenager and She Loves You is one of his favorite songs. He said in a 2002 Online Bender Magazine interview that Paul McCartney is a genuis And The Beatles Are The Greatest Band To Ever Walk The Earth! He also says not loving The Beatles is like saying you don't love oxogen!

Brian Wilson said on 1995 Beatles tribute show that Sgt. Pepper is the greatest album he has ever heard and that he feels John and Paul were the 2 greatest song composers of the 20th century. And he said when he first heard Rubber Soul he was so blown away by it and he said all of the songs flowed together,and it was pop music but folk rock at the same time and this is what he couldn't believe,this is what motivated him to make Pet Sounds. Steve Winwood was on this Nightline Tribute show too and he said how great they were also,and there were many music artists from all types of music young and old,black and white including a young black jazz musician,a middle age black opera singer,and classical violinist Isach Pearlman who said he plays his children Beethoven and The Beatles, on this Beatles tribute show praising them. Elton John was interviewed on a CBS morning news show in 1991 and he was aked who he musically admired and he said you can talk about your Rogers and Hammerstein but for the quanity of quality songs that John Lennon and Paul McCartney did in that short period of time,they were the 2 greatest song composers of the 20th century! Classical composer and conducter Leonard Bernstein said this about them also!

Pete Townsend,John Paul Jones and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin all played on two songs on Paul's last Wings Album Back To The Egg in 1979. And they also played in the last Wings concert in December 1979. Pete Townsend also played on two songs on Paul's 1986 Press To Play album so did Phil Collins who has been a huge Beatles fan since he was a 13 year old in the concet audience in the A Hard Day's Night film. Also in March 1967 when The Beatles were working on Sgt.Pepper, Pink Floyd asked George Martin if they could meet The Beatles in their recording studio,and George Martin said he would have to ask John,and John said it was OK. But The Beatles were not that friendly or impressed with them. David Crosby was also a good friend who would visit them in the recording studo. And he said on a radio interview that when he was there when they were working on A Day in The Life he said it was so brilliant his jaw just dropped,and he almost felt like giving up music!

Also music critics were seriously studying their music even early songs such as I Want To Hold Your Hand and She Loves You and The London Times music critic William Mann pointed out the same things Bob Dylan did,that they used interesting,unusual and unique chords in even She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand and they used clever sublties and these songs were not as simple as they seemed,even though their middle and later music was more innovative and complex. The London Sunday Times music critic Richard Buckle called John and Paul the two greatest composers since Beethoven after he reviewed a ballet that John and Paul had written the music for,called,Mods and Rockers and the review was in December 1963. It was very unheard of and unusual for any music critic to compare young rock artists to Beethoven and it is even now! And there were some comparing them to Schubert.

It's really funny how Scaruffi likes The Doors though,they were good but they didn't even have a bass player let alone such a great one who was also a great singer and music composer as Paul! And I read on quite a few message boards people saying The Doors suck and are overrated pretentious crap and were not good musicians! If you type in the google search engine in quotes "The Doors Suck" many things come up. And gutiarist Frank Marino of the hard rock group Mahogany Rush says in two online interviews that he has always hated The Rolling Stones but he likes Jimi Hendrix,The Beatles etc.

And Dave Navarro of the group Jane's Addiction said in a 1991 and 1996 interview in Guitar World that he has always hated The Rolling Stones and that he always will! The Beatles producer George Martin is a veery musically talented guy himself,and he studied at the as a teenager at the Guilhall School of music and is a clasically trained musician. He has produced many different music artists since The Beatles but he *still* says that he has never worked with anybody as brilliant as The Beatles!

And The Beatles worked hard to get where they got,they played for 2 years staight for 8 hours a night in the sleazy strip clubs of Hamburg Germany,wearing tight leather pants and jackets,smoking,cursing and hitting each other on stage taking speed pills just to stay awake and going to bed with many young women groupies

...the HELL?

cosgrove,

what was your response supposed to mean? What I said is all true, my point is they were not amateurs when they made it big,they had worked hard playing 8 hours a night for 2 years staight in clubs in Hamburg and in The Cavern Club in Liverpool. And out of all the information I wrote you only point *this* out?

Um... yeah. It's not the part about the Hamburg club that has be puzzled. It's the superfluous information about leather, speed and groupie-fucking.

I'm starting to suspect this has all been a trollish put-on...

cosgrove,

No I am *NOT* a troll! See my other posted comments on here. The reason I mentioned this is because there are many people who have the misconception that The Beatles were these innocent men compared to The Rolling Stones etc. When it was really a fake cleaned up image their manager Brian Epstein created and John hated and resented this the most. I mentioned them taking speed pills because thats how hard they were working in order to stay awake playing 8 hours a night. All of the information I have given is valid great true information to debunk Saruffi's inaccurate ignorant bull about them! It's really unreal to me that if you really read all of the information I provided here,you could possibly think I was a troll! Look up on google.com Dr.Glen Gass's Beatles course, information about Mark Lewisohn's The Beatles Recording Sessions book,Ozzy Osbourne being a big Beatles fan,etc and you will see I and what I am telling you is valid.

Whatever, dude. Go on and keeping tilting at that windmill if it makes you happy. I'm sure John's up in Heaven, happy that you're defending his legacy.

cosgrove,

is this all you got out of my information? I mean I wrote about much more and even more important information than this to pick out.

Also: Just 'cause you ain't posting insults or porn-spam links don't mean you ain't a troll.

cosgrove, you are unreal, I am a *huge* *highly* impressed Beatles fan since I was 9 years old,I have been studying about them since I was 11 and 13. Email the owner of this site Jim,if you don't believe me. He knows I'm a genuine fan upset about Scaruffi's inaccurate ignorant bull about The Beatles. But if you don't believe me there is nothing else I can do. My whole purpose of writing this information as I made clear from the start with even my topic title,was to debunk the total inaccurate ignorant garbage Scaruffi is writing about them,and unfortunately quite a few people on here are listening to him as if he is correct.

Well, I don't really know you, but I believe you are in earnest. I just think if your intent is to win converts to your aside, you need to work on your presentation. Your vehemence and tone are more likely to push people away, as I think you are discovering here.

It might also help to realize, with regards to music criticism (and many other things) there are no objective truths. Or, if there are, we puny humans aren't privy to them.

Jim,

My vehemence and tone? What vehemence? I didn't write anything hostile on here. I'm getting upset that cosgrove believes I'm a troll after all the information I have written here. He's taking away from my whole purpose of what I'm trying to do. I even wrote about this on DM's Beatles forum you can go there and see my posted topic on there now. And Jim,there are certain facts as I have provided and there is inaccurate ignorant garbage that Scaruffi promotes. I'm starting to think that people like coscgrove are just such Beatles haters they can't believe all of the information I have written and what I'm trying to do is valid. And I really can't believe that anyone with any sense after reading all of the strong factual information I have written here could believe I'm a troll. I really don't understand this! Maybe you just don't *want* to belive what I wrote is true. Have you read through all of my posted comments on your site?

I think the fact that Cosgrove, a long-term member of this site, suspects you might be a troll demonstrates that something is off with the tone you're striking. In fact, there are several long-term, polite, well-respected members here you seem have put off quite thoroughly. These are members I've known for years to be quite tolerant of dissenting opinion. If, in light of that, you still don't see that your delivery is crippling your cause, I can't help you.

JIm,

I don't think thats why cosgrove said what he said. I also don't think I have been hostile to anyone,but there are people on here who are going a long with the inaccurate garbage Scaruffi says about The Beatles. And I have provided a strong case to debunk this inaccurate ignorant nonsense and it's not an issue of an "opinion" in this case. If Scaruffi claims no other musicians praised The Beatles and couldn't understand why they were held in such high regard,and I listed *countless* well known musicians who *have* praised them, and I gave valid examples that they *were* very good musicians,and innovative and creative, then what he's saying is truly false and inaccurate. And I was trying to correct this. I know I wrote a great informative article and I wasn't hostile to anyone in how I wrote it.And it's really frustrating and upsetting when your trying to debunk such inaccurate myths. But it's obvious to me it's really hopeless just like Scaruffi they don't want to have their inaccurate misperceptions about them corrected! I think I just have too much strong factual information to debunk him and them, and thats threatening if you don't want to have these inaccurate myths debunked! I wasted my time and energy trying to get through to ignorant Beatles haters who listen to Scaruffi.

Just for the record, I am neither a Scaruffite nor particularly inclined either way towards The Beatles. I am, however, rather disenchanted with seeing breathless, barely coherent article-length screeds rehashing the same information posted every hour or so. Which, whether you choose to believe it or not, is troll-like behavior. Sorry, dude.

I thought people liked my "breathless, barely coherent article-length screeds" and my troll-playing games. Live and learn, I guess.

...some people would rather Scaruffite than switch.

LOL! I dunno, I never had a problem with your coherence. Does that make me the water or the mosquito?

The one sentence that you debunked ("Contemporary musicians never spoke highly of the Beatles") was already addressed here.

It's always dangerous to talk in absolutes like that.

I think that a lot of the issues he addresses wouldn't be mentioned at all if it weren't for people angrily emailing him and making all sorts of claims about what the Beatles were supposedly the first to do. If someone emails him and claims that the beatles were the first musicians to have long hair, he'll mention an earlier example. This is why the beatles profile includes all sorts of details that are rarely or never mentioned in his thousands of other band profiles. Try to find even one other example where he discusses a musician's hairstyle (besides the Monks)

Where is Sal66 when I really need him?!

I'm finding it problematic to share the opinions of the Beatles that we share. It might be the shortage of paragraphs you use that confuses me... or the glut of inaccurates. So I'll just say:

I think you're right.

But I sure wish I was sure about that. At times I can have difficulty figuring out what is being said. I do think the Beatles get penalized for their popularity. When you're the biggest, most popular band ever it seems that there is nothing you've done or can do that can justify your success.

I'm also of the opinion that music critics find it easier to tear down "conventional wisdom" et al. than to build a positive case for musicians they admire. This seems lazy to me but a lot of people do it... so I guess sometimes the popular thing is acceptable. You can't spell "criticize" without critic... and an e, a z and another i.

I admit to being Scaruffobic and I do love the Fab Four along with Alan W. Pollack's amazing work, research and dark chocolate... but I dislike such absolutes as "Totally wrong," "bozo," "suck and are overrated pretentious crap," "total inaccurate ignorant garbage," "going a long with the inaccurate garbage," "inaccurate ignorant nonsense," "ignorant Beatles haters who listen to Scaruffi" and "white" chocolate. That's just plain wrong; chocolate is not white and never will be. mmmm chocolate.

But the point I want to make is: Vanilla is evil. Or something like that. Discussion (debate) by he said/she said music critic proxy, questioning motives and celebrity testimonials bores me. While I agree with you in many things I do try to keep in mind that Eric Clapton has also endorsed Michelob beer.

The mop tops, the drug use, Rickenbacker guitars, multi-track studio recordings, college courses, George's sitar, Paul's mixing in the studio, John's wives and Ringo's invention of a hydraulic control system for fixed wing aircraft... some would say that the influence of the Beatles is beyond dispute. I'd like to point out that, when they broke up the band, none of the Beatles had turned 30.

In spite of your handle I assume that we can cover other subjects such as Plastic Ono Band, Wings, Traveling Wilburys, Delaney & Bonnie, Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees, the Monkees, the Rutles and the huge amount of evidence that Paul is dead.

I'd like to close by quoting my brother: "What if that record executive was right? What if guitar groups really were 'on the way out.'? Maybe he wasn't wrong and the Beatles really were just that good."

There's really not any substance to what you're saying in the first post.

You can't really prove anything about the creativity of the Beatles' music by talking about the supposedly innovative ways they RECORDED their songs technologically-wise and instrument-choice-wise. I mean, all that should really matter in a discussion of artistic merit of music is what the music actually sounds like, the content, not how it was made.

Somtimes a "novel" instrument or recording technique CAN contribute to the creativity of the music itself. Using backward tapes. for example (as they did in songs like Rain and I'm Only Sleeping), provides an opportunity to make strange timbres (it reverses the "attack and decay rates" of recordings). However, the Beatles didn't make such weird sounds with that effect, especially compared with others who preceded them (who didn't even use "fancy" technology like backward recordings anyway), so the studio wizadry was basically irrelevant.

The use of Indian instruments might sound like an inherently exotic idea, but in the Beatles' first excursion, Norweigan Wood, they mostly play a normal song with their sitar, only ocassionally getting 'droney" with it, while the Kinks had already made a much dronier rock song, See My Friends, with just a guitar.

I just cited two examples, but this rings true for literally everything they did. Another one would be the songs in which they manipulated the timbre of one ordinary instrument to sound like another ordinary instrument. That's no great shakes artistically and serves no purpose other than to make up for lacking the wanted instrument. Another would be the use of "samples", a concept from the avantgarde, in I am the Walrus. There's nothing interesting about the music in the sample, it's just a small piece of a BBC broadcast of a Shakespeare play and just amounts to there being a spoken instead of sung section in the song. Sure, other bands later on would encorporate this concept to greater heights, some directly inspired by the Beatles' use of it, but that doesn't say anything about the Beatles' creativity.

In other words, in the Beatles' case, the supposedly "experimental" aspects were just mildy (and often not at all) experimental add-ons to the arrangements as a kind of window dressing to their pop songs, whereas other bands had ALREADY applied more IN-DEPTH experimental qualities affecting not just the arrangments but the "meat" of the song and were doing so in songs which were LESS WATERED-DOWN/mainstreamish to begin with.

Also, although I said the technology/instruments used are not necessarily contributors to musical creativity, it should also be known that they weren't the first (in the avant-garde or even rock) to use any particular technology or instrument anyway.

Then there are all the songs which were supposedly innovative in terms of their actual content rather than method of production, but in those cases too, they always had precedents and were also shallow in experimentation compared to the precedents.

So whether it is regarding recording technique or musicological CONTENT, no Beatles discussion is complete without talking about other bands. The Fugs are a great example in this thread whose originality far eclipses and predated the Beatles "artisically mature" period.

The fairest way to describe the Beatles is that they wrote great pop songs and ocassionally embellished them slightly with the experimental sounds of their day, yet were SINCERE, being poppy and "experimental" out of CHOICE, rather than simply catering to the pop and/or underground markets by hopping onto underground trends while keeping their feet planted in pop.

It should also be known, like you said, that unlike what Scaruffi said, they weren't that sheltered for real, and hung out with bad-ass people like the Stones, and took LSD already in '65, even slipping in a lyrical reference to it in '65, but the fact that he said all those things which aren't facts doesn't take away from the truths which form the gist of his point: that the Beatles had tons of more interesting predecessors and don't deserve the credit they get as innovators within the rock genre.

I mean, it'd be wrong If I wrote an article about how 1+1=2 in which I said "1+1=2, 2+2=4, and John Lennon is the president of the United States", and you wrote a response saying I obviously don't know what I'm talking about because of my third point. That's one of the logical "fallacies" I learned about in college :), attacking an arguments merits on the basis of unrelated things.

Finally, the fact that all sorts of "important" rockers were Beatles fans says nothing about their creativity. It says a lot about their poppiness actually. Lots of people were initially inspired simply by their FAME. Sure many were inspired by their supposedly creative music, but that just goes to show that people were UNAWARE of bands like the Fugs. Basically, arguments should be considered on their own merits, not on whether a seemingly "important" person agrees with them. That's another logical fallacy called "appeal to inapproriate authority".

So you know what time George Harrison went to bed when he was 14, but you haven't heard of the Fugs?

This is the "depth of knowledge" vs "breadth of knowledge" issue that's been discussed elsewhere.

I just made up a bromide: Ease back on the throttle... and the urge to throttle.

Some would say that admitting ignorance is a sign of intelligence. I have no idea if that is true or not. I try to remind myself that not everyone went to Fug U.

There's depth and breadth and dumbth. (Steve Allen, it means exactly what it sounds like it means.) I'd love to learn what the Fug do you know about the Fugs...

I just made up a joke:
Did you hear about the carpet layer on his death bed?
He spoke in measured tones about girls he cut a rug with until, width his last breadth, he told us which ones he'd shagged.

Of course we all know that George Harrison saw our love that slept... while his guitar gently wept. So he had a later bedtime than I did. Besides, he's only sleeping.

I just made up another joke:
How can you play your guitar solo without getting out of bed?
Clapton, Claptoff... the Slowhand Clapper!

They can't all be winners.

?

!

Sorry, what I meant to say was: I'd love to know what you think of the Fugs. I've heard of them but I've never heard them. Is my education incomplete?

Trick question. My education is always incomplete. But I'm enthusiastic and willing to learn.

it would be useful in understanding that page to be familiar with the other albums and songs he refers to. the fugs track is 'virgin forest', from 1966

If you type in the google search engine in quotes "The Doors Suck" many things come up.

"The Doors Suck" = 104 results
"The Beatles Suck" = 27,200 results

Their so many points where Scaruffi is wrong about the Beatles it's irresponsible journalism.

1- He calls Love You Too vaguely oriental- correction it's Indian and it's not vaguely Indain far surpasses what the Byrds did

2- He says the Beatles stuck to three minute pop ditties in Sgt Pepper- correction Sgt Pepper had two songs over five minutes and Sgt Pepper/With A Little Help From My Frieds is played as one song goes over four minutes

3- He says the Beatles lucked into folk rock- correction the Beatles roots are skiffle which is folk influenced. Roger McGuinn cites the Beatles as inventing folk rock

4- He calls Nowhere Man timid pyschedelia- correction Psychedelic Rock was then invented by the Beatles becuase many people think the first psychedelic rock song was Eight Miles High recorded after the Beatles song

5- Calls the start of A Hard Day's Night as feedback- correction this was a really unique guitar sound but it was not feedback

6- Scaruffi called Hey Jude a psychedelic blues jam- correction this one made me laugh it's not remotely psychedelic it's just one of the greatest pop-rock records. McCartney even told Harrison he wanted no blues influence on this song.

7- Scaruffi claims the Beatles misrepresented the British Invasion scene- correction the British Invasion are acts that made it to America after the Beatles made it in America it did not matter which genre it was if it was Merseybeat the Kinks or blues rock based acts like the Yardbirds

8- He dismisses the Harrison use of sitar even though Jeff Beck never played one.

9- Scaruffi never gives the Beatles credit for influencing the Stones to write their own songs. The Byrds to go electric and for that manner Dylan and the Grateful Dead.

10- Scaruffi says that Buddy Holly pioneered the rock band concept- He forgets that Buddy Holly and the Crikets were dominated by Holly. Whereas the Beatles had no dominate frontman, concentrated on albums and were self contained.

You're picking apart minor points in his review. You should stick to the overarching theme/big picture. He's saying that everything they did that's considered "innovative" was already done by other bands in more in depth ways and in a less poppy context. There are so many more "important" bands to discuss really:

As for your specific points:
1. By oriental he means Asian, of which Indian is a part. And no, experimentation-wise it's tamer than what the Byrds had done.
2. For Sgt Pepper, he's referring to the fact that these were still just pop songs, albeit pop songs arranged with all sorts of fancy production and effects. Yeah, some are long though.
3. McGuinn was influenced by the Beatles, and combined their style of rock with folk music partially because he admired them for being folk-influenced, but there were lots of proto-folk-rock artists in those days, so the Beatles didn't really stand out in that regard. Then the Byrds invented the full blown genre.
4. Simply because Nowhere Man precedes a well-known psychedelic song which is often thought of as the first does not make it the actual first. It was recorded on 10/21/65, probably written that September. There's like a dozen of them coming out of LA, San Fran, New York, and London from the same time, although most hadn't been recorded. Nowhere Man is timid psychedelia as in "just barely psychedlia", not holding a candle in far-out-edness to lots of songs even from pre-psychedelia.
5. Read the feebdack thing more carefully. He's referring to I Feel Fine, not A Hard Days' Night: "The Beatles knew nothing of this when they recorded Can't Buy Me Love, a swinging rockabilly a la Bill Haley, the first to reach #1 simultaneously in the States and in Britain, A Hard Day's Night and I Feel Fine, using the feedback that had been pioneered in the 1950s by guitarists such as Johnny Watson and used in Britain by the Yardbirds
6. Read between the lines about the Hey Jude thing. He's saying it's not really psychedelic or blues rock at all but was considered by some to be that because it followed in the footsteps of Traffic's long ballad.
7. He doesn't say they misrepresented the invasion to America, he says they misrepresented the British scene itself, since all the significant bands were of the blues-rock, not Merseybeat variety.
8. It doesn't matter if Jeff Beck played one or not. The Yardbirds used outside musicians. So what? The point is that the instrument had already appeared in a rock song. However, the Beatles (or Yardbirds for that matter) were just using it for it's timbre, not any experimental quality. The Kinks, on the other hand, made a full-blown Indian drone (with just a guitar) before Norweigan Wood.
9. Yes they influenced the Stones to write their songs and the Byrds and arguably the Grateful Dead to go electric. Yes they helped influence Dylan's move to back rock (he started as a rocker before he was a folksinger by the way), but that was arguably more to do with the Animals' version of House of the Rising Sun and with what his producer Tom Wilson was able to do in rocking up Dylan's old folk recording of it in a demo. None of this is to the Beatles credit as creative musicians, more as "cultural inspirers".
10. Sure Holly was a "frontman" really, but it's not like the Beatles were the first anyway. Not that it matters though. What matters for these discussions is the actual content of the music, not these tidbits.

I enjoy lots of Beatles songs, especially off of Revolver. But since I know a great amount of detail about when exactly they were recorded, what they consist of, etc., especially in comparison to other bands, I'll be the first to tell you the following: They wrote a whole bunch of catchy melodic songs mildly embellished with the experimental aspects of their era, none of which they originated as far as rock songs go (even down to the most specific detail). They don't deserve the credit as real innovators at all.

1. The Beatles went the whole Indian classical on Love You To the Byrds never did.
2. I would not call songs like Day in the Life or Within You Without You as typical pop songs on 1967
3. No one invented Folk Rock ok it was already in the air in 1964. The Beatles stood out to the Byrds to go electric
4. Nowhere Man sounds like might have been ahead of the curve when it comes to pyschedelic rock to me
5. Scaruffi states A Hard Day's Night was feedback but there is no feedback on this song. I Feel Fine feedback was done intentionally
6. Scaruffi states that Hey Jude is a psychedelic blues jam which it's clearly not. Those were his words
7. I guess the Kinks and the Who were a blues based band which they were not
8. Yes it does matter Harrison played the sitar because it influenced Brian Jones to play that instrument and others also. Will you get your facts straight the Yardbirds version was released years after the Beatles Norwegian Wood. The Beatles deserve some credit at least at least they played the instrument. Ticket To Ride already shows the Indian basis of drone on read Revolution in the Head.
9. Everything is of musical influence nothing to do with cultural influence. Dylan statement was the Beatles were heading the direction in music
10. The Beatles established the leaderless selfcontained rock which is important. There might have been others who tried but the music industry wanted front man types. The Beatles established it as a norm.

It doesn't matter that Love You To is so imbued with Indian classical while the Byrds "technically" weren't. The Byrds had already made music which fully captured the aspects of Indian classical which make it experimental to Western music, and Love You To doesn't really sound "challenging".

Yeah - Day in the Life and Within You Without You definitely stand out on Sgt. Peppers. I'm just saying that by and large that album was conservative/tame in it's experimentation and was still a pop-rock album

The Byrds were the first band to play in the full-blown genre of folk-rock. It was in the air for a whole year before, but the Beatles were not the most major proponent of the ones putting it in the air.

Nowhere Man was recorded on October 21, 1965. It's just vaguely psychedlic. Mostly a folk-rock-pop song with vaguely surreal vocals, arguably just folk-pop anyway and not rock to begin with. By this time there were already a dozen or so full blown psychedelic rock songs in London, San Fran, LA, and New York. Plus it's less trippy than proto-psychedelic songwriters like Fred Neil, from over 6 months earlier. And if it's just folk, should be compared to light-years-ahead-of-their-time guitarists like Davy Graham and Sandy Bull.

Read the thing about feedback more carefully. He's putting Hard Days Night and I Feel Fine in the same sentence as examples of great pop tunes, but for feedback, he's talking specifically about I Feel Fine. By the way, for a quick reference, the Five Royales (1958) and the Yardbirds (earlier in 1964) used it intentionally already.

Read the thing about Hey Jude more carefully. He's saying some people wrongfully considered it a psychedelic blues-rock jam like Traffic's Dear Mr. Fantasy, but in REALITY its a slow ballad.

The Kinks and Who were very blues based. Actually in the Who's case it's more "rhythm and blues". This has nothing to do with anythng.

I know the Yardbirds version with a sitar wasn't RELEASED until like 1994, but it was recorded in February 1965, 8 mnoths before Norweigan Wood. Anyway, playing an instrument does not INHERENTLY warrant a band "credit". What should be considered significant is HOW a song actually sounds. Norweigan Wood is a folk song with a sitar added onto the arrangemnt for its twangy timbric effect and to add droning sounds every now and then. The Kinks on the other hand had aready made a full-blown Indian drone-influenced rock song with See My Friends in April of that year. I know Ticket to Ride was recorded that February, but the Revolution In the Head guy is the only musicologist who says that has a drone. It just doesn't. Sure there's a tremendous cultural significance to the Beatles used the instrument because it helped it become a widespread trend identified with the 60's, but that doesn't make the song itself creatively significant ( I enjoy the song by the way).

What you have to understand about those times (the Beatles Mersebyeat-styled eara) was that rock was considered dead. People thought it mutated into a lame manufatured caricature. That's true of MOST of the rock in those days. When folksingers like Dylan (who started off in rock by the way) and mainstream kids all over the world heard the Beatles, it sounded like a major revelation and it inspired them to play rock. So I guess you can attribute the Beatles' influence on other bands to a "misunderstanding/lack of knowledge" of their significance mostly, rather than to the actual creativity of the Beatles. (and to the ones really responsible for the influence - the ones who came up with the sounds the Beatles later used.

The Beatles were not the first rock band to write their own songs or the first to have no leader. The might have actually been the first to do both at the same time, as you indicate, but I doubt it. True they established it as a "norm", but if others did it first, establishing it as a norm only means that lots of bands, inspired by them, proceded to do the same and it became a norm that way. That again says nothing about the creativity and originality of the actual music.

Basically, the Beatles significance is that they wrote great pop tunes, embellished them slightly with the innovative sounds of their day, and helped spread those innovations to the mainstream public.

LOL The Beatles really are the most overrated band of all time, it's laughable how much you care about protecting their reputation.

They're not a bad band by any standards, but greatest of all time? What? They primarily wrote 3 minute songs which were easily accessible to the masses, which were bland and boring. To be honest, the whole verse-chorus-verse-chorus etc technique wears thin after I dunno, doing it in nearly all of their tracks.

Also, they were really not that great at their instruments, I've never once heard a techinically brilliant piece of instrumentation from any of them, akin to Hendrix, Clapton and many others. Their songs were based on the ability to be able to sing-along to them (with the exception of a couple such as Revolution 9, which Paul supposedly wanted to pull from the album as it wasn't commercial enough. HA.) which people like in pop music as it's catchy and stays in your head. It's also fucking irritating.

Even when they did dabble in the avant-garde (TNK) they never gave the song a chance to really expand its content and just breathe. It feels as though its over before its had a chance to start. 2:57!

The Beatles were the product of extremely good marketing, which boosted their fame hugely, not just the content of their music. They were an iconic group, it wasn't just about the music, it was a fashion thing in some ways. They weren't there to try new things and push rock & roll to its boundaries, their aim (and the aim of the labels they worked for for most of their career as a group) was to be successful and generate as much money as possible.

I know they influenced a lot of musicians and many other great musicians cite them as great etc. I don't care.

I'm not going to argue with you (as in there's no point trying to reply to this to defend them) as it will just go round in circles, but you might want to try to be objective with music, and no carry your own personal favourites into what you believe is the greatest.

I sure hope everybody is remembering to lift his or her leg before commenting.

"I'm not going to argue with you (as in there's no point trying to reply to this to defend them) as it will just go round in circles, but you might want to try to be objective with music, and no carry your own personal favourites into what you believe is the greatest."

A wise man once told me that every thing somebody says before the word but is a lie. We'll see, I guess.

Seriously, though, there is no way to be objective with selecting the greatest unless you confuse that adjective with something more sterile and antiseptic.

So much of this discussion boils down to people confusing objective and subjective statements. On matters of opinion and taste, disagree forcefully, but live and let live. On matters of fact, stay firm and cite sources.

But don't confuse the two.

The nastiness of most of this, though, is severely depressing and forces all but the most devoted to grow apathetic. (Is this poster really laughable? Isn’t that rather mean? If you really are past arguing, why did you even bother posting here at all?)

Be nice, people, even if you are discussing The Beatles. Disagree with folks, but try not to take a dump on their page.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I admit some of that may have come over in a malicious way, which was not intended (though it may seem it).

Fanofthefab4 has consistently put down other Listologist's opinions and has spammed enormous amounts of content on this site as to why the Beatles are the greatest band ever. He clearly has no repsect for anyone who believes otherwise, and anyone else's taste which is not similar to his own.

The nastiness of most of this, though, is severely depressing and forces all but the most devoted to grow apathetic. (Is this poster really laughable? Isn’t that rather mean?

The poster himself is not laughable, I was speaking of his belief that The Beatles are the greatest band of all time.

If you really are past arguing, why did you even bother posting here at all?)

In hindsight I suppose it would have been better not to, but I had just gotten so sick of seeing so much of this obsessive Beatles love combined with such contempt for the 'Scaruffian' music. Although I lean slightly more towards the 'Scaruffite' taste, I do still try to be objective on this issue and all I can say is that any who uses reasons such as 'If you type in the google search engine in quotes "The Doors Suck" many things come up.' to justify their beliefs deserves some negative response.

I do apologise to any whom I may have offended in my last post, I hope the issue can just be left at that.

Know that my comment was aimed at everybody involved in the debate, hoping to elevate it a bit from outright meaness.

I'm sorry that your comment was the one that finally prompted me to say something. I used it as an example. I could have used many other comments by different people just as easily.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

No worries, I probably deserved it anyway. :)

Nah, and I hate that it looks like I jumped on your back!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bnags

I don't know why, but I am just really happy to see this post, lbangs. So much gets lost in the seas of verbosity while debating about passionate hot button issues that it was refreshing to see something so honest and sensible like this. It puts the entire thing about debates into proper perspective =).

Thank you.

I know the temptation to tear into some list you think is inane, but really, why? Disagree, sure, but what does it do just to mock somebody's taste?

If somebody is wrong about a fact, correct them, but no need to be an ass doing it.

I'm no poster boy for politeness, but...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Thank you... for this and that (and the other.) I'm a long-time admirer.

Y'all had me at "Shalom."

The admiration is two ways.

Zeusspeed, my friend...

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Again someone who does not know music. The most common song form of the Beatles is AABA. Which is verse-verse-bridge-verse and there is chorus on AABA song form.

The Beatles were great at melody, counter melody and using chord progression not really associated with rock music. I'm a musician and I would say the Beatles sounded different from most because of their ability of melodies, counter melodies and meshing it with chord progressions and techniques unusual for rock music. The Beatles songs don't follow the typical 3 CHORD 1-4-5 blues progressions of rock and roll

You can hear the Beatles starting to get progressive early on:

The rhythm section for 'No Reply', strange drum work.
Strange key changes in 'Hold Me Tight'
The very jazzy chord work of 'Ask Me Why'
Complex three part harmonies that go beyond Barber Shop & Beach Boys type stuff: 'Paperback Writer', 'Nowhere Man'
Dorian Mode in "Don't Bother Me"
"Imitators" of the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows." After all, that 1966 classic, with its psychedelic drone and recurring flatted-7th, provided a rough archetype for countless songs, including Love & Rockets' "Yin and Yang (the Flowerpot Man)," Echo & the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar" and Kasabian's "Sun Rise Light Flies

All progressive type stuff for it's time.

Too bad good vocal harmonies like what the Beatles did seem to be gone from music these days.

Dude get your fact straights the Beatles were pushing the boundaries of rock music. Their Psychedelic style of using backward codas, psychedelic sounding mellotrons, backward instrumentation, insane styled mixed tape loops, mixed and odd meter, Authentic Indian Instrumentation Mode and drone, vocals through Leslie speaker influenced Progressive rock and artists like Hendrix and The Dead. This was done before The Doors, Floyd and Hendrix recorded their first records.

Get your facts straight who cares about time length in a song. Anyhow the Beatles linked the whole of Sgt Pepper as one long single. Please I am LOL.

Hello fleet foxes!!!!!!!! vocal harmonies galore.

Good man. Also Grizzly Bear, Au, Animal Collective, Bowerbirds, Dirty Projectors & quite alot of the freak folk/nu-folk scene. (I dislike most of that music (except AC & DP) but my friends are addicted to that type of music).

Piero Scaruffi also won an award

for music taste and some poetry

Another inaccurate myth Scaruffi says is that The Beatles were mediocre musicians - this is an opinion not a myth

plus how old are you 16? get over it. one person doesn't like The Beatles it's his opinion

Get your facts straight. I could care less about you not liking the Beatles. Look you are acting the like the 16 year old. You even make Scaruffi fan boys look bad. Go and take a lesson from someone like Afterhours on how to talk about music.

colt45zzx needs to start contributing something worthwhile to the site, opposed to spewing his vitriol regarding the Beatles left, right and centre. You don't like the Beatles, we get it; you like Scaruffi, we get it. How many variations on theme are necessary before you stop rehashing?

You don't like the Beatles - not true at all I like a bunch of Beatles songs Let It Be, Across the Universe, Day in the Life, Revolution, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields Forever, I am the Walrus, Here Comes the Sun just to name a few.

What's with these professors teaching beatles music..

Very descriptive and knowledgeable post! Thanks for sharing it with us. I have bookmarked this site and also passed it to my friends.

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