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Inexplicable (or unexplained) wonders of The Beatles
29 May 2024
10.51pm
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Sea Belt
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While many have pondered and speculated on this, I’m not satisfied it has been explained — namely, how the Fab Four went from their early “Love Me Do ” phase of music to evolve so fantastically — and not only fantastically, but so quickly, relatively speaking.  A few years just doesn’t seem possible.

Second puzzle: Given how massively popular — and profitable — their worldwide touring years were, it still seems odd to me that they just hung it all up so relatively quickly, without much fanfare or hoopla or explanation.  Then when I read here on BB descriptions of how they traveled around in various locales filming for Magical Mystery Tour (already into their “no more touring” phase), my puzzlement doubled.  What???  Going from millions of adoring screaming fans around the entire world to just wandering around in various locales with nobody mobbing them?  Can such a phenomenon be switched on and off that quickly…?  And why would their handlers allow the extinguishing of such a massive cash $$$ cow so readily?  “Sure laddies, we were making millions (and so were you) on touring the world; but if you want to just recede totally from that and do avant-garde recordings from now on, no problem!” <– doesn’t seem plausible.

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

3 June 2024
5.04am
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Mr. Moonlight
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I don’t think they had “handlers” in the sense that we would understand the word today. They had hangers-on but nobody, including Brian and George Martin, really controlled them. And the business side was not as mature as it is now; they were making it up as they went along, you might say, establishing the template for what was to come.

"Nothing is Beatle-proof."

3 June 2024
5.40am
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Sea Belt
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Mr. Moonlight said
I don’t think they had “handlers” in the sense that we would understand the word today. They had hangers-on but nobody, including Brian and George Martin, really controlled them. And the business side was not as mature as it is now; they were making it up as they went along, you might say, establishing the template for what was to come.

  

Well, rock & roll may have been new, but the business of Show Biz had already been around for more than half a century by then.  Thinking such a massive cash cow was just some guys “winging it” doesn’t seem plausible to me.

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

3 June 2024
11.01am
Old Soak
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The music evolved because they felt themselves in direct competition with Brian Wilson to be innovative, and that took studio time, not dashing off a whole album in 10 hours. That music was much more reliant on studio technique. George Martin had to invent a lot but John is noted for describing a sound he wanted and leaving the engineers to sort it. Training on comedy records, with numerous sound effects would certainly have helped sound innovation. They couldn’t reproduce where they were headed musically on stage, still playing the old stuff and tired both physically and mentally – George in particular grew to hate touring in that maelstrom. The money is in touring now but in the 1960’s it was in physical sales. Also, the power structure changed – at the start pretty much what Brian Epstein and George Martin said went. Completely different by 1966, The Beatles were in charge.      

3 June 2024
9.57pm
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Sea Belt
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My first “wonder” isn’t really explained by your explanation.  External necessities can’t by itself produce such startlingly innovative genius.  I’m happy to chalk it up to a mystery, but it still nags me for some kind of explanation.  It just so happened — how conveniently felicitous! — that two or three members of this little band courted by managers during their early phase of conventionally early rock, then suddenly mutated into the wondrously inventive musicians we see from approximately Rubber Soul forwards (with the “forwards” itself involving startling mutations along the way, such that one can’t imagine Paul or John in 1965 creating the White Album just 3 years later — I could more easily imagine it if it had been 10 or better yet 20 years later; but 3…???).

I remain unpersuaded of their breezy freedom from the Corporate Machine (which surely was around before the 1960s). I suspect the full story has not been told.  While I think Mike Williams is mostly a snake oil salesman, he does have a point about how the “Cinderella Story” of The Beatles just doesn’t seem plausible (his way of “explaining” it, however, is unhinged).

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

3 June 2024
10.55pm
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vonbontee
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The wonder to me was that it wasn’t just one individual among them, but a number of them looking to advance their already impressive sounds. There were a number of popular innovative musicians around that time who’d made an impact and were already looking to progress further – Brian Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Ray Charles, Frank Zappa (although Frank hadn’t had any professional recording experience or proper label deal at that time, instead making home-made recordings in a compact studio he purchased.) But these were all individual geniuses. The idea of a band having two geniuses, collaborative ones, plus two other additional talents, that’s is on another level.

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GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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4 June 2024
1.39am
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Sea Belt
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Yes @vonbontee — that amplifies the wonder, and doubly so, since even past the alignment of two geniuses (plus a growing third, George), there’s the wonder that their inspiration & musical talents dovetailed so intimately (since they could easily have been incompatible near the beginning on).

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Now today I find, you have changed your mind

4 June 2024
8.17pm
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Ahhh Girl
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@Sea Belt, how does this topic relate to the other similar one you started last year? https://www.beatlesbible.com/f…..ontinue/ 

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Sea Belt
4 June 2024
9.14pm
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Sea Belt
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Thanks @Ahhh Girl — I forgot I did that!  I dimly recall making comments about it, but didn’t realize I had a whole thread on it.  I guess it involved the second point addressed in this thread.

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

5 June 2024
2.37pm
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vonbontee
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Sea Belt said
While I think Mike Williams is mostly a snake oil salesman, he does have a point about how the “Cinderella Story” of The Beatles just doesn’t seem plausible (his way of “explaining” it, however, is unhinged).

Who are we talking about here now?

GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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5 June 2024
7.36pm
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Sea Belt
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@vonbontee — more or less the “unexplained wonder” of how they got from being relatively clunky club musicians doing mostly covers to the pinnacle of all Entertainment in the World.  The “official narrative” as Williams puts it resembles a “Cinderella story” where these 4 diamonds in the rough were discovered and then their sheer talents without any machine behind them catapulted them into world fame and arguably into #1 status as pop musicians of all time. 

Of course, Williams has to tinker with the data to fit his theory into his box — in many ways, but chiefly by exaggerating their relative lack of musical talent at the beginning, then by positing that “studio musicians” moved in as the band was advancing, with shadowy figures actually composing their more daring creative stuff from 66 forward.

Though I find his argument unpersuasive (to say the least), the mystery he’s grappling with has not been adequately explained to me.

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

5 June 2024
8.34pm
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Von Bontee
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I have no idea who this “Mike Williams” is, thats what I’m asking

Paul: Yeah well… first of all, we’re bringing out a ‘Stamp Out Detroit’ campaign.

         

6 June 2024
2.31am
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Sea Belt
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Mike Williams is that “Paul is Dead” conspiracy theorist I linked in some recent thread here.  He thinks The Beatles were manufactured by nefarious forces, some related to the “Tavistock Institute”.

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Now today I find, you have changed your mind

6 June 2024
3.45pm
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Ahhh Girl
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Here’s the post @Sea Belt is referring to @Von Bontee https://www.beatlesbible.com/f…..2/#p387952

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6 June 2024
6.54pm
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Shamrock Womlbs
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They were good from the very beginning (inmho). It wasn’t like they evolved from “Love Me Do ” (a two, or three, chords song) to do more sofisticated/complicated or however you wanna call it stuff. Early John compositions like “Ask me Why” or “I Call Your Name ” are kinda sofisticated and were composed by a teenager. They were good and after meeting George Martin they just exploded.

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6 June 2024
7.16pm
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Sea Belt
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Shamrock Womlbs said
They were good from the very beginning (inmho). It wasn’t like they evolved from “Love Me Do ” (a two, or three, chords song) to do more sofisticated/complicated or however you wanna call it stuff. Early John compositions like “Ask me Why” or “I Call Your Name ” are kinda sofisticated and were composed by a teenager. They were good and after meeting George Martin they just exploded.

  

I used to agree completely.  But the more I’ve listened to the early stuff (including their live club performances), and including those BBC recordings, the chasm is there for me, and I can’t fathom how they got from A to Z so to speak.  Even I Call Your Name is light years away from Come Together , but it’s only 5 and a half years!!!

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

7 June 2024
4.47am
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Mr. Moonlight
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I think the evolution is pretty clear. They were already starting to experiment as early as the second album when they learned about double tracking. “Proto-Pepper” tracks can be heard on at least the previous two albums. John was writing nonsense verse since he was a kid and published In His Own Write in 1965 so the lyrics on songs like I Am The Walrus and Come Together weren’t such a stretch except that previously he had kept the two things separate. It was in production that they progressed in leaps and bounds. I’d put that down to George Martin’s tutelage but also fueled by their own imaginations. 

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"Nothing is Beatle-proof."

7 June 2024
7.54pm
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Sea Belt
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Sure, I’m not saying it’s impossible; just awesomely improbable.

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

8 June 2024
12.16pm
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Timothy
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Mr. Moonlight said
I think the evolution is pretty clear. They were already starting to experiment as early as the second album when they learned about double tracking. “Proto-Pepper” tracks can be heard on at least the previous two albums. John was writing nonsense verse since he was a kid and published In His Own Write in 1965 so the lyrics on songs like I Am The Walrus and Come Together weren’t such a stretch except that previously he had kept the two things separate. It was in production that they progressed in leaps and bounds. I’d put that down to George Martin’s tutelage but also fueled by their own imaginations. 

  

Yep. It happened. It’s history. We have the music and we know the story. Their DNA is there from the start to the end.

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8 June 2024
8.01pm
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Sea Belt
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It still boggles my mind.

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Now today I find, you have changed your mind

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