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Do you feel that any other artists stand up to the Beatles in quality?
15 May 2012
2.40pm
Ben Ramon
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I've often considered whether there are any bands or artists who I feel are as good as the Beatles, although the Fabs naturally remain my all-time favourite. I think that there are some who during their peak have approached or equalled the Beatles, but no artist has ever put out consistently excellent material for such a long time.

Bob Dylan (1965-66) was nothing short of genius and three or four of his albums from this period I feel are as powerful, influential and enjoyable as anything the Beatles have done.

The Beach Boys (1965-67). Brian Wilson could certainly have given them a run for their money had the SMiLE project gone ahead and been released in '67 or '68, and as it is Pet Sounds is comparable in strength to Sgt Pepper.

Stevie Wonder (1972-76). A run of excellent albums.

Paul McCartney (1971, 1973-76). This is cheating I know but Ram to me is as good as many Beatles records, and from 1973-76 Wings were a stellar group; maybe not in terms of album quality but the string of hits Macca was turning out at this time was pure gold, and they were also stunning as a live group.

David Bowie (1971-78). Omitting Young Americans and perhaps Diamond Dogs, Bowie much like Stevie Wonder released a string of superb, diverse, very creative and influential albums during this period.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
15 May 2012
5.15pm
The Walrus
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Dylan 65-66, two incredible albums. I was surprised when I found out Blood On The Tracks wasn't in that run, imagine if he'd released that in 67 (with All Along The Watchtower sandwiched in somewhere).

Bowie 69-80, he is to 70s music what the Beatles were to 60s music, innovating in ways nobody else had thought of. Not too keen on Young Americans, Pin Ups or Aladdin Sane, but Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, Low, Scary Monsters and to a lesser extent... everything else, are incredible.

Queen 74-76, Queen II is one of the best albums of all time, and they also had time to put out A Night At The Opera (featuring Bohemian Rhapsody and The Prophet's Song) and A Day At The Races (featuring Tie Your Mother Down and Somebody To Love). Something of a revival later on as well.

Cornershop 97-09, not nearly as impressive as it sounds as they only released three albums in those 12 years. When I Was Born For The Seventh Time is class, and Handcream For A Generation and Judy Sucks A Lemon For Breakfast are the happiest of albums.

I should listen to some Stevie Wonder.

I think Arcade Fire will be in that sort of league if they release another great album (next year, hopefully). Funeral is as good as any album, and Neon Bible and The Suburbs are brilliant in places despite some really weak tracks. Another strong album and they won't be able to fit everything into one show.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
15 May 2012
6.46pm
meanmistermustard
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Oasis with their first 2 albums (Definately Maybe & Whats The Story Morning Glory) gave the UK music scene a real kick when it was in a humdrum stage.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
15 May 2012
8.30pm
...ontherun
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Maby U2 from Joshua Tree through to Zooropa. Good question.

A square is not a square when the sides are less than four...
15 May 2012
8.40pm
The Walrus
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meanmistermustard said
Oasis with their first 2 albums (Definately Maybe & Whats The Story Morning Glory) gave the UK music scene a real kick when it was in a humdrum stage.

I was thinking of mentioning Definitely Maybe and (WTS)MG but that was only two albums and they're nowhere near the Beatles.

I think I prefer Noel's solo album to either of them, actually, even though that's musical blasphemy.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
15 May 2012
9.36pm
mithveaen
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...ontherun said
Maby U2 from Joshua Tree through to Zooropa. Good question.

Yes I agree with you on that one...

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
15 May 2012
10.07pm
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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The number of excellent musical acts is tremendous, and we all have our favorites.

But i don't think any act comes close to matching the breadth, the sustained quality, and the impact of the Beatles.

But that's just me.

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
15 May 2012
11.28pm
minime
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Well, I agree with all of you that Beatles outdoes all the other groups in terms of consistency and the amout of(great) material. But, of course, there are countless of other artists with fantastic output. I'm afraid most people on this board are predominantly familiar with the English music scene,so the names I could give probably wouldn't say anything to most of you.

Led Zeppelin comes to my mind as a sort of popmusical"mind blower", but I haven't really searched too deeply in their career, so I don't know how consistent they are. Ohh, and if mentioning Paul is permitted, I would have to say John. He cartainly has his misses, but his "hits" are well... On par if not far exceeding anything the Beatles made, although I know I'm prone to be hopelessly biased.

16 May 2012
12.06am
mithveaen
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 That's right.

 

What I mean is that when some bands reached their peak, they were very close to the Beatles amazing talent.

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
16 May 2012
2.10am
Long John Silver
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No, not really. If i have to choose, first I can think of is Radiohead.

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
16 May 2012
5.28am
mithveaen
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Agree with you. I can think of U2 (Joshua Tree-Zooropa Period), Radiohead (OK Computer and Kid A are masterpieces).

 

Pink Floyd I think deserves a history of their own. They're ... as we say in Mexico.. "punto y aparte"

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
16 May 2012
3.32pm
Ben Ramon
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The Walrus said
Dylan 65-66, two incredible albums. I was surprised when I found out Blood On The Tracks wasn't in that run, imagine if he'd released that in 67 (with All Along The Watchtower sandwiched in somewhere).

I'd say three incredible albums in that period: Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde. I'd have to disagree with you about Blood on the Tracks; what makes that album for me is the older, wearier Dylan reclaiming his former glory.

Queen 74-76, Queen II is one of the best albums of all time, and they also had time to put out A Night At The Opera (featuring Bohemian Rhapsody and The Prophet's Song) and A Day At The Races (featuring Tie Your Mother Down and Somebody To Love). Something of a revival later on as well.

I've always found Queen a bit too pompous and annoying to be as enjoyable as the Beatles, despite obviously being virtuosic musicians and composers.

I should listen to some Stevie Wonder.

You certainly should- his four albums Talking Book, Innervisions, Fulfillingness' First Finale and Songs in the Key of Life were released one after the other and are all superb. As for U2 and Oasis, always despised both of them. Radiohead at their peak (OK Computer, Kid A) were probably Beatles-level in innovation but I really don't like the direction they've been moving in recently. Arcade Fire bore me to tears.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
16 May 2012
6.24pm
Long John Silver
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mithveaen said
a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Agree with you. I can think of U2 (Joshua Tree-Zooropa Period), Radiohead (OK Computer and Kid A are masterpieces).

 

Pink Floyd I think deserves a history of their own. They're ... as we say in Mexico.. "punto y aparte"

All Radiohead albums are masterpieces (maybe not the first one though). I think they are the only band that goes with contant good music, and just like Beatles, every album was kind of different from the previous one. I don't compare them to Beatles though but since we are seeking for the one that can get near that level then my vote goes to them. 

 

"I can't share any love for Radiohead, that voice is just unbearable for me."

 

:(, IMHO it's one of best vocals today.

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
16 May 2012
6.30pm
Ben Ramon
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mithveaen said
a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Agree with you. I can think of U2 (Joshua Tree-Zooropa Period), Radiohead (OK Computer and Kid A are masterpieces).

 

Pink Floyd I think deserves a history of their own. They're ... as we say in Mexico.. "punto y aparte"

Pink Floyd were pretty strong '73-'77 to be honest and I think a case could be made for their quality being as high as the Beatles in that period, although I totally detest The Wall. Piper At The Gates of Dawn, when they were led by Syd Barrett, was quite psychedelic and reminiscent of the Beatles in that period but is a bit too spaced-out at times to be taken seriously.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
17 May 2012
2.17pm
The Walrus
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paulsbass said

Stones? Nowhere near as diverse or consistent, although almost as much loved and with a lot of "folk songs" everybody knows.

I think accusing the Stones of lacking diversity is massively unfair. The last few albums with Brian were largely flat attempts to make a genuine rock album, and those albums are probably the most recognisable by name (Satanic Majesty, Beggar's Banquet, Let It Bleed), but immediately before those albums they released a string of great pop records (Aftermath, Between The Buttons, Flowers) and immediately afterwards they found their groove and released albums like Sticky Fingers and the masterfully eclectic Exile On Main Street. They did lack consistency though, Exile was their only real masterpiece and a few of the albums are held up by the single.

Ben Ramon said

The Walrus said
Dylan 65-66, two incredible albums. I was surprised when I found out Blood On The Tracks wasn't in that run, imagine if he'd released that in 67 (with All Along The Watchtower sandwiched in somewhere).

I'd say three incredible albums in that period: Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde. I'd have to disagree with you about Blood on the Tracks; what makes that album for me is the older, wearier Dylan reclaiming his former glory.

I agree that he couldn't have made the album in '67, frankly I don't think it affects the quality of the record but if he had released it instead of John Wesley Harding (there's a disappointing album if ever I heard one) then he'd have had probably the three best consecutive albums ever. I've not listened to Bringing It All Back Home but I'll happily accept the recommendation.

I listened to the Stevie Wonder albums in the period you suggested, no tracks I particularly wanted to skip but from one listen they didn't hold a flame to the Beatles. Superstitious was the only stand out. I'll probably give him a further listen in the future though.

As for Arcade Fire being boring, did you discover them through The Suburbs by any chance? That album has a really bloated middle and could have done with about half the number of tracks, but the remaining tracks would all be very good. Funeral is a great album without any weak tracks though. I can see why someone wouldn't like it (though personally it is my favourite album, didn't think one would ever displace Revolver) but boring? Not on your nelly.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
17 May 2012
6.55pm
Ben Ramon
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The Walrus said

I agree that he couldn't have made the album in '67, frankly I don't think it affects the quality of the record but if he had released it instead of John Wesley Harding (there's a disappointing album if ever I heard one) then he'd have had probably the three best consecutive albums ever. I've not listened to Bringing It All Back Home but I'll happily accept the recommendation.

Bringing It All Back Home is his finest album in my opinion. The first side is comprised of his first electric tracks, the second (superior) side is acoustic songs which in my opinion are four of the greatest songs ever to grace a record in sequence. Funny how Dylan dropped the acoustic singer-songwriter thing just as he became the undisputed master of it.

I listened to the Stevie Wonder albums in the period you suggested, no tracks I particularly wanted to skip but from one listen they didn't hold a flame to the Beatles. Superstitious was the only stand out. I'll probably give him a further listen in the future though.

It does take a while to sink in I agree, but he has a magnificent sense of melody, a beautiful voice and a great joyful message. Try re-listening to these individual tracks: Sir Duke, They Won't Go When I Go, Living For The City, Higher Ground, You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, I Believe When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever, and Knocks Me Off My Feet.

As for Arcade Fire being boring, did you discover them through The Suburbs by any chance? That album has a really bloated middle and could have done with about half the number of tracks, but the remaining tracks would all be very good. Funeral is a great album without any weak tracks though. I can see why someone wouldn't like it (though personally it is my favourite album, didn't think one would ever displace Revolver) but boring? Not on your nelly.

Actually I discovered them through Funeral. The first song blew me away but I found the rest of it never really lived up to it and by the end I was yawning. I understand it's a very critically acclaimed record though so it's probably just not to my taste. I found the songs were brimming with so much emotional power, enhanced by huge production, that they almost had nowhere to go; they started off with all their maximum energy and then just crashed on and on without ever making anything of it.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
19 May 2012
10.57pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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Short version: No.
Long version: Arcade Fire is probably the closest person to do it, although Neil Young (1968-72) had a great run of 4 albums. Coldplay might come close, I mean A Rush of Blood to The Head and X&Y are both fantastic. Um, this is fascinating. Reasoning for each below:
Arcade Fire - Canada's golden boys of music. Maybe I'm biased because I'm playing Funeral on vinyl as I type, but to say Funeral is boring is making me question lots. How songs like Neighbourhood #3 (Power's Out), Crown of Love, Wake Up and Rebellion (Lies) are boring is beyond me. Suburbs and Neon Bible are both less awesome then Funeral, but Suburbs is (more so then Neon Bible) a fantastic album in its own right. There was a MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) presentation at my school. In the video, they played Wasted Hours and Modern Man. When MM played, shivers covered my entire body. Not any band can do that. And they're from Montreal - what's better then that? But yes, their next album will tell the tale if they are the closest thing we'll ever have to "Our Beatles" (The we here being Canada - patriotic pride till the end!!) But for me, AF is the closest thing we've ever had to this generation having a "Beatles". Funeral changed the game, no doubt about it.

Neil Young - I'd be more confident in saying Neil if not for his Ditch Trilogy he released right after Harvest, his big breakthrough. But, from Neil's self titled debut till Harvest, he was fabulous, and he was working with CSNY as well.
And, he doesn't want the spotlight, and he has an awesome duet with available.

(Forgot this one above) Fiest. A Canadian singer songwriter, she has put out 3 fantastic albums in a row, but she takes her time. Let It Die is 2004's second best album (sorry, 3rd. Sam Roberts' We Were Born In A Flame wins second place behind Funeral). And, she followed it up nicely with 2007's The Reminder, with her well known, Apple used hit 1234. Then 2011 came with Metals, contender for Sun King's album of the Year (ya, it's better then City and Colour's Little Hell), and it launched my Feist fandom.
(Goodness, I'm sounding like a lackey for the Canadian music industry. I'm not solely a Canadian listener, but I've been on a new song kick, and new singers don't have the longevity to make such as comparison fairly.)

Bands that could, if they continue at their levels of talent for a while who might appear:
Florence and the Machine - finally, a non - Canadian. But Flo rocks. Two albums, both of which classify as two of the best albums made in their years.
Sheepdogs - only one album out, but I can't stop playing Learn and Burn. It's so good.
Sam Roberts - the jury is out. He has 4 albums out, 2 which are really good, one pretty good, and one okay. He hasn't the consistency.
Bon Iver - this is one of my brother's bands, and while I've never listened to any of their albums all the way through, their frontman produced Kathleen Edwards Voyageur, which is great, so that (and what I've heard is great), I need further investigate.
(Seriously, this is sounding like a list my brother would right)
And finally, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band. Born to Run till Born in the USA. Listen.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
20 May 2012
12.36am
Ben Ramon
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mr. Sun king coming together said
Neil Young - I'd be more confident in saying Neil if not for his Ditch Trilogy he released right after Harvest, his big breakthrough. But, from Neil's self titled debut till Harvest, he was fabulous, and he was working with CSNY as well.
And, he doesn't want the spotlight, and he has an awesome duet with available.

The Ditch Trilogy is better than anything Neil had done up to that point IMO, On The Beach is one of my favourite albums.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
20 May 2012
2.04am
The Beatles bassist
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Hmm... Other strong groups or artists with high quality, well I can mention some of them:
- Queen
- Creedence Clearwater Revival
- Stevie Wonder
- The Rolling Stones
- Jimi Hendrix
- Bob Dylan
- Bruce Springsteen
- The Doors
- Pink Floyd
- Led Zeppelin
- Elvis Presley
- Michael Jackson
- The Kinks

We all have our favorites, but I think those I've mentioned here do have the greatest impact to music with quality (just different genres).

"Real music is made by real people playing real instruments using own creativity and skills."
20 May 2012
3.36am
LennonCloset
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Blur, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, and Oasis. Mostly Oasis because the songs remind me of the Beatles in so many ways....

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