Thread: Beatlemania

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  1. #1
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    Default Beatlemania

    Further to the usual contemporary music thread I felt we'd have to have a separate thread for the social and cultural phenomenon that was The Beatles.
    We all know the history behind The Beatles, they were the greatest group in the history of popular music. Their music covered many genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, the sixties shaped The Beatles as much as The Beatles shaped the sixties.
    The "Fab Four" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) as they came to be know were familiar faces all over the media, schoolboys and girls were heard asking "Who's your favourite Beatle" they even appeared in Dr. Who, indeed the Doctor himself was heard uttering the line "You've squashed my favourite Beatle" while battling the sixties other phenomenon, The Daleks, in The Chase in 1965.
    The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, and over four decades after their break-up, their recordings are still in demand. They have had more number one albums on the UK charts and have held the top spot longer than any other musical act. According to the RIAA, they have sold more albums in the United States than any other artist, and they headed Billboard magazine's list of all-time top Hot 100 artists in 2008. They have received 7 Grammy Awards from the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and 15 Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. They were collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people.

    What do we think of The Beatles.

    Personally, after their early hits like She Loves You, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Can't Buy Me Love, I never "dug" The Beatles. But time has changed my opinion, I'm more willing to listen and enjoy a Beatles album these days than I would have as an eight year old schoolboy, finding out just what made the sixties tick, because, let's be honest without the group the country wouldn't have been as "swinging" as it was. There's an old saying that goes "If you can rememebr the sixties you weren't really there" I was there, admittedly some of the memories are vague, but what a great decade it was, a social and cultural explosion took place in that decade, and if it wasn't for The Beatles I don't think it would have been half as memorable as it turned out.

  2. #2
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    I like listening to The Beatles when they come up on the radio, but in a fairly casual way. In fact, I must admit I sometimes feel a bit embarassed at my own ignorance - it was only last year (watching some kind of documentary I think) that I realised that some of the stuff they produced was actually done on a technical level, in the sense that you couldn't then go on stage and perform it 'live' in that way (I hope that makes sense).

    The only opinion I can offer is that Hey Jude starts off such a great song, but seems to then take forever to finish.

  3. #3
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    Looking more at the time of the first season, we'd had 'Please Please Me' in March '63, while 'With The Bealtes' was released in the UK on the 22nd November! That'd be a weekend to remember, listening to John Lennon singing 'It Won't Be Long' (Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!), followed by Kennedy's assassination and the first episode of Doctor Who... and I can well imagine that there were plenty of people who liked both The Beatles and Doctor Who.

    A Hard Day's Night was released in July '64, part-way through the Sensorites. You can draw your own conclusions with that one.

    For me, this is the most exciting period of the Beatles' fame, the early years where their songs are driven by pure energy. There's a hint of the technical genius they'd later show, but this is the period where they made young women scream.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

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    It's more of my Dad's music era than mine - he was 17 when the Beatles first burst onto the scene. I know that he absolutely loved their earlier stuff. If he were still talking to me, I'd drop him an e-mail and ask him for his memories.

    As for me, I much prefer their later stuff. I think that that's really where they start to show their genius, and it really marks them out from other bands of the era. For example, the Rolling Stones have never really moved away from their trademark blues-rock style. The Beatles, on the other hand, have a vast stylistic difference from Revolver onwards.

    I know it's cliched to say that the Beatles are one of the most influential bands of all time, but it's simply true.

    Do you know what they call me in the ancient legends of the Dalek homeworld? The Oncoming Storm.

  5. #5
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    I got into Beatles when the second wave of Beatlemania swept over the country- during the mid 90s. It wasn't as prevelant as the first time it happened of course, but with the re-release of the Red/ Blue albums on CD, the reverance of their back catalogue by the big players of Britpop, the somewhat ill-advised Free As A Bird and Real Love and the Anthology project, they suddenly seemed as much mine as everyone from the 60s.

    And I loved them.

    For me it's the mid-period that's best- Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour- killer singles, brilliant albums in those few precious years between touring and arguments. That's when they hit their peak and what peak it was. I've leistened to those songs a great deal donw the years and I love them still... even now, there's new things to hear in I Am The Walrus (probably my favourite).

    Their influence cannot be denied.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  6. #6
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    Despite what I said earlier, Abbey Road is my favourite.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  7. #7

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    It was quite lonely being a Beatles fan growing up in the 80's.
    I still haven't bought all the 2009 (or was it 2010?) reissues.
    I'm missing "With The Beatles", "Help!", "Yellow Submarine", "White Album (although I've got the one that was around in the 90's) and "Let It Be".

    I prefer Paul McCartney to John Lennon and would rather win a ticket to see Paul live than win the lottery. (And the women think THEY can scream? )
    I'm not going to go down the rabbit hole of favourite song or album as I'd never get out of this post alive! They were just the best.
    "Revolution In The Head" by Ian Macdonald is one of the best books I've ever read about music. I recommend getting that out of the library (and renewing and renewing it) if you've got a slight interest in the band.
    I'd love to read a Doctor Who book that had the same sort of scrutiny about each story and episode as the Beatles got with that book.

    It sounds cheap having The Beatles pop up in "The Chase" but they clearly were as massive as they were suggested to be thought of being suitable to have a clip being shown.

    Ian: You've squashed my favourite Peter, Paul & Mary!
    Doesn't have the same ring somehow.

  8. #8
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    "Revolution In The Head" by Ian Macdonald is one of the best books I've ever read about music. I recommend getting that out of the library (and renewing and renewing it) if you've got a slight interest in the band.
    It's one of my very favourite books too. I've read and re-read it and my copy is rather battered but well loved!

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  9. #9
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    I'd love to read a Doctor Who book that had the same sort of scrutiny about each story and episode as the Beatles got with that book.
    Try the utterly mad 'About Time' series, which has a few innacuracies but makes up for it by being utterly bloody fascinating. With essays such as 'Which stories have the highest body count?', 'Which stories are the campest?' and 'Did Doctor Who know Sgt. Pepper?' it's a fascinating if bonkers read.

    I love the idea of teenagers in the 60's listening to Beatles records in their bedroom on a Saturday and then running downstairs to watch Part four of The Keys of Marinus. Groovy!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  10. #10

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    Never particularly liked them. That's my concise contribution.