What direction would rock have gone without The Beatles?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by HearHear, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. HearHear

    HearHear Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    I love The Beatles and own just about every one of their original U.K. Parlophone albums. Greatest band of the 60’s.

    However, I also like late 50’s hard-charging pure rock like Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc.... the Beatles actually liked and played Little Richard tunes.


    Pure ‘50’s rock and roll seemed to be on life support in the early ‘60’s, with Motown and the Beach Boys emerging as two opposites of the same coin. No more “four-on-the-floor” drumbeats like late ‘50’s rock. Folk music, ie Joan Baez and the man who she helped get started (Bob Dylan) etc. were also getting really big by 1963.

    Without the Beatles, would rock and roll have died out around 1963 and been replaced by Motown harmonies, folk music and surfing ballads?
     
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  2. ModernDayWarrior

    ModernDayWarrior Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rahway, NJ, USA
    More of a bluesy r & b direction courtesy of the Stones :)
     
  3. Girl groups would've dominated.
     
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  4. tages

    tages Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Unfortunately without the Beatles opening the door we probably never would've heard the Stones and it's highly unlikely that they would've been inspired to write their own material regardless.
     
  5. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Dick Rowe would have been correct: Guitar bands would have TRULY been on their way out.

    ;)
     
  6. Bands with front-men would still be the vast majority.
     
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  7. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Expat in Helsinki
    Recorded late '62 or early '63 in Boston... unreleased til I found the master tape in 2004... incredible singer and guitarist... didn't have any need of the Brits

     
  8. zither

    zither Former Resident

    Location:
    South West England
    If the Beatles didn't exist, there were plenty of other pop/folk/rock bands around that time pushing the envelope. The Byrds being one of the most obvious examples.
     
  9. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Expat in Helsinki
    See above
     
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  10. JackS

    JackS Then Play On

    Creativity would have found a way to survive and someone would have merged all of the influences in the air.
    The Beatles may have even been a damper to that possibility.
     
  11. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    McGuinn was doing almost exclusively folk music until he heard the Beatles, inspiring him to form a rock band. It was George Harrison's electric Rickenbacker 12-string guitar that inspired McGuinn to get one and develop the Byrds' signature sound. Would he have gone in that direction if he hadn't heard the Beatles, and would the Byrds have ever formed?
     
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  12. zphage

    zphage Beatard

    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    Rock and roll would not have died out. THere were regional scenes all over the US that had artists and labels pumping out singles on a daily basis. R&B still would have become soul, as the gospel influences moved to the fore. FOlk, bluegrass, and country were booming. ELectric and acoustic blues were enjoying resurgences. JAzz was doing well. Who are these Beatles you speak of?
     
  13. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    And that's the problem: The Byrds would NOT have been THE BYRDS if the Beatles hadn't existed!

    It wasn't until the individual band members who made up the Byrds saw the A Hard Day's Night film that they realized what they could do, and how they should sound.
     
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  14. Gord D

    Gord D Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Rock music was evolving from its 50s origins. I think the Beatles were more a part of that evolution as opposed to creating it. Rock music continued to evolve long after the Beatles. So my feeling is the direction the music did take would have happened with or without the Beatles.
     
  15. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Expat in Helsinki
    Recorded same month Fabs debuted on Sullivan show stateside, these guys had been stomping the boards in Plattsburgh NY since '62... once again, no Brits needed for loud guitar rock

     
  16. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Exactly.

    And even if the Byrds had managed to form with their trademark sound, NO record company exec would have been interested in signing them. Record execs wanted to find an American answer to the Beatles. But without the Beatles, those record execs wouldn't have been looking for a USA-based band that could match the Beatles. So who knows...
     
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  17. tages

    tages Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Again, the Byrds would not have been the Byrds without the Beatles.

    Really it’s an impossible question to answer so I should stop trying I guess :p

    Edit - shoot, I guess Arnold already made this point!
     
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  18. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    The folk boom would have lasted longer. Bob Dylan may still have gone electric (He had actually recorded the orphan single "Mixed Up Confusion" with an electric band before he heard the Beatles), but maybe not quite as early as he did, and there probably would have been even more resistance to it than there actually was. Once he insisted on going into that new direction, he would have been seen as the ultimate game-changer, and pop/rock lyrics would have moved beyond the subject of romantic love. Inspired by Dylan, we would still have seen the rise of the singer/songwriter. Brian Wilson may have still taken the Beach Boys beyond the confines of surfing and hot rod songs, but there would have been no Rubber Soul to inspire Pet Sounds. Dylan, the Beach Boys, and R&B most likely would have led the charge. There likely would have been no "British invasion" to speak of and no psychedelic music. Guys with long hair and progressive rock may have eventually come into existence but not nearly as early as they did. It's all speculative but that's a possible scenario.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  19. tages

    tages Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    No, but we needed them for things like “Rubber Soul” and “Paint It Black” and “Sunny Afternoon” and other assorted pieces of genius that I don’t hear coming from Wild Bill Kennedy (although I suppose he could’ve gotten there eventually too :D).

    By the way, that was a pretty cool song that you posted - love the energy.
     
  20. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    You mean "Mixed Up Confusion".
     
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  21. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    Yes, that's the one. I need to go back and edit that. Thanks.
     
  22. Eleventh Earl of Mar

    Eleventh Earl of Mar Somehow got them all this far.

    Location:
    New York
    Not the same time-line of bands but with that said I believe things would have evened out by 1970, Beatles or not. A lot of the most well respected records from 1969 for example share little DNA but there's the question is, did those bands with any of that style crossover even come out? I at least think groups with heavy folk influences could have managed on the grounds that rock became an art form in 67.
     
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  23. YardByrd

    YardByrd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Expat in Helsinki
    Ah, but we might have had THIS instead (singer from Mike & the Ravens 1962 song above)... an unreleased song done for Terry Phillips at Decca (who wrote songs with Lou Reed and John Cale) about having to leave his wife, but pining for his baby daughter... Ray Davies, eat yer heart out!

     
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  24. Folknik

    Folknik Forum Resident

    Plenty of raw energy here (and most of that had been missing in action since 1959), but where are the harmony and the inventive melodies and chord progressions? It was a combination of those things that pushed the Beatles over the top. Would Wild Bill and the Twiliters have become the mega-stars and trendsetters that the Beatles became? Possibly, but maybe not. They may have been an inspiration for the Stones.
     
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  25. HearHear

    HearHear Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Florida
    As noted above, without the Beatles, two things that would have been very different- no psychedelic themes and long-haired rockers would not have existed as early, if at all. Those differences alone would have had a large and profound impact in the direction rock took without the Beatles. Without them, would there have been no Stones? No KISS? No AC/DC? No heavy metal? It's quite possible.
     
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