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The Beatles Bible 2015 Canon Poll - Results & Discussion
11 September 2015
8.16am
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trcanberra
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Matt Busby said

Expert Textpert said
If Yesterday is the best Beatles song, then our criteria must be 1. Having a memorable melody and 2. Sentimental lyrics.

If the best Beatles song is a solo, what does that say about them as a group?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

I assume it's a rhetorical question as it wasn't?

That the rich collaborative environment they were in inspired a greatness they struggled to repeat when they were truly solo?

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11 September 2015
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trcanberra said

Ahhh Girl said
The best/favorite discussion is a long, on-going one on the forum. At least it is a more civilized discussion than the one over who sang the ahhhs.

Indeed - but I'm wondering if it affected how we voted here. I voted on what I liked not my perception of the best songs.

Announcing The 2017 "Best" & "Favorite" song polls 😉  [what a can of worms that would be!]   

I think it affected how we voted. Different people used different strategies. I tried to combine what I considered (in big quotes here) "subjectively good" material and what I personally liked (without necessarily having any arguable reason for liking it other than it sounds good to me), Of course the top 35 or so qualified near the top in both areas. Others have said they just went with what they liked. But I don't think you could legislate people to not give credit to a song they feel is "important" in modern music evolution, just as you coudn't force people to ignore their personal likes and dislikes and only evaluate songs based on their "merit" (the meaniing of which we could never reach a consensus about so...).  I think this poll is about as good as it gets...in fact "it turned out pretty darn good." Everybody used their own personal definition of "good", and I think the results seemed pretty reasonable 🙂 I really don't think there were too many surprises inside the top 20...                                                               

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11 September 2015
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Those who separate best from favorite are allowing themselves to be indoctrinated by mass opinion: "i.e., the critics love Yesterday , therefore it must be good even though I can't stand it."

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

11 September 2015
10.32am
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Why it is wrong to acknowledge something may be/is good even if I/you/he/she/they don't like it? Its getting past self and seeing the bigger picture. I'm not in any way an Oasis fan but it would be daft to therefore state they must hold no artistic merit. Shakespeare bores the living crap out of me, i'm not stupid enough to say that he was an awful writer.

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11 September 2015
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I don't think Oasis has much merit.

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11 September 2015
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Maybe you dont but they were highly influential on the music scene. And if anyone cares about recognition their albums sold in the millions and the first two are considering two of the greatest albums of the 90's and often voted as two of the greatest albums ever ('Definitely Maybe' and 'What's The Story Morning Glory').

And again i'm not an Oasis fan, I like two or three songs.

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11 September 2015
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I can't stand their music, and I don't think the tastes of the masses are any gauge of true worth. Just listen to all the auto-tune crap that's popular.

If Oasis was so influential, though, that could explain why the music business is in such a sad state today.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

11 September 2015
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A critic is paid to sit at his desk and tell us whether something is good or not. Most artists don't even pay attention to what critics write. I think an artist can still evaluate what his best (favorite) album is without a critic to tell him.

I can certainly listen to an album and tell whether I like it or not without some stuffy person giving me his informed opinion.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

11 September 2015
4.49pm
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Im not saying personal taste should be based on what others like - critics didnt matter to many even before the Beatles came along; the music business kept predicting trends that either lasted a few months before fading or never hitting in the first place and missing the bigger picture. Its not about critics. 

A lasting legacy however should go some way to differentiate between the major and minor artists thru the decades. Personally i can understand why folk might not like the Beatles but to say they were rubbish and did nothing for music would be different and complete bullshit - and thats ignoring what all the critics would say.

One of my favourite artists ever is Kendall Payne (second to only the Beatles), few have ever heard of her. I've posted a bit of her material on here and to family and very few have liked it. If i instead went with what was liked by others and was popular now and previously i'd be listening to Elvis, Mumford and Sons, The Carpenters, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Madonna. I'd rather be deaf. Doesnt mean i cannot acknowledge they had a bigger influence in music nor that i cant post that i'd rather chop my ears off and eat them with some dog food.

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11 September 2015
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So best = influential?

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

11 September 2015
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Not always and no one is saying it does. However there will be a link between most of the "best" bands being influential. However an artist can be influential but not a success or deemed best. 

It also comes down to how "best", "greatest" etc is defined in the context of that situation.

Like with many things in life there is no steadfast rule(s) that applies to everything. 

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11 September 2015
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I think favorite and best are the same. If you separate the two, you are just adopting someone else's opinion.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

11 September 2015
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@Expert Textpert said
I think favorite and best are the same. If you separate the two, you are just adopting someone else's opinion.

But aren't you just stating a private opinion, in your own mind's eye? Surely "best" (or even "favourite") are a consensus opinion. If my favourite Beatles track, the one I thought was their piece, was Revolution 9  it would just be my opinion. To fully appreciate any collection of work, I need to take on board the opinions of others. I may not agree, but I would be a fool to believe their opinions are not as valid as mine. And if I see lots rejecting Revolution 9  as the best Beatles track, I'd be wearing blinkers of my own creation not to consider that maybe others have something.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

11 September 2015
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Expert Textpert said
Those who separate best from favorite are allowing themselves to be indoctrinated by mass opinion: "i.e., the critics love Yesterday , therefore it must be good even though I can't stand it."

Actually - no I'm not.

I recognize how well-made or technically brilliant the films of Scorcese are - I just don't like a lot of them. Same with the songs.

How many times do I have to say this to convince some folks here that some of us can distinguish between best quality and "what I like"? The argument you are pushing seems to suggest that great works of art don't have some intrinsic qualities of their own which differs from how I respond to them emotionally - which I just don't agree with.

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11 September 2015
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Depends how you perceive the terms. 

As said before a lot of my favourite songs by artists are not what is said to be their best by the public. I can't stand 'Satisfaction' by the Stones; 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters' is ok but give me Simon & Garfunkel's 'The Boxer' or 'Keep The Customer Satisfied'. 'Oh Pretty Woman ' is often listed as Roy Orbison's signature track yet does nothing for me and i'll almost always skip it. There are a ton of others.

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12 September 2015
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trcanberra said

Expert Textpert said
Those who separate best from favorite are allowing themselves to be indoctrinated by mass opinion: "i.e., the critics love Yesterday , therefore it must be good even though I can't stand it."

Actually - no I'm not.

I recognize how well-made or technically brilliant the films of Scorcese are - I just don't like a lot of them. Same with the songs.

How many times do I have to say this to convince some folks here that some of us can distinguish between best quality and "what I like"? The argument you are pushing seems to suggest that great works of art don't have some intrinsic qualities of their own which differs from how I respond to them emotionally - which I just don't agree with.

I see what you are saying. Joe Satriani is technically a good guitarist but I have no interest in him.

But I don't think this sentiment translates in any way to the Beatles poll.

What I find ridiculous is that people are proposing we give higher points for things we don't like. Oh yes, that boring song is very well constructed. I shall give it a 10 and give my favorite a 5.

It doesn't work that way.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

12 September 2015
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ET said:

'What I find ridiculous is that people are proposing we give higher points for things we don't like. Oh yes, that boring song is very well constructed. I shall give it a 10 and give my favorite a 5.'

The aspect of whether a song is boring or not has been shown to be a matter of personal taste.  I find, 'Long Long Long' turgid and as boring as hell.......The way it  messes with volume so that you must turn the sound way up to hear anything....only to have to rush, (in the days before remotes) to turn your player down before what sounds like the 9.45 Express from Paddington and the bottle rattling blows the set up...... is just annoying...For me.

.....It's Dylan derivative nature....lazy vocabulary and repetitive internal rhymes I find tedious. That they worked on the backing track for something like 47 takes to get it's structure right doesn't improve my take on the song.....And I've deleted it from my White Album playlist.

Others say, 'LLL' is their favourite George track of all time. And why not? I can't argue with their preferences.

However, if a song like, 'I Want To Hold Your Hand ' sells millions of copies......It might be be a personal 8 but I would and did consider it's popularity and it's historical place in their career.....and then mark it up to a ten.

Songs like Yesterday ....which bore me nowadays I also marked up. Not to a ten but higher than my personal taste would rate it because i can see what others see in it.

Reading that passage again ET.....'What I find ridiculous is that people are proposing we give higher points for things we don't like. Oh yes, that boring song is very well constructed. I shall give it a 10 and give my favorite a 5.'

Are people really saying mark up songs we  don't like?........Or are they saying, consider innovation, context, popularity, musicality and musicianship ....etc? If that's the case it's not as ridiculous as you make it sound. 

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12 September 2015
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Well then we can have a musicianship poll, a musicality poll, and a historical and cultural relevance poll. None of those, however, are synonymous with "best."

"This Beatles talk bores me to death.” —John Lennon 

12 September 2015
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All of those criteria, along with others, played a part in how people chose to score songs. That is the simple truth, @Expert Textpert. There was no right or wrong way to approach scoring. That some took things into consideration that you didn't doesn't make their method any more or less valid than your own. We all found approaches that worked for us as individuals. So long as all were honest within the bounds we all set ourselves, we have a valid poll that reflects the opinion of those who took part.

It is a shame if you feel it doesn't because others had a different approach to yours.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

12 September 2015
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"What I find ridiculous is that people are proposing we give higher points for things we don't like."

I'm not proposing we do that at all; just saying I would vote differently if asked to list the best Beatles songs versus my favourites. I can't recall what I thought we were asked to vote for here, but I voted based on what I liked. We then had people respond that they were a little surprised about what we consider the best Beatles songs and I was suggesting that might not be what the final list is.

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