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Texts: 1967 Richard Poirier, Learning from the Beatles in Partisan Review

Compare: Rolling Stones

Hysteria at Beatles concert


The Beatles were the most influential popular music group of the rock era. They affected the post-war baby boom generation of Britain, the United States and many other countries during the 1960s. Certainly they are the most popular group in rock history, with global sales exceeding 1.1 billion records. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles [Apr 2005]

Learning from the Beatles (1967) - Richard Poirier

In October 1967 the young literary theorist Richard Poirier caused a stir in intellectual circles with a scholarly article reverentially analyzing the words and music of the Beatles. Especially striking was the fact that this article, “Learning from the Beatles,” was published by the dauntlessly modernist journal Partisan Review, wich for decades had been in the forefront of attacks on mass culture. --Bernard Gendron, Between Montmartre and the Mudd Club (2002), page 1.

Musique concrète on White Album

By the mid-1960s popular musicians began to exploit the sophisticated technology of the recording studio. This phenomenon prompted the Beatles to announce that they were retiring from touring because it was impossible to 'reproduce' their recorded music live. On their White Album, the track Revolution Number Nine introduced musique concrète to a wide audience. This track instigated the 'Paul is dead' rumour. --Kevin Concannon

See also: edit - Kevin Concannon

Audio-editing and 'Strawberry Fields Forever'

I'd cite The Beatles (or more precisely producer George Martin) with the greatest single edit of all time. This is when John Lennon wanted to use the first section of one recording of 'Strawberry Fields Forever', but take the rest of the track from a completely different and more progressive version. His comment to George Martin, when he pointed out the difficulties of pitch and tempo, was 'you can fix it'. The fixed version is the definitive one that we all know, two recordings perfectly merged together by one decisive splice. --Greg Wilson via liner notes to Credit to the edit, vol. one (2005) - Greg Wilson [Amazon.com]

See also: edit - Greg Wilson


Beatlesque (pronounced /?bi:t?l'?sk/) is a term used to describe rock and pop bands and musicians who make music similar to that of The Beatles, a British rock-pop music band from the 1960s.

As the Beatles broke several music sales records and charted numerous times during their careers, the term is typically used by record reviewers, rock and pop music fans, and members of the media as a form of praise; it is only occasionally used to mean that an act is too derivative of the Beatles or similar acts of the 1960s. Typical hallmarks of Beatlesque bands include:

Not all of the Beatles' songs fit into this formula; for example, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" has very simple, straight-forward lyrics, and "Day Tripper" is a purely riff-driven song. Adherence to a few of the criteria, plus some passing resemblance in tone or voice, is often enough, however, to be labeled into this varied genre.

Some bands and artists considered to be "Beatlesque" are listed below. The list is supplemented by an informal publication of the Usenet newsgroup rec.music.beatles on Beatlesque bands. It should be noted that some bands (see Oasis), consciously attempted to mimic the Beatles' sound. For the most part, however, the resemblance to The Beatles is not as intentional. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatlesque [Nov 2005]

A Hard Day's Night (1964) - The Beatles

A Hard Day's Night (1964) - The Beatles [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

A Hard Day's Night was The Beatles' third album, released in 1964 as the soundtrack to their first film of the same name.

The album, whilst showcasing the development of the band's songwriting talents, sticks to the basic rock and roll instrumentation and song format. Some of the more notable songs on the album include the title track (with its distinct, instantly recognizable opening chord), and the catchy "Can't Buy Me Love". It also features "And I Love Her", the first of what would become many popular McCartney ballads.

The title of the album (and film) was alleged to have been the accidental creation of drummer Ringo Starr. Though the phrase is used in Lennon's, at that time, recent book "In His Own Write" and was reputedly used at least once by him during the Hamburg era.

Side one of the LP contains the songs from the movie soundtrack. Side two contains songs recorded for the movie, but not included in the movie, although a 1980s rerelease of the movie includes a prologue before the opening credits with "I'll Cry Instead" on the soundtrack. This was the first Beatles album to consist entirely of all original compositions, which would not return until the release of Rubber Soul in 1965. This is also the only original Beatles album consisting entirely of Lennon-McCartney compositions and the first Beatles album to be recorded on four-track tape allowing for good stereo mixes. Despite this, the CD of this album is currently available only in mono

In 2003, the album was ranked number 388 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Amazon review:
Strummmmm! That dramatic guitar chord that kicks of A Hard Day's Night (album, song, movie) still jumps right out at you, slaps you in the face, and jump-starts your heart. And you know what? Both the music and the film are still as crisp and lively as they were in 1964. Of course, only the first seven songs are actually in the movie (and they are the strongest of the bunch, from the rousing rock & roll of the title track and the hit single "Can't Buy Me Love," to the beautiful ballads "If I Fell" and "And I Love Her"). But nobody's going to complain about having songs like "I'll Cry Instead" and "Things We Said Today" in the second half of the record; they sure don't feel like leftovers. Yet another high-point for John, Paul, George, and Ringo--four fab fellows who hit the highest heights imaginable. --Jim Emerson for amazon.com

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) - The Beatles

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) - The Beatles [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is an album by the British band The Beatles. It is often cited as the most influential rock album of all time by prominent critics and publications, including Rolling Stone and is among the Pop albums that have consistently appeared in top lists. It was recorded by The Beatles over a 129-day period beginning on December 6, 1966. The album was released on June 1, 1967 in the United Kingdom and on June 2, 1967 in the United States.

On release the album was an immediate critical and popular sensation. Innovative in every sense, from structure to recording techniques to the cover artwork, the artistic effect was felt immediately and influenced nearly every pop-rock album that came after it.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 1 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Pepper%27s_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band [Aug 2005]

See also: collage techniques - sound recording - concept album - Beatles - greatness - pop music - rock music - 1967

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