Thursday, 23 March 2017

Hail! Hail! Rock n Roll!


He might not have invented Rock n Roll, but he defined it.  Everything that’s come after has been built on his foundation.

But don’t read me.  Read Gibson’s lovely tribute to Chuck Berry.  As the article says, “most influential musician ever?  Just ask a Beatle.”

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Getting Better


Part II of my rebuttal to Professor Armand Leroi’s preposterous assertion that The Beatles had virtually no influence on pop music.

Chuck Berry, Elvis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, the Everlys - played by punks, punks who grew up listening to show tunes, folk songs, sing-alongs, music hall numbers, cowboy movies, and Granny’s weekly performance at the pub.

By the time they had emerged from Hamburg and those 6 hour sets, The Beatles had developed their own unique sound, a sound which incorporated that early rockabilly, 50’s R&B, and yes, their childhood influences.  They had become adept at absorbing other styles and transforming them into their own brand of rock and roll.

Then there was soul music, and the pixie dust of Motown, which had, in its own way, done the same thing.

Dylan, folk-rock, classical, Eastern, psychedelic, singer/songwriter, hard rock, each one studied, re-imagined and grafted on to that ever-expanding base.  Each new experiment set someone else off on another new idea, which looped right back to The Beatles for them to start all over again.  Getting so much better all the time.

There is no scientific way to explain the influence of The Beatles, because it magic.

Friday, 3 March 2017

You Can’t Do That


So, Armand Leroi, a professor at Imperial College London, has concluded that The Beatles had virtually no influence on pop music, having had computers analyze hits from 1960 through 2010.

To which I would say this:  At every step of their career, The Beatles absorbed the music around them, assimilating each style, giving it new life from the raw force of pure rock and roll. Each addition created new opportunities for other artists, which The Beatles then heard and absorbed in turn. And on and on it went.  That’s what you call music evolution.

Computer analysis is irrelevant.  The record shows that all the major artists over that half century have acknowledged the influence The Beatles had on them, and The Beatles freely and frequently acknowledged who they were listening to and learning from.

And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.