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Are we witnessing the final generation of Beatles fans?
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5 August 2013
Standing There
Carnegie Hall
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I'd be curious to hear from the youngest forum members here about their relationships with the Beatles' music.  Are full albums being digested, or just certain songs?  Have the critics influenced them to pay attention to just the '65-'68 output?  Do the first 4 albums even register? Do you own any CDs, or are the songs on iPods?  Or NOTHING…?  Maybe everything is being streamed and there's no need to own physical copies.  Have you seen any of the movies…?

Enlighten me, teenagers!

I don't think anyone pays attention to critics, especially as with the Beatles there are so many critics and analysts.

Because all the albums were out, like, 25 years before I was born, I value the albums on how much I like them, rather than the year. Like, with bands that are around and producing music now, you have loyalty to the early albums, or you prefer the new sound or whatever because you follow their output...with the Beatles albums all being out, its not like you have to wait what they're going to do next, so you don't develop a loyalty to an album or era- at least not like people at the time did (this makes sense in my head although I don't think I've explained it very well here).

I listen to the Beatles on my iPod or Youtube, although I have some of my aunt's vinyls in the attic- I think they're Pepper, Abbey Road and a lot of the singles. Although I don't listen to them as I haven't got a record player, I like the vinyl because its like a piece of the history.

I like the films, especially AHDN, although don't see them as important as Emily does. They're good films with goodlooking guys and cracking songs, and they're important to the history- but not as interesting to informative as the music, IMO. 


"I don't think we were actually swimming, as it were, with shirts on, 'cos we always wear overcoats when we're swimming,"-

George Harrison, Australia, June 1964

8 August 2013
The Walrus
Working for the national health
Apple rooftop
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4 December 2010
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Interesting topic.

I think it's a fairly firm "no". Young people will always have their mind blown at the idea that loving someone Eight Days A Week is not enough, by the Dear Prudence outro, and by the Abbey Road medley. 100 years from now, teenagers will still be bemoaning the lack of Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields on Pepper and children will imagining Eleanor Rigby's face in the jar by the door. People will still play All You Need Is Love and Something and Grow Old With Me at weddings, and babies will still be sang Yellow Submarine.

As for the music habits of young people, some of my friends have the annoying habit of only listening to singles that they've downloaded from iTunes, and some have the even more annoying habit of only listening to songs they've illegally downloaded and never sending a penny to the artist. We're listening to more singles than ever before, and the album is enjoying a slight resurgence thanks to a few big successes (Adele and Emeli Sande foremost amongst them). But as always, there are those of us who listen to albums and own CDs. A quick count shows that I own about 33 physical albums (I imagine the double albums are cancelled out by the greatest hits collections). I own about that again digitally (mostly albums I've gone halves on with my older brother or my dad, or ones where shipping was prohibitive, or the album is out of print, or where the download was free or extremely cheap- normally I'll pay slightly more for a physical album but not if the digital one is going for £1.99 direct from the record label). I also have far more music than that in my Spotify library, overwhelmingly in album format. I like creating playlists but most of my "playlists" are just easy ways of accessing albums.

Anyway, I know I'm in danger of tl:dr, but I returned to this site for a reason. Today I was thinking that future generations (say 200 years in the future) will almost inevitably have access to dozens of artists with catalogues as good as that of the Beatles. Rather than being the outstanding artist, the Beatles will be like Bach is to classical music- extremely good, sure, but most people can't tell you who wrote Toccata in D Minor, and the name Bach doesn't even necessarily stand out amongst Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Strauss, Vivaldi, Mahler, Wagner... Having said that, even if they don't remember them by name, people love Bach's Toccata in D Minor, Beethoven's fifth Symphony in C Minor (dun dun dun dun!), Wagner's Walkuerenritt, and Brahms's Waltz in A Flat Major (disclaimer: I couldn't put names to those pieces without the help of Spotify either).

I digress. One of the things I love about the Beatles is how outstanding they are. There are a small number of artists who might be comparable (Bowie, Dylan, Arcade Fire), but the Beatles are essentially outstanding. If there are one day 20 artists who are comparable, will they seem as good as the Beatles seem today? In other words, do we love the Beatles because they are absolutely excellent, or just because they appear excellent in comparison to other music? In a thousand years, will people think "The Beatles are a 10/10 artist, and so is Bowie, and so are 50 artists nobody in 2013 had heard of", or will the best music ever made just not seem so excellent as Revolver does today, with the Beatles relegated to the level of Bach?


Do we even want another artist as good as the Beatles?

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
9 August 2013
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 696
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15 August 2012
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No disrespect new guy, but my argument is quite valid.  Why aren't there massive piles of die-hard vocal Charlie Chaplin fans anymore?  Or Glenn Miller?  Or Buddy Holly?  Even Elvis' legacy has been reduced (culturally-speaking) to a greatest hits album and endless parody.

I can list a hundred musicians, actors, actresses, writers, TV personalities and cultural icons who have at one point been the biggest and most important influence of their time.

Hell, there are only a handful of active Beatle fan sites on the internet right now.  Even this one is populated with a good number of people who are fairly apathetic towards almost half of their output.  And some of them have children who have no concept of the notion of even OWNING one single album by any artist they enjoy.

At some point we have to admit that what we love will slip into a cultural obsolescence.  Which is why I use the classical music comparison.  We all acknowledge that Mozart was a genius.  We can all identify a couple of pieces by Mozart.  We might even own a CD of Mozart works.  People may go see performances of Mozart compositions.  But the notion of being a Mozart "fan" is now reserved for very small groups of hardcore music aficionados.

The Beatles will always be loved and respected.  But I still truly believe that within the next 15-20 years their active fandom will be reduced to small pockets of truly dedicated fans and historians.

E is for 'Ergent'.
9 August 2013
Ron Nasty
"Where have you been?" "I'm not telling you..."
Apple rooftop
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17 December 2012
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When I was at school back in the 80s, doing CSE English Literature, one of the "poems" we studied for the exam was She's Leaving Home by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. I went to a bog standard British school, and we were taught the fecking Beatles in English Literature! Alongside a Shakespeare play, and a Bronte novel. They are already being taught, and it has nothing being reserved for study or aimed at the middle-class. It's just because they are the best at what they did!

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

9 August 2013
Nowhere Land
Apple rooftop
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5 November 2011
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All living things must abide by the laws of the shape they inhabit
10 August 2013
Carnegie Hall
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8 August 2013
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mja6758 said
When I was at school back in the 80s, doing CSE English Literature, one of the "poems" we studied for the exam was
She's Leaving Home by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. I went to a bog standard British school, and we were taught the fecking Beatles in English Literature! Alongside a Shakespeare play, and a Bronte novel. They are already being taught, and it has nothing being reserved for study or aimed at the middle-class. It's just because they are the best at what they did!

Same as me! When I was in sixth form (1999) we studied She's Leaving Home in my English Literature cllass. I don't think any of my class mates had heard of the song, but of course I was an expert!



10 August 2013
Sitting here doing nothing but procrastinating
Apple rooftop
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18 March 2013
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We studied Eleanor Rigby in 1st year in my school, we didn't actually use it for our exams but that was pretty cool, I remember one of the questions being:

What do you think Paul McCartney meant when he wrote "wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door"?

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