Are criticisms of the Beatles as a Live Band overblown?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JABEE, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. adm62

    adm62 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    1960 to 63 Great live band
    1964 Average live band
    1965 to 66 Terrible live band
     
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  2. nikosvault

    nikosvault Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denmark
    So much of what made their music great (past the first 3 albums) was the delicate and sophisticated balance between melody, rhythm and tempo.

    Harder to hit that live than...say power (Zeppelin) or groovy sloppiness (Stones).

    Especially with early 60's equipment and insane screaming fans.
     
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  3. maccafan

    maccafan Forum Resident

    As I said, the Beatles were FANTASTIC LIVE!
    There was no decline in 65, 1966 is when the Beatles sort of began to slide live, the reasons why have been discussed!

    The fact that they couldn't hear sometimes, and that there was all the screaming is a testament to how great they were live!
    The Beatles were an AMAZING LIVE BAND, yes AMAZING because they AMAZED crowds all over the world! ABSOLUTELY NO ONE has stepped on stage and created more EXCITEMENT LIVE!
     
  4. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    nikosvault has it right. The Beatles were more nuanced than the Stones. Their songs were harder to pull off at the volumes and with the equipment they were using live. They would've killed in smaller venues.
     
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  5. Kevin j

    Kevin j Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle Area
    they were so bad they quit. what a bunch of wimps. I think that, deep down, they knew they couldn't hang with the stones, the who, or the kinks.
     
  6. kirkhawley@q.com

    kirkhawley@q.com Forum Resident

    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    We have professionally recorded albums from the mid 60's on both bands. and it's instructive to listen to them back to back. The bands had different strengths, but IMO the ability to create a groove, play as an ensemble, and sing solo and in harmony was much better with the Beatles. Some of these qualities may be slightly difficult to detect because they are subtle.
     
  7. Tristero

    Tristero A muted trumpeter swan

    Location:
    MI
    This post nails the dilemma for me: The areas where the Beatles were really excelling in the mid 60s were not easily reproducible on stage back then even under the best of circumstances. By the time we get to '65-'66, you get the sense that they were going through the motions live with declining enthusiasm, whereas they remained ambitious in the studio. By contrast, with bands like the Stones and the Who, the live venue really played to their strengths.
     
  8. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Made In Japan, Live At Leeds, Get Your Ya Yas Out, At Fillmore East? These albums can't hold a candle to the majesty that is Live At The Hollywood Bowl!
     
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  9. adm62

    adm62 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    There we are. CLOSE THE THREAD!!
     
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  10. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    I would agree. I think they were the best major live rock act through Sunmer 65 based on recordings I have heard. Hollywood Bowl is light years better than Got Live If You Want It. They definitely declined in 66 as their heart was no longer in it. But the degree to which they upped their studio game in late 65 made that worthwhile. They had given hundreds of top flight ephemeral live performances to millions by that time and they turned their energies to creating more lasting art.
     
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  11. Tristero

    Tristero A muted trumpeter swan

    Location:
    MI
    Some fans swoon at the mere sight of the Fabulous Ones, but to me, that was part of the problem--they didn't have to work for it anymore.
     
  12. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    When you saw them at the Liverpool Empire in December 1965 they were terrible, huh?
     
  13. Taking just the available 'official' live representations of both band's output over this period can be substantially misleading. I prefer to go to the sources themselves and take all the better quality live recordings over this period into account in their original states. While the Beatles still played with substantial passion and care as late as their June '65 Paris gig (parts of which are excerpted in Anthology, and all of which is widely circulated), if you take the original recordings of the late summer '65 Hollywood Bowl gigs by comparison, they show a band that could be somewhat sloppy (they even get out of synch with each other for a few bars during one of the closing "I'm Down"s) and also come off with a bit of 'attitude' (this of course is largely masked by the curated and edited official Hollywood Bowl release). All of this would continue into the 1966 tours.

    By contrast, unofficial 1966/1967 boots of the Stones over this period (St. Kilda, Paris '66 and '67, Honolulu) show a band that was pretty much killing it live - even if they started drastically reducing the length of their set lists by the summer '66 U.S. tour. Especially the early '67 European tour - when due to inner turmoil of all sorts you would expect the band to be having problems on stage - show a band still developing live, still incorporating new material ("Ruby Tuesday", "Let's Spend the Night Together" and "Yesterday's Papers" all come off very well), and still thrilling their audience.

    And even if we go back to the era when the Beatles still cared about their live presentation, I would argue that there are no filmed or audio live documents as exciting or compelling as the Stones' TAMI Show performance or their early '65 U.K. concerts as captured on the Charlie Is My Darling audio disc.
     
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  14. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    That is exactly what he wants, for his word to be the final and only word on everything Beatles related...
     
  15. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Getting out of sync with screaming crowds and no monitors is not a real shock. And I don't find the Stones at TAMI more compelling than Beatles at Washington Colliseum. I agree that by 66 Beatles were generally less compelling live than Stones though I think they rose to the occasion at Candlestick.

    Wonder why the Stones couldn't mask how bad they were on the curated "GLIYWI"?
     
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  16. I agree that Washington D.C. is a very compelling live document and a lot of fun to watch - definitely my favorite live filmed Beatles. Which you prefer between this and TAMI I guess mostly comes down to personal taste.

    I actually wonder if GLIYWI might be a lot better if they hadn't done so much post-facto work on it. I still think the band itself plays with a really punky ferocity on the tracks that were actually recorded during the Fall '66 tour, but the incessant overdubs tend to detract from the overall listening experience. Would love to hear a comp of the best of those recordings from that tour raw some day (in my dreams...lol)
     
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  17. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I asked this earlier:
    So if this is indeed a third performance from the Budokhan, who recorded this third show? Japan radio? Or???
     
  18. adm62

    adm62 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Yeah it was cr*p ....
     
  19. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    I have the two shows that were available on video. This is different. It's been sped up slightly, not sure if it's a real Japan show or not. Is there any more information?
     
  20. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    The Stones were great on the TAMI Show. But everyone (and I mean everyone, even the Barbarians with the guy who drummed despite a hook for his snare hand) is great on The TAMI Show - an astonishing show - the proverbial lightning in a bottle. You have to respect the Stones, who had only one minor hit in the US at the time ("Time is on my Side"), for having the balls to close that show after Chuck Berry, Smokey, The Beach Boys, Leslie Gore, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and an amazing James Brown. Everyone backed by the Wrecking Crew and Darlene Love and the Blossoms. Essential.

     
  21. Terry

    Terry Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee
    I blame the lack of monitors.
     
  22. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    So as you remember the show so vividly, tell us all what happened between We Can Work It Out and Yesterday?
     
  23. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    John itched his bum; Paul scratched his nose with his middle finger (you know that quirk that he does a lot); George spied a cute redhead in the front of the audience; and Ringo fixed his foot-pedal.

    Right? ;)
     
  24. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    1964 'average'? compared to who?
    1965 'terrible'?

    Are you sure about this?
     
  25. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    Let's wait till "cr*p" guy tells us
     
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