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Are The Beatles Overrated?


-- Michael Fraiman

I’m not going to argue that the Beatles are a lousy band, even though that’s what my side of this debate seems to be implying. Rather, I think what we need to acknowledge here is the definition of “overrated”--something that is rated highly beyond what it deserves. To be overrated is to deny justice and fairness.

Perhaps the Beatles deserve all the credit they got, but is it fair just to ignore all other great bands of the time? When it comes to The Beatles vs. a band like, I don’t know, the Dave Clark 5, then the word “overrated” springs to mind.

The DC5 were a heavier rock version of The Beatles that lasted four years, from ’64-’68. The band produced such hit songs as “Do You Love Me,” “Everybody Get Together” and a bevy of other songs that, when named, have elicited such responses as “Wait, wasn't that the Beatles?”

To them I say, “NO! It was NOT THE GODDAMN BEATLES!”

That’s really all I’m trying to say here. Bands existed that weren’t the Beatles and produced some pretty influential samples of pop and rock in the ‘60s. Yes, the Beatles helmed that movement, and the Monkees were kind of lame, but the fact that a great band can be shunned aside because of another band’s sheer popularity seems a little ridiculous. Especially given the fact that not everything the Beatles churned out was brilliant--another common misconception in modern society.

“Oh man, ‘Wild Honey Pie’ is such a good song.”

To which I say, “NO! ‘Wild Honey Pie’ is NOT A GOOD SONG!”

And on that note, I plead with all readers to be more open-minded when selecting which musicians to idolize. You might just find something better.


-- Brendan Butler

This is an odd debate to be having in the year 2007, wouldn’t you say? The Beatles, overrated? That’s a tough one to argue on the other side, since so much of what we love today was inspired either directly by the Fab Four or from something else that inspired them first.

While there’s no doubt a music revolution was itching to erupt in the 1960s, it couldn’t have been just anyone to cross the Atlantic and reset the tide for all musical and all pop cultural influence in the next three decades plus. The Beatles comprised four unique talents who merged to conceive one versatile voice.

Manager Brian Epstein may have been enthralled with how well they pulled off American blues covers at the Cavern Club, but perhaps he saw more in their presence and intelligence than a quick buck? Doesn’t matter much in this case because John, Paul, George and Ringo banged out 27 No. 1 singles and 13 cutting-edge albums in an eight-year span. Has any other boy band, or any other music icon for that matter, done that?

It’s way beyond the commercial success, as the music has stood the test of time, outlasting disco, new wave, hair metal, grunge, Britney Spears and just about every other fad you can recall. They were even the first band to form a “concept album” with Sgt. Pepper. That alone would certify them a legitimate and irrefutable standing in music’s grandeur.

I urge you to listen to any Beatles album today and try to say it’s dated. I can assure you that our grandchildren will be getting high to “Yellow Submarine” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” one day, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Where Do You Stand?

Last Week’s Column: Is U2 Worth Paying Insane Money To See Live?

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