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Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll

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Paul Burke 25 May 09 - 04:40 PM
catspaw49 25 May 09 - 04:45 PM
Will Fly 25 May 09 - 04:45 PM
catspaw49 25 May 09 - 06:09 PM
Neil D 26 May 09 - 05:45 AM
Peter T. 26 May 09 - 06:14 AM
Will Fly 26 May 09 - 06:26 AM
Neil D 26 May 09 - 03:44 PM
dick greenhaus 26 May 09 - 05:36 PM
Tootler 26 May 09 - 06:06 PM
M.Ted 26 May 09 - 06:10 PM
Spleen Cringe 26 May 09 - 06:47 PM
pdq 26 May 09 - 06:49 PM
Azizi 26 May 09 - 06:56 PM
Spleen Cringe 26 May 09 - 07:19 PM
pdq 26 May 09 - 07:26 PM
Joe_F 26 May 09 - 08:27 PM
Peter T. 26 May 09 - 09:36 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 May 09 - 09:50 PM
Ron Davies 26 May 09 - 09:53 PM
M.Ted 26 May 09 - 10:01 PM
Art Thieme 26 May 09 - 10:26 PM
M.Ted 26 May 09 - 10:53 PM
Neil D 27 May 09 - 03:40 AM
Will Fly 27 May 09 - 03:56 AM
Azizi 27 May 09 - 04:34 AM
Azizi 27 May 09 - 04:44 AM
Will Fly 27 May 09 - 04:55 AM
Peter T. 27 May 09 - 06:35 AM
Azizi 27 May 09 - 07:06 AM
Will Fly 27 May 09 - 07:08 AM
John P 27 May 09 - 06:32 PM
M.Ted 27 May 09 - 09:31 PM
irishenglish 27 May 09 - 09:49 PM
Ron Davies 27 May 09 - 11:04 PM
irishenglish 27 May 09 - 11:23 PM
number 6 27 May 09 - 11:31 PM
M.Ted 28 May 09 - 12:28 AM
Lonesome EJ 28 May 09 - 12:45 AM
Spleen Cringe 28 May 09 - 03:54 AM
Peter T. 28 May 09 - 06:45 AM
Will Fly 28 May 09 - 06:52 AM
M.Ted 28 May 09 - 07:09 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 28 May 09 - 11:56 AM
Ron Davies 28 May 09 - 10:14 PM
John P 28 May 09 - 10:53 PM
John P 28 May 09 - 10:55 PM
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M.Ted 29 May 09 - 02:56 PM
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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Paul Burke
Date: 25 May 09 - 04:40 PM

Nobody's mentioned Freddy and the Dreamers.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 May 09 - 04:45 PM

"I don't like that surfin' shit......Rock N' Roll's been going downhill ever since Buddy Holly died."
                  
                ......"John Milner" (the greaser in the Deuce Coupe) in "American Graffiti" (set in '62)


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 May 09 - 04:45 PM

Nobody's mentioned Freddy and the Dreamers.

Good.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: catspaw49
Date: 25 May 09 - 06:09 PM

Hey look, let's not get totally wigged out here Will......I sure as hell wasn't going to mention it and as you noticed I also skipped past Bobby Goldsboro. Tell ya' though, if Ron can prove the Beatles created Bobby then I might have to put some more credence in his opinions................

See the tree, how big its grown
And now you're dead
I can't get blown
I've got an itch.
When you were alive
It cost twenty-five
Why did you always charge so much
You fuckin' bitch

Our tree grew large, it fell on you
Now you're gone, my balls are blue
I can't get laid.
So now I've started shagging sheep
And sometimes chickens in their sleep
But they want paid.


Oh Honey I miss you
Cause when you were alive
I could at least get a hand job
For a buck fifty-five.



Spaw


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Neil D
Date: 26 May 09 - 05:45 AM

The book title is an attention getter and as best as I can tell from the review Mr. Wald doesn't mean any disrespect to the lads. I personally feel that R&R has been destroyed many times...and recreated just as often. This is what keeps it vital even today. The Beatles themselves led one of these rebirths after the genre had nearly succumbed to the conscription (Elvis), imprisonment (Berry), disgrace (Jerry Lee), conversion (Litle Richard)and death (Holly) of its greatest stars and innovators, as well as the payola scandal that ended the career of its greatest advocate (Alan Freed).
The common opinion of Rock and Roll in the early 60's was that it was dead. The Beatles certainly changed that perception, maybe forever. If anything I would say that The Beatles destroyed pop music as we knew it. I would also give a nod to PDQ's differentiation between R&R and Rock. I have always had that image in my own psyche of "Rock" music as a unique later style of R&R. As to any suggestion that there was nothing good in Rock after Sgt. Peppers I'd point out that Led Zeppelin wasn't even formed till two years after that album. Pink Floyd's entire career, except for one album featuring Sid Barrett, came after Sgt. Peppers as well.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 May 09 - 06:14 AM

Actually, I think (not having read Elijah's book, though I've read others, and enjoyed them a lot) that there is a different related point.   I put the shift at the "White Album". You can see by the time of the White Album that the Beatles had not only assimilated all the relevant styles, but were portraying these styles to their mass public one after another ("Happiness is a Warm Gun", "Yer Blues", "Helter Skelter", "Back in the USSR", "Revolution",etc.). -- the White Album is one pastiche after another. There is a movement into irony which is different from the way in which the Beatles had been absorbing previous styles before. I mean, the great thing about the Beatles starting out was the huge absorptive capacity they had, and how it fueled their own innovation. They borrowed from everyone -- but it was done as a way of getting close to the music, that deep thirst they had. "The White Album" is different: the musical form is now something that can be put on or taken off at will. After that, every subsequent movement comes "pre-framed". The most innovative movement after the Beatles was Punk Rock -- and that was deliberately framed as let's "Get Back" to the early R&R. It is as if after The Beatles, nothing comes without quotation marks. So (and again I haven't read Elijah's book) there is something to the notion that they killed naive, pure R&R.

Exactly the same thing happened with Joyce's Ulysses, and Matisse's Bonheur de Vivre.

I think the interesting thing is that by the White Album it is clear that the Beatles had essentially wrung everything out of the tradition into which they were born, and were floundering around, trying to move the whole enterprise. Musically, it is a pity they all went into mutual hell at that moment -- and I have little doubt that this impasse was a big contributor to why they broke up.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Will Fly
Date: 26 May 09 - 06:26 AM

Peter T - I couldn't agree more with your comments on the "White Album". I bought it at the time (1968) and immediately thought it was self-indulgent and self-referential (as you say). I'd never sell it, by the way, as it's an interesting production in many ways - but it demonstrates the beginning of the end of them as a group.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Neil D
Date: 26 May 09 - 03:44 PM

The most innovative movement after the Beatles was not Punk Rock, it was Reggae. While Reggae may not be specifically rock and roll it did influence the rock and roll that came after.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 26 May 09 - 05:36 PM

Come to think of it, in the same sense that the beatles destroyed R&R, the Weavers destroyed folk music.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Tootler
Date: 26 May 09 - 06:06 PM

As to any suggestion that there was nothing good in Rock after Sgt. Peppers I'd point out that Led Zeppelin wasn't even formed till two years after that album. Pink Floyd's entire career, except for one album featuring Sid Barrett, came after Sgt. Peppers as well.

Not to mention Dire Straits or Queen.

It should not be forgotten that R&R/Rock music were popular styles aimed at a mass market. A great deal of it was and still is utter dross, but among the dross, were a number of creative originals who produced music that will last and these were not confined to any period, though some periods seem to have been more productive than others.

That said, my wife recently bought the Dreamboats and Petticoats compilations which comprise pop music from the late 50's & early 60's, a period which is generally held to be one of bland pop music with a very high proportion of dross. Yet among the tracks featured are a surprisingly high number that I have fond memories of and enjoyed listening to again, largely, I suspect because they are from my teenage years.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 May 09 - 06:10 PM

The Beatles killed rock and roll way before either the "White Album" or Sgt. Pepper, because rock and roll was dance music, and The Beatles played "listening" music. Granted, the fans would scream and jump up and down while listening, but they, and the bands that followed, played for audiences, not for dancers.

Understand of course, that this was just for white people--R&B was still hot, with Johnnie Taylor and Tyrone Davis, and the Godfather of Soul himself, among others.

And, though reggae, punk, and new wave were entertaining diversions, Funk was really the most innovative movement, and, over time, has proved to have the most lasting impact--like it or not--


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 26 May 09 - 06:47 PM

Free your mind and your ass will follow!


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: pdq
Date: 26 May 09 - 06:49 PM

Dec 6, 1965 the Beatles released Rubber Soul. It was not a Rock 'n' Roll album. It was Rock.

May 30, 1966 Ricky Nelson jumped off the sinking ship and released his first Country Music record.

Ricky Nelson was the second most popular star of the R 'n' R era.

Either of the above dates will do, but about that time Rock 'n' Roll died.

Sha Na Na and others were "revival artists". Punk and Reggae are art forms of their own.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Azizi
Date: 26 May 09 - 06:56 PM

Ricky Nelson was the second most popular star of the R 'n' R era.

??!!

Popular to [or is it "with"] whom?

And where does R&B fit in this discussion?

**

Neil, I think that Hip-Hop/Rap influenced R&B more than Reggae did, but dancehall Reggae is definitely in the mix.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 26 May 09 - 07:19 PM

If I was an American lawmaker I would make listening to Funkadelic compulsory. Just sayin'...


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: pdq
Date: 26 May 09 - 07:26 PM

"If I was an American lawmaker I would make listening to Funkadelic compulsory."

Perhaps you are confusing George Clinton with Bill Clinton?


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Joe_F
Date: 26 May 09 - 08:27 PM

Would that they had! The atmosphere would have been far less foul for most of my life.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 May 09 - 09:36 PM

I should have been slightly clearer: I meant in R&R. Punk was really R&R. Hiphop is arguably the most influential musical form (apart from punk) that arose in the post-Beatles era, but has nothing to do with R&R.

Of course just because something is dead, doesn't mean it isn't around. Blues is still around, and it died a long time ago.   Symphony orchestras keep playing Beethoven. Folk music is totally dead and kicking on Mudcat.   


yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 May 09 - 09:50 PM

Janis Joplin wasn't singing real blues???
Ball and Chain is one of the best blues performances I have ever heard. And I have heard a lot of em.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Ron Davies
Date: 26 May 09 - 09:53 PM

Hey Spaw--great job on Bobby Goldsboro--is that yours?





As I see it, the difference between 1966 and the years after is that in 1967, with Sgt Pepper, rock started taking itself too damn seriously---(specifically in a musical sense, not just a social protest sense, which had obviously been going on before.)   Bad mistake.

Starting in 1967 many rock "artists" (and many listeners) started believing rock performers were actually creating something which could stand as serious music.   And not on the basis of complex vocal harmonies, which is a legitimate goal, but on the basis of electronic enhancement and what can only be called absurd overproduction.   To the degree that pretentious elephantine rock and studio-generated effects dominated the market at the expense of the human element, rock declined. And it is a legitimate thesis to assert this started with Sgt Pepper.

You may argue that Phil Spector's wall of sound (leaving aside the question of whether he was responsible for it) was a studio-generated effect. But reading the lyrics of his creations, it's hard, to say the least, to claim these songs were meant to be taken seriously.

After 1966, the lyrics were, by and large, just as shallow, if not more so--(check the lyrics for Inagaddadavida). But an amazing number of people asserted, and continue to assert that rock creations should be taken seriously--both in lyrics and even in musical structure.

Rock is just not a serious art form. And it's much better for rock when "artists" and fans realize this. After Sgt Pepper, the sky was the limit for pretension.

And, not having read the book, I would guess this is at least close to the author's message.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 May 09 - 10:01 PM

I think that Ricky Nelson actually did better as a touring act than Elvis did--though that had to do with the fact that Elvis was more associated with the "negative" image of Rock and Roll than Ricky was--

For those who doubt Nelson's popularity, remember that he was the star of a popular TV , and when he released a new record, it was on the show--


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Art Thieme
Date: 26 May 09 - 10:26 PM

I love it! Wald is a brilliant guy.

(If this was an actual folk muic forum, 2/3 of the posts in this thread would be deleted by the moderator.)

Art


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 May 09 - 10:53 PM

Ron--rock music is "entertainment" for millions of people, and they spend billions of dollars on it--that money is food means food clothing, and shelter for thousands of people. That means that the artistic decisions are made by executives, lawyers, and boards of directors. No art form should be *that* serious.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Neil D
Date: 27 May 09 - 03:40 AM

Neil, I think that Hip-Hop/Rap influenced R&B more than Reggae did, but dancehall Reggae is definitely in the mix.

Azizi, I meant the most innovative influence on Rock, but if you want to expand that to R&B I would say that Reggae had a very big influence on Hip-Hop. This is from the Wikipedia article on Hip-Hop:

Hip hop arose during the 1970s when block parties became common in New York City, especially the Bronx. Block parties were usually accompanied by music, especially funk and soul music. The early DJs at block parties began isolating the percussion breaks to hit songs, realizing that these were the most dance-able and entertaining parts; this technique was then common in Jamaica[9][10] and had spread via the substantial Jamaican immigrant community in New York City, especially the "godfather" of hip hop, the Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 May 09 - 03:56 AM

Azizi:
I think that Hip-Hop/Rap influenced R&B more than Reggae did, but dancehall Reggae is definitely in the mix.

Mmm... perhaps we ought to define "R&B" here. The modern music defined by R&B is quite different from the original meaning of R&B - "Rhythm and Blues" - which was music largely created by black Americans - and which term was coined by Jerry Wexler. It then came to define music which incorporated blues as well as gospel and soul music - Stax in the 60s is typical of this. This particular period of American music had a big influence on Jamaican Ska... which led into Reggae.

Modern "R&B" is an entirely different musical style to the old R&B.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Azizi
Date: 27 May 09 - 04:34 AM

Well even though I asked the question about R&B, I refuse to get into a muddy debate about the precise definitions of that music genres and others. My stance is to each his or her own when it comes to definitions. As for me, I will continue to call "modern R&B" R&B even if that music has experienced some changes. Heck, I've experienced lots of changes, but I'm still me. (That said, I did change my name. Never mind that) :o)

However, I will quote this comment:

"A musical genre does not simply appear, it gradually evolves to a point in time when some event-performance, publication, or recording allows listeners to perceive its unique qualities and apply a label. Wyonnie Harris' 1947 recording of "Good Rocking Tonight" was one of many "rhythm records" made during the late 1940s, however when it was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1954 it seemed like a new and different approach. What made it seem new and different was its context. Without exploring the history of black popular music, country and western music, race relations, technical developments, and the music business one can be led easily to the conclusion that rock and roll was some new and different music which appeared suddenly.

This page begins with the African musical traits brought here beginning in 1619 and attempts to trace their fusion with the European music brought here by the colonists. The story of this musical interaction is also the story of American popular music and includes the plantation songs of Stephen Foster, the ragtime of Scott Joplin, the blues of Bessie Smith, the jazz of Count Basie, and the jump bands of Louis Jordan. The knowledge of the stream of American popular music allows one to understand that rock and roll was a natural result of the combined forces that affected the music.

http://www.history-of-rock.com/indx.html
Rock and Roll-The Golden Decade 1955-1964


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Azizi
Date: 27 May 09 - 04:44 AM

I said I wasn't going to get into definitions, but I feel the need to say this-the term "rhythm records" which is used in that quote I posted is a euphemism for "race records". And "race records" is a euphemism for "Black American non-religious music".

See this excerpt from this Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_music

"Race music is the term used in the first half of the 20th century for the kinds of African American music of that time, like jazz, boogie-woogie, blues, jump blues, and rhythm-and-blues. Robert Palmer described it as "urbane, rocking, jazz based music with a heavy, insistent beat".

From 1942 to 1945 the Billboard category for this music was called the Harlem Hit Parade, and was changed in 1949 to Race records. In 1948 RCA Victor was marketing black music under the name Blues and Rhythm, but it was not until 1958 that the term Rhythm and Blues replaced the Billboard category Race records."


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 May 09 - 04:55 AM

Azizi - no, I'm not into muddy definitions either. I was merely making a slightly oblique comment on the circularity of musical influences. Reggae may have had an influence on modern R&B (for example), but earlier versions of R&B had an influence on Ska. It all comes round again eventually... :-)


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 May 09 - 06:35 AM

Janis Joplin singing "Ball and Chain" is a law unto itself, it is blues transmogrified: it is life lived as a jet exhaust, woman as Delphic monster, a performance that is perhaps the best evidence we know of -- apart from Bach's Well Tempered Clavier -- that human beings are worth something on this planet.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Azizi
Date: 27 May 09 - 07:06 AM

Will, I heard where you're coming from and totally agree with what you're saying.

I just wanted to add a little bit more pepper to the salt. :o)


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 May 09 - 07:08 AM

I just wanted to add a little bit more pepper to the salt. :o)

Welcomed - there's too much salt in my hair and beard at the moment!


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: John P
Date: 27 May 09 - 06:32 PM

Has anyone noticed that rock and roll really needed to change into something else? Don't you get bored with the same three chords in the same progression over and over?


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: M.Ted
Date: 27 May 09 - 09:31 PM

If you're bored by three chord progressions, you should stay away from folk music.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: irishenglish
Date: 27 May 09 - 09:49 PM

Ah-a hypothetical. The Beatles destroying rock and roll. Funny thinking that. Lets just skip from circa 1968, my birth year to 2009. Coldplay, Kaiser Chiefs, Killers, Green Day, U2, Radiohead. Yeah, they REALLY must have destroyed it. I think the Stones and the Kinks and the Who might have something to say about that premise.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Ron Davies
Date: 27 May 09 - 11:04 PM

Yes, M Ted, regarding "art form".   But the boards of directors, etc were there in 1966 as well as 1967. What changed was a whole bunch of fans--and journalists--suddenly thought they were seeing art in rock.   Hence "art-rock". And more fascination with twisting dials and creating non-human sounds.

My assertion, and I believe, that of the book's author, was that this --taking rock as an "art form"-- started with Sgt. Pepper--and was not good for rock.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: irishenglish
Date: 27 May 09 - 11:23 PM

To which Ron, the repetitive chord structure of rock as "dance" music surely would have killed it as well? I also don't buy the fascination with twisting dials and stuff when one considers what Les Paul did throughout his entire career as an inventor (never mind as a musician). Carl Perkins in his '85 tv special explained how he recreated Les's echo sound in the 50's. So we're talking 50's rocker Carl Perkins arguably twisting dials and stuff to get different sounds and textures. Far cry from "art rock" and Sgt Pepper's I know, but the point must be made-there were plenty of people who fiddled around in the studio at the same, most notably the Beach Boys with Pet Sounds.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: number 6
Date: 27 May 09 - 11:31 PM

Long live bossa nova!

and thank you Joao Gilberto

biLL


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 May 09 - 12:28 AM

Actually, Ron, the real "Rock and Roll" tended to come from independent labels--the big labels came into it later, if at all.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 28 May 09 - 12:45 AM

After 40 years, still sends chills up my spine.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 28 May 09 - 03:54 AM

Ron, if you want to talk about knob twiddlers, there's specialist sites for that. No, seriously, what about Joe Meek? He was the proto-knob twiddler extraordinaire, yet he was already dead by the time Sgt Pepper came out.

Telstar


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Peter T.
Date: 28 May 09 - 06:45 AM

Nothing ever like Janis anywhere. Its funny how something so primal could be -- and I use the term deliberately -- so classical in its purity. It must be the all out "up against life" quality of it -- like it's purged of all dross, of everything except energy. I can only think of two or three other examples: Son House singing "Death Letter Blues" comes to mind. John Lennon (while we're on the Beatles) singing "Twist and Shout" (famously at the end of the long one day session that made an entire album).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 May 09 - 06:52 AM

Or possibly Elvis doing 29 takes on "Heartbreak Hotel" and almost wreching his voice to get the perfect take he wanted.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: M.Ted
Date: 28 May 09 - 07:09 AM

So Ron, what's your favorite sixties rock and roll tune? You will be graded;-)


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 28 May 09 - 11:56 AM

I was in high school in the mid to late 1950's. It was the Eisenhower era in the U.S. Popular music was in transition. Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, The Coasters and a host of other, very diverse stars emerged. It was also an era of "one-hit-wonders," where someone would be on the charts one month and disappear forever afterwards. Marty Robbins, Don Gibson, Billy Grammer and other country artists crossed over with pop hits. Audience tastes were eclectic, with a lot of studio choral and orchestral backup elements from the forties and fifties still in evidence. Folk groups, notably the Kingston Trio, emerged out of this mishmash of styles and began a new trend.

I was returning from the army when the Beatles hit the U.S. My buddies and I were astounded that our women were going ga-ga over these guys with bowl haircuts. Their music, though, was something else. They brought interesting melodies and a whole new sound to the table. Others followed. I don't know to this day if all of this meant things were "improving," but they were certainly evolving.

If I have a criticism, it is that more recent pop music seems to have become more about life style, effects and electronic studio manipulation and less about music itself. When I grew up, even in rural schools such as mine, we had music. We had a school band, we were taught the rudiments of classical, choral and orchestral music, folk music, etc. We were given a foundation on which to build, should we choose a musical path in life. I think the absence of that foundation is apparent in a lot of what I hear today.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: Ron Davies
Date: 28 May 09 - 10:14 PM

Sure, if you read my posts, I am aware dial-twiddlers existed before Sgt Pepper.

But as I noted earlier, Sgt Pepper used backwards-playback, echo chambers, distortion etc---and it was a gigantic commercial hit.

If it had fallen far short of earlier Beatles commercial success, do you think it would have been emulated?

As it was, as both a critical and commercial triumph, it was the starting gun for a stampede of other groups trying to match or better it commercially--and "artistically"--which they thought went hand in hand.   Which was in turn the start of "art-rock".   Sure there were groups which (mostly) fought the tide--which I've also noted earlier.
Stones (mostly)---(they admit Satanic Majesties was a blatant attempt to copy the Beatles)--but afterward went back to straight-ahead rock.

CCR.

Dire Straits.

I've already said what my all-time favorite rock song is--and why. And yes, I'm aware the Who used distortion in "Won't Get Fooled".   But the song worked-- maybe the distortion heightened the rage of the message--hell I don't know. It does help if the song means something--as again in Pink Floyd "Another Brick".

My favorite 60's song--somebody asked. Probably "California Dreamin'". Loved the idea of a song in a minor key extolling California.   And I suppose I'm just a doo-wopper at heart.   California Dreamin' is one you can do totally a cappella--and it's a real kick to do it. Also I loved the flute in it--(which you can whistle).

But there were a hell of a lot of vapid--but pretentious--lyrics after 1966.   Backed up by vapid--and pretentious arrangements.

Before Sgt Pepper the lyrics might possibly be vapid--at least once in a blue moon--well maybe twice. But the arrangements didn't try to assert: "this is art".   That's the difference---and that's what Sgt Pepper inaugurated.

I have nothing against cryptic lyrics. CCR in "Who'll Stop the Rain" is plenty cryptic. But the song is straight-ahead rock. Cryptic lyrics and pretentious arrangements just makes it laughable--and not worth my time.   And again that's what started--in a big way--with Sgt Pepper.

And some rock groups even realized this problem--what do you suppose Dr Hook was aiming at in "Cover of the Rolling Stone"?--another of my nominees for best rock song of all time--a sense of humor in rock is always a huge plus. And a lot rarer than rage.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: John P
Date: 28 May 09 - 10:53 PM

Ron, on Sgt. Pepper: As it was, as both a critical and commercial triumph, it was the starting gun for a stampede of other groups trying to match or better it commercially--and "artistically"--which they thought went hand in hand.   Which was in turn the start of "art-rock".

Hi, I was a rock musician when Sgt. Pepper came out. Me, and every other musician I knew, didn't give a shit about the commercial success of anything. Oh, we had to conduct business rationally to stay in business, but it was ALL about the music. And it just kept getting better as art rock evolved. King Crimson, Yes, Tull, ELP, Genesis, Gentle Giant, etc. We were artists and new vistas of artistic expression were opening. Even Iron Butterfly -- lots of people were stepping away from what had, for us, become a dead-end street musically. Not only that, but any half-assed musician can pull off rock and roll with fair credibility. We were young, and we took pride in the use of skill. Skill which was, frankly, wasted on r&r. Perhaps the biggest thing was that Sgt. Pepper and others removed the need to conform to an established musical form that, while there is lots of room to do things with it, is confining to musicians when compared to everything that came after.

And it wasn't just the art rock. Led Zeppelin started a whole genre, even though the genre apparently never really got what Zeppelin was doing. Cream did a lot of sub-par music, but their good stuff is as good anything. Hendrix, The Band, Santana, Queen, the list goes on and on. Yes, I think all of this killed rock and roll, if you define rock and roll as a separate entity from rock. Rock and roll was limited, limiting, and had been done to death by masters. Sgt. Pepper and its peers showed us that we could play music -- simply music, any kind we wanted -- in a rock band format.

As for the knob-twisters and strange effects folks, I don't see what possible difference there is between that and playing through a simple electric guitar. One you introduce electricity, amplification, and instruments that don't make any noise without it, why stop at the first baby step?


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: John P
Date: 28 May 09 - 10:55 PM

Oh, I should mention that I love rock and roll, and still play it and listen to in around the house.

JP


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: GUEST,RS
Date: 29 May 09 - 04:27 AM

Seems to me that rock'n'roll is aimed at a teenage audience, generally for dancing to - as they grow older, the dancing gives way to sitting/listening, so more complexity comes in...the 60s (IMO) also reflects a shift from un-self-conscious to very self-conscious, the music reflects that - then again, I preferred Captain Beefheart, so that shows what I know..


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 May 09 - 10:28 AM

Following on from John's remarks it's worth repeating that the greatest gift the Beatles and Dylan gave people was to keep pushing and changing and reinventing themselves in public. This put everyone else on notice. (That is why endlessly replaying the 60's is such a bore: people in the 60's hated their parents endlessly saying why can't you be like Sinatra.)

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Review: How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Rol
From: M.Ted
Date: 29 May 09 - 02:56 PM

Sgt. Pepper was really influenced by "Pet Sounds"--if you are so inclined, listening to PS, followed by SP is quite an eye opener--

A curious thing about Sgt. Pepper, given it's popularity, and the importance that it is generally acknowledged to have-- the songs from it are not played very much--and they never were played very much--there is the Joe Cocker version of "With a Little Help From My Friends", but that really took the song out of the Sgt Pepper setting, and of course, we all play "When I'm 64' for birthdays and such--


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