With the release of “Live at the BBC Volume 2,” The Beatles are once again on the musical charts. Now, I have never written an article on The Beatles for iMove iLive before, because there is really nothing else to write about the most famous, groundbreaking and revolutionary pop/rock musical band in history. But with The Beatles once again on the charts, I just can’t resist writing about their legacy to popular music..
First of all, just remember, we are talking about a band that hasn’t existed for over 40 years, and if you have ever thought about staying power in the music world, the answer is The Beatles. (The Rolling Stones pretty much qualify too, but they came a bit after the Beatles became famous.)
You know all that hype about boy bands? Duran Duran, The New Kids on the Block, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, One Direction and all the rest? Without The Beatles, there would be no such thing.
Hair? No male had long hair before The Beatles made the scene, but after that, hairstyle became whatever you wanted it to be. Long, short, mohawked, shaved, coloured, whatever. But hair choices for males began with the Beatles mop top hair cuts, and hasn’t ended since.
Musical Lyrics? Before the Beatles, studio producers hired other people to write the songs for the musicians. Studios controlled everything about the sound, it was candy coated, reserved and sickeningly sweet. But after The Beatles began writing their own lyrics, the studios had to let up and allow freedom for other bands to compose their own songs. That was when diversity happened, and diversity is a hallmark of the modern musical movement.
You want heavy metal? Thank The Beatles for that. John Lennon himself said that the song “Ticket to Ride” was the first heavy metal song ever played. It was all guitars and drums, and although it might seem tame today, without that one step into a genre’ that was never known before, heavy metal may never have existed. Oh and, just in case you don’t think the Beatles could bring it, listen to Helter Skelter once and say that this isn’t one of the finest metal songs ever done.
How about innovation? The first feedback ever used on a recording was done by The Beatles on a song called “I feel Fine.” A sitar was used for the first time on “Norwegian Wood,” and backwards vocals were heard on “Rain.” Overdubbing was turned from a gimmick recording trick into an artistic way to fill out the sound, and it is safe to say that the music video was invented using The Beatles as subjects. The first ever stadium concert was held in Shea Stadium by…The Beatles, plus, album art was invented with the release of the classic album “Revolver.” And on “Revolver,” the first ever “acid” song was recorded called, “Tomorrow Never Knows.”
The bottom line is that, almost everything about modern music can be traced, in some way, back to The Beatles, even dubstep. Catchy rhythm, bass riffs, solid drumming. I mean, it’s all about the beat, and the Beatles invented that “beat.” Oh and, if you think rap or hip hop is exclusive to generation “Y”, then you need to listen to the Beatles song “What’s the News, Mary Jane.” Sorry but, they’ve always been just one step ahead.
So, I never wanted to write an article about The Beatles because everything has already been written and there’s nothing new to say. But if they are not your favorite band, they should be, no matter how old you are, your race, your ethnicity, your color or your creed. Besides the fact that any music you listen to now probably had its roots in something the Beatles did, think about this.
On September 11, 1964 at the Gator Bowl in Florida, the Beatles played a concert. What makes this so special is that the city demanded segregated seating for the fans; white people up front, everyone else in the back. The Beatles, as a whole, refused to play unless the seating was integrated so that everyone, EVERYONE, could sit wherever they wanted to sit. The city relented, the stands were opened to anyone and the concert went on as scheduled. It was the first time in history that a white act refused to play unless there was racial equality. And that one act of power to the people may be the greatest Beatles legacy of them all.