Why The Beatles Are Still Relevant… and my 5th Year Anniversary.

This is my 5th-year anniversary on WP. Thank you all for still reading and commenting. 

This was part of Dave’s at A Sound Day “Turntable Talk” series…hope you like it. It’s also a more in-depth re-working of my first post on September 18, 2017. I never dreamed I would be accepted in such a large community of like-minded people. It’s not easy to meet Big Star fans in real life…here in this community, they come to you. My mission was…if I could get one person to at least give Badfinger, Big Star, or the Raspberries a listen…my job was done…but it’s been so much more than that because I’ve learned more than I’ve given. Yes, I love the Beatles but they don’t need my cheerleading.

I usually write shorter posts than this…but it was a lot to say on this subject.

So why are The Beatles still popular with older and younger generations? Their influence seems never-ending. It’s as though they have never left. There are other bands that left a legacy but nothing like the footprint of the Beatles.

The Beatles shaped culture instead of following it. Society changed after that appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. They cast such a large net in music compared to everyone else. They influenced everything from rock, folk-rock, power pop, psychedelia, progressive rock, and heavy metal. They practically invented the thought or image of a rock band. They moved passed that and have become a huge part of the culture they helped create.

The Beatle’s breakup was announced in 1970. Many rumors flew that they might regroup through the years but that ended on December 8, 1980, in New York with the assassination of John Lennon.

Through the seventies, the Beatles were still quite popular with the Red and Blue greatest-hits albums released in the early seventies. The greatest hits album Rock and Roll Music (terrible silver cover) was released in 1976. Capitol released Got To Get You In My Life as a single off of the album and it peaked at #1 in Canada and #7 in the Billboard 100 in 1976. This was 10 years after it was released as an album track on Revolver.

I bought my first Beatle album (Hey Jude Again) in 1975 when I was 8 and then bought the Rock and Roll Music album. So, I was a 2nd generation Beatles fan and there were many of us. The solo Beatles dominated the charts to the mid-seventies. After 1975 they had hits but not as many as before. Beatles’ popularity waned in the mid to late 70s when the “newer/ younger” generations considered the Beatles as belonging to their parents. Many youngsters believed Led Zeppelin, Queen, and all newer bands would replace the Beatles in scope and success.

Everything changed when Lennon was murdered. A newer generation heard the music. Their popularity would go up and down but with the first Beatle CDs released in 1987…again another generation heard the Beatles. Sgt Pepper was re-released 20 years after the original and it went to number one.

What really cemented them in the public’s mind happened on November 20, 1995. The Beatles Anthology CDs were released, and the documentary was viewed during prime time on ABC. Since then, they have never left. On November 13, 2000, they released the compilation album “1” which was the best-selling album of the decade worldwide. The Beatles were also the largest selling band between 2000-2010. In 2009 The Beatles Rock Band game came out and…yet another generation found their music. One was my son who was born in 2000.

Between 2010-2020 they remixed and reissued many of their classic albums with 50th-anniversary editions. The Get Back film by Peter Jackson is the latest project that has thrust them in the spotlight again…but really, they have never left.

The bottom line for their staying power is their music. The songwriting was outstanding. Even the early music was something new. They used minor chords, and different rhythms, along with harmonizing over the top. I’m not going to go into musical theory, but they never repeated themselves. Every album stands on its own.  John Lennon’s rhythm guitar was quirky and inventive, George Harrison brought in a Chet Atkins style along with jazz chords, Paul brought bass playing to a new level, and Ringo was a left-hander that played right-handed with an open high hat. The main thing was the songwriting, quality, and quantity that is rarely if ever seen.

Bob Dylan: “Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid.”

They rarely included their singles on albums. Most bands used singles to sell albums, but The Beatles treated both formats as different entities. Songs that weren’t released as singles include Norwegian Wood, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, With A Little Help From My Friends, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, All My Loving, A Day In The Life, Back In The USSR, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Helter Skelter, Michele, The Night Before, and one of the most popular Beatles song Here Comes The Sun, and many more. Any other band would have released these songs as singles but with the Beatles…they were just album cuts. That is how deep their songwriting was at the time, and from 1966 onward George was contributing to the quality as well. George developed into a great songwriter in the impossible situation of being with two of the best in history.

They had more variety than many others. They were rockers in Hamburg and The Cavern. They were pop stars in the Beatlemania years. They were rock-folk-pop in the middle period of Rubber Soul and Revolver. They were Psychedelic rockers during the Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour era. Then they went back to their roots and were rockers again with the White Album and Let It Be. Abbey Road saw them perfecting their craft in all genres. They knew when to make an exit…while still on top.

They broke up because they outgrew each other and were together constantly, much like brothers. John, Paul, and George grew up together in Liverpool and they knew Ringo well early on. They were never made to stay together like the Stones. The Stones developed a business/brand attitude, but the Beatles were more of a family and things were more personal.

They were not this clean polite band that Brian Epstein and the press created. In fact, the Stones and Beatles’ images should have been reversed… but to make it…they had to clean up to get through the international door. After they did, the door was open for all others. They did however speak of whatever was on their mind. They said things stars just didn’t say, even in the early days. There was something honest about them that is still there to this day.

They were symmetrical… John brought in Paul, Paul brought in George, and George brought in Ringo.

Their story adds depth to their legacy. The odds of them finding Brian Epstein, George Martin, Stuart Sutcliffe, and everyone on the way was nearly zero. If one key person would have would have gone the other way…the story would not be the same or might not have happened.

In a hundred years…the question will still be asked… why are the Beatles still relevant?

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

59 thoughts on “Why The Beatles Are Still Relevant… and my 5th Year Anniversary.”

  1. Congrats on the 5th year of putting the power into Pop! I was the next generation of Beatles fans that got into them after Lennon was shot as well like u said I started adding Beatles cd’s collection back in ’88.
    I need to add a few more titles to my vinyl collection as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d have to say the importance of the CD release can’t be over-stated. For me, I was well aware of the Beatles and knew all their ‘hits’ but didn’t really get into buying their music until the CDs arrived with a big splash. Then I got 4 discs in I think the first month and began to really appreciate how good they were and how deep the albums were.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It did motivate a huge market…I agree to that. The clarity for one reason and Beatle fans replacing their albums…some regret that now lol.

        Like

  2. Well, Max, time flies and here you are, on your fifth anniversary – congrats!

    The output you’ve created since September 18, 2017 is really impressive, spanning literally thousands of posts. Of course, it’s not really about the quantity, it’s about content, your passion for the topic, and just having a little bit of fun with like-minded music fans.

    Before I “met” you and started following your blog, I had only heard of Badfinger in passing because of “Baby Blue” and “Day After Day”. I had no clue about Big Star whatsoever. I still got some homework to do on the Raspberries, but I’m getting there!

    So, yes, brother, you passed the audition! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Christian…that means a lot to me. I appreciate you giving the more unknowns a chance!
      During my month off…I missed it terribly. Well I missed everyone a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really do need to check out the Raspberries. Based on a couple of tune I’ve heard, they should be right up my alley! And thanks again for elevating Badfinger and bringing Big Star on my radar screen – and all the others I didn’t mention! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think you will like them…Carmen’s voice is great I have to say. You brought a lot of new bands to me and the blues….so I do appreciate it.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks, Max. Speaking of the blues, lemme know what you think of “It’s 2 A.M.” by Shemekia Copeland.

        I think this line in the song is very cool: “Its 2 A.M., do you know where your baby is?” You just know a tune with that line has to be good!

        Of course, no pressure, please take your time! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh the opening guitar is AWESOME! Her voice of course is perfect. That is supercharged…it sounds kinda Stones like with a powerful singer.
        Sorry it took me a while…I watched the Jimi Hendrix video 3 straight times

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats on five great years here…and here’s to the next five! And thanks for taking part in Turntable Talk …next round in a couple of weeks I think. Great points you made there, in particular how many outstanding and popular songs they made that weren’t even singles per se. Their 12 or so best album-cuts would outdo almost any other group’s Greatest Hits release.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dave for being here every day! My pleasure…I enjoy doing that. I thought why re-publish my first post? I’ll do the one I wrote for you which is the same title but much more info.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy blogiversary! I hear “Revolver” is the next reissue, though I’m not sure they’ve officially announced it.

    I was watching with my just-16-year old aunt the night The Beatles first played Ed Sullivan, which I guess makes me a first-generation fan. Even so, I guess it was the excitement of everyone around me that got me into it. When I started playing guitar is when I really got into the music. They sounded good then and still sound good today. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of putting on music you liked once and thinking “I thought *this* was good?” I never felt that way with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes on that question! There is a lot I thought was good but then was disappointed later on…kinda like some TV shows and movies…but never The Beatles.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy 5th Anniversary at Word Press, Max. It’s good to have run across another fervent Beatles fan. Since reading you and Hans I’ve learned so much more about them than I ever knew and you’ve inspired me to keep learning more about them. They do set the standard to which all others aspire to in their creativity, innovation, and genuine beauty, both as a group and as individual artists. You’re right it was a unique convergence that brought them and the others together. Great write-up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lisa! I have had so much fun meeting like minded people on these bands. I’ve learned more though from you and everyone else…I’m very happy I started to do it…it’s a world in itself that I’m proud to be part of.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on your milestone. You have done all 5 years with class and consistency. I like your conversation about the Beatles’ relevance through the years. It’s really hard to remind myself now, that until maybe the mid-1980s, or even later, they were just a popular 60s band; not the historic icons and tourist attractions they are now. It’s great that Liverpool now celebrates them as part of the city’s heritage and identity, and has preserved their sites. Plus, they now have John Lennon Airport. What would John say to that? 🙂 As you say, it’s because their music is legit and groundbreaking. On top of their music, they were entertaining, quick and witty, and could also be serious when circumstances called for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for saying that and thank you for continuing to read. I believe Hanspostcard and you were my first readers.
      I remember in high school…being a Beatles fan wasn’t a popular thing to be in the 80s…but that sure changed.
      I’m sure John would have a great laugh over that airport having his name.
      I don’t know of anyone in their league…they covered so much ground in really…a short amount of time.

      Like

  7. A great post written from your heart Max. Having grown up with the Beatles from the very beginning (at least from the moment they took America by storm), I sadly took them a bit for granted later on, though I always loved their music, as well as most of the music of the four members as solo artists. But I never for one minute doubted nor downplayed the immensity of their impact and contribution to popular music, and fiercely defended them to any asshole who dismissed them as no big deal – or worse, not a great band.

    And congratulations on making it to five years. I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for over seven years! Time seems to fly by faster and faster.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whew 7 years…that is great. Yes the 5 years have flown by…it seems to go faster the older I get.

      Thank you Jeff and thanks for still reading. Yea their impact is still huge and it’s hard to believe since they have been broken up for so long.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy anniversary and thank you for being an enthusiastic reader of my blog too.

    I do think The Beatles influence is at a low point at the moment in popular music. With my pre-teen girls it’s noticeable that the older music they tend to enjoy is mainstream stuff from the 1980s, because I think it’s closest to the pop sounds of the present.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only young people I’m around are my son’s age… 22 but that age group seems to like them and the rest….you know more about the younger.
      I have to wonder what Peter Jackson and Paul and Ringo are working on…he said it’s not a documentary…the other thing would be a music biopic since they are hot right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats on your anniversary.
    My first real exposure to the Beatles was as a 14 year old in 1980. I happened to be on a school bus trip to Liverpool the day after Lennon was shot. The radio was playing all Beatles and Lennon the whole journey. Mood in the city was sombre.
    I bought myself a copy of the blue album after this and my journey started.
    I think key to their appeal is also variety. They explored so widely that everyone can find a track they like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. We are aroudn the same age as I was 13 in 1980. When Lennon was murdered I finished out the albums I didn’t have… that shot my Beatle fandom up a level and it’s never left.
      Yea they covered a lot of ground in 7 years…more than other bands do in 20.

      Like

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    Like

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