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Why the Beatles will never happen again
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23 May 2013
6.11pm
Ralphrennick
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Mod note: another thread on this topic is here http://www.beatlesbible.com/fo.....r-beatles/

It's just a mathematical anomoly that the two best songwriters of a century in a particular genre would be born in the same decade, never mind being roughly the same age, in the same country, same city, and after all that end up in the same band.  Because usually hugely talented people don't like to share the spotlight with someone else on their same level.  It would be like if Michael Jackson and Madonna in the dance music/pop genre, had somehow ended up writing songs for the same group. 

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23 May 2013
9.37pm
Ralphrennick
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Von Bontee said
I've got nothing against Madonna or Michael (and I own several of their albums) but I don't think either one are in the same league as Lennon-McCartney, if you're talking about playing/singing/songwriting/composing. As celebrities & pop phenomenons, definitely. (Plus they're much better dancers too!) A better comparison to McCartney would be Prince, as far as matching skill sets goes.

No I don't think either of them are in the same league as songwriters (although MJ's way with a pop hook might be close).  I guess I was going more on sales and total number of hit songs when trying to compare rock with another genre.  And absolutely, Prince is amazing.  As great a songwriter as he was, he might also be one of the most underrated guitarists of all time.

 

I suppose another good reason a phenomenon like the Beatles won't happen again is that music is so fragmented.  Back then there were a couple big Top 40 stations in each market, and they played all the best rock, R&B, Soul, whatever was a hit.  Now there are so many genres and subgenres of music; terrestrial radio is dying, and people listen to their own music on ipod or make their own Pandora stations based on just what they like.  I doubt with the way things are now there could be one group that captures everyone's attention in the dramatic way the Beatles did.

 

It was just a perfect confluence of factors, the right guys met at the right time, in the right era.  I can't see any single musician or group now having the cultural impact they did, to where, as my dad says, the day after the first Ed Sullivan appearance, all the kids at his school were combing their hair a different way.

24 May 2013
3.38am
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SatanHimself
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Add this to the reasons:

What genre were/are the Beatles?  While the early albums were for the most part straightforward rock with a few curveballs, the band eventually made albums and singles that were completely uncategorizable by modern standards.  "Yellow Submarine" "Elenor Rigby", "Within You Without You", "Hey Jude", "When I'm 64", "Honey Pie"...  The list goes on.   No band today could ever release songs in so many styles and expect any success.

I'm actually hard-pressed to name one other band that ever did it.  The Rolling Stones had a few diversions, but even they stuck mostly to a formula.  The Who may qualify, but they really were never a huge crossover band.  You either liked them, you hated them or you just knew a handful of songs on the radio.

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Ron Nasty
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@Wigwam This old thread may interest you as it asks the same question.

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

4 July 2015
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Ahhh Girl
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When Paul was asked if there could ever be another Beatles, here's what he said.

ESQ: Not to diminish your achievements, but The Beatles’ success came at a very specific moment. Clearly, the world was ready for it. Could a band ever have that kind of impact again or has the culture changed too much?

PM: We don’t live in that culture any more, that’s true. We came out of a very rich period. But let’s not forgot, those four boys were fucking good. It wasn’t just to do with the period. You name me another group of four chaps, or chapesses, who had what The Beatles had. Lennon’s skill, intelligence, acerbic wit, McCartney’s melody, whatever he’s got, Harrison’s spirituality, Ringo’s spirit of fun, great drumming. We all played, which is pretty hard. You don’t get a lot of that these days. The noise we made was just those four people playing. We came at the right time. We wrote some pretty good stuff, our own material. We didn’t have writers. Could that happen again? I don’t know. I wish people well but I have a feeling it couldn’t.

He's got a feeling. A feeling he can't hide. I share that feeling with him.

Take a look at post 1 of this thread to see a link to another thread on this topic. That thread is now locked so we can channel the discussion to one thread. Always check the first post in a thread for any mod notes, instructions, information on the purpose of the thread, etc. As a mod, I will try to remember to always update post 1 of a thread if anything about a thread changes.

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18 October 2015
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meanmistermustard
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Gene Simmons has been talking about this very subject to NME and he doesnt think there will be a next Beatles or Kiss either.

""From 1988 until today… give me the new Beatles and the new Stones. Give me just one. You can't. Rock is dead. And the reason for that? Downloading and filesharing. When you stop charging for things, it becomes worthless. And there's gonna have to be a business model that's gonna have to change. 'Cause there are great bands out there, but there's no support system...
Before The Beatles went into the studio to become The Beatles, they played clubs for ten thousand hours. That's years. You have to do something for thousands and thousands of hours before you get any good on it. Nowadays, instant gratification means you can hum in your shower, then wind up on 'The X Factor' and you're on television and you get a recording contract. But almost none of these singers who get recording contracts become huge."

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18 October 2015
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ewe2
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meanmistermustard said

Gene Simmons has been talking about this very subject to NME and he doesnt think there will be a next Beatles or Kiss either.

""From 1988 until today… give me the new Beatles and the new Stones. Give me just one. You can't. Rock is dead. And the reason for that? Downloading and filesharing. When you stop charging for things, it becomes worthless. And there's gonna have to be a business model that's gonna have to change. 'Cause there are great bands out there, but there's no support system...
Before The Beatles went into the studio to become The Beatles, they played clubs for ten thousand hours. That's years. You have to do something for thousands and thousands of hours before you get any good on it. Nowadays, instant gratification means you can hum in your shower, then wind up on 'The X Factor' and you're on television and you get a recording contract. But almost none of these singers who get recording contracts become huge."

Counterpoint:

Just because there isn't money in it, doesn't mean you aren't good or popular, it means no one can tell you are because no one is being paid to count. Downloading doesn't stop venues putting bands on, being replaced by poker machines does (and in some areas, ridiculous public performance royalty rules). It certainly hasn't (so far) hurt the musical instrument industry. There have always been good live bands who never see the light of day in "industry" terms but that's the industry's fault, not the bands. The industry has turned its back on popular music and is churning out Tin Pan Alley lookalikes like it did back in the 1950's which is why pop music hasn't changed for a decade or so. It was never a support network, it was an exploitation network and its time is over. The industry needs X Factor more than we do, to pretend to itself it has relevance and to keep the myth of how it really works alive.

I think there can be another Beatles, but they won't claim the same kind of focus because I do think that time is past. But someone can and will market themselves entirely on the internet without the help of the "industry" which can't imagine any success outside itself, and they will have that crossover appeal. I don't know if they can pull off the same trick of revitalizing Western music, but someone will have to. The bonus is that there are many defined genres now and someone who can appeal across those is going to be very, very talented. (It's been claimed this has already happened but they turned out to be Kanye West fans).

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5 November 2015
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meanmistermustard
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Another article, this time from the Daily Star so not too highbrow, on why there wont be another act like the Beatles. It ties in with the upcoming ITV special 'The Nation's Favourite Beatles Number One' and the '1+' release.

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ewe2 said

meanmistermustard said

Gene Simmons has been talking about this very subject to NME and he doesnt think there will be a next Beatles or Kiss either.

""From 1988 until today… give me the new Beatles and the new Stones. Give me just one. You can't. Rock is dead. And the reason for that? Downloading and filesharing. When you stop charging for things, it becomes worthless. And there's gonna have to be a business model that's gonna have to change. 'Cause there are great bands out there, but there's no support system...
Before The Beatles went into the studio to become The Beatles, they played clubs for ten thousand hours. That's years. You have to do something for thousands and thousands of hours before you get any good on it. Nowadays, instant gratification means you can hum in your shower, then wind up on 'The X Factor' and you're on television and you get a recording contract. But almost none of these singers who get recording contracts become huge."

Counterpoint:

Just because there isn't money in it, doesn't mean you aren't good or popular, it means no one can tell you are because no one is being paid to count. Downloading doesn't stop venues putting bands on, being replaced by poker machines does (and in some areas, ridiculous public performance royalty rules). It certainly hasn't (so far) hurt the musical instrument industry. There have always been good live bands who never see the light of day in "industry" terms but that's the industry's fault, not the bands. The industry has turned its back on popular music and is churning out Tin Pan Alley lookalikes like it did back in the 1950's which is why pop music hasn't changed for a decade or so. It was never a support network, it was an exploitation network and its time is over. The industry needs X Factor more than we do, to pretend to itself it has relevance and to keep the myth of how it really works alive.

I think there can be another Beatles, but they won't claim the same kind of focus because I do think that time is past. But someone can and will market themselves entirely on the internet without the help of the "industry" which can't imagine any success outside itself, and they will have that crossover appeal. I don't know if they can pull off the same trick of revitalizing Western music, but someone will have to. The bonus is that there are many defined genres now and someone who can appeal across those is going to be very, very talented. (It's been claimed this has already happened but they turned out to be Kanye West fans).

I don't know if it's possible to agree with your post any more than I am right now, other than the downloading bit.  I still have serious reservations that there will ever be a technology that eliminates freeloading (filesharing) even though (IMO) its the only thing that can save music as an industry in the end.  At the same time, because of the technology, I'm not so sure we actually need an 'industry' as we know it right now.

Back on topic; the part I bolded... while that was happening, we also need to remember that cultures in the U.S. began leaking into each other, largely due to radio (damn shame about it now) influencing those two guys from Pennsylvania who wrote a crazy song about dancing all night long and then had that one-eyed kid from Michigan with the curl of hair on his forehead sing it, the brown-eyed handsome man from Missouri who could play a guitar just like ringing a bell, the gangly kid from Texas who dared write his own songs and that truck driver from Mississippi who just wanted to sing to his momma, just to name a few... all happening during those years.  All these people, along with countless others from places in New York, Detroit, Kentucky... were all being heard and devoured, enigmatically, by teenagers living in a British port city struggling to rebuild after a terrible war...

Once rock took off, it became littered with instances of really talented people, all of relative age, all attending nearby (if not the same) schools... how many bands started in schools?  Neighborhood garages... the band Survivor came together in a garage 4 blocks from where I lived... all coming together to create some really great and important music.  Many of them comprised of a primary songwriting team.  And many of those teams being damn-fine songwriters.

But they all happened after the die had been cast and social anxieties had been relieved and countless genres attracting narrow demographics had all been developed.

There were no wars that dragged diverse nations together or threw them apart, no national horrors that sent the public into a funk, no need to burn off energy or shake off the yolk of a suppressive generation.  In my memory, it seemed like we all kept partying even while avoiding the draft or waiting in line for gasoline or watching the leader of the free world lie on national television.  Much of this is still happening.

Was it fate that just those four (and, to a greater degree, just Lennon and McCartney) were the focus of some cosmic alliance that resulted in The Beatles, never to happen again?  Or was it coincidence?

If you consider what it took to have them, maybe we don't want another Beatles. 

But astronomical as the odds seem, history says "if it happened once..."

So I'm hoping.  My son is 13 years old and practices guitar.  All day long, of his own volition, he listens to The Beatles.  And Sam Cooke, Carl Perkins... and Van Halen and AC/DC... and new stuff that I'm not familiar with.

You just never know.

“Send John out first; he’s the one they want.” ~ someone said it, dammit. Memphis, 1966
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