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Were the Beatles' solo careers influential?
14 June 2016
4.41pm
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Egroeg Evoli
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I don't think any Beatles Bibler (or general fan of music) would dispute the statement that the Beatles were incredibly influential, in terms of both music and pop culture. But what about the post-breakup Beatles? How much did they influence the world? For example, Imagine is viewed by many as one of the best songs ever written, the definitive representation of that time period, a true classic with a message that is still meaningful today. But did it have as profound an effect as, say, Sgt. Pepper ? Or had Lennon's music influenced the world as much as it ever would? How about the other Beatles' solo careers? How far did George's message of peace and harmony reach? Did Paul or Ringo accomplish anything as significant as they did as part of the Beatles? Is there a reason almost any young person today could tell you who the Beatles are but couldn't name all four of them? Should I keep asking more questions? What do you guys think?

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15 June 2016
10.49am
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Zig
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Egroeg Evoli said
I don't think any Beatles Bibler (or general fan of music) would dispute the statement that the Beatles were incredibly influential, in terms of both music and pop culture. But what about the post-breakup Beatles? How much did they influence the world? For example, Imagine is viewed by many as one of the best songs ever written, the definitive representation of that time period, a true classic with a message that is still meaningful today. But did it have as profound an effect as, say, Sgt. Pepper ? Or had Lennon's music influenced the world as much as it ever would? How about the other Beatles' solo careers? How far did George's message of peace and harmony reach?

If you are asking if each individual Beatle had an influence on other musician's work, I would have to say yes. Just as I am sure they were continuously influenced by other musicians. It happens all the time.

If you are asking if their individual views expressed in their music influences society, "yes" would be a safe answer. To what extent, I cannot say.

Is there a reason almost any young person today could tell you who the Beatles are but couldn't name all four of them?

That's not unusual. Nor is it limited to young people. I continue to encounter people of all ages who not only can't name them all, but can't recall how many there were or which ones are still alive.

 Should I keep asking more questions? What do you guys think?  

Ask as many as you like. a-hard-days-night-george-9

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15 June 2016
11.09am
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sgtpepper63
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There solo careers were at least somewhat influential and introduced lots of 2nd gen fans to The Beatles but it's not nearly influential as The Beatles themselves. Whether it's that they got 10x as popular as they already were in one day, people were worried when Paperback Writer started at #4, Hey Jude 's impact, people off all ages liked them, people did crazy things to get their attention (I once had someone tell me she tried to flash Paul) and screamed so loudly that their throats probably hurt after that and nobody could actually hear the music that well. As for the music itself, it's not nearly as good as when they were together (though I really like the Imagine album).

15 June 2016
11.55am
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meanmistermustard
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I suppose it depends on whether its influential on a grand scheme or on smaller scales.

George created the concept of rock stars holding grand concerts as fundraisers for those in need. There is one massive influence. He also had a major influence on the British film industry with Handmade Films.

John continued to speak his mind, be himself, and protest (for the first couple of years at least). It may have had little effect long term but I think it helped/helps others speak out and take a stand. I also think him giving it all up for 5 years to raise a kid is pretty big, especially now when its becoming more the norm for men to stay at home with the baby whilst the mother goes out to work.

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4 April 2017
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penny lane
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It would be impossible for them to be as influential as individuals, the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. But they definitely still continued to make their mark as artists.

Favourite Post Beatles stuff:

John Lennon ; Well Well Well Plastic Ono Band album, Jealous Guy from Imagine  and #9 Dream from Walls And Bridges

Paul McCartney ; Momma Miss America, from McCartney album -  no lyrics and a big fat join up of two sperate pieces of music... but it's great. Most of the songs on Band On The Run , but my favourite would be Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five , last track on the album. 

Ringo Starr ; It Don't Come Easy single  and Photograph from Ringo album.                          

George Harrison ; Concert for Bangladesh, Madison Square Gardens Aug 1971, both the documentary and the live album, just brilliant. Bad that the financial mess that ensued  took years to sort out. The album All Things Must Pass  it's the music rather than the lyrics I love.

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4 April 2017
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Linde
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Yeah, they weren't as influential as they were as a band, but solo I think these albums have still been quite influential on some artists:

John: Imagine , Plastic Ono Band

George: All Things Must Pass

Paul: Band On The Run , Ram

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14 April 2017
11.15am
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HeyJules
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I think all of their solo careers were somewhat influential but I'd probably go with John's as the most influential.

Particularly Imagine . You can still find the Imagine cover on t-shirts in music stores fairly easily, as well as lots of other Lennon merchandise. I wasn't even born when it came out but from what I've read it was groundbreaking from pretty much day one. It's still popular today, with everyone...don't get me wrong, I like the Beatles when they went solo, but I'd say it's more likely that only Beatles fans who've searched into their solo careers will be able to name their hits...but I reckon everyone will know Imagine .

Just my thoughts. 

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14 April 2017
1.11pm
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sir walter raleigh
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I agree. John's slogan style songwriting was incredible influential. But musically George and Paul pushed the boundaries of production, especially with All Things Must Pass and Ram .

The problem is as time moved on, most musical influence occured outside of their genre, so it dwindled into the 80s and 90s, however Yoko's work on Double Fantasy was influential, regardless of how I like the music. 

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14 April 2017
4.43pm
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Von Bontee
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I think John's most influential solo work would likely be POB, for the stripped down production and the emphasis on his voice (and possibly the confessional lyrics too.)

Also, wow! @Linde was back!

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14 April 2017
4.47pm
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Von Bontee
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Von Bontee said
I think John's most influential solo work would likely be POB, for the stripped down production and the emphasis on his voice (and possibly the confessional lyrics too.)

Also, wow! @Linde was back!  I love when oldtimers show up (understand I missed @ parlance some months ago 🙁 )

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
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14 April 2017
8.51pm
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ewe2
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In terms of general musicianship and songwriting, they never stopped being influential, if not so much audiences.

Paul remains a huge influence on bassplayers, Beatles and Wings and solo altogether, quite apart from the literal treasure trove of songwriting. 

John was just bloody unique. And you'd be surprised how many people like later solo albums. 

Ringo was a stealth influence for decades, so it's nice to see some public acclamation from a couple of generations of drummers now.

George, well without George, I'd never play ukulele. His popularisation of Indian culture started a ball that is still rolling. 

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