meowzamusic wrote:I really likemost of the Beatles music. When they were good, they were really good and when they were sort of meh, they were still pretty damn good.
This is my position, as well, as I said in my OP.
But it's interesting to me to note the missteps of a band that had so few. The songs I chose stood out while doing my weeks-long Beatles Blowout, but the real
lesson I took from that jam was that holy shit, The Beatles were some seriously fucking talented musicians. Listening to all 9 CDs-worth of BBC recordings really demonstrates how tight they were as a band, how amazing their (different-from-take-to-take) vocal harmonies are, and how quickly they improved as songwriters (and they were pretty great right out of the gate, "Love Me Do" excepted.) The Beatles became the standard-bearers for good reason: They were better than everyone else.
meowzamusic wrote:Slow Down and Matchbox
See, I like their SSlow Down" -- John's vocal is great and it's just such a shambling mess (especially John's awful guitar solo -- I think this is demonstration enough why Harrison usually played lead.) "Matchbox" is definitely weak, though, and probably should've been on my list. But yeah, neither of those can touch the originals. But yet another example of The Beatles shining is how many of their covers do
top the original. The Beatles version of "Roll Over Beethoven" is pretty tame, but their "Rock And Roll Music" beats the hell outta Chuck Berry's original. Their "Slow Down" might not beat out Larry Williams, but their "Bad Boy" sure as shit does. And anyone who can make "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" more magical than Smokey Robinson and The Miracles is really doing something right.
meowzamusic wrote:Most bands have more clunkers than not in their catalog but with the Beatles, I just don't feel like there were many missteps.
Exactly. Out of 275 songs, I came up with just over 20 that I thought were less-than-good. I can't imagine any other band with a similar volume of output even coming close to that number, especially considering there were 3 distinct songwriters who all wrote in a variety of styles.
Huckleby wrote:To my ears, the Beatles stopped making bad songs around 1966.
To my ears, this is exactly backwards. The Beatles didn't start making truly bad music until they removed themselves from the very process that had made them so great in the first place -- non-stop writing and performing. The cracks start to show the less time they spend together as The Beatles, opting instead for the kinds of "solo" works which dominate from "Magical Mystery Tour" on. Once Lennon and McCartney stopped challenging and censoring each other is when most of the real drek was allowed to slip through, IMHO.