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Who was the 'Fifth Beatle'?
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Knight
The Foothills of the Headlands
115 Posts
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21 July 2015 - 4.05pm

Who was the Fifth Beatle?

  • Stuart Sutcliffe(6% : 1 vote)
  • Pete Best(0% : 0 votes)
  • Brian Epstein(11% : 2 votes)
  • George Martin(67% : 12 votes)
  • Billy Preston(6% : 1 vote)
  • There was none(11% : 2 votes)
Total Voters: 18

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CranberrySauce
Sitting on a Corn Flake
398 Posts
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6 December 2010 - 7.44am

note: two threads were merged by meanmistermustard on the 27th July 2014, the first thread comprised of posts 1 -> 21, the second posts 22 -> 33.

 

Occasionally, when talking of those who helped John, Paul George and Ringo or were a significant part of their history as a band, someone will be called 'the Fifth Beatle'.

A lot of names are tossed around- among them Pete Best, George Martin, Brian Esptein, Billy Preston and even Yoko Ono- so I decided to ask for your opinion. Who truly deserves the title of fifth member of the Fab Four? And why?

I'd like to hear your opinions before I share my own.

Because the wind is high, it blows my mind.
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mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
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6 December 2010 - 1.28pm

George Martin because without him they wouldn't have been the band they were.

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

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robert
415 Posts
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6 December 2010 - 1.34pm

In my opinion, no one "deserves" the title The 5th Beatle. I think one thing all four of them made clear in interviews is that only they four knew what it was like in that Beatle bubble.

I am not minimizing the contributions of other important people in their career (Epstein, Martin, etc) but none of them comes even close to being an equal partner.

There's the four Beatles and then there's everyone else.

Just the way i see it.

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"She looks more like him than I do."

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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

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6 December 2010 - 2.24pm

To me the term 5th Beatle is collective.

 brian-epsteingeorge-martinmal-evansneil-aspinall

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GniknuS
Rain? I don't mind
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6 December 2010 - 6.21pm

Brian then George. Brian paved the way, he cleaned them up and got them to George, who then progressed their music to unbelievable levels. Brian also dealt with all of their other issues, albeit poorly, allowing them to just focus on music, but when he died they had to start taking care of themselves more and basically collapsed.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine

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Celebrated_Mr_K
155 Posts
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6 December 2010 - 7.41pm

George Martin was more valuable to the Beatles' recording legacy than any other person (although he'd have never met them if it hadn't been for Brian Epstein).

Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to offer up another '5th Beatle' candidate, one that NEVER gets mentioned.

Jane Asher.

When you think about it, Paul's relationship with girlfriend Jane opened his eyes to a whole new world of culture and the arts.  Paul was a working-class bloke from Liverpool who'd not had much exposure to the arts.  Jane was from wealthy London family that moved in cultured circles.  After they became an item, Paul began absorbing classical music and the graphic arts.  Suddenly, we went from "She Loves You" to "Eleanor Rigby."

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mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
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6 December 2010 - 7.58pm

Not at all. Jane did nothing for their music and did not lead to the evolution from She Loves You to Eleanor Rigby

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

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The Walrus
Working for the national health
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6 December 2010 - 8.06pm

I'd have said Asher's main contribution was as a muse, which doesn't really count for much. You wouldn't call Julian "the fifth Beatle".

 

Best and Sutcliffe were Beatles, however briefly, so describing them as "the fifth and sixth Beatles" is fair enough. Martin and Epstein were more important for the real Beatles though (i.e. the band that recorded Please Please Me and The End).

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time

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Zig
The Toppermost of the Poppermost

8729 Posts
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6 December 2010 - 8.28pm

GniknuS said:

 Brian also dealt with all of their other issues, albeit poorly, allowing them to just focus on music, but when he died they had to start taking care of themselves more and basically collapsed.


Good point, Gnik. It's a good thing they were as good as they were because at first, they were successful because of him and stayed that way despite him.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

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MeanMrsMustard
Nowhere Land
2716 Posts
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6 December 2010 - 10.41pm

mr. Sun king coming together said:

Jane did nothing for their music and did not lead to the evolution from "She Loves You" to "Eleanor Rigby."


I wouldn't be that extreme, though I would have definitely not counted her as a "5th Beatle." I agree with The Walrus-- Jane was a muse, so that means she must have done something for their music. I also wouldn't say she didn't lead at all to the evolution- I'd say she wasn't a main factor.

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things.

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Celebrated_Mr_K
155 Posts
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6 December 2010 - 11.31pm

MeanMrs.Mustard said:

mr. Sun king coming together said:

Jane did nothing for their music and did not lead to the evolution from "She Loves You" to "Eleanor Rigby."


I wouldn't be that extreme, though I would have definitely not counted her as a "5th Beatle." I agree with The Walrus-- Jane was a muse, so that means she must have done something for their music. I also wouldn't say she didn't lead at all to the evolution- I'd say she wasn't a main factor.
 

Yeah, I don't really think of her as a 5th Beatle.  She's not even a musician.  I just wanted people to recognize her influence.  She deserves credit for introducing Paul to new things and new music forms and being an inspiration to him.  Paul said as much after they broke up, in "Martha My Dear."  Martha of course was the name of his dog, but the song was a thank you to Jane for being his inspiration, and his plea to her..."don't forget me."  Like someone would forget having a Beatle for a boyfriend.

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mr. Sun king coming together
Nowhere Land
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6 December 2010 - 11.35pm

Celebrated_Mr_K said:  Like someone would forget having a Beatle for a boyfriend.

 

Perhaps don`t forget the good times


As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

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CranberrySauce
Sitting on a Corn Flake
398 Posts
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14
7 December 2010 - 12.31am

I would have to say that the closest thing to a fifth Beatles would have to be George Martin. He shaped their sound, and helped execute their more outlandish ideas. And the Beatles just didn't sound as polished without George M. producing- many agree Let it Be was their weakest album.

george-martin

Because the wind is high, it blows my mind.
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rockmusicnut
near my laptop
60 Posts
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15
7 December 2010 - 1.40am

george-martin

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Squonk
Texas
2 Posts
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16
8 December 2010 - 6.44am

Billy Preston - the only man to be billed equally with the Beatles. He's always been my choice.

 

Jb

apple01

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skye
AZ
2252 Posts
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17
8 December 2010 - 1.31pm

Eric Clapton wasn't billed equally? a-hard-days-night-ringo-7(I'm honestly asking - no snark!)

Welcome to the BBF!

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Squonk
Texas
2 Posts
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8 December 2010 - 6.58pm

skye said:

Eric Clapton wasn't billed equally? a-hard-days-night-ringo-7(I'm honestly asking - no snark!)

Welcome to the BBF!


No - Clapton received no credit on the White Album, even though it is well known that he played on WMGGW. The appropriate singles were credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston."

Thanks for the welcome.

Jb

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PennyLane
Sitting singing songs for everyone by the mountain stream
1206 Posts
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19
8 December 2010 - 8.13pm

I have always said him george-martin

Well we all shine on like the moon, the stars, and the sun.

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mithveaen
Sitarday's room
4618 Posts
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9 December 2010 - 1.24am

Mhhhh well I can't say Brian Epstein was the Fifth Beatle because he was their manager, so I'd go with George Martin, and then Neil and Mal.

 

BTW I was reading the Anthology and I was surprised to read how Paul talks about Jane Asher saying that how everybody sold their story with the Beatles but her, and that's why he found difficult to mention her in their story. To me it was like saying "Thanks Jane". That was ... I dunno very surprising to read.

 

17, you know what I mean!

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