To say it’s no secret that I love The Beatles would be a gross understatement. But in the the year that I’ve been writing this blog, I don’t think I’ve ever named the reasons why I love them so much. So today, that’s what I thought I’d do! Of course, I have way more than nine reasons as to why they’re my favourite band, but anyway… So in no particular order:
1. Their music.
Obviously! I’ve enjoyed The Beatles’ music since I was a kid. At that point, I very much enjoyed their simpler, more melodic songs. Nowadays, I prefer their more experimental work. Though I love most of their songs.
There is something for everyone within The Beatles’ catalogue. Whether you’re into folk, or psychedelia, or hard rock, or vaudeville, or avant-garde, or rock’n’roll, or Mowtown, or even simple pop, there’s going to be at least one song for you. The Beatles were one of (if not the) most diverse bands of all time. Their music spans so many genres. No wonder they have so many fans!
2. Their lyrics.
As I wrote in some other posts, I consider The Beatles to be one of the greatest lyrical bands of all time. John, in particular, had such a special way with words. From as early as A Hard Day’s Night, the influence of Bob Dylan prompted John, Paul and George to think more about the lyrics. And this resulted in some of the greatest words of all time! Their lyrics touch on nearly everything; from love, to spirituality, to complete nonsense, to made-up characters, to politics, to… We certainly ended up with some beautiful lines!
3. They broke the rules.
The Beatles broke so many of the expectations made by the establishment. A lot of the bands that went before had a bassist at the back, a drummer playing almost jazzy and a rhythm guitarist playing simple chords to the side. The Beatles turned this analogy on its head. And at a time when a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons song topped the Billboard Hot 100, they released the stark, simple rock of ‘Love Me Do’. They famously had “long” hair when such a concept was unacceptable for men. When it was the norm for popular musicians to have their songs written for them, The Beatles came along and wrote a majority of their tunes themselves. They became the most popular artist in America at the time, a place where it was unheard of for British bands to be successful. And when Beatlemania (an innovation in itself) got to be beyond The Beatles’ patience? They simply gave up touring. Not to even mention the “more popular than Jesus” controversy, or their many musical innovations, or their voicings against the Vietnam War, or…
4. They celebrated individuality.
And they celebrated it in so many ways, too! From the beginning, each Beatle was marketed with contrasting personalities, showing them as individuals within their band. And they were very individual in real life, too. This is also shown in their songs. The Beatles expressed themselves and who they were in their songwriting, as songwriters do. A fan can easily tell a John song apart from a Paul song, and a George song, and a Ringo song because of this. They even wrote songs about being an individual in a conforming society; take the lyrics to ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, or ‘Fool on the Hill’, for example!
The Beatles and their brand of individuality have helped so many young people find their identity, over the years. Myself included.
5. Their musical influence.
The Beatles’ influence begins with some of the other big names of the era. The Beatles wrote The Stones’ first hit. Apparently Ray Davies of The Kinks first thought about being in a band after hearing ‘Love Me Do’. And Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend’s first band, The Detours, played Beatles covers at first.
And since then, pretty much rock or pop artist since 1964 has been influenced by the band, one way or another. Whether they play music which sounds “Beatlesque”, or they’re indirectly affected, there’s no denying it. The Beatles are probably the most influential band of all time.
The Beatles also influenced rock music in general. Ringo is often credited as one of the forefathers of modern rock drumming — same goes for John, Paul and George. Artificial double tracking was also invented in a Beatles session. And they were the first band to use a Mellotron, and one of the first to use a Moog. And…
6. Their influence on popular culture.
The Beatles didn’t just didn’t just influence music. They revolutionised pop culture, too. Though many older people were shocked at first, they made it socially acceptable for men to have longer hair. They invented the music clip with the song sequences from their early films, and the “promotional clips” that were made for their songs from 1965 onwards. They set fashion trends, ranging from their earliest collarless suits and Beatle boots to their psychedelia of the mid ’60s to their casuals of the latter part of the decade. Not to mention the countless mentions of them in TV, film, video games and other music.
Just like their musical influence, The Beatles influence on pop culture is practically immeasurable. Just another reason to love them so much… 🙂
7. Their movies.
Sure. They’re not really cinematic masterpieces. But there is a special charm to The Beatles’ five films. And I love them!
Currently, Rotten Tomatoes ranks A Hard Day’s Night as the 5th best film of all time, which is a pretty amazing feat. It’s often credited with inventing the mockumentary. And the music clip. And various types of camera shots. And with being the first great rock film. That makes it a pretty influential flick, and arguably the best of the five Beatles movies made. Of course, the music is great, too. And the wonderfully witty humour!
Help! is slightly less clever and influential than AHDN. But the music for it is simply wonderful, boasting cuts like ‘The Night Before’, ‘You’re Gonna Lose That Girl’, ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away’ and, oh, ‘Help!’. According to the special features disc on the DVD, there are plenty of influential camera techniques in it, as well. Like the colouring of the camera during the ‘Another Girl’ scene.
Yellow Submarine is a classic. Filled with beautifully surreal animation, again influential image techniques and some of The Beatles’ most psychedelic songs, it’s probably my favourite Beatles film. And contrary to popular belief, Let It Be is fascinating too. There’s not many bands who have a fly-on-the-wall documentary showing such a huge part of the history. Though at the moment, the only way to see it is on *cough*bootleg*cough*.
Magical Mystery Tour, though… Hmm… No comment.
8. They’re still relevant today.
There are still a huge number of young people who love The Beatles, today. Like myself. Their message of love and peace still resonates with those of us who don’t believe in the fighting our governments are so set on. So many of their lyrics connect with us, our lives and our ideals. Their beautiful tunes transcend time.
I think The Beatles will last forever. ‘Cos when it comes to really good music, I don’t think it matters at all how old the band is!
9. And the fact that they packed it all into eight years!
No band before and no band since has performed perhaps the most impressive Beatley feat. They fitted 12 albums, 13 unique singles and 2 unique EPs into less than 8 years. Most bands, these days, release an album once every 2 or 3 years. You do the maths…
Why do you like The Beatles? Be sure to tell me in the comments!