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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-30-2015, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,511
Beatles - boy band, regular band, or both?

I remember giving a guitar lesson twenty years ago to a student who thought the Beatles were a pretty much only a "boy band". I found that tag insulting and at the best limiting (knowing Beatles were singers, musicians, and often producers who just happened to be young men) but over the years the tag has been spread more widely the longer their place in history in time passes.

If you want boy band, the Monkees fit that better than the Beatles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_band

On Pawn Starts, Corey and Chum said the Beatles were just another boy band and Rick, my generation, was shocked at that characterization.

Anyway, this is good:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmVlDCm5NOU

The youtube poster is angry at the Beatles being titled just a boy band (as I) and in his opening statement he does admit that a lot of people think the Beatles were the first of the boy bands. While I agree that the Beatles were a lot of things, boy band comes down very far on the list. Yes, they were the greatest boy band if talking about young men in a band that has screaming female fans, but they played and wrote their music, often fought with producer George Martin, and were even active in business decisions working with genius manager Brian Epstein. Paul McCartney was as involved in the behind the scenes operations as much as any person in the organization.

Last edited by 63Blazer; 05-30-2015 at 12:54 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 08:28 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: hereford, uk
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Re: Beatles - boy band, regular band, or both?

Haha, I've been guilty of calling them (wrongly) a boy band before in heated conversations with people who totally love them, I'm not a fan of their music, theres a few good songs but to me most of it is dire.

I've only resorted to the boy band thing cus it riles their fans up a bit and it usually stops them from talking to me about the subject which is the desired result. however in reality they are a long way from being a boy band. I can admit that they changed the face of music and the way music is recorded and some of the members of the band had talent at writing music (paul/george) but ultimately for me their music doesn't do it for me and all but 2 or 3 songs usually end up with me wanting to jam a railroad spike into my ears, but each to their own as far as i'm concerned. But for some reason hardcore beatles fans wont leave it at that, they all feel like its their responsibility to convert you a bit like some kind of over zealous religous leader would. and then when they finally realise they arent going to convert you thats when they get nasty about your taste in music, Thats when i pull out the Boy Band card.

Infuriated beatles fan------------ Priceless
for everything else theres mastercard

Seriously though "come together" awesome tune and it teaches you math as well, Tuneage and education all in one

Last edited by newblues; 06-02-2015 at 08:39 AM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-02-2015, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Beatles - boy band, regular band, or both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newblues View Post
Haha, I've been guilty of calling them (wrongly) a boy band before in heated conversations with people who totally love them, I'm not a fan of their music, theres a few good songs but to me most of it is dire.

I've only resorted to the boy band thing cus it riles their fans up a bit and it usually stops them from talking to me about the subject which is the desired result. however in reality they are a long way from being a boy band. I can admit that they changed the face of music and the way music is recorded and some of the members of the band had talent at writing music (paul/george) but ultimately for me their music doesn't do it for me and all but 2 or 3 songs usually end up with me wanting to jam a railroad spike into my ears, but each to their own as far as i'm concerned. But for some reason hardcore beatles fans wont leave it at that, they all feel like its their responsibility to convert you a bit like some kind of over zealous religous leader would. and then when they finally realise they arent going to convert you thats when they get nasty about your taste in music, Thats when i pull out the Boy Band card.

Infuriated beatles fan------------ Priceless
for everything else theres mastercard

Seriously though "come together" awesome tune and it teaches you math as well, Tuneage and education all in one
As the years go by I hear more and more people like you who don't like the Beatles and I get that. I am glad that you know they were more than just a boy band.

I don't try and convert people even though when I first got into them in the 1980s I really wanted to share their stuff with everybody. In the previous decade I had heard more from Paul McCartney and Wings, honestly, and that was in its own right some great music.

While I will always hold their place in rock history at the top along with Elvis, the Rolling Stones, and Chuck Berry, I do understand some other factors, too. I am not going so far as to say they are the best singers out there because to me that's not what they were about. Their vocals, to me, are just good enough to get the job done but the whole package is what I go for.

Were there better songwriters? Probably, but at the same time it's hard to negate how many songs they wrote that many love. I would probably think that in terms of songwriting and recording creativity, the most amazing I can think of from the period was Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. It could be argued, if the Beatles were a boy band along with many other things, so were the Beach Boys. Some boy bands just happened to be young men and had others write songs for them, but the Beach Boys and Beatles wrote their own stuff and there has to be something said for that.

Sometimes you have a boy band, or in this case doo-wop band, and they are largely about singing, dancing and playing to put on a show. Songwriting is usually done by others or as an afterthought if done by the band. In the case of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, they enlisted a backup singer after a time who ended up being the key to the band in that he was primarily a songwriter. So while some may consider the Four Seasons as a boy band, who were a template for singing/dancing boy bands, backup singer Bob Gaudio as a songwriter would ensure that the band was more than just singing and dancing.

To me that line that makes a boy band into something much more is if one or more of the members are good songwriters. If any one of them are also good producers then that's even more to separate them from being only a boy band.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 12:11 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Tampa, FL
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Re: Beatles - boy band, regular band, or both?

Never been a big fan of the Beatles myself. That said, I don't think the boy band comparison is fair. The harmony was too complex with too many tall chords, especially in their later music, to be compared to the more simplistic, conventional harmony found in the music of "boy bands".

On a side note, I'm working on an instrumental guitar cover of their song " Girl". A friend of mine, who is a big Beatles fan, wanted me to learn a particular part of the song. I told him I'd do better and cover the entire thing. I had never heard the song before, either.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-16-2015, 07:46 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Makati, Philippines
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Re: Beatles - boy band, regular band, or both?

Theyre song writing is more brilliant than any boyband i've heard. Plus theyre one of the first rock bands. They did well considering there were no influences really with their music.
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