Thread: The Beatles
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Old 27-02-2021, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bubbs11 View Post
The Beatles played their best stuff live before they really hit big and all the screaming started. They hated it as they couldn’t hear themselves play. Ringo couldn’t even hear the other three sometimes because of the primitive amps in those days. He had to just watch the other three’s body movements to keep in time. As such, their musicianship suffered and couldn’t wait to stop touring by the end and stick in the studio where they could really explore and express themselves.

Apparently, in Hamburg where they played for long periods honing their craft before fame hit, they were as close to a punk band as you could get on stage, in sound and attitude. By the time they got back to Liverpool, the locals were shocked at how good and tight a band they had become. Brian Epstein soon discovered them and cleaned them up as he attempted to make them less scruffy and more ‘professional looking’.

When I talk about The Beatles being the best, I’m not talking about them as a live band as such but more about the craft of songwriting and the brilliance of so many ground breaking and inspiring studio singles and albums. They pushed boundaries time and time again, and after the initial first few albums, obsessively searched for new sounds and ideas. Unlike most bands that hit a sound that works and cling obsessively to that their whole career (cough cough The Stones post Brian Jones).

From Rubber Soul onwards, a Beatle album would be a journey of different tastes, sounds and rhythm. You would never know what the next song would throw up. You’d have ‘Here there and everywhere’, which sounded like a 1940’s ballroom ballad, on the same album as ‘Tomorrow never knows’, a hypnotic, Indian/acid inspired track that wouldn’t sound out of place at a rave today. Do they still have raves today?

When it comes to musicians with their specific instruments, I think they would all agree, individually, they were no way the best by a long chalk. But as a unit, that’s where the magic happened. In saying that, Paul became quite a shit-hot bassist and was probably the most musical all rounder of the lot. George was the best guitarist. He really worked obsessively on his guitar craft. John was a decent rhythm guitarist but not amazing. Played with great energy though and in his writing would explore some unusual chording and chord progression that gave an evocative and eerie backdrop to many of his songs.

Ringo was just totally a unique drummer and played in a very unorthodox self taught fashion. He certainly wasn’t the best drummer around but do not underestimate how good he actually was. Brilliant at keeping time - like a human metronome, and many a decent drummer I’ve known in my time do rate him highly. His genius was in the studio when he had the ability and taste to play exactly what was required to best complement the great tunes John, Paul and laterally, George, were offering. There was no ego there like some drummers. He did as much or as little as the song required. That’s quite an art in itself.
If you watch that Eight Days a week documentary there's an amazing performance of "I Saw her Standing There" on that first American tour. Genuinely thrilling. Not if you're Maidstoned of course.
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